Fall has finally arrived and I must apologize for not writing for so long! I spent the entire month of September in Colorado and Idaho, hiking and climbing mountains. I got to watch the Aspens turn from vibrant green to yellow to blaze orange. I also saw abundant wildlife, including Rocky Mountain elk, Shiras moose, Mule deer, ptarmigan, and grouse, to name a few of the species. It was wonderful, but physically exhausting.
Tips and Tricks for Better Machine Quilting
There’s a phrase that’s often uttered in the quilting world, and often heard among the many admirers of quilts at a quilt show. I’m sure you’ve either heard it, or said it yourself when admiring a lovely quilt. That phrase is, “I could NEVER quilt like that!” Whether it’s someone admiring hand quilting, machine quilting, piecing, or applique, we’ve all thought ourselves incapable of such wonderful work. But when I hear someone say that, I simply turn to them and say, “Of course you can do that! But are you willing to do the work to become that good?”
I’m fairly certain that nearly every single person reading this blog has attended a LARGE quilt show at one time or another. When I say “large”, I’m referring to the national and international shows like the AQS Show in Paducah, or The Houston Quilt Festival, or Road to California. And if you haven’t, well, I’m sure it’s on your bucket list. But why do those large shows draw such huge crowds? Well, in a nutshell, it’s the caliber of the quilts entered in those competitions (and don’t tell me it’s the vendors you go to see or I’ll have to give you a dirty look! ☺). Yes, the caliber of the quilts at those shows is nothing short of amazing. But have you ever dreamed of having one of your quilts at one of the big shows? Well, if you have, I’m going to explain some of the things you’ll need to take into consideration when you decide that you’re ready to move up to the big leagues!
After writing the last blog post about how judges choose the winning quilts, it occurred to me that there was something else I could have shared about judges that might be of interest to quilters. So, I’m going to do that now in a VERY brief post.
There is strange phenomenon out there amongst quilters who enter their quilts in competitions, ESPECIALLY when they are new to the competition world. What I’m referring to, and I have personally felt this way myself, is that when quilters enter a quilt in a competition, and they get comments back from a judge, they tend to take those comments too personally. This can lead to many strange emotions such as anger, incredulity, bitterness, embarrassment, etc.
Have you ever been to a quilt show and looked at some of the quilts with ribbons on them and wondered, “Why does this quilt have a ribbon and that one doesn’t?” Well, I think most of us have. What goes on in the “judging room” is a big mystery to many quilters. Since I’ve been in a lot of judging rooms, both as a judge and as an aide, I’m going to try to de-mystify this issue for you.