Paisley Pavane goes to Ohio

Paisley Pavane is on it’s way to Columbus, Ohio, and will be on display at the National Quilt Association Quilt show June 19-21, 2008. At one point, I was planning on going to the show with the quilt, and with my girlfriend Dawn, but ITMan’s new job and the move got in the way. :(

That’s okay, since that means I have some more time to finish up something really grand to enter in the show when I’m going to be able to be there too. Not that Paisley Pavane isn’t grand, it is, but I have some other things waiting in the wings that might be even better.

The funny thing right now is that in the midst of the pre-move craziness, I entered this quilt into two other shows as well, only one of which I can remember! So I’ll probably be getting a couple of envelopes at some point, with what I hope is good news inside, but I have no idea where one of them will be coming from or when to look for it. :) This is a great argument for photocopying entry forms before sending them in!

I haven’t entered anything in a show for a while, and I’m really looking forward to some feedback from the judges on this quilt. Paisley Pavane was the Third Place winner in the New Quilts from an Old Favorite contest from MAQS, but even though the quilt gets published in the book and goes on tour and all, you don’t get any feedback in the form of critique or judging sheets from the judges at all. It will also be interesting to see how the quilt fares in a much larger venue than the MAQS contest, where it will be shown with and compared to so many more quilts.

If you’re headed to Columbus for the show, keep an eye out for Paisley Pavane. It’ll be the one sparkling at you from across the room, with it’s 3,000 Swarovski crystals!

Showing your quilts – Getting the best picture

Part three of a four part series about entering quilt shows, the jurying and judging process. This series is based on my experiences at quilt shows and classes I’ve taken about the quilt judging process.

Next to good workmanship and striking design, it’s a great picture that will help your work get noticed and accepted to the quilt show. When you’re ready to take that picture, there are a couple of different ways to go depending on your time, budget and interests. First, consider hiring a professional. Professional photographers know how to get a great picture, with true color and balanced lighting, and they have the right equipment to get the job done. However, do look for someone who specializes in art photography as opposed to portraiture or nature scenes, as there is a huge difference in technique, setup and lighting. Be sure to ask for digitals of the photos, so that you can use them as you wish later as well.

If you choose to use a professional photographer, be sure that you relay your deadline to them…

If you choose to use a professional photographer, be sure that you relay your deadline to them, and that they understand it’s importance. There is nothing more frustrating than getting the quilt done, and missing the entry deadline because of a photography problem. You might decide to take the photos yourself to prevent this kind of mishap, and have complete control over the output and rights to the photos of your work.

Taking the photographs yourself can be costly in terms of initial setup and time spent learning. At a minimum, you’ll need a 5 megapixel camera, a tripod, a quilt stand and some good portable lighting. A temporary studio area is also a must, so look for a large empty space where you can control the lighting. I used to use my basement room, because it’s fairly long so I could get the camera far enough away from the quilt and at one time it was nearly empty. I could close the outside window shades and all the doors, and control the lighting completely, so it was perfect. I’ve also borrowed rooms in community centers for the day when I had bigger quilts that required correspondingly larger spaces for photography.

You can take photos outside for good natural lighting, however waiting for the perfect non-windy, slightly overcast or not too bright day could cause you to miss that deadline as well. I’ve taken photos for shows outside, and had it come to near disaster from even the slightest breeze as the quilt stand topples into the grass! Continue reading

Showing your quilts – Where to enter

Part two of a four part series about entering quilt shows, the jurying and judging process. This series is based on my experiences at quilt shows and classes I’ve taken about the quilt judging process.

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and show your quilts, how do you know where to enter your work? The very first place you should start is your local quilt guild! Does your guild organize a yearly show? If it doesn’t, start one! Guild shows are a great place to get your feet wet, and show off your work in a friendly environment. Consider holding a quilt raffle in conjunction with your show, to help fund the show or provide charitable donations to your community.

Look in quilt magazines for show calendars, and get addresses to send for information and entry forms. Many quilt shows and exhibits can also be found online; do a Google search, and then visit the websites where you’ll most likely find all the information and entry forms you need in downloadable form. Some quilt shows will even let you submit your entry electronically, either online or by email. Do make effort to determine what types of quilts are usually seen at each show (more traditional quilts, more art quilts, some of each) by searching online for pictures of past winners or exhibits if they are available.

They’re looking for suitability, workmanship, the out of the ordinary and the “Wow!”

When you start entering your quilts in shows, you’ll find that there are a few different types of shows, and it’s helpful to know what the terminology means. Some quilt shows are juried, meaning that you must send pictures or slides to the show organizers ahead of time. A jury of quilt judges will look at all the submissions and choose which quilts will be accepted to the show. If your quilt is accepted into the show, you’ll be asked to ship the quilt just before the show so it can be judged for awards, if it is a judged show. Major quilt shows like the IQA World of Beauty Quilt Show in Houston, Texas and the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show in Paducah , Kentucky follow this format. Special exhibit shows are often juried but not judged for awards, like the In the American Tradition exhibit sponsored by the IQA. Continue reading