Saturday, June 26, 2010

National Patchwork Championships - Sandown

Better late than never right? I've not been home much since the quilt show last weekend so I haven't been able to process the photographs and share my good news. Finally I have a little spare(ish) time and I thought I should get on with this report.

As Sandown is my local show I can hand deliver my quilts to the show ground. This gives me a chance to enter some of my larger and more fragile pieces. Also the team at Grosvenor have been working really hard on how they return quilts, they have got really good at dealing with difficult quilts. This year every quilt that had been delivered on a roll was brought to the collection area unfolded with it's roll so it could be packed properly. If you have  quilts you are concerned about this might well be the show for you. Also being a smaller show it's possible to get around all the exhibits in a day and still have time for lunch. Lunch isn't cheap (although it isn't bad for this sort of venue) but it's large portions and it's good food. Can you tell I really like this show :)

The sample quilt from my book Ferreting Around was one of he quilts I entered. I had wanted to put in Tet's quilt but you can't enter Malvern and Sandown in the same year, so I thought mine could have an outing. It is what it is, a sample. If you look in the book this is the quilt you see being made. I couldn't see it winning any pizes, but it was nice to see it on display especially as it wasn't allowed to be the cover quilt of the book. I forgot that there isn't a show guide at Sandown, but I hope the Home Workshop folks had time to read the statement with it. They really have given me a lot of advice about  producing books, and I do appreciate it.

Another quilt I put in with no expectation of it winning anything was Bad Rain. This is the quilt of a double page spread from the book Cancertown. It's a large quilt and there aren't many chances for me to display it in the quilting arena, so I took this one. I was very surprised (and thrilled) to see it sporting a Judges Choice certificate. Even more surprising was the number of people who came and talked to me about it. It made an impression and for a lot of people a positive one. I have to admit I just enjoyed seeing it hanging. I also think it is good for the quilts to hang, and this one lives rolled up in a storage unit most of the time. It does get a few outings to talks, but not as many as I would like.

Opposite Bad Rain was Herd Mentality. I am always being asked to show this quilt and that was why it apeared here. The layout of the quilt stands isn't ideal for either of these two quilts as they are best viewed from a distance, but you take what you can get. I think you can get a reasonable view of them when you stand back. From what I saw this quilt was one of the most popular with small people. The number of children I saw wanting to stroke the cows was amazing, and thank you very much to all the parents who were so careful to restrain the small fingers. This will be it's last appearance in the UK for a while as it was accepted into the World Quilt Show and is heading off to tour America. On the other hand if you're reading this from the US please keep and eye open for it and send me a picture if you meet it at a show. I do enjoy seeing my quilt's holiday photos.

The rosette on the cows is first place in computer aided design. All of my art quilts are based on photographs which I process on the computer to produce patterns. This one more than most, as the relative brightness of various parts of the image were adjusted first to give the more detail in the final pattern. I'm really pleased to have won the award and I rather like the silver plate that comes with it. I got an angular geometric one rather than one of the more frilly plates. Funny how these things seem to just work out.

Given how popular my other leather quilt had been at Malvern, I thought that this one might have done well at Sandown. I guess I spoilt people with Leather Star. This one, Leather Feathers was the first piece of leather I quilted and I did get more comfortable with it on the second one, the star. It was nice to have it there, anyway as lot's of people hadn't been to Malvern and were fascinated by the idea of quilting leather. It is a very stressful thing to do, but at the same time wonderful. The leather feels so nice to quilt on and I love the smell of it. On the other hand you can't make mistakes as they leave holes you can't heal.

The art quilt category at Sandown isn't large, and I try to make sure I put something in it each year. I generally don't do well here but still it's a category I like and I wan to see it continue so I have to enter something. This time the something was Daughter. I liked the idea of Mother and Daughter each getting an outing a consecutive shows, it seemed fitting. Not only that, she did me proud, winning the category. Sorry Roy, I'm sure you can get the trophy back next year :)

Finally there was my entry into the bed quilt category, Phoenix Rising. This is generally the biggest category of the show and I would say the mst fiercely contested. I think for many quilters this is the award (other than champion quilt) that they most want to win. I entered this quilt here because it is my quilt. Maybe that should be MY quilt. It is the most me I have done in a while and I love it. I thought I didn't care what anyone else thought I just loved it. Well on judging day I woke up worried, I wanted this quilt to appeal to the judges. I feel that is a very dangerous desire. It seems to me to be a very good way to disapointment. Generally I manage to avoid it but this just crept up on me (I wonder if it had struck earlier if I would still have entered the quilt). Of course at that point all I could do was wait and see what happened.

Part way through my afternoon class my phone went. It was Vicky and the first award she told me about was this one. I was so relieved. Yup, relieved. After a while I makde it to thrilled, winning the bed quilt category was cool, but not as good as just knowing the judges did think MY quilt was OK. I'm sure blind faith in your work is a great thing to have, but I haven't really got it. Maybe this quilt was just more important because it is more personal than some of them, or maybe it is because it hasn't done well with US judges. I don't know but as you can see I am very pleased with it's award.

I hope that some of you will be inspired to enter this show next year. It really is a great place to get your feet wet and start showing your quilts. It is a thrill just to see your work hung up, as one of my students discovered today (more on that later). You really never see your work as well as you do in a show. Also if you like looking at quilts in shows you can help by sharing your work. The shows can only carry on while there are quilts to see. No entries, means no quilts, means no show. If you're local you can do what I do and deliver to the show then collect on the Sunday. You get a ticket with your entry so you can get in for free, and it's a great chance to catch up with other quilter while you wait for your quilt to arrive. Give it a go, you never know, you might enjoy it. Forms can be obtained from Grosvenor Exhibitions.


Susan Briscoe said...

Congratulations once again and thanks for a nice report from the show. Must admit I still think that "Herd Mentality" should have got placed in large wall... ho hum.

Contrasting leather feathers with leather star is interesting. While I really love the star, the feathers don't have quite the same effect. Strange. Maybe I just don't appreciate feathers? Actually, I like it better on its side, rotated thru 90 degrees left (looking at screen with head on one side to get the effect!) :-)

Ferret said...

To me it looks lopsided the other way around, but it wouldn't be the first of my quilts the judges felt needed rotating so your view may be quite common. I just see things a bit sideways of everyone elses reality :)

Rafael's Mum said...

Congratulations on your wins and so well deserved! Since I have seen a few of them close up (and especially Phoenix) I have seen how much delicate work and detail there are in there, something that is hard to capture on blog photos. They are sublime and I am thrilled for you that you won!

Thanks also for showing all your entered quilts. I wasn't able to go (having window replacements done) so it is lovely to see a bit of the show.

Trudi said...

Congratulations on your wins! I'll be entering a couple into Harrogate, fortunately for me Grosvenor Exhibiitons is close enough to drop off and collect :) Sweet!