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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Positive thoughts on QuiltCon Rejection

All three of my quilts were rejected from QuiltCon, and that's alright.


I really wasn't upset about it when I got the emails. I am an emotional (read: high energy) person, so I do take things like this very seriously! However, I was only entering quilts from the year that I was proud of - none that I had specifically made for QuiltCon. I could imagine being upset if I had tried specifically to make for one of the show's challenges...

Do you see the problem, though? The problem is that we are all so awesome, and there are so many interpretations of modern that there's NO WAY we could all be able to show off our quilts at QuiltCon. There were over 1,300 entries!  That's AMAZING! Look what's happening to our modern movement! It's not so much a movement anymore. It's here to stay. It's not moving anywhere. ;)

 Home

Sure, it would have been nice to limit individual submissions and let more people in, which would reduce the amount of people who were accepted multiple times. I also see the value of the judges choosing the "best quilts" for their vision and aesthetic. Our guild has another modern quilt exhibit in this year's Quilt Fest of New Jersey, and we are choosing quilts in the same way. It's hard not to take it personally.


Rejection happens to all of us, right? We should make even more of an effort to enter local shows and let people know how awesome modern quilting is on that level. Then, we can just try again next year. There's also the Texas Quilt Museum exhibit. And when all else fails, you can attend your local guild meeting or your favorite Instagram hashtag and revel in the beauty of quilts anyway. Because really, that's what it comes down to: that quilting is good for your soul, and you're going to do it no matter what the competition.


So, I'm not trying to be a hypocrite here - my individual entries were rejected, yes. That's what this post is about. :) I am excited that our guild's banner was accepted. It was a huge, group effort to make this quilt, and I can't wait to see it hanging there. Our charity quilt will also be there!

 
So keep on quilting on, modern quilting friends. There's a lot for us to look forward to, and a lot for us to be proud of!


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20 comments:

  1. You seem to be handling it very well. Congratulations to your Guild for having two quilts accepted. The Sydney Modern Quilt Guild has changed its name to Sydney modern Quilt Group -- I have no idea why since I haven't been to a meeting since the inaugural one back in 2011. It's too far away for me to attend regularly.

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    1. Some of the guilds have changed their name since use of "modern quilt guild" requires national membership, and the related payment to the national MQG organization.

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  2. Jess you are wonderful. All of yours words ring so true, and you're right - regardless of whether our quilts were accepted or not, we make beautiful things and the MAKING is good for the soul. And I still get to meet you in a few months which is SO EXCITING!!!!

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  3. It's so true. I'm so happy for those who were chosen and it wasn't a reflection on the quilts that didn't make it just a reality of the number that would fit.

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  4. Yes but I still think a small group of so called 'experts' defined what 'modern' was and in the process, shut the door on many, many quilters who identify as part of the movement and now question where they 'fit in.' I'm all for loose inclusivity in the quilting world and I'm not sure QuiltCon's actions work in their present form. And that is not sour grapes from me, just a heartfelt observation.

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  5. I'm trying very hard to hold onto the fact that its a curated show, and there's surely a certain aesthetic they were going for. And I'm sure there will be many many awesome quilts, but I know there will be some that I stand there and wonder why that one got in, and not mine, or yours, or so many other great quilts. But you are absolutely right - this won't stop me from quilting, just maybe entering shows. :) Thank you for sharing your level headedness, and I'm sooooo excited to meet you and so many other wonderful people!!!!

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  6. Great post Jess. Rejection when it comes to your work is never personal, it's circumstantial. Learnt that the hard way. I love everything you make.

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  7. You totally said the right things. I'm so bummed your Home didn't get in, it is my favorite of the ones you posted here. My rejected quilt will be entered (hopefully with a couple of others I want to make) to the biggest NM show--Fiber Arts Fiesta in May. In the local shows I feel like a medium fish in a medium pond, ha. Sending you hugs!

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  8. Jess - way to have such a positive attitude! Your work is so amazing - it's been fun to follow your journey and I can't wait to see what you make next!

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  9. Congrats on your rejections. I don't mean that to sound snarky but you still submitted something you felt was worthy and that's what counts. 100% of my quilts have been rejected cause I've never submitted one. How lucky are we though that while our work may not be featured in person at a show we can still share it and often with an even more personal story online with each other. Here's to more entries next year!

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  10. Wow....if yours got rejected I can't imagine what was accepted! Keep at it as I love seeing your work.

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  11. It bothers me that some people have had all of their quilts accepted and others have had all of theirs rejected. It seems like some of the people with very popular blogs were more readily accepted than those of us (you? I didn't submit anything) that aren't quite as well known. I think I would rather see a wider range of artists represented than to see three quilts from the same person.

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  12. I have been to the International Quilt Festival in Houston probably around 5 to 6 times. The quilts that win aren't always ones that I identify with or even like, though they do show skill, expertise, thought, and sometimes innovation. This year, I noticed that I was very drawn to color (it's what catches you 100 feet away when you are surrounded by 30 quilts within eyesight), and a lot of that color use was what could be categorized as "modern." However, though there was a modern quilt exhibit, not all of those modern bold color quilts were in that exhibit. AND there were two quilts that were the SAME pattern (string diamonds) but different colors. One was in a more traditional exhibit (it was very scrappy, with many colors) and the other was in the modern exhibit (lots of subdued colors and solids with a few brights thrown in for contrast). I think that everyone has a different point of view and different things that they like, and that's not only okay but wonderful. But these large shows are trying to cater to the image they want to cultivate and also to draw in the biggest crowd because it takes a lot of money to put on a show, honey! So, keep that in mind - it's much less about you, it's much more about them. By the way, I'm here, reading your blog and loving the pictures of your interesting, colorful, and FUN quilts! Keep 'em coming, please!

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  13. This was exactly what I needed to read this morning! Thanks for hitting the heart of it in a way I can relate to. Its hard to get that email, none of my entries were accepted, and it is hard at first, but I love what I do and that's not going to change =) The judges had a very tough time of it, and they definitely had a specific aesthetic in mind when they curated the show. We should be proud of what we accomplished, and remember that's it's not a rejection, but a regretful passing up!

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  14. All three of mine were rejected too. I can't wait to see what they picked and see why mine wasn't good enough.

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  15. Very well said! I admire you and every other quilter who had the stones to submit their work in the first place, it takes a lot of courage to submit your work for public consumption! I'm looking forward to seeing what is at the show (vicariously through you, of course). Did you read the former QuiltCon judge post that was posted earlier? http://www.latifahsaafirstudios.com it was enlightening.

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  16. Great perspective. If those are the rejects, it should be a really good show.

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  17. While I applaud your good cheer towards your rejections, and your overall beneficial attitude towards the process, there are some peculiar quirks in this particular modern movement which make it difficult to ascertain whether or not we should even enter our quilts to be juried. What is modern? is an idea that fine artists have been struggling with for years, finally leaving it to letting the work speak for themselves, yet they aren't trying for a national inclusivity in their movement, content to let small groups coalesce in an organic fashion. On my blog this morning, opquilt.com, I wrote about the same topic, but took a different approach. I have enjoyed reading your words and thoughts this morning; thanks for the writing!

    Elizabeth

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  19. It is always nice to see your positive attitude!

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