Thursday, March 12, 2015

Art can be humbling...

I was in a business meeting for work last Thursday, when I received an email telling me I had won 'Best Innovative Style Quilt' for Let's Here it for the Girls at the Mancuso, NJ Quilt Fest.  As you can imagine I was ecstatic.  I was sitting in Chicago, but couldn't wait for the weekend, so that I could see my quilt hanging in all it's glory in New Jersey.

Well, I am happy I had those 3 days to bask in my glory.  As always, the show had some phenomenal quilts hanging.  My notification email for the award had said that the judges felt that the competition was extremely tough.  But as I walked the show floor, I was amazed at the talented quilts and the big name quilters who I had gone up against...  oh my.  I didn't even rush to find my quilt.  I decided to take my time and appreciate all the other work, because surely they had made a mistake and I had maybe received Honorable Mention.

One of the reasons I like this show is that the quilts are usually so varied, and this year was no different.  Artsy quilts hung next to traditional, big next to small, hand next to machine...  In all, the workmanship spoke for itself.  These artists put their heart and soul into these pieces... surely, mine won't look as good, or as professional.  I quilt at night, after work, after dinner, after all the other things have been taken care of.  I quilt for me, not for judges...  I experiment with all different types of techniques and yes, sometimes, I say to myself, it is 'good enough', knowing it isn't perfect.

It is funny how all these thoughts rushed through my mind as I walked the floor.  Almost as if I was preparing myself to be disappointed.  And then I saw it.  My quilt...  my ladies, on the dance floor for all to see.  And YES, there was my ribbon as well..  BLUE for first place in a particular category.  As always, I watched the people as they approached.  Almost as expected, their eyes seemed to gravitate to the other 2 pieces handing next to it....  see I was right, it didn't deserve that ribbon....  then all of a sudden, they turned around...  they stopped and looked and took out their cameras.  They noticed the finely tuned bodies of the dancers, the realistic effect of them in front of the back-drop as a result of the trapunto, the 3D flowers that had been scattered across the stage in accolades.  They chatted amongst themselves and read the description and the quilters name.  At that point, I felt it was alright to step forward, to comment that I was the quilter.  They congratulate me and ask questions about the piece. As they walk away, I breath.  Ok, that wasn't so bad.  I survived, I belong....

No this isn't the first time I have won a BLUE ribbon, and no it isn't the first time the competition was tough, but it always seems to amaze me, that others enjoy looking at something that I created, and for that I am humbled.  I quilt because I enjoy it.  It brings me peace.  I think it is wonderful that others get some joy from merely looking at it as well.

For that, I say Thank You!



Anonymous said...

I echo your reasons for quilting! The satisfaction derived can only be understood by another who shares in that creativity!!! (and I do!!!) Congrats and well deserved!!!!

Marilyn said...

Congratulations on a beautiful piece of art! I agree about why we quilt too.