Monday, August 02, 2010

Take a risk, Take a chance, Make a change

I am back from a whirlwind long day at the Maine Quilt Show. It's only 75 minutes for me to drive to Augusta, but I left at 7am and did not get home until nearly 8pm. Next year I will need to plan on coming an additional day if I opt for a class. I took an all day applique class yesterday from Karen Kay Buckley. The class was fast-paced and really good. It was my first official quilting class, ever (hard to believe). I have always learned things on my own or by doing research. This was a nice change to have someone else tell me what works for her. Though my applique piece is far from done, it is looking nice technically. I have an entire new dream list of gizmos and threads I need too! But...because of being in a class all but 2 hours yesterday, I did not get near as much time to just stand and stare at all of the quilts as I'd like. Likewise, I had to pass on shopping at all the quilt shops too.

It was really great to see both of my quilts hung amongst the competition. I am so proud of how they both looked. I was kind of upset because I did actually find out from my mom later on Friday evening that they both had 3rd place ribbons. I really wanted better. But to see them hung was confirmation enough that they looked really good. The demarkation between 3rd and 2nd place is a hard one to define. Many of the 3rd place quilts were very impressive, while I saw a couple 2nd place ones that I had to roll my eyes at. I am anxious to receive the judges comments in the mail this week to see how they really did, by the numbers.

"Summer on the Beach" surprised me. I thought for sure this would score like a dog turd, but for some reason judges like it. I guess it just has SO many triangles that they didn't look long enough to find the ones I chopped to make it all go together. I'm not sure all of you can access this link, but it's worth a try. Here are more pictures of this quilt, as are some here. This quilt is officially retired from it's brief show circuit to take it's new place on my bed.
And here is my newest quilt "Primavera", also sporting a 3rd place ribbon. It's not inconceivable (depending on what I hear from the judges comments) that this quilt may make an appearance at another show next year. It looked so fantastic hung under the show lights. The crystals on it (all 700 or so) twinkled beautifully. And seriously, it hung between two really nice quilts, both with yellow ribbons. I just LOVE that hibiscus flower quilt.
My mother, the so-called-photographer, didn't get such great pictures of me with either quilt. I look stoned, drunk or just looking the other way in most of them. Lovely!
Here's a few detailed pictures of these...The back is so textural. Partly this is from using 2 layers of batting (poly and wool), but partly from the amount of quilting.
The borders which I initially worried about the Rainbows thread, actually looked really good. I'm sure a judge will have something to say about that lime green flange that I stitched down though :-)
The experts at MQResource gave me such great advice on my quilting plan. I'm really glad someone suggested doing the radiating lines. It was a little bit of a pain since I drew them on with a compass and a ruler (rather than the specialty and $$ rulers that do exist), but it was worth the time.
This brings one event in my life full circle. A year ago when I went to this show, and entered my first quilt, I also tested all of the longarms. At that point, I only dreamed of being able to own one. It never dawned on my I'd be able to quilt as well as I do. By September 2009, I knew I was buying a machine, but I still had personal doubts about whether I could make a home-business successful. How long would it take to get up to speed? How would I attract clients? The rest is history now. As I left the dealer that last time (after testing the HQ Fusion), I heard a song on the radio. Now I am by no means a Kelly Clarkson fan, but the words spoke to me. I found the encouragement and motivation to "Take a chance" in this song. Most ironically, as I was getting on the highway last night to come home, this very song came on the radio. I felt like an angel was watching overhead. Follow your heart. Follow your dream. Take a chance.

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly

I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky

And I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change

And breakaway

Out of the darkness and into the sun

But I won't forget all the ones that I love

I'll take a risk, take a chance, make a change

And breakaway


free indeed said...

Congratulations on the ribbons! I live in Maine, but too far to take in the show...maybe someday I'll treat myself to an entire weekend away just to see it.
I've never taken a class either, but would love to sit and take in the instruction to a new to me technique...which would be nearly every technique out there lol!
Your work is lovely.

bingo~bonnie said...

Oh wow! what a great post about your trip to the show in Augusta. :) and as I read that last part about "take a chance" and when you said that you heard it again on the radio as you were leaving.... GOOSE BUMPS came over my arms, chest, and legs!!! WOW.. how inspiring indeed!!! :)

I just know that great things are gonna happen for you girlfriend! :) You are gonna have a room full of ribbons one day!

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

Deb said...

WOW! You did a fabulous job quilting AND choosing the quilting designs. Congratulations on the ribbons.

Jen said...

What a beautiful quilt and an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing your doubt and fears. It's hard to remember that everyone starts as a beginner.