Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AQS Lancaster - Quilts bring home big wins

I received word last night from AQS that my quilts entered at their Lancaster, PA show had done very well. It is always exciting to see the caller ID listed as "Paducah, KY" near one of their shows, because I know that they don't call just anybody for no reason.  I knew it was a good call.  Seriously, even a 3rd place at their shows is a very sweet check.  The call was a good call indeed.  She starts the conversation, "Margaret, are you sitting?  You might want to be".  Oh my, I thought, could this really be happening?  It was happening. Both of my quilts took top-tier awards at their show.  Zen Garden won the best Longarm Quilting award, while Big Bertha won Best Bed quilt.  I had hoped and thought that Bertha would ribbon, but this was most certainly beyond my wildest dream.  It is still surreal.
 It's no secret that these are two of my favorite quilts.  But Zen Garden didn't start out as such a show-stopper, or winner is perhaps a better word.  I love the quilt, but the first year I started showing it, I think the quilt got 3 honorable mentions, and a couple of 2nd places at smaller regional shows.  I just wasn't convinced it had what it took to play with the big dogs.  Shows like Lancaster have very big dogs.  Last year, though, Zen Garden started to show it's worth, from being on the cover of a magazine to several first places, acceptance into Paducah, and a couple Best of Shows.  I am glad I kept showing it, despite its slow start.  This is its last year of show eligibility with many of the major shows, so it will be busy on the road this year.
Big Bertha, well, it just surprised me right from the beginning.  It has done well pretty much everywhere it has gone, except for Houston.  I look at Houston as just a small blip on the radar.  Getting into that show was it's point of fortune, but it's hard to compete with a room full of top dogs.  This was a quilt that almost didn't happen.  I started it in the summer of 2011.  In the fall of 2012, I was looking at all the unfinished projects in my studio, searching for a quilt that I "should" finish.   This one was the closest to being ready to quilt.  I had set it aside because soon after I had most of my Dresden blocks hand pieced, Dresden quilts started popping up everywhere on quilty-blogland.  I hate making anything but original quilts, and to think that hundreds of others were making their own scrappy Dresden plate quilts was annoying.  Mind you, I'm not the trendsetter, as they weren't copying me.  It was purely coincidence.  As a result, I tried hard to find an original setting for the plates.  Hindsight will say that I really dislike how I quilted areas of this quilt, but I had a judge tell me that the originality and different quilting was a catching feature.  Live and learn.

So, if you are in the Lancaster area, be sure to go to the show.  As I knew when the list of accepted entrants was announced 2 months ago, this is a show of pure delight.  The field of talent is deep and strong.  The winners are here.  Likely because AQS changed their rules allowing previous ribbon winners to re-enter their shows, this show is stacked with great quilters.  I know many of the names, and some people personally.  I am so touched to have been recognized so immensely by the judges.  Remember, I have been making show quilts just a mere 4 years, or more like 3 since the first quilt I made for show was purely accidental.  If I can do it, so can you.  Keep dreaming.  Keep quilting.

17 comments:

Stitching Impressions said...

HI Margaret,

Congrats on your 2 big wins!!
I must say that you are my inspiration. I too am a stay at home mom and love to longarm. I am dreaming of making some show quilts but am too intimidated. I think I may actually try. Thanks for your encouragement.

Ruth

Stitching Impressions said...

Hi Margaret,

congrats on your 2 big wins!!
You are definitely my inspiration. I too am a stay at home mom who loves to longarm. I am a bit intimidated and not very confident when it comes to making show quilts. I think you may have given me the courage to at least try.

Ruth

Quiltdivajulie said...

Congratulations, Margaret!!!!!

Carolyn said...

I first read the list of winners and then came to your blog to congratulate you. They both show your talent and skill.

Susan Lawson said...

Congratulations Margaret! livin' the dream! :)

Bev said...

WOW! CONGRATULATIONS! I am so proud of you and so glad that your beautiful quilts are being recognized! WTG! XO

Strlady said...

Congratulations on the wonderful news!!!!

Greta said...

Congratulations!

Marlene said...

Congrats Margaret!

Vicki W said...

Congratulations!

momto1 said...

Congratulations!!!! I recognized your quilts on the AQS site immediately. They're both gorgeous quilts, and you certainly deserve the accolades. I'm heading to Lancaster tomorrow. It will be fun to say, "Oh, yeah, I read Margaret's blog. She's wonderful!".

You and your quilts and your quilting continue to be an inspiration!

What Comes Next? said...

congratulations Margaret!

Heritage Keepsakes said...

I have to say, I was very surprised Big Bertha didn't ribbon in Houston too. It is absolutely beautiful, especially up close. Congratulations on the wins for both quilts. Justly deserved for all the work and artistry that goes into them.

Rebecca Grace said...

Wow -- I certainly don't look at your quilts and think, "If she can do it, so can I!" I look at your quilts like I look at a painting in a museum, wondering how the artist can possibly create something so spectacular from just glops of oil paint on a canvas. Both of these quilts are masterpieces; it's no fluke that judges appreciate your talent and workmanship. Congratulations!

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

Congratulations! I'm so thrilled for you! And I have to say, I look at my bed quilt every day that you quilted for me and think it's a work of art as well. You are so talented and deserving!!

Michele said...

Wow, wow and wow! Congrats to you. You are going to need a new room for all the great awards you are collecting. I can only hope that some day I'll be that good to be able to enter a show or two.

Connie said...

Big Bertha looked magnificent hanging in the winner's area.