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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dealing with rejection...

This morning I found out that my first attempt to "step out there" with my designs was not met with acceptance...That quilt you see on the right, Colors of October, was the one I entered into McCall's Quilt Design Star 2011 (so, it will come down soon, since voting is over). From 93 entries, they were picking 20 to go into the next round. So, not very bad odds to make it, don't you think? :) But I didn't make it...Crushed.
I think what makes me really sad, or really thinking, is that they said in the call for entries - we are not looking for your master piece, we are looking for potential - oh man, does it mean I don't have it? No potential? OK, OK, I know I am over-reacting now, but it does make you think - how do we measure how good we are in what is important to us?
Do you let others determine that? Is is a market value ( what you can sell)? Is it what your friends and family say (in other words people who know you, not necessarily people who will tell you it is good just because they love you)?
Interesting question for discussion, don't you think? I would love to hear what all of you out there have to say...
In the meantime, I am going into my sewing room to soothe my wounded pride, :) and try to make something!
PS - well, I might as well ask: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS QUILT? Colors, design, composition...? What does it tell you? Good or bad please!!


  1. I think your quilt is beautiful! I love fall and this is really a great representation of the colors of fall. I haven't looked at any of the other quilts that have been entered but I will go take a peek in a minute. I would encourage you not to get discouraged because you did not make the top 20. There are so many beautiful quilts that one can design and make that I don't know how one would decide. Having been involved with art exhibits, I can truly say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Whatever your work, whether quilts, photography, painting, etc., it must "catch the eye" of the judges and what they find both pleasing and meeting the criteria of the show/contest/event. I've entered many items in our local country fair and just once in our State Fair. I enjoy doing this just to see how my work is perceived by others. I am often surprised at what earns a blue ribbon and what item doesn't. I've earned a couple of grand champion ribbons and felt very rewarded for the hard work I knew that I put into those projects. I have also made items that had an equal amount of hard work and they did not even earn a positive comment. However, my friends and family always love what I do, so when I need positive inspiration and support, I don't have to look far. Again, I really like your quilt. All of those colors say fall and they show up in our back yard ....... we live on Maple Ridge........ so you got the colors right in my book. You may never know why your quilt wasn't chosen. Many years ago, I entered a hand-appliqued block in a bicentennial competition sponsored by JC Penny. I was so hopeful that my block would be one of the few selected that would be showcased. Nope. The sad part for me was that the blocks not chosen would not be returned. One thing I learned from that one is to never enter something where you do not get back the quilt or item you enter. You have your quilt and if you like it, then that is all that matters. Try entering it in a local county fair and see what judges there think. At our fair, comments are often provided so we can know what is right or wrong. One quilt I entered had a corner that was just slightly not mitered quite right. It is barely noticeable but the judge spotted it right away and made note of it. I suspected that would happen but entered anyway. My advice.......enjoy the quilting process and don't feel that you no potential just because your quilt was not selected for this particular event.

  2. I hope not to step on any toes now :) What if you left out the Bow Tie blocks and that corner square? As it is now I feel it's too busy because of the busy and bright colors. Other than that I think it's a good quilt pattern. Good luck :)

  3. Your quilt is lovely. It wasn't "rejected"; it simply wasn't chosen! Unless the judges gave you feedback, you'll never really know why or what exactly they were looking for. As for me, I give kudos to anyone that works with black.

  4. I've learned within this industry to just do what you love, then you're never disappointed because you loved the journey and the result. I heard this many many times while @ Houston Market and Festival. It was actually freeing to hear.

    In this particular competition, a lot of this has to do with social media and getting votes from anybody who went and looked at the quilts.

    I entered last year and didn't make the finalist group....this year....I did!

    On your quilt above, my eye stops at the flying geese. I'm currently working with a small group on a monthly basis and we're going through the book 'Fearless Design for Every Quilter' --we're learning a lot...and design is 80% learned apparently.

    Enjoy the journey....MARLENE

  5. Thank you all so much for your comments!!
    Forgive me for answering like this and not personally, but just didn't figure out how to do that yet with Blogger this morning...maybe I need another coffee? :)

    Sandy - thank you so much for your kind words and great advice! I went to your blog too and LOVE the picture of your family!!! It is just beautiful!

    Wenche - definitely NOT stepping on any toes - I very much appreciate the comment! There is always so muc to learn about the design process and - that is maybe the best part of this, right? :)

    Nancy - you are so right! There is always the other side and - the next time! :) Thank you for your kind words and I actually love working with black (or dark) backgrounds - there is something about how it makes colors shine...

    Marlene - thank you so much and of course - CONGRATS on being a finalist!!! Can't wait to see all the next designs! Yea - I realize that social media and voting was a big part of this and I left that to chance, apart from putting the link on FB, telling it to my guild and putting that button on my blog. But that's ok - there is always the next time and in the meatime - I am definitely doing what I love and enjoying the process a lot! I do realize how lucky I am to have this creative outlet and ability to play - I truly belive it makes me a better person in many ways. I am really happy you mentioned that book! - I remember seeing it and being interested but then somehow it fell "off the radar" for me - will have to check it out! Good luck and lots of fun in your Challenge 1 round!

  6. Don't forget that McCalls is looking for quilts that they can easily pattern in the magazine (I would assume.) Your quilt has too many elements and sizes for a magazine pattern, which is no reflection on the quilt itself.

    You might have done better with a light background. Again, not a reflection of the quilt, just the photography that shows best in a magazine.

    It's worthy studying the winners to see what elements they have in common.

  7. Marija,

    I don't quilt to make other people happy. I quilt to make ME happy. And I never EVER show my quilts. Other people have their own tastes, their own agenda and other reasons for choosing what they choose as a "winner." In my opinion, all quilts are winners, and a ribbon or lack thereof should not make the process and the actual finished quilt any more or any less.

    By the way, I love dark backgrounds in quilts! Yours is lovely, but that's nothing more than my opinion. YOUR opinion is the only one that matters.

    ~ Ronda