Quilt Shows

Entering a Quilt Show

I haven’t entered a quilt show for ages, largely because I haven’t had time to make a quilt that was quilt-show level.  I’ve been making lots of quilts for children and daughter/daughters-in-law and some to throw over our sofa at home, but I always think it has to be a hard-enough quilt to enter a show.

I read the application and they said clearly, “no color correction.”  Oh-oh.  I’d taken all those photos for my quilt journal, but I had to color correct some to get the gray day out of them.  And then they said “no cropping.”  So I had to retake them all.  I hope the judges enjoy the photo of my garage door studio.  I tried to get in close enough, and covered the lock with a tissue (for disguise).  Above is Come  A-Round, one I’m going to enter.  I’ve seen this design before in this show, and they may not want to have it in again.  Plus I don’t quilt every 1/4″ all over the top of the quilt (I like my quilts to “move” a little) and that has sort of become popular at this particular show.

But still.  I’m going to try.  Lyon Carolings, above.  This one doesn’t have the garage-door-studio look.  I found out a setting on the camera to counteract the grayed photos I’d been getting, so I didn’t think that was cheating.  I guess it’s only after-the-fact that they don’t want us messing around in Photoshop.

The last one is I want to enter is All Is Safely Gathered In.  It’s harder than you think to get the quilt perfectly squared up in the frame, and it has to do with making sure that your camera lens plane is absolutely parallel to the quilt plane, or surface, and that your camera is also physically level with the center of the quilt.  This is trickier than it sounds.  (I have seven of this photo to prove it.)

Then I thought about the close-up, and what they’ll do with the close-up.  We have to submit digital photos and I just know they are going to get their computer out and magnify everything.  Every missed stitch, every unbalanced thread, every backstitch instead of burying the tails.

It’s like looking at your morning face in a 15x magnifying mirror.  Frightening!  Now to fill the application out, put the photos on a CD, write the checks for entry fees, and wait for the rejection acceptance letters.

7 thoughts on “Entering a Quilt Show

  1. Good luck on your show entries and good for you for putting yourself out there. The quilts are gorgeous! I have never put my quilts in a show, but I can imagine the angst. I do have some experience photographing quilts, just for my blog and my own record, and agree with some of the things that you point out. It can be a challenge finding a location that is large enough so that you can get far enough away to shoot in the same plane. Makes for some interesting excursions, though!

  2. No color-correcting? No cropping? I’ve never entered a quilt show, but that just seems wrong to me. Isn’t that more likely to just reward the people who are the best photographers, as opposed to the best quilters? Because they were able to show their quilts in the best light? I find that my quilts are more likely to look “off” in photos, and color-correcting brings them back to the way they actually look in real life … not the other way around. I suppose somebody could abuse it, but completely forbidding it seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    At any rate, good luck with your entries! They’re all gorgeous.

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