Here is my quilt "The Weaver" hanging in the show. It is always interesting to see your own work hanging. It looks different than it did at home. For me, it always looks smaller and a little dull. I tend to use a subdued color palette, so when my work is surrounded by work in really bright, bright colors it washes out.
There is always a lot of discussion on the QuiltArt list about whether Art Quilts really belong in traditional quilt shows and the difference between how work looks on pipe and drape compared to gallery type shows on white walls. You can see we are looking at pipe and drape here. Dark canyons of pipe and black drape.
It seems to me that while APNQ accepts a lot of "art" quilts, they tend to be judged by the same criteria as the traditional quilts and the art quilts that win awards are those that are easily understood, have elements of traditional quilts and exhibit fussy workmanship.
I got my quilts back today. The judge's comments on The Weaver included:
"The applique appears to be very precise and machine satin stitch is quite consistent."
"Strong visual impact and an air of mystery portrayed in subject. Strive for more consistency in the length of your quilting stitches."
"Excellent use of thread painting on painted fabric. Knife-edge finish is well done."
Fair enough, and flattering in some instances, but it was clear they were more concerned with technique than design and content and meaning. Oh well. It is what it is and I understand now why my favorites weren't usually the judges' favorites. I don't notice the length of quilting stitches and don't particularly value consistency in the satin stitch.
Two years ago we were all quite disappointed in the jurying of the show. There were two large machine embroidery sampler quilts that were literally identical, not very interesting and, it turns out, were made in a class. There were at least three quilts made from this commercial pattern. There were a group of nearly identical quilts all made in another class. For such a large pool of quilts to choose from we expected more originality. This year's show was much better in that regard, though we did encounter a few quilts that were both poorly constructed and dull, dull, dull. You have to wonder what the jurors are seeing sometimes. Still, there was a lot to enjoy, as I have shown in the previous posts.
In two years the show will move to the Seattle Convention Center, a much larger venue. Will we go back? Absolutely. It's a getaway weekend that we look forward to for two years. The Quilt Show is just an excuse.