So I Entered A Quilt Show

After swearing off quilt show entries in 2014, I began 2015 by submitting a quilt to a regional show at Lake Farmpark in Kirtland, Ohio. Entries to this show are self selected, rather than juried, and it usually gets about 200 quilts in a variety of styles.

The other day I found out my entry, Ripples In Still Water, won honorable mention in the art quilt category. Of course, that made me happy.

Ripples_in_Still_Water_2014I made it for the “fluidity” challenge of a small art quilt group I belong to. I began with improvisational curved piecing and lots of steam pressing. Narrow curved inset strips, ribbon, and organza overlays followed.  You can see some of this in the detail photo below.

Ripples_in_Still_Water_detail1It’s meant to loosely represent my view of the urban Cuyahoga River as it flows under a footbridge near my house.

Lest I get too big a head about this ribbon, my husband’s remark when I showed the finished product to him was, “Of course it’s an art quilt. It says so right on it.”


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

24 responses to “So I Entered A Quilt Show

  1. Reanna

    Have you weighed in about quilt shows with entrance fees? I’ve searched your blog a bit but haven’t found anything. These fees really put me off, but they seem to be standard…?

    • I guess you’d need to begin with the purpose of the quilt show. Quilt guilds hold them to show off members’ work and to raise money. Organizations such as NQA and AQS put on national shows for similar reasons, plus they want to feature the best quilts nationally. Many judged quilt shows have entrance fees. They help cover the costs of putting on a quilt show, but certainly don’t begin to cover all the costs. Often a free admission ticket is included with your fee.

      I’ve been involved in putting together local shows and was surprised to find out how expensive that can be – space rental (easily $600 to $1000 at a church), judges (at least $250/day), pipe and drape rental to hang the quilts ($900-$1000,)plus miscellaneous costs for ribbons, programs, insurance, etc. If you have tons of money, free space and a free way to display the quilts then you could certainly charge no entry fees.

      Sometimes quilt groups will put on free exhibits with no fees and no judging. I belong to groups that will do periodic displays at local libraries as a way to spark interest in quilting. The key is the free exhibit space.

      My point is that I don’t think a $5 to $10 entry fee is outrageous for a judged quilt show, given the costs involved. National shows charge at least $20, with some charging $30. If you belong to a guild you could organize a free show at a local venue that offers exhibit space. However, given the amount of time and people needed to put on even a modest show, I don’t think you’ll get too many volunteers unless the organization stands to make some money from the show. Other fund raising activities may go on at the show – raffles, vendors, admission fees – but the entry fee often doesn’t even cover the costs of displaying the quilts.

  2. Your quilt really captures fluidity and the jumble of the river. There’s so much detail and movement, I keep going back to find new things.

  3. That quilt is amazing! Did you ever blog about it when you made it? If you did, can you post the link to the original post? If you didn’t, can you talk about your process with it?

    • I guess I never talked about this one, though I don’t remember why. It began as improvisational curved piecing with layers of fabric. I cut through at least 4 layers at a time, and then shuffled them and sewed them together. This is a technique used by many other quilters. Then I got busy with the steam iron as curves as sharp as I made get quite ruffley. So, I had 4 “blocks” that sat for a while. Then the fluidity challenge came up and I decided the curves lent themselves to that subject. At least once a month I walk to a footbridge over a nearby river and stare down at the water. Often I see trash – tires, plastic bags – but I also see greenish stuff, branches, and sometimes little islands, depending on the water level. So I started inserting narrow curved strips in those blocks and hacking away at the shapes. I think I sewed in some of those strips after sewing the blocks together. Next came some ribbons I sewed on by hand (the rattail is couched on by machine) and polyester organza fused with Mistyfuse. Quilting was interesting because I had to avoid catching the ribbon on my presser foot. I faced this quilt because I didn’t think a binding would suit it.

  4. jennyklyon

    Wow, that is gorgeous and innovative-niiiice!

  5. Nice recognition! Congratulations! I’m not brave enough to enter any shows since most of my quilts have been made as teaching samples. Maybe now that I have a little more freedom to do my own stuff I’ll feel braver!

    • Thanks. I hope you work up your courage to enter some quilt shows. The real reason to enter a judged show is to get feedback on your work. Yeah, we think we know our strengths and weaknesses, but sometimes there are surprises.

  6. Congratulations! I think your quilt looks amazing and I’ll be looking forward to seeing it at the show.

  7. patty


  8. Congratulations! I’ve entered my guild’s quilt show, which is a SHOW, not a contest. Otherwise I have not done that. Probably should some day, just so I can say I did… 🙂

    • For the most part I’m over entering judged quilt shows as I almost never agree with the judges’ choices. However, I do have a soft spot for the one I entered, and it’s very good value. For your $10 entry fee you get free admission to the show and an invitation to the opening reception complete with appetizers.

  9. Judy

    Go Michael! Cut to the nub every time!

  10. That’s a wonderful interpretation of the fluidity challenge! The quilt has such movement–and congratulations on the recognition you received!

I Love to Hear From You

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.