Monday, December 30, 2013

The Year in Review & an Embarrassing Admission

Quilt-y Finished Objects-wise, 2013 was not a big year for me. Only six finishes.

I was pleased with my FLiQS mini & I think Jennie liked it. I was pretty happy with both my Madrona Road & Florence challenge quilts. My Mother-in-law loved her Super Fan KU T-shirt quilt. And I loved both my Derse/Swoon quilt & the comforter made with the navy & pastel double knits.

But just the 6.

I actually did a lot of sewing: I have 10 little lap tops done (3 will make it onto this year's FO list), I made 6 other tops of varying sizes -- one is quilted & will be a pillow cover, another is poised to be the first finish of 2014 -- and there are at least 3 WIPs that are partially or mostly assembled; then there are the piles (and piles) of blocks or parts-of-blocks.

After my Mom's death, I just wasn't able to sit & do *anything* for very long at a time. I would start something & next thing I knew, I was up doing something else. Or just puttering, I did lots of puttering this year. Just part of the grieving process, I guess.

But truthfully, my lack of focus began before she died & I know exactly what caused it, it is just a little embarrassing because it makes me look petty & petulant.

My 2013 Lack of Focus began when I got my quilt, Lucky, back from display at QuiltCon; more specifically, it began when I read the QuiltCon judge's comments about my quilt.

To say I was hurt is putting it mildly. I was crushed -- obsessively so (just ask Shug). Everything I loved about that quilt was pointed out as a negative: my background was "busy", my fabric choices "lacked vision", my quilting thread colors were "distracting". It seemed there wasn't much constructive criticism, just criticism.  I felt like I shouldn't be quilting, that I didn't know what I was doing, that I should be doing something -- ANYTHING -- other than quilting.

Well, it has taken me nearly a year to stop wailing & moaning, to get over myself & move on.
"It wasn't personal." "It was just one person's opinion." "You can't please everyone." Etc, etc, etc. Anyway, I think my juices are starting to flow again & I'm beginning to get back my quilting mojo.

And I'm trying to listen to my own Voice rather than the Voice of others.


Karen said...

I know I would have reacted exactly the same way. Its scarry putting our work out there. I think Lucky is a beautiful quilt. Be proud. If you like it then its a winner. Keep making your quilts. I am looking forward to seeing what you make in 2014.

O'Quilts said...

Good Lord, there are tons of idiots out there...u r not one of them. I loved that quilt!! That being said, I too obsess about the ridiculous...Oh, well...guess it is human. And, there was a lot of anticipatory grief before your mother even that distracts a person too..Listen to me be the, in this rocky boat of mine, not doing too well at all. We will just keep on sewing..and support each other!!

Exuberant Color said...

I had the same thing happen on 2 quilts in the Paducah show in 1992. Even though they did say a positive thing too, the fact that they cut me down on my quilting kept me from finishing anything for almost 2 years. I was a failure after I had already been machine quilting for 35 years. I finally got over it too but it still hurt for years. It is basically an act of bullying, not constructive criticism in my opinion.

Karamat said...

I'm so sorry those comments stole your quilting groove this year! Most important is that you love your work, and had fun making it.

In grad school I had to give a presentation, not for a grade but just for feedback... The prof & entire class made notes on your presentation and the prof collected them & gave them to you in a sealed envelope. I was scared to open it! So I let it sit on my nightstand for a couple of days. At some point the cat must have knocked it onto the floor & the dog chewed it up. Straight into the trash it went... so happy I never had to read it :)

Nifty Quilts said...

Ooh, I'm so sorry those comments got to you. That's why I've never entered a juried show. At least you had the courage. I love your quilts, every single one of them. SIX finishes! Geez, what do you do in a normal year?!

Tonya Ricucci said...

Yup there's a reason I don't enter shows... Keep being happy with the choices you make. YOUR quilts, not generic perfect quilts that a robot could have made. Be you! Happy New Year!!!!

Tonya Ricucci said...

p.s. I was really disappointed when I discovered that Quiltcon had judging that was very similar to that of the big quilt world. urgh.

MariQuilts said...

I'm so sorry to hear that, Beth.....your quilt is beautiful. I understand how this stuff can get us know how I let the fact that my quilt was rejected at Quilt Con really get to me. It really put me into a negative state....not the way i want to be at all.

I've heard others say they were really bothered or hurt by the judges comments.

You do beautiful's to a wonderful New Year!!

Quiltdivajulie said...

No reason to be embarrassed by your response to the comments . . . and I'm very glad you are now moving forward again!

O'Quilts said...

I just had to add another, whose mouth does not shut:) I agree with Wanda, it is an act of bullying. Folks get full of themselves and put others down. And, Karamat too...I used to give tons of talks..with the handouts for people to assess my work. I always threw them away withhout looking

Rachaeldaisy said...

I read quite a few post about the nasty judging Quilt con. Theres a common thought that the judging wasnt constructive, just critisizing. I for one don't agree at all with what the judges said about your quilt. I know I'm a fan of yours but I love everyithing about Lucky. The background is perfect to show of those wonderful fabrics and then the quilting is perfect, and gives the quilt so much movement. I'm so sorry you had to go through a slump due to a few unkind comments. Thanks for airing your thoughts and letting us know what's going on. I'm glad you're moving on because I for one am so inspired by what you do with your quilts and your approach to fabrics and quilting.

Heather A said...

I, too, read of several quilters who were left feeling low after reading the judges' comments after Quilt Con. There was, I think, a consensus that the judging was harsh. I think that's terrible, especially if the comments aren't constructive and aren't also peppered with some positives. I'm very sorry that such callous judging stole your mojo for the year. I truly hope you're back on the quilting horse and have been able to put such insensitivity and just meanness behind you. I hope you know how much inspiration and joy you bring to the quilting world. Quilt on, beautiful quilter or beautiful quilts.

Heather A said...

Typo correction: "Beautiful quilter OF beautiful quilts" ... (not OR beautiful quilts". Ooops.

Marsha said...

When I saw your quilt at QuiltCon, I thought to myself this is the perfect classic modern quilt! The fabric choices and colors made me feel exuberant, and I loved, just loved the clean fresh look, the crisp angles, the simplicity yet intricacy of the pattern, and the overall impact. I thought the quilting enhanced the quilt, which to me is what quilting should do: complement the piecing and bring it to the next level.

In my opinion, the Best of Show quilt was an incoherent mess. But I don't want to criticize, just say that different things appeal to different people.

No one knows what goes on in a judge's mind, or what kind of mood she might be in on judging day. In any case, I believe a judge should be lavish with praise and stingy with criticism, especially for something as subjective as a quilt.

I'm sorry you bore the brunt of someone's bad day.

Michele Bilyeu said...

Now, I am truly perplexed that Quilt Con judges, of all people would be so judgmental. It is a wonderfully interesting quilt and I began to read my own stories into it, immediately. So, new to an art form, perhaps and ready to be filled with too many 'f' words like fancy and frilly and fussy, perhaps??? HA. Now, I read the other comments and think, good thing I don't enter shows except for fun with no judging or comments except out loud by passerbys. Those are hard enough. Note to self. Watch mouth at quilt shows of all kinds. Quilters can be kind and they can be cruel. We all have judgment and shame on us. HA.