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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moving right along.... and proud of it

I'm still working on this one. I took my SIL shopping on Friday, helped her for awhile, then came home to get back on the machine. Yesterday, instead of going to the Thunder Over Louisville show..... I worked. This is some of the quilting. That's a four inch border.

I did get to see the big blue planes as they flew over yesterday during the air show. I really love those planes! Wow are they loud when they go over my house. I tried to get a video but they moved much too fast for me to follow. This is the best photo I could get out of about 3 dozen.

I read an email this morning that really made my day. It was exactly what I needed to lift my spirits! It was a reminder to me of what my quilting is all about. Pride. Pride in my work. I have to tell you the story behind this.

Last year a friend (Elizabeth) told me she wouldn't enter a quilt contest because she felt she would never be good enough. I encouraged her to enter anyway. Last year I sent her a nice long email of encouragement to enter this year. Then I forgot about that email over the course of time. Well she entered after all and feels good that she did.

Also, lately I've been really bummed out hearing my customers tell me about getting ready to go to Paducah or on vacation while I'm going to be stuck at home quilting their quilts. Asking me if I could please have their quilt finished by the time they get home from their trip. Being so very far behind schedule means giving up lots of ME time to get the quilts done as quickly as possible. Geeze, I want to go on vacation too!

The next thing that bummed me out was seeing, once again, that I didn't win a ribbon at MQX. I've been entering MQX and MQS for many years. Never won a ribbon. This year I really, really, really thought I had a winner this time. It's this one. I called it "I love you too"

A close up of the girl.

A close up of the puppy.

Elizabeth's email came just in time to remind me...... entering contests is not about the ribbons.... it's about the pride we have in our work or our profession. It's about giving it our best and feeling good about it. Then showing the world how hard we tried by seeing it hanging in a show. Sort of like the last person crossing the finish line in a race. The last person will have pride just knowing they crossed the finish line.... even if it was in last place.

Elizabeth reminded me of the reason I'm willing to stay home and quilt when my customers are away at Paducah or Florida or Australia. It's about the pride I have in creating a finished quilt that the owner can be proud of too.

I won't know what the judges found wrong with this quilt until it gets home to me. The judges may not think it's worth a ribbon; but for me, this quilt will always be a winner. I had thought this would be my last contest quilt. One more ME project about to fall by the wayside as I rush to finish other people's quilts. My reasoning for no more contest quilts was a matter of getting rid of stressors in my life.... not discouragement about contest ribbons.

I will probably try again, and again, and again.... even if I never win a ribbon. Winning a ribbon in a contest is sort of like playing the lottery. We buy a ticket, don't win anything, yet... we go out and buy another ticket to try again.

My quilts will not be quilted so heavily that they can stand up by themselves. My contest quilts will not have perfectly even outlines or cross hatching or stitch in the ditch. My quilting is in real world time. In the real world there is not enough time to stitch a quilt within an inch of its life and still earn a living. In the real world quilts are meant to be used and loved and washed many times.... not so heavily quilted or embellished that they can't be cuddled under with someone you love.

I will get judges comments like.... strive to keep your stitches uniform in size. (I have a Gammill stitch regulated machine but I still get this on the comment sheet.) Or comments like... tension should be evenly balanced. (With mono thread it's better to have the stitches pull to the back to prevent constant breaking.) I wonder if the judges use magnifying glasses to look at the stitching? I look but I can't see the problems they see.

When my customers get home from their trips I can give them a finished quilt that I know is good. It compliments their work.... not showcases mine. I put my heart into every top that I make into a finished quilt. I'm just as proud of the wonky lonestar quilt as I am proud of the girl and dog quilt or the one I'm quilting now.

With this said..... I'm headed back to my quilting machine with a new attitude today. I want this customer to have her quilts when she gets home from Paducah next Sunday. Thank you Elizabeth. You helped me remember something I had forgotten. I'll try entering again next year..... if you will.
Now.... if only.... I could make blogger stop messing with the spacing of paragraphs in my posts!


kathi said...

GOOD for YOU.. YOU are ALWAYS an inspiration to ALL the rest of us. If you stopped entering contest WE would all give up as well. THANKS Anita, for being YOU. and WE are all PROUD of YOU and ALL YOU DO.

Anonymous said...

It was fun to hear your voice after just having yur picture to look at for so long.To me every
quilt is a work of art.