I’m trying to figure out my direction, both here and in general.
For 2010, I made two commitments to myself after reading this book. Either way, I’ll be five years older in five years, right? So I might as well be five years further down the path I want to be on, instead of just holding steady here because that’s what I should be doing as a mommy.
The first commitment was to inquire about teaching quilting classes at the local quilt shops. I did that, and I’ve already taught several, with 13 more dates on the calendar between now and the end of the summer. I followed the advice by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way: she says to “Leap, and the net will appear.” So I leapt. And holy crap, the net DID appear. Both stores where I asked were very enthusiastic about me teaching there! So now I just have to make class samples. And THIS homework is actually FUN. Who knew!?
The second commitment was to start entering national quilt shows with my work. The first deadline was January 4, so I wasted no time and sent my entry on December 31. The application process took two months to complete once the entry form was received by AQS, because several thousand quilts were entered from all around the world and they had to look at each individual CD entered. A jury of quilting experts considered the quilts and the list of semifinalists went up on the AQS site on the 4th of March. MY NAME IS ON THAT LIST. Of the thousands of quilts entered, my quilt was chosen as among the 387 that will be privileged to hang at the AQS Quilt Show and Contest in Paducah, KY in April of this year.
(photograph by Jeff White)
“This Old Thing” is from a Karen K. Stone pattern, and I made it between 2006-2008. It took 7 months to piece, 12 months to work up the courage to quilt it, and 5 months to quilt it. We repainted our dining room tomato red to serve as a dramatic canvas on which to hang this quilt, and my dad custom-made the hanging system for it. I am now busily getting it contest-ready by redoing the hanging sleeve to AQS requirements, removing all of the pet hair, and I may or may not soak it in Oxy-Clean to get some of the extra dye from the binding out of it — it bled around the edges when I blocked the quilt before the quilt show in September. [I just went back in my archives to link to the post that mentioned that it had won “Best of Show” at the local quilt show, and discovered to my horror that I never actually posted about that. Amazing that my life was so completely busy with teaching at that time that I didn’t mention the award, but I didn’t. So. Now you know, in case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t see my Facebook announcements and Tweets about it.] I’m a little scared of the Oxy-Clean but it does need to be blocked again so I might as well, I guess.
I have to ship this quilt to Kentucky so that it arrives there between March 29 and April 5. It will be photographed again by AQS photographers and printed in a book documenting this year’s show. I will have it appraised while it is there, I will go see it and take pictures of myself with my quilt at an international quilt show, and I imagine that the whole thing will be very, very surreal. There is a lot of money in prizes that is to be given away, but I don’t anticipate that I will be eligible for any of it — my skill level has improved so much in the past two years that I can see the flaws that would prevent a big prize. But it doesn’t matter. I have already won. Just being chosen to have my quilt hang there is a very big honor for me.
And 2010? Already shaping up to be awesome. Now I just gotta think of my NEXT big goal, since I accomplished these two and it’s only the beginning of March.