This Year’s HQH Fanfare Show

I’m a member of the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville, a large guild of talented quilters from multiple styles and genres. We have very traditional quilters, art quilters, a few modern quilters, and everything in between. Because of the demographic of our city, there are a lot of engineers, which makes what we do… meticulous. Our biannual quilt show is always a treat, because our guild has so much breadth of talent that there are always a lot of fantastic quilts to admire.

This year, our show was during my Fall Break. Because of circumstances outside of my control I was unable to commit to volunteering until the last minute, but I pushed all summer to have quilts to submit. We are encouraged to enter 4 quilts, with a “fifth quilt” as an optional entry should there be space.
I entered five, and Fibonacci Squared was my “fifth quilt.”

Escapade was my most recent finish.
Big Bang was my first pattern and I wanted it to have some exposure.
A Semma Tree and Natalia are (in my opinion) the biggest skill-stretches and the best pieces I’ve ever made.
And Fibonacci Squared? It makes me happy. And it’s another of my patterns, so I chose that over other possibilities because marketing = good, right?
I was very very excited to see them hang amongst other quilts and be viewed by other people who love quilts. What could be better for an attention whore of the quilter variety?
Since I entered my first quilt in 2007, I’ve been blessed to get a nod (i.e. a ribbon at some level) from every judge that we have had. Honorable mentions, third, second, first in category, and even a Best in Show (!) and Viewer’s Choice the same year— but not for the same piece. When I saw my competition in each of those cases, I’ve always been amazed and humbled to do as well as I have.
The comments that I have gotten on my quilts have always been constructive, and have never told me something that I didn’t already know about my work… My tension needed work, my quilt would have been better had the borders been mitered instead of straight cuts, etc. I don’t get my feelings hurt by the judges’ comments because it’s just one person’s opinion on one day, and we all have varying tastes in quilts.
Mostly, I just like seeing all the quilts hanging up. And since these are five of my best-ever quilts, I was especially excited.
The morning the show opened, Jerry and I were getting ready and I turned off my phone and my iPad so that I wouldn’t get advance notice on how any of my pieces had done. When I won Best of Show, a well-intentioned friend “spoiled” it for me by sending a congratulations text (not really– how could you spoil a Best of Show win?!)… And I wanted to be able to discover myself how each of my pieces had done.

I did tell Jerry that while I don’t do this for the ribbons, I would be hurt if I didn’t get at least one. And I really hoped that if there was only one, that it was on Natalia.
When we got there, I paid for my ticket and bought the program, and immediately put the program in my bag. I knew that an insert that was inside the program listed all of the winners. I didn’t want to see anything before I saw all of the quilts hanging up.
The first one I saw was Escapade.

It was in the “Large Pieced, One Maker” category, which is always a big category with steep competition. Escapade hung facing the first place winner and next to the second place winner. I was thrilled to have gotten a ribbon, especially since it wasn’t my original design.
From there we turned to the “Extra Large Pieced, One Maker” category, and I found Big Bang. SO EXCITED.

And then “Medium Pieced, One Maker,” had Fibonacci Squared. Things just kept getting better!

Down the next row to the Art Quilts category and I found A Semma Tree.

Judge’s Choice! At this point I was feeling like I was living in an alternate universe because WOW. Never in a million years would I have anticipated this much approval from a judge. My quilts aren’t similar (aside from bright colors), so I never expect someone to love all of the things I make.

And finally, in the very back corner of the “Other” category, I found Natalia, wearing the ribbon I am most proud of, of all of the ribbons I have ever won.

Best Machine Quilting on a Stationary Machine, y’all.
Over the moon. Incredible weekend that was, and amazing affirmation. I’m not foolish enough to think I’ll ever get to experience something like that again.

Do I look excited to you?! BECAUSE I WAS SO EXCITED, INTERNET.

Pepper Cory was our judge. Her comments, like others I’ve gotten before, were constructive and informative and helpful. And I’m still over the moon, 8 weeks later.

More things happened that weekend, but I’ll share those for another post. Just reliving the Cinderella feels, I am…