It seems I may have come off as, a self involved snooty know-it-all. I'm not, mostly. I will cop to excessive, research, study and immersion into and of all the various and sundry techniques that I use till I can teach them to others, which I also do a bit of.
I am passionate about CQ though and think it's a shame, when we get lumped into a mega category, that doesn't really adequately cover our craft. Even worse when we have 2 or 3 categories that overlap. It leads to confusion and hurt artistic feelings. (que the swooning, hankie waiving and pearl clutching here.) We end up being pitted against, Perfectly lovely, quilts that use maybe 2 of the dozen or so techniques we would.
Am I whinging? Yes, that could be. To be fair this IS a relatively new (this was their 4th year) show and they probably didn't even think CQ might possibly need it's own category. I also think this show might be open to new ideas, so there is that. They are a baby show, even though they are gaining in popularity and recognition.
I don't mean in any way that, the judges didn't give me a fair shake, they did.
Their comments are invaluable! the quilts they chose were beautiful works of craftsmanship.
But I can't ignore the fact that our little corner of the universe is regularly passed over for consideration, And this is my opinion, garnered over many years from many quilt shows from many people who know.
I think its because Crazy quilts are such a niche art and those of us who practice this art are in a constant state of learning and research. We challenge ourselves, constantly, to new exciting techniques to throw at our "hobby" (I know I do!) so that our pieces are not only crammed full, of visual goodies but they end up being very personal and intimidating.
I don't think the average judge has an adequate frame of reference or time to spend to look deeper at one piece, with completely different criteria, when the vast majority of work can be more easily assessed.
Notice I say average. Real judges tend not towards the average BUT, and its a big but, when you have 300+ quilts to judge in a day how much time can you really spend per piece? Then there is the the fact that 95% of quilts in a show are some flavor of, mostly traditional quilt, you begin to see the conundrum.
My quilts were the only CQ in an international show of 300+. I get the getting picky about the flat and the straight. I will know better next time.
Doesn't mean I'm not chafed my babies got passed over for some perfect, beautifully, pieced, flat, straight ( I could have cut myself on the corners!) but ultimately Machine Embroidered (!!!!) nicely quilted in all the accepted ways, quilt. I admired it for its perfection. It deserved the ribbon it got.
I'm not chafed at all, we got passed over for MACHINE EMBROIDERY, (humeh!) no really I'm not.
OK, maybe a little.
The more we get out there the more CQ gets recognized as it's own special, Individual craft, The more opportunities to show what we can do, and be rewarded for it, the more people will put their stuff out there. why show it, if you get lumped in with an amorphous blob of a category, that overlooks what you want looked at in the first place? There are places that do this much better than other places. Here at lest one does have to hunt-and-peck shows. We are lousy with them but they all have their quirks.
Am I being unfair to the judges? I don't think so. I do truly appreciate the comments that they left me. I needed that constructive criticism. That was the point of having my pieces judged in the first place. I do need to take more time making sure my quilts are flat and straight. ALL my quilts.
I don't do a great job there at the best of times and by the time I get to the binding, I'm sick of looking at it and having it done is better than having it perfect. So yes, more attention paid there if I'm going to waste someones time, having it judged.
Do I think shows need to have a specific category for CQ, weather or not they get any? Yes, yes I do.
Do I understand, that if I bring this issue to the attention of the committee, I will be volunteered for the position of CQ inspector? Maybe, there are more qualified people out there surely, there have to be! I'm just some opinionated schmuck from po-dunk Washington. Though I am willing to go get training, to be qualified. DO I want to be that somebody, there's the real question. I'm an introvert by nature, I think I deal well with others but I'd rather not have to. I just don't like crowds.
I know the time effort and skill, that goes into coordinating this sort of thing, has got to be enormous! And goes largely unappreciated when it goes off without a hitch, which this one did. Impressively.
I do think we need to get more out there, take the chance, put our precious CQ pieces on display, in all their overworked dripping in embellishments, visually overwhelming glory!
Even if they are not perfection, even if they (the judges) nitpick over the unimportant (my opinion) Flat straight parts of our quilts. Even if, our pieces are just, a tiny square. Hey, we put months into that square!
We need to advocate for our craft. Even though we are but a tiny % of the community.