I've really enjoyed the time I set aside for myself to create new designs and quilts not tied to a deadline.  One of the projects I was able to work on and complete, which is always a bonus, is my Swatches quilt!

This quilt was inspired from my oil painting days; sketches, painter palettes, paint tubes, canvases, brushes, lighting and other images both concrete and abstract.  I designed this quilt to convey a feeling more than actual objects tied to painting.

I’m finding that more and more I’m merging my first creative love, oil painting, with my current creative love in my quilt designs.  I've even started working with watercolors again mainly because the clean up is so easy. 

I chose the quilting to add interest and depth to the design. I took some risks, like black thread echos around the paint swatches and hand quilting the small grey squares. Most of the quilting is fairly dense and I was shocked when blocking the quilt to find out the length shrunk by 3”.

I reall…

Quilt Shows Are For Everyone

I entered my quilt, Canoe Paddles, in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and while I would have love to be there this weekend I couldn't make it but by the miracle of social media and some very helpful Instagram quilters I got to see my quilt!  Maybe next year I can talk my parents into a camping trip to Bend, OR the same weekend.

Canoe Paddles at Sisters, OR
Doesn't it look great there, ok I'm a little biased it's been one of my favorite quilts for a while now.  This was the first time I had a quilt in a show I didn't attend.  It was a little scary like letting your baby spend the night away from home for the first time, well not that I know about that... yet.

Canoe Paddles at Sisters, OR
Believe it or not, Canoe Paddles is a Quiltcon reject but whether a quilt is accepted or not into a show does not change the value of that quilt to the maker, and (most of the time) others.  When you go to enter a quilt in a show it is important to consider the venue.  The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is perfect for Canoe Paddles, which tends to go a little more folksy than modern, the quilt not the show.  It may seem crazy but rejection is part of acceptance.  Each time a quilt is accepted or rejected you learn more about yourself and your quilts.  Paris Medallion was also a Quiltcon reject but won a special award at the Spokane Interstate Fair last year, that's just the way it goes.

Canoe Paddles Sisters, OR
In conclusion, if you've been on the fence about whether or not to enter your quilt in a show, I'd say DO IT!  It's a fantastic process and I've learned so much about quilting and how to better my quilts from quilt shows.

Update: Here is an article from the Bend Bulletin, click here, about the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and one of the pictures they used was Cannoe Paddles!!!  What an honor to be single out.