Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Identity Crisis


It's almost that time of year again in my tiny neck of the woods.  Festivities will start kicking off this weekend for our annual Strawberry Festival; a week long love fest of fun, all about those bright red juicy berries.  So, things might be a bit quiet over here while I'm helping with the festival quilt show (as much as I can) and playing band mom to my teenager since the festival hosts three parades.

I try to keep things real over here, because life is real and it definitely isn't perfect.  It's been a crazy kind of week with not a lot of quilting going on.  Thanks to a much needed FaceTime gab session with Sandra (mmm!quilts) last night, this is really the first time I've felt like talking/typing in a few days.  My energy was completely zapped this weekend by a sneak attack kidney infection.  Once I figured out what was wrong and was able to get medication, I'm finally becoming myself again.  I was probably quite the b witch this weekend.  I know, hard to image right?  Just ask poor Dave.

But I am emerging from the fog and with the quilt show excepting entries starting on Monday, I am having a bit of an identity crisis and trying to figure out where I fit in.  What type of quilter am I?  Unfortunately, the categories do not include things like witty, funny, and best butt.   For the past year I have been quilting on a HQ Sweet Sixteen instead of my domestic sewing machine.  However it is still the same style of quilting, move the quilt not the machine.  Longarmer or not...that is the question.

As a whole it is a smaller quilt show with 17 categorizes; two different applique, hand pieced and quilted, machine pieced hand quilted, amateur machine quilted (not longarm), large longarm, medium longarm, mixed techniqes, embroidered, baby/child quilts, large wall hanging, medium wall hanging, miniature quilt, wearables, home decor, antique and comforters.  I would say that 70-80% of the quilts fall into the large/medium longarm categories and are not quilted by the piecer.

So, am I a longarm quilter?  My first response answer is "no."  Why?  Well in my area (and I am generalizing here) most (not all) quilters that offer quilting services quilt on Statler Stitcher Gammills and offer edge to edge designs.  Some however, do offer custom quilting options, still computerized not free hand.  At the end of the day, I cannot compete with these quilts (not that I'm trying to).  I'm just being the best Tish I can be.  But to just a general public person who knows nothing about quilting these quilts, there is no explanation as to why my stitches are even-ish and lines straight-ish as compared to the computers perfect stitches and precise lines.

But is it fair for me to enter quilts quilted on my Sweet Sixteen into the "not longarm" category?  Technically, I am playing with a 16" throat space...seems long to me.  So what to do? I think I have found a few quilts that can fit in categories and still remain in the boundaries of the category.

1) Machine Quilted-not longarm



Zentangle is one of the last quilts I quilted on my domestic sewing machine, so it only seems right to enter it into the category.  I'm proud of all the work I poured into this one and hope show viewers will enjoy all the fun textures living in the stitches.

2) Medium/Large wall hangings

What I can enter into these categories will be determined when I measure the perimeter of the quilts.










3)Miniature Quilts--defined as scaled down version of larger quilt.  


Mini Flag Quilt







I even think My Pet Hamster could go in this category.  They have been lenient in the past in what they have allowed in this category, so I think any of these quilts could fit in.

4) Baby/Childs Quilt





Bottom line--a quilt show isn't a show if it doesn't have quilts.  Period.  End of story.  I think having any of these pieces in the show will represent "Tish" as a quilter.  I hope that people can get to know me as an artist by seeing my different types of work.  Tish loves prints, and color and most of all texture.  She is not perfect and honestly doesn't want to be.  I hope at least 3 people secretly reach out and touch my quilting without the white gloves because they just want to know what it feels like.  That thought makes me smile more than anything.

Also, I'm excited because Dave the Quilt Engineer will be entering a few pieces for the first time!!!  I'm so PROUD of him!

So maybe next year, I will lobby for the addition of a midarm category?  Or maybe they can add witty, funny and greatest butt?  Probably not the last three, but I do think the midarmers deserve a place to play together and have fun.  I do know of a few others in the area with this type of machine.

Okay, this was a strange post for me.  Maybe it's the meds?  I'm pretty sure I'm not drunk.  I'd love to hear your thoughts if you are still with me on quilt categories.  Now it's time to nap again, so that I can quilt something later or I'm going to burst!


Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social and Midweek Makers.


19 comments:

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

It is definitely worth a conversation with someone at the event this year just so you have peace (or piece??) of mind about how to enter next year. Although I hope you do have a few long arm quilted quilts next year! :)

Yanicka said...

it is a beautiful array of quilts :)

Jen said...

I don't know if I have seen your Zentangle quilt before. That is amazing!! It is hard to put your art in a category. I think about this a lot. I don't want to change what I love just so I can be categorized and sorted. That being said, I think it is a great idea to try and get the mid-arm category added. It seems to me they are becoming more and more popular and should have a space of their own.

Sandra Walker said...

I'm with you and Jen on the need to have a mid-arm (or whatever category a basically super-large DSM fits in) category next year. Having said that, sometimes I think I get better results on my DSM when I make the quilt move, as opposed to me making the machine move over a still quilt, which is what I do on my Avanté. What you said is so very true about a quilt show needing quilts; I need to perhaps enter some of mine into some of our local fairs. Sidenote: doesn't seem possible it's a full year since you sent me the videos, mainly for MacGyver to watch, of Jenny's marching band! And oh, that Zentangle. Oh that Swoon (when are we doing our next one?) Yay for Dave!

Susan said...

It is a tough call as to what category the quilts fit into. The show I like to enter has a professional category, which gets all of those that quilt for others. The other categories are broken down by pieced, applique, wall, and modern, all done by one person, sit-down or longarm - doesn't matter. They give a special award for best hand guided quilting, which covers both techniques. Seems a bit more open system, and not so defining. Probably the reason why I like to enter here. I do hope that you do enter, because as you said, people need to get to know your style, which is quite lovely. good luck!

Lorna McMahon said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better. And hope you can squeeze in some quilting therapy time in the coming week. I hear you on the subject of submitting quilts in the local fair and just where do we fit in. The categories really should be broadened to include more diversity. Our fair has SOOOO many options for entering hand quilted quilts and there are fewer and fewer entries each year, so I am happy that I joined the fair committee to help widen the options for machine quilters, both domestic and long arm. No one has mentioned mid arm. So that is a whole new category to consider.

KaHolly said...

Your post was very entertaining, as well as eye opening. your quilts are gorgeous, esp. Zentangle! How wonderful that Dave is participating, too! If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Isn't that why he started quilting in the first place? Self defense? Enjoy your day, your week, your month! Feel better soon! XO

Nancy J said...

Zentangle and Star Thistle are my favourites, but all the others show you ARE a quilter in whatever category. Kidney infection, they can suddenly happen at 3 a.m. no warning, and it is a very well known fact that a UTI... in whatever part of that system.. can give you a foggy mind. I have a supply of antibiotics from my Dr, on hand in case one comes on suddenly. He has made sure I understand that I have to take the whole 7 days, not just 3 or 4 if I am feeling better. And if you want a quilt in the proper long arm category, will there be another machine in the line soon?

Annette Mandel said...

Perhaps you can add the category 'bright and sassy' a78mandel at yahoo dot com

Stitchin At Home said...

The best Tish you can be is you! You have a great array of quilts and I can certainly understand how hard it is to put them in a category. I ponder this myself. I think talking to them about new categories would be worthwhile. Getting back to quilting will be great theraphy for you.

Lynn said...

My comments fit into the: you're amazing, I'm in awe category. Hope you're feeling better soon. I am inspired that you quilting such a remarkable quilt as Zentangle on a domestic machine! For me the key distinction between what you're currently using and a long arm is as others have said, that you are moving the quilt, not the machine. So the Sweet Sixteen still required you to be very skilful in managing all of that. The joy your quilts bring to others at shows must be wonderful. From a place that only has one big annual show, (others are in small country areas) I'm delighted when people show their work and I get to drool and be inspired. Thanks for your blog.

Janice Holton said...

So glad to hear you are on the mend! I love what you said about hoping someone secretly wants to touch your quilts just to see what they feel like. Just to know that someone admires your work is a high better than drugs!

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

The categories I've seen are 'machine is stationary' and 'quilt is stationary'. Seems like that would help you decide which category to place a few of your quilts. I totally get what you're saying about people understanding why our lines are straightish and stitches even-ish. I look at is as an opportunity to educate others and explain the difference in computerized vs hand-guided quilting. I love the visual of people sneaking a touch of your quilts - I admit, it's something I might see myself doing. LOL I hope you feel 100% soon!!

Afton Warrick said...

Yo should lobby for the "greatest butt" category, for sure. And then enter your hamster in it. I'd count your quilts as non-long-arm, regardless of throat space because you're moving the quilt instead of the machine. I'd just take your best guess on categories. If you were mistaken, the powers that be can always switch what category they put your entries into.

Vicki in MN said...

I still think of us midarm quilters as longarmers. Because most people don't have a clue what midarms are! But the show should have a longarm computerized and a longarm hand guided category in addition to a sit down catergory. Hope you get them to add what you want in the future shows.

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

You must have been feeling ill, kidney infections, as opposed to cystitis (which can't compare) can be very nasty, I hope you are feeling well now Tish. I think true long arms are in a class of their own for a reason, and your machine is definitely not a long arm. Saying that your quilting is wonderful, and I really like your view of three people wanting to touch it to see what it feels like, they would be the true quilters of course.

Kathleen said...

Oh my! I love the white quilt on your "sitdown longarm". I think the fact that it is sitdown, means that it is not a longarm. Good luck with your entries!!! They are all knockouts.

KaHolly said...

P.s. Did I mention how gorgeous your quilts are?

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