I got the dreaded “no thank you” email recently from Quilt National, so I can share my new Kaleidoscope quilt with you now.
Quilt National is one of the most prestigious art quilt shows and it’s quite competitive to get into. Hundreds of entries pour in every two years when the call for entry goes out.
It’s always a disappointment to get rejected from a show you wanted to get in to, but I’ve gotten a thicker skin about it now–it just means I have a great new quilt to enter into another show!
This one was a challenge almost from the beginning when I started it last June. I had an idea I wanted to pursue based on my Confetti quilt, but the composition didn’t come together the way I envisioned–as sometimes happens when I’m working improvisationally. You can read about the Confetti quilt here and here.
I kept at it over the summer–arranging and rearranging the blocks. In one sense it was easier than some of the other quilts I’ve designed this way because I was creating oversized blocks that could be moved around without too much problem.
Finally as the deadline approached and I had to finish it so the piece could be photographed in time to enter it into the show, I took pictures of five of the potential layouts. I sent them to my son who works in the theater and asked for his opinion. He and I both agreed on the final choice!
Many times as I’m designing on the wall I get too focused on one particular element or section and have trouble seeing the forest for the trees, as the saying goes. Almost always taking a photo of the options helps to give the necessary distance and makes the decision easier.
I chose the name for this piece because the final layout reminded me of the shifting perspectives of a kaleidoscope. The texture is simple vertical lines, so as to keep the focus on the composition.
Although I’m sad that my piece got rejected for Quilt National, I realize that the jurors had to make many tough decisions to put together a cohesive show from the hundreds of entries. I still like my work and I’m thrilled for my friends who did get in this year! I hope I’ll be able to see the show when it opens in 2019. And I’ll try again in 2021.
View a complete list of the accepted artists for Quilt National 2019 here.