With the deadline for QuiltCon 2022 submissions approaching (the final day to submit a quilt is October 31, 2021), I wanted to share more about my thoughts surrounding entering quilts into juried quilt shows. First, let’s talk about what it means for a quilt show to be juried.

If a quilt show is juried, one or more people will be looking at all of the submitted works to choose which will be accepted. Each quilt show handles the jury process differently, but the Modern Quilt Guild has very clear information about their QuiltCon Judging & Jurying process available if you are interested in learning more.

I submitted quilts to QuiltCon for several years before I had a quilt accepted into the show. I wasn’t sure if what I was making was really “modern”, but I knew that I loved the quilts I submitted. And for me, knowing that I was proud of a quilt and that I would be honored to have it in an exhibit were the criteria I set to help me decide if I should submit it for consideration.

I’ve had this idea about collectively celebrating our quilt submissions bouncing around in my head for a few years now, and last week I started sharing about this idea on Instagram using the #CelebrateMyQuiltSubmission hashtag. I recognize that not everyone will want to share and post, but I do hope these posts and discussions can help frame entries in a way that has us celebrating our achievements and hopefully make any outcome about show acceptance have a small impact on our pride of a beautiful quilt.

As a continued evolution, I also want to take a bit of time to share some of my experiences in trying to set healthy boundaries around the vulnerability of discussing these topics. Also, if you find that sharing about submitting a quilt to a show makes you feel too vulnerable, I completely honor and understand that. Just know that if you are brave enough to submit, I’m excited for you and think that is amazing in and of itself; well done!

A few weeks ago, I shared that my quilt Pulsar was accepted into the Pacific International Quilt Festival, but earlier in the year it was not accepted into the MQG Showcase Exhibit at Quilt Festival in Houston. I share that it was not accepted for sympathy, but to show that my quilts are not always accepted into things I submit them into for consideration. And that is as it should be! I’ve been told that my work should be accepted because I’m a “big name” or my work is “well known” and I am honestly not okay with that. I only want my work to be accepted if it meets the guidelines set for by the organization – not because my work is recognized. In fact, it’s one of the things I love about the Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon Judging & Jurying process:

If a juror feels that he/she cannot remain objective or impartial, he/she must stand down for jurying of that quilt and will not submit a score.

I deeply appreciate that.

This celebration of submission process is something that I’ve been doing for QuiltCon for years. I usually do one round up blog post showing the quilts that I’ve submitted for consideration each year. Again, I want to acknowledge that this will look and feel differently for all of us and that’s perfect. In chronological order:

Quilt shows are inspiring and beautiful, but they wouldn’t exist if quilters weren’t willing to be a bit vulnerable and submit their work for consideration. If you’ve been brave enough to submit a quilt to a juried quilt show, let’s celebrate and fill a beautiful virtual exhibit with support for one another. Consider sharing your submissions using the #CelebrateMyQuiltSubmission hashtag. Or perhaps just go and read the stories that others are sharing there.

10 thoughts on “#CelebrateMyQuiltSubmission

  1. Honestly, I’ve never even considered submitting a quilt, not feeling that my work is good enough. I do enjoy reading your thoughtful and honest posts about the process, Yvonne.

  2. beachlurk says:

    Seeing that sometimes you make mistakes and yet end up with these beautiful pieces really helped me keep going this weekend. I made a copying numbers error and had to re-make the back of my quilt an embarrassing number of times. But I carried on and got it accomplished. Thanks for the encouragement by example!

  3. Rochelle Summers says:

    You are right…it takes courage to submit a quilt to be juried . For a while I was in an art quilt group and the comments by some of the members about the jurors, the quilts selected to be in a show, the prizes awarded were, in my opinion, cruel. I had to decide if I wanted to continue with them and if I ever wanted to enter quilts. Mostly, I quilt for pleasure, therapy and charity and I’m perfectly happy with those. Thank you for opening this discussion.

  4. Mary Peceniak says:

    I think submitting a quilt, would make me more conscious of the quality and details as I was making it. I was very interested to read about the things judges look for. I sell my quilts on Etsy, but was considering making one just for my creative pleasure. The added layer of submission sounds intro. ~ Mary Peceniak.

  5. Kim Baird says:

    That photo of the empty show booths is great! Any chance my guild could use it on Facebook?

  6. cheryljbrickey says:

    Great piece about submitting quilts and the whys and hows. I really like how you have kept track of the submissions/acceptances over the years.

  7. patty says:

    I agree with this completely! Looking forward to checking out the #. I’ve got my photos taken for my QC submissions – now need to fill out the paperwork!

  8. Great post with good things to consider, keeping expectations in check. I have only submitted one quilt to a national show, and it was accepted, but it was for an AQS show that was to be in Charlotte for the first year ever in that city. I think they needed quilts to show and it wouldn’t have been accepted anywhere else. Still, I plan to submit more later, just to have the experience, and the fun if one is accepted. But, I know that I need to do more custom quilting as I tend to do pantographs to get quilts finished.

  9. I love this idea, its a way to celebrate your submission no matter what happens. I have not submitted anything in a long time, but do need to get back to being more creative about my projects.

  10. Kaja says:

    It’s such a different world over here – nowhere near so many opportunities! I admire your approach to submitting your quilts – it seems a balanced, sane way of looking at the whole thing.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)