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:
- 2015 QuiltCon Submissions (2 submitted, 0 accepted)
- 2016 QuiltCon Submissions (2 submitted, 2 accepted) <– My first quilts accepted into a juried show!
- 2017 QuiltCon Submissions (5 submitted, 4 accepted*) *Two were special exhibit quilts that followed a different acceptance process
- 2018 QuiltCon Submissions (7 submitted, 3 accepted)
- 2019 QuiltCon Submissions (4 submitted, 4 accepted)
- 2020 QuiltCon Submissions (3 submitted, 3 accepted)
- 2021 QuiltCon Together Submissions (5 submitted, 5 accepted) <– This was a virtual show
- 2022 QuiltCon Submissions (3 submitted, 1 accepted) <– Updated 12/2/2021
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.