With 4 days in school I did not have much time to work on anything at all which is why my single day off on Friday that did not progress well was especially disappointing. It proved to be a very frustrating day and a large gin was most welcome in the evening.
The Landy was collected at 7am so that it could have its faltering turbo fixed but the Garage Man phoned at 4.30pm to say that he had not been able to fix it, there were lots of other problems that the recent, costly service at a different garage had not diagnosed and in fact, he strongly advised that I should not drive it all since it had a dodgy wheel bearing. He was unable to re-book it in for more work for another week but at least he managed to bolt on the shiny new roof-rack ladder.
I was waiting with baited breath for an email from FOQ, hoping that the Betula Trio of Totems would have been short-listed for the new Fine Art Quilt Masters category. As the end of the day was approaching, I sent a message to see when the emails should be expected to arrive. I was informed that successful candidates had already received their news so by default, I realised that my pieces had not been selected. I felt bitterly disappointed and actually quite annoyed. Then I felt guilty for not accepting the news graciously. There follows a paragraph or two of sour grapes ranting…
The thing is that the original entry form simply said that the jurying would be confirmed by May 31st but when this date arrived, the judging panel announced that there would be a further selection down to just 20 pieces. I feel obliged to write to the organisers and point out that IQA Houston makes one juried selection on one specified date and all of those pieces go on to be judged and exhibited together, not relegated to a minor category. FOQ has obviously missed the point about the jurying process being used to raise the standard of quilts and judging for the entire show. Instead, they seem to have reverted to the single elitist category, judged by a panel from the “art world” that was so unpopular in previous years.
The real reason of why I am so upset is that I spent months on those totems and really think that they are amongst my best work yet. I believe they are interesting, involve challenging fabrics and techniques, and even have an arty-farty connection with Ancient Celts. In all of that time I did not work on customer quilts or my book or any other sensible business expanding plans. The bottom line was that I had to question WHY I continue to enter a show that does not appear to value my work. If I still cannot get a piece into that top 20 of the best European quilts then where am I going wrong?
I received many wonderful and encouraging comments from Facebook friends. Many suggested that I simply exhibit elsewhere or even start up a Fringe Festival of my own but I crave recognition from the British quilt establishment. I felt despondent for a couple of days and wondered whether to bother going to the expense of sending the Totems at all, as they will now have to go into the 3D Creations class along with the Coracle. However, I hope that many quilters will still enjoy seeing them and encourage me to complete the planned series of 12 totems.
I was far from disappointed with Freya who received a Merit from school for working particularly hard in at least 3 subjects. She even came third in her year group in a short-story competition so I was glad that she had received recognition from her teachers for her efforts at school this year.
Despite feeling slightly guilty that I have not actually started the time consuming SID customer quilt, I fitted in some evening quilting on Dunes Duet. Typically, I have been unable to keep things simple so I have lots of tiny spirals randomly fitting into some of the concentric circles. I intend to use gold paint, machine embroidery and tiny shells to finish it off, just to make sure it is unlike anything else in the Two-Person category at FOQ. I daresay I just answered my previous questions – I simply am incapable of just doing what is expected 😉