Crazy Quilt Competition Opportunities for 2008

Allison Aller 2008

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We stitch for the love of it; there is no doubt about that. We explore our art and craft, create useful and beautiful objects...why then would we pressure ourselves to enter our crazy quilting in competition?

There are three great reasons. The most important is that when we are creating work to enter in a show that will be juried and judged by trained professionals, we are definitely inspired to do our very best work. We put our all into refining our designs and maintaining our highest standards of craftsmanship. This causes us to stretch our abilities.

Secondly, while judges' comments by necessity are brief, it is helpful to get objective feedback about our efforts by knowledgeable people. Usually there is a positive comment and some constructive criticism, the latter being a spur to improvement in our subsequent work. This can sting, but it is worth it!

The third reason to enter our crazy quilts in competition is to expose the viewing public to more of this fantastic genre of quilting. People absolutely love it...but they don't see enough of it.

Following are some opportunities for entering your crazy quilts in competition in 2008. Please consider this! You will be doing yourself and the larger crazy quilting community a favor.

(Click on the company names for more information.)

The $100,000 Quilting Challenge

This is the most visible venue we have to get crazy quilting "out there" for thousands of readers to see. I have been told that they need more entries in this category.

Quilts, Inc.

Membership in the International Quilt Association is required to enter any of their three yearly judged shows in Houston, Chicago, and now Long Beach, California. But this organization does accept crazy quilts in their "Mixed Technique" category. In fact, a crazy quilt won first prize in that category in Houston in 2007.

Road To California

The information is not out for the 2009 show yet (2008's has just occurred), but the above link will give a good idea of what this great event is all about. And they do allow crazy quilts to be entered without the usual requirement of quilting, again in the "Mixed Technique" category.

American Quilters Society

Membership is not required to enter an AQS show, but opportunities here are severely limited for crazy quilts, as quilting is required in all one lone category in one of the three shows mounted by AQS per year.

I personally have written to Cathy Dolson, the associate show director at AQS, about expanding their rules to include crazy quilting, but so far I have had no luck! She did tell me about a new category in their Nashville show called "Needlework", however. Check under the "Contest Rules" section in the link above. This category is for all kinds of "Needlework", including knitting, tatting, embroidery...entries can even be three dimensional objects, like boxes.

Cathy wrote to me in an email:

"I went to CQMagOnline and looked at the gallery - lots of beautiful smaller pieces which would definitely fit in the Needlework Category in Nashville. The size is smaller than 'regular' quilts, which is why some of those projects would be a great fit.
Wanted to pass it along just in case - and we could use some outstanding entries like these!"

Finally, there is a terrific online resource that lists all fiber-related competitions out there, and I am sure there are many opportunities for crazy quilting.

Art Call

I plan on checking out some of these myself...And of course, there are many local and regional opportunities for showing your work and entering competition as well, so search them out.

I personally value the motivation to improve my work that competition brings. Below is a quilt called "Summer Mandala" which I entered in a small regional show last summer. The judge's comment was "Design lacks focus." It's funny, but if a judge hadn't said it I wouldn't have seen this for myself. I plan on addressing this weakness in my next floral quilt!

"Summer Mandala" by Allison Aller, 30" X 30", 2007.

I hope you will consider entering more competitions--or your very first one--in 2008. You can't lose.


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