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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quilted to Death!

Whenever possible, I have volunteered to help on Judging Day for my local quilt guilds. One often-heard comment, usually made when borders are quilted significantly less than the interior of the quilt, is "needs more quilting". I just returned from the Machine Quilters Showcase in Overland Park, Kansas. Few of the quilts in this show will elicit this comment.

The quilts are quilted. And quilted. And quilted some more. As the popular phrase says - "quilted to death". And while looking at the quilts in this show, it seems that, to some extent, this amount of quilting is excessive. Don't misunderstand me - the quilting is wonderfully executed, technically fabulous, incredibly beautiful.

But excessive because it causes the viewer (me) to think "Forget ever entering this show - I don't do this amount of quilting". And if I'm thinking it, so are many other quilters. Many of the attendees at MQS are professional machine quilters, running successful long-arm businesses. But they aren't entering a show created specifically for them.

It seemed to me that the exhibit area was heavy on Special Exhibits and light on actual entries. There was a lot of empty space - black-curtained bays without any quilts, extra-wide spaces between quilts in the Special Exhibits. Maybe some of that empty space might be filled if the standard for quilting wasn't "quilt it to death".

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