Somehow, I’m not surprised…

I received a letter from $100,000 Quilting Challenge Magazine yesterday telling me that they were ceasing publication, and giving me a choice of two other magazines, either The Quilter or Fabric Trends, to finish out my subscription. I kind of wondered in the beginning how long the whole “American Idol for Quilters” thing would last, considering how much money they were giving away, and how little they had to be getting back.

The first year, Linda McCuean was awarded $100,000 for her quilt, Bella, which sold at auction late last year for $10,750.00, all of which was donated to charity from what I understand. Seems like a bit of a flawed business model to me, though granted, I’m no business person. You sell a bunch of magazines, lots of companies donate prize packages for the semi-finalists, you give one of those semi-finalists $100,000, and auction the quilt off for charity?

How do the magazine sales and advertising in the magazines pay for the $100,000, in addition to the staff, publicity, shipping costs for the quilts when they are displayed at shows, etc., etc., etc.?? I’m stumped, and not terribly surprised that they’ve already ceased publication, after only the second $100,000 cash award. Bummer, though.

I think the whole thing was a great idea in theory, and probably brought mega publicity to the quilt world and the charity organizations involved, but maybe if they had started with a slightly smaller prize package, the magazine and contest might still be around and going strong. I probably should note here that all of the above, except for the letter I received, is completely supposition on my part, and I haven’t seen anything that really says why they’re ceasing publication.

And, though completely beside the point here, I’m not interested in either of their other magazines that they’re offering, and I think I paid for two years of the Quilting Challenge Magazine. I wonder what will happen when I send their letter back and say I don’t prefer either choice, please send me a check?

Paisley Pavane arrives home safely!

I had a nice surprise in the mail last night: a box from the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society with my quilt inside! Paisley Pavane has been on tour or at the Museum since late 2005, so it’s good to have it home again.

Paisley Pavane by Nadine Ruggles

(Click on the photo for a larger pic and detail shots.)

I made this quilt for the MAQS New Quilts from an Old Favorites Contest at MAQS; the block theme for the 2006 contest was Dresden Plate. The purpose of the contest is to showcase innovative interpretations of traditional blocks. I’d had two other quilts accepted to the contest in prior years and I really wanted to enter, but couldn’t come up with a design I was happy with until really late in the game.

I’d really sort of given up on entering, and then I was digging through my stacks of in progress work looking for something else entirely, and I came across the pieces for the medallions that were made using a 9° wedge ruler. The idea took shape and I managed to complete the quilt in time for the contest, and the quilt was awarded a Third Place ribbon. Continue reading “Paisley Pavane arrives home safely!”

Quilt shows and the fall of traditional quilting

During my travels on the Internet this morning, I thought I’d stop in at IQA and see if the entry form for the 2008 show was available yet, thinking I might be able to finish up The Misery Quilt in time to enter, and wondering in the back of my mind what category I’d enter it in. It’s beyond “traditional,” what with the embroidery already there, the original layout, the mixed techniques, and the embellishments that I plan to add later.

…there were only two lonely categories for traditional quilts, one for appliquéd quilts and one for pieced quilts…

The entry form wasn’t there yet, but I looked at the page with the winning quilts from the 2007 show, and I was quite surprised when the categories for art quilts just went on and on and on, in multiple (but seemingly) minuscule variations for different sizes, types, and styles, and then way down at the bottom, there were only two lonely categories for traditional quilts, one for appliquéd quilts and one for pieced quilts which were not even further divided into “small” and “large.”

I didn’t enter the IQA show last year, but seeing the winners page reminded me that I’d been meaning to go on about this very issue for quite some time, ever since I read Paula’s post that referred to Jeanna Kimball’s post about judging the Houston Show in late September, 2007. Jeanna Kimball is a traditional quilter, obviously a good one since she’s out there judging, and she made some interesting observations about the number of traditional quilts that were entered in the Houston show:

One element of the contest, however, surprised me a great deal—I still can’t get over it. The last time I paid attention to quilt contests, the categories with the most quilts seemed to be traditional quilts.

It is not so any longer. The entries have dropped so low in traditional pieced and traditional appliqué that there is only one category for each—no longer are there two categories with one being large quilts and the other being small. What happened!? Where are all of the traditional quilts?

I have to second that question, but I’m afraid I know what happened to the traditional quilts. The quilters who enter the larger shows have discovered that traditional doesn’t win big. Oh sure, if you have the best traditional quilt in the show, you get the first place award in the traditional category, but when was the last time a quilt from the traditional category was awarded “Best of Show” with the big money attached? Truthfully, I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ve watched (and entered) the major shows since 2001, and my overall feeling about it just from what I’ve seen and experienced is that it’s been many years. Continue reading “Quilt shows and the fall of traditional quilting”

Not quilting, just playing musical rooms!

Not much quilting going on here, but lots of activity. We decided that we should move a few rooms around in the house, so that the girls would have a little more privacy and separation from each other. Their “rooms” were on the top floor of the house, and while the space is sort of divided into two areas, there’s no door in between them. There’s a hallway with a bathroom, but no doors except for the door that leads to the whole set of rooms. This setup was okay when the girls were 8 and 3 years old, but now they’re 15 and 10 and it really no longer works.

So, GuitarGirl (that would be DD#1, now 15 years old) moved into my office/studio, and LittleOne (DD#2, 10) moved into GuitarGirl’s old room, since it’s cooler in the summer. So far so good. Now, the biggest part of the problem (notice I said “biggest” not “only”) is that the only other room in the house that’s available to house all of my own activities is the basement, where ITMan hangs out. It’s not big enough to handle all of my machines, tables, shelves, and cabinets, not to mention my fabrics Continue reading “Not quilting, just playing musical rooms!”