IS QUILTING A COMPETITIVE SPORT?
As some of you know, I have done fairly well in a with a few quilts in a few competitions, but even though we started doing competitions together a couple of my friends have sailed past me with awards and recognition.
I don't have anything against entering quilt shows. I would be still doing it once in a while if it wasn't for the fact that I haven't made any quilts for competition for over a year. The cost is becoming prohibitive, especially when it comes to miniatures. The largest prize is the AQS best miniature award. And although it is nice to be included in a juried show, let's face it, it is better to win. At least if you win, you get your money back..
I haven't entered in a while, but the AQS is the most reasonably priced. If you consider when you enter these international shows, you have to belong to the organization, it costs quite a bit. For instance.. one international show I can think of
Cost to belong to organization $25- 35.00
Entry cost for each item $25- 35.00
If your quilt does not get juried in, you lose the entry money
If it does get juried in, you pay shipping costs there which are increasing and can be costly
The show charges return shipping cost. They choose how to return ship, and what company they will use. I had one major quilt show charge me $45.00 to return ship my 12 x 12 miniature quilt. Luckily I got first place and some money, and I just about broke even.
I had a friend that paid the entry and shipping for two quilts, only to have the quilts get there and be disqualified for some reason ( they were large and oddly shaped). So she not only lost the money to enter and ship, but to return ship , I would estimate $200.00 but it may have been more.
I don't know about you but I work for a living. I guess if quilting was my business, and I taught and traveled, I could write all of this off as a business loss. I'm not sure how that would work. If I did quilting as a business, or didn't have a job outside of my home, I could be working every day to improve my technique so that I would be good enough to compete on the national level. I think that I do okay, but the competition is really stiff, and with the domination of long arm quilting, I don't know if I can even compete on anything much larger than a miniature. And since I can't go drop 20-30,000 on a long arm machine just because I would like to have one, I guess I am limited to what I can do with what I have.
One of the reasons that I admire DIANE GAUDYNSKI is because she does all of her award winning quilts on her Bernina. Her quilts are beautiful, and not gaudy .
That being said, I am glad that there are quilters that like to enter quilt shows. I love seeing beautiful, innovative work, and where else would I ever get the chance?