To Enter or Not To Enter, that is the question...

What on earth am I talking about?!  Well recently it was the Festival of Quilts in the UK.  I absolutely love going to it every year.  But it can be extremely overwhelming.  This year was no exception, in fact it was even bigger than previous years!  

The main draw for me, has to be the quilts themselves.  I mean it's nice to shop too, but it's the quilts I go to look at!

It's always such an inspiring event.  The quilts are completely AMAZING!  It's a very grounding experience and I ALWAYS leave thinking of how I want to improve my own work and skills.  It inspires you to 'Up your game'!

This year I entered two quilts.  One had been in Quilt Now Magazine last year and the other one was my Breaking Point Quilt.  From previous experience, I knew when entering that there would be many quilts way better than mine but did it put me off from entering? No of course not.  I wasn't entering to win, I was entering to share the quilts.

I spoke to lots of people whilst there and before and after about entering a quilt, and so many people were put off entering as they feared the judges comments or that people would think their quilt not good enough.  I think that is such a shame.  A quote springs to mind:

"Use what talent you possess - the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the birds that sang the best"

We are all at different stages along the journey of learning and improving, does that mean that only the best or most confident can share their work.  Of course not.  So I encourage you to enter your quilts into exhibitions so that people can see your lovely hard work.  I guarantee you you will benefit so much from seeing your quilt hung in an exhibition.  And you'll also get encouragement from people who view the quilts and also from the judges.  Most comments I've had from judges have been very positive. 

I did have a bit of a giggle at the feedback from the judges on my Breaking Point Quilt as it just goes to show how very subjective the judging is as in the category of 'Originality' one judge ticked Excellent, another Good and the other one Satisfactory lol.  So you kind of have to take it all with a pinch of salt.  Given that I drew the star shape from an idea in my head and then drafted foundation paper piecing patterns in EQ8 I'd have to say it really is original lol!  But all of these comments help you improve and 'up your game' for next time.  

So should you enter? Definitely! Will I keep on entering? Yes as long as I have time!!!