Thursday, March 14, 2013

Refracted Remake

My Refracted quilt returned home from the Quilt Con show last week.  I was excited to get it back and see what was said about it.  Then I opened the box, and like a lot of other blogger friends, got a shock, that turned into disappointment, that resulted in some tears, and finished with a crumbled up piece of paper thrown in the garbage.  That took all of about 5 minutes.

The next morning brought a new day and with it some fabulous blog posts that brought me peace and clarity.  Especially Angela's,  Thank you Angela!!  In reading through all of the supportive comments given to her, I realized something important.  This wonderful online world of quilters is a family in every sense of the word.  We support each other, we stick up for each other,  we love and encourage each other when we are down and we are each important and have a value in making up the whole.   I am so happy to be a part of this family!!

So, after some time, and some contemplating "trying to walk in someone else's shoes"  I decided, that in my mind, the MQG, including the judges are part of this family too.  They were trying to help. Maybe not the most tactful way of helping, but trying none the less.  I would never want the responsibility that they were given and so I can't really get upset about the way they did it.  And making this decision made me happier!!


So . . . to keep me on the "happier" path, I decided I would take some of the critique given and give it a go.   I really didn't remember much of the specifics from the critique (that's what happens when you read something once and throw it away), but I did remember the comment that the judges wished the quilt fabrics represented more of the inspiration behind the quilt.

The inspiration  for this quilt was the way light refracts from a prism into a rainbow.  So . . . If I am taking that representation literally, I figured I need some black and white, and a Kona charm pack . . .


Divided into a light, medium, and dark rainbow.  And I am ready to start cutting!!


I still love the original Refracted just the way it is, and will always love it regardless of how it was received because it was my idea and vision of it.  But I figure, every quilt has another way to be looked at and interpreted (Heck, that is why I love doing Quilt-A-Longs!), and if someone else see's another vision of mine, who's to say it won't come out just as lovely.  And I just happen to have a partner for the  FLQS, who is all about improv piecing and rainbows.   Could there be a more perfect opportunity to do a little Rainbow Refracted Remake ? :)  I get more and more excited about this project the more I think about it!!  And it has the added bonus of me also getting happier about the whole Quilt Con thing.   So thanks Judges, I am sure you did your very best with a task that not many of us would want, and I will take from it what will help me to improve to my very best.
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34 comments:

  1. I think your original quilt is beautiful, but reading your story and looking at the solids really intrigues me! I can't wait to see the new result!

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  2. great take on the critiques Melissa! Good for you for making another version. Can't wait to see it.

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  3. I love this quilt! Silly people who think they know too much!

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  4. your original quilt is beautiful and i look forward to seeing the remake. from what I can tell many of the judges were very harsh about quilts that were submitted. A friend of mine submitted a quilt for the Michael miller challenge and was told that they wished that she had added in more variety of fabrics -- now the purpose of this challenge was to use fabrics provided and you could add in one other fabric so how was she supposed to add in more variety at that point when she did use all the fabrics allotted. Another friend is an amazing FMQer and they described her FMG loops as "to loopy". Stick in there with the family that supports you and take the critique for what it's worth and build your skills if you want but remember every family has that weird cousin no body realty wants to be around because no matter what they say it's gonna hurt somebody.

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  5. Wow! what ever happened to the old saying if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. I am a big believer in the fact that you can get your point across without destroying someone. There are always positive ways of saying things and people really need to put themselves in the other persons shoes when they are doing the judging. For most people I am sure that entering a quilt in a show takes a lot of courage and that kind of critique could potentially stop someone from ever entering again. After reading Angela's blog I can imagine the kind of critique you must have been given and I look forward to seeing your quilt with the new colors and applaud your looking at it from a positive angle. I love your original quilt and from the pictures I can see how striking it must be in person.

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  6. Well, bless your heart. I want you to know that I really liked your choice of fabric because when I saw it, I thought of how my daily, stay-at-home, chore-filled domestic life could be beautiful, seen in little glances, and also how my days go, with lots of interruptions and side-tracks so that there are many parts to each day (as much as I would like a day filled only with quilting!). So, while I understand that there is a beauty and satisfaction in seeing immediately how the title of a quilt matches the fabric and execution, for me, your original Refracted quilt spoke volumes.

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  7. Your quilt is terrific. I saw some other quilts via pictures and couldn't understand how they won. That saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is sure at these quilt shows. I like more variety JUST LIKE YOURS. I'm happy you are making another and even more happy you realize that just because a person is a "judge" it doesn't mean they know how to judge. I love this quilting community too.

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  8. It sounds like the judges took themselves very seriously. I once had a quilt in the county fair, and the judges feedback was that they liked the use of both contemporary and feedsack fabric. I had used a jelly roll.

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  9. The Rainbow Refracted quilt sounds like fun. Remaking a Quilt is on my agenda lately. Some Judges take the easy way out and say things like "Nice Binding". I want a bit more input than that. Gotta love the Judges.

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  10. I think it's beautiful just the way it is. And after reading about everyone else's experience I am not sure I will ever be confident enough to enter a quilt to be judged. Can't wait to see how your new version turns out!

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  11. Congrats to you for your positive attitude!! I'm glad that you are able to see the good in what happened!

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  12. I think your quilt is modern. QuiltCon's guild has a very narrow Modern perspective. What most people think of as modern, they were even more extreme in their guidelines (or what they think is modern). So please, don't conform to another guild's standard definition of what constitutes as modern quilt. Continue to be yourself.

    The author of that article you link to has since written another post that explained my thoughts on this. http://www.cuttopieces.blogspot.com/2013/03/so-what-is-modern-quilting.html

    I myself attended QuiltCon and many of the quilts that won the awards were extremely modern -- met the standards of that guild's definition of modern. Personally, I thought many other quilts were better or prettier. But, that is just my opinion. Which is also a problem in the quilt world included judges -- it is composed of people who all have their own values and opinions.

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  13. As you know...I love your original quilt....and made myself a purple version from your tutorial! It will be fun to see your new version...but I still think the original is wonderful!
    I am very dismayed to hear from so many blogs about the negative feedback from judges. Generally our quilting community is very supportive, and surely comments can be constructive without being negative. I have never been brave enough to even enter a quilt....and will certainly be less likely to do so now!

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  14. Sometimes it is not what is being said that hurts but rather the way in which it is said.

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  15. So sorry to hear of your experience with the judges' comments. Having just done your Starburst quilt along, I personally think you are a talented designer (I kept thinking, "how did she figure out how to do that burst effect: so clever!!") And even if you don't quite fit into the "modern" catigory, take comfort in the fact that it is only their opinion, and compared to me, you are quite modern!! :-) And I appreciate your generosity in sharing quilt tutorials and all the time you take to post on your blog and share so many things with us, asking for nothing in return. I think that is just a little OLD FASHIONED goodness and kindness, and if being totally MODERN includes saying harsh things, well, count your blessings that you've retained a bit of old fashioned kindness in YOUR version of modern quilting!! Hurray for you!! And I can't wait to see your new version of your quilt: It sounds wonderful!! Hugs to you!! Have a great day!! Helen in Healdsburg

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  16. I have respect for the way you look upon this whole thing. I also think you can learn from every experience but sometimes it hurts if you get comments on something you were so enthousiastic about. I know the feeling. Love your work and blog. Will follow you anyway!!
    Groetjes
    Annemieke

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  17. Don't be disappointed. Your ability to not give up and re-invent your quilt based on the criticism of another shows that you are an exceptional person and a very talented quilter and designer (not to mention the most sweetest person).

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  18. I really do like your original quilt and look forward to seeing your next quilt in your "Refracted" series. :)

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  19. Oh I so know I would never make a good judge, I often have a 'tact-to-mouth' malfunction, but well done on sucking it up and thinking that there was something you could learn, it's tough when all you can 'hear' is 'this sucks'

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  20. I just wanted to say that this quilt is one of my favorites that I've ever seen online. I absolutely LOVE the fabrics! Art of any kind is so subjective anyway. I know I've seen plenty of modern "works of art" hanging in galleries that I thought were rather hideous : )

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  21. your original creation is just fine, I do not see the refratcion of color, cause i cant see it thru your eyes. But when you bring up the new one you want to make, I am intriqued and want to see!

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  22. I would like to say that I really like your original quilt. What really impressed me about this post is not the quilt, Melissa, but YOU. This post is the reason I follow your blog. You are an upbeat and positive person who does not give up and is willing to try new things in order to understand where someone is coming from, as in this case. You are willing to put personal feelings aside in order to stretch and grow. You are putting the old adage "when life gives you lemons..." to good use. Thank you for being such a positive inspiration! I am excited to see the new version!

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  23. I love your original quilt!! Im so sad that the critique is not coming across constructively, so many sad quilters out there. Im glad that you have chosen to rise above!! Im always excited to see your quilts!

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  24. I love your Refracted quilt for a number of reasons. 1. The improvisational cutting and turning fits my definition of modern (which may not be the same as anyone else's, so what). 2. Every quilt made from this tutorial will be unique, even if I were to use the same fabrics, it would turn out differently. That really speaks to me as a maker. I want to create something which you can't buy at Walmart.

    I think it would have been worse for the quilters to have received a bland "this quilt did not meet the judging criteria". I'm glad you have made peace with the comments and I hope the Quiltcon organizers learn from this experience to improve the next time. Frankly, I was surprised to hear that there were prizes at all, I thought it was an exhibition.

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  25. I like your quilt the way it is but am really excited to see it in the rainbow colors. Every time we do a quilt it comes out with a different personality.

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  26. I think your quilt is beautiful! And as a science major who loves to quilt even more than doing science...I can't wait to see how you use your new fabrics to have another go at the refraction concept...

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  27. I'm so sorry that their comments brought you to tears but I'm glad to know that you are on the better side of it now.

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  28. I am so glad you posted this. I was away from blogland for about a week and didn't realize there was so much conversation going on about the judging. I read Angela's post and it shocked me. It also made me feel a little better about the critique I received from my QuiltCon quilt. I thought it was harsh also but not nearly as bad as some I've been reading about. The judges though mine had excellent technical workmanship but they critiqued my quilting choices, fabric choices and overall design. It will be interesting to see how this all affects the judging for the next show.

    Thank you though for keeping things positive and I'm glad it's inspired you to do another quilt!

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  29. We had a judge at our Fair a few years ago.....she was awful, picking apart everything!! She made lots of tears I am sure. She was NEVER invited to judge again. If you say destructive things, at least you could find a bright spot to comment on and not just crush the quilter who worked hard on the masterpiece. Glad you threw it out....don't dwell on it :) We love you in blogger land and heck with friends like us....who needs a crabby judge??? LOL. You do good
    vickie.vanathotmail.com

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  30. I wanted to commend you on your positive attitude and decision to be happy and take something positive from a not-great situation. I am sure your children much prefer being around a happy mama and as a bonus you are leading by a great example of how we all want our kids to face adversity!

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  31. They just didn't know it was a white light to candied citrus prism :) As I didn't see any of the judges comments I can only wonder about the online quilting community. We are all so supportive and loving and kind for the most part. It's like having all your friends say they love your chocolate cake and it's the best ever. Then a chef tastes it and says it lacks salt. It can be crushing to hear that someone doesn't appreciate your creation for the time, care, inventiveness and heart you've put into it. Maybe the online community would benefit from more constructive criticism then we wouldn't feel as blind sided when it happens. Judging does not need to be denigrating or belittling but it should probably be challenging and help you see your work through a different view point. It hopefully will be a catalyst to taking the criticism and creating something new and stronger. I think your approach is just perfect.

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  33. well I don't care what they said, this is one of the most beautiful quilts I've seen and I absolutely ADORE it- the fabric, pattern, sashing, quilting- love! Along with your wonderful tutorial on the Ucreate blog that's given me the courage to go ahead and try it myself- thanks! :)

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Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)

Melissa