I've held such hope to enter the Journal Quilt Project since it's inception in 2003. I'm not alone. Every January the activity on the Quilt Art list surges as people like me who've never formally entered a show, are excited at the thought of having their work shown publicly and among such worthy, artistic company. Even though I often sit on the other side of the fence as an editor, I've desperately wanted to play, too.
Every year I've signed up, and every year, I've backed out. Usually it's a time factor—as co-owner of a business with a demanding traveling and publishing schedule, my job requires me to come into the office nearly every day, including weekends. It's difficult for me to find several quality hours at a time to create unless I'm whisked away at a retreat.
But if I'm to be totally honest with myself, I'd also admit that when push came to shove, and those quilts were due, huge waves of fear would envelope me, and any little bit of artwork I might have stitched suddenly morphed into an embarrassment of gargantuan proportion. With frustration and a sense of self-defeat, I'd angrily wiped any tears from my face, shove those works in progress into a drawer, and mutter to myself that perhaps next year, I'd see the project through.
Once again, this past January I was adamant and eager to join the project. I have so many things going on in my life personally and professionally, I needed to journal them with needle and stitch. I spent many long nights in my studio in January working on my first quilt, and I'm proud to say I actually completed it. However, once February came, I was spending long, long hours at work, and when the first two quilts were due the end of the month, I pulled the same act as I've done previous years: I notified the Powers At Be that I needed to back out.
But fate intervened––I was speaking with Vicki from Quilts Inc. last week and she mentioned the deadline was extended to the end of March. Was this a sign from some sympathetic soul above? Perhaps, and I'm listening. I'm going to try my best to make sure I break old, defeatist, and silly behaviors and see this through!
My point with all this blithering is that I am so impressed by the courage every artist has shown to participate in the Journal Quilt Project. As many of you know, Karey Bresenhan is writing a book on the journal quilts and Quilting Arts LLC is publishing it. Originally there were plans to include 250 of the journal quilts, but after Karey viewed thousands of them (literally), she made an excellent case to us as to why there would need to be at least 350. Whether your work was chosen for the book or not, all of you have my deepest admiration and respect. I marvel that you've accomplished such an amazing feat by sharing so much of yourselves and your art.
My heartfelt congratulations…