best in show at quiltcon 2018

Last week, my quilt “Going Up”, earned (won? received? was awarded?) the title Best in Show at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, CA. I’m still processing it, so naturally writing out thoughts is therapeutic. Here are frequent questions I’ve answered in the days since.

Did I know my quilt would receive the title “Best in Show”?
No, I didn’t know, but the MQG invited for me to come and comped my trip. I accepted the offer, provided that I could bring baby with so I didn’t leave my lovely husband with 3 little kids for 4 days.

Was I surprised?
I was only surprised in so far that I feel lucky over the subjectiveness of judging design aesthetic. I look at this as an overlap of good intention (as in, I intended to execute this exact design), great technique, and serendipity in what the judges were looking for this time around. I.E., under a different set of judges compared against a different set of quilts, this could have gone a different way because there was absolutely no shortage of amazing quilts in the show. For the most part, I’ve received positive feedback, but I did see one comment along the lines of “It’s just not my thing”, which I totally understand.

What was my process for creating this quilt?
I design most of my quilts at a compositional level in Photoshop, using shapes (rectangles) and smart objects, because I have experience in Photoshop. I’m familiar with several of the other software tools for designing quilts, but they appear to me to be more constrained to block designs, which doesn’t suit my alternate gridwork designs. Once I created this particular design in Photoshop, I reverse engineered how to make it, which usually involves authoring a Google spreadsheet with quilt math. I don’t think I did a test run on this, but it was pretty easy to see if my quilt math was correct after I finished the initial log cabin strips.

Do I enter a lot of quilt shows?
No. I had two quilts in QuiltCon 2017 (two of two accepted), and three quilts in QuiltCon 2018 (three of four accepted). I have wanted to submit to more local shows, but the timing or specific calls for submissions didn’t suit my quilts. Another local quilt show only called for paper submissions, and I was far too lazy to print the submission form and photos in time.

You look busy. How do you have time to quilt?
My kids go to daycare. I work part-time. So, I basically have 1 – 2 hours per day to sew *during the week*, and I try to make the most of that time and be focused about it. And in that time, I’m aiming for improving and iterating on technique on only original designs. And I’m always thinking about how to do whatever it is I’m doing most efficiently, because of my engineering brain.

So, you are an Individual Member of the MQG?
Yep! There is a local MQG group near me, but at the moment I’ve found my support people in an open sew group with 5 other professional women of similar ages and our “quilting den mom”, who encourages us to explore our creative pursuits without judgment.

Will I create a pattern for this quilt?
Probably not, but I may create a pattern inspired from this design. TBD.

Question submitted by my Mom: “Will I get the quilt back?”
Yes, mom, eventually, since it will be included in the QuiltCon 2018 traveling exhibit. I didn’t choose to sell it.

Question submitted by my 4 year old: “Can I see that white thing (ribbon) from the photo? Why did you win?”
The ribbon will come in the mail, I think? Good second question. Luck, intention, and execution!

Comment submitted by my 3 year old after coming home: “I love you Mommy! And Ingrid too.”
I love you too, but do you have to smother me so much?

Things to do, places to be, people to see... Caffeine to consume. #babiesofinstagram #momlife #parenting #thisisparenting #stephskardalquiltsquiltcon2018 ...

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#helloquiltcon!!! I was keeping it a secret until now that I was going to QuiltCon. I’m honored to have this award! Here I am, come say hi because I am only here with my “trophy” baby. #quilting #sewing #quilt #modernquilt #makersgonnamake #creativelifehappylife #aurifil #konacotton #essexlinen #stephskardalquiltsquiltcon2018 ...

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Ingrid says, enough of this quilting stuff mom, can we just Netflix and chill now? #quiltcon #quilting #pasadena #quiltcon2018 #babiesofinstagram #momlife #parenting #thisisparenting #stephskardalquiltsquiltcon2018 ...

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I’ve been clumsy, not sleeping, and full of imposter syndrome here at QuiltCon 2018, but I’ve gotta get my thank yous out as I head out... If I haven’t said it already, thanks a million bazillion jazillion to @themqg for my Best In Show award! Thanks to @modafabrics sponsorship and the judges @tarafaughnan, @melaniefalick, and @beverly.fine. Thanks to @themqg for paying for and arranging a baby friendly car service for me to get here! And to the people who fed me and anyone who lended a helping hand to a mom. ******* Thanks to my quilting “den mom” @kathleenbaden for still reminding me to pin my binding. And thanks to my LQS, the @villagefabricshop, for hosting open sew with @kathleenbaden and 5 other sewing ladies who are always there appreciating my snarkasm. ******* “Winning” has been a great vehicle for meeting some amazing makers!!! I wish I could stay, but I’m needed back in North Carolina where my nice husband has been dealing with a three year old in the middle of potty training, and an almost five year old chatterbox who has happily kept my spot in bed warm. Happy quilting & see you next year in Nashville!!! #themqg #mqg #modernquilting #modernquilts #modernquilt #quilt #quilting #originalpattern #sewing #machinepieced #machinequilted #konacotton #essexlinen #freespiritvoile #aurifil #aurifilthread #makersgonnamake #creativelifehappylife #babiesofinstagram #10monthsold #momlife #thanksamillion #stephskardalquiltsquiltcon2018 ...

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Unpacking my QuiltCon swag back on the East coast: The QuiltCon magazine from @modern_patchwork, “Walk” by @jacquietps from @luckyspool (loved her lecture), a copy of Issue 2 of @curatedquilts, a pin from @themqg, and a print and pin from @craftedmoon. No fabric purchases this year! *** The show is open today from 10am - 4pm. *** My mom asked if @themqg will keep my quilt. File that under stuff your mom says. #quiltcon #quiltcon2018 #themqg #quilting #quilt #sewing #pasadena #stephskardalquiltsquiltcon2018 ...

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QuiltCon, for babies: an endless sea of chairs to crawl under while getting pumped for @wiley_pamela’s lecture. Wearing @artgalleryfabrics knit. #quiltcon #quiltcon2018 #momlife #parenting #pasadena #mqg #modernquilt #modernquilting #stephskardalquiltsquiltcon2018 ...

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A turbulent re-entry into real life has left me missing these moments of waking up way too early with the one that doesn’t talk back to me. Back to work, back to dealing with middle sis who can’t figure out how to poop on the potty, and back to big sis who is planning a return trip to Disney World. #momlife #parenting #thisisparenting #quiltcon #quiltcon2018 #pasadena #stephskardalquiltsquiltcon2018 ...

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