Sharing our work really has it's ups and downs. When we put ourselves out there it leaves us vulnerable to judgment.
Sometimes that judgment leads to compliments and recognition, but just as often it leads to rejection and criticism.
I have experienced both recently. In December all three of my QuiltCon entries were rejected. I wasn't shocked. I took it in stride. I don't really know that community and I'm certainly not alone.
On the upside I had a wonderful surprise last year at the Vermont Quilt Show and was awarded Best Hand Quilting for my Jubilee Quilt. It was a thrill of my quilting career and I couldn't have been more surprised.
Within this past week I heard from two international blog friends that QuiltMania published a photo of this quilt in the latest edition. What a complete and unexpected surprise!
Rejection is Painful
Recognition is Nice
Having said that, I feel strongly that putting our work out there is what really matters. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have made so many special connections and friends through blogging, lecturing, teaching and also through sharing my work in quilt shows.
I have real problems with how quilt shows are judged and by whom (which I may share one day), but I am always glad to share my work in the hopes that it might inspire someone. Maybe sharing my recent rejections will make someone out there feel better about putting themselves out there.
So what is this unusual post all about? To encourage everyone to share their work on blogs, at guilds, and to enter quilt shows. You never know what effect you'll have on another quilter. The Vermont Quilt Festival is not a juried show - it has a time deadline and you are not competing against the other quilts, you are judged on your own work.
Put yourself out there. You will meet with rejection, but you may also be surprised now and then.
I'm adding a couple of polls to see how you feel.
Let me know what you think.