I remember quilt shows, do you? Where we gathered together and admired the show quilts, saw our friends, and took classes and bought stuff from vendors?
A haul from one of the quilt shows I attended a few years back.
They seem so far away now. I do admire how much some of the show people are trying to keep this experience alive by doing virtual quilt shows, and they are fun. I usually attend and pay the suggested attendance fee, though I haven’t taken a class that way yet.
They are, however, different. I can see they might stay even after we get back to post-pandemic normal, whatever that is. I think we will eventually have both in person and virtual quilt shows in the future. Some teachers seemed surprised to realize that there is a vast quantity of quilters and sewists out there who have never even been to an in-person quilt show and are really happy to have the chance to take a class from a major teacher, see all the quilts in the contest, and have some shopping opportunities from the online vendors. That’s why I think that will stay even when we do get back to in-person shows.
Sadly, several shows, professional quilters, and vendors have permanently closed or already shut down for another year because they could not make ends meet and it looks likely the situation will continue far into 2021.
I guess I am the optimistic sort, however, because even as I am sympathetic to those involved and am very sorry to lose these parts of our wonderful quilting and sewing community, I believe we will rebuild and it won’t be as long as some predict.
In the meantime, I love seeing some of the developments of online classes, and sharing videos, and other opportunities to keep our talents alive and well and growing while we wait the end of the pandemic. I also see some real improvements in the online quilt shows that admittedly were a little rough around the edges when they first started, but seem to be settling into really fun venues now. I suspect they will improve further.
Originally I was not going to enter online shows, but I changed my mind. I have a couple of quilts all ready that I would like to exhibit and so why not? Some of the rules have relaxed allowing older quilts or any size quilts into the shows, for instance. Some of the photographic presentation online is clearer and you can see the quilting better. They show all the entered quilts online, not just the winners like they usually do on their websites. The cost is only the entry fee and not the shipping and nail biting while that show quilt is moving around the country. So just for fun, I’m going to enter a few here and there to see what happens.
Sew happy everyone! Take heart. This is not permanent. There are even some good things happening out there right now. Do you have a fabulous older quilt you never got entered because you missed a deadline, for instance? Now may be the time to fix that. Just get some good photographs (pin them to the design wall or hang it on a curtain rod and light it well, then snap away with lots of photographs using slight differences of settings and then pick the best or hire someone). Cheers!