Quilt Shows and Longarm Quilters

I’ve had almost 48 hours and my emotions are beginning to return to a normal range, but it has been one heck of a day and a half.  My concern really isn’t Road to California, it’s about all shows, it’s about publications, it’s about anyone that has been denied recognition of their contribution to whatever it is.   This particular event brings to the forefront every insult from lack of acknowledgement from several shows even in my own neighborhood, my guilds.

Quilts I have quilted for two different clients  belonging to two different local guilds (that I am also a member of), have won Best of Show.   Did I get a ribbon for either one?   No. Even worse, one of these shows did not even list me as the quilter!   **Edited –   The SHOW did not list me as quilter on the id card.   The maker did.   Another quilt I quilted in that show omitted my name as well on the card**   Another quilt I quilted at my main guild won a Judges Award for Best Machine Quilting.  Did I get a ribbon?   No.    I quilted it!   I am the quilter. My gosh, how weird is that?  I don’t have a lot of show experience but in the past few years that I have been quilting for others and people have been showing quilts that I have quilted  A few ribbons have been earned, even some awarded at the regional and national level.  Some shows give the quilter a ribbon, most don’t.   One guild in particular in my area gives the very same beautiful ribbon to the quilter and I so appreciate that.   Then you have of course clients that you may not know well, you may not be aware a quilt has been shown or if it won a ribbon.

A client recently entered a quilt I quilted and it was accepted into Road to California.   I was very thrilled to be hanging there.   With all the amazing talent in the world, I certainly did not expect to win a ribbon but to be interesting enough to be selected to actually hang in one of the USA’s larger shows is a pretty big deal.  I thought it odd all that first day that no one tagged me in a photo of the quilt hanging there.   I knew of someone there and specifically asked her to take a photo.   She took some beautiful photos including the ID information.    To my complete surprise, I was not listed as the quilter.    No wonder no one had sent me photos!

I’m not going to rehash all the details, but the client did not list me as the quilter on the registration.   He has never gotten back to me to explain and I think it is pretty obvious.   The 1st line on the form asks for the name of the “Maker”, the 2nd line of the form as for the name of the  “Quilter”.   How could you make a mistake?

Initially, I did not contact Rd – but at the urging of several people I did Friday afternoon.  Friends felt like it was an error on Road to California’s end but  actually they did provide proof to me that they did not make the error, the client had listed himself as maker and quilter.   They  took immediate steps to resolve the issue.   Within a few hours, a friend at the show sent me a photo of the corrected ID showing me as the quilter!     I am grateful.

Where am I going with all this?   I do not know.  I am saddened that it seems no one wants to recognize our contribution to the finished quilt.  I’m angry at the blatant disregard for giving credit to so many quilters.   Just today on a social media longarm group, a longarmer proudly displayed a quilt that he had quilted and the client won a ribbon on.   A huge name card hung from the quilt.   The makers name.  No quilter’s name.  Why do we let them do this?   Some people feel that what we do is no different than the fabric they purchased or a stencil used.   I don’t know the answer, but I am very saddened by all this.  Why does this continue?

I can’t walk away and leave this world.   This has been my passion.   It now is  my family’s sole income.   I’m not going to let organizations and dishonest people take away my joy.  I’m going to rise above these hurtful actions and keep on doing what I love.   Quilting!  If it takes rattling cages at a few shows… maybe I’ll do that too.

   Gravity, pieced and quilted by me.

Quilted version
Unquilted.  Which would you rather see in a show?