I got some bad news the other day. Disappointing is a more accurate adjective, actually. I submitted my first quilt to an art competition. And it was rejected during the first round of jurying.
Truthfully, I've been trying to brace myself, because I didn't really expect it to be accepted. But, I'm still disappointed, and I've still definitely shed some tears.
I submitted it to the LDS Church History Museum's International Art Competition. I made this quilt specifically for this competition, based on the theme, which is "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus." I did my best, but it was my first attempt at an art quilt, and at improvisational piecing. And, I need a design wall, because now that I have a photo of it straight across, I can see my placement of my blocks wasn't super. A design wall would have been helpful.
It's titled "He Is Not Here" and includes five scenes from the Savior's life: Bethlehem, the place of His birth; Jordan River, where He was baptized; the Sea of Galilee, where He began His ministry by calling disciples; Bethesda, where He performed miracles; and the empty tomb, where He was resurrected.
I asked my friend Cynthia for lots of advice and opinions as I went along, she's a modern sewist, and she graciously offered to embroider some title strips for me. I hadn't planned on using any text, but I think it adds a lot. I had Natalia Bonner quilt it for me, and she did a really great job.
I am super disappointed. But, I'm really grateful I made it. It was definitely a stretch for me sewing-wise, but it also was a great experience for me spiritually. I focused my personal scripture study on the Four Gospels and spent a lot of time thinking about Christ while I was making it. I mentioned a few posts ago that I went through a really hard time a while back, and if I'm being truthful, I'd have to say that though my wounds are healing, they were deep. Spending time focused on Christ helped the healing process (though that is ongoing).
I also loved seeing my daughters' reactions to my quilt. Throughout the process, they were very curious about what I was making, and loved asking me to tell them the story about the block I was working on. It was a great experience for all of us that I had so many opportunities to bear witness of the Savior to my girls. By the time I was finished, my five-year-old was telling my two-year-old the stories. I'm looking forward to hanging the quilt somewhere in my home so they can enjoy it.