Aug 12, 2015

update on 'no blogging' rule in quilt competitions

About a year ago, I wrote a blog post based on my personal experience in entering a quilt competition with rules that stated the quilt could not be shown on blogs, websites, etc. prior to the exhibition. I call this the 'no blogging' rule and I now have a good news about the rule and some bad news about my original post.

First the good news. 

After I wrote that original blog post a year ago, it was reposted by the Bad Ass Quilters Society and was linked to several other blogs. As such, it got a lot of attention and comments. A couple weeks ago, that same post (unedited) was reposted on the Quilt Art News blog, and once again it brought this debate to the surface. 

The argument I was trying to make was that seeing an image online or in a book, or hearing a recorded piece of music that you love, actually builds familiarity and makes you want to see/hear the real thing in person all the more.

A week ago, I had the good fortune to have a conversation with Karey Patterson Bresenhan, President and founder of Quilts, Inc. --- a luminary in the world of quilts. Karey informed me that Quilts, Inc. plans to remove the 'no blogging' rule from their special exhibition call for entries in 2016. Great news! I'm pleased that my post helped in some small way to draw attention to the fact that some individuals consider their blog as an integrated part of the quiltmaking process.

A small victory for quilts and bloggers both!

The bad news is that the wording in my original post may have confused or misled some readers, and may have even discouraged people from entering competitions at all, which was not my intention.

Ultimately, I want what all quilt competition organizers want, and that is for as many people as possible to engage in the exhibition process - either as entrants, judges, curators, sponsors, viewers, fans, whatever!

So here's where the confusion happened.

In my original post, I was referring to rules for a special exhibition managed by Quilts, Inc. (the owners of International Quilt Festival / Market, and other entities) but I did not name this competition specifically. I've since learned that some readers assumed I was talking about the International Quilt Association (IQA) competition - which is the biggie at Houston. IQA does not have a 'no blogging' rule.

This was not an oversight on my part. I was trying to argue the issue from a broader perspective because there are several competitions in the international quilt world (not related to IQA or Houston) that have (or have had) this rule. The point was not to name names. The point to was make the case that blogging is as much a personal form of expression as quiltmaking itself and to offer a perspective on the way our brains interact with art.

So, I apologize to those of you who read my post and were confused, or worse misled, by my words. Also, I apologize to the IQA organizers for muddying up the waters on their rules for entry.

I do believe that every now and then it is important to offer a point of view in a public way and to bring others into the debate. In doing so, the writer takes a risk. Good intentions can be misconstrued or make things worse. 

I appreciate the gracious response from Quilts, Inc. and I'm thankful they made the tough decision to amend their rules. And I thank all of you who offered your own experiences and feedback on this particular issue and for agreeing with - or challenging - my point of view.


  1. Nice post! Thank you for clearing that up because I was confused and knew that the World of Beauty did not have a No Blog rule. Karey is a gracious gem of a woman-how sweet that she called you!

  2. I am SO SO SO happy to hear about the change of rules for next years special exhibits. I've just entered one of the ones from this year and have been (as usual) frustrated by the no posting rule. Also, you're absolutely right that other shows have it too (QN for one), so reading the rules for each show carefully is critical. I'm so glad your post launched such a widespread discussion- this is really an issue I feel super strongly about so yay!

  3. Thank you for keeping us updated. Karey B is an amazing person and does listen to quilters.