Perseverence in Spite of Disappointment

I remember when I first started quilting, I’d be walking around a quilt show and admiring the winning quilts thinking one day I would be able to whip something out as effortlessly as they did…. I now know, I was a little naive because I thought that these award winning quilters just had a vision and then proceeded to whip up the quilt. Boy was I wrong. There is a lot of hardwork and hours upon hours that go into these award winning babies. I call them babies because a piece of you, or sometimes a huge chunk, goes into each and every quilt you produce. Now, years and numerous award winning quilts later, I realize that there is a common trait that most of these quilters have in common besides oodles of talent. They persevere despite disappointment. Those disappointments could be anything from not having enough of the fabric they wanted to use, a quilt not getting into a show, resewing a block for the 5th time, their fabric bled when they were blocking the quilt or they used the wrong color thread in the quilting. Yet despite all of these…. they persevered.

Yesterday as many talented quilters were announcing that their quilts were accepted into a national show, I had a disappointment…. my quilt, Crown Jewels, was not accepted.


 To say that I was not disappointed would be a lie. Of course I was! Was my quilt not good enough? Maybe, maybe not. Most likely, it just wasn’t what the show was looking for this time around. (at least that is what I am telling myself) Being a competitive person, sometimes this is tough to take. Why do I bring this up? To show that no matter how successful we have been or a particular quilt has been in the past nothing is guaranteed, we all experience disappointments but it’s how we move forward that is important. So despite my disappointment yesterday, I moved forward today.

I am currently working on my next competition piece… This particular quilt has been ongoing since last year. I like to challenge myself with each quilt I do. This time it is my first time doing hand applique and I am loving it!! I am using some fabulous colors of fabric from Cherrywood.


Because I challenge myself with new techniques on almost all of my quilts it creates a lot of those “what was I thinking” moments. Along with the hand applique, that who knows if it’s any good, I drew out this great interior border around a center star… drafting it was the easy part. I then had to figure out how I was going to piece it and get it together…. after MANY attempts, I was ready to throw in the towel but I really LOVED it and refused to believe that I couldn’t get it together in a decent way…. 


I managed to figure it out and got it together in way that I was satisfied with…. but when I say it wasn’t easy…. that’s putting it mildly. I started this quilt back in May 2013, I finished this part of the quilt in Jan 2014 …. it drained me of my patience and creativity so I put it aside till about 2 weeks ago… that’s not to say I haven’t been thinking about it. 


I am now getting back to it and of course running into more obstacles… but it will all be worth it.. at least I keep telling myself that.

Happy Quilting



13 thoughts on “Perseverence in Spite of Disappointment

  1. Lisa – your quilt is just beautiful!! I can’t even imagine how many hours it has taken you to design and complete that. I do hope that you will continue to enter it in other shows!! The quilt you are working on is just gorgeous!!

  2. That is a gorgeous quilt (the one that didn’t get in), and it can only be because it’s not what they are looking for. I know the feeling, though, no matter how much you tell yourself it is a good quilt and you are proud of it no matter what, it’s hard to take (one of my two quilts didn’t get in either). Your work is fabulous, though, so send it forward to another show. I like the new one too.

  3. I’m so sorry your gorgeous quilt was not accepted to the show – I can’t fathom what the judges were thinking!! Of course, I like you and your quilting, so I think they should win blue ribbons in every show!!! As a quilter with dreams, I need to remember that wanting doesn’t guarantee getting and perseverance is essential. I hope that your disappointment will temper my own, even if mine is at my little local show!!

  4. Oh Lisa, I hear you! I’ve watched you agonize over this piece and what did I say to myself, that’s why she wins the ribbons. Same thing with Cathy Wiggins. ..I think the best thing quilters like you guys do for the rest of us, is inspire us to put in the work. I know after my fabric bled on this last piece I said oh well, guess it is time to take it apart. I would never had done that in the past. Before it would have been good enough lol! Keep making those gorgeous quilts but most of all keep sharing and inspiring the rest of us! Thanks

  5. Thank you for this great post and I’m sorry that the one quilt wasn’t accepted. The new one that you are working on looks like it will be stunning and I can’t wait to see it in person at one of the shows.

  6. I often have to remind myself that all these “judgments” that are put forth are very subjective (even though there’s a list of mandatory ‘criteria’ that is followed!) and to have a piece be “rejected” does NOT mean it’s “inferior”. Moving forward to the next idea is, truly, the only way not to dwell/fixate on that decision and be defeated by someone’s (or a panel of “someones”) eval. Your piece is gorgeous and was so much worth all the creative effort put forth. The skills advanced and the learning derived become the invaluable resource/cache for the future!!!!! You and your blog are an inspiration always……..hugs………

  7. I have to agree that “Crown Jewels” just had to be “not quite what we were looking for”, as I think it’s a masterpiece!! Thank you for posting this disappointment, because it is actually ENCOURAGING to me to finally get the nerve to actually enter a quilt into a show (I’m chicken, bock-bock!). Your DVD’s gave me the courage to take a “first step” and enter a “challenge” quilt with my long-arm group. Now, knowing that even “the pros” get turned down occasionally, I won’t take it so personally if I submit a quilt that is not accepted. Keep up the great work – you are such an inspiration to so many of us!!

  8. Pingback: Come to the Quiet | A Quilter's Heart

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