I, too, have noticed this phenomenon. Even our county fair seems to be edging over to the other side. So where are all the traditional quilt entries? Hmmmm? Are we too scared to enter? Is it because we don't feel like our workmanship is up to par? What is it? Does it take too long to finish a traditional quilt? What? What?
"One element of the contest, however, surprised me a great deal—I still can’t get over it. The last time I paid attention to quilt contests, the categories with the most quilts seemed to be traditional quilts.
It is not so any longer. The entries have dropped so low in traditional pieced and traditional appliqué that there is only one category for each—no longer are there two categories with one being large quilts and the other being small. What happened!? Where are all of the traditional quilts? Are we traditional quiltmakers intimidated by the non-traditional quilts? Are we not competitive? Are we not finishing our quilts? Or, heaven forbid, are there less of us!!!??? Whatever the reason, there is now lots of room at the top for anyone who will enter in traditional categories. Lets get going!!"
I like traditional quilts. I've made a few in my life time. I have also made some art quilts. Granted, the art quilts are a smaller, wall-hanging size, and are therefore sometimes quicker to make depending on the techniques used. But I love the graphic potential of a repeated pattern in the traditional style quilt.
So where am I going with this? I'm going to challenge you to make a traditional quilt that is show worthy. And then enter it in a show! I'm going to do it. Are you?
Update 10/8/07: Jeana Kimball has addressed this on her blog/site. I encourage you to visit this post on further information about traditional quilts and quilt shows.