This week I had a great opportunity to interview award winning quilter Renae Haddadin from Quilts on the Corner in Sandy, UT. Renae has been a quilter for many years and has won numerous awards in many quilt shows.
She answered a few questions about what goes into a “show” quilt.
How long does a ‘show’ quilt take you to longarm on average?
It usually takes me about 500-700 hours for the longarm quilting. That is a rough estimate based on the days and approximate hours. I don’t really clock in and out to measure the time.
Do you leave the quilt on your longarm the whole time? Or do you take it on and off as you work on it?
I leave it on the machine. I usually work pretty consistently once I get going on a show quilt. I work a lot of hours until it is done. Usually there is a show/date as a goal and I work towards that.
Have you partnered with someone to do the piecing and you do the longarming?
Yes, the last two quilts and the next one have quilt tops that are designed and appliquéd by Karen Kay Buckley. Then the quilting designs are created by me.
When a quilt is “juried” into a show, what does that mean?
Some shows have a “jury”. This means that photos of all the quilt entries are looked at. The quilts that are accepted into the show are usually narrowed down to make sure that all the categories are balanced and there is a variety of quilt styles.
If your quilt is accepted into a show, do you pay a fee to enter it?
Yes, most shows have a nominal fee. It is usually less if you are a member of their group.
Do you just get a ribbon and recognition or are there cash prizes?
Both. Some shows give just ribbons, some offer cash or prize awards in addition to ribbons.
Do you charge a fee for longarming show quilts or do you agree to split any cash winnings?
Karen Kay Buckley and I co-own the quilts we create. We split any prize money. People can make whatever agreements they are comfortable with. Back when I was regularly quilting for customers I charged a fee for my quilting. Any prize money their quilt won, belonged to them. Many of my clients gave me a thank you gift or shared the prize if they won. Again, these details should be discussed prior quilting their quilt to avoid troubles or hurt feelings.
Have you entered one quilt in multiple shows?
Yes, many of my quilts have been entered in multiple shows.
What’s the most number of ribbons one single quilt has won for you so far?
I’m afraid I haven't kept track of that.
Do you go to all of the shows your quilts are in?
No. I am often at the shows where my quilts are, but sometimes I can’t attend.
How do you ship your quilts to the show?
I roll and then spiral the quilt and then place it in a box. I have a YouTube video showing how I do this. (View HERE)
Do you always bury every thread end when it’s a ‘show’ quilt?
Yes. (You can view Renae's video to bury short threads HERE.)
Do you use one layer of batting or two on a show quilt?
I have been using 2 layers of batting for about 13 years.
Do you insure your show quilts before you send them out?
I have my quilts on my business policy so they are covered wherever they might be.
You and Karen Kay Buckley have won several awards now for Fiesta Mexico and Majestic Mosaic.
Do you two have any other show quilts in the works?
Yes, I am just starting the quilting on our third collaboration.
Who gets to keep the quilt after it’s done being in the shows?
The first became property of the AQS museum so we didn’t have to worry about ownership. Magnificent Mosaic will likely remain with Karen because she loves it. I really love the next one so maybe it will become mine. Both of us are more interested in making the quilts than owning them. We both really love the process. Once I am finished with a quilt my love moves on to the next one.
Have you or are you partnering with any other well know quilters?
No. I am trying to keep up with Karen. She seems to finish the tops faster than I can finish the quilting.
If you could pick one aspect of show quilting vs every day quilting that is very different, what would it be?
The intricacy of the show quilting is very complex. Just the sheer amount of quilting is much more dense in show quilting. I am also very exact in my measuring.
Thank you so much to Renae for the insightful information into the dynamics of a quilt show quilt! So after hearing Renae’s answers – are you ready to make a show quilt? Do you think you'd like to make a show quilt completely on your own or partner with someone?
You can get tips and instructions on how to quilt like Renae in her book Fill'er Up!