Rejection: A 12 Step Program for You


Songbird #5 by Laura Wasilowski (REJECTED!)

Two decades ago I made a list of how to deal with rejection when entering quilt shows. And to this day I still get the dreaded rejection letter. REJECTED I tell you! But do I feel rejected? No! I am as happy as a little bird flying home for the night. How did I get this optimistic point of view? I follow this 12 -Step Rejection Recovery Program:

1. Burn the rejection notice.  Rip it up into tiny little pieces and light a match.  As the bad news goes up in flames chant, “There are no bad quilts, just bad eyesight.”

2. Have a day of mourning.  Drape the quilt in black ribbons and remember the good times: cutting the fabric, fusing the little pieces together, and binding the quilt while watching soap operas.  Those were the days.

3. Have a good cry.  Use newly purchased fabric from your local quilt shop to dry your tears.

4. Get a tattoo.  My friend Frieda’s tattoo says, “I love my quilts!”  Make sure to get large type so you can still read it at age 90.

5. Document the entry fees as charitable donations on your tax forms.  Consider yourself a patron of the arts and get a refund as well.

6. Write a tune of lament like my song “Everybody Gets Rejected Sometime”.  I like a song you can dance to or at least shake you fists.

7. Eat chocolate.  The smell of baking brownies always calms me down.  Once I eat a pan-full of gooey chocolate goodies, hurtful memories are completely erased.

8. Complain to your friends.  There is nothing like a good rant to cheer you up.  Make audacious claims of incompetence in the quilt judging system, the crazier the better.

9. Consider a new occupation.  I, for instance, pursued my dream to be a rocket scientist.  Then I realized I was on the wrong trajectory and returned to earth.

10. Buy the quilt show.  If you own the quilt show you can have your quilts on display any time.  Award yourself prizes.

11. Hang the rejected quilt in a prominent spot in your home. Kiss it every morning, pat it on the binding, and tell it how pretty it is.

12. Make a new quilt.  Make something cheerful and colorful like this Songbird returning home. And just like a little bird in flight, you too will be happy.


Going to Grand Rapids?

Young Forest #5 by Laura Wasilowski

Young Forest #5 by Laura Wasilowski

This summer, three of SAQA’s art quilt exhibits can be found in Grand Rapid, MI. Both Seasonal Palette and Food for Thought will be on display at the newly renovated Gerald R. Ford Museum from July 1 through August 31st. The exhibit, People & Portraits will be on view as part of AQS Quilt Week in Grand Rapids from August 10-13.


Young Forest #5 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

Sadly, this is your last chance to see Seasonal Palette. But happily my quilt, Young Forest #5, is part of this exhibit. I’m told this is one of SAQA’s most popular exhibitions having been viewed by over 100,000 people around the globe. 

Ah! Those Chicken Memories

Chicken Dreams by Laura Wasilowski

Chicken Dreams by Laura Wasilowski

About 20 years ago I made a series of quilts about chickens. Like many of you, I had caught chicken fever and was enamored with their bright colors and charm. But soon my chicken mania diminished, and I put them to bed thinking they were silly and not so charming.


Chicken Music and his friends being packed for their journey.

But I’m over that now and am so happy I have my collection of chicken quilts. In fact, these fine fowl are on their way to Oregon for the Friday evening Picnic in the Park celebration at the Quilter’s Affair show in Sisters. I’m the guest speaker this year and will happily show off my hens and sing a song or two. Hope you can be there!

Name That Scissors?

imageHere’s one last photo from Melbourne, Australia. The Australasian Quilt Convention that I attended was held at this beautiful building, the Royal Exhibition Building (built in 1880).

scissoroosAnd here is an image of a fun pair of scissors given to me by a lovely student at the show. Can you guess what type of scissors these are? Why, scissoroos, of course!

Quilting Down Under



I’m happy to announce that the jet lag from my trip to the Australasian Quilt Conference in Melbourne, Australia is slowly receding. It was wonderful to be with the Aussie quilters, who are both friendly and welcoming.  But that 16 hour flight (plus 4 hours to LAX) is hard on this old quilter.

Here you see the art quilts made by students in the Tiny Homes class. Aren’t they fun? This class is always an adventure and a surprise. You never know what people can imagine in fabric. Thank you quilters of Australia!




Packing for Paducah

fabricboxesFrieda and I are off to the lovely state of Kentucky soon for the American Quilter Society Show in Paducah. It seems all we do is pack and unpack fabric, thread, patterns and quilts. That’s the not so fun part of travel.

artfabrikboothThe fun part of travel is visiting with our quilt friends from around the world like this famous chicken quilter. Perhaps you know him? Hope to see you in Paducah. We’re in booth 1224 (think Christmas Eve).