Yea Me!

Imagine my surprise and elation yesterday at finding this Email in my Inbox--

Hi Kristen,

Congratulations!  You have been selected as a finalist for the 9 by 12 Transformation Challenge being held at Day Style Designs Online!

As a finalist for the contest, your name and quilt title will be shared on The Free Motion Quilting Project tomorrow morning, but I wanted to contact you personally to let you know a day early.

Thank you so much for your participation in this challenge!  If you have any questions about this email or how to pack and ship your piece, please feel free to reply to this email and ask!

Have a wonderful day,

Leah Day

You may remember my struggles with this quilt and my indecision regarding entering the competition.  It is so hard to put yourself out there and have others judge you!  

Years ago, I was a Gymnast.  Competition was what it was all about, the bottom line was winning.  Winning was what the coaches wanted.  Always we were pushed harder and  further than before.  The pressure became unbearable and I quilt.  I realized it wasn't fun anymore.  I didn't enjoy it. No matter how hard I worked, how much I trained to my young eyes everyone was better than me. At this point I swore off all competition

When I entered my Junior year in high school, I knew that I was going to try to seek out some art scholarships.  My art teacher encouraged the development of my portfolio.  I  applied for and was accepted at several art schools.  I even managed to achieve a partial scholarship to one.  By senior year, I was nervous and intimidated by all of those who I deemed better than me. I panicked.  I couldn't face the thought of being Judged.  Of being Judged not good enough. I was worried that the art that I loved would, over time, become a chore, a struggle to succeed.  I didn't want that.  I wanted it to remain an outlet, something fun.  Ultimately, I bailed on Art school and jumped into college totally lost.

I created this quilt for me.  My decision to enter it into the Transformation Challenge was not taken lightly.  I didn't know if I could put myself out there again.  Through some deep and personal searching, not to mention lots of encouragement from family and friends I did enter.  I came to realize that I am Ok with this.  

This quilt, A moment of Time, has become my mantra.  Let me take it one step, one moment at a time.  For now, today, I am proud of who I am. I am proud of what I accomplished.  So my quilting may not be the best.  It is my best.  It is who I am.  Accept it or Not.  At this moment I am me.  

Today, I ship off my quilt to once again be Judged by someone else.  To be scrutinized over, picked apart, analyzed and evaluated.  There are 14 finalists.  Only 8 will be chosen.  We are all putting ourselves out there, our work, our passion. For one Moment in Time we will be Judged.  Then it will be over.  Life will go on.  Whether or not I am chosen, I know I achieved personal success, because I took a chance.  Succeed or fail I am proud of what I did.  

Stop over and check out the other 13 finalists at Leah's Blog.  We are all awesome quilters.
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