Cheryl’s Small Quilts
Cheryl Sleboda had been doing traditional quilting for several years, but she’d created a sketch book, The Art of Fabric Manipulation, full of designs and ideas. She realized she was never going to be able to make that many large quilts. Besides — where would she put them? At that time (2005-6), ladies were working through an email list called Quilt Art. Once a month, they were doing 8.5” x 11” pieces. Although that project was coming to a close, it sparked the idea that she could work in a smaller format. She decided once a month was not enough time in her studio. Her goal was to be in her studio every day. So, she gave herself three simple rules:
- A finished quilt each week. The binding must be finished by Sunday night.
- Size was 6 x 6.
- Any design.
Cheryl created one small quilt every week for five years, changing the rules every year. During Year Two, she introduced a monthly theme: Pomegranates, Monsters, Robots . . . that year, she started to develop a cartoony style.
Year 3: She changed the size — instead of 6×6, she worked in 8×5 . . . and she started doing more technique work. Inspired by a 1996’s copy of Collette Wolf’s Fabric Manipulation book . . . each quilt had two different squares on it. Cheryl said, “Collette assumed her readers knew how to sew, so she left out the preparation or lead-up. I developed many short cuts that year.”
Cheryl’s Advice to an Emerging Quilt Artist
If you want to build a business, your art must be seen. One way is to enter your work in a Quilt Show or a contest. All the major quilt shows have a “Call for Entry” heading on their websites.
Mancuso Quilt Shows
(https://www.quiltfest.com/): Enter Competitions
American Quilter’s Society (AQS)
(http://www.americanquilter.com/): Contest Details
There are other websites that list “Fiber Art Calls For Entry.” When you find an event that feels like the right fit, the website will list the deadlines, the size requirements, themes, etc. Carefully read the prospectus and the contest rules. Most events or competitions want to see a good photograph of both sides of your quilt, along with a small detail shot. There is usually an entry fee.
Excellent advice about photographing your quilts can be found on the Quilts, Inc. website: