Saturday, February 20, 2016

Contests or Collaborations in Quilling

The NAQG Winter
Newsletter with Quilling
covered tree!
I found the winter edition of Quill America (the newsletter of the North American Quilling Guild) in my mailbox yesterday.  I was happy to see that the highlighted project on the front cover was "Festival of Trees:  Quilling Around the World."  This was the project that I had contributed to in October last year.  On the cover you can see the fully decorated tree, decked out with quilling.  And you can see close-ups of the tree-topper, a lacy angel in white.  I'm very proud to have contributed to such a beautiful tree.

And more fun was to be had upon opening up the newsletter.  Turns out the organizer took the time to photograph and catalog everyone's contributions!  I was surprised to find my own quilling right there in the newsletter :)  Warm fuzzies!  I felt my work was very appreciated.  I hope the tree raised a nice sum for the charity.  This was a very fun project, and I certainly enjoyed being a part of a larger creation like this, and for a good cause.
There are my ornaments in the circle!
It was so nice that the organizer took this
time to highlight all of our contributions!

This makes me think a great deal about contests versus collaborations.  None of us has infinite time to spend on quilling and so has to strategize what they will do with that time, and what they won't.  I much, much prefer to get involved with collaborative projects like this one.  I enjoy the feeling of all working together to a common cause, and the sense of community that engenders. 

Now, I have certainly entered quilling contests, and will no doubt do so again in the future.  But I do it mostly because that seems to be the go-to way for us to share our quilling with one another.  But I don't prefer it - quilling is already such a solo endeavor, it seems to be more enjoyable to me when more people are involved.  I also think it makes for a stronger sense of community.  I like seeing other people's quilling, but it does not have to be a contest for me to want to do that.

I'd really love to see more emphasis placed on community/collaborative work, and less on contests.  I'd like to see us move towards a model where we focus on these group projects and build strong community connections.  Winning a contest can be fun, no doubt.  But it just seems like there is too much importance placed on the contests.  What do you think?

Image Credits:  My pix of my own NAQG Newsletter

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