According to a myriad of sources the original word was derived from something grim. American civil war prisoners were held in stockades which had a perimeter delineated. It was understood by those incarcerated that any prisoners who passed this line (twenty feet or so) from the main structure were to be shot.
Dead. Apparently. It was a 'dead' line. Yikes.
Cheerful thought. Deadlines by their very nature make us nervous. Perhaps we subconsciously knew....
Obviously - when trying to complete a quilt for a 'deadline' there is no fear of some stray piece of lead finding its way to our vital organs should we pass the invisible line.
Looking at a deadline from the perspective of a entrant, they offer a goal to achieve, and in a fashion force focus of attention before the looming date. With discretion one will do everything possible to complete the entry well before that magic day. (*insert ironic laughter here)
Life doesn't always go to plan. When one allows insufficient time for a project to be completed, or JUST enough time, it only takes a twitch in the stream of life for the deadline to be missed. I've missed two due to such twitches and my own lack of foresight.
For the situation of those collecting entries it is an approaching day of both entries and excuses. Most entry dates are clearly stated in the entry rules. Some go so far as to state ABSOLUTELY NO LATE ENTRIES.
Ever wonder why that is written?
For those collecting the entries, the lack of entries a few days before the date can raise worrying questions. Are there going to be enough entries? Is the exhibition going to be lame?
The arrival of many entries at the last minute may cause relief or inconvenience (for instance if couriers are arriving all day at a private home) and inevitably some arrive late. If a grace period has been built into this date, all is well. An assumed 'grace period' is not a point to be tried.
Why make an inflexible deadline? Judges may be only available for a particular date, or the quilts may need to be carried to a venue for judging, so any parcel arriving the day after might not be seen - no matter how exquisite. Exhibitions require planning and planning requires time.
What is inspiring this blog? In one week an entry deadline is due that I haven't finished yet. It's taken the pressure of a 'dead line' to overcome my anxiety of failing at this entry.
Some projects are like that.