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What do Quilt Show Judges Look For?

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Diana Posted: Fri, Oct 2 2009 1:39 PM

Just an inquiry here.  I'm wondering what quilt show judges look for?   Do they ever look at the backs?  I went to the small local show and I like to see what they used on the backs of their quilts.  One quilt was long arm quilted and the back was a mess.  Big folds (up to 1" wide and 10 inches long), and very messy.  I would have given it back to the long-arm quilter if I had paid to have it done.   They are having less and less quilts there to show.  They only had a total of 55 items.  5 people took 13 of the 18 awards.  Maybe no one wants to even think of competing cuz they know they wouldn't win.  It just seems very sad.   I went to another show today about 1 1/2 hour away and the quilts were absolutely beautiful.  Even the backs were nice and even and flat.   The people were so much friendlier and there was a great cat quilt that a man did and it was his first quilt.  Wow...it was fun to see. 

Diana from East Tn.

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Thea replied on Fri, Oct 2 2009 2:20 PM

Diana, it is all subjective if you ask me...lol

I think that you have to watch where you are placing a quilt and find out if the judges are local or certified... most shows will give you the criteria of what a judge will be looking for.

If the back of a quilt looks that bad - then yes the LA would be picking out all the stitches if it was mine...

I, also, feel that the LA quilts should be in a separate category and it should be at least a 2 person making the quilt category... Having an amateur and a professional judged the same just isn't right.

 

 

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MNnancy replied on Fri, Oct 2 2009 9:36 PM

Althea :
I, also, feel that the LA quilts should be in a separate category and

I hadn't thought about that before, but now that you bring it up, I agree!  What a different experience long-arm quilting vs. quilting on a tradional sewing machine vs. hand quilting.  Definitely those should be different categories!


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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gini replied on Fri, Oct 2 2009 10:21 PM

diana, they look at everything, but different judges focus on different aspects.    they like a quilt to hang straight, most are pretty fussy over that.  and they like the sleeves neat.   they like even stitching, not necessarily tiny.  they like the quilts clean.  they look at over all design and use of color.  some focus on innovation.    every judge weights their decision on what's most important to them.   hope this helped.    gini

gini in north idaho

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Diana replied on Sat, Oct 3 2009 7:59 AM

Thanks Gini and everyone for your input.  I agree that professionsl long-arm quilting should be judged separately from home machine quilting.  There are a couple of those in the local show that long-arm quilt professionally.  Their own quilts are judged along with the ones that machine quilt with a regular sewing machine.  I didn't think that was fair.  Just my own thoughts.   They've also done away with tied quilts.  I think they should have a category just for those.  I've seen beautiful quilts that the colors, patterns, workmanship is just as nice as any others.  But because it's tied instead of hand or machine quilted, it's overlooked.   I have been told by long time quilters that unless it's all done by hand, piecing and quilting, it's not a quilt.  To each her own but I think any 3 pieces put together to keep warm under should be considered a quilt, whether it's by hand or machine.  If it's made with Love, It's a Quilt.  

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I'm with you Diana. A lot of work goes into the making of them either way.

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masufa replied on Sat, Oct 3 2009 9:47 AM

Diana, At our local quilt show the judge's biggest thing was square corners and she didn't like pieced backs and although she didn't judge against it she hated pieces of threads laying on the quilt. It got to be very funny at one time because every quilt she looked at she found a piece of thread or hair (dog and cat) one lady that was there said she had her quilt wrapped in plastic and just before she delivered it she went over it with a lint roller but the judge still found something on her quilt.

Masufa

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Bianca replied on Sat, Oct 3 2009 9:58 AM

 Big folds (up to 1" wide and 10 inches long), and very messy.

 

That is sad. I think of myself a messy quilter. I don't pay that much attention to detail, and hardly every pick out stitches, if I can get away with it. But not even I would do that to the back of a Quilt, and I certainly would not be entering it into a Show.

But then I wondered also when I saw some of the Quilts at my local County Fair this summer. Seams gapping, knots on top of Quilts, marking on the quilts, and other such things. Now I wouldn't have been proudly displaying such work at a Fair. But then I was surprised these got ribbons, and nicer, and technical better quilts got nothing. So some Shows, I believe, are popularity votes, not skill.

Bianca

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