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Thread: Do we have any quit show judges here?

  1. #1
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    North East USA
    I have a question (several actually). What do you look for? Why does one quilt that I may think is superior to the quilt that did win, not win? What are the little things that I am not seeing?

  2. #2
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    South central Nebraska, US
    Good questions, I will be "listening" in!

  3. #3
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Home town: Rehoboth, MA Now living in OK
    me too.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Blog Entries
    i'm not a judge, but have been judged a few times...some of the things...
    binding is big...is it 'full' evenly and to the edge? did you stitch the miter closed (lots of people dont know you should) is it even front and back with even crisp miters? is the quilting even/balanced throughout the quilt?and appropriate to the quilt design to enhace, not detract? now construction...are your seams straight, stitches even, any applique or embellishments secure?is it clean, free of odors and pet hair? is it square?
    these are just some of the things they take into consideration; have to add color/design/wow factor...even quilts that take your breath away can miss the mark with judges....sometimes i think it comes down to...too many quilts not enough prizes :( although that shouldn't be...never take it personal and if you have a quilt judged in a show the judge writes up a 'summary' read it, take the recommendations and criticizm as a learning experience and try again. i had a quilt that took a 1st place and viewers choice award in one venue and did not even merit an honorable mention in another...you just never know

  5. #5
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Karen, one of the ladies in my quild was a judge in a recient show last month, and she said they look for color combo, points matching, straight lines in piecing and quilting (such as borders) and workmanship is a biggie! They go over the quilts with shall I say a fine tooth comb.

    Hope this helps.

    With this in mind, I am going to try to enter one in a show in Feb. I need to make it 1st tho. LOL

  6. #6
    Marjpf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Greater Los Angeles Area
    Interesting info. I will be following this thread to find out more.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Southwest Kansas
    I helped with the judging at the fair a few times. The first thing our judge did was check to see if they were square. Any thing that wasn't square was rejected for any ribbons. Then she looked at the piecing, applique, embroidery and quilting. Any thing that didn't measure up was rejected. Then she very closely inspected binding. Those that passed all of those tests were then judged on color and fabric choices. Basically she judge every thing on the technical aspects and then used artistic aspects to determine winners.

  8. #8
    sewfunquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    My sister and I were judges @ two annual quilt shows a few years ago, and ckcowl hit most of the points. There are quilt judging forms to check/review for each quilt submitted.

    I definitely agree with the "is it square" thing first. We would simple fold it over from corner to corner, diagonally, to check that fast. Mitered corners sewn down was a biggie, and binding full. Quilting effect and stitches even. Theme to fit the category was a biggie, as some did not fit the category they entered.

    Yes, when there are many to judge in same category, it makes it more difficult. We would set 6-8 aside in that category that would be "finalists" then go onto another category, and then come back to the finalists for a different look & examination.

    Just enter your quilts...you'll learn more that way, and it's so fun to see your quilt hanging in a show.

  9. #9
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    did you stitch the miter closed (lots of people dont know you should)
    Could you clarify what you mean by that? Do you mean how when you pull it to the back, the binding that folds over onto more binding should be sewn together? Rather than just attaching binding to quilt, pause and do a few stitches on the binding to binding in the corner?

  10. #10
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Odessa, Washington
    I'm not a quilt judge, but a quilt judge on another forum said:

    "It is about 40% judge preference and 60% merit. But the judging results should be based on a lot of things. The biggest question is how well the components of the quilt are done. If that quilt is a basic pattern and is pieced beautifully, that should sit well with the judge. If the quilting design is a basic design and done exquisite, that should sit well with the judge also. But on the flip side, if there is an extremely difficult piecing design and it's done "not so hot", that judge should recognize that fact. The same thing with the quilting and the binding. If the quilting has a very detailed design and it is "not so hot", it should reflect in the judges scores.

    Another thing the judge should look for is how the block pattern, the color choices and the quilting design relate to each other. I.E. A simple 9-Patch most of the time doesn't need to be completely covered in feather wreaths. And if the color choices are dynamic or subtle, the judge shouldn't let her "preferences" show in her choices. This is where the judge should put her "preferences" aside and judge the quilt on the quilter's choices. I.E. If you are the judge and lime green isn't your favorite color, he/she shouldn't penalize that quilt because they don't like green. As the same on the flip side: if Civil War blue is their favorite color, they shouldn't give that quilt preferential treatment. The quilter's designs should stand on their own and if all the quilting overtakes the block pattern and color selection, that will detract from the completed quilt.

    In a nutshell and with a fair judge, the better the execution of the quilt and "reflecting" (not the main factor) on the degree of difficulty, the higher the judge should rank the quilt."

    After being a scribe for a judge, I know she looked at the backs to make sure there were no tucks or pleats quilted into the quilt and she was very picky about the binding being full and even - she really hated the backing being folded over as a binding and machine stitching the bindings on both sides.

    Hope that helps.

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