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Thread: Help! Looking for quilt judging criteria sheet

  1. #1
    Member nakuna's Avatar
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    Help! Looking for quilt judging criteria sheet

    I would like to lead a discussion At our guild meeting on the criteria used in judging quilts at a show. None of us have ever entered a quilt in a show. I have looked on line but with little success. I am hoping one of you might have a point sheet or checklist used to judge. Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    this book would be a good place to start
    http://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Make-P...pr_product_top

    Judging can take place either before or after the quilts are hung, and each method has advantages. Judging quilts after they are hung allows the visual impact of the quilt to be better appreciated. Judging quilts before they are hung is usually faster, but visual impact takes second place to the ability to view the workmanship.

    Judges often use scorecards or evaluation forms and either a point system, an elimination system or a combination of the two to evaluate the individual entries. The point system uses a predetermined maximum number of points to judge specific areas, for example, up to 20 points for the color and design, up to 20 points for construction, up to 15 points for finishing, etc., with the total equaling 100 points. Each quilt is judged on its own merits, and the quilt with the highest total number of points is awarded the first place.

    The elimination system, on the other hand, allows each judge to evaluate a quilt, make comments on its technique and offer feedback for improvement. If the judge feels the quilt should be held for ribbon/award consideration, it is put aside. If not, it is released from the competition portion. After the quilts are judged in this preliminary fashion, the held quilts are compared to others in its category and the winners are determined.

    Neither system is perfect. Regardless, judges evaluate quilts against the same standards. Here are just a few of the commonly held standards that judges use:

    General Appearance

    The quilt makes an overall positive statement upon viewing
    The quilt is clean and “ready to show,” i.e., no visible marks, no loose threads, no pet hair, no bearding, no offensive odors.
    The quilt’s edges are not distorted. This is easier to gauge when the quilt is hung.
    Design and Composition

    All the individual design elements of the quilt – top, quilting, choice of fabric, sashes, borders, embellishments, finishing – are unified.
    The design is in proportion and balanced.
    Borders or other edge treatments enhance the quilt appearance.
    Workmanship

    Piecing is precise, corners match and points are sharp.
    Seams, including those of sashing and borders, are secure, straight and flat.
    Quilting stitches are straight where intended and curved where intended.
    As noted, judges consider certain “standards” when evaluating quilts – and the list is really quite extensive – but how do they decide which quilts are the prizewinners? And what is more important, design or workmanship? In the end I think it comes down to design, the quilt with the greater visual impact. But even the quilt with the greatest visual impact cannot rescue poor workmanship (from the IAQ website)

    good pointers here, from SewCalGal
    http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2011/0...w-judging.html

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    KalamaQ has given you a good summary.

    Please keep in mind that each organization may have different scorecards. Some may not even have score cards for each quilt, and only the Judge truly knows how s/he comes to the decision. Some shows require the Judges to leave comments with each quilt. Some do not and then they may or may not give a comment, pro or con.

    One Judge told me the first elimination she makes is ...
    1) is the quilt in the correct class -- correct sizes, correct criteria met
    2) is the quilt the same width across the top/bottom and along the sides -- a few quick flips and they have that answer
    3) are the corners square? -- very easily seen when doing the flips above
    4) is the binding full, tight and straight? -- again, quickly viewed
    5) is the general appearance that of quality workmanship? -- are crooked seams, mismatched corners, chopped off points etc. are jumping out from the quilt without really looking for them?

    She told me that sometimes it sorts itself pretty quickly with those five ... then after that, there can be a challenge. Or sometimes the challenge is which to bring back from the first ones eliminated, if she does not have enough for ribbon placings.

    Even with judging guidelines and scorecards ... a lot is still very much a personal opinion. Anyone entering does need to have broad shoulders as sometimes you will not agree with the Judge! As is the case in many other judged events.
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  4. #4
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    All these suggestions are wonderful to read. I've only entered 1 quilting show/contest and was so happy to earn the 1st place slot. I didn't receive a scorecard or even suggestions or comments about my entry. But, when I visit a judged show, I'm often curious about how the judges arrived at their rankings.

    I think it's totally unfair to judge hand quilting against machine quilting. I like to see human pieced quilts rather than embroidery machine blocks. I mean, really, are we judging how much $$$ people have to spend on a fancy machine? Or are we concerned about the value of a person's abilities to take pieces of cloth and make masterpieces from them?

    I'm sure many will have other opinions about judging... it's good to get many opinions, I think.
    --- Jean

    I'd rather spend money on my quilting hobby than the therapist.... I'm probably $$$ ahead.... and I'm happy!!

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    KalamaQuilts - thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered that book. Reviews on it are great.

    nakuna - an excellent way to get familiar with the judging at the local quilt shows is to volunteer to assist during judging. The assistants typically hold up the quilts for the judge, or keep the records. If one of your quilts is being judged you will be expected to leave the area. You not only get to see the quilts up close and personal before the show opens, but you get to hear some of the thoughts of the judges. I have assisted with the judging at a guild's quilt show and also at the county fair. We also had a quilt judge as a guest speaker at a guild meeting.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanna-up-north View Post
    .............I think it's totally unfair to judge hand quilting against machine quilting...............
    Most shows that I have been to, do segregate hand-quilting from machine. Many are now segregating DSM from LA. And within each of those categories, there may be separate classes according to size, style, theme, etc. It really depends on the show, and the number of entries from the past. It's important to give feedback, instead of grumbling silently, as if they do not hear it, they may never think of it as an issue.

    Likewise, some will segregate applique to its own class. Some it does not matter how much applique (one itty bitty piece). Some that there must be 30% applique minimum (for example).

    Sometimes interpreting the rules/criteria is worse than making the quilts and entering them! Also, the definitions from one show to another may be totally different. Sad but unfortunately, true! This has been my frustration in entering into the shows ..... and to get a clear answer when I inquire in advance, my biggest frustration!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  7. #7
    Super Member ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    When I entered into quilt shows in the late 80's you did NOT always get any written critics from the judges. But the one item I have watched judges look at the closest is the binding. They looked at the corner, the straightness, the stitching on the back and especially the corners.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  8. #8
    Member nakuna's Avatar
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    Thank you thank you soooooooo much. I knew someone here could help

  9. #9
    Super Member Billi's Avatar
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    Great question Nakuna, and some really detailed well informed answers which gave me I little insight to the competition world of quilting. I know now that I will never venture into that area of quilting, my shoulders are not strong enough for that kind of scrutiny.
    Billi
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood



  10. #10
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Have you done a search of the other threads asking this question?
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/search....archid=8454190
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/search....archid=8454221

    I attended a lecture on what judges look for given by an NQA certified judge. Bottom line is this: The primary thing to remember is that they are not judging HOW something is done, but how EFFECTIVELY it is done. A simpler technique done brilliantly will win over a more complex technique done just passably, all else being equal.

    She also said that when it comes to Best of Show, it boils down to comparing two qualities among the class winners: degree of difficulty and complexity of design. The more decisions a quilter has to make in the creation of a quilt, the more chances that something will be “off”. Making the right decision each time counts for a lot!
    Last edited by ghostrider; 03-10-2014 at 06:41 AM.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

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