The author gave me permission to post this.
Why Quilt Judges Are Not the “Quilt Police”
Both Quilt Judges and “quilt police” can strike fear in your heart. Some think they are one and the same. There are important distinctions.
Quilt Police believe there is only One Right Way to do things. They believe rules must be followed. They focus on the less than perfect, rather than the achievements of the quilt maker. Quilt Police may discredit a quilt with machine quilting, or fuisible raw-edge appliqué, or paint as not a “proper quilt” Quilt Police speak their minds without regard to who might be listening.
Quilt Judges dedicate themselves to learning many different techniques, trying their hand at as many as possible. They empathize and understand the difficulty in any particular technique. Quilt judges are cheerleaders, urging competitors to work toward their own personal best. Sarah Thornton, writing in "Seven Days in the Art World", quoted Nick Serota, “Judges themselves are invisible, but they know that their decisions will be keenly felt.”
Every quilt judge, perhaps every quilt maker, can relate to Lind Luggens’ joy in discovering that her grandson saw greatness in her work.
With permission of Beverly Fine, NQACJ. Printed in “Quilting Quarterly”, Winter 2010
“Quilting Quarterly” is the quarterly publication of the National Quilting Association.