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Thread: What are quilting judges looking for when they judge a quilt?

  1. #1
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    What are quilting judges looking for when they judge a quilt?

    I've been wondering what the judges look for when they are judging a quilt in competition. I have no desire to enter a quilt but would like to know what they look at so that one or some of my quilt may someday be worthy.
    Sandy

  2. #2
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    first & foremost--workmanship-
    then balance, visual appeal, the quilting being (an asset) to the quilt-
    the binding being well stitched, even, full.
    and workmanship!
    also- anything show or catagory dependant.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    You can find lots of information in previous QB threads on judging.
    Quilt Show Judges
    Questions about quilt show judges
    Quilt Judges and Quilt Police
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  4. #4
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    Everything has to be well done from the blocks to the quilting to the binding. A simple quilt that is very well done will rate better than an elaborate quilt poorly done. I was actually told that by a certified quilt judge. I would also like to encourage you to enter shows. I took all the judge's comments to heart and improved much more rapidly than if I had not had that experience.

  5. #5
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I was told that if two quilts are neck and neck in the judging, the binding will be the tie breaker. Binding must be even, fully packed with batting, and hand sewn on the back. Corners are especially scrutinized. They should lay flat and the miter should be stitched closed.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  6. #6
    Super Member dunster's Avatar
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    I helped the judge at the fair by laying out the quilts for judging. One of the things she checked was whether opposite sides measured the same. It was surprising that some of them were far off.

  7. #7
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    And binding was one of my questions.....is there a preferred size? I cut mine at 2 1/2" and did wonder about how or if they cared if it was full. I always hand sew to the back of the quilt. My goal is to try to make a quilt that would qualify. My tendency is "close is good".....riding fast on a horse it could/couldn't be obvious. But I'm ready now to greatly improve. And more often than not my pressing leaves a bit to be desired. Thank you to those that answered.
    Sandy

  8. #8
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyl View Post
    And binding was one of my questions.....is there a preferred size? I cut mine at 2 1/2" and did wonder about how or if they cared if it was full. I always hand sew to the back of the quilt. My goal is to try to make a quilt that would qualify. My tendency is "close is good".....riding fast on a horse it could/couldn't be obvious. But I'm ready now to greatly improve. And more often than not my pressing leaves a bit to be desired. Thank you to those that answered.
    Sandy
    the reason why I mentioned the binding is a judge in the local fair saw one of my quilts and urged me to enter it, but she said I would need to re-do the binding. I had sewn it by machine, as I do all my quilts, so I guess shows are out for me.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  9. #9
    Super Member dunster's Avatar
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    I don't think the width of the binding matters much (although you might want to make the binding on a small wall hanging narrower than that on a kingsize quilt). The important things are that it is even and full, corners mitered and hand stitched down. I don't know whether there's a firm bias against machine binding for all quilts. It seems to me that if it's well done, it should be considered for prizes.

  10. #10
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    I entered 3 quilts in our fair this year and received two 2nd place ribbons and one 1st place ribbon. All of my bindings were machine sewn. I did get a comment on one of the 2nd place quilts that my binding needed improving.The other 2 comment sections didn't even mention the binding. Part of my reason for entering was the judge's comments, especially regarding my machine sewn binding.
    I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business. - Michael J. Fox

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