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Thread: Do we have any quit show judges here?

  1. #1
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    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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    Good questions, I will be "listening" in!

  3. #3
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    me too.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    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
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    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
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    Interesting info. I will be following this thread to find out more.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    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?
    I understood it to mean that the little diagonal folds across the corner when it is finished should be stitched down (both sides). I do this at the same time that I am sewing the binding to the back of the quilt.

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    that is correct, when you fold the binding into the miter you should stitch it from the point down to the quilts so it is 'closed'no little pocket to catch and tear.l

    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    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?

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I think the miter is supposed to be hand sewn closed. For quilt shows, you want to hand stitch the entire binding on the final edge (machine sew to back first, then handsew to front).

  14. #14
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I think the miter is supposed to be hand sewn closed. For quilt shows, you want to hand stitch the entire binding on the final edge (machine sew to back first, then handsew to front).
    Oh, I always machine sew onto the front, and hand sew on the back - have I been doing it back to front all these years?

  15. #15
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    This year I entered my first quilt for judging, and I was able to be in the room when the judging took place. They definately look at all of the above, and they often noted and liked "unusual" touches...the unexpected little color or pattern. They also like fussy cutting, quilting pattern matching the quilt. And the borders must be flat, not wavy. Added things like prairie points and flanges got noticed a lot.

  16. #16
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I think the miter is supposed to be hand sewn closed. For quilt shows, you want to hand stitch the entire binding on the final edge (machine sew to back first, then handsew to front).
    Oh, I always machine sew onto the front, and hand sew on the back - have I been doing it back to front all these years?
    No, you are right. Sew onto the front and hand hem to the back with invisible stitch. The miter should be hand sewn closed.

  17. #17
    Super Member tkhooper's Avatar
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    Thanks for explaining the correct finishing for the mitred corners.

  18. #18
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I would like to thank everyone for their comments to this thread. I am going to make one to enter in a show in Feb 2011 and I appreciate all the advise.

  19. #19
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Oh, I always machine sew onto the front, and hand sew on the back - have I been doing it back to front all these years?[/quote]

    That's the way I do it too!

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jljack
    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I think the miter is supposed to be hand sewn closed. For quilt shows, you want to hand stitch the entire binding on the final edge (machine sew to back first, then handsew to front).
    Oh, I always machine sew onto the front, and hand sew on the back - have I been doing it back to front all these years?
    No, you are right. Sew onto the front and hand hem to the back with invisible stitch. The miter should be hand sewn closed.
    Oops! Sorry about that. Don't know why I was thinking backwards.....

  21. #21
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    I didn't know anyone had replied to this. Somehow I missed it all. Thank you. I entered my first quilt into a show back in the eraly 90's. I won Honorable Mention. This upset me terrible because the place winners had IMO really bad errors that mine didn't. Morover there was no reason on the judges card. I still have no idea why my quilt didn't do better.

    Another thing I noticed and don't like is the "best" quilts are shipped from show to show all around and are judged and take top prises in show after show. I disagree with this. If you enter a show and win a prize you should not be able to enter it into any other shows. Leave some prizes for the rest of us. Just my opinion. What do you think?

  22. #22
    Super Member tkhooper's Avatar
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    why not just make two categories. One for national and one for local. If you want yours to travel enter the "national category" if you want to just be judged in one show enter the "local category".

  23. #23
    Super Member tkhooper's Avatar
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    I remember one contest when I was a kid. One of the requirements was that it be original.

    I got an honorable mention and the first place went to a snoppy theme.

    My family was hot, really hot.

  24. #24
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwhite
    I didn't know anyone had replied to this. Somehow I missed it all. Thank you. I entered my first quilt into a show back in the eraly 90's. I won Honorable Mention. This upset me terrible because the place winners had IMO really bad errors that mine didn't. Morover there was no reason on the judges card. I still have no idea why my quilt didn't do better.

    Another thing I noticed and don't like is the "best" quilts are shipped from show to show all around and are judged and take top prises in show after show. I disagree with this. If you enter a show and win a prize you should not be able to enter it into any other shows. Leave some prizes for the rest of us. Just my opinion. What do you think?
    I don't know how quilt showing works, but in the horse show world you have classes for amateurs and open classes. It varies from one breed registery to another but for the most part, if you make money from training horses or have won a certain amount of blue ribbons you cannot enter in the amateur classes. This keeps the playing field somewhat fair but you still get what we call "professional amateurs". Those who have all the money in the world to send their horse off to a big name trainer and keep it there all year and only get on to ride in the amateur class. Kinda hard for us backyard horse owners to compete against that. :) Anyways, seems like they would have something like that for quilt shows. Once a quilt has won a certain amount of ribbons, it would no longer be eligible for a certain class level. But I guess if a person has made something so fabulous that it wins everywhere it goes, they deserve to show it as much as they want to. *shrug* Horse showing has taught me that nothing can ever be totally fair to everyone involved. Having fun is what matters. :)

  25. #25
    Super Member tkhooper's Avatar
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    Agreed, I love showing my quilt off to friends that will be nice, but I would never, ever put one in a judged show. I'm not that good and I don't ever intend to be that good. I do these because I love them. And that is enough for me booboo's and all.

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