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Thread: entering quilt in fair

  1. #1
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    All of my friends and family said that I should enter my quilt in the fair this year. So I bit the bullet and entered it. I did not win anything. My family stated that was okay at least you did it and it is hanging up.
    My questions is what are they looking at when judging? I entered in the beginners since I have just started back quilting after years plus I am learning new and better ways of doing things. I sew the top on the machine and did the final quilting by hand. So is everyone looking at machine quilting now and not the hand work? :(

  2. #2

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    Good for you for entering! I know that's always a tough decision -- can you part with your quilt for that long!?!?

    I can only answer for my local county fair, but the judges in the past several years have not been quilters and are more versed in clothing and other homemaking topics. We've found that quilters who are using new techniques are receiving lesser awards and odd comments becuase of this. We don't take it to heart becuase we know the judges aren't all-knowing about quilting.

    A good way to find out what judges look for is to ask them. Go to quilt shows and ask the judges exactly what they check for. Many times a quilt is only evaluated for 60 to 90 seconds.

    Two of the big things are even stitching and does your batting go all the way to the edge of the binding.

    If you are part of a Guild, maybe you can invite a certified quilt judge to give a presentation to your group....?

    Hope this helps.....


  3. #3
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Have you posted a picture here yet, we would love to see it. all quilts inspire and we will love yours. :D :D :D :D :D :D

  4. #4
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    It really depends on the judge! Your fair may not have had a "quilt expert" judge. What kind of fair was it? Did they give you any feedback at all? Usually they will make some kind of comment.

    It's also important to enter into the right category - most fairs have MANY options, including categories for people who just do the piecing and then have it sent off to a professional machine quilter.

  5. #5

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    It's just our local county fair. Not a big affair.

    I have a few pix posted on the picture page.....

  6. #6
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Yes, it does depend on the judges, what they are looking for. A "certified" judge looks at the overall quilt - the design, is it pleasing to the eye, does it hang straight and that sort of thing. Then, more closely, is the binding full? Are the stitches straight & if machine done, was the tension correct? Is the quilting even & is there enough quilting? Lots of stuff to look at, and depending on how many quilts in the show, how many judges for the show & do they have scribes (helpers to write down their comments), it's true, they may only have a minute or 2 to make their decision on each quilt. Consider this - if there are 60 quilts in the show & the judges are only alloted 3 hours for judging...that's 3 minutes per quilt :!: :!: :!: They try to be as objective as they can - I'm not sure I could be a judge!!! The good judges do try to give constructive comments and do it in a positive way too.
    Just think of all the people who got to enjoy your quilt because you entered it Chamby! You probably inspired at least ONE to start a quilt when they got home :D

  7. #7
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Been a while since my county fair days, but the entry book used to have the judging criteria. Judges are just giving their own opinions, based on their own experiences and tastes. I give them the same consideration I do for movie or restaurant critics. I consider their views, but ultimately rely on my own preferencees.

    Some of the most beautiful quilts I've seen were not technical wonders. They just called to me in different ways.

    Somewhere I have a batch of those old ribbons waiting to end up on a crazy quilt.

  8. #8
    live2teach's Avatar
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    Good for you or entering. :) I can only speak for my local fair. To be honest, it depends, they judge each item different...seriously and there is no beginner level at our fair, there are just categories. I didn't get a chance to enter anything this year, my family and friends kept after me to put some things in, but time flew by before I realized so I didn't get to enter anything. Congrats on entering your projects, sometimes the items that win, you would think they might not and others that don't win, you might think they should. Sometimes it is hard to "decode" what the judges are really judging. However, there is always next year...:)

  9. #9
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    Thanks,
    About parting with my quilt. It was like a child behind. I caught myself telling the lady to make sure she does not lose my quilt and to take care of it. Isn't that funny to care that much about an object.

  10. #10
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    I have not. I will have my daughter in law take a picture of it hanging at the fair and then I will post the picture. Should be posted sometime next week.

  11. #11
    Suz
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    We (myself and two others) accompanied a judge at a local show to learn how to judge. I recall four things not mentioned above.

    She looked at points: where they meet and were they chopped off.

    Is the quilt clean meaning strings floating on top of the quilt and/or hanging out of the seams and also for animal hairs.

    She checked the binding, its consistent width, and particularly the corners as well as it being full as mentioned above.

    Lastly, she would fold and measure (just the best four or five remaining for ribbons) to make sure the sides are the same.

    I haven't judged but have been judged.

    Suzanne


  12. #12
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    I have entered some of my sewing of garments and displays for organizations, but I never had the nerve to enter one of my babies. They are to close to my heart but I sure love that you did it!

    Our local guilds supply two judges along with the local extension agent. They are supposed to stick to the criteria that's listed in the book for the county fair, but I'm not sure they do that. I don't question their ability to judge, just the ability to be unbiased for a particular color, block, etc. If there is a participant from their own guild they are not allowed to judge it, so that gives a better outlook to me.

    I can't wait to see your quilt, they are so much fun to look at and always an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing and maybe next year I won't have given away everything I've done and I'll be able to enter one....

    Happy Quilting,
    Sharon

  13. #13
    Super Member 3incollege's Avatar
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    Yesterday I spent all day at a judging day for our guilds quilt show.It was very interesting to help I was not a scribe, but a fanner.
    we had 110 quilts to judge by a AQS judge and she was very informative.
    The binding seemed to be very important ,hide those knots and stitches!and make sure that the corners are well done. another big item is the points on triangles , no cut offs please. and the fabric choses have to go with the theme of the quilt. the boarders lay flat and nothing disordered. when she looks on the back it must be smooth and she doesn't want to see where the guiltings ends and starts. It seems she always like multiple boarders.
    I think the most important thing is that we enter our quilts so that every one can enjoy them. and the veiwers are not going to pick them apart.
    we are diffently not doing it for the prize money.I got 3 second place this year at my fair and a check for $12. oh I got a judges choice award yesterday. our show is not till next week so keep it hushed

  14. #14
    Suz
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    One other thing. Quilting markings are to be very very light if done in pencil. Otherwise the marks are to be gone. I recall one quilt that must have been marked with a #2 pencil and the marks were very evident.

    When I was learning I was told to Never, Never, Never use a #2 on a quilt top.

    Suzanne

  15. #15
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. This quilt did not have the knots hidden. I had learned how to do this while quilting this one. I had told my family that they would probably look at that. They still insisted that I enter the quilt.

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