Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 38

Thread: Questions about quilt show judges

  1. #1
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    Posts
    5,713

    Questions about quilt show judges

    I have not yet entered a quilt in any kind of show, but I am working on one now that I think I might enter in a juried show (if it continues to go as well as it is going *tonight*). I have a background in dog shows, so I'm no stranger to entering shows, and the concept of subjective judging. I'm also not expecting much other than a critique (if offered at the show).

    In dog shows, we know who the judge is well in advance (about a year), and most of the time we know what the judge likes or dislikes - and we can base our decision to enter that particular show under that particular judge. For example, one judge I know calls herself "the tooth fairy" and will not place a dog with a missing tooth or any other dentition problem. Us dog show people know this and if we have a dog with a bad tooth, we don't enter under her. Why waste the entry fee (and travel expenses!).

    I looked at several entry forms for quilt shows, and online announcements etc. and no-where can I see that judges are announced prior to the event - heck ... I've rarely ever seen who the judges were AFTER the event.

    So ... are judges ever announced?
    Do quilters enter shows knowing who is going to judge their quilt, and enter (or not enter) accordingly?
    Do quilters keep a record of what judges like or dislike? Dog show people keep copious and detailed notes!

    One more question about judging.

    Are judges allowed to use weapons ... err ... I mean tools (rulers) to actually measure the detail work? I know they measure the total size of the quilt in contests where sizes are stipulated. I'm talking about the "detail" work of the quilt. Will they measure quilted ruler work to make sure that all the lines are exactly 1" apart, and measure blocks (and parts of blocks) for uniformity? Or do they just eyeball it?

    I know my way around dog show judging, what they can and can't do, what they might do, and what they have done in the past. Would like to compare notes about quilt judges (not individual judges, but judging in general).

    thanks
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  2. #2
    Super Member abdconsultant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Western North Carolina
    Posts
    3,054
    Blog Entries
    46
    You have some good questions, I will bookmark for later.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,385
    Frequently the names of the judges are never revealed , as with so many competions there are those who will challenge a judge if they believe the judge/s made an error. Those compitions that the judges comment, very often the judge just uses a number tocomment ex: Judge 1 - binding lacks fullness ...and such. I have seen competitions where no comments are left , and the judging takes place in hours that are off of the regular show hours. Some give comments on all quilts entered with both good comments and areas for improvement.

    Some competitions get a "reputation" for certain things ... I have seen one where if it was not tradtional ... don't bother... and others that "art" quilts are highly prized.

    As for measuring quilting distance ... I have not seen it .. but that does not mean there isn't that one judge that does it. So much of it is soo... subjective and particular to a specific competition.. that there is no set standards. I have seen magnifying glasses used but not often.

    I entered one competition with two quilts. One was by all quilters that saw it far superior to the other in just about every way, colors, difficulty , quilting, you name it .... and I won with the what many thought to be the lesser quilt. I was stunned! ... and I never got to ask anyone why one was considered best over the other. I was just told the judges thought that one was the best.... and never knew who the judges were or where they came from. This taught me just how subjective these things really are... .
    I would love to see your quilt !
    Last edited by Lori S; 11-30-2011 at 08:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Glendale AZ
    Posts
    1,502
    Depending on the show, a judge could be someone who knows very little about quilting. I would assume that a juried show would have judges with credentials. Did you check the show website? Could be the names are posted there. Even with credentialed judges, you will get different comments from different judges.
    Beth in AZ
    www.bzyqltr.blogspot.com
    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    Posts
    5,713
    Lori,

    From your answers I have two more questions.

    In the first paragraph you said that comments (if given) may come as "Judge 1". So presumably the quilts are judges by multiple judges? I knew that there are multiple judges at a given show, but I thought each judge had an assignment of "Bed Quilts" and another "Wall Quilts" - then perhaps they all vote on the Best in Show etc. No?

    In another paragraph you mention that some competitions have a reputation for certain things like traditional quilts. This would indicate that either they hire the same judge(s) year after year, OR they are giving the judges instructions as to what they want (or what is preferred). Do you know which it is, or is it both?

    So far the only similarity I see between quilt shows and dog shows is that the process of choosing placements for quilts is a subjective matter given to the knowledge, preferences, and whims of the individual judge.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,306
    I too, am going to watch this one

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    943
    I only know of one national show that announces the judges beforehand, and that's Road to California - they list the judges on the entry form. For local shows, they may have only one judge, and hire the same judge each year. Depends on the show.

    I have entered a lot of shows (it's addictive!), and while I know there are judges I felt liked my work better than others, it is far too much effort to keep track of their likes and dislikes. I try and make a quilt that I am happy with, do the best work I can, and hope for the best - when you work by hand, that's pretty much all you can do. For some shows, just being accepted is triumph enough.

    There are some shows that cater to specific quilt categories. Quilt National, the quilt show at the Schweinfurth Museum in Auburn, NY, and a few others, look for the best art quilts. They would not be good choices for a traditional quilt - that's not to say you wouldn't get in, though. There are shows specifically for machine quilting.

    Most national shows I've entered have had 2 or 3 judges, all of whom look at the quilt. Considering how many quilts they have to judge, I don't think they spend enough time to whip out a ruler and measure anything - good thing, because they'd find lots of mismeasured things on my quilts.


    Janet

  8. #8
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,365
    It would be helpful for novices if there was some sort of "checklist" to know what is being evaluated.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    943
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    It would be helpful for novices if there was some sort of "checklist" to know what is being evaluated.
    The Vermont Quilt Festival uses a point system, where each aspect of a quilt gets a certain amount of points. They're split between workmanship and design. They publish the list of points in the show booklet every year. I found it helpful.

    Unfortunately, most of the other shows don't do that, but if you google quilt show judging, I'm sure you'll find lots of helpful information.

    Janet

  10. #10
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,660
    Keep in mind that dogs are judged against a rather specific written breed standard, the ideal, while quilts are not. Dogs are also shown under the same judges again and again, intentionally because they do well under that judge. By not publishing quilt show judges in advance, that is one of the things that is avoided and the field is made a bit more level for the entrants.

    Maine Quilts also uses the point system of judging instead of the elimination system. While judging a quilt on its own merit (point system) and not against others (elimination system) sounds great, it has some severe limitations and is less frequently used because of them.

    You may find some answers to your questions from the NQA FAQ sheet. http://nqaquilts.org/judges/judges-faq.php
    There are also several blog entries by this blogger relating to show judging (how and what) and what is looked at. http://patchworkpie.blogspot.com/200...dges-look.html
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  11. #11
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,385
    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    Lori,

    From your answers I have two more questions.

    In the first paragraph you said that comments (if given) may come as "Judge 1". So presumably the quilts are judges by multiple judges? I knew that there are multiple judges at a given show, but I thought each judge had an assignment of "Bed Quilts" and another "Wall Quilts" - then perhaps they all vote on the Best in Show etc. No?

    Comment: Not always some do use a single judge for a "category" but the many do not especially a larger one. And even if there are for example 3 judges for a category , you may only get comments from 1 or 2 or maybe even none at all. The judges comments are typically optional .. not required of the judges.

    In another paragraph you mention that some competitions have a reputation for certain things like traditional quilts. This would indicate that either they hire the same judge(s) year after year, OR they are giving the judges instructions as to what they want (or what is preferred). Do you know which it is, or is it both?

    Comment: If they do not indicate in advance the judges , you just don't know if they have changed the mix of judges... and the overall "flavor" in favor that year. Some I can almost guess at the ages of the judges as the comments on method are confined to a 'era" of quilting.

    So far the only similarity I see between quilt shows and dog shows is that the process of choosing placements for quilts is a subjective matter given to the knowledge, preferences, and whims of the individual judge.
    Comment: Just a thought- You are entering the most "Quilt Police" intense arena ! .. but only they know the rules/laws, or the weight or penalty of infractions.
    Last edited by Lori S; 12-01-2011 at 07:56 AM.

  12. #12
    Super Member jgriinke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,100
    My head is spinning with all the questions asked. I can answer a few for you.
    If there are multiple judges, they all judge all the quilts. They tally the scores and the one with the highest wins. I like when there is more than one judge. The main reason I like to have multiple judges is that they all may have something they really look for, another one may really like something else. Having more than one, just seems to level out the
    playing field. I LOVE reading the comments. You can learn tons by those comments. Most judges are very kind.
    Some judges are announced and others are not. I do know that if they end up with a tie - they can get down to the nitty gritty and do some measuring.
    I do keep my comment cards to make sure that when I enter another show, I know what I really have to work on.

    It is great fun to enter quilts and see what happens. You never know!

  13. #13
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,656
    My only suggestion is to put your best effort in and hope that the judges are fair. If you don't like how you do in this show/competition enter it in another. I am always amazed and sometimes appalled at where ribbons are awarded. I don't take it to heart because you can't see what the judges see. Good luck with your entry and remember judging is so subjective that there are no hard and fast rules.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ywoodruff5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    CA and MN
    Posts
    381
    Boy did you open a ball of wax! LOL. That being said I will do my best to answer some of your questions from my experience in both entering shows and judging them.

    Quilt shows and the judges vary widely in that some judges are certified (by different institutions like the National Quilting Association) and some are not. In the majority of shows judges are volunteers.

    There are specific guidelines that should be followed, some of which include....entered in right category, rules followed (i.e., sleeve attached), squaring of quilts, points matched, uniform stitching, color choices, pattern choices, nice corners, good thread tension, etc.

    And yes, a tape measure is routinely used. Not to measure "all" lines but in cases where eyballing doesn't look quite right in an area they measure to make sure. A good example of this is when one side of the binding appears to be larger or smaller than another.

    Quilt judges are not supposed to be biased in their choices but they, too, are human. Some judges prefer contemporary, while others are tradidtional die-hards and do not like anything "new".

    Most of the larger quilt shows, i.e., state fair competitions, will tell you who the judges are. Sometimes you can contact the entering organization and find out ahead of time. Trying to get a volunteer judge is often hard and they do not know ahead of time who that judge will be.

    All this being said, here are some guidelines to follow when entering a quilt for judging: Make sure you have entered quilt in right category and have followed all requirements, i.e., attached sleeves. Entry should be clean and free of all odors. Entry should not be from a kit - most shows specifically disallow this. Color choices and pattern choices are important. Blocks/sashing should be uniform, quilts should be squared. For best results, corners should be mitered. Quilting stitches should be uniform with good tension. And one of the most important rules that judges critique is that the batting should fully fill the binding -- this means if you are sewing a 1/4" seam your batting should extend about 1/8" more so that when it is completely attached you cannot pinch the edges and not encounter batting.

    I hope this helps and good luck!

  15. #15
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    12,395
    This is an interesting topic! I have never entered a quilt in competition, and probably won't ever do so, but I have volunteered to help the judge at the local fair for the past 2 years. (The helpers don't help with the judging itself - we just lay out the quilts as requested by the judge and re-fold them when she's done. We have to struggle to keep our mouths closed so we don't influence the judge. We help with the paperwork if requested, but sometimes the judge brings her own assistant to do that.) The judging at this kind of event is much less structured than I assume it would be at a big event. At the fair the judge is not given any particular instructions, except a list of the categories and prizes to be awarded. The judge can eliminate a quilt from its category if it's not eligible. I've been disappointed in the number of comments written down, because I think the comments would really help the quilters.

  16. #16
    Member bettyboop32953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Merritt Island
    Posts
    38
    Blog Entries
    3
    This is a very interesting topic. I have wondered if winning quilts represent trends. Are most of the "Best of Show" applique? The current trend seems to indicate a preference for heavily quilted and lots of stippling. I wondered if there were a formula for designing a winning quilt? Can a traditional pieced quilt win? Just some ruminations from me.
    Quilting is fine, but
    Finishing is divine.
    http://quiltinbee.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Out searching for some sunshine :-)
    Posts
    59,092
    Blog Entries
    1
    I have really enjoyed this topic, so much great insight! Thank you for starting this
    “The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” Sam Levenson

  18. #18
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    943
    Quote Originally Posted by bettyboop32953 View Post
    This is a very interesting topic. I have wondered if winning quilts represent trends. Are most of the "Best of Show" applique? The current trend seems to indicate a preference for heavily quilted and lots of stippling. I wondered if there were a formula for designing a winning quilt? Can a traditional pieced quilt win? Just some ruminations from me.
    How boring would it be if there were a formula for designing a winning quilt!

    I may enter my quilts in shows, but I don't design them for shows. I just try to do the best I can and make the quilt I want to make. If the judges like it, terrific. If they don't, who really cares? I like looking at my quilts, they make me feel good.

    Janet

  19. #19
    Super Member DeeBooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Syracuse,NY
    Posts
    1,529
    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    Frequently the names of the judges are never revealed , as with so many competions there are those who will challenge a judge if they believe the judge/s made an error. Those compitions that the judges comment, very often the judge just uses a number tocomment ex: Judge 1 - binding lacks fullness ...and such. I have seen competitions where no comments are left , and the judging takes place in hours that are off of the regular show hours. Some give comments on all quilts entered with both good comments and areas for improvement.

    Some competitions get a "reputation" for certain things ... I have seen one where if it was not tradtional ... don't bother... and others that "art" quilts are highly prized.

    As for measuring quilting distance ... I have not seen it .. but that does not mean there isn't that one judge that does it. So much of it is soo... subjective and particular to a specific competition.. that there is no set standards. I have seen magnifying glasses used but not often.

    I entered one competition with two quilts. One was by all quilters that saw it far superior to the other in just about every way, colors, difficulty , quilting, you name it .... and I won with the what many thought to be the lesser quilt. I was stunned! ... and I never got to ask anyone why one was considered best over the other. I was just told the judges thought that one was the best.... and never knew who the judges were or where they came from. This taught me just how subjective these things really are... .
    I would love to see your quilt !
    Lori, I love Barney...rub his belly for me!!
    Dee LaCelle.....I believe in miracles!

  20. #20
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    West Texas
    Posts
    1,782

    Quilt Show Judging

    Most of my quilts are for charity, and I am by no means an expert quilter. I have entered quilts in local fairs and other small shows. Although the difficulty level of my quilts is low, I try to do a good job on the quilts that I enter. I find that when I think I might enter something in a show, I try harder to do meet high standards, and it develops my skills.

    I once attended a guild workshop taught by a certified quilt judge, and it was very helpful in revealing what the judging standards are and learning about the behind-the-scenes judging process.

    I enter shows for 2 reasons: to get a critique, and to share my quilt with others. I enjoy seeing other quilts, and I think that my quilts will contribute to the enjoyment of both quilters and non-quilters. If I keep those reasons forefront in my mind, then I am not disappointed about the outcome of the judging or the "fairness" of the judges.

    A footnote: some shows have awards given by non-judges, such as "peoples choice" or "sponsors choice". It is always interesting to see which quilts are chosen for those awards, since they represent what ordinary people think is a great quilt.

  21. #21
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Murrysville, Pa.
    Posts
    53
    I know what you're talking about when it comes to dog shows. I've shown at the local level and the national level. But I have a question about the judging of quilts.
    What is the difference between "best-in-show" and "judges choice"? Wouldn't judges choice be the best-in-show?

  22. #22
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sturbridge, Ma
    Posts
    4,014
    Let me weight in on this discussion with some specifi and random thoughts. I am a National Quilting Association Certified Judge and have been for many years. Here are some thoughts.

    First, all the comments above are valid.

    Judges in any situation must do their job according to the rules and wishes of the organization sponsoring the event. Some organizations have certain requirements and objectives as to what they want in the final results. This is not demanding results but rather how those results will effect the aims of the organiation and it's quilters.


    Fairs and quilts shows are in my opinion different The judges can be experienced/certified or not. I have noticed over the past few years that more and more organizations are going to the NQA Certified Judges List to select their judges as they know we have had experience in a wide variety of situations.

    There are two method for judging - Elimination System and Point System. I favor the first and believe the results can often be the same. Some groups feel multiple judges ae better. I prefer to judge alone but have worked with a wide group of judges. It is tru that any judge has his or her focus. Some will look at deign first, other workmanship.
    Usually the critique sheet will determine the order of consideration. There is no master check list with rating points which we use. we may have our own. Remember in the pint system, any judge will rank a factor within his or her own beief about the factors. Years ago one large show had three judges of very wide interets. One would rank workmanship high while another would rank it low. It is my opinion that if you have a situation where one ranks high, another low and a third in the middle - then to average the scores does not give a tru picture of the results.
    Some groups want no comments - only a check list while other allow for specific comments.
    I believe if a judge makes a constructive comment (negative) then it is only fair to the quilter to tell what needs improvement.
    Keep in mind that if there are, say ove 75 quilts to be judged and we have only one day to do the work then each quilt can get only about 2 minutes for critique.
    Some groups want all ribbons given while others will allow the judge to skip the blue ribbon if no quilt in the group merits the award, while other want a ranking within the group. This often can be misleading a the blue ribbon may or may not be of that quality. I have found that small fairs want this. I always have a problem with this as giving the top prize to a less than good quilt to be misleading to the quiltmaker.

    It is true that the majority of shows do not announce the judges. The would not prevent a quilter to ask and if they know the person then enter accordingly.

    An interesting case about how judging can be different is several years ago at a large show the quilt that had won in Paducah (with the prize of $18,000)(In Paducah the quiltmaker may or may not take the money as if they do they must give up the quilt for the museum). the make entered the same quilt in another show and didn't win and it had nothing to do with the judges. The winning quilt was definitely better.

    As to measuring - we don't have time to do this. The only thing we are able to do is to make sure the quilt is square.
    Every quilt entered usually gets the same amount of time. Often I spend more time on a quilt that is less than good because I want to give comments that will benefit the quilter in his/her workmanship and word those comments in a positive way.

    I encourage every quilter to enter. It can be a positive experience and even if you do get some negative comments the person making the comment was seeing the quilt with fresh eyes. We tend to see the quilt with our prejudiced eyes.

    Just some thoughts.

  23. #23
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    1,392
    Blog Entries
    1
    I use to be very involved with a quilt show and got to work as a scribe many times for different judges it was really a learning experience they all went for color impact at first look they did check binding to see if it had any empty spots and the squareness of a quilt could not be longer on one side or another no ripples in the side eveness of stitches and if machine quilted how good are the stops and starts in hand applique does ant stitches show also have had them comment on the quilting design for the quilt this was several years ago and they did have a catagory for machine quilts and another for people who sent them out I don't think they do that anymore and they really do check the back of your quilt to see the stitches there the one thing I learned use a busy fabric for the back unless you really want your stitching to show

  24. #24
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    China, ME.
    Posts
    2,832
    Blog Entries
    1
    Great question and I so agree. We showed in dog shows and knew which judges would not like our "type" and saved the entry money which was becoming very expensive. A similar system should apply to quilt shows.

  25. #25
    Junior Member SandyQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    221
    I've judged many quilt and embroidery shows. Each judge comes with their own likes and dislikes, but when we've had discussion on picking a winner in a specific category, the judging has been impartial and only on specifics: quilting quality, color choices, choice of design that fits the fabric designs. binding application, quality of applique, etc.

    Here are several things to NOT do and how to correct them.
    Rippling edges. Measure the width and length along the center of the quilt. This measurement could be 2 inches shorter than the edges. Work the excess in when binding. Do not just start sewing a strip of binding and go the to other end. Guaranteed--your binding edges will ripple. Quilts should be square. A beautiful white on white hand quilted piece lost best of show because of a rippling binding. Later after my job was done, I was told by a quilt member who knew the quilter that she ran out of time. I insisted that it wasn't the winner and the other judges finally agreed.

    DON"T bring in a piece that has animal hair on it. One time, I had a quilt that must have been a cat's bed while under construction. UGH! I put it aside and made a note on the entry card that "I don't judge cat hair." I looked at the quiltmakers name after I eliminated it and discovered to my total surprise that it was someone in the quilt world who should have known better.

    Hope this helps. SandyQuilter

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.