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Thread: Quilt judging at the local fair

  1. #1
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I do the quilt entries for our local fair and of course the judges are out of county. They (apology) are very elderly and very set in their quilt ways. No machine quilted quilt will win if there is a decent hand quilt entered. No matter how great the machine quilted quilt is in color, design or workmanship, the hand quilted one will win. It's to the point of the only quilts turned in to the exhibit are not the best. According to the fair supt. unless other people volunteer to judge out of their county quilts, the same judges are all we have. :evil: Please check with your local fair Supt and ask if they need volunteer judges in other counties. It's not hard, the judging criteria is simple and easy to follow.

  2. #2
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I haven't entered in a fair in a very long time because you are right the judges are very set in their ways, I did it mostly when I taught 4H and didn't enter my own things. Thankfully the girls (ages 8-10) learned to tat and all got blue ribbons, that is a dying art and the judges were impressed. (as was I)

  3. #3
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I find they also don't like "modern"(color or pattern) quilts.

  4. #4
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    I entered a quilt show where the judges ripped apart (not literally, lol) my quilt. It definitely wasn't the best, but it was better then it got reviewed. Very discouraging...

  5. #5
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    the sad thing is the older generation wonders why this is a dying art and it appears to be that the older generation isn't open to new ideas and technologies.

    instead of embracing the new generation of quilt artists they choose to discourage any future efforts they might make.




  6. #6
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kluedesigns
    the sad thing is the older generation wonders why this is a dying art and it appears to be that the older generation isn't open to new ideas and technologies.

    instead of embracing the new generation of quilt artists they choose to discourage any future efforts they might make.
    Please, I beg of you, do not make such sweeping statements about those of us in the "older generation". It is not the age of a person that gives them this attitude, for I have seen it demonstrated here among those who are decades younger and newer to quilting than I. The audence and judging on most levels beyond local, are much more accepting of current and forward thinking techniques and designs, regardless of their age.

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    i was making a statement in regards to the few situtations that have been posted above my post.

    it is not a reflection on you or your area or your age.

    "The audence and judging on most levels beyond local, are much more accepting of current and forward thinking techniques and designs, regardless of their age."

    this statement from you isn't even accurate because are local level is extremely open to new technologies and ideas.

  8. #8

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    Klue

    I am one of those older ladies. I beg to differ with you. Stereotyping the older generation as resisting change is a little insulting. Sure there are some who are set in their ways, as are the prejudices of the younger against them, but at my local fair, the judge was NOT old.
    Those who won a prize were some of this and some of that. Sheesh I know some of the older generation who love New York Beauty quilts and have made a few of them, using the newer batiks. I know some who are eager to try something new and bored with traditional quilts. Those who prefer traditional quilts, do so because that is their taste. So what? They are not an enemy and the wisdom and experience they bring to quilting is priceless if you take the time to listen. Don't forget also, the elderly , many of whom are women who quilt, are on a fixed income. It may be the very least, since women of their age did not go out and get a job, but stayed at home to raise the children because that was the custom of the day in which they lived. That means they may not have hundreds of dollars to spend on having every quilt they make quilted by a person who will do it for them. They may not have the bucks to spend on ten dollar a yard fabric to make a quilt, then add the hundred or more to have it quilted by machine. They prefer the camaradie and the social contacts of hand quilting with others. Old age can get very lonely, especially if one loses their spouse along the way and ones children are far far away.

    So, your comment is especially insulting, as far as I am concerned.

  9. #9
    Senior Member renee765's Avatar
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    Maryann,

    As an older lady who has lost her husband and also cannot afford the cost of someone else to machine quilt for me, I thank you.

    Renee

  10. #10
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryann
    Klue

    I am one of those older ladies. I beg to differ with you. Stereotyping the older generation as resisting change is a little insulting. Sure there are some who are set in their ways, as are the prejudices of the younger against them, but at my local fair, the judge was NOT old.
    Those who won a prize were some of this and some of that. Sheesh I know some of the older generation who love New York Beauty quilts and have made a few of them, using the newer batiks. I know some who are eager to try something new and bored with traditional quilts. Those who prefer traditional quilts, do so because that is their taste. So what? They are not an enemy and the wisdom and experience they bring to quilting is priceless if you take the time to listen. Don't forget also, the elderly , many of whom are women who quilt, are on a fixed income. It may be the very least, since women of their age did not go out and get a job, but stayed at home to raise the children because that was the custom of the day in which they lived. That means they may not have hundreds of dollars to spend on having every quilt they make quilted by a person who will do it for them. They may not have the bucks to spend on ten dollar a yard fabric to make a quilt, then add the hundred or more to have it quilted by machine. They prefer the camaradie and the social contacts of hand quilting with others. Old age can get very lonely, especially if one loses their spouse along the way and ones children are far far away.

    So, your comment is especially insulting, as far as I am concerned.
    I too, am of the older generation. I like hand quilting for looks and the idea of what it represents. and being of limited money, I agree we do not all have the ability to get the fancy done.
    We are not all stogy old people, I enjoy seeing quilts here, modern and traditional. We all have our likes, and I am sorry if someone made you feel unworthy by their criticisms, as they shouldn't have.

  11. #11
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    I have always thought there should be distinct categories for different types of quilts. Several years ago(about 15 or so) I entered a quilt with pink panda bears for my young daughter. I was not given a ribbon (that's ok - I was still proud of it), but the reason was that I had too many "mixed" media. I have crows foot in the sashes between blocks, then hand quilting inside each block. I still have that quilt, and looked at it again, and am extreamly proud if it. No offence to traditional quilters, and no offence to the different types of patterns, materials, but I too think that many judges are too narrow minded.

  12. #12
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Our state fair has many different categories:
    Hand pieced hand quilted, hand pieced machine quilted, machined pieced hand quilted, machine pieced machine quilted, hand appliqued, machine appliqued, quilted by a group, machine quilted by professional, etc. You get the picture. Only complaint I have heard around here is that the quilts are hung from thick wires and out of close view so we cannot see the work up close.

    I will have to ask about judging and what they look for. Also, who are the judges and what is their experience with quilting? This is something I have alway's wondered.

    Still the best quilts are the ones made with love and prayer and ones you can snuggle under on a cold winter night or throw down at a picnic and take a nap on. One that gets used and loved through the years is the one for me. And if you throw one in that I can put on the wall to admire, that's ok too.
    Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  13. #13
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    I do the quilt entries for our local fair and of course the judges are out of county. They (apology) are very elderly and very set in their quilt ways. No machine quilted quilt will win if there is a decent hand quilt entered. No matter how great the machine quilted quilt is in color, design or workmanship, the hand quilted one will win. It's to the point of the only quilts turned in to the exhibit are not the best. According to the fair supt. unless other people volunteer to judge out of their county quilts, the same judges are all we have. :evil: Please check with your local fair Supt and ask if they need volunteer judges in other counties. It's not hard, the judging criteria is simple and easy to follow.
    Good suggestion - ask the local fair about being a judge, if there are different categories with prizes awarded in EACH category. I entered a small quilt show once just to get my feet wet and, knowing it was a small, small town, knew, as an 'outsider' I would not win - I did get third place! - that I would come away with something learned that would not have been otherwise... Small county fairs/town birthday celebrations, etc. would be way different than say - a Paducah/Houston show... I did it to have fun... my family was wonderful - my boys said, "They just don't know a good quilt when they see one." THEY made my day - not the third place ribbon I took away from it.

    I am not an 'older generation' quilter, but I do much prefer traditional quilting... I will never do an art quilt but when I go to shows I do make sure to keep on open mind when I view the quilts. I LOVE to pass my passion for quilting on to the younger people coming up behind me - - they can choose to quilt the way the want to... their choices of materials/patterns do not hinder me from teaching the art of quilting. Generalizing is not a good thing ever...

    Maybe county/small fairs could be left for entering for those who do it for fun and a bigger quilt show is for those who want more competition, etc.

  14. #14

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    I just entered a quilt in our county fair last week and when I went in to get it entered, the questions they asked were to make sure that it was put in the right group. They wanted to know if it was hand or machine pieced, hand quilted or machine quilted, did I do all of the work or did someone else help, and so on, and so on. I was surprised but when I asked questions, I was pleased. All of these things are taken into consideration when judged. The quilts are separated into groups and the pieced are not judged with other methods, hand quilting is not judged with machine, and it seems to be the only fair way to do it. Since I am a hand quilter, I do worry about the way they are judged.
    Pam

    p.s. I won 2nd place.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I have always thought of myself as an "old fashioned quilter". But, since joining this board, I find myself venturing out. I have always admired art quilts, and will try my hand someday. I have never entered a quilt, never thought mine were good enough, so don't know how they are judged. But I feel there is room for all types of quilters.

    I do feel there should be different categories for quilt shows. As has been stated before, broken up into hand, machine, etc:
    Even the old patterns, that I love, were new once, and i wonder if even then there were those who said they weren't real quilts! :shock: :shock: Or maybe, the women were accused of "getting too fancy" when the Baltimore quilts were started.

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Having money or not having money has nothing to do with being a quilt judge not accepting new ways of quilting, that's ridiculous. All I know that the local fair judges here are elderly, can't hardly see, stubborn, haven't been to a quilt workshop in years, haven't bought a quilt book or magazine in ages because it's all that modern stuff now and judge on what they like.
    Klue is right, too many older quilters poo poo the new ways and that is discouraging to the new quilters.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryann
    Klue

    I am one of those older ladies. I beg to differ with you. Stereotyping the older generation as resisting change is a little insulting. Sure there are some who are set in their ways, as are the prejudices of the younger against them, but at my local fair, the judge was NOT old.
    Those who won a prize were some of this and some of that. Sheesh I know some of the older generation who love New York Beauty quilts and have made a few of them, using the newer batiks. I know some who are eager to try something new and bored with traditional quilts. Those who prefer traditional quilts, do so because that is their taste. So what? They are not an enemy and the wisdom and experience they bring to quilting is priceless if you take the time to listen. Don't forget also, the elderly , many of whom are women who quilt, are on a fixed income. It may be the very least, since women of their age did not go out and get a job, but stayed at home to raise the children because that was the custom of the day in which they lived. That means they may not have hundreds of dollars to spend on having every quilt they make quilted by a person who will do it for them. They may not have the bucks to spend on ten dollar a yard fabric to make a quilt, then add the hundred or more to have it quilted by machine. They prefer the camaradie and the social contacts of hand quilting with others. Old age can get very lonely, especially if one loses their spouse along the way and ones children are far far away.

    So, your comment is especially insulting, as far as I am concerned.
    i'll say it once again, i am speaking about the comments the ladies mention here and their immediate "older generation".

    in my local quilt community i am part of the older generation. i am a member of the baby boomer generation and that might actually make me a part of your generation.

    the post was not meant to insult you unless of course you are the judge of these shows in mention.

    i really don't understand how money has even come into the topic. the comments from the OP and the other woman who have had the same experience didn't say one thing about money and how much they spent on their show quilt - so to suggest they spent large sums to achieve a superior look to some one who doesn't really has been mentioned in this topic.

    i know people who have won best in show on national levels and they spent under $50 to make their quilts - so clearly money has nothing to do with superior workmanship.


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by redrummy
    Quote Originally Posted by Maryann
    Klue

    I am one of those older ladies. I beg to differ with you. Stereotyping the older generation as resisting change is a little insulting. Sure there are some who are set in their ways, as are the prejudices of the younger against them, but at my local fair, the judge was NOT old.
    Those who won a prize were some of this and some of that. Sheesh I know some of the older generation who love New York Beauty quilts and have made a few of them, using the newer batiks. I know some who are eager to try something new and bored with traditional quilts. Those who prefer traditional quilts, do so because that is their taste. So what? They are not an enemy and the wisdom and experience they bring to quilting is priceless if you take the time to listen. Don't forget also, the elderly , many of whom are women who quilt, are on a fixed income. It may be the very least, since women of their age did not go out and get a job, but stayed at home to raise the children because that was the custom of the day in which they lived. That means they may not have hundreds of dollars to spend on having every quilt they make quilted by a person who will do it for them. They may not have the bucks to spend on ten dollar a yard fabric to make a quilt, then add the hundred or more to have it quilted by machine. They prefer the camaradie and the social contacts of hand quilting with others. Old age can get very lonely, especially if one loses their spouse along the way and ones children are far far away.

    So, your comment is especially insulting, as far as I am concerned.
    I too, am of the older generation. I like hand quilting for looks and the idea of what it represents. and being of limited money, I agree we do not all have the ability to get the fancy done.
    We are not all stogy old people, I enjoy seeing quilts here, modern and traditional. We all have our likes, and I am sorry if someone made you feel unworthy by their criticisms, as they shouldn't have.

    yet again, the comments i've made are to be read in this specific context and are not to be applied to every "older" quilter.

    the OP has not said one word about how much money she spent to have a quilt done by someone else i don't know why you are suggesting that she did.....am i missing that post that said she spent X dollars having it professionally quilted?

    in my quilting community i've never been made to "feel unworthy" and their is no reason for you to say "sorry" for something you assume another individual said to me - be concerned with your own comments and not imaginary situation you've played out in your head.

    i don't know your exact age but i wouldn't be surprised if we are of the same generation - i'm a baby boommer.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    I am still wondering..............aren't the quilts judged by category at fairs etc? I always thought they were, but now I am thinking I am mistaken?
    each area runs things differently on the local level.

    the local guilds in NY all have categories and then the winners of each category has the chance to win Best In Show - so the a hand quilt could be best in show just as a machine quilt could win.


  20. #20
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    Can you establish a class or several classes specifically for machine-quilted quilts? That way they would be judged separately from hand-quilted ones. Of course , that wouldn't help for best-of-show, but it'd be an improvement!
    Good luck!

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