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 27

Thread: Quilt Show Judges

  1. #1
    Senior Member judyyoungs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ozarks in Missouri
    Posts
    528
    Blog Entries
    1
    I am curious to know how impartial quilt show judges really are. I would appreciate any and all comments. I ask because I just went to a quilt show and had serious reservations about some of the judging. I understand there are several factors that go into judging (or at least there should be). But when you see 2 or 3 quilts made from the same pattern and the winning ribbon goes to one that is definitely not the best one, it really leaves a sour feeling. Just wondering if anyone else has seen this.

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ocean Springs, MS
    Posts
    9,344
    Don't know, but will follow this post to see what it really is based on.

  3. #3
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,971
    Blog Entries
    8
    The judges may have seen something you didnt. They go over the quilt with a fine tooth comb usually starting with the binding.

  4. #4
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW (I wish it was the Ozarks!)
    Posts
    6,509
    Blog Entries
    6
    Let me ask you this:
    How did YOU decide which quilt of the three was the "best"?

    Judges don't usually know beforehand who the quilt belongs to. They judge by the quality of the work.
    Piecing: Do corners/points match? Is the stitching visible? If so, does the thread match? Are there "bra cups"?
    Quilting: Are the stitches even, top and bottom? How much quilting is done, is it enough? Are threads/knots buried?
    Binding: Is the bindng bias? (It matters to some) Are the corners sharp and properly mitered?
    Colors: Are the colors visually appealing? Is the fabric choice appropriate for the pattern? This is the area that has the most "give" and "personal preference" when it comes to judging.

    I've never judged a quilt, but was the Needlework Superintendant at the county fair where I lived for a few years, and got to watch the judging. You can go to your local County Extension Office and get a list of guidelines, or you used to be able to. :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member connie_1936's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    mesa and payson, arizona
    Posts
    805
    Blog Entries
    3
    you never know, i've gotten critique cards that really were off the wall from some judges. also they tend to like a technique at one show and hate it at the next.

  6. #6
    MTS
    MTS is offline
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,301
    Here's a thread from this past March that basically asked the same question.
    I'm surprised it didn't get locked. :mrgreen:

    It contains the information and answers that no doubt will show up again here. ;-)
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-107050-1.htm

    And what made the winning quilt not the best of the three?

    You'd be surprised how important the binding is in shows. So, all things being equal, the top prize could be decided on that. Or the quilting - did it fit the pattern? Did they all have pantos or custom quilting? Crappy custom quilting could lose out to a well executed panto. Did you inspect the back of the quilt? Maybe it was full of bird nests.

    Or maybe you just don't particularly like a style of fabric - they weren't all made from the same fabrics/colors.
    I know I tend to look right past Civil War and Aunt Grace quilts. They don't even register for me. But that doesn't mean the AuntGrace quilt wouldn't be the best one if I were judging. Conversely, since the judges are human, it very well MIGHT have entered into the decision making process. I've heard a judge mention in an aside that she has a problem with yellow but she works really hard to keep that out of her critique.

    Who knows?

  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outer Space
    Posts
    9,838
    There are many shows that if the exhibitor(maker) doesn't pay for "judging" then it's not even in the running for a placing or a ribbon. A good percentage of quilts in shows are exhibition only/not judged so aren't even eligible for a prize. Did you know many guilds charge $10 and up per quilt as a judging fee, at the show to pay for the judges? Shows are different around the country, but believe me it can get very expensive if you want your quilt in competition, and there are many people who just want to show and not compete!

  8. #8
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    I just read through the other thread that MTS posted the link to - I'd missed it earlier. ;)

    I entered two quilts at the Festival of Quilts in England recently - which is one of Europe's biggest shows. Of course, I didn't win anything, never expected to as the standard is unbelievable. One of the quilt's I entered had been awarded 'Judge's Merit' in a previous show, our National Quilt Championship, which I would say is in the next tier down in importance. So apparently it was not far off the standard for that show but below the standard for the F of Q - fair enough!

    F of Q has separate categories for Art Quilts, Contemporary Quilts, Pictorial Quilts and Traditional Quilts as well as other categories like for group, two person and children of various age groups. Besides 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each category, there are awards for Judge's Choice, a few in each category, an overall award for things like 'Best Amateur' and of course a Best in Show. There were also voting slips available for Visitor's Choice.

    The winners in each category all shared the same qualities in that they were technically as near to perfection as one can expect from a human being and there was an originality to the design. When I collected my quilts, there was a piece of paper in an envelope giving judge's comments and grading me on things like Design, Techniques Used, Fulfilling the Theme Rules, Accuracy of Construction etc, etc - you get the idea.

    Judge's are human - they judge on the list of criteria but at the end of the day, all other things being equal, it becomes subjective. This year, I happened to agree with them in most categories, sometimes I don't but it's always down to my personal taste and not the standard of workmanship. Of course, it's supposed to be anonymous but some of the more celebrated quilters' work has such a distinctive style that judges will recognise it and also some quilts (like one of mine!) they will recognise from other shows (not saying I'm 'celebrated'!) - I think as well that quilts that are entered over and over again will be passed over. I saw it at the National - beautiful quilts that had won previous shows were passed over and awarded nothing at all while possibly lesser quilts won. This I imagine is because judges have the attitude of 'not THAT again!'.

    There is a lot of talk here on the board about the dreaded Quilt Police' - and that's what judges are. ;-) But if you enter a show, you set yourself up to be judged and have no right to complain if you don't win.

    I have recently started entering for 3 main reasons - to challenge myself to push myself as hard as I can in terms of technical excellence and design originality, to gain a bit of recognition as I sell my work, do workshops, do talks etc (ie as PR!) and for the sheer thrill of seeing my quilts hanging alongside others whose work I admire and aspire to emulate and to see other ppl looking and commenting and even taking photos of MY quilt! The latter is probably a similar feeling most of us get from posting pics here on the board. :-D

    Sorry this is so long, as someone new to entering shows this is an interesting topic. :-D

  9. #9
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Edinburgh, UK
    Posts
    228
    k3n - could I ask if that was one of the shows run by Grosvenor Exhibitions? Everyone always talks about judge's comments, but I had a quilt win a competition and go around six quilt shows with Grosvenor, and I never got any judge's comments at all. I got a yellow rosette and a nice sentence about the in the magazine article on the competition, and that was it.

    ETA: Scratch that, I just rang Grosvenor and apparently they don't give out judge's comments unless you ask for them. So mine are now on the way in the post, all these months later. Odd way of doing things, you'd have thought they could just include them when they send the quilt back. Gah, I'm getting nervous all over again!

  10. #10
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Lobster
    k3n - could I ask if that was one of the shows run by Grosvenor Exhibitions? Everyone always talks about judge's comments, but I had a quilt win a competition and go around six quilt shows with Grosvenor, and I never got any judge's comments at all. I got a yellow rosette and a nice sentence about the in the magazine article on the competition, and that was it.

    ETA: Scratch that, I just rang Grosvenor and apparently they don't give out judge's comments unless you ask for them. So mine are now on the way in the post, all these months later. Odd way of doing things, you'd have thought they could just include them when they send the quilt back. Gah, I'm getting nervous all over again!
    The F of Q is run by Twisted Thread - I've entered Grosvenor as well (the Nationals as mentioned above) and only got comments on the piece I won with (regional at West Point). Perhaps I'll ask for any comments that were made on the one I entered in the National, that got a Merit. I didn't know you could so thanks for that info! :-D

  11. #11
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    My favorite place in the world is Lake Erie Region USA
    Posts
    2,753
    Blog Entries
    2
    Makes me shiver.. Will never put a quilt in.. all my points match, hence my friendship with seam rippers.. my applique is NOT my strong point.. I think I see better in one eye for they all are a bit wonky.
    Guess I quilt for myself, comfort quilts for children's hospital ( they don't have high expectations) but do absolutely put a whole lot of effort in each quilt.
    Hmm... Nightmares will be next after seeing this post. Thanks for the eye opener !!

    Ell

  12. #12
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    4,345
    Thank you k3n and Lobster for that information regarding Grosvenor. I have entered a quilt in one of their shows in september and I am always interested in the judges comments. To be honest, I don't like it to meet with criticism but I try to see that as a challenge to improve my work.
    I think the judges' statements can't be completely objective - just because judges are human and of course they have preferences and aversions. Sometimes I disagree to their comments, sometimes I agree and this is okay for me.

  13. #13
    MTS
    MTS is offline
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,301
    FYI - Here's a look at some of the judging sheets from the recent UK show.

    http://lapis-lazuli-q.blogspot.com/2...s-2011_18.html

    You can get a sense of how and what was important in THAT show.

    Because it varies from show to show. Especially when you get to smaller guild shows. The criteria, as well as the categories, are defined by the guild.
    So what might be the top quilt in a category in one show might lose out in the next show because it's placed in different category (there could be more, or less, categories, for instance).

    Here's another example - A submitted quilt was sent pieced and quilted by two different people. Both did a great job.

    That quilt might go to a Duo category in one show, but another show might include it in the regular pieced category. And based on the competition in each of those categories, the outcome won't be the same.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    945
    It is possible that the judges weren't impartial, but not likely. There have been times when I felt judging was unfair, but when I calmed down and thought rationally about it, the winning quilts were better.

    In this case, maybe the quilter who won was the quilt designer. Or as others have mentioned, maybe there was something better done about the winner...in a judged contest, the devil really is in the details, even some we might not notice - I believe it was Ann Fahl who shared one of her judges' comments: "Cat hair does not enhance the top." LOL.

    And MTS??? Regarding your comment about Sharon Schamber on the other thread, I have a whole list of quilters I wish would stop competing...but then again, it would so much sweeter to enter and beat them. I can dream, anyway!

    Janet

  15. #15
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    And MTS??? Regarding your comment about Sharon Schamber on the other thread, I have a whole list of quilters I wish would stop competing...but then again, it would so much sweeter to enter and beat them. I can dream, anyway!

    Janet
    Why should she and others? Shows are to highlight excellence aren't they? So why exclude the best?

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I've watched the local fair judges judge and the binding is the deciding factor. Any stitches can be seen, or any gaps in the stitches, big points off. But they do weight that against the over all construction and last the choice of colors. Machine or hand quilting doesn't matter unless it's a separate category. The Best in Show from them is the one that gives them all the Wow look at that and has no major construction flaws. Only the really bad quilts get no ribbon at all. The rest get at least a white ribbon (third place)

  17. #17
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    945
    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    Why should she and others? Shows are to highlight excellence aren't they? So why exclude the best?
    Ahhh, yes they are. And I was joking - sorry, I forgot my lolols. :)

    Janet

  18. #18
    Senior Member Granny Quilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    WY
    Posts
    995
    Not all places have fair judges. Just like in everything else, some judges let politics influence them.

  19. #19
    MTS
    MTS is offline
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,301
    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    And MTS??? Regarding your comment about Sharon Schamber on the other thread, I have a whole list of quilters I wish would stop competing...but then again, it would so much sweeter to enter and beat them. I can dream, anyway!
    Janet
    Why should she and others? Shows are to highlight excellence aren't they? So why exclude the best?
    We all do understand my comment about Sharon on that thread was in snark mode, in reply to something that a previous poster wrote?
    Right? ;-)

  20. #20
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    945
    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    We all do understand my comment about Sharon on that thread was in snark mode, in reply to something that a previous poster wrote?
    Right? ;-)
    Absolutely!

    I consider Sharon's quilts to be beyond my abilities, and I think it's wonderful that she shares her methods with everyone. It's a thrill seeing them.

    Janet

  21. #21
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    There is always someone who excels in what they do. Someone has to set the standard of what is excellence for the time. That's just common sense.

  22. #22
    MTS
    MTS is offline
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,301
    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    Absolutely!
    I consider Sharon's quilts to be beyond my abilities, and I think it's wonderful that she shares her methods with everyone. It's a thrill seeing them.
    Janet
    Did you see the winner of the longarm award for Paducah 2011?
    5th pic down
    http://aboutquilts.wordpress.com/201...inners-posted/

    Look familiar?

    http://www.sharonschamber.com/honors...t_serenade.htm
    Winner Houston Best of Show 2005.

    So that's the ultimate compliment I guess.
    I NEVER thought of the winners at Houston or Paducah as being "patterns" to be duplicated. Where would you even begin?
    But apparently this woman is a Sharon acolyte, and has taken every class and seminar possible with her, and decided she wanted a personal challenge - she really loved the quilt.

    There's a story posted somewhere about this.

    I'm just happy with my kick-a$$ binding. :mrgreen:

  23. #23
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    945
    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    I NEVER thought of the winners at Houston or Paducah as being "patterns" to be duplicated. Where would you even begin?
    But apparently this woman is a Sharon acolyte, and has taken every class and seminar possible with her, and decided she wanted a personal challenge - she really loved the quilt.
    I did see that. Sharon published the pattern in one of her books and AQS is diligent about making sure the quilter has permission to use it.

    It's a beautiful quilt, worth seeing again for sure. There's a strong tradition in quiltmaking of using and sharing patterns others designed, and this quilt certainly honors that in a big way. I'm glad she won.

    Janet

  24. #24
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    945
    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    I'm just happy with my kick-a$$ binding. :mrgreen:
    And I'm pea-green with envy! :hunf: Binding is always a sore point with me. But I am getting better.

    Janet

  25. #25
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,165
    I don't think I have enough years left to complete something like the Paisley Peacock or Port of Cassis quilts, lol. Incredible work!

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.