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Thread: Tips for quilt show entry?

  1. #1
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Tips for quilt show entry?

    I was thinking it might be fun to make a quilt just to enter in a quilt show.

    The requirement is: Hand-Quilted Bed Quilts – Quilt made using traditional techniques and 100% hand quilted. Must be larger than 287 inches in perimeter.

    What exactly does "traditional techniques" mean? Would a whole cloth count??

    I am awful at binding and making a hanging sleeve. Is that part of the judging?


    I've never even been to a quilt show.. what tips do you have for a first time entry????
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Hand quilted doesn't mean hand pieced. You can use a machine to piece it but it has to be hand quilted. A whole cloth is fine. Binding is the biggest part of quilt judging from what I've seen. It's the first thing looked at. I wouldn't let that stop me from entering if I felt my binding wasn't perfect. A hanging sleeve is a must for most big quilt shows. It's usually not judged but don't make it sloppy.
    Got fabric?

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Generally, yes, everything about the quilt is judged including the binding and the hanging sleeve. While you say you are "awful", this is a perfect opportunity for you to improve your skills and practice. Then do your best!

    There's a lot of interpretation in terms when it comes to quilt shows.
    What is traditional to one ... is not traditional to another!

    The best guidance anyone can give you is to go back to the Chairperson of the show and ask your questions.
    Know what you want to ask and be specific.
    Don't assume anything!

    You may be able to garner the quilting score card. Maybe not.

    To me, seeing my quilt hanging at a show is the prize!
    Yes, it's nice to win, but I also know that I can't win every time.
    And I know that it is only the opinion of Judge(s) on that day.

    Sometimes I learn more from my self-judging and seeing the differences between my quilt and the others in the class. Sometimes too, there are opportunities to discuss with other quilters and learn tips that can help improve my skills.

    No matter what ... I highly recommend your moving ahead with your thought ... and make your quilt to enter!

    Good Luck!!!!!!!!!
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  4. #4
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Boy, don't know what wouldn't count as a traditional technique in hand quilting. Big stitch? Saishiko? Only wreaths & feathers??
    The sleeve must be made using the specifications provided by the show or the quilt will be rejected.
    Also, I will tell you that for some reason or another, binding is one of the primary things the judges look at. Is it full? is it even? Is it finished by hand? Did you use a ladder stitch? Are the corner folds all stitched. Sheesh.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    ........... Also, I will tell you that for some reason or another, binding is one of the primary things the judges look at. Is it full? is it even? Is it finished by hand? Did you use a ladder stitch? Are the corner folds all stitched. ...........
    And ......... is it straight and flat?
    are the corners square?
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  6. #6
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    Please don't let all this deter you from entering your quilt. You will learn so much. I speak from experience, I entered several before I ever won. It's a great learning experience. Just do your best and go on from there.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    A whole cloth quilt sure does count as traditional. I've entered a few shows and I've never had the sleeve critiqued, so just follow the show's direction and do your best to make sure it's straight so the quilt hangs well.

    As for the binding, everyone thinks it's a big deal in judging, but it's not the whole deal. The Vermont Quilt Festival uses a point system and they only give 5 points out of 100 possible for binding.

    I hope you do enter, and I hope you find it as much fun as I do - there's something wonderful about seeing your quilt hanging with all the others.

    Janet

  8. #8
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Thanks all! It sounds awesome! It will be the one for next year (or the year after.. or the year after?!) I just want to have fun with it and not pressure myself!
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  9. #9
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Also from what I hear, make sure its photographed well
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  10. #10
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I think the first thing you should do is attend a quilt show. This will allow you to examine all the quilts in the different categories. Some shows will even have a category for "first time entry". Some people think this is just for the younger quilter, but normally that is a separate category in itself. The "first time entry" category is for someone like you who has never entered a show. Quilt show categories can vary between shows but I'm sure there's one for you. I have learned the most from judge's critiques by entering shows. Good luck. It will be fun.

  11. #11
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    We had a major quilt judge (Houston, Paducah- etc) come and talk at our guild. She said binding doesn't usually keep things out of shows, but it keeps things from placing. It is the easiest place to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

    The sleeve wouldn't be judged unless your quilt was the absolute top, and tied with another quilt and they needed something to seperate Best of Show- then, every detail gets nit-picked.

    She also told us that no quilt is ever perfect, it is just a matter of learning which mistakes have to be redone (any issues with mitred corners!) and which can be overlooked. She talked about needing to accept new techniques- such as fused bindings as valid. That is likely a technique the OP couldn't use. After learning about the Chicago School of Fusing and raw edged fused bindings, I do that all the time now, I hate traditional bindings, but unless the show requires traditional methods, it just isn't necessary.

    The other thing she told us is that we would be absolutely shocked by how BAD the backs of some of the quilts hanging in major shows are. She picked up the Houston show catalog and flipped through it real fast- did anyone see a back? Nope, neither do the people who come to the show. So those quilts get the resume credit of hanging in the show- with puckers, eyelashes, all kinds of problems. Now, those quilts certainly aren't going to ribbon, the judges see all- but it really made me want to enter shows, because before I always thought of show quilts as flawless, and they aren't.

  12. #12
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Her point about us not seeing the backs, is something to remember ... We're only seeing 1/2 the story ... and that other half may be hiding the answers as to why a quilt has not placed or received 1st!
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  13. #13
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    "After learning about the Chicago School of Fusing and raw edged fused bindings"

    I hate, hate, hate doing the binding. Can you please describe this method or point me to a link? A Bing search did not help, but perhaps I wasn't using the right search string.

  14. #14
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    Here is a handout I give in a lecture on judging. Hope it helps

    Frequently Found Errors in Quilt Construction

    1. Binding corners should be more accurately executed.
    2. Mitering poorly executed...
    3. Joining of pieced work should be more accurate...
    4. Thread used for piecing should blend with the colors of the fabric.
    5. Appliqué stitches should be smaller, tighter and/or closer together.
    6. Thread used for appliqué should match the color of the fabric being applied
    7. Regularly patterned fabric should be cut in relation to the pattern of the fabric, even when this does not coincide with the grain of the fabric in order to avoid the illusion of inaccuracy
    8. Fabric grain not well handled.
    9. Quality of backing fabric should be equal to the quality of the fabric used in the top.
    10. Marking remains fixable.
    11. Quilting stitches not uniform
    12. Dark fabric shadowing through light fabric.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belfrybat View Post
    "After learning about the Chicago School of Fusing and raw edged fused bindings"

    I hate, hate, hate doing the binding. Can you please describe this method or point me to a link? A Bing search did not help, but perhaps I wasn't using the right search string.
    Weird, Bing didn't find anything helpful, first link on a google search of "Chicago School of Fusing Binding"
    http://www.artfabrik.com/bindingdirections.htm

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