Quilting Tip#28: Judgement Day

On quilt show judging:    Having your quilt judged in a show is not for everyone.  Many of us make quilts for those we love and the love of quilting.  These are WONDERFUL reasons to quilt, and you don’t need anyone nitpicking over the pointiness of your points.

Having your work judged is strictly voluntary and a choice YOU get to make.  There is no need to subject yourself to  the pressures of show quilting unless you:

  • Wonder how your workmanship stands up to others in your quilting community,
  • Would like some external validation of all your hard work, and/or
  • Are quilting for others who want their quilts judged.

Quilts are typically judged on over 50 criteria.  Keep this in mind when reviewing judge’s comments.  If you are a fabulous quilter, but your piecing is not so great, you may not get a ribbon in your category.  The judging criteria depends both on the guild instructions to the judge(s), and the show judge(s) themselves.  They can be categorized into these areas:

  1. Piecing (i.e., are your points pointy?
  2. Applique (i.e., are your curves smooth?)
  3. Quilting (i.e., is your stitch length consistent?)
  4. Binding (i.e., is it straight?)
  5. “Other” (i.e., are embellishments secure?)

and –sometimes–

6. Design (i.e., is the composition strong?)

Now you know what judges are looking for.  Tomorrow, I’ll write about why.

My quilt Homage won this award from the American Quilter's Society in 2012.
My quilt ‘Homage’ won this award from the American Quilter’s Society in 2012.

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