This last quilting tip calls for some perspective on quilt show judging.
Quilt show judges have a very difficult job, and no one will get rich doing it (one told me she accepted payment for judging county fair quilts in pie!). They can assess over 300 quilts in 2 consecutive eight-hour days. That’s enough to make anyone cross-eyed. While they honestly strive for objectivity, judges are human beings with biases and preferences. Since only one quilt can win Best in Show, someone is ALWAYS unhappy with EVERY decision a judge makes.
When I submitted Homage to my local guild show, it won a blue ribbon in its category, but did not win the professional quilting ribbon here in Tucson. From there I submitted it to several state and national shows, where it was juried in but never got more than an honorable mention. Its last stop was Paducah, and I was THRILLED that it got accepted but figured that would be the end of it because of its showing elsewhere.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that it had won one of the biggies! Now, Homage faced different competition and different judges in each show, so one explanation for the Paducah ribbon was that Homage was up against some really crummy quilts that year. I prefer to think that it won because the judges were the most astute, brilliant, and tasteful on the planet…but whatever the reason for the Paducah win, I have learned that judging–and jurying–is really a roll of the dice. Always take it as it comes and remember that you asked for it–the judging process is voluntary.
So, are you feeling lucky?