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bobbi

Interesting take on quilt shows...

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interesting topic......

I was once up against a name for my hand quilting!!!!!!! the judges told me ( whether they should have done so is a different matter) that it wouldn't have been the done thing for a non name in the quilting world to win against this well known quilter.........

Guess what? I don't bother entering any quilts into competitions anymore and quilt for my enjoyment only.......


Tracy G

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Originally posted by Tracy G

interesting topic......

I was once up against a name for my hand quilting!!!!!!! the judges told me ( whether they should have done so is a different matter) that it wouldn't have been the done thing for a non name in the quilting world to win against this well known quilter.........

Guess what? I don't bother entering any quilts into competitions anymore and quilt for my enjoyment only.......

Hmm, well the message I get from that is your work was better than the name, maybe that is why they told you. Still sucks though. Impartial may be hard, but if they could see your quilt was that good you should have had the win. Besides how else do you get to be a name other than by winning against the current ones?

Ferret

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To Bobbi: Ann Fahl makes great points. I agree with her. I have to also add that our national judges (the ones that are actively living and breathing in associations together) --- the judges are the ones who drive the "trends" and have control of what style and kind of quilts are deemed "winning" Trust me when I say this. So, when you see a trend changing to a different type and style of the winning quilts with the ribbons, you will know that the judges are all trying to move the trend in that direction. So, maybe the judges have read Ann's blog and are all deciding that yes, let's get the trend back to the basics: impact and design, rather than awarding quilts that are quilted to death with 100,000 yards of thread plus a gazillion crystals glued to a quilt. It could happen! ;)

To Ferret: Specially designed hot fix crystals with the specialized wand work well.

To Linzi: You keep doing your thing, girl. I am watching you. Lots of people are watching you. Keep doing what you are doing. You are unique and consistent and you try new things, and you experiment. Just follow your heart (which you are) in your designs. Your future is very bright. :) Mark my words.

To Susanne Hughes: You nailed it.

To Everyone: Just do what you enjoy. Let your heart's voice come out and through your fingers and onto your quilt. Make things that make you happy; be adventurous; dare to be different. If you do this you are already a winner. No judge or ribbon or prize money can take that away from you.

Over the past 5 years, I have seen some things that are starting to concern me. I see good and bad. Good is, the quilting industry is exploding with so many exciting things. Bad thing is, there are lots of people in this industry that count on it for their bread and butter. The big name folks we take classes from, buy DVDs from, the big names that want to win ribbons to stay on top of the game. Well, this heavy competition to win is starting to stifle. I am afraid that we've burdened ourselves with so much pressure to be the Winner. Too much emphasis is placed on winning a ribbon. Really? Is that what is most important? Just quilt. Do what you love. Do the best that you can. AND HAVE FUN!!! The result will be something amazing that you will be proud of. And if you are so proud of it and want to put it in a show, by all means do that. But don't go in expecting to win a ribbon. Winning a prize is a big roll of the dice. You just never know. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. Now, go forth and create.

Oh and getting back to Bobbi's question: Just like with clothes, fads and styles and "LOTS OF BLING" will come and go... but the classic styles in clothes and in quilts -- traditional quilts will always, always be around and appreciated, no matter what.


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

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Dear All: Read and reread this thread several times, lots of neat things to think about. I have the luxury of quilting without needing to make money at it....I wish everyone had the same.... With this said, I realize I quilt solely because I have an idea just wanting to be created in real fabric, so that the idea in my head can be seen by others, usually others that I really care for. That said, it means that I don't usually make something that's already been made, or that might be part of a fad. (I've never used a crystal...)

The quilts that most appeal to me, both hand done, and machine done, say something powerful and unique to me. The clearer the message, the more I appreciate the quilter's expertise. Something simple and pure can have the same degree of WOW as something quite complicated. Something done in understated colors (think Japanese taupe) can be as forceful as something done in brights. Simple but well designed geometrics can knock your socks off.

And yes, even simple crosshatching and original line designs can so make the quilt sing.

When I look at a quilt show, I'm trying to see the real message the quilter has for me. If it is powerful and thought provoking it succeeds, if the message is lost in bling, brights, 100,000 yards of thread, then the artist perhaps has less of a message and more of a desire to wow for wow's sake, not what I, at least, am looking for.

SOOO: I'm always hoping that quilts that really reach their audience with good design and a clear message are judged with the highest marks. Simple, elegant, quilts could win.....:D

The older I get, the more pleasure I have looking at quilts that tell a story, of family, love, new babies, young going out into the world, lives lived well, stories of gentle spirit. Wrapped in soft, fluid quilt, worn, cuddled, comforted, at peace. :) but no matter what, keep smiling and quilt Pat

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I have been interested in all your comments on this subject, and thought i would like to add my thoughts as I was asked recently to judge the 30 challenge quilts at a small mini symposium. As well they asked for me to comment at the prize giving on what a judge (me) was looking for. so here is part of my speech!

""" First I need to say that the final decision when judging is not based on only one thing, but rather on the overall effect of the quilt.

So what was I looking for - The three broad areas which are Visual Impact, Workmanship and Design

Visual Impact is all about the ‘wow’ factor. What is the design and overall impression at first sight? This can relate to either colour, shape, design or all of these factors and equally applies to both art and traditional quilts.

For Workmanship I was looking for; precise piecing, no puckers, points meeting, neatness of machine quilting, especially in stops and starts, the consistency of hand quilting stitches, appliqué that is smooth and securely attatched, borders hanging straight unless of course it is planned to have unequal sides. The binding joined with bias seams and corners neat.

For the Design How creative was the design to the challenge topic, is it well balanced and in proportion, does the overall effect - on how the colour and fabrics have been used- be it an art or traditional quilt - give you a feeling of pleasure and surprise. Does the quilting design enhance the quilt.

Other factors I took into consideration are

The Choice and Suitability of Materials?, Any material is acceptable, cotton and textured fabric, paper, wool, plastic and so on. What is judged is the success of its use. Likewise, any embellishments incorporated into or on the work will be judged on their success in adding to the overall impact of the quilt..

Quilting

There is little difference between machine and hand quilting when it is related to the overall judging of a quilt, as Jean Laury states., It seems to me that to have categories for hand and machine quilting would be like having categories in a writing competition for those that write by hand and those who use a key board. In either case, it is simply the method by which the whole is achieved . It is the execution of the technique that is the most important.

So again - the final decision on which quilt is the winner tonight is not based on one thing only, but rather on the overall quality of the quilt and its relative merit to all the others. How often have we heard _”How come that quilt won, this one here looks better to me” At the end of the day every Quilt deserves their day in the sunshine.

So keeping these factors in mind take the time to look closer at all the quilts in the exhibition you might be surprised at what you see. ""

Yvonne

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I was at a class recently and the tutor was showing her quilt, plenty of wow factor, quilted in a contemporary design. Some areas dense, others not so dense, which suited the quilt design perfectly. Someone in the class asked what the 'quilting police' would think about that. The tutors answer was she didn't care. She was doing what she loved, and she had won some big competitions. Her advice was to remember that guilds are run by volunteers with a love of the craft, big shows are basically a business and the bottom line was sales, so there was bound to be a difference of opinion. Her opinion was everything was sales driven, whether it be sales of tickets through the door, or product - whatever. Interesting ... just do what you love, if it happens to win, well that's wonderful, if it doesn't well it is still just as wonderful a creation anyway.

Re the crystals, I put a heap of crystals on a quilt once, then decided it just wasn't right, no fault of the crystals, just the way I'd placed them. Well, do you think I could get them off. I dabbed at them with all sorts of solvents and things - that probably should never have been applied to fabric, let alone a quilt - anyway the bulk of them wouldn't budge.

A really interesting discussion. I've enjoyed reading it.


Judy

Millenium

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GREAT THREAD!!!! My thoughts are mixed but I love the fact that everyone does as he or she loves..., and it is always right in our minds, we can always change things after, but that is after!!!!!

Love what you do and do what you love!!!!


9f797ea378c8e18b1c167f2369cc32f2.png

APQS Sales France

Blissed Millie

Quiltazoid equipped

h ttp://suzanspatchworkgarden.blogspot.com/

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Great thread! Thank you all for your comments. Suzanne, you really nailed it. For me, judging quilts is very subjective, but my love of quilting is not. I do what makes me smile and my quilts sing. Good enough for me. :cool:


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Proud Owner of 2009 Millie

Bliss & Quiltazoid Friendly

We cannot change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails.....

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What great comments! I'm glad I brought it up! I too had been thinking about the evolution of quilts, quilt shows, etc. Remember - years ago - when hand quilters were so upset about machine quilted quilts? And now there are "Modern" quilt guilds popping up all over... I guess you could say it's all evolving with a place for past, present and future styles of quilting...

I like my quilts to be used and loved and not hung on the wall... But that's my personal preference... I make quilts that I love - some original designs and some from patterns, I always tag them so my descendants will know where the quilt came from!

Thanks again for all your great comments! I'll save this one!

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Well while standing in line to pick up my quilt at HMQS. I listened to several ladies say the show is not for them anymore as there is too many quilts and they can't compete. I told them I knew my quilt wouldn't win as it had tension issues and a couple other things, but I told them it was a quilt I did everything on I wasn't comfortable with and wanted comments to improve. I told them they needed to still put in a quilt for themselves to judge by the comments in areas they could improve or have improved. I also told them the people who are winning all started where we are. I had several people stop me and tell me they loved my quilt and I told them thank you very much, that it was a learning quilt and was very pretty and I just wanted to share it. Maybe the shows just need to define the catagories and add some, but I know that cuts into things and I wouldn't want to put one of these on for anything.

So DO IT FOR YOU, not the judges. I have had wonderful comments on this same quilt and then another judge told me there wasn't enough contrast between the black and white. It was a black and white quilt. Different judges like different things. So do what you want to do and be proud of it. My goal is to one day make a quilt and play with the big girls and boys, but until then I will continue to do it on my own terms.

Different shows feature different things, but sometimes it is good to get a perspective from a different front.

Thanks for reading my two cents.

Shirley

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I have just at the MQS show near Kansas City. I am a former dairy farmer and in looking at the quilts at the show, I see many similarities between show quilts and show cattle. When I was showing cattle, we showed our best cattle that we raised and were proud to show off what we raised on our farm. We competed against farms that would travel all of North America searching for the best animal to show and then paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the animal so they could win show. The judges all knew who did this and whether that influenced their decisions??? I like to think not.

The fact that we showed our best made us proud and we were very proud of our accomplishments.

In looking at the quilts today, I saw many of the same things. We own a quilt store and operate a longarm. My wife is Ardelle Kerr, that posts regularly.

We do not have the time to spend months quilting a single quilt, we are too busy trying to make a living in this industry. This does not diminish the fact that are proud of what we do and are proud to show off what we do. We know we will never win a big show, but that isn't the reason we do this.

Another question I have is who or what group decides what criteria are used to determine what makes a quilt a winner. Going back to the cattle analogy, the "perfect" cow is determined by a committee of top breeders. Cattle are then compared to this "True Type" model and the closest to this is the winner.

What criteria are used when judging quilt. Are they determined by the organizers of the show, are they published?

Just food for thought.

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Hi Roger!! So nice to see you posting since we have enjoyed your gorgeous Judy N. quilts for months now! Just wanted to say hi.:)

Your question about criteria used when judging quilts, certified judges have a set of things they look for as far as workmanship. These concern the craft of quiltmaking--accuracy of piecing, straight-ness of seams and binding, quilting starts and stops, applique stitches, and the like. Then the rest is subjective and concerns the art of quiltmaking--color use, originality of pattern, quilting designs, and that elusive ability of some quilts to shine and draw the viewer closer. By the end of a long, focused day of judging quilts, the judges must be exhausted and almost drained--not a great atmosphere for making such an important decision.

There is no standard of the industry as far as judging quilts. I would compare show judging similar to the fancy dog shows. :P Best of class compete against each other for Best of Show--all those dogs are different, are close to the determined perfection for their breed, but one stands out with an energy and sparkle to take the prize. Imagine, comparing quilts to dogs! I've seen quilts with dogs in the fabric, pictures of quilts with dogs sitting on them, and I've seen some "doggy" quilts!:P


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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This has been such an interesting topic.

Why do we enter our quilts in Shows I wonder? Is it for the prize money? For a few I suspect this is a factor (Like cattle, Roger!!) Or is it because the need to be competitive with our peers, or like Shirley, are doing it for themselves, while others just want to show their quilts for family and friends at local shows.

All are legitimate reasons and there are shows that cater for all from the AQS and Houston national shows to local quilt guilds. If my quilt gets accepted for a national show I am delighted even tho I am well aware it is not going to be an award winner, just that it has been juried in to a national show is reward enough for me. Likewise at our local guild show it is always a pleasure to see what our members have made and usually some hidden talent appears.

I am guessing this subject will never be able to have hard and fast rules but hopefully judges will always be fair and honest with their comments.

Yvonne

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We are all clearly at the mercy of the judges in all events and contests. When our daughter was in HS she was in marching band. They won high marks at all contests and then just one judge gave them a poor mark because he didn't like one of their songs..........it had nothing at all to do with how well they performed that song, their marching or anything.....he just didn't like one of the songs. :( A few years ago at our local fair, the judge was so biased over handquilting and machine quilting and stated outright that she preferred hand quilting, so those of us who machine quilted knew we wouldn't win any ribbons that year. Then another year a judge (same one) gave Best of Show to a denim "quilt" just because she thought is was special that a family made it together. It wasn't even a quilt per say with 3 layers, quilting of any kind, etc. Just denim squares sewn together with a denim back. No batting, binding or quilting..... That judge has not been invited back. There were a lot of upset quilters in our county! Maybe a judge who hates yellow would not give a prize because there was yellow in a quilt...........you just never know.


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APQS Millenium and Quiltazoid

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