February 19, 2014

It Was A Learning Experience...

Judge Mary examining Shirley's winning garments.
 Yesterday, Karen G. asked me whether or not I'd be sharing some of the
things I learned while scribing for our judge earlier this week. I decided
 to write a post about my experience while it's still fresh in my mind.

While I might tell you about my experience as a scribe, I think
 what you really want to know is the criteria our judge used to 
choose which would be the winning show quilts within each category.
Judge Mary waiting for category winners setup for Best In Show selection.
 Our judge was exceptional, beginning every critique with positive
feedback comments to the creators of the quilts. She then decided
whether or not the quilter should receive specific recognition for the
best features of the quilt:
1) piecing/applique' technique well-executed
2) effective color placement
3) quilting motifs well-chosen
She may or may not have instructed the scribes to check one or all of
those three criteria. If #1 was chosen, it may have had just one of the
techniques circled (perhaps only one technique was used in the quilt).

The second part of the critique sheet focused on "Areas that might benefit
from improvement":
4) More accuracy needed in piecing/applique' (circled as appropriate)
5) Long straight lines should be straight (very important!)
6) Strive for a consistent stitch length in quilting (the longarm or finish quilting)
7) Starts and stops in quilting should be less visible
8) Ditch quilting should remain in the ditch
9) Tension problems noted
10) Corners should be 90 degrees
(at this point, the judge ran her fingers down the length of the binding to see
 if there were lumps, unevenness or too much fabric at the mitered corners)
11) Binding should be full to the edge
12) Binding stitched should be smaller, tighter, and closer together.
(We were often instructed to cross out "smaller, tighter and closer together" and
 asked to write in "invisible" instead. Thread needs to match color of binding
fabric. Binding should be stitched front and back at the mitered corner, too!)
These items are part of the judging criteria because these, executed improperly, will
not only detract from the appearance of the quilt, but will wear more quickly, too.
Judging the Track Mounted Machine Quilting entries for First Place
 While I watched as all 132 quilts were scrutinized by our judge, I
found myself thinking about which categories I might enter next time.
I also learned that attention needs to be paid to the tiniest of details.
I'll just bet that there won't be a single unstitched binding corner on
any of our guild's future quilts. (It was the most noted default, second
only to "stacking corners in the wrong direction" which created bulk.)

I'm sure I'll think of more constructive criticism I witnessed, but for now,
 I'll just tend to my own sheets and strive to create even more technical
 quilts. Whether they're for personal or family use, or my original goal
 is to enter them in a competition, I really want to do things the right way.

Today, all our guild members will be assembling in Punta Gorda.
It's Setup Day for our bi-annual quilt show!

It's going to be a long day, culminating with Handsome playing a concert in 
North Port tonight. Tag will spend the day with him while I'm away, and then
 I'll be sure to give him some personal attention until I have to get ready 
to go over to the Performing Arts Center to listen to wonderful music. 
I'm not getting in trouble for neglecting the Corgi again. No way!!!
Gotta run!
DonnaAcornSignature

5 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Createology said...

Your information is quite interesting. I would think this would be very helpful to anyone making the investment of time and money to create a quilt. Your scribing and volunteering has given you invaluable insight into heirloom quilting. Thank you for sharing with us. Is it Friday yet???!!! May your day be paced and Blissful Dear!

Gloria M said...

Donna, I can't hardly wait until Friday. I just know you won. How could you not with those beautiful quilts. Oh well,in my book, you got first on everything and also BEST OF SHOW on that Over The River. Lol Enjoy your day, Gloria

Buttons said...

Acorns rule! I'm not even a quilter and I very much enjoyed this information. Reminds me of my floral competition days. How exciting. Wish I was there with you. Have fun (*_*)

carolg said...

I JUST finished binding a table topper and I asked myself "should I stitch down the binding corners"? Ha! I said No! Next time I'll know. Also, it would be great if talked a little more about which way to turn the binding on the corners to make it less bulky. I can't wrap my mind around that. What a blessing for your guild to have you as a volunteer! Not sure I'd ever get brave enough to enter a quilt in a competition. It's bad enough listening to me critique myself!

Yumm yumz by patticakes said...

Thanks, Donna, for all the valuable judging tips. But could you clarify "stacking corners in the wrong direction?"

I'm like you and no matter if they are for family or show, I want to get every detail right!

Best of luck although I don't think you need it! Your entries are gorgeous!

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