Tuesday, August 02, 2011

ME Quilt Show Pictures & Afterthoughts

I have received my judges comments from the weekend's quilt show. You'd think I just wouldn't care. I took home two blue ribbons, and then some. But I always like the critique, looking for one thing after each show that I might be able to improve upon with my next project. Every judge sees and comments about different things, even if they happen to judge the same quilt more than once. Two years ago, it was the words "binding should be filled". Never again did I have a flat area in my bindings. Last year I had critiques of my applique stitches showing. I'm pretty sure that they don't show on this year's "Intertwined". Small needle, finer thread, and tinier stitches took care of that. One judge said last year that a quilt was not square (but I quickly confirmed her eye was crooked, not the quilt's corner). I like to study the judging categories that I don't get maximum points, to see where I might gain something. This year I chose piped bindings, and received an additional point per quilt over last year. There is always something to be gleaned, or so I think. That is one reason I personally prefer that the judges comments are not all about what you did correctly. Criticism is a helpful part of the process.

So anyhow, my comments are here in the mail today. There's nothing too catchy in the review for my Best in Show quilt. Clearly they liked it. They failed to see small areas of mis-tensioning, or that the many borders don't all align perfectly vertically (or perhaps since it's first show they have relaxed and aligned!!). I knew they'd catch the mis-matched curve piecing on the center rosette. It's hard to hide! Let's face it - that rosette center was a curved-piece nightmare that resulted in a major C-cup before it was quilted!! I have similar thoughts about the review of my other quilt, "Intertwined". Generally, it was liked, but I think when you give them less to look at (compare this quilt to the BOS quilt...), they are able to find more. That mere thought makes me think seriously about making overly simple quilts with really nice quilting. More always makes the eyes wander and not catch the obvious. The wetting/blocking process made the batik fabric in my ribbons pucker a little. Found that. Seriously, was I supposed to iron it?? One judge didn't like the peachy flowers. Oh well. Same judge had great comments about the complimentary colors used, and my general use of color, but then she managed to only score 8 out of 10 points in the color section. Go figure??! Guess she likes use of purple and orange, but just doesn't like orange!

What seriously chaps me in the judging process, though, is when one judge is grossly different (aka lower) than the other two. I'm sure she/he is consistently lower with all quilts, but it still affects the average score, and final placement. Now this is a hypothetical rant since the scoring still gave me a blue ribbon, but it is the principle of it. How close should scores be between the 3 judges? Is it reasonable to think that they'd be within 10%? I think that when one judge is bringing down the average of the other two judges by 3 points, it is a hair out of whack. Two judges think a quilt is worthy of the top of a blue ribbon scoring, while the third places it in the middle of a red ribbon?? I come from a competitive gymnastics background and if one judge was scoring differently, either high or low, then some agreement had to be reached as to what this judge was seeing. If not, then judges ought to leave additional feedback about what they took points away for. Seems reasonable. ...or maybe I'm just ranting again.

So, on to some pictures from the show. This was a display quilt, but it has lovely color. The patches just "bloom", and the simple curve-crosshatching allover gives it a nice old-fashioned feeling.
Photographs don't do this justice. Another display quilt, it was very pretty in person.

A lovely small wall-hanging... might be hand-dyed silk. The purple swirl was done with stitching.
"Black Magic" by Ann Freeman - nice machine quilting on a black background, and a rather whimsical rooster.

"Aurora Diamond Quilt" by Jan Krentz (teacher). The back had a hidden surprise of a circle of swimming whales. Very sweet. It appears from a distance to have a jagged bottom, but it is really black quilted fabric, cut like mountains. Nice illusion.

A nice landscape of the Maine coast by Brenda Ware (I think).

"Blossoming" by Beatrice Gilbert. I love this one. It's done with silks.

"Starburst Galaxy" by Carol Perkins. Very nice machine quilting. Both she and her husband had quilts in the show.

"To Everything there is a Season" by Pat Delaney. This is done on a domestic, and is really colorful and pretty. Judges agreed!

Betty Sypniewski's "Fairy Dust" has ultra-sweet colors.

And who doesn't love a NYB quilt??!! failed to get it's name or the maker.

The last 2 are ones that I quilted for clients. I'll show details tomorrow or later this week. This was ("Pauli's Garden by Jacqueline Soper) a 24"x30" wallhanging in the judged category. Her applique was nicely done.

This ("It's About Time" by Kathleen Currier) was SO hard to quilt, but was only for display. The back is black. Come back tomorrow to see what I did.


Rebecca said...

OMGoodness!!!! I would be happy with just a ribbon. I like people to just look at my quilts and get a good feeling. I don't care if they (judges) feel it is not quilted right. All judges will give different opinions and feedback.

LynCC said...

Ahhh. . . the judging of anything artistic is incredibly subjective. I totally HEAR you! :D I've never entered anything in quilt shows, but the judging we witnessed over the 13 years of piano competitions was exactly the same as what you've just described. "This performance was the most beautiful rendition of this piece that I've ever heard, but the way the music sounds is not what is important." (huh???!!) I'll never forget that comment on my daughter's critique form.

And, like you observed, we'd never see that kind of discrepancy in swim meet diving judges without an investigation into what was going on.

It's just the artistic venues that see so much judging variations.

Desley said...

Thanks for the eye candy. Interesting comments on the judging. As we have discussed before, not an easy job.