Mar 7, 2013

Sewing Blind - Quiltcon Judging Checklist -WIP

Last week my bulb in the machine went! So I have been sewing blind! Sewing circle was much fun but very dark without my usual desk lamp beside me and no bulb in the machine! So tonight I removed my bulb - after I read the manual - I discovered that there are actually 2 bulbs in my machine - I really have been kept in the dark and will remain so until I can get new bulbs!

My Dear Stella quilt has arrived back from Quiltcon - It is featured in The Dear Stella Blog Quiltcon Recap alongside the other Juried entries -  I'm going to shed light (pun intended) on the 2013 Judges Checklist as I feel knowing this may have changed how I made my quilt. I note that there is no mention of the word "Modern" - other than the category "Modern Traditionaliam".  I have made notes on page layouts in brackets

Quiltcon - 2013 Judging Checklist

Note: Not all boxes will be checked. Boxes checked in the left-hand column indicate attributes that are especially strong. Boxes checked in the right-hand column indicate areas for improvement.

Positive Attributes (left column on page)

Strong visual impact
Effective use of balance
Good use of color
Effective use of contrast/value
Effective fabric choices

Overall workmanship is excellent
Piecing is accurate
Quilt is straight and lies flat

Quilting design complements the piecing
Quilting is well done
Effective thread choice

Binding is well-executed
Innovative binding technique

Areas For Improvement (right column)

Weak visual impact
Lack of balance detracts from the design
Ineffective use of color
ineffective use of contrast/value
Fabric choices detract from the design

Workmanship is poor
Piecing is not accurate
Sides are warped/quilt does not lay flat
Dark fabric shows trough light fabric
Threads and/or marking are visible

Quilting does not complement the piecing
Tension problems are evident
Stitch length needs to be more consistent
Thread choice is distracting
Quilt would benefit from additional quilting.

Binding is poorly executed

(lower half of page)

The following boxes (2 Photos) pertain to specific show categories. Boxes checked in the category indicate category-specific attributes of a quilt that are especially strong.

Additional Comments:

I am going to keep you in the dark about what was checked on my list and what the additional comments were. These I am still trying to comprehend. Most sections only had one check marked - one section had two checks.

I have never entered a quilt into a Juried quilt show - or any show for that matter and so find this list interesting.

Work in progress report: - Linking up with Lee from Freshlypieced for WIP Wednesday.

I have 2 projects on the go - a very traditional piece and a very "Modern" (perhaps I should not label it as such, instead, call it "Free or Liberated") improvised piece.

My Endless Chain Quilt is at a standstill...  This is a tonal shot of where I'm at. I need to make more blocks and change it a little. I have found that taking photos of the desing wall a great way to see or judge if composition and value are correct.

My "Free" piece is also at a standstill... But I love where it is going.

I finished one item in need - a long pencil case for my little gal - the zipper broke on her other one.

We are moving back to Australia in the next few months and I have to change my priorities. Tax, Health Ins issues, sorting out a house, changing addresses, canceling subscriptions, selling unwanted items, cleaning... does not leave much time for fun! My Mum is coming to visit for 3 weeks before then - can't procrastinate for much longer.

I have joined Instagram - so I feel a little connected to my peeps at SLMQG now and when I'm back in Aus - find me at - fiberlosophy

Quilt on without me!


  1. Thanks for posting this. It's interesting to see how the judging went and what they were looking for.

    I think your Dear Stella is very striking.

    I'm loving your progress on both of these projects!

  2. I have entered and "been judged" before, never in a juried show though. I have also "scribed" for judges at a show. Fascinating! We can compare notes if you'd like. From what you have written these are largely standard questions/categories of judging. I do find it ironic though that the judging form was not modified to address the fact that all of the entries were "modern." How does one judge the atypical use of elements such as use of fabric, negative space, quilting on quilts that don't fit the "traditional" mold?

    very interesting....

    I was disappointed to hear that the form lacked any real feedback. If the judges don't provide feedback, why have a form. Why not just have judges choice and be done with it?

    1. I am sorry if I have confused readers. The last item on the Quiltcon Judging checklist is "Additional Comments" here, there were hand written notes about the quilt entered.

  3. I loved your quilt. I thought it was a standout for modern composition: use of color, design and space. I wouldn't mind hearing what they wrote to you but understand if you don't want to share. I come from a fine arts background and sometimes when I would get judges/teachers notes I appreciated the insight and challenging suggestions either positve or critical. Other times I thought they were flat out wrong :)

  4. I would give you 5 stars on all the design criteria. And even though I can't see it up close and personal, I am sure that you received excellent marks on the other positive aspects. Your design is inspiring and hope to see more modern (whatever that may mean) quilts from you in the future.

  5. I thought this quilt and ever other one you have showed off is fantastic. I still have the piece of that quilt as you go example in my drawer as I want to do a large quilt that way. I am entering the HMQS on the SewBatik challenge. I assume before I walk in they will hate my quilt. But the way I see it I quilt for me and I don't quilt for them. If I like it (and I love my quilt) That is all that matters. I have loved every quilt you have done and hope to one day get to a comparable skill level.

  6. Thankyou for this insight into judging. It may help me improve my entries.