Sunday, March 10, 2013

Judging quilts not ourselves

I sent this quilt to be displayed at QuiltCon last month. 

 I entered it in the quilt show to be judged because the cost was the same and maybe I would win a ribbon.  I did not enter it expecting or caring about getting a ribbon.  I just like to share what I make.  To inspire or at least get a reaction from others-good or bad.  Its how we know we are alive and really creating-connections=life.  
Thanks to Kathleen for this awesome shot of people looking at MY quilt!
I have heard from many quilters whose quilts were hung at QuiltCon, including a friend, that the judges were harsh and did not judge fairly or were biased in their judging.  Im not sure what to say other then from photos (as I did not attend), some of the winner's quilts did not seem as well constructed as others in the same category.  But again I was not there.


So because I'm not letting judging personally effect me I thought I would share the comments on my piece from the judges of QuiltCon.  I don't agree nor disagree with the comments.  I have learned that everyone comes from their own view of the world and this is the view of two individuals.
1,2,3 Squared
Here is the quilt as it hung in the show.  Thanks Sarah for the photo!

Design:  Effective use of balance and contrast/value.  Weak visual impact.  Ineffective use of color, background seems to take away from the prints.

Workmanship:  Piecing is accurate.  Quilt is straight and lies flat.  

Quilting:  Quilting design compliments the piecing.  Effective thread choice.  Stitch length needs to be more consistent.

Binding:  Binding is well executed.  

Additional comments:  Appears no thought put into fabric selection, since it all comes from one collection.  Really fun design.  (I have to point out that this was a MQG Habitat challenge quilt.  We were given the fabric and told we could add more of the same and one solid.)

So know you can decide how it was judged.  I do have to say there are some contradictory statements.  But again it is the view of two people and I dont share my quilts to allow two people to change my opinion of my self and my art/craft.
BTW I had this quilt displayed at a traditional quilt show February 2012.  It was disrespected in the way it was hung, with 1/3 of it on the ground!  It was not hung so people could get its visual impact.  BTW my friend saw it first and the bottom was tucked under!  She pulled it out.  Thanks friend!

The criticism I received was that quilting lines should be straight.  Of course I dont lay out my quilting lines and just quilt organically.  But that is not everyone's cup of tea.  My outrage concerned the way it was hung.  If you are having a quilt show then pick a space large enough to display respectfully the quilts you accept into the show.  That's why you include the size when you enter it.  
My quilt "All I want is red, wah, wah,wah.

I had entered another quilt in the red and white quilt challenge category.  I also was disappointed in the way the winner of the challenge quilt did not seem to fit the way the challenge was worded.  I had made an effort to really follow the challenge to the word.  It seemed the in crowds group quilt won.  But then we live in a subjective world and if you let the world views of other rule you you will have a poor life.  I hope this helps uplift some people.  

In the words of Pete the Cat from his book I Love My White Shoes
'No matter what you step in, 
keep walking along and singing your song...
because its all good."
watch and sing along its fun!

keep dreaming...Colleen
see its all good...enough for me!


Little Island Quilting said...

But didn't the 'Best In Show' at QuiltCon also have one fabric line only? Jay MacCarroll's City Center line? Huh?!

Esther said...

Greatpost and great video!!! Thank you.

Christine M said...

Seems funny that you are told you can add more of the same fabric and a solid for them to then tell you that no thought was given! I would just ignore them. I think you quilt looks very effective.

Jessica said...

Thanks for this post, Colleen. It's refreshing to see such positivity in blogland regarding quilt shows!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Large shows should always have a panel of judges - a panel meaning a minimum of 6 and maximum of 10 (depending on amount of quilts entered) - this eliminates the 'bias' factor. But you have to take judging as a grain of salt sometimes and I am glad it has not overwhelmed you.

Donna said...

Your quilt is lovely.

Carrie P. said...

Quilt shows can be very interesting when quilts are judged. You just never know about judges. Your red quilt was one of favorite quilts in the show. I like your modern quilt too. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Kelly said...

Great post! All I had to do was see the quilts they selected for the "Judge's Choice" and I realized they have what Nina Garcia calls "questionable taste". Your quilt and your attitude are awesome!

Amanda K said...

I really love your quilt you sent to quilcon.

Jenny Squawk said...

Yes. You are correct.

Jenny Squawk said...

I'm not sure if they had an outside judge or it was the committees the put the show together that did the judging. I'm glad that workmanship was a category though it must have had little impact on ribbons. I agree though, at last they respected you quilt. That other show was garbage for letting your quilt sit on the ground.

Amy said...

I happen to really like the quilt you entered. I follow a few of said quilters on instagram.. seems they are clicky. I would not let these people smash your creative spirit. we all sew one stitch at a time. keep up the good work.

Jessim said...

Thank you for sharing the comments you received. After reading the post that I think caused the dust up about the judging, I went seeking other comments to see if they were all on that same line. It seems they were.

I really disagree with these judges. I think your quilt has excellent visual impact. Who is to say the pattern needs to be the focal point? I like how it appears you are viewing it through the window of the solid.

And no thought put into the fabric choices? That's just rude. Using one line doesn't meant there was no thought.

Sarah said...

I think this is a great quilt, so lively and fun. Bravo to you for having such a thick skin and not letting the judges' comments bother you. You did a terrific job coming up with a unique and interesting design.

Carolyn said...

I love your quilt! The impact is striking and in my humble opinion more interesting then a stark white background. Everyone has their own opinion and in the end only yours counts (and the recipient).
As for hanging your quilt in the other show...what a disgrace!

Heidi said...

Love this post. Far too long, I have been a hermit quilter and am entering two quilts next month in my first show. Helps to know what to expect and I will post results!

Heidi said...

Following you by GFC, but do not see option for email- please direct if I am missing it:-)

Barb and Sharon said...

Pete is such a wise cat! Love all his books.

Barb in Mi said...

I love your quilt - and I admire your courage to enter it in a show and post the judges comments!
Keep on sewing and sharing - no matter what the so called experts say: it is your quilt and it is beautiful!

QuiltyGirl said...

WOW. I really like your quilt, and I remember seeing it at QC! I love the visual effect of this quilt.
I agree that the comments are contradictory. And it is totally BS that they commented on you only using one line of fabric! MANY of the quilts in the show used one line of fabric!
I really hope that the MQG learns from this first experience. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to attend, and I met some really amazing women. But there are several issues that have rubbed me the wrong way. :(

Domestic Moose said...

I've seen this picture several times in reviews of Quilt Con and every time I think it looks great. it's great that you had the courage to share it and I'm sorry the feedback wasn't so great.

traceyjay said...

shaking my head at those comments... but it's a great quilt!