Saturday, May 19, 2012

HMQS: Judge's Marks

You're not obligated to win. You're obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day. –Marian Wright Edelman

I got the judge's marks back on the quilt I entered in the HMQS today. My marks were mostly positive, but there were a few items in the “needs improvement” category. After I got past the initial reaction to protect myself from criticism {which only took about 30 seconds}, I found the judge's marks to be very helpful. In the quality of quilting, I need to work on better control of the curves, as well as backtracking. In the last year since I finished the quilt I think my curves have improved, but I'll definitely be more mindful when I next do curves. I'll agree with the judge on the backtracking. It's a tricky business to learn and I still need to improve that.

My other “needs improvement” notes were on finishing—the entire category: straight edges, binding filled & securely stitched, miters stitched closed and square corners. This was kind of a surprise to me because binding a quilt is one of the things I love best. But I'll definitely take the notes and use them for improvement. Learning is the name of the game and I already I know how to improve the binding. I've been cutting it at 2½”, which leaves it a little bit loose. I'll start cutting at 2¼”, which should help with the fill. And I'll start stitching the miters at the corners closed. I kind of like them open, but if the judges want them closed, I'll give them what they want.

There were lots of positive comments; integration of color and design, overall precision of work {piecing, seams, points, borders, sashing} and the back of my quilt were all marked “well done.” I was particularly pleased with the things that were marked well done in the quality of quilting cateogry; stitch length, tension, distribution of quilting, and quilting pattern enhances. The final comments from the judge were, “Use of fabrics to form unity in design well done.” I'm really glad I entered and can't wait for the next show!

I wanted to share a two more of my favorites from the show. This first one is called Wisteria and it was amazing! I love all the 3-D details, the little embellishments in the flowers and the scroll-work border. Amazing! If you right-click on the photo, you can open it in a new tab and see it close-up.

This next quilt is called His Light Reflected. I love things in rainbow order. When I'm working with fabrics for a scrappy quilt, I always stack them in rainbow order. I always admire rainbow quilts and someday I'll maybe do one of my own. This one is so beautiful. I love how certain elements are repeated throughout the quilt.

Here is the center of the quilt. The quilting is absolutely spectacular.

The quilter matched the gradations of fabric from the center of the quilt out to the edges and matched her thread to the fabrics. It is such a simple quilt, but it is so gorgeous!

It is quilt show season and I am definitely looking forward to seeing more beautiful work!


Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Well done on your quilt. Practice will make perfect.
I love rainbow quilts too! I have collected LOTS of photos of them to give me inspiration on doing my own, and have been collecting lots of fabrics in batiks to make mine. I love this one. WOW! Thanks for sharing.

Deanna said...

You will be surprised what a difference 2-1/4" binding makes. You may also want to experiment with your triming. Do you trim before or after you add the binding? After seems to give a better fill because you can tell exactly where and if you might need to adjust.

I am glad the judges recognized your lovely use of color. That is what attracted me to your quilt.

regan said...

Those quilts are gorgeous! And I'm so glad the judges made comments that were constructive. I've had friends get quilts back from shows, and the judges don't make even 1 comment on it, so they are left wondering what was good or needed improvement. And it has kept 2 of them from entering again! This is a total positive experience in my book! And so nice to know what they liked, too!

Teresa in Music City said...

Well done!!! Those are very complimentary comments from the judges! I have served as helper for some of the judgings at the Tennessee State Fair and was surprised at my first event to see how much attention the judge gave to the binding on each quilt. I learned from that experience and always use a 2-1/4" binding strip now too. I also sew it on at slightly more than 1/4", narrowing it down to 1/4" at the corners (to reduce the dogear look from too much bulk there). It has worked well for me so far :*)

Shay said...

It sounds like the judges gave one or two things to work towards. I applaud you for having the guts to enter your quilt and put yourself out there.

The other quilts are just beautiful!

Jennifer Lovell said...

These quilts are mind-bogglingly beautiful and amazing!! I'm so glad you posted the rainbow quilt, because it brightens my world just to know that such beautiful artwork exists.

Congrats on all of the positive feedback on your quilt! I'm glad you were able to take your "needs improvement" suggestions in stride; you'll be even more awesome next time. Good for you!

Paulette said...

Sounds like you got a helpful critique of your quilt, although I'm with you, I would have had that moment of cringing/indignation too. It's only natural. The whole judging thing is a little weird, but unless someone points it out, how is one to improve, so I can see the value of that. Thanks for sharing the other quilts too. The quilting on His Light Reflected is breathtaking.

Lane said...

Good job! Aren't you glad you did it? Far as I've heard, just about everybody that puts a quilt in a show gets binding feedback. But, hey, if that's their biggest criticism, then you done good! Lane