Friday, September 10, 2010

State Fair

As many of you know I entered three quilts into the Missouri State fair this summer.

Flights of Nature
Frosted Stars
Sunday Squares

I wanted to share with you some of the comments that the judges had on each quilt. Each quilt was judged by two different people and I have combined their comments.

Frosted Stars
  • Sashing that is pieced is less noticeable if connecting seams are cut on the bias.
  • Clean up need to be done of loose threads
  • Stitch size on quilting needs improvement. Stitches too large in some areas.
  • Tension needs adjusting on quilting.
  • Miter corner on binding seams needs to be slip stitched. 
Sunday Squares
  • Found loose threads, but no other comments given for this quilt.
Flights of Nature
  • Fabrics and colors are nice.
  • Overall Design good. Inner border needs quilting other than in the ditch.
  • Wounder Under used for applique and makes quilt a little stiff in places.
  • Border quilting is effective, but would like to see more quilting in the center of the quilt.
  • Visually appealing quilt.
  • Miter corner on binding seams needs to be slip stitched.
  • Loose threads need to be trimmed.
  • Stitching on binding is too far apart, by one judge, but next one said it's very well done.
It seems it was just little things that were wrong with the quilts. Pieced sashing needs to be done on the bias. I think either way you would still see it. Remove all loose threads. Tack down mitered corners on binding. Never use Wounder Under on a quilt that is going in a show.

I do want to say that my Frost Stars quilt was sent out to a long arm quilter and was entered into the piecing category not quilting.  Why they judge it on quilting I'm not sure.  I am sorry they did. 

As you can see not every judge thought the same way. One judge hated something and the next loved it. One just never knows. I think sometimes they are just being overly picky and they have that right. This is to be your best work and is to show that you have mastered your craft.

What makes a person a Master Quilter anyways? Some say winning a blue ribbon at a quilt show and others say having a quilt published in a magazine. What do you think makes a person a Master Quilter?

I'm going to keep working on my techniques and next year I will be getting a ribbon for my quilts. Believe in yourself and it will happen.

Go out and have fun as long as you're happy with your work it does not matter what anyone else thinks!

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Until next time,


  1. Good for you! I really keep telling myself that I want to enter some of mine into the fair this year, but I keep talking myself out of it too! I have about two weeks to make a decision...

  2. I think it was so generous of you to post the comments so we all can learn. Years ago I was asked to be one of a panel of judges at a local county fair. I was not a quilter then but they wanted someone who sewed and did not quilt to give an opinion- like anyone visiting the fair might and look at it through those eyes. The experience merely confirmed that judging is subjective and that certain things that bother or are important to one person is not so much maybe to someone else.

    Good for you to listen and decide for yourself what is important to you.

  3. I dream about making a quilt and entering it into a show. But, I'm not really that brave to turn it into reality because I can be too sensitive -- criticism can hurt.

    Thanks for posting the comments made on your quilts. If I ever do decide to make a quilt to enter a show, I'll remember these things.

  4. I'm so glad that you didn't let the criticism get you down -- use it for motivation to work on your techniques. I've been quilting for 15 years and still learn from every quilt I make. BTW, I loved Frosted Stars so much that I bought the fabric to make it. Obviously yours was good enough to excite experienced quilters like myself. You should be very proud of yourself and keep going forward!

  5. What makes a master quilter? I think it is when you feel you have attained the level of perfection you are happy with. From what I have been able to see, judging is certainly subjective, and it seems to vary also according to the contest. So I guess if you are planning to enter one, you need to know how that particular contest tends to be judged. I am wondering what on earth is wrong with using Wonder Under? And what is wrong with the quilt being slightly stiff in some places? This is a first one for me! Go figure. (:

  6. They look like 'blue ribbons' to me. Glad you were able to take it all in stride and work on improving. What really counts is having a good time with your art.

  7. Hey...if a quilt makes me happy, I don't care what any judges say about it. Your quilts look very nice. I have heard about the mitered binding corners needing to be stitched and do that with mine, but...heaven knows mine would have lots of OTHER comments if they were judged!!! LOL

  8. Well done! At the very least they had your quilt to show at the fair before judging... But like you said you learned some things. I guess judging is like everything else, it's going to look a little different to different people. I'd be proud that you finished THREE quilts and offered them to be judged. A master quilter is someone who improves upon their quilting and patchwork each day!

  9. Well done Charlie! I think more people should take the leap and enter quilts. Judges comments should be constructive to allow us to improve our skills and techniques. If they don't tell us, how will we know? What makes a master quilter? Hmmm, now that really IS subjective! time and experience, being at the top of your game? finely honed skills. What a conversation starter! :)

  10. Wow! Congrats on getting your quilts into the State Fair! That is awesome.

    I used to judge county fairs (in the garment construction section) and judges are really nit-picky. It is the little details that make the difference. I used to enter plenty too, and it stings just a little when you get those nit-picky comments back on something you've put your heart into. But if you can get past that, you can use it to improve your technique.

    As far as being a Master Quilter, though I did not judge in the quilting category, I think a broad definition of a Master in anything is experience. I did a little research on it and to be an 'expert' in any field, it takes about 10,000 hours of working on that specific thing. Additionally, I think it means continually learning everything you can from those whose work you admire and putting that into practice.

    Also, you're not the only one who got judged on something that wasn't supposed to be. I entered a quilt with specific instructions on the sheet that only the blocks were to be judged and it came back judged and with comments on the quilting as well. Oh well.

    Love the Sunday Squares pattern. I had a small non-Moda charm pack I won at Shop Hop and sinde there weren't enough squares to make a whole quilt, I decided to make a table runner with it. I love how it is coming out.

    Congratulations again. Your work is really nice.

    xo -E

  11. Bravo! It takes guts to allow your work to be judged. Neither my quilting or my ego is ready to be judged, it may never be. Although I am not seeing your quilts "up close and personal," I think they look great. If I had a blue ribbon handy, I would mail it to you for "Flights of Nature." Not that I don't like the others, but the colors and the curves in that quilt speak to me.


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