Friday, May 30, 2014


The National Quilting Association (NQA), 
a very traditional quilt show, was in town.  
I have entered "traditional" kwilts in this show before.
For the first time a "modern" quilt category was offered.
 I was curious how the "traditional" judges would judge "modern" kwilts.

My "modern" entry was judged. 
Made with my favorite fabric of all time, 
COMMA (hence the name) by Zen Chic 
 in a wonky impromptu modern pluses design
Thanks Jeni Baker, In Color Order for the tutorial.

The judges liked the color and fabric choices/overall design, 
they suggested a smaller kwilting stitch;
better care to line up block intersections; 
and thought more overall kwilting was needed.  
I didn't kwilt the crosses...just the 4 quadrants.  
Judges didn't realize that was a design choice.   

 They also liked the "gray" color for my binding 
but indicated my technique needs improvement...hmmm 
a bit more detail here would've been helpful.

AND there was no mention about the backing design
which is a big deal in "modern" kwilts!


My second kwilt was not judged and 
entered in the  "Going Green"  exhibit.

 was made from my Mom's house dresses 
and a very healing kwilt for me after she passed.

As I walked toward this one 
unexpected tears began to fill my eyes as I thought...
Mom...can you see it?  Are "you" proud of my work?
(Mom was a kwilter)
For me...this was the BEST OF SHOW in my heart!

 Here's what I have learned about "judgement of a kwilt"
in any kwilt show.

 I don't care about winning ribbons or prizes...
on any given day a judge may like or dislike the kwilt they are judging.
There will always be kwilts in the show
 that are waaaay beyond what I want to do in kwilt making.

Constructive feedback from the judges
is always helpful and I respect their opinions.
However, one must read it with an open mind.

 I enjoy the process of making my kwilts 
and love seeing them hang in shows.  
I like stepping back and listening to comments 
by the "people" looking at my kwilts.

I invest a lot of time and money in my passion.  
And all that beautiful fabric is stunning, hanging in a show. 
If only to my eyes.

I am NOT and will never be a kwilting perfectionist. 
The kwilt police will never stop my creativity. 

What are you thoughts about entering kwilt shows?

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  1. some of my "suggestions" we funny too. My binding needed improvement also. So glad I entered......I was a newbie to the show.

  2. I love your house dressings quilt. I love the pastel colors. I do not currently put quilts in shows. My quilting speed is slow, and I often get distracted by projects for others that have deadlines. The quilt I am working on might have gone to the show, but I doubt it will be finished in time for the fair. I also made some mistakes that can not be fixed at this point. This is why I do not participate.
    On the other hand, I think quilt shows are helpful for some. The critiques are intended to point out problems and let you know what to fix to improve your chance of winning. As always, I can see both sides of this. Some people will take the advice and improve, but others may get discouraged, esp. if they progress slowly and have trouble learning new techniques.
    I agree with you that you should read the critiques as pointers for improvement and apply their advice as needed. Personal opinion factors into the decisions so much that you can't really take their comments 100% to heart.
    Carry on with the good work.

  3. I love your comma quilt! I had a quilt in the show and am anxiously awaiting it's return to see what the judges had to say :-)

  4. both your quilts look good to me. Have not entered one myself but I love seeing what the judges say and often disagreeing!! Positive criticism is good but as you say they should have said what needs improving on the binding . Congratulations, the one using your Mum`s dresses will be such a comfort to you I am sure

  5. Thanks for sharing. I was thinking about just entering the county fair, and the guild show in October. As toward a large show, I am not too sure yet.

  6. I'm pretty new to quilting and I can't imagine ever entering anything into a quilt show. I do it because I've fallen in love with fabric and the way color and placement changes everything and makes it individual. I do it because it's like therapy for me. I tell people I don't think I'll ever progress beyond the "primitive" stage but that's OK. I'm loving every minute of it.

    I love your House Dressings quilt. I wish I was quilting when my Mom passed and saved some of her things. All I have is an enormous plastic bag of doilies that she crocheted. I'm not the doilie type but couldn't part with them. I wonder if they could be incorporated into a quilt. Hmmmmmm.

  7. My thoughts are go you for entering! I love your Comma quilt, Kathy, and it was obviously very rewarding for you to share the more personal one made in memory of your mom : ) Getting feedback is always helpful, and I wish you the best for next time you enter!

  8. I've never entered a quilt into a juried competition. Not that there's anything wrong with that but I figure that if I'm making a quilt I should do the best work that I can. The only person who is qualified to decide if I met that objective is me! So if I'm happy with my quilt it is a winner, just like House Dressings is for you! I do believe that the quilts like House Dressings that are close to our hearts that so they are the ones that are cherished!

  9. I have no thoughts about judging quilts, but your thought about asking your mom if she could see your HouseDressings quilt got me all choked up. I'm sure she was there with you at the exact same moment.

  10. I know nothing about judging techniques but i really like your house dressing. It's a plus that it has sentimental value. When I go to a quilt show I mainly look for color combinations and placement, then the design. But my idea for a guilt is to use it.

  11. Those are beautiful quilts. Love them both, but the House Dressings would pull my heartstrings too. My Mom used to quilt before she got too weak to do it. Have so many of hers. And most are old house dresses, our kid clothes, worn out things, but that makes them dearest to us. Wouldn't win a judges award, but they are very precious. She could name every piece and recall which of her five kids wore it. She embroidered them also. Nice to speak to another Ohio neighbor!

  12. I don't have an experience in entering quilt into show. We don't really have one like this. There is a theme given in local show and I don't think there is any feedback given.

  13. Hmm... sounds like they didn't 'get' it ;)

    I LOVE your House Dressings quilt, Kathy. It's gorgeous, in every way. Are you going to use it, or will it hang somewhere special??

  14. How do I go about ordering a pattern for one of your quilts - I believe it's called "giraffe collage quilt"
    Lucinda Wallis at


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