Video: What are Quilt Judges Looking For? | A Quilted Joy Clubhouse Meeting

What are Quilt Judges Looking For - Quilted Joy Clubhouse - September 4, 2019 1pm Eastern

Wednesday was our monthly Quilted Joy Clubhouse live online meeting. If you missed the livestream it’s now available to watch (or re-watch) whenever you’d like. Find it on the Quilted Joy Youtube channel!

Our main program for this month’s meeting was a discussion about what quilt judges are looking for. Replay the live meeting below to see my conversation with Pam Shartzer of the Kentucky State Fair board.

Scratching your head wondering what the heck this Quilted Joy Clubhouse is? Click here to learn more about it!

What are Quilt Judges Looking For?

I feel so lucky to have special guest Pam Shartzer join us for this month’s Clubhouse meeting. Pam oversees the judging of the Kentucky State Fair and has been training to become a certified quilt judge herself. She has been so helpful with our local guilds in helping us better understand how to prepare our quilts for competition. I am so excited to share just a small piece of her insight about quilt competitions with the Clubhouse!

So when a quilt judge is looking at a quilt, what are the main things she’s looking for? Pam and the Kentucky State Fair judges were kind enough to share their critique sheets with us. You can download this free PDF here. I think you’ll find this document super helpful for preparing your quilts for competition! Pam told us four components she sees judges looking for:

  1. Do the colors play well together?
  2. Are the edges nice and straight?
  3. Is the binding done well?
  4. Does the quilt lay flat?

Of those four components, Pam says the comments she hears most from judges – both good and bad – are about the quilt’s binding. And I wanted to know if the judges prefer a binding hand stitched versus machine stitched. Pam surprised me and said the judges don’t necessarily expect a particular technique, as long as it’s done well. And what a relief that is for me! I prefer the ease and speed of machine binding, I just need to make sure I do it well.

The most important take away from my conversation with Pam was to stay true to yourself! You have to remember that those judges remarks are her subjective opinion. As Pam said, “don’t take their comments to heart, take them to construction.” Use those comments as goals for improving your craft and becoming an even better quilter!

Teri’s Glorious Studio!

Teri Smith of Pieceful Pastimes Quilting was kind enough to invite us into her quilting studio. Teri is very lucky to have a whole building dedicated to her quilting! She has lots of beautiful cabinets and drawers to store all of her quilty goodies and keep them out of sight so that she can stay focused while she works. Of all the amazing things in her space, my favorite was a little handwritten sign by her APQS Millie longarm that says “Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Those are such great words to live by! Thanks again Teri for letting us peek into your studio!

Angela’s Favorite Things

I’ve been on a circle ruler kick lately thanks to an article I wrote for Quiltmaker Magazine and APQS. You can see that article – and find some fantastic downloadable circle ruler designs – here. Because of that my current favorite things are my circle rulers. You can find a variety of circle rulers in my shop here.

During the meeting I showed off the 4″ and 7″ ProCircle ruler by Quilter’s Groove. You can see in the images above that these rulers have lots of reference lines and those are all etched into the acrylic so they won’t scratch off over time. I’m frequently asked what size circle ruler is the best one, and it’s such a hard question to answer. That’s because the size you need will depend on the size of the blocks and borders in your quilt. With that in mind you might find yourself buying lots of circle rulers in different sizes. I will say, the sizes I think you’ll use most frequently will be the 4″ and 3″ circle ruler.

Quilting Design for a Panel Quilt

While I was at Quilt Week in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago, I had a gal come up to me and say she’s been wanting to see how to quilt a panel quilt. And I loved that request! So when I saw Gail asking for design ideas for her kitty cat panel quilt in the Quilted Joy Clubhouse I was so excited – and not just because I love kitty cats! Gail elevated her simple panel by adding some fun pieced borders that gave me even more spaces to design. Watch the video to see my thought process for designing a quilting plan.

Show and Tell and Wrap Up

I like to wrap up each of the Quilted Joy Clubhouse meetings with a little show and tell of the quilts shared by our QJ Clubhouse members. I’m always in awe of the quilts our members are working on and I love cheering them on.

The Quilted Joy Clubhouse Live Meetings occur on the first Wednesday of every month at 1pm Eastern. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday October 2. During October’s meeting I’ll talk about using straight edge rulers. I may be in love with circle rulers right now, but the rulers I use most are simple straight edge rulers. I think you’ll love some of the designs I’ve got to share with you! If you’d like to watch live, you can find us on Facebook in the Quilted Joy Clubhouse or subscribe to the Quilted Joy Youtube channel to be notified about our videos. Don’t worry if you can’t join us live. The videos will remain available on both Facebook and Youtube afterwards so you can watch them whenever you want!

Hope to “see” you at the next live meeting!

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