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Posts Tagged ‘judging quilts’

Book Review: Guide to Judged Quilt Shows

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Guide to Judged Quilt Shows
Andi Perejda, editor
National Quilting Association $20

Ever wonder what’s involved in putting on a judged quilt show? This guide written by eight NQA Certified Judges, including Scott Murkin, Professional Quilter columnist, gives you a behind-the-scene look at the process. The intent of the authors is to offer a guide for those guilds or organizations interested in holding a judged show. The book covers everything from finding your venue to hiring judges to handling the quilts’ acquisition and return and more. This will be a handy reference for those guilds ready to make the move from an exhibition to a judged show. It will also be useful as guilds expand and find the need for a more professional approach to judging. The Appendix includes an 18-month timeline to follow for judged shows, a sample contract for judging and sample judging forms.

The book is available from Amazon or directly from the National Quilting Association.

Are you looking for a new printer?

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

The Professional Quilter’s High Tech columnist Gloria Hansen is often asked for recommendations when someone’s printer dies. Questions range from what printer to buy to print on fabric sheets to how much to spend to whether or not third party inks are OK. For most people her recommendation is to purchase an inkjet printer. Here’s an excerpt from her recent article in The Professional Quilter:

Today’s inkjet printers are used for everything from everyday text to gallery quality photographs and artwork. Companies such as Hewlett Packard, Epson, Canon, Kodak and others have a variety of printer models available for you to select from. To narrow down your search, the three key questions to answer are how much money you want to spend, how wide you want to print and what type of ink you want to use.

The price of the printer will depend on the size it is capable of printing, the functions it has and the type of ink it uses. Important to know is that if a printer is using one type of ink set and another model from the same manufacturer is using the same ink set but is more expensive, the print should be identical. The difference in price is generally due to printer capabilities, such as the print speed and inclusion of other “multi-functions” (also called all-in-ones), like scanning or faxing, and wi-fi or bluetooth options, which give you the ability to print wirelessly. Some printers allow you to print on CDs or DVDs, include built-in media card readers and provide options for borderless printing. Thus, if your budget is limited, you can get the print quality you want by focusing on the ink set the printer uses rather than the extras it has. Be sure to check out the manufacturer’s website. Often you can find excellent prices on refurbished printers or models that are about to be discontinued. Other options are checking out Craig’s List and eBay for used models.

If you need a printer capable of printing a wider format, models range from 13 to 44 inches (some higher still); some can print at a length as long as your computer can handle by way of the operating system and memory. The wider the printer width, the more expensive the printer. Again, there are good deals to be found in the refurbished or used category. When buying a used wide-format printer, ask to see a printout of the “printer status and parts life.” Instructions for this can be found in the user’s manual. If your seller no longer has the manual, you can find one online. Then make your decision based on how used the printer is. The more worn down the parts, the more likely you’ll need to pay for replacement parts and the less you should pay for the printer.

Another important factor is the type of ink the printer is designed to use. There are two types of inkjet ink: dye-based and pigment-based. Some printers use a combination of both – generally a pigment black and color dye-based color. At one time, dye-based inks were preferred for printing photographs because of the broader range of colors available. This is no longer the case.

Understanding what you’re looking for by way of price, print size and ink will give you the information you need to narrow your search and find a printer that’s right for you.

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. This article was excerpted from The Professional Quilter, the IAPQ membership journal. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

Your Judging Contract

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Scott Murkin says that a good contract lets you focus on the job at hand, and that’s true whether you are judging or teaching. Here’s an excerpt from Scott’s On Judging column in the Winter issue of The Professional Quilter.

The quilting world is by and large a friendly place, where most of us know each other, at least by reputation. Traditionally, much business was conducted with a simple handshake agreement, and that still sometimes works to this day, even if the handshake is done over the Internet (an e-shake?).

As the quilting world has grown exponentially the last few years, a contract or letter of agreement laying out the terms that were discussed in that handshake agreement becomes more and more important to protect both parties. A contract can range from a formal document to a simple letter of agreement that lays out the terms that were discussed. At the very least, the contract should be reviewed, signed and dated by both parties. It is a good idea to have a boilerplate template ready on your computer to fill in the blanks and send out. [See Scott’s sample judging contract in PQ and feel free to adapt to your specific needs.]

The basic components of the contract are: the details of what, where and when; the responsibilities of the hiring organization; the responsibilities of the judge; contact information for all parties; and terms of cancellation. The contract begins with the defining of the parties and the basics of what is being agreed to between them. This should include the date, time and location of the judging, the judging system being used (for example elimination vs. point system), any other judges with whom you will be working, the approximate number of entries to be judged and any expectations for feedback or evaluation to the entrants. It also covers handling of fees and expenses. Once the terms are acceptable to all, identical copies of the contract should be signed and dated and kept on file by both parties. With the peace of mind provided by a written agreement, you will be better able to focus on the task at hand – judging the quilts.

You can read all of Scott’s column including his discussion of judging fees in the Winter issue of The Professional Quilter. This is a benefit of membership in the International Association of Professional Quilter. Read about all our benefits here and join today.

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here.

Book Review: 100 Tips From Award Winning Quilters

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

100 Tips from Award Winning Quilters









Ann Hazelwood
American Quilters Society; $12.95

This terrific little collection of tips is broken into sections for the quilter as a student, tools, designing and working styles, stash savvy, techniques, quilting, finishing touches and show etiquette. You’ll find something to use or pass along. But the best advice, as Zena Thorp says, is “remember that it is YOUR quilt.”  Here’s a link if you’d like to add it to your library.

The Quilt Judge’s Perspective Recordings Now Available

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

The MP3 download and CD recording of The Quilt Judges’ Perspective teleclass hosted by Morna McEver Golletz and featuring NQA Certified Judges Jane Hall and Scott Murkin is now available to purchase. Learn what criteria judges use when judging a quilt show, the relationship between design and workmanship from the judge’s standpoint, how you can improve your chances at winning a prize or ribbon, how you can become a judge and more. This teleclass is geared to quilters interested in learning more about the judging process, either as a quilter or as a judge. Additional details are here.

What Judges Look For

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

You’ve just finished your latest quilt, are proud of your accomplishment and want to show it off. You first share it with your family, then with your small quilting “bee” and finally take it to show and tell at your next guild meeting. For some quilters, this is enough. For others, it is not. Many quilters want to see how their quilts stack up against the competition, whether that is hanging the quilt in a local, non-judged show or entering it in a major juried and judged competition. In addition to gaining recognition for your quilts, you also educate other quilters and the general public about quilting and its standards. For local guild shows, this is often a primary reason for holding a show. Additionally, if your quilt is entered in a judged show, you can set goals for improvement based on feedback from the judges or your own comparison with winning quilts. And, of course, you might just win a prize, either a ribbon, cash ! or merchandise.

Impartiality in judging is important and one way this is done is through use of a panel of independent judges, usually three. Judges can be trained and certified by the National Quilting Association, or they can be trained through experience. They all adhere to similar standards of judging, although final results will be varied based on the individuals.

Judging can take place either before or after the quilts are hung, and each method has advantages. Judging quilts after they are hung allows the visual impact of the quilt to be better appreciated. Judging quilts before they are hung is usually faster, but visual impact takes second place to the ability to view the workmanship.
Judges often use scorecards or evaluation forms and either a point system, an elimination system or a combination of the two to evaluate the individual entries. The point system uses a predetermined maximum number of! points to judge specific areas, for example, up to 20 points for the color and design, up to 20 points for construction, up to 15 points for finishing, etc., with the total equaling 100 points. Each quilt is judged on its own merits, and the quilt with the highest total number of points is awarded the first place.

The elimination system, on the other hand, allows each judge to evaluate a quilt, make comments on its technique and offer feedback for improvement. If the judge feels the quilt should be held for ribbon/award consideration, it is put aside. If not, it is released from the competition portion. After the quilts are judged in this preliminary fashion, the held quilts are compared to others in its category and the winners are determined.

Neither system is perfect. Regardless, judges evaluate quilts against the same standards. Here are just a few of the commonly held standards that judges use:

General Appearance
• The quilt makes an overall positive statement upon viewing
• The quilt is clean and “ready to show,” i.e., no visible marks, no loose threads, no pet hair, no bearding, no offensive odors.
• The quilt’s edges are not distorted. This is easier to gauge when the quilt is hung.

Design and Composition
• All the individual design elements of the quilt – top, quilting, choice of fabric, sashes, borders, embellishments, finishing – are unified.
• The design is in proportion and balanced.
• Borders or other edge treatments enhance the quilt appearance.

• Piecing is precise, corners match and points are sharp.
• Seams, including those of sashing and borders, are secure, straight and flat.
• Quilting stitches are straight where intended and curved where intended.

As noted, judges consider certain “standards” when evaluating quilts — and the list is really quite extensive — but how do they decide which quilts are the prizewinners? And what is more important, design or workmanship? In the end I think it comes down to design, the quilt with the greater visual impact. But even the quilt with the greatest visual impact cannot rescue poor workmanship.

The Professional Quilter has an ongoing column geared just for judges, but it’s useful for those who are entering shows. The current issue’s column by Scott Murkin focuses on phrasing judging comments. You can purchase Issue 104 or can start a subscription here. We also offer two resources recommended for those in judging programs. You can learn more about The Challenge of Judging by Jeannie Spears and Judging Quilts by Katy Christopherson on our resources page.

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