QuiltCon Quilt Show: The Judging Process

This is post 3 of a series of posts on the QuiltCon Quilt Show.  You can see the first post here and the second post here.

The Judging Process

The MQG has listened carefully to feedback on the judging process at QuiltCon 2013 and we are working to improve the judging experience for our members and the judging process for our judges and volunteers. The MQG is committed to developing a competitive experience that is positive for all involved and which will allow our members to receive feedback which will be encouraging and allow them to set goals for improving their work if they so desire.

A panel of three judges, one of whom will be an NQA certified judge, will conduct the judging process at QuiltCon. The quilts will be judged with an elimination process rather than a points system. Quilts will be organized by category. Each category of quilts will be “fanned”or held up in front of the judges one at a time so that the judges can view each quilt at a distance and get an overall impression of the quilt, evaluate the overall design and see the general appearance. Judges will consider individual design elements and how they have been combined to create an effective, impactful design. The judges will have an evaluation form to use as a guide during judging. We will share the form as soon as it is in its final version, but essentially the quilts will be judged on Design and Composition, Overall Appearance, and Workmanship.

The quilts will then be examined individually, on a flat surface, so that the judges can view the quilt up close and examine workmanship, applique, quilting, edge finishing techniques and visual detail. Quilts can be held up again at the judges’ request. The judges will discuss each quilt as a team and decide on feedback for the quilter that will be written verbatim by a volunteer scribe. The judges at QuiltCon will be asked to give a minimum of three pieces of positive feedback for the quilter and if the judges deem appropriate, constructive feedback which will help the quilter improve.

After a quilt has been examined individually the judges will decide if the quilt will be released or held for a possible award. After all quilts have been judged, the held quilts will be reevaluated as a group and individually to determine the awarding of ribbons. It is at this time that judges may recommend that quilts be held for special awards such as Best Machine Quilting.

Each quilter will receive their feedback sheet from the judges with the return of their quilt. We hope the comments and feedback will be taken in the spirit in which they were intended. No judging process is perfect and final results will vary based on the individuals involved. Every effort will be made to conduct the judging process in a professional, impartial manner.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

The Education Committee

11 thoughts on “QuiltCon Quilt Show: The Judging Process

  1. As a quilt judge for many years, your process lacks one critical aspect of judging: viewing the quilt hanging (as it will hang in the show). A fanned or hand-held quilt or a quilt laying on a table does not prepare you for what it might look like hanging in an exhibit.

  2. I’m a quilt show newbie and don’t understand this rule: “The quilts will be juried into the show and maybe be shown for exhibit only or entered into competition and judged. Quilts may also be entered and juried in for exhibit only.”
    Why would someone elect to NOT have their quilt entered into the competition/judging? Would it affect whether their quilt would be shown at all at the show?

    • Hi Sheri,

      Great question! Some people what their quilt to hang in a show, but they don’t want to be judged or have feedback from judges. It does not in any way reflect if a quilt will get into a show or not.


  3. These have been great posts. Will you also post on how to make your quilts quilt ready and things you should consider for newbies….eg. Quilting considerations (ie. tying + burying), Binding (what method if any is acceptable over the other), Squaring up your quilt etc.


  4. This sounds like the exact same way a “traditional” quilt show judges their quilts. If you have a chance to go to a small local show that is being judged by an NQA judge I am sure they would be happy to explain and help you out with your judging. It sounds like you are on the right path! Good luck.
    I have been a scribe many times and would like to say they always look for positive comments and gently recommend helpful hints, binding should be filled, sew the miters in your binding, work on getting your stitches even etc. Everyone should consider having a quilt judged, it makes you a better quilter.

  5. Pingback: QuiltCon Quilt Show Submissions | Quilting Jetgirl

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