Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Notes From the NJS Judges - Part 1

My two quilts that hung at the Canadian National Juried Show in Toronto last weekend made it home today. For the first time in 3 shows, I found that the judge's critiques are very constructive, thoughtful and well-explained. I'm actually going to keep the pages with their thoughts this time. Usually I read judge's comments and then they head straight into paper recycling either due to a misunderstanding of the intention my quilt, or comments on elements of the work that aren't that relevant to me (but are very important for traditional judges).

Round Peg, Square Hole by Poppyprint, August 2016. 38" square. RJR Supreme Cotton Solids.

I thought I'd share the comments with you here as a point of interest. This is what the three CQA-certified judges wrote about Round Peg, Square Hole, which was juried into the Modern category:

Judge 1
Unique optical illusion created in overall design (mission accomplished, thank you!). Value gradation in every other block is effective. Straight-line quilting is even but stitch length seems long. The white thread colour that contrasts with the solid coloured fabrics and then blends with the background white fabric is effective.

Judge 2
Fascinating visual play is achieved in this compelling design. Excellent understanding of balance using colour is shown (yay me!! Maybe I know more about colour than I give myself credit for). Some well-blended gradation of fabrics is noted. While the quilting stitch throughout is even, it would improve the construction and visual effect if the stitch length was shorter.

Judge 3
Accurate piecing (woohoo!) suports the creative circular design concept. The gradation in colour in some of the pieced units adds design interest. The quilting stitch is even and straight but extremely long - quilt stitch length could be shorter.

There is much for me to celebrate here. This quilt is my very own design and I chose the colours carefully (thanks to RJR Fabrics for supplying all of the fabric for the front of this quilt during their What Shade RU blog hop). The design compliments really make me proud!

I've always liked a long quilting stitch length and typically when walking foot quilting I increase the stitch to 4.0. I'm hearing loud and clear that quilting judges (at least at CQA) prefer a shorter stitch length...even on a wallhanging. I will keep this in mind when making a quilt that I'd consider entering in a show.

Would you like to try creating your own version of this fun log-cabin variation? The .pdf downloadable pattern is available in my Craftsy shop (link up there at the top of my right sidebar).

Tomorrow I'll let you know what they had to say about the last Speed Date with Improv sample I made and entered in the Abstract Design category.

14 comments:

Patchwork and Play said...

Congratulations on a fabulous design, and the positive feedback you received, I love it and think I need to make one of my own!

Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing the feedback. The quilt looks great and you really should be proud. :)

Ariane said...

This quilt is beautiful!! I agree that those were great comments that can help you in the future.

Jenny Rekeweg said...

Thanks for sharing

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

That's wonderful. I often wondered if judges gave good feedback.

Amy Friend said...

This is really interesting. I also like a longer stitch length for the quilting. I wonder if it is another modern aesthetic that will just take time for the judges to catch on to?

Debbie said...

Love the positive feedback on your design and color use - I wholeheartedly agree! ;-) Interesting they all commented on stitch length. Personal preference imho. Anyway. Good going!

amy dame said...

i picked mine up from the po today, but mine didn't get notes (i guess because it wasn't entered officially?) I'm curious what they would have said, but I'm certain i would have gotten comments about my stitch length too! i also set my machine at about 4, shorter stitches feel like they're cutting into quilts somehow, i never like them.

KaHolly said...

Overall, excellent critiques of your beautiful work. Although I'll never enter a quilted piece in a juried show, it's nice to know what is looked for and is something for everyone to strive for. I'm so glad you shared. Looking forward to the next one.

Katy Cameron said...

Huh, I also quilt at 4.0, I shall know not to enter the Canadian show now ;o)

Dianne said...

Yay you! Stitch length comments aside they are very supportive of your design aesthetic and colour sense. Of course we have known how talented you are for ages! How nice to know that the judges share our opinion :0)

myBearpaw said...

This is really interesting Krista, and the comments on your other piece. I can't believe how fixated they are about stitch length, but will also bear that in mind for a competition quilt I am planning to straight line quilt - I usually use 3.5 but am wondering whether I should make it 3 just to be on the safe side :D Both your quilts are amazing BTW!

rstogether said...

Way to go!! Look at your with your amazing colour sense and accurate piecing. Stitch length to me is a personal choice, but interested how it was highlighted here. As I'll never have a quilt in a show to be judged, I'll be lengthening my stitches at will!! Congrats again on an amazing quilt.

saroy said...

Those are really helpful comments indeed. I usually quilt with a 3 stitch length, which is a slight increase from the 2-2.5 that I use for piecing. But I feel like there's not a huge difference visually between 3 and 4 so it's definitely interesting that the judges noticed!