I want to write about judging…again. Keep reading to the end and I’ll reveal the winner of my book!
I’ve written about judging previously, but I have new thoughts to share based on my latest experience with Houston. My very first experience being judged was traumatic and it’s a bit of a chuckle to read. I’ll be inserting photos of my landscape because I know you need pretty pictures to keep you reading:-))
If you know me or have read my previous posts on judging, you know I am not out to bash judges. Even when I disagree with them, I respect their experience and opinion. I want to know what they think and how my quilt is perceived by others.
I also think that judged shows raise the bar for us all and that is a good thing for the industry. I want judged shows to prosper and continue to keep the standards high.
Here’s how I view my reaction to the judging process:
It’s that simple in my mind.
Case in point—this year’s comments. The only specific comments I received were tepid remarks about tension. I know my tension is good. I know because I pay attention. My tension is not perfect, and the judges found the odd area with less-than-perfect tension.
Okay, refer to the chart above. I don’t care that much about absolutely perfect all-over tension. In my view, perfection robs joy. And joy is what I do. I don’t actually quilt to quilt, I quilt for joy.
So I will be more mindful of my tension in the future, but I’m not going to be ripping things out because of a 3” section where my bobbin spontaneously decided to pull a bit. That’s just not me. So the judges’ comments are duly noted and appropriate.
What I am disappointed in is the lack of comments this year. I don’t compete a lot, it’s just not my focus, teaching is. This seems to be a trend: fewer comments in judging. At least that’s been my experience with the sporadic entries I’ve made over the last few years.
I really do not like that! I take the time and trouble to enter, pack, ship and pay for the privilege. In return I expect useful feedback.
The Houston form is so well designed. The top part of the form is for the bulk of the judging and then there are 2 columns with check boxes for “Best Features” and “Suggestions”, a total of 34 check boxes.
So I’m left to wonder. Were there no “Best Features” of my quilt? Okay. If not, why were there not “Suggestions” for improvement? I just get a very “meh” feeling from this round of judging. Maybe that’s what they’re saying, “meh”? But with 34 boxes, couldn’t there have been some useful feedback on how to move on from “meh”? What’s curious is the check marks at the top were strong.
I will still enter the occasional show because I enjoy showing my work. But it makes me wonder why enter and pay and ship if I’m not going to receive useful feedback? I’m curious if others feel the same way. Perhaps I’m out of step with current practices and it is unreasonable to expect useful feedback?
Those of you who compete, enlighten me! Am I off the mark?
Aaaand, we have a winner: Monika from the UK won a free digital copy of my book! International winners will receive a digital copy; US winners will receive a book. BUT, there’s still time to win your copy as the comments stay open for 8 days for each blogger. So check out the remaining bloggers. Comments on Debby Ritenbaugh Brown’s blog close today!
Dec 6 Debby Ritenbaugh Brown https://www.debbybrownquilts.com/
Dec 7 Libby Williamson https://libbywilliamsondesigns.blogspot.com/
Dec 8 Barbara Black http://bbquiltmaker.blogspot.com/
Dec 9 Cindy Grisdela https://www.cindygrisdela.com/
Dec 10 Teri Lucas https://terificreations.com/
I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday where great links hang out every week!