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  1. #1
    Fabric Fanatic

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    Default Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    I'm gearing up to make a quilt to enter into my first contest. I wanted to know if anyone had tips for that I should keep in mind going into this project. (Stonehenge Block Party, if that helps)

    One big question I had - should I wash the quilt when it's completed, or wait until after the contest is over?

    I always consider my quilts officially done as soon as I've washed a quilt. The first round is a photo submission, and then if the quilt makes it past the first round, it would be sent out for an in-person judging round. I'd be bummed (in the unlikely event my quilt advances) for the quilt to be judged down if it was washed and shouldn't have been.

    Also - should I put on a label or leave that off?

    I have time before I have to make any of these decisions, but I'm just thinking through the entire project and these two questions keep nagging me.

    Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    I am guessing the website for the contest you are entering doesn't have an FAQ or the questions you have aren't addressed there. I washed my quilt before entering it in the State Fair and that did not seem to be an issue one way or the other. This was in Wisconsin so your state might have different specific rules about that. I did hand sew a label on the back containing my name, date and name of the quilt pattern. I was present for the judging and noticed all entrants names on labels were covered up with masking tape, I guess so the judges could be more impartial? Last, there was a specific rule that all quilts required a sleeve 4 inches wide and attached 4 inches from the edge. I painstakingly attached mine deliberately making the most invisible stitches that I could. Imagine my surprise when I attended the judging many quilts had sleeves that were just safety pinned on! It was my first time so I was maybe over cautious about every little thing. I won first place though. I share your anxiety, I know it would crush you to be declared ineligible because of some rule you weren't even aware of. I hope you can find some concrete rules before you enter. Can you telephone the sponsor maybe and find out? It's worth a try. I wish you the best of luck! Let us know how you do.

  4. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    I was walking around quilt fest last year, one of the entrants was talking with friends. I over heard her saying something about burying all of the threads, and it wasn't specifically stated in the rules.

    So, I'd make sure your threads and knots are buried in your quilt.

    It was a shame, it was absolutely breath taking work.
    Katrina


    “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
    ― Maya Angelou

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  6. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    I have been a helper with judges at our local fair. They don't like visible quilt lines, make sure your binding is "full of fabric", making sure your corners are perfect. Make sure you follow the 'specifications' for the category you are entering.

    I hope this helps.
    Blessed are the children of the piecemakers for they shall inherit the quilts!

  7. #5
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    I have zero advice, but I admire your bravery and your craft.

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  9. #6
    Fabric Fanatic

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    Default Re: Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    Quote Originally Posted by Monique View Post
    I have been a helper with judges at our local fair. They don't like visible quilt lines, make sure your binding is "full of fabric", making sure your corners are perfect. Make sure you follow the 'specifications' for the category you are entering.

    I hope this helps.
    Thanks!
    What do you mean by visible quilt lines and "full of fabric" binding? Haven't heard those terms before!

  10. #7
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    Judges don't like seeing drawn marks for quilting designs - pounce, pencil, etc., aka quilt lines.
    If you've ever noticed binding sometimes is somewhat empty inside - the edge of the quilt doesn't come all the way to the folded binding edge? That's a no no , too. It has to be even and square, and the binding itself shouldn't be wider or narrower in places.
    If you saw my first show entry you'd laugh your tooshie off, it was full of mistakes. I didn't care I was so proud of it. Don't hesitate to show your work
    Heather

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  12. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    And I have heard quilters say that they were judged down for not sewing their mitered corners on their binding shut......on both sides. I had never thought to do that before I heard that.

  13. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    Another thing judges look for are threads you failed to clip or to pull off. Also, the quilting stitching needs to be even. Make sure your corners are stitched down so they can't get a finger into the space. I hand sew the corners on the back of my quilts.

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  15. #10
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: Quilts for Contest/Competition/Judging dos & don'ts

    Quote Originally Posted by SuzyQue View Post
    And I have heard quilters say that they were judged down for not sewing their mitered corners on their binding shut......on both sides. I had never thought to do that before I heard that.
    I started doing this on all my quilts after I had one that the mitered folded-in part flipped OUT of the corner and then frayed in the wash.

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