A Few Words About Judged Quilts Part 2 – Starting to Get the Hang of It

This is the second part of my thoughts about entering quilts for competition. You can read part 1 here which explores the beginnings of my journey into showing and sharing my quilts.

Road to California 2011

Charlotte Warr Anderson Quilt
Road to California 2011

In 2011 I attended Road to California and was literally blown away by the caliber of quilts presented.

I knew these were the kinds of quilts I wanted to make! Now please don’t misunderstand, I love all types of quilts.

There was just something about these knock-your-socks off beauties that stirred something within my soul.

I took a fantastic machine quilting class from Charlotte Warr Anderson whose amazing award winning quilt is show at left.

I attended Road to California again in 2012 and this time decided that I had to improve the quality of my quiltmaking. Not just wanted to – had to! I mean look at the quilt below. When I saw this fabulous work of art, it literally made my heart sing!

Road to California 2012

American Woman made by Jo Ann Blade & Kim Diamond
Road to California 2012

So I began attending as many classes as I could, and I started entering my local show again (after an 8 year absence). My goals were very clear – how do I better my techniques so that I can make outstanding quilts that satisfy my need to create?

Here are a few of the quilts I entered into my traditional guild’s show (Desert Quilters of Nevada) between 2011-2012. They are a mix of commercial patterns mixed in with a little bit of my own design sense. They are not exactly show stoppers, but I am pretty proud of them and they are a step in the right direction. The judges’ comments are below.

2011 DQN

USS Jason by Christa Watson
Desert Quilters of Nevada 2011
2nd Place, Juvenile Quilts

From the judge: Piecing techniques good, quilting is good with patterns well chosen and stitches regular. The recipient will love the quilting texture. Sashing and borders well chosen, binding close and tight. Corners are stitched closed.

DQN 2011

Floral Applique by Christa Watson
Desert Quilters of Nevada 2011
2nd Place, Applique

From the judge: Button hole stitch applique well done. Echo quilting well handled. Border designs well chosen and metallic thread adds sparkle. Corners are well mitered with close tight stitching in borders. Quilting stitches are good with good tension.

And just so you don’t get the impression that I’m all about the ribbons – here a couple that did NOT get an award. But they were still fun to make and fun to show!

Double Wedding Ring

Batik Double Wedding Ring Quilt
By Christa Watson 2012

Judge’s comments: Traditional quilt with non traditional fabrics. Piecing is generally good. Machine quilting is well done. Use of variegated threads adds interest. Binding by machine well done. However, I would have chosen something different for the back of a wedding quilt.

Day of the Dead Backing FabricThe comment about the Day of the Dead backing fabric cracked me up, but my sis-in-law, for whom the quilt was made, absolutely loved it! This is totally her style, though definitely not the judge’s. 🙂

But seriously, I never take offense at a judge’s critiques. After all, I am the one who asked for their opinions!

Here’s my other sister- in-law’s wedding quilt, hung at the same show:

Wedding Quilt

Wedding Hearts and Stars
Made by Christa Watson 2012

Judge’s comments: Your use of value has made the stars pop out. Piecing is well done but some slight distortion noted in the sashing. Machine quilting and binding are very well done.

Come back next Monday for part 3, the conclusion of this (gripping) tale! I will talk about what I’ve been able to accomplish in the last year and where I go from here. 🙂

16 thoughts on “A Few Words About Judged Quilts Part 2 – Starting to Get the Hang of It

  1. The Sassy Quilter says:

    Love, love, love the Wedding Ring! I guess we do ask when you enter a judged competition:) I love when the back really catches you off guard. Too fun.

  2. Marjorie Nath says:

    I love the backing for the wedding ring quilt (I also love the front) It shows the kind of quirkiness that I prefer.

  3. Christina in Cleveland says:

    Yay Christa! I truly thank you for sharing the judges’ comments. It really makes me look hard at what I am doing and if it is my intent to go for a show quilt or go all out for fun. Thank you!!!!

  4. Karon Henderson says:

    Thanks for sharing, Christa. Love your Double Wedding Ring quilt – although the backing wouldn’t be my choice!

  5. CathyK says:

    Very interesting and inspiring post. I love your positive attitude about the judge’s critiques. That Double Wedding Ring quilt is stunning!!

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