QuiltCon 2015 Judging Results #3 – Abacus

Ahh, Abacus. I finally made a quilt incorporating negative space! I also explored my love of machine applique which I just don’t do enough of. 🙂

abacus_quiltconAbacus, 32″ x 32″  by Christa Watson. It was judged as a “small quilt” although it could have easily fit into the applique or negative space categories, too. A bigger version may be in order!

Abacus is probably one of the quickest modern quilts I’ve ever designed and made. The colors and layout came together quickly and the quilting was simple to design and easy to execute. Entering it into QuiltCon was an afterthought, but I’m glad I did because it was fun to see it hanging in the show. I was also very pleased that it hangs nice and straight.

Here are the judges’ comments for Abacus, a modern wall quilt:

  • Quilting stitch well done.
  • Binding well applied.
  • Push your own boundaries in color and design.

abacus_detail_smDetailed quilting on Abacus – quilted with a walking foot – so fast, easy and fun!

After sharing all 3 of my QuiltCon quilts (the other two evaluations are here and here), a clear trend emerges. All three commentaries proclaim excellent workmanship and two of them specifically mentioned good binding which is usually the number one suggested improvement in quilt shows. Where I need to ramp up my game is in my design. I need to go a little more bold and a little more modern and I’m totally cool with that!

In my quilt show experience over the years, it seems that traditional shows put more of an emphasis on workmanship whereas modern and art quilt shows give more value to design impact. While both are important in a well-made quilt, I’m certainly encouraged to “push my own boundaries in color and design” for future quilts.

I will still continue to enter modern quilts into traditional shows, but there’s nothing like getting good, informative feedback from judges who have an eye trained towards modern design.

 Abacus is available to purchase as a PDF pattern.

12 thoughts on “QuiltCon 2015 Judging Results #3 – Abacus

  1. Diane says:

    I really like the simple elegance, although I know a lot of hard work went into this lovely
    Quilt. I am really liking you color choices. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Ellie says:

    You are so right about traditional quilts there’s an expectation about them and rules are followed. Good sharp points and squares in their predestined places. They are predictable. Modern quilts have no boundaries or expectations. They are what the maker wants them to be.

  3. Caroline says:

    Thanks for sharing this Christa. I’ve never gotten anything into a quilt show before so i have absolutely no idea what the judges are looking for. This helps a lot and inspires me to try and enter some more shows in the future.

  4. treadlemusic says:

    I find that the comments typify the vagueness that resides in the ‘mod’ category and what exactly defines the term/style. I see in your quilts a certain continuity of style/approach that is an extension of your personality/who you are. I have no idea what “pushing your boundaries, etc” means (avoiding some type of a “mod quilt ‘rut'”????). I have very much noticed that there seem to be those who are the “Mod Quilt darlings”, whose quilts seem to get accepted everywhere because of a first, very outstanding, finish but subsequent entries lack the “luster” of that first one (that even may have set some kind of “standard” in the genre). As (fiber) artists it is in our DNA to push ourselves in each project to create that next something that extends us into that area just beyond our comfort zone w/o sacrificing quality of execution merely to satisfy some elusive criteria. I love your quilts because they are ‘who you are’ and they clearly model a certain type of “Mod” quiltings. Hugs……..

  5. kali says:

    Christa, thank you so much for making your judging feedback public! I’ve often thought of entering my quilts into a show but am a little wary of having someone judge my work closely. Hearing some actual comments and how you’ve been interpreting their criticism has been a huge help!

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