Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MQ Innovations Teacher Comments

I sent two quilts to Machine Quilters Innovations in Tacoma this year. It was my first time submitting a quilt to a peer-judged quilt show. I entered my "Asian Flower Garden", a Blooming 9 Patch from Blanche Young's Tradition with a Twist book, in the Traditional - Large category. I entered the Creativity Challenge with "Here Comes Frankie", a quilt named for the linear design of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

My friend, Debbie, is an excellent piecer. She pieced both of these quilts for me. I could not have, and more importantly, WOULD NOT HAVE, entered these quilts without her. There is a time in the journey to the quilt show that you wonder "Is this worth the effort?" There are lots of rules, deadlines for entry, photographs, sleeve just so, deadlines for submission, yada yada. So after all the work of photographing, entry forms filled out and piecing, there is a lull in which you are finally able to catch your breath.

It is time to quilt this thing. For me, that is when doubt creeps in. That is when I seem to vacillate. I call it my wishy-washy phase. What am I trying to prove? And to whom? My quilting makes me happy so why submit a quilt to a show and invite strangers to make comments about it? For me, that is how I grow. Somebody points out (always in a nice way) what I need to improve. I take that onboard and use it to guide me in future projects, including in customer quilts.

But during that wishy washy phase, it is the efforts of my piecer that keep me putting one foot in front of the other. She did a lot of work and I am not going to disrespect that work by bailing out of the show. A little dose of that cautionary guilt carries me a long way; well, at least it carries me to the post office with my box of quilts.

OK, so now that I have yapped long enough, here are the criteria on the Innovations Comment sheet.
(E) Excellent (S) Satisfactory (N) Needs Improvement (N/A) Not Applicable

MACHINE QUILTING,
--Appropriate design, enhances the quilt
--Creativity of design
--Quilting density well-balanced
--Straight lines are straigh, curved lines are smooth
--Parallel and grid lines are evenly spaced, do not distort or ripple
--Tension
--Stitch length consistent
--Beginning and ending of quilt lines well concealed
--Stitch in the ditch (SID) is in the seam
--Trapunto/trapunto look (or similar specialty techinique) is well done and evenly
stuffed.

Areas of Strength: (fill in the blank)

Areas of improvement (fill in the blank):

APPLIQUE OR PIECING OF TOP
--General Appearance
--Design
--Construction
--Binding

Areas of Strength: (fill in the blank)

Areas of improvement (fill in the blank):

Critique prepared by: (Teacher's signature)

So now that you have had a peek into what the judges are looking at, please consider putting a quilt in a show. A regional show, county fair or guild show are good areas to start. But if you want to know what you are doing right as well as what you need to improve on, a big show like Innovations is where you need to enter your quilts. Good luck and Happy Quilting.

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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
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