Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Get ready for the quilt show!

The end of the Spring Quilt Show season has come, but that means all the quilters are setting their sights on the Fall shows now. On the local scene, QuiltFest  released the entry form and show information, so I've got to start my series of Reality Checks for what I can complete in time!
Let's see...a pile of scraps, and the entry deadline is July 25.....

Just because I took the 2-day class about quilt show juding from NQA, that doesn't make me an expert. But I can tell you one major piece of info about entering any quilt show: Read the rules. Then read them again!
Whether you are competing for a prize or just want to have your quilt be enjoyed by the public, you need to go by the rules. Every show is different, and some poor group of quilters has had to work out what they think is the best way to do their show. There is an immense amount of hard work...usually by volunteers...behind every show. They spent lots of hours (ones they might have used for quilting!) to make hard choices, so give them a break. If you don't like the rules, or your quilt just does not fit into any of the categories, please look for a show that does suit your needs. It's not that your quilt is's just not right for a particular show.

It's a quilt show, size does matter!

Most shows reserve the right to move your quilt to another category. Sometimes the size is different than you thought. Sometimes it's because you worked so hard on the applique center, you did not realize the pieced border is really more than 50% of the top! Quilts show and compete better with others that are like them in size and techniques. Unfortunately, there is a limit to the number of categories...and therefore prizes!...that can be offered. Just put your quilt in the category you think is best, and don't be upset if it gets moved. It is likely the move will be to your benefit.

Timing is everything! The entry forms are due in before the quilts, so that's the first deadline to meet. You may not be totally finished, but you should have enough of the quilt done that you honestly can head for the turn-in date. And, yes, this is where you may have entered a quilt that is one size, but when it arrives at the show it is a different size! Quilting, squaring up the borders, or even deciding it needs an extra border can be the reason.

If you are sending a quilt in the mail, be sure you have everything as close to perfect as possible. That means the sleeve at the correct place. The hanging devises at shows can only go to a certain height, so if your quilt is very big you do want the top to drape over to the back. That means people won't step on the bottom it! It is possible for your quilt to be too big to enter, as much as we'd all enjoy seeing it.

Shayla O'Puss says, "Don't forget to use the lint roller before sending your quilt!"
You also want the quilt to be clean (no pet hairs), threads clipped, and smelling fresh. I know you think that goes without saying, but if you have ever worked at a turn-in day or judging,  there is at least one quilt that should have been aired out and/or stored with a bar of soap in the bag.
And really, really check the date your quilt should arrive. Somebody is staying home for a couple of days to be sure no packages are left stranded on the porch in the rain or exposed to passers-by who may have sticky fingers.

Your quilt could be here!

I think you should enter your quilt in a show. Don't worry about the judging....  they will never see half the things you know are "wrong"! Don't worry about the competition....ribbons are nice, but it's fun just have your quilt hanging up in a nice setting. Be proud of your work and share it with others.
I'll see you at the shows!

QuiltFest entry is open to all quilters. It is not juried, but categories may become filled.
This is a large show with over 400 quilts, substantial prize money and ribbons, special exhibits, vendors from around the country, and a very nice food court! Come and see it September 22 through 24 in Jacksonville, FL!
For more details:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, wonderful information. I wish every quilter that has ever thought of entering a quilt would read your blog.

Thank you..... Gay