QuiltCon Judging Policy

Overall Objectives of Judging the QuiltCon Show

1.     To select quilts for specific awards that best represent the MQG definition of modern quilting and the specific category into which the quilt was entered. The official MQG definition of modern quilting can be found on the MQG website and is incorporated herein by reference.

Judges and Judge Selection Process

2.     Number of judges: 3

3.     Judges makeup

a.     An NACQJ or otherwise certified quilt judge

b.     A modern quilter

c.     A person with a demonstrated sense of design with a preference for someone outside the quilting world.

4.     Judge selection process

a.     MQG staff selects and contracts with the judges.

5.     Judge identities are announced.

Judging Process*

6.     Judging is blind and the judges only see the quilts. They do not know the identity of the submitting quilter. Judging takes place in person in January.

7.     Judges are shown the quilts to be judged for the first time in the judging room.  Photographs are not shared with judges beforehand.

8.     Judging Session Attendees:

a.     Three judges.

b.     One Facilitator – confirms the quilt on the table matches the evaluation form, is the only person in the room authorized to answer questions from the judges, clarifies rules, and records winners for each category.

c.     The judges will be read the information from the entry regarding the originality of the work and any inspirations.

d.     At a judge’s request, the Facilitator can provide the following additional information from the quilt entry form:

i.     The artist statement.

ii.     Whether the quilt was pieced and quilted by the same person.

e.     Handlers:

i.     One Lead handler – responsible for managing quilts held for potential awards.

ii.     One Prep handler – lays out all quilts for judging in a category.

iii.     Two Handlers – holds quilts up for judges, moves quilts to Lead handler for recording, folds quilts as they come off the judging table.

iv.     Handlers are instructed to only speak to clarify a direction given to them by the judges or to confirm a quilt number with the Facilitator.

f.      Scribes:

i.     Two scribes alternate from quilt to quilt to record judges’ feedback verbatim.

ii.     Scribes are instructed not to speak unless they are asking for a comment to be repeated or how to spell a word. Scribes are instructed not to suggest words to the judges.

9.     Judging Criteria

a.     Judging is performed primarily based on overall aesthetic value, originality and design of the quilts. However, the quality of workmanship is considered as it can affect the overall visual impact.

b.     All things being equal, the judges will give preference to original work when awarding quilts.

c.     Judges evaluate quilts using a combination of checkboxes and comments in an online form.

10.  Judging Procedure

a.     Judging is performed using an elimination process, rather than a points system, as further described below.

b.     All of the quilts for the category are stacked on the table in order by entry number before the judges enter the room.

c.     For each category, the handlers fan all the quilts for the judges so they get an overview of all the quilts in the category.

d.     Each quilt is held up for the judges to view. The quilt number is confirmed and the title is read. Judges may ask the facilitator to read the additional information (see above) at this time.

e.     Once the judges are ready, the handlers place the quilt onto the judging table for closer inspection. Quilts may be held up again at the judges’ request.

f.      The judges discuss each quilt as a team and decide on feedback.

g.     The feedback will include at least one positive attribute of the quilt and may also include constructive comments if appropriate (with a total of at least 3 pieces of feedback required).

h.     After each quilt has been examined, the judges decide if the quilt will be released or held for a possible award(s).
i.      The jurors/judges are instructed to evaluate quilts based on the merits/quality of the quilt design/construction and shall endeavor not to allow personal biases regarding the subject matter/content of the quilt to influence jurying/judging decisions.

11.  Final Award Selections

a.     All quilts held for award consideration per category are laid out on the judging table.  Judges then confer and award First, Second, Third and Placeholder.

b.     After all categories have been awarded ribbons, all First Place quilts are laid out on tables and the judges confer and award Best in Show.

c.     When a quilt wins Best in Show, the other awarded quilts in that category move up a place: Second to First, Third to Second, and Placeholder to Third.

d.     Special awards (e.g., Judge’s Choice Award, quilting awards, etc.) are decided at the end of judging from quilts held throughout the judging process.

e.     Any judged quilt in the show is eligible to win special awards even if the quilt did not place in its category.

f.      Quilts may be awarded both a category award and a special award (not including Best in Show).

g.     In the event that an awarded quilt is later found to have been misrepresented or another reason is stripped of its award, the other awarded quilts in the category will be moved up.

* Adapted from Perejda, Andi, et al. (2009) Guide to Judged Quilt Shows. The National Quilter’s Association.