QuiltCon Jurying Policy

Overall Objectives of Jurying the QuiltCon Show

1.     To select quilts that best represent the MQG definition of modern quilting and fit into at least one of the categories described in the Call for Entries. The official MQG definition of modern quilting can be found on the MQG website and is incorporated herein for reference.

2.     To select a diverse combination of quilts that will lead to a visually appealing, cohesive, and inspiring quilt show that supports and encourages the growth and development of modern quilting, in keeping with the MQG mission.

QuiltCon Show Rules

3.     QuiltCon show entry rules are incorporated herein for reference.  The MQG reserves the right to reject quilt entries that do not adhere to the rules.

4.     The MQG staff review entries for adherence to rules prior to jurying and may move quilts from one category into another based on category-specific requirements (e.g., size limit for small quilts, age limit for youth category, etc.).

5.     If QuiltCon believes that a quilter may not have provided credit to the design source/inspiration (e.g., a piece of art, other quilt, etc.) on their entry form, we may reach out to the quilter and request clarification or confirmation.  If the quilter indicates that this was a mistake and provides additional information, their entry will be officially modified to include the additional information.  Alternatively, the quilter may choose to confirm that the original entry form was complete and accurate.  The jury will be instructed to jury quilts based on the response submitted by the quilter.

6.     All entry rules are posted here.

Jury and Jury Selection Process

7.     Number of jurors is 4 or 5

8.     Jury makeup includes at least one MQG staff, one board member, and at least one MQG member. All are volunteers.

9.     Jury selection process: MQG Staff picks jury members who have a demonstrated understanding of the modern quilting principles and jurying procedures (as presented in QuiltCon documentation), and who are available to meet the timelines; candidates with judging and/or jurying experience are preferred. 

10.  The MQG follows the common show practice of not releasing juror names.

Jurying Process

11.  Jurying is blind and the jury sees only images, design inspiration details and artist statements. They do not know the identity of the submitting quilter.

The one category that is not juried blind is the Youth category (quilts made by members under the age of 18). In order to encourage the next generation of quilters, in this category at least one quilt is accepted per quilter, should space permit it.

12.  QuiltCon uses an online software program for jurying: Open Water

13.  Jurors are sent this jurying policy document and information about how to access and use the online jurying software.

14.  QuiltCon staff provides information to jurors about the space available for quilts and the target number to accept. Jurors work to accept quilts to fit the space.

15.  Jurying is photography based. To get a sense of the big picture, jurors are encouraged to review all thumbnails of submitted quilts to get an overall idea of the visual impact and quality of entries before scoring quilts in the gallery. Jurors have access to one overall photo and one detail photo of each quilt.

16.  Jurors may begin rating quilts at any time during the quilt submission window; however, no decisions about quilt acceptances are made until the submission window closes. Jurors may edit votes as needed until the deadline provided by MQG staff.

17.  For quilts that fit into multiple categories, jurors may recommend quilts change categories during the jury process if they anticipate that a quilt will have a better chance of being selected for the show if placed in a different category.

18. 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.

19.  Scoring Quilts

a.    Scores are not shared with the quilt makers or anyone else outside the jury.

b.    Jurors score each quilt privately. Jurors assign a score on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the best score.

c.     The jury is looking at the following primary criteria:

i.     Does the quilt align with the MQG definition of modern quilting?

ii.     Does the quilt fit within the category guidelines?

iii.     Does the quality of the work enhance or distract from the overall visual impact?

d.    The jury then looks at the following secondary criteria to assist in assigning scores:

i.     Visual Impact

ii.     Originality / Innovation

iii.     Visual appeal and composition

iv.     Usability / Functionality

e.     Higher scores should be given to more innovative, original designs when possible and when the construction quality does not detract from the design.

f.      Throughout jurying, the jurors can review their selections in galleries sorted by score. Jurors are encouraged to review these galleries with an eye for consistency and adherence to the Jurying Objectives.

20.  Final Quilt Selections

a.    After jurors individually have scored the quilts, average scores are calculated and sent to all jurors.

b.    Upper and lower threshold scores are set based on space available at the venue and the jury’s scores of the entered quilts.

c.     Quilts with an average score over the upper threshold score are automatically accepted into QuiltCon.

d.    Quilts with an average score below the lower threshold score are not accepted into QuiltCon.

e.     A live web conference is arranged for the jurors to collectively evaluate quilts with average scores between the upper and lower thresholds, if additional quilts are needed to fill the space available.  During this process, the jury reviews the images of the middle-scoring quilts, discusses those quilts, and makes final selections.  Note that jurying remains blind throughout this process.

f.      If more than 5 quilts are accepted using the above process for any single entrant, the jury will be informed and will be instructed to select replacement quilts from the middle-scoring quilts until no single entrant has more than 5 quilts accepted.  Note that jurying remains blind throughout this process.

21. Jurors must recuse themselves from scoring any quilt in which a personal relationship with the maker may prohibit an impartial score. During the jury meeting, jurors must refrain from contributing to the the discussion regarding any quilt known to be made by a family member or close friend, or which the juror had any part in making. 

Revision Notes:

May 24, 2021: #21 added regarding juror recusal.

July 15, 2020: #12 updated to reflect current entry software.

December 4, 2018: #18 added at the direction of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.