Monday, September 29, 2014

New Mexico State Fair Results

I meant to post these results last week after picking up my quilts from the fair.  But the night before my 2.5 year old fell off a chair and busted out a tooth. 

The good news is the adult tooth was undamaged and should grow in normally in 2.5-5 years.  Also, she's recovered really well and is undaunted by the new gap in her mouth.

So, well here I am, a week behind, but oh well.  I entered 4 quilts to the New Mexico state fair this year and here they are with the judges sheets and my comments.

My first TARDIS quilt won first in it's category!  Hurray!

TARDIS quilt hanging next to the second and third place quilts in the category.

Judge's Comment Sheet--Best feature reads: Elegant design and choice of fabric, great background quilting.  Needs improvement reads: Quilting stitching could be smoother, starts and stops on back need attention.

I'm really glad the TARDIS quilt placed so well despite the areas it needs improvement.  I didn't make the quilt for shows, so I took a few shortcuts--like the starts and stops on the straight lines and the machine binding.  Regardless, I had two people ask if it was for sale during it's visit at the fair.

My Fuck Cancer quilt got second place in it's category, which I was very surprised at!  I thought they'd just hide it away due to the profanity.  But actually it generated a lot of discussion about free speech and art.  I was called by the assistant superintendent of the fair about it, she told me they wanted to display it since it was a ribbon winner, but her boss didn't think it was appropriate for a family event, and could they cover part of the word.  I said sure, but was a little disappointed to see the entire word covered.

The censored version of my Fuck Cancer quilt.

Judge's Comment Sheet--Best feature reads: bold message, exquisite quilting.  Improvements: none.

So here's what I don't get--I used the same binding method for all four of the quilts I entered, but only on two of them did she mention it needed improvement (I think maybe I just did a better job on the smaller ones?).  I also find it interesting that she said my quilting was exquisite, which I am honored by, but I feel like it could have been better, especially on the back.

My Orange Peel Snowflake quilt got third place in it's category, which I was also surprised at!  The applique is so simple, and honestly I just tried to get through it as quickly as possible.

Orange Peel Snowflake

Judge's Comment Sheet--Best feature reads: Elegant design and choice of fabrics. Great background quilting.  Needs improvement reads: quilting stitches could be smoother, starts and stops on the back need attention.

With the type of applique I did I frequently have issues with it catching on my FMQ foot, and then the quilting stitches go all crazy for a beat, so I wasn't surprised at the needs improvement note.  Also, for the applique I just back stitched at the beginning and end of each petal, which was really noticeable on the back--but I didn't (still don't) care because this quilt is for me and will hang on my sewing room wall and no one else will ever see (or care about) the back again.

So all those quilts had minor issues which I knew about in advance, and the notes about them didn't bother me.  But my Starry Night quilt didn't place at all, so it was folded up in a cabinet:

Sad quilt is sad.  Funny side story--I had to ask some police officers chatting in front of it to move so I could get a photo of it.  They said it didn't place because no body likes the police, and if I'd put a firetruck on it I would have won.  I laughed because my dad is a firefighter (retired this year after a 30+ year career!).

These are the winners for the category:

Pretty sure the one on the right got first.  Womp womp.

Judge's Comment Sheet--Best feature reads: fabulous original design, overall quilting design well executed.  Needs improvement reads: quilting stitch need attention to binding detail.

Okay, first--overall appearance only got a "good" followed by a note saying "fabulous design"?  I can assure you when I dropped off my quilt it was very neat and clean, so I don't know what they're talking about there!  And why did this quilt backing only get a "good" when the F.C. backing got an excellent??  I don't get that at all.  My applique only got a "good"--it was one thing on a mountain of a quilt!  One really detailed TARDIS that was hand stitched down.  Many grumblings.

I'm just a bit put out about the issues they found with my quilt and how they graded it.  I suppose the winning quilts may have been more technically "excellent" but I think I should get more credit for a novel design and dense overall quilting.

Oh well, overall I'm happy with how well my quilts did.  And the fact remains that I made the Starry Night quilt for my friend Andrea, and she loves it.

All those notes in mind, I am planning to enter quilts again in future shows.


  1. Well i think starry night is awesome. The design is gorgeous. But then I'm very biased as you have referenced one of my fave episodes

  2. Congrats! It is still a great achievement and all your quilts are very original and beautiful!

  3. Those reports look like straight 'A's to me! Well done.
    I am glad to hear the adult tooth will be OK. My husband tells me stories about how my stepdaughter was so accident prone as a toddler that when she knocked out her tooth on a coffee table and ended up in the emergency department AGAIN, the hospital staff took her parents aside individually to check she was not being abused! May your child never be that accident prone!

    1. Haha! My sister-in-law has said she's glad her very accident-prone daughter so often has her accidents in public so people can see it's her own clumsiness and not abuse!

  4. Congrats Renee! I'm so glad your TARDIS quilt won, that's awesome! Having seen the conflicting feedback on your comments sheets I'm a bit happier we didn't get them ;o)

  5. Congratulations! You should be very proud

  6. Congratulations on all the winning quilts! I can understand your frustrations over what looks like rather random judging on the Starry Night quilt. I'd feel the same way.

  7. great quilts, love the tardis one. We had some contradictory comments on our Festival of Quilts entry this year - v. confusing!

  8. Congratulations on how well all your quilts did. I am confused by the last judging comments, too. I went back to see if the signature by the judge was the same... almost like the judge was just getting tired and kind of running out of effort there. Who knows. My brother was the younger and more accident prone of the two of us. We actually had a nurse in the ER call our house when he was a teenager because she HADN'T seen him in over a year and got worried. Ha!

  9. Never ever ever has an improv quilt gotten a ribbon at our fair. So I am sorry that that prejudice may also be showing up in he judges at your fair as well I adore the tardis quilt! Well done!!

  10. Congratulations on your quilts placing so well. It is definitely odd that Starry Night was left in the dark, though. It is certainly one of my favourite quilts I have ever seen and is an amazing combination of inspired design and crazy quilting skills. Maybe it's too much of a subtle Doctor Who reference for many people to get it?

  11. Congratulations on such a great result! I love the advice given by the Police - next year do a firetruck and see what happens. ;) :)

  12. I'm not so sure the quilts in the photo below Starry Night were all in the same category as yours. I think there were a bunch of quilts in the class you chose for Starry Night.

  13. That is certainly an amazing group of quilts (but quite confusing at the same time). I wonder how many quilters have gotten 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at a fair. THAT goes to show how awesome you really are. :)

  14. ^^ confusing as in the last quilt and where it was!

  15. swa-wing! Nice job on the ribbons and the show.

    Judging is interesting right? It is still quite subjective in the end. Most technical quilters have small heart stops at my starts and stops on the back. I know it is one of those long standing "tradition" things, but I have no idea why it matters if you can see them on the back. I kind of like them, because I like everything that shows "human" in art. You should make a new one with nothing but starts and stops, right there on the front! hahahaha!

  16. You did so well! Thanks for sharing. It's interesting to see judge comments. I haven't been brave enough to enter any of my quilts yet. Glad your girl is doing fine. She looks just as cute with the gap :)

  17. Exquisite...what a wonderful compliment! AUgh so sorry about the chipped tooth! (And don't worry I'm still working on my binding!) Great finishes!! Congrats!

  18. By the cmments, you would think they were judged by different people, but that appears not to be the case. Your starry night quilt is the winner in my mind :) It's a shame it wasn't displayed in a way that let people see the true awesomeness of the whole design (and to give doctor who fans a buzz).

  19. Your poor little gal! She's still a cutie though!!
    I love every single one of these quilts and go you for entering them! Congrats on placing so awesomely. :) I am no where near brave enough for that, maybe someday!