Friday, April 29, 2016

Quilt show season is upon us.....

I had the pleasure of having a pre-view of the Oakville Quilter's Guild Show yesterday.

Check out the link above - the show opens this morning (Friday) at 10 AM.

You see I was asked to pick their Best of Show quilt.  Originally I was supposed to do it this morning, but that didn't happen because of "the procedure".   I spent two hours wandering around the show - there are some very beautiful quilts, there are some very creative quilts. They are all sizes, shapes and colors.

It is one thing to appreciate all the quilts, but when given the task of finding the "Best in Show" - that is a very difficult task.  What does best in show mean anyway?  So I looked at the quilts and at first, I didn't read the cards that went with them.  Many members I don't  know, some I do. I didn't want that to influence my decision.

As I had a first look at the show, I wrote down about 10 quilts that really excited me.  And not because they were orange or that they matched my style!  No - I wanted to be completely objective.  I wanted to give that ribbon to a quilt that was deserving, not a quilt that I personally liked, although I hoped that it would be both.

In case you are wondering - here are the questions I asked myself:

  1. How much of the quilt was done by the maker themself?  Did they do the quilting?  If you have someone long arm your quilt (and many times, the long armers are told "do what you want with the quilt") -  that shouldn't get a Best in Show ribbon.  Quilting is very important on a quilt and needs to be chosen carefully.
  2. Did the maker use a pattern or did they create something on their own?  Again - while there is nothing wrong with using a pattern, the more input the owner gave to the creation of a piece, the more meaning that ribbon will have to the maker. 
  3. Workmanship -
    1. is the quilting the same density over all
    2. does the quilt hang straight
    3. are the corners of the binding stitched down
    4. is the binding the same width on the front and the back
    5. is the quilting neat and appropriate
    6. quality of applique stitches (if apropriate)
    7. quality of points and intersections (if appropriate)

After using that criteria, which eliminated my favourite quilt, I was down to two quilts. Both were beautiful, but I had to choose.

At that point, I added a fourth question.  The fabric.  While the workmanship in one quilt was exquisite, one of the fabrics just wasn't up to snuff - it had a totally different "feel"  (not touch, but style) from the rest of the quilt and I chose the other one.

I was there for TWO hours!!!!!

So do you want to see the one I chose???   It shouldn't be an issue - the show opens this morning and people who were there last night saw me place the ribbon on the quilt and they were going to call the owner.

A Song of Fire and Ice

Machine quilting detail

Machine quilting detail

I think the quilt isi very worthy of Best in Show.  I would highly recommend that you go and check it out.  Yes - I know this one had a touch of orange, but that didn't even come into play with the decision, although the orange does give it a bit of pop.

Here's an assignement for you.  Go to the show - take your camera.  There are loads of great quilting and you'll get a lot of ideas.  I did - I took a lot of pictures.  There are great vendors, there is a fabulous member's boutique and there is a raffle quilt.  It's red and white so if you win - I want it to add to my red/white quilt collection.

The red/white raffle quilt

Enjoy the show.  It's well worth a visit.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!


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