Usually when quilters question the thought process of show judges, they think the judges should have given them an award. Not so, here.
Picture my tired, bedraggled, jet-lagged self getting off a plane at the ATL and gratefully heading towards baggage claim with my fellow weary travelers. We had a great trip to Ireland (post on that later), but all I wanted to do is sleep in my own bed. I get a text, which I think is from Al letting me know he is at the airport, but instead it's from my friend Marva, saying, "Congratulations! You won first place!" I was stunned, and was certain that she had made a mistake. She said there were TWO ribbons on the quilt, and I texted her that they always put two ribbons on - one for the piecer and one for the quilter, and she told me no, there were TWO awards and sent me a picture to assure me that she absolutely had the right quilt. So I'm so happy to tell you that Autumn on Lost Mountain won first place in the wallhanging category AND Best Quilting!!! I totally get Best Quilting, and I'm so happy for Margaret winning this award. I have to admit I'm not so sure about the First Place for wallhanging category. You will recall that I commented that I couldn't get the poof out of the center after blocking it twice, and the border was waving like Wavy Lay's potato chips.
At first I thought maybe the judges hadn't noticed the flaws, but no, they were noted in the comments:
"Strong radiating design. Variety of quilting background filler gives good texture and interest. Outer edge has some ruffling. Fullness noted in center. Machine quilting has very good control for smooth curves and sharp points. Tension was excellent. A shorter stitch length in intricate meandering would give smoother curves."
Libby Lehman told us that the judges aren't pouring over our quilts with a microscope...they don't have time. (P.S. She also said if you have a flaw you want to hide, put it in the top left hand corner, because when they hold the quilts up, the judges might not see it.) I always think of judging for show as like judging during the Olympics...you have the beauty and visual impact, but you have to demonstrate technical ability as well. So the question is...do you reward a quilt that has flaws (as Tracy says, recognizing the difficulty of the piecing), or reward a simpler quilt that represents excellence in every regard? I don't know, but I guess the answer is to keep doing my best work and keep getting better. You can't figure out what the judges are thinking!
Here are some detailed photos taken by Margaret that show the absolutely stunning quilting. She so deserves the Best Quilting Award!
"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." - Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes
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