The purpose of judging a quilt show is twofold: one is to award excellence, and the other is to give critique. ‘Critique’ is not criticism. A critique is defined as ‘a critical analysis or review’. A good critique should point out the areas in which the quilter has demonstrated success, as well as suggest areas which need improvement.
Questions to be answered:
1. Consider a philosophy. This needs to be something simple like: “To promote the art of quiltmaking and encourage excellence.”
2. Which are more important?
Originality vs. technique
Quantity vs. quality
3. Categories should be well defined.
Lots of categories = Lots of winners. Usually fewer quilts per category.
Fewer categories = Ribbons will have more meaning. Usually more quilts per category.
4. How many ribbons will be awarded? Must all ribbons be awarded? Will Honorable Mentions be awarded? How many?
5. Does the committee want to reserve the right to move quilts to more appropriate categories, if necessary? If yes, must be stated on the entry form.
6. Will scribes be provided? Confidentiality by the scribes is a must!!
7. Entrants for the category being judged should NOT be in the room while that category is being judged.
8. How many quilts are expected? How much time will be available?
1 quilt = 5 minutes = 12 quilts per hour
8 hours = 84 quilts (This includes a 30 min. lunch and two 15 min. breaks.) This is a very fast pace. This also requires scribes that can hear, spell, write legibly, and keep up. This will also require the quilts to be laid flat on tables, in categories, ready to be judged. (Quilts can be judged hanging, but this will take a bit longer) Someone other than the judges to keep track of the time is helpful.
It saves time for judges to judge categories separately then work together to give special awards.