Columbus Day weekend marked my first New York quilt show. The Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show is every other year in Poughkeepsie, New York at Dutchess Community College and is put on (mostly) by members of the First Dutchess Quilters (but it’s not technically the guild’s show).
They had a wide variety of vendors (16!) and put on a fashion show and workshops in conjunction with the show.
I entered a few quilts, and was quite pleased with my first showing up here. I like to enter quilt shows because it’s one of the few places that you can receive true feedback on the quality of your quilting and piecing. Show and Tell at guilds is great, but it’s purpose is to share and celebrate and inspire (not to critique). Classes teach a new technique, but don’t necessarily help you learn what you need to learn to improve the techniques you already know.
In the interest of removing some of the mystique from quilt show judging and to help others learn from my lessons, I want to share the comments for my quilts.
The first quilt I entered was my Forging Steel quilt, which is in Make Modern issue 8. This quilt earned 1st place in Pieced Wall Quilt, a Judge’s Choice award, and a Vendor’s Choice award (Amelia’s Garden). The comments for this quilt (and all the others in this show) were very in-depth and positively phrased even if referring to improvements.
- Fabrics lend appeal
- Unexpected quilting choice add so much visual excitement
- Very good quilting technique
- Excellent precision in piecing
- Excellent binding
I also entered Square Dance in the Group Quilt category. It earned 1st place in the Group Quilt category, and a Vendor’s Choice award (Easy Piecing). If you like this quilt and want to make your own, my PDF pattern is available on Craftsy here.
- Wonderful color palette
- Value placement shows well
- Piecing is excellent
- Quilting design in good scale
- Quilting technique very well done
- Binding excellent
- Wonderful interpretation of modern quilt
One of Those Days was a mini quilt I made a tutorial for that had a few issues, which is probably why it did not do as well. I earned 3rd place in the Miniature category. I use a smaller binding for miniatures – a 2″ double fold binding, but I guess should go even smaller in the future.
- Fabrics and quilting design well chosen to keep scale for miniature
- Traditional look successfully achieved
- Excellent piecing and quilting technique
- Binding, although well secured, should be in scale for miniature
I also entered my Nature of Purple quilt in the Pieced Wall quilt category, and this quilt just does not show well. I also used white thread for part of the piecing before I thought about it. I switched to purple thread later, but after quilting if you look super close, you can see the white thread a little bit.
- Modern interpretation is successfully achieved
- Take care with obtrusive piecing thread
- Complementary quilting design is successfully achieved
- Excellent binding
How have your experiences entering a quilt show shaped your quilting? Has it been a positive experience with valuable feedback, or are there things that you wish had gone differently?