Well yet again my blog is late. Good reason I think. I just spent an intensive four days doing the exercises in Color and Compostion by Katy Pasquini Masopust. Why? It is required reading for the Canadian Quilters Association Judging Certification Part I. I had a lot of fun doing the exercises and it brought back to consciousness things I learned in University and have used in an intuitive way for years now.
If I am going to be the kind of judge I want to be it is necessary to be conscious about things like colour schemes, composition, the elements that comprise a given quilt and the principles of design. Again why do I need to be conscious of this? So that I can provide quality objective feedback to the quilt maker whose work I am judging,
Why do individuals enter quilt competitions? I can speak for my self as I have long entered quilt competitions. I enter my local show to help make it a show with enough quilts so that it will present an enjoyable exhibition for those who come to see it. Exhibited quilts aways draw people and we want to make something that will create a wonderful memory for them. So much effort goes into this by all the volunteers and very quilt shown makes a contribution to this.
So why would I enter a competition to be judged. I is rewarding to have a quilt accepted into a show. It is rewarding to have it recognized by a ribbon. I have discovered that is matters not whether we are very experienced or a relative beginner to receive that recognition. Another reason is that I appreciate objective feedback on my work and some constructive criticism about how I might improve my quilt. An example of what I mean comes from a show I judged a year ago. In my feedback I noted that there were two elements in the quilt that didn’t seem to have any relation to the other. I was shown the same quilt recently and the quilt maker had found a way to add something to her quilt that created a relationship between those two elements and in the process her quilt became a more arresting quilt to view. To me as a judge that was very rewarding.
I have been judging quilts for over 30 years. So why undertake certification. Judging has changed over time, systems vary and criteria has evolved. I believe that I will get the best, most up to date and objective information about judging available. I believe that I owe it to other quilters. Many times I have entered a show and my quilt is not an award winner and when I look at the feedback I get phrases that reflect a judges subjective opinion on my quilt. I often get a constructive criticism that really doesn’t help me improve the quilt. I feel hurt and that the judge didn’t understand. I feel strongly that those submitting their quilts for judging are entitled to comments that are objective and useful. So I am undertaking the certification process so that I can use my education in a way that would benefit quilters and improve my judging skills. I want to be able to provide fellow quilters with that useful objective feedback that they deserve when they submit their quilts to a judging process. The curriculum, the pre-course work, the teachers indicate that this is will be an in-depth quality learning experience.
I highly recommend the exercises in “Color and Composition to all quilters. It stretches and inspires creativity. For me it has also taught me that in the words of a quilter in our guild – “just start”. I was amazed at what I found within me.