CQA Certified Judging Workshop

Monochromatic Study

Monochromatic Study

It is hard to believe that it has been a month since my last post.  When I reflect on all that has occurred in that month I am amazed.  However today is to continue on with that I said in my last post with the benefit of what I experienced and learned in the workshop in Lethbridge.
Part of the reason that I attended was I wanted to learn how to make objective critiques.  A clear focus was on doing just that.  When one comes onto the judging floor the entire focus is on the quilts in front of you.  There is simply no time to wonder who made them. The judge(s) look at each quilt first from a design standpoint, then workmanship and lastly construction and finishing.  Design is the biggest.  All need to come together to be a prize winner, especially in a juried show like Canadian Quilters Association (CQA) National Juried Show.
The biggest part of the judge’s work is to make positive, helpful critiques for the quilt maker. These critiques most often include a constructive way that the quilt could be strengthened or improved. This constructive feedback is what most quilters are looking for. For example –  is there something that I could have done better or differently to make my quilt better or stronger visually.
Most of our work in the class was becoming familiar with the process and especially how to word critiques so that they are objective and constructive. This was augmented by homework that gave us more time to practice analyzing quilts and making critiques.  Making these critiques objectively depends on knowing what the design elements and principles are.
The process is made a little easier by not  knowing who made the quilt.  Of course if you do recognize the quilt maker as a judge you must ignore that and follow the process.  Easier said than done when you recognize the maker and she is in the room.  That scenario happened to me at the judging workshop.  Luckily I was judging with another judge who did not know and so I was able (without revealing what I knew) to defer to her opinion.
That leads me to something else that I have become conscious of.  A quilt competition entrant will submit her best work and in a juried show only the very best work will reach the judging floor.  Many Canadian shows are not juried for various good reasons.  Each quilt must be treated with the respect you would want your quilt to be afforded.  Further if you are the judge then you must word your comments to display respect as well as objectivity.  Additionally the maker of any given quilt may be in the room as the judging is taking place. The pool of quilters submitting to a show are likely the same pool of volunteers who stage the quilt show.
Another role of a quilt judge is to select the ribbon winners.  I confess to often feeling let down about my outcomes in a quilt show when I know that I have submitted my best work and that I think it is outstanding.  So my personal learning is that I have blinders about my own work.  Hence the need for constructive critiques.  My biggest revelation was that how well my quilt does, (if design and workmanship are equal) depends on who is in the same category on any given day.  So in one show my quilt might not win but in another it might. This puts entering quilts into a show into perspective for me.  I now feel that I can list entry of a piece into a juried show as an accomplishment in its own right.
The workshop was the first step.  Then prospective judges mustwrite critiques for a certain number of  quilts and be evaluated to complete Part II.  If they are successful then they are examined by mock judging a number of quilts from CQA’s National Juried Show. The outcome for me of doing the prep work, attending the workshop and doing the work is that now I have passed Part I and am a CQA Apprentice Judge ready to undertake Part II.


About Elinor Burwash Designs

I am a fibre artist, teach quilting and am a quilt judge.
This entry was posted in art, competition, Design, Quilt Judging, Textiles and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to CQA Certified Judging Workshop

  1. Elinor Burwash Designs says:

    Thanks Anna, your support and confidence in my abilities are much appreciated.

  2. Anna Hergert says:

    Congratulations, Elinor! Can’t wait to see you advance as an apprentice – you will be a fair and well informed judge, a wonderful addition to the Canadian line up of quilt judges!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s