Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Turkey Tracks: Pine Tree Quilting Guild Annual Show

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Turkey Tracks:  August 20, 2013

Pine Tree Quilting Guild Annual Show

The grandsons and I visited the annual state quilt show together.

The boys like art shows pretty much.

But this was A LOT of art for them to take in, so we more or less whipped through many of the aisles at lightening speed.

They were interested in the judged quilts and who got what ribbons.

So was I–since the judging this year seemed more incoherent than ever before.

For instance, here’s a terrific quilt.

A third, really

The piecing is awesome.  The quilting was quite good as well.

But, it’s a third???

a third, really 2

A third?  Really?

Has any one of this year’s judges ever pieced a quilt like this one?

I wish I had taken more pictures of what disturbed me so much, but…

I do remember that there was one large bed quilt with a first place ribbon–yet it was copied from someone else’s pattern and it had been long-armed quilted with what was clearly a computer program.   Why would someone get 25 points for someone else’s design?  And a computer did the quilting.   What about people who can’t afford to have a computerized long-arm quilter quilt their tops?  Where’s the human error or serendipity of human art then?  Left out, I can tell you.

I loved this quilt:

No ribbon

No ribbon.  But this design is an original work of art.  Look at those cow expressions.  Aren’t they wonderful?  Not even an honorable mention…

Pine Tree’s judging is supposed to be about NOT comparing the quilts–but about judging each quilt on its own merits.  In that system, theoretically, everyone could get a blue ribbon if the work merited it.  But I saw so many really special, glorious quilts with no ribbon at all.  That’s so discouraging for quilters who submit to judging.

Here’s my favorite quilt:

My favorite quilt

And here’s a close-up:

My favorite quilt 2

It did not win “best of show,” but did win an “Exceptional Merit.”

My apologies to the winner of the “Best in Show” quilt, but it looked just like the winners of the past two or three years:  a small quilt with a geometric design and really, really good long-arm quilting.  Lots of intensive long-arm quilting.  But nothing outstanding in the quilt design really,

Surely a quilt is about more than the quilting?   This Japanese scene is about much more than long-arm quilting, for instance.

And this little quilt surely deserved something more than “honorable mention”:

Honarable mention

How many people could do such great collage work and combine colors so effectively.  The quilting was pretty great too.

Here’s the grandsons’ favorite quilt:

Boys favorite quilt, 2013

This quilt, as I recall, was made as a thank-you for someone.  What a fabulous thing to do.  I know this quilt will be treasured forever.  And maybe that’s what quilting is really all about too.  At least in part.

In recent years I have not made quilts that I felt should be judged.  As you know if you read this blog, I’ve been working on “Louisa’s Scrappy Project” to try to get my stash into some sort of intelligent order and to try not to waste fabric I already own.  I’ve been making big quilts for the most part–with the goal of giving each one I finish to family and friends.

I think that quilting has always been about BOTH making beautiful objects and making functional objects.  Sometimes both desires blend in one quilt.  So it hurts my heart when I see really outstanding works of beauty not getting the full credit they deserve.

Come on, Pine Tree.  The judging is ruining the show for many members.

Written by louisaenright

August 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Well I agree the oriental quilt was exquisite.

    Susan heath

    August 20, 2013 at 11:37 pm

  2. I loved the cows, pig and snow geese–I love animals and birds so much and I agree with your critic, Thanks, Judt Lang

    Judy lang

    August 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm


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