Friday, January 23, 2009

Judges Report

Ghost Orchids just came back from the Road to California show with nice comments about design, execution, and machine stitching details. The comments also said, "Binding should be the same width on both sides." Where is that rule engraved on stone tablets? I made the binding wider in the back to make the quilt hang better. It's twice as wide, so the difference is obviously not a mistake. Argh!

I also received a comment that batting should fill binding. I deserve this one, I think. I know you can avoid this problem by sewing the binding on before trimming the excess binding, but it's hard to square a quilt that way. I haven't found a marking tool that really shows up well enough. Does anyone have experience with either one of these issues?


Nellie's Needles said...

Your solution to making the binding wider on the back than the front for stabilizing the edges is a valid one. I've done that ... even included strips of interfacing. So far, none of the judges we've had for our SMQ shows have criticized it.

As for the "filled binding", if the batting has been a bit thin at some spots on the edge I have filled in the space with finely cut strips of batting during the second step of sewing the binding down. Rarely does this happen because I oversize my borders so they can be trimmed to size. This eliminates patchy spots in the batting, plus there's a nice clean, crisp edge to bind.

*karendianne. said...

Kay, this is so out of my league it's fun. Watch out ~ I'm likely to learn something.

LFF said...

Since I don't have any experience entering anything in a show, good for you for doing so. My binding is always a double fold 2.5" strip which means that it is always a little wider on the back. I find it fascinating that anyone would feel the binding to see if it was filled properly, i.e your batting went all the way to the edge. Seems to me that squaring up the quilt so that it looks and hangs right is more important. I like Nellie's idea of stuffing the binding prior to the final sew down. Wonder what anyone would make of the way I now sew my bindings once I turn them over? In the ditch in front!

PS> I have taken the time to sew my nice quilts with a slip sticth on the back so hopefully the Quilt Police won't come after me!

Paula Hewitt said...

Hi Kay
well contrary to rumour the quilt police are alive and kicking - in Indiana! i have no sensible advice to give as your quilting skill exceeds mine by miles. i agree though that they are being incredibly fussy and unfair about the width of the binding on the back. maybe i should send them one of my quilts for comparison... (grin)

Debra said...

Hey, join the crowd! Remember how steamed I was last year when my Rodeo quilt came back with the comment, "Binding could have been better"?

Where's that grain of salt when you need it?

Barbara C said...

It's so unfortunate that something like binding becomes the major focus of judges. I think your binding width choice makes sense, and that to imply that there's a "rule" about this is nonsensical.

I've done the same thing as Nellie, adding skinny strips of batting to places where it doesn't quite reach. How discouraging to be get this kind of feedback. It reminds me why I haven't entered any contests--I don't think my skin is thick enough.

rianammerman said...

I mark on the batting with an ultrathin Sharpie marker. On fabric I use a silver pencil.

That's a crock of hooey that the bindings need to be the same on both sides. Maybe for a lap quilt, but this is art. Pfft. Was she just LOOKING for faults with your piece?

Well, congratulations just the same for getting it into the show.

Allison Ann Aller said...

So many judges are unqualified to assess design knowledgeably that they focus on bindings. I've had an international judge tell me this (in confidence).

But to be fair, they judge via a scorecard, and if quilts' scores are tied numerically, it will be something as insignificant as this binding stuff that they focus on just to break the tie.

Any judge's comments can be used constructively...I always take them seriously...but never personally!!!

Kim said...

I don't have much experience following the rules as I tend to go with whatever feels right at the time. (I like Ghost Orchids, I give you an A*!!)

Beth said...

I guess I'll never enter anything because that's something I'd of never focused on. Gee Whiz! Couldn't they rave about how cool a design was?
Loved it, it should've won something!

The Calico Cat said...

I'm not a rule follower, so I have no advice. But I am congratulating you on a good showing!