Quilting on the Next Level: What are the Judges Looking For?

Klaudeen Hansen, May 2014, National Quilt Association Show, Columbus OH Quilt in background Saffron Splendor by Pat Holly

Klaudeen Hansen, May 2014,
National Quilt Association Show, Columbus OH
Quilt in background Saffron Splendor by Pat Holly

So, what are the judges looking for? To figure that out, we turned to Klaudeen Hansen, who has judged over 38,000 quilts. Nancy Zieman credited Klaudeen with the standardization of quilt judging, and called her the “mother of modern quilt shows.” Klaudeen is in the Who’s Who of American Quilting, and her quilts have been in invitational shows in the US and Europe.

Klaudeen says, “I grew up with 4-H, and was used to having my work judged. I was the helper person at the county fair, pinning on the ribbons, etc. I often thought the judging was completely arbitrary. There really was no rhyme or reason to how they picked the winning quilt. Even as a kid, it seemed to me there should be criteria.”

In the 1980’s, Klaudeen was teaching quilt making and encouraging her students to enter quilt shows. The AQS began to offer some very big prize money. Klaudeen was making quilts and entering them into contests. The National Quilting Association wanted to develop a pilot program to certify judges, and Klaudeen submitted a syllabus. She spent the next twelve years teaching people all over the United States how to judge quilts.

In an interview with Nancy Zieman (https://wpt.org/SewingWithNancy/Video/nancys-corner-klaudeen-hansen), Klaudeen discussed the judging process for quilts and the five basic things judges seek:

  1. Cleanliness
  2. A balanced composition with a sense of proportion and scale
  3. Quiltmaker’s expertise
  4. Alignment – straight
  5. Finishing features

So, are you ready to take your quilting to the next level? You may be surprised to find out what’s in it for you.

 

Quilting on the Next Level: Enter a Quilt Show

Quilting on the Next Level: How Do You Start?

Quilting on the Next Level: What are the Judges Looking For?

Quilting on the Next Level: Example Quilt Exhibits, OSQE

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