Sweetwater Gap Bloodroot has returned from it's trip to the World of Beauty Quilt Show in Houston. I thought I would share the judge's comments and evaluation. The judging format uses a + for Excellent, a ^ (check mark) for Satisfactory and a – for Needs Improvement. My quilt received predominantly Check marks with a few Pluses for Visual Impact, Original Design, Construction Techniques and Appropriateness of Quilting Design. I received one negative mark for Balance of Design. The only written comments were “Really nice pieced background” and “Faced edge well executed.”
I really wish the Judge had commented on Design Balance because I think of composition as one of my strengths. It is so valuable to have comments and I appreciate the time it takes to articulate and transcribe observations. When I compared my quilt to the others in the category, I felt Bloodroot lacked a “wow” factor. In person, I really like the serene, woodland color scheme but I also feel it lacks contrast in the dark ground and leaves area. I also think my quilt lacks a dominate focal point.
I think Fugi and Sakura by Masako Sakagami is a beautiful quilt that really fits the category of Art-Naturescapes. I like the coloration in the background, and the reflection of the mountain. I do think the image and the techniques used are somewhat simplistic for a First Place winner.
An Autumn Flavor by Kiyoko Matsumoto took the second place ribbon. I'm a bit perplexed by this quilt. Looks more like Spring to me than Fall! The workmanship was lovely. The colors did not engage me and the style does not fit my personal aesthetic. I think it is very much in the “quilt” style and not so much an artistic approach. I prefer the flowers and leaves tumble and overlap naturally rather than each one picked out separately, like in a very careful cartoon.
I absolutely loved this quilt, Wild Rhodies by Pat Durbin . I liked the depth created by the light sky behind the dark tree trunks. The pine needles were thread painted so realistically. The red flowers were shaded and shadowed and a tiny red piping in the binding pulled the design together.
Prelude to Winter by Beth Porter Johnson might have gotten my vote for First Place. My photograph doesn't begin to do justice to this amazing quilt. I could not figure out if it was pieced or appliquéd. Maybe both, it was not raw edge fused and there was no paint enhancing the quilt, it was all fabric. The machine quilting was beautiful and added contour and shading to the trees and shadows. I also like that the subject is unusual and creative. I feel the three quilts chosen by the judges for ribbons were safe, predictable and especially the first, an image repeated everywhere.
Just my opinions! I'm not a judge or expert. What I do know for sure is that there is so much to learn. It was fantastic to have my quilt hanging in such a prestigious quilt show. There were 21 quilts in the Art-Naturscapes category and I spent time studying the different styles and techniques. It is important to me to make quilts of my own designs, that please me and come from my heart. I enter competitions to push myself to become better at expressing myself through my art. I really enjoy seeing how other quilters accomplish their own vision. Also, entering quilt shows is thrilling and just darn fun. Especially when you get your quilt back and can't wait to start another one!



Back to gallery


  1. I would pick Prelude to Winter as well. I like the starkness and cold feeling it conveyed to me.
    I think your quilt is wonderful too and you should be proud!

  2. I love your quilt. I also really like the Wild Rhodies quilt. Was that the third place winner? Thank you for this post.

  3. Excellent review! Pat durban’s still gets my vote. Good to know blood root is home safe & sound. Now take what you’ve learned and apply to next quilt. You will have a winner….officially or in your heart.

Leave a Reply