about the artist

Jurying a Show is Hard Work

Yesterday, I removed all of the submissions for the Bird’s Eye View show from their travel bags and arranged them alphabetically in preparation for jurying our show.

Mary and Bonnie arrived around 11:30 and we agreed on our plan of action. We would look at each quilt in alphabetical order by quilt title. Our number one criteria was overall visual  impact — was it aesthetically pleasing with good design elements? Next, we looked at the workmanship and then did it meet the criteria for the show in size and content.

We had 32 quilts to view. As we looked at each quilt, if it got 3 yeses, it went into the show pile. Then we had a maybe, take a second look pile and a no pile.

Sometimes, the backs are quite lovely!!

After going through the 32 quilts, we took a second look at the maybe quilts. One of our concerns was to have a cohesive look to the show. We did not want a piece that just jumped out and said “I don’t know why I am here!” One quilt was too small and that knocked out another which sort of worked in the show if both were in. Some were discounted for being just too literal.

Once we thought we had it done, we spread out all of the in quilts, and my husband walked in and said -“that one and that one look out of place with the others.” Ta da! We had been mulling it over, and when he said that, we knew we had to take them out.

I wish I could show you photos of the quilts that made it in. Our first viewing will be at the Camas Library in S. Washington State – near Vancouver. I will get photos then.

We selected 22 of the quilts for the show. It will be smaller than last year’s show, but more cohesive, I think. These are the quilts that are packed and going home. I hope that the members who made these quilts realize that there is nothing personal in making these decisions. We are trying to grow High Fiber Diet into a professional quilting group that produces high quality, artistic work.

I think it would be good to have a session for the group on designing a quilt with visual impact. Black borders and wonky embellishments do not an art quilt make.

For myself, I understand the jurying process a little better now. I am not going to be so miffed when I don’t get into a show. It is not always about the lack of design or workmanship of your quilt, it is about the whole show.

For a great article on jurying, read Lyric Kinard’s excellent blog post.

5 Responses to “Jurying a Show is Hard Work”

  1. Lyric says:

    Thanks for sharing your jury process. It IS hard work isn’t it.
    Thanks for the link too – look for more essays on entering shows over the next few weeks.

    Take care,

  2. Diana Parkes says:

    I am interested in your statement ‘Some were discounted for being just too literal’. Are you able to explain? Thanks.

  3. Kristin L says:

    It’s great that you got to be part of the process. It’s a growing opportunity. And, fun to see ALL the quilts to choose from.

  4. Judy says:

    I agree with Diane: I will look at shows from a totally different perspective now. and Mr C was the axman! YIKES!!!!!


  5. Diane says:

    Sounds like a very interesting experience to look at a show from that point of view!