Vermont Quilt Festival, Part I

I love the Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) for several reasons: Vermont in June, great exhibits, and the opening reception with champagne and chocolate!!!  (I’m showing a few of the beautiful quilts today, and I’ll have more later.)

However, my very favorite part is that each quilt is judged on its own merits. Every quilt is rated with published criteria and may (or may not) be awarded a ribbon, based on its score.  I love this idea because, as I’ve said elsewhere, the idea of “competitive quilting” doesn’t compute for me. With the VQF system, your primary competition is yourself. Then, if you just have to try to beat other people in a given category, they do have the usual “best machine quilting”, etc.

VQF

This quilt involved extensive work and I think it is very “artistic”. It got a 3rd place for workmanship, but it also got the Best Modern Quilt award.

Here is the way quilts are judged, taken from the VQF website:

Each judge evaluates all entries, scores the quilts using the point system below, and provides a brief written critique. The final score for each entry is the average of the three judges’ scores. Score sheets and critiques are returned to contestants with their quilts.

POINT SYSTEM (100 points total)

  • Visual Impact: 15 points maximum
  • Design: 40 points maximum
  •      20 points: use of pattern and design
  •      10 points: effectiveness of color in overall design
  •       5 points: suitability of materials
  •       5 points: border treatment
  • Workmanship: 45 points maximum
  •      20 points: precision of work, top and back
  •      20 points: quality of quilting and/or needlework
  •      5 points: binding and edges

RIBBON CATEGORIES

  • Exceptional Merit (purple): 98 -100 points
  • First (blue): 95-97 points
  • Second (red): 92-94points
  • Third (yellow): 88-91point
Modern quilt from Vermont Quilt Festival

Here is a modern sampler that I enjoyed. It got a 3rd place ribbon.

Although I didn’t win any of the “big” categories, I did get a (3rd place) ribbon at VQF this year.  As you can see, that amounts to a “B” grade, so I’m pretty happy.  The comments were useful, as well, so I know what to do the same and what to do differently next time.

Round quilt from VQF

This quilt, made from a pattern, got a 3rd place ribbon as well. The circle is on a black background, so the quilt is square.

I certainly wish other shows would adopt a similar system!  I’m sure it is expensive, since VQF has 3 judges for each quilt and they have to make comments and take time to score each one, not just look at it once and move on.  But for me, as a quilter, it makes the VQF show much more worth the effort of entering.  Here’s my quilt:

modern quilt

Happy Squares, designed and made by me.

Does anyone know of other shows with a similar system?  I’d like to consider them when planning next year’s entries!

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11 thoughts on “Vermont Quilt Festival, Part I

  1. Love your quilt! The use of multi-sized blocks always appeals to me, and the cheery colors are a bonus. Also I usually don’t love samplers much but the setting on this one makes it stand out in a good way. Thanks for sharing info on the scoring system.

    • I think the scoring system is wonderful (OK, you got that) and really really would like to promote it for other shows. AQS, in particular, has wonderfully qualified judges but no feedback unless you “win”.

  2. First I have heard of this approach to judging–and I like it. I also like your quilt and the others you showcased. I see new life for my scraps in your design–more a concept than to follow slavishly.

  3. Wonderful quilts and the scoring system is a real bonus to see! I’m looking forward to seeing other quilts you took photos of at VQF.

  4. How did the bubble color come through the black and white fabric (??) on the ‘effervescent’ quilt. I’m having trouble putting that one together.

  5. Pingback: Vermont Quilt Festival–Favorite Quilts Part 1 | Zippy Quilts

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