Yesterday I had the opportunity to serve as one of three judges at the Clark County Quilters’ Show in Ridgefield, Washington. I thought I would explain a little bit about the process. Best of Show is, of course, the biggie. Everyone who attends and enters wants to know who won the big prize. As the show opened today, I can say the winning quilt was titled “Emma’s Dream” and made by Janet Fogg.
So how did this quilt become BOS? After the judging is complete, all of the first place quilts in each category are compared against one another, with the judges looking at quilt top design, quilting design, overall workmanship, and quilting technique. The judges eliminate the first place quilts one by one until they are left with the quilt that best displays the highest standard in all areas. Sometimes, the choice for best of show is clear cut, while other times judges have a dilemma trying to decide between two great choices. Janet Fogg’s quilt is a wonderful example of a quilt that contains everything judges look for: striking visual impact, great design in both the top and the quilting, and overall excellent workmanship. You can see the wonderful texture and creativity in the quilting design in the two detail shots above. This quilt was in the Art-Representational category. Now let’s look at the first and second places in this same category to see what makes them standout work.
First place went to CarolAnne Olson for “Chandeliers”. Notice CarolAnne’s excellent use of fabric. The background fabric seems an unexpected choice but is so effective–giving the effect of wallpaper. Then notice how CarolAnne used shaded and striated fabrics for flames and the chandelier parts. She used her brightest, deepest colors to create a foreground and the most subtle colors which recede into the background resulting in a sense of depth. Her quilting adds to the sense of realism, for example, defining the crystals’ facets. I must also mention all three judges deemed this quilt “Best Non-Traditional.”
Judith Phelps earned second place for “Horses, Hounds, and Guns.” Her piece is completely hand painted with the background design composed of original Civil War maps. This quilt is an excellent example of a well-done neutral palette. Notice in the detail images how Judith created shape and form through value. Her quilt tells a story well and as noted, in the artist statement, is well researched.