Monday, 3 September 2012

Festival of Quits (again) controversey

Please read the comments section of

For years I have been fizzing about the judging of the Festival of Quilts and I have just learnt that this quilt (above) was judged BEST IN SHOW.
I hate the portrayal of quilters being fat, old & grey.  How can we possibly attract younger artists to an art form when this sort of drivel happens.
I know that the workmanship is excellent.  Dilys Fronks is one of the group ans she is an excellent quilter.
I have for a long time thought that the judging is 'cliquey' and matey and I am totally fed up with seeing quilts that have won elsewhere winning here.  I would like to see a category for previous winners.  I do ant to see their quilts, but how can it be fairly judged when 'professiona; enterers are up against newbies and improvers.
I never enter, neither do I recommend any students to enter and I am fizzing angry at finding this out.  I am glad that I didnt know on the day because it would have spoilt it for me.  Now you know why I dont bother going around the winners part.  Shame on whoever judged it
Look at these photos  copied from this blog
Graceful Dance by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga. Winner of the Pictorial Category
Stephanie Redfern
I have scrolled along the blog from the original post and have this link to the Quilters Guild reply
Ive copied it here for you to read

29 Aug 12 - Best in Show - Festival of Quilts 2012

Best in Show – Festival of Quilts
Members have brought to the notice of The Guild some adverse comments that have appeared in places on the internet about the choice of the “The Quilters’ Games” by The “No Name” Quilters as Best in Show at Festival of Quilts. The Guild would like to clarify the process for choosing the Best in Show.
Over recent years the Best in Show has been chosen by the Guild President together with Kaffe Fassett. This year Kaffe was not available and Tina McEwen, Guild President, worked with Fay Allwood (Guild President 2003/04), who is also a long-standing quilt judge, to choose the winning quilt.
The Best in Show can only be chosen from the winners of the various categories. The category winners have already been chosen via an anonymous and rigorous judging process by the quilt judges. Therefore, by being a winner in its category, each quilt on the Winners Wall must be regarded as being of sufficient merit to be considered for Best in Show.
There is no defined process for choosing the winning quilt. The people charged with making what is always a very difficult choice, comparing very different quilts, look for skill, innovation, variety of techniques, use of fabrics and colour – all the aspects that everyone would expect.
The winning quilt was not chosen simply because of humour or the Olympics theme but because of the criteria above. As a group quilt, it also showed remarkable consistency of skill, theme and design. The decision was not made lightly. The quilts were all carefully compared, looking at the backs as well as the fronts, with the final choice being between two highly-deserving quilts.
It is inevitable that people will have their own opinions about the winners, both in the categories and the choice of Best in Show, even though we work hard to make the process transparent, because there is always bound to be an element of subjectivity in any choice. We hope that people will respect the feelings of the makers of all the quilts entered into Festival of Quilts and express their opinions about the choices made by the judges with due consideration for others.

A load of waffle, saying nothing except out of hundreds of quilts it is the opinion of just 2 people.  A travesty is what I call it.

I am fizzing.


  1. I like your idea of a past winners' category. I could see that being one that causes great interest at the show.

  2. Wonder if the judging of the BIS will be changed next year, after all the controversy? I think if one of the judges was from outside the quilting world, it would give a bit more perspective to it.
    I did find the Quilters Guild comment about how the BIS was selected interesting e.g. the front & back of the quilts were inspected. Just say that you had an Art Quilt meant for hanging on a wall and the back of the quilt was never going to be looked at. It could even be a painted quilt, so then the front would then bear no relation to the front. If it was a painting, no-one ever checks the back. Think this where sometimes it's very hard to judge between traditional and art quilts, if you're applying the rules of one tradition to another.


Thank you for your comment, regards Shelagh



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