Monday, July 6, 2015

Vermont Quilt Festival Review

July 6 2015,

As in my previous post, I wrote about going to Vermont for the VQF.

A week ago, I received my quilt back in the mail which included Judge's Score Sheet and comments.

The scores were 84, 87 and 97, averaging a 89 which is equivalent to a yellow ribbon (or third place with 76 other participants). Hubby says, tell people you got third place, but don't tell people that 76 other people also got third place.

Note that I appreciate both positive and negative comments. As human nature has it, we particularly focus on the negative ones. Keep in mind that I strive to challenge myself with every quilt, trying to make it even better than the last one and keeping comments made by judge's in mind.

I sent in the quilt called "From the Inside Looking Out".

Front of Inside Looking Out
Back of Inside Looking Out
So here is one of the comments from one of the judge.

"- in creating asymmetrical designs, it is advisable to use odd numbers - even numbers suggest symmetry
- Quilting patterns don't relate to the patchwork"

Can someone out there in the internet world try to interpret the first bullet point for me? I'm not quite sure what this judge is saying. Please help interpret in plain English.

I took two classes at VQF.

One was a blast, and the other one a big mistake.

The first one was a binding class with Deb Karasik. I had a blast at the class. If you know how to follow instructions, she has her binding tutorial online that you can print and follow. Not only did I learn how to bind the proper way - I learned many other secrets. She was such a riot and a wonderful teacher.

You might be wondering, why do you need to learn how to bind, isn't that a basic thing? Well, over the years, I've been "smudging" or really "nudging" my bindings. They are not perfect, and I have gotten comments from judge's that says "Binding needs work" or "Take a binding class". Ok, ok, ok, I get the hint, take a binding class. I'm going to practice this on the next 36 placemats I'm going to be making. :) From now on, no judge will dare say "Binding needs work!"

One of the secrets I learned from Deb Karasik was to make your stitches smaller on the sewing machine, between 1.2 - 1.5. I don't remember the reason for it, but there was a reason. If you need to take the stitches out, use the "Easy Kut Spring Action Scissor".

The next secret is to use Mary Ellen's Best Press to press all your fabrics whenever you need to iron. Don't use steam in your iron because that will just distort your pieces. If you use Mary Ellen's Best Press, your quilt will not be as wonky.

The third secret is when you're ready to pin your quilts together for quilting, don't use those curved safety pins because when you do this, the fabric shifts a lot. She suggests using something call Pinmoor. I've yet to do this. Pinmoor is very expensive, for a package of 200, you're looking at $64.50. There are other alternatives available from your local big box store, but they may not be as good. 

The fourth secret is that there are these "Flat Button Head Pins" from Dritz that you can iron over. For Deb Karasik's binding method, you will need pins that you can iron over. I've been able to find these pins at my local Joann's.

The second class I took was call "It's Cool To Be Square" with Mara Novak. Here's the description of the class.

Do you get to the bottom of the quilt and find the corners are longer than the middle? Are some blocks baggy and others tight? Does that border look like the ruffle on a petticoat? Not every problem will 'quilt out' but with proper loading technique, the correct batting choice, and a few sneaky tricks, you can help these problem children get an A.

Unbeknownst to me, it was a class on long arm quilting. Oosps, took the wrong class. Unfortunately I did not learn much - oh well, my loss.

Now go quilt!

Quilt & Bitch

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