I am working on my technique so I can eventually compete. How close do corners need to match? Can't tell if I am being too picky.

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l'm not a quiltshow competitor, Mitzie, but l've quilted for 30 years, have been part of exhibitions,and attended many shows.You should always do your utmost best for any competition; so therefore, chose a quilt pattern appropriate for your skill level. Trying to do a very complex pattern and sullying it with missed points and corners will only frustrate you and dissappoint show patrons. If corners are a problem for you, improve your cutting and 1/4" seam sewing. Better rulers and a fresh cutter blade will do wonders ,along with proper fabric prep ( ironing, starching). A ''scant'' 1/4" works better in complex patterns than a 'regular' one, as well as a good fresh sharp machine needle. Practice on small scale pieces for a while. You'll be amazed at how much easier an 8" block goes together after doing the same pattern in a 6" size, for example. ln short, enter something you'll be proud of. And learn to do bindings really well...that's often the clincher when the judges are stuck ,and there's a ''tie''.

Thanks! This is great. I have folks saying I am picky or a perfectionist, but I feel like my expectations of myself equal quality. I am working on a nine patch. Of the 100 plus four corners, i have about 4 that are less than 1/32nd of an inch, but I can see them. Taking them out!! I know I took my pins out to early. Thanks again!!
hi mitzie ..i don't quilt for competition either. i'd rather quilt for loved ones & fun. but i agree w everything riana says. my hubs & son for years kept telling me that no one saw what i saw, so stop taking it all apart. hmmph!! if i can see it then it has to be fixed! i am persnickity too, you see. but like riana says ..sharp blades in cutter, sharp, straight needles, and i always always use scant 1/4" ...always. not just for my minis & simple blocks or wall quilts ..everything is stitched w scant 1/4" seam. corners nested. and bias blocks like diamonds are pinned in such away that they meet correctly too. the only time i really have to cheat a bit and hand stitch where seams should meet is when mixing vintage fabric with modern ..differenc in weight sometimes.
..there are a few membwes here who do quilt for competion, i hope that they see your discussion and let you know what they've learned.
...oh ...and we need pictures :)) ...been to your website and you have some beautiful quilts other members here would love to see also!

Thank you! This, I do believe, is going to be a great community! I really miss my pottery, and never thought anything would replace it. Quilting has done the trick! I am addicted, I dare say!

i knitted incessantly, sweaters using irish knit patterns mostly (love the chains, bobbles & other fun stitch patterns). but knitting got set adide, temperarily, while i learned to quilt. the years pass & !!! ...i knit, hardly, at all anymore :))
...quilting does that to us!

I have quilted off and on for over 30 yrs and have entered quilt shows and fairs for a long time. It is an unbelievable thrill to win a ribbon but that is not my main focus. I enjoy the sharing more than the competition. We all strive to be as precise as we can with every project we attempt. It is the nature of the art, but I would caution you to not go to an extreme with the precision to the point of taking the pleasure out of it. We naturally improve with practice, when tools and techniques become more familiar. 

One more thing - we know exactly where things went wrong or fell short and they seem to glare at us, but often the viewer is enjoying the overall effect and often not seeing or focusing on a problem area. Be kind to yourself. 

Thank you Ginny! This is great advice. I am really enjoying it! I don't mind ripping...a couple corners here and there are not the end of the world. As I learn though, I am thinking of competing, just so it will be a challenge. I love that stuff. Before quilting I ran marathons. I can't now for health reasons, but I never ran them to compete with others...only to compete with myself. I lost 100 pounds and it was a good way for me to remind myself that I am strong and can do anything I put my mind to! I really appreciate your advise. Hope to stay connected! 

I have found that many first time entrants into quilt shows expect to win a ribbon and become discouraged when they don't because they know how much work went into making their quilt. It's important to have the attitude of sharing your work. There wouldn't be quilt shows if we didn't. The judges comments can be helpful as well and ribbons are a great bonus. Don't wait to be perfect to enter. It is worth the experience.

Thank you Cindy! I have no expectation of winning. I want to learn and be a part of the community. Knowing what the judges are looking for, helps me understand quality work. Any advice I can get is saught after! I can't wait to get to a show this coming year. I am hoping for Chattanooga so I can see what it is all about. It may take me years to feel like entering, but I want to "treat" every quilt with the same respect and attention. 

don't wait years! lol ...do it asap. at the shows we all ooooh & aaaahh!! but we don't know what the judges say. that's where you learn. from articles i've read here from members who do compete and elsewhere in blogs etc, some judges are very helpful in their comments ..some not. but that's where you'll learn if your binding is evenly full, corners square. if your piecing is done correctly, your quilting done well or no. they're comments are great learning tools, as i said before, i've visited your blog, your quilts are fantastic and show entry quality now. at least from your photos, IMHO.

WOW! You really think so??? The snowflake and the red star? IDK...the back of that red star is pretty buggered. I was trying to figure out the tension and the stops and starts. I am almost finished with a 9 square. I hope to start quilting it this weekend. I'll let you know and you can tell me what you think. 

Thanks though for the complement. That really means a lot to me! 


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