Welcome from the Show Co-Directors
The National Quilting Association, Inc. welcomes you to its 44th Annual Quilt Show. As the longest running national quilt show in the country, and the only one that is non-juried, we take great pride in celebrating the talents, workmanship and creativity of all quilters. If this is your first time to register for the NQA quilt show - Welcome! If you are a returning registrant - Welcome Back!
Our show will include nearly 500 competition and special exhibit quilts, classes, free lectures, special events and an extensive vendor mall. We are located in the C-Pod of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Convenient parking can be found surrounding the Convention Center.
This year’s themed exhibit of Celebrate America! quilts will include the 5th Annual SewBatik Challenge. We will also showcase a number of featured exhibits including the Hoffman Challenge’s 25th Anniversary exhibit, 25th Anniversary Silver Thread, Power Suit Quilts, and The Legacy of Linen.
Join us for The Thursday Night Gathering, where our guest speaker will be Rami Kim. Ms. Kim will present her “World of Fascination” through a fashion and trunk show of her art-to-wear garments, quilts and bags. Ms. Kim is a 2012 IQA Houston Quilt Show winner in Wearable Art, among her many national and international awards. A cash bar will open in the ballroom lobby at 6:00 p.m. Doors open for dinner seating at 6:30 p.m.
Join us for the Annual Meeting of the National Quilting Association on Saturday at 12:00 P.M. which will be held in the NQA Lecture Hall, diagonally across from the Exhibition Hall entrance. We’re looking forward to hearing from our members!
As an organization, NQA promotes and celebrates the education, creativity and heritage of quilters and quilting. We invite you to join us by attending the 44th Annual NQA Quilt Show, and become part of our long standing tradition and legacy. Join your old friends and make new ones as we celebrate quilts and quilting heritage together! We hope to see you there!
Karen Blocher and Judy Taylor
Co-Directors 44th Annual NQA Quilt Show
Quilters Tip of the Day
What do Judges Look for in Pieced Quilts?
After considering design elements, judges evaluate construction elements of your quilt. When looking at pieces, judges consider the following:
- Intersections, corners & points should meet exactly
- Seams should be straight, including sashing and borders
- Curves should be smoothly rounded
- Thread should not be visible in seams
- There should be no gaps or spaces in seam lines
- Individual blocks should lie flat and be square
- Thread color should blend with fabric colors
- Seam allowances should be trimmed where necessary to prevent shadowing of dark fabrics through light
- Stitches should be strong, close and tight
- Like pieces should be identical in size and shape
- Seam allowances should be pressed consistently
- Loose threads and frays should be trimmed
Quilting Threads With so many choices, how do you decide on quilting threads? I recently visited a national thread company’s website, only to find their inventory list was sixty-one pages long! If you can remember these two words, choosing may be a little easier.
Appropriate: Selecting a thread that is appropriate for your quilting design and for the quilt will narrow your choices. For example, variegated thread would not have been used on a vintage quilt, and would not be appropriate for a reproduction of 1930’s or Civil War patterns and fabrics. Choose threads and designs that might have been used during the era of your quilt. Delicate heirloom designs will benefit from a fine, elegant thread rather than something that overwhelms the motif. The smaller the quilting motif, the finer the thread should be used to create it.
Quilting threads should also be appropriate for the intended use of the article. Threads used for children’s quilts might be different than those used for show quilts. Whether you choose 100% cotton or Polyester will depend on the use of the item, and your personal choices.
Enhance: The thread should add interest and texture to your quilt, yet allow your piecing, applique and other techniques to shine through. Your quilting thread should not overpower all your other elements.
Test your threads by laying them on your quilt in straight lines, loops and swirls before taking your first stitch. Check websites, books and magazines for thread and quilting design ideas. If you’re new to quilting, you may want to select threads that blend with the fabrics. More experienced quilters may be ready for bolder, heavier threads that make a statement!
"Quilt As Desired..." Although the pattern maker's intention is to give the quilter flexibility in choosing quilting designs, could any three words be less helpful? Check show websites for photos of winning quilts, or browse your own library for ideas. If you’re working with a Longarm quilter, have her sketch some ideas or show you her suggestions. You may not be happy afterward if you tell her to “Do whatever you think is best.”
A few things to consider when choosing quilting designs are:
- Quilting design should be appropriate for the intended use of the quilt ~ All over designs are great for kids’ quilts, but may not be as good a choice for show quilts
- Quilting design should be appropriate for the era of the quilt ~ Reproduction quilts should have quilting designs that might have been used in that time period)
- Quilt Designs should enhance your piece by supporting the quilt’s theme or unifying elements by repeating flowers, leaves, stars, etc.
- Quilting Designs should fill the intended spaces well and be in proportion to other elements of your quilt top
- Quilting should be reasonably evenly distributed over the quilt’s surface
Stay tuned; Next time, we’ll talk about quilting threads!
Entering quilt shows can be daunting, but there are lots of good reasons to share your work. Often, quilters like to display their work alongside the most accomplished competitors in the world. Some exhibit their work to increase exposure for business opportunities. Others find the judges' evaluation comments important for improving their work. Bigger shows have a range of categories, and can accommodate most pieces. Be careful to follow the rules, and enter the appropriate category for your quilt. Some categories require original work, while many accept quilts made from published patterns. Be sure to give credit to the designer or quilter if the work is not entirely yours. We will be accepting entires through May 10th. Come on, give it a try!
Competitive quilters know the secrets to smooth quilting starts and stops. As long as your method is well executed, it doesn't matter which way you choose to begin and end your quilting stitches. One key to success is to avoid the knots that result from making tiny stitches that stack one on top of another. Ends should be well secured, by whichever technique you choose. Most winning quilters tie and bury their thread tails, just like hand quilters.
Have you ever wondered why Binding and Edge Finishes are almost always mentioned in Judges' evaluations? While quilting, piecing, applique and other techniques are forever a part of the quilt, your Edge Finish can sometimes be removed and improved. Competitive quilters take Judges' comments very seriously, and many of my quilting friends have re-applied binding to have much better results the second time they compete with the same quilt.
A popular discussion topic is whether mitered binding corners should be stitched closed. Sometimes it is a safety precaution on baby quilts, so that tiny fingers and toes don't get caught in the fabric folds. As experienced competitors know, winning can come down to the smallest of details when quilts are compared. The stitches should be small and secure, and thread should match your binding fabric.
Any embellishments added to your quilt should enhance your piece and add texture and interest. Embellishments should be securely attached, and any threads used should match or blend, unless your thread is intended to be part of the design as a decorative element. Embellishments should be appropriate for the intended use of the quilt (i.e. avoid small items on baby quilts).
Before submitting your quilts for exhibition or competition, be sure to give your piece a thorough final inspection. Be aware of any tears or stains on your work. Trim or bury loose threads, and remove any remaining marking lines. Use a lint roller to remove pet hair, and air your quilt out your quilt if it has any odors. Your fellow quilters will thank you!