That being said, there is always that feeling of disappointment when you learn that you haven't placed at all. Kudos to Road to California however, for sending an email in the middle of the night when they finish judging, to let you know you didn't win. It's still disappointing, but at least you find out right away!
The next step, for me, after learning of not winning is to begin to evaluate "why?" Again, kudos to the show, for including the judges remarks in the email. This is what mine said:
During the judging of your entry our judges made the following observations:
- Nine patches do not add to the image.
- The turtle is difficult to see from a distance. He disappears into the seaweed.
- Seaweed has lovely movement and the bubble are a good image.
Now is the time when I am trying (really hard) to separate my emotional feelings about the piece in order to look at the piece in an art critique type mode.
First the emotional feelings:
- I created this piece as a tribute to my trips to Hawaii, and swimming with a turtle that a little girl in the cove named Herman.
- The nine patches are what reminded me of Hawaii
- This was my first attempt at using Tsukineko inks
- It didn't seem weird to me for the turtle to blend into the seaweed, they're supposed to afterall, right?
This gives "respect" to your feelings about your piece. This tells you, okay, I feel this way. I can still feel this way after I look at this piece from the perspective of a judge! It's OKAY!
Looking at this from a competition perspective, I can see that anyone who did not know the story, would not understand why those 9 patches are in there. I can also see that, in a design standpoint, yes the turtle does not stand out enough. The nine patches in fact overpower the turtle.
So, if I were to do this differently, with a competition in mind, I might do something more like this:
I have removed the 9 patches, and increased the size of the center piece. I've also make the turtle a more saturated, strong color. But he still blends into that seaweed a bit much. Let's try lightening up that background area:
- I have gotten rid of the 9 patches that detracted from the design rather than helped.
- I have made the turtle image more strong by darkening him, and lightening the background area
- I have increased the size of the center turtle area, to make him more noticable
- I have also left in the aspect the judges like, which is the seaweed and bubbles in the border.
What do you think? Are the judges right? Would this have greatly improved the piece for competition? Much as I love the original piece, and will not go back and change it, I will keep these comments in mind when I am making my piece for the next show!
You can see, that once you start putting your pieces into competitions, you have to start detaching a bit from the pieces if you are going to be open to suggestions and improvements that may improve your chances at future shows.
Have you gotten a piece back from a quilt show, and wonder what you can do with the judges comments to improve your design elements? Send us a picture of the piece, and the judges comments and The Fiber Nation can show you hints and tips on what could have been done differently to give a better viewing to the judges!
Send pictures and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. By sending pictures, you are expressing your consent to have them used on this blog as examples to others! :)