Quilt Show Judging

Kathy Kansier became interested in textile competitions through her early involvement in 4-H programs in Wisconsin. During the early 1980s, she began entering food, clothing and quilts in adult classes of a local county fair. After moving to Missouri in 1992, she began entering her quilts into quilt competitions.

Kathy became interested in the process of judging quilts and took a seminar on quilt judging in 1999. Since that time, she has worked either as a volunteer or the actual judge in 65 shows. Kathy has judged over 8,000 quilts in her career as a judge. Her experience includes quilt show judging on the local, regional and national level.

Judges for quilt shows come from all sorts of backgrounds. They should be knowledgeable in the field of quilt making and judging. Each entry is evaluated on its strengths and weaknesses. Judges are expected to provide fair and unbiased decisions regarding comments and awards.


The Purpose of Judging:
  • To evaluate each quilt in each category, using the same criteria,
  • To choose the award winners for the competition
  • To encourage and educate the entrants by providing a written critique for each entry.

The Judging Process & Comments:
Kathy prefers the elimination process rather than a point system for competitive judging.  Scribes are utilized to accurately write or type Kathy's comments for each entry.  Kathy provides a customized comment sheet for the show to use.  This comment sheet is given to the entrant at the end of the show.  It includes the following areas for review and comments:
  • General Appearance
  • Workmanship
  • Quilting
  • Finishing

Utilizing Volunteers
Kathy enjoys working with local volunteers on the judging floor. The volunteers often develop a better understanding of the process of judging. They also gain valuable information about good techniques and designs and become better quilt makers as a result of their volunteer work.

The number of volunteers needed for a judging floor varies based on the size of the show. Normally six volunteers per four hour shift are sufficient. It is expected that the show coordinator or a judging coordinator will be available to help with the process.


Quilt Exhibitions
Not all quilt shows are judged shows. These non-competitive shows are called exhibitions. They are popular with small guilds and shows. As a service to the quilt makers, the show sponsors may still high an experienced judge to provide written evaluations of the quilts. As with competitive judging, Kathy provides 5-7 written comments per entry for these exhibition shows. Her comments contain a balance of positive and constructive observations.

Kathy's Services
Most shows combine Kathy’s teaching and appraisal services with her judging services. She is experienced in judging on a team as well as judging alone in a competition. To provide adequate time for each entry, it is best for Kathy to judge no more than 125 quilts in a given day. For shows that contract her judging services, Kathy is available to provide consultation regarding rules, categories and the judging process. She also provides a customized critique sheet for the judging and written instructions for volunteers.

Judging Fees

2020 Judging Services and Fees
Kathy has experience judging at local, regional and national shows. Since 1999, she has judged over 9,000 quilts in 61 quilt shows. She uses the elimination system for judging quilt shows and provides a judging form and volunteer instructions with her contract. Kathy can judge a maximum of 130 quilts per day. In fairness to Kathy and the entrants, she will not judge more than 6 hours per day. Kathy gives 5-7 comments per quilt. Her complete judging resume is available upon request for shows considering this service. Shows often combine her judging, teaching and appraisal services.
Fee:  $500/day + expenses
Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.

 Abraham Lincoln