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Quilt Judging

Cindy’s Quilt Judging Journey

In the early 2000s I convinced the membership of my local quilt guild in Central California to go from a “Viewer’s Choice” quilt show to a “Judged” quilt show. The guild agreed, with the caveat that I do the work involved in running all aspects of the judging room. For 10 years I handled that task, and loved doing it. During that time I got to meet quite a few certified quilt judges, as well as some judges who weren’t certified but were good judges nonetheless. As I worked with those judges, I decided that someday I would enter the judging certification program and attempt to become a certified quilt judge.

I judged my first quilt show in 2011 in a little town in Nevada called Pahrump. Since then I have judged thousands of quilts, and judged dozens of quilt shows, including national shows such as Paducah, Houston, Road to California, and QuiltCon. No matter how large or small a show is, I love judging each and every one of them.

Since I have been a competitive quilter for more than 25 years, I’ve received hundreds of comment sheets from judges on my quilt entries. I think one of the best things about entering a quilt competition is getting the feedback from the judges. Because I’ve been on the receiving end of quilt judging, I feel that I have a high degree of insight into what entrants find helpful. So with that knowledge, I try to give every quilt that I judge a helpful and encouraging evaluation.

A common misconception about quilt judges is that they give awards to “the quilts they like”. Well that couldn’t be further from the truth. A good judge will always be objective when judging quilts, and that judge will evaluate quilts based on design and workmanship. A good judge will also give professional, meaningful comments that encourage the quilter: she praises the quilter on the strong points in a composition and kindly suggests areas that might need some improvement.

Occasionally a quilter will say to me, “Thank you for awarding my quilt a ribbon!” My response is: “I didn’t give your quilt a ribbon; your quilt earned the ribbon.”

In 2018 I officially enrolled in the NACQJ (National Association of Certified Quilt Judges) judging candidacy program. In June of 2023 (a few years later than expected due to the pandemic), I passed my final judging panel and became a certified judge. There are fewer than 50 active NACQJ certified judges in the entire United States, and I am extremely honored to be among them.

I’m available to judge for your organization so please contact me with any questions.

“I have known Cindy Seitz-Krug for over 20 years. It has been a pleasure to watch her grow from an extraordinary quilter at a local guild in California to a nationally awarded and exhibited quilt artist. Cindy is also a skilled teacher and an NACQJ Certified Judge.

“I am currently a Judging Floor Coordinator for Road to California in Ontario, California. Cindy has judged for Road many times and I have seen her as a professional and unbiased evaluator. As an NACQJ Certified judge myself, I am proud to be a colleague and a friend of Cindy.”

Linda Rasmussen, NACQJ Certified Judge from California