I’m back to Long Island after a 6-day trip to Toronto. The excuse for the trip was visiting the York Heritage Quilt Show, held at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center in Toronto. My friend Vicki had a gorgeous quilt in the show, which I wanted to see, and it gave me an excuse to visit with family and friends.
Before we visited the show, I was very disappointed to learn that it was not judged. I had never heard of a non-judged show. Vicki and her room-mate explained that many of their guild would not enter the show if they knew their work would be judged. After that introduction, I was expecting a showcase of very poor work.
Well, I was wrong on many counts. First of all, I liked the atmosphere of a non-judged show. I found that you looked at the quilts without regard to the judge’s opinion. There was no discussions of “Why did this not get a blue ribbon?” or “What were the judges thinking?” You simply enjoyed the quilts.
As for quality … they were fantastic! These women are artists and the quilts ranged from innovative to traditional — all with great color choice and beautiful stitching. I imagine there is more creative freedom when you know that you’re not being judged, as you are not trying to follow the “rules” that make a great show quilt.
They had 8 or 10 vendors. We complain about the price of fabric in the U.S., but the Canadians have it far worse. Good quality quilter’s cotton was $16 per meter, plus another 15% tax. We’re talking $18.50 a meter after taxes. Yikes! There was a Superior Thread booth in the vendor hall and their prices were significantly more than I’d pay in the U.S. Those Canadian quilters are dedicated!