Code of Conduct for Judges and Jury members

Quilters who enter their work in a judged category of a show are entitled to assume that the judging will be carried out with honesty and fairness by skilled judges.

To ensure that the judging process at QuiltCon meets the high expectations of our members and visitors we ask judges and jury members to follow the guidance set out below.

1. Skills

You have been invited to judge at QuiltCon because you possess a broad up to date knowledge of modern quilting and/or other art, design or textile work.

2. Confidentiality

It is essential that the judging process remains confidential at all times before, during and after the event. The duty of confidentiality is enduring and does not stop at the end of the judging/jurying process, or at the close of the show. Please do not at any time discuss the judging process, the details of any quilt or identity of any maker outside the judging room or with anyone other than your fellow judges and authorized QuiltCon personnel. This includes comments in any form on social media. Photographs are only allowed with permission of MQG staff and photographs taken in the judging room may be used only in connection with the judging procedure and must never be shared on social media or in other public settings.

3. Feedback

Remember that the quilter does not have the benefit of your thought processes when reading the feedback given by the judges. Please ensure you give the maker some encouragement and be constructive with your criticism. Quilters will often compare notes with their friends, so try to develop a wide vocabulary to make sure you can vary the comments you make on the feedback forms.
Please do not enter any discussions (either face to face or online) with an individual quilter about his/her quilt or the comments you have made about it. If needed please refer a quilter to MQG staff.

4.     Fairness

We aim to carry out a jurying and judging process which is fair. All quilts in the same category must be judged by the same criteria and to the same standard.

It is important when judging to avoid situations which might suggest or imply to an observer any possibility of unfair or unequal treatment during the judging process.  Common non-exhaustive examples of implicit unfairness of treatment are conflicts of interest and bias.

5.     Conflict of interests

A conflict of interest may arise or exist if:

A)   You judge or jury a quilt which you think may have been made by someone known to you such as an existing or former student, a relative, a friend, or a member of your quilt group;

B)    You judge a quilt where you had involvement with or influence on the design of the quilt;

C)   You enter a quilt that you are jurying.

Should a judge or jury member feel they cannot be impartial, they must stand down for the jurying or judging of that quilt. In such a case the correct procedure is for the jury member to not score that quilt and a judge to step aside and not take part in the judging of that particular quilt.   

6.     Bias

Deliberate bias, where a decision is made to favor or to exclude a quilt for personal reasons unconnected with the selection criteria for the category, is not acceptable. Additionally a judge must never allow the exercise of his/her judgment to be influenced by gifts from or favors owed to third parties.

Personal preferences and prejudices must be set aside to allow an objective assessment of the quilt. Unconscious bias is more subtle and can exist where a judge allows a personal preference or dislike (eg of a particular color or technique) to influence the decision. Unconscious bias may also exist where the judge does not agree with the quilter’s views as expressed in an artist’s statement or makes an assumption about the maker based on the ‘message’ which is transmitted by the quilt itself. The judge’s duty is to eliminate subjectivity as much as possible and to apply the same open-minded and objective approach to each and every judged piece.

7.     Working as a team

In most cases you will be working with other people in a team of three or four. We ask you to respect the timetable set out for jurying and judging and to attend sessions punctually.

As part of a team your individual opinions and views may vary, but you should aim to achieve agreement without creating disharmony. We ask you to act with courtesy and respect towards your fellow jury member or judges and all other personnel involved in the process