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Everyone’s a critic …

This is the finish to aim for when exhibiting your work.

I was honoured last month to be asked to judge the Cross Stitch, Long Stitch and Tapestry section of the Moss Vale and District Show.  Yesterday I completed my judging duties and had a lovely morning with Jenny the section Steward until I had to make some hard decisions in the winners circle.  Jenny was lamenting that this year had seen a serious drop in the number of exhibitors across all classes.  What was encouraging to me, was to see the quality of work in the 14 years and under and 10 years and under.  It also took me back 26 years to my first exhibiting at the local show at 15. 

I must admit I struggled with the “Best in Show” piece.  I was down to 2 items and from the stitching competance, finish and choice of subject they were obviously by the same individual.  The work was exquisite and eventually the ability to create movement and light across a sea and lighthouse with only cross stitch and stranded cotton were the deciding factors.  Things to keep in mind when you exhibit

1 Suitability of design for finished objective.  Long outline stitch is inappropriate on a cushion, unless you are never going to have a backside land on it.

2 Bad framing, (includes distortion of canvas or fabric in stretching) will diminish the appearance of your work and reduce your score. 

3 Use a contrasting sewing machine thread to create a running stitch grid to aid your accuracy in cross stitch, this can be removed as you progress.  Pencil marks detract from your work.

4 The back should be as neat as the front. 

5 Evenness of stitch and flat surfaces  are important to a  finished look.

6 Complexity of design will improve your score.

7 Work needs to be clean prior to framing.

8 Cigarette smoke will make your work look older than it is.

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