A QUILT is a labour of love in which the quilter invests many hours of time, skill and effort; and Greg Allen, one of the three judges in the RNA Quilts Across Queensland competition at the Ekka and owner of Pleasuresew Sewing Machines and Patchwork, at Capalaba, is well placed to judge the dedicated craft.
The sewing and quilt enthusiast was taught by his mother to sew at the age of eight and, as a child, he would sew the sails for his own toy boats and create patchwork from fabric scraps.
A member of Queensland Quilters and Coorparoo Quilters, Greg made his first quilt in 1984.
He also has a certificate in interior decorating, which he achieved while working in furniture design and manufacturing, was the Queensland sales manager for Janome sewing machines for two years and is a quilt frame teacher through Pleasuresew, which he owns with his wife, Jan.
As if all that isn't enough, he is also a sewing machine technician and is able to judge the perfection of the machine a quilter uses.
Greg, who has judged the competition for the past five years, said an appreciation of art was necessary for judging quilting.
"Technical competence is important in a quilt - the ability of the quilter to execute the traditional skills - but the visual factor is also important," he said.
"While there might be a quilt that shows technical brilliance, but is not visually stunning, it won't be a show stopper.
"You have to have both to get a winner."
Greg said the quilt judges would be judging the competition on several levels simultaneously, ranking quilts across all categories as first, second and third, and also deciding on which quilts would receive other awards, including best use of colour, best of machined quilts, best of hand quilts, best of show and others, and said he enjoyed judging the competition.
"It's a privilege to judge it," he said.
"There are a lot of rules and etiquette to follow.
"Our job is not to tear down, but to encourage people to build on their skills.
"We're cautious of looking after the entrants and we treat the judging seriously and respectfully."