Judges

Below will be a list of judges who will be judging the entries submitted for judging at the Capital of Texas QuiltFest.

Marilyn Hardy

Marilyn Hardy
National Quilting Association Certified Judge

Marilyn Hardy of Tyler, Texas was one of the founding members of the Quilters Guild of East Texas. Through the years she has served her guild in many capacities, including president, quilt show chairman, judging coordinator, and newsletter editor. For her service to the guild, she was honored with a lifetime membership.

It was through her involvement as quilt show judging coordinator that Marilyn became interested in the process of judging quilt shows. She becamea National Quilting Association Certified Judge in 2008. She has also complete the requirements of Masterpiece Quilt Judge. In 2012, she was one of three NQA Certified Judges to judge their national show in Columbus, Ohio.

As a quilt show judge, she recognizes, rewards, and encourages excellence in quilt design, workmanship, and creativity. Her hope is that the comments she makes as a judge are insightful, helpful, and encouraging to the person who dedicated herself to starting and finishing a quilt.


De Leclair

Diane (De) Leclair
National Quilting Association Certified Judge

Diane (De) is a self-taught applique artist who has been crafting quilts since 1981. Her quilts feature the colors of nature and showcase her love for applique. Her work has appeared and won awards at local, regional and national quilt shows including six Best of Show Awards and five Viewer's Choice Awards. She is the recipient of the distinguished Masterpiece Quilt Award given by the National Quilt Association for Coeur du Vigne in June 2006.

De is an active member of the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild. She is a member of the International Quilting Association, American Quilter's Society, The Applique Society and The National Quilting Association. De has served on the NQA Board as the Masterpiece Quilt Coordinator 2012-2015. She has judged local, regional and national level quilt shows including the 39th National Quilting Association Annual Show, The Home Machine Quilter's Show and The Dallas Quilt Celebration.

"Judging is a natural extension of my passion for quilting. I believe it is important to encourage and promote growth of quilting at all levels. I am continually amazed at the creativity displayed by quilters in their art. Most of all I love the art of quilting and the closeness it fosters in all of us." De obtained her Judging Certification by the National Quilting Association in 2002 and qualified to judge Masterpiece quilts in 2005.

Judging is a serious process for De. She feel each quilt maker works long and hard on their piece and it deserves her full attention. The judge's written critique is an important learning tool for the entrant and it is her opportunity to convey to the maker what they have successfully accomplished and areas which require attention. She anticipate and looks for excellence in workmanship which supports the design expressions of the quilt maker. She love every aspect of quilting and is continually amazed at the innovative ways quilters construct and express their design ideas.


Serena Stiles Vrnak

Serena Stiles Vrnak
National Quilting Association Certified Judge

Quilting is Serena's passion and hobby. She has sewn all her life, and studied Fashion Merchandising at Texas Christian University. She also taught school with her Elementary Education/Kindergarten degree.

Serena decided to enter the judging world to promote and encourage this ever changing art form known as quilting. She entered the National Quilting Association Certified Judging program and was ultimately certified in June of 2010. She is also a member of the newly formed judging organization NACQJ.

For Serena, Judging Certification meant she could bring to each show the full breadth of knowledge necessary for objectively critiquing a quilt. It became the vehicle to understanding each and every process in order to give entrants an equal opportunity.

Serena is an active member in many quilt related organizations (NQA, AQS, etc.) and her local Tyler guild (Quilters Guild of East Texas). She has shown her quilts and won at various shows throughout the region (the Tyler Quilt Show, the Dallas Quilt Show, the Gun Barrel Quilt Show, the Ft.Worth Trinity Valley Quilt Show, and the Waco Quilt Show). In 2011and 2014 Serena entered the National Quilting Association Quilt Show, winning both times. And, her red and white quilt entitled "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions" has traveled with the IQA exhibit, "Ruby Jubilee". This quilt is also published in the "QuiltART Engagement Calendar, 2016".

Judging for Serena is a process she hopes will encourage, empower and enable all needle artists. She views the critique sheet as a tool and opportunity to communicate with the entrant about their creative endeavor. Serena firmly believes it is an honor to be allowed to critique the work of another.


Connie Silber

Connie Silber
National Quilting Association Certified Judge

During the 1980's, Connie was self employed with custom sewing and alterations. This venture led to her position as Professional Stitcher for the Theater Arts Department at Texas A&M University from 1988-91 where shestitched for nine period productions. Connie checked out a book from the public library and made two quilts. One quilt was a Trip Around the World and the other was a Burgoyne Surrounded. Connie saw an advertisement for a quilt show from the local guild and entered both quilts. After receiving terrible critiques of her work, she went to the guild to see what she had done that was so awful. She stayed and became involved in the guild. Connie had found her creative outlet.

As Connie's interests in quilting grew, so did her fascination with the judging process for quilt shows. In June 1999. Connie was a participant in the NQA Quilt Judging Seminar in Omaha, NE under the instruction of Anita Shackelford, Carol Butzke and Klaudeen Hansen. Following the seminar, Connie participated in the NQA Quilt Judge Certification program for three years, and she also aided at four NQA shows during that time. Connie learned a tremendous amount about quilts, quilting, and the organization and structure of quilt shows. After developing and presenting lectures and classes for guilds, judging quilt shows, and traveling throughout the state of Texas, Connie once again entered the Judge Certification program of NQA. In June 2008, Connie satisfied the requirements and was certified as a National Quilting Association Certified Judge of Quilting.

Connie sincerely believes that her job is to educate and encourage quilters of all skill levels. No one benefits from 'rip and shred' judging, where fault is found with everything and nothing positive is said. The quilter who has her/his work judged fairly and honestly will benefit from the experience and it will reflect in all her/his future work. The ribbons and awards are wonderful, but the encouragement to every quilter is the ultimate gift of a well-judged show.