I agree with Alex on the hand quilting issue. One of my first burning quesions for experienced quilters was about keeping even stitches when going over seams. Stab stitching though them is the most accurate way. i think everone has to set their own stanadard. It's not about what other people think, even for a show quilt. It is about doing the best you can.
I dont hand quilt much anymore, but it was something I wanted to learn to do well. I think that came from a desire to gain respect from the quilters for whom I had so much respect. My first accepted quilt into a national show won an honorable mention ribbon - but I was more thrilled that all three judges gave me high marks on hand quilting.
Now I find my greatest pleasure in machine quilting. Again - you shouldn't have to do anything my way - or Alex's way - or anybody else's way - just do whatever you need to in order to keep enjoying the process.
Shekinah I and Shekinah II. One the left - hand quilted. On the right machine quilted. It's the only time I've ever duplicated a quilt. Both were used as wedding canopies.