I knew this quilt was made by Kathy Nida, before I ever looked at the signage
If a quilt expert, who presumably has been to many, many shows and seen hundreds if not thousands of quilts, is asked to judge at Houston she knows she's going to see identifiable work. If she feels that being able to identify even more work, thanks to her internet travels, would make her job more difficult, then perhaps she should voluntarily stop "keeping up with these pages" for a couple of months. Or decline the honor.
But I have to go back one step and disagree with the very premise. Karey suggests that if a judge knows the maker of a quilt, that quilt isn't going to win a big prize, but we all know that's not true. If it were, then Hollis Chatelain and Caryl Fallert, just to name two among many of the easily recognizable usual suspects, wouldn't keep winning at Houston and Paducah.
In the legal system, judges recuse themselves if they are close friends with the plaintiff or defendant, but if we asked quilt show judges to recuse themselves when they recognize an artist, we'd often have nobody left to choose the winner. That's a standard of viriginity that would quickly put the quilt shows out of business.