Category Archives: Winning Quilts

2018 Marie White Masterpiece Award

Marie White Masterpiece Award winner, Pat Holly, received $7,500 for Turkish Treasures from Sponsor Road to California, Inc.

The Marie White Masterpiece Award is the second highest cash award given out during Road to California’s annual quilt contest. Named for the mother of Road to California founder, Carolyn Reese, Marie White was very active in the quilting and doll making world until she passed away seven years ago, six weeks shy of her 93rd birthday. Marie and Carolyn established The Fabric Patch fabric store in 1981. Their store was featured in the third issue of American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, naming it one of the top thirty stores in the United States. Marie’s specialty was doll making. She also loved working with ribbon embroidery and crazy quilting.

The 2018 winner of this prestigious award was Pat Holly for her quilt, Turkish Treasures.

Pat has been sewing all of her life. Her mother sewed her family’s clothes and the Kenmore sewing machine was always available for Pat to use. Pat began with sewing doll clothes and clothes for herself. When her sister had her first child in 1978, Pat found a Vogue pattern and made a baby quilt for her new niece. Later, in the early 1980’s, her sister took classes at a local quilt shop and she shared with Pat what she had learned. Not long after, Pat found quilt guilds and took lots of workshops from many great teachers.

What inspired Pat’s winning design In 2012, she went on a wonderful tour of Turkey with the Costume Society of America. They saw so many amazing palaces, mosques, ancient cities and even had a balloon ride in Cappadocia! Pat took many many photographs on that trip and it was from one of those images that she designed Turkish Treasures.

It took Pat two years to complete the quilt. While she was in Turkey, she saw ladies making needle lace called “oya.” Oya is a cross between tatting and macrame, done with just one large eyed tapestry type of sewing needle.  Because Pat believes that the edge of a quilt is a great place to do something special, she decided to make the edging for Turkish Treasures using oya needle lace. She found some books that described the technique but it was difficult for Pat to make. She ended up watching YouTube videos in Turkish and was able to learn by watching!

When Pat received the email telling her she had won, she was “absolutely thrilled.” Remarked Pat, “There are so many amazing quilts in competitions now that it is always such an honor to receive an award.”

What is Pat going to do with her prize money? She is leaving soon for a textile tour of India and is confident that she will be able to find a few treasures there to bring home with her!! Wen she returns from her trip, Pat plans on continuing to work on samples for the Holly Girls Quilt Retreat that she, her sister, and Sue Nickels host each year in September. And she added, “I’m always thinking about the next big quilt I want to make!”

Congratulations Pat Holly on winning road 2018’s Marie White Masterpiece Award.

Road 2018 Best of Show

Congratulations to Claudia Pfeil  who won $10,000  from Sponsor Gammill Quilting Systems for her quilt, Fractal Claudia Pfeil is a quilting pioneer in Germany.

She made her first quilt in 1984 without the now common rotary cutter and rulers. As she remember, “There was much “trial and error” as I taught myself the tricks of making templates and seams.” This quilt ended up being her only large sewing project for many years.

Claudia studied textile design at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein. This work drew her interests into different directions. She got the “quilting fever” –  but didn’t know it at the time.

In 1992, with the birth of her first son, Julian, Claudia decided that the work she had done in the textile arena would go in a new direction.  She started by going through her drawers and bins, uncovering  her “hoarded” treasures that she had been collecting over the years.  One of her treasures that she found were handwoven fabric pieces that she made while attending university, on a 16 shaft loom. She was dedicated to giving those 30×30 cm (almost 12 inch) blocks a new “right to exist“ in a quilt! Because she didn’t have the “proper ‘yarn’ for sewing,” Claudia went to the local sewing shop where she was introduced to her first rotary cutter, mat and quilting ruler.  Content with her  “learn by doing” approach, those experimental times gave her the courage to improvise.  She took her finished quilt to the sewing shop and immediately, the owners asked her to teach them her technique!!  Looking back, Claudia says she has “to smile about my self confidence without having any clue!”

It didn’t take long for Claudia to start buying and selling fabrics; first in the basement of her house, then in 1997, renting a small location in town where she opened Quilt & Co.  In 2002, the shop was moved to a larger – and current – location in Krefeld, Ritterstrasse.

The fall of 2004 totally changed Claudia’s world. She had brought Quilt & Co.  as a vendor to the French quilt show, Carrefour du Patchwork. Next to her booth was APQS. She played everyday on their Millennium quilting machine and was hooked with longarm quilting. She purchased her longarm machine in 2005, finding a way to “express myself through fabric and thread that was exciting, addictive and fun.” Claudia says free-motion quilting gives her the freedom–“like an eagle flying over the mountains”– to play with spaces and quilting designs.

When Claudia begins a project, she likes to work with a theme. Themes challenge her, get her out of her comfort zone, and start her thinking “out of the box.” Her theme for Fractal was kaleidoscopes. Claudia searched Google for pictures of kaleidoscopes and endless links introduced her to fractals. She admits that before then, she really didn’t know what fractals were.  She became fascinated by their dynamic , vitality and vibrancy.

Before falling asleep at night, she would collect dreams and visions of her theme and began thinking about how she could translate her visions into realistic designs. She began by preparing circles in different sizes out of white Dupioni silk on freezer paper templates. Next, she drew designs on to the circles, first with pencil, then if she was satisfied, she drew them with a black pen (Faber-Castell)  filling in the details and painted them with acrylic colors              (Stewart Gill) and Tsukineko ink pens. Playing and creating  the layers is one of the main parts of the quilt. She tried to enhance this impression with the choice and placement of quilting designs. Using 100 wt black silk thread, it took several backtracking stitches around the outlines of the circle designs to repeat and enhance the  black drawing lines. The design was couched with different yarns ( for example Razzle Dazzle and Yli ) around all outlines, respecting again the different layers to create a foreground and a background. Her final touch? 30,000 Swarovski Crystals!!! Claudia says her entire process took approximately 10 months to complete.

Besides learning about fractals, Claudia also learned by trial and error how to use mixed types of ink and paints and pens while making Fractal. She commented, “I learned that it is hard to get rid of pencil drawings on silk.”

When she received the news that Fractal had won Best of Show, it was around 5:00 AM in the morning in Germany. Claudia said she woke up “unintentionally” to check the time on her cellphone and saw that she had received several messages on Facebook telling her of her award. She went downstairs, opened her email and saw the official announcement from Road. Claudia said she was “shocked” when she found out she had won.

Where does Claudia go from here with her quilting? “I am working on my new project for 2018. I am bit behind my own time schedule this time. But the quilt is loaded on the machine and waiting to be quilted. In May, I will travel to the USA  to teach at several APQS Showrooms in Raleigh, Louisville, Austin and Dallas. In November, I will be at Quilt Festival in Houston and…. I am soooo hoping to be back at Road to California next year!”

Congratulations Claudia Pfeil for your outstanding entry.

 

 

 

 

Innovative Winning Quilts

in·no·va·tive  (ˈinəˌvādiv/) adjective Featuring new methods; advanced and original.
These four quilt artists were each awarded First Place and $1,000  for their innovative fiber art skills at Road 2017:
Innovative, Large
The A-E-I-O Ewes by Janet Stone.

Sponsored by BERNINA of America, Janet says,  “I had to design this quilt after the title came to me first, while lying in bed one night. The color fabrics were all hand dyed by my very talented friend, Gilbert Muniz. It was originally going to be just a wall quilt, but it demanded to be bit larger. This is the 16th quilt in my alphabet quilt series.”

Innovative, Wall, Appliqué 

PROUD PEACOCK by Mrs. Antonia Hering

Antonia is a resident of The Netherlands. She came up with her original design because she always wanted to make a quilt with a peacock.  Antonia said, “The challenge was to use very tiny stitches. It had to be a special one, different from all I had seen. Another challenge was the hand-piecing of the tiny triangles in the spirals.The rest of the quilt is inspired by old catalogs from the 1800’s showing all kinds of long forgotten crafts.” Leo9 Textiles sponsored this winning quilt. 

Innovative, Wall, Other

Bailando en la Noche (Dancing in the Night) by Shelley Stokes

Kerry’s Kollectibles sponsored this winning quilt. Shelley describes her innovative design that “the colorful medallions evoke the swirling skirts of Mexican folk dancers under an exuberant night sky. Just as music and dance add delight to our lives, hand stitching breathes life into the painted images. The shapes in the medallions were painted on whole cloth black fabric with Shiva Artist’s Paintstiks. All surface stitching was done by hand with pearl cotton threads. It appears to be appliqué, but it’s not.”

  Innovative, Wall, Pieced 

Five Turns of the Wheel by Sandra F. Peterson

This quilt was designed using Sandra’s original “fractured wheels” because she was thinking about a design that fills in between circles.  For Sandra, “the idea of playing with colors that move through the circles with an imaginary turn of each wheel was intriguing. Clockwise, follow yellow starting with the lower left corner circle and watch it move through the circles and burst out and consume the center circle.” Thank you Primitive Gatherings for sponsoring Sandra’s winning entry.

What innovative designs are you working on?

 

 

 

A Winning Quilt In Art Abstract

Lyric Kinard won $1,000.00 from Busy Bee Quilt Shop for her 1st Place: Art Abstract winning quilt, Remains of the Day

Lyric Kinard regrets that she didn’t spend more time developing her creative outlet in the visual arts when she was growing up. Her father was a high school art teacher and she refused to take the art lessons from him that the rest of her siblings enjoyed. Instead, Lyric chose music. She was a working musician and also studied creative writing and architecture through college. Later, she dabbled in watercolor and pottery. She put a hold on her creative side when she became a mother.

Knowing she was missing her creative sense of self, a friend decided to get Lyric out of the house and took her to a traditional quilt bee. Lyric loved it and learned solid fundamental techniques from the amazing women she met. A couple of years later, Lyric saw her first art quilt and was enchanted. Up until that point, she hadn’t understood the potential that textiles had as a creative medium. Lyric was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since. What she enjoys about working with textiles is that she can create art a few stitches at a time, five minutes here and there, and doesn’t have to worry about the “paint drying on the brush while I’m taking care of the kids.”

How did Remains of the Day come about? Recalls Lyric, it “was literally that – a creation from the dwindling remains of a collection of hand dyed cloth used to create a series of work for an exhibit at the Visions Museum in Sand Diego. The pile dwindled but each piece of shibori was too beautiful and inspiring not to immediately use for the next abstract quilt.” Lyric said that it took her whole life, experimenting and failing and practicing to get to a point where she could succeed in creating this piece. She worked a number of uncatalogued hours to dye the cloth, cut it, arrange it and sew it.

Because Remains of the Day is a “small quilt,” Lyric was surprised that she had won first place for Art Abstract. She used her winnings for out of town expenses associated with her daughter’s recent wedding.

What’s next for Lyric and her fiber artistry? “I follow where the works themselves lead. Sometimes I have an idea to start with. Sometimes I have a destination. Many times the work itself carries me to a different place than I imagined. That’s a good thing.”

To learn more about Lyric, visit her website.

Art Critter First Place Winning Quilt

Have you ever tried to express your love of animals in a quilt design?

That’s exactly what Wendy Knight of San Diego, California did with her Road 2017 winning design, Here’s Lookin’ at You.

Wendy grew up with horses and they have always been an inspiration to her. Many of her quilts have horses in them but this was the first quilt which solely showcased the horse. Her intent was to create a white horse on a white background without using white fabrics, making it look like a watercolor painting, which wasn’t totally photo realistic. Says Wendy, “I always like to pose a challenge to myself, as I feel this is the most important part of what keeps me learning.”

A lifetime sewing lover, Wendy wasn’t exposed to quilting until a good friend, who Wendy played soccer with, decided it might be fun for the two of them to take a quilting class. They both had young children at the time and thought the class would be a great way to get some alone time. They signed up for a class at their local quilt shop, bought all the supplies and arrived on the evening of the first class.  As they stood at the door of the shop, they got second thoughts about taking the class. They reasoned that they were young women and figured that the others in the class were probably a bunch of older women that they would have nothing in common with. As Wendy remembered, “Being the silly girls that we were, we got in our car and left the building! Months later we decided to give it a go again.  Much to our surprise, the teacher and the students were a mix of ages, interests and backgrounds, and it turned out to be a turning point in my life.”

It took Wendy about a year and a half, working on it off and on, to complete Here’s Lookin’ at You. The quilt was designed to be appliquéd and Wendy quickly realized that that would never happen. She went back to the drafting to redesign the pattern in order to machine piece it together. Auditioning the eventual fabrics that were used in the quilt took the most time in the process because she had to get the shadows and highlights to work well with such a high key piece.

What did Wendy learn from making and quilting Here’s Lookin’ at you? “There are always so many things that I learn while creating every quilt. Most don’t smack me I the face, but gently nudge me into a new direction or force me to experiment with some new technique. I did learn that working in high key, or a very light range of values, came much more natural to me than I thought it would. Thank goodness for all the batiks I still had from 20 years ago. They were really the pieces that helped me pull it off.”

Wendy received $1,000 for 1st Place in the Art Critter category from sponsor Martelli Enterprises, Inc. She said she was “shocked and elated” to find out she had won and added, “It is a wonderful feeling when something you create touches someone else the way I intended it to. I actually had to read the email twice to my husband before it really soaked in.”

Wendy hasn’t decided what to do with her prize money yet. “I have tons of ideas and will be building a new studio addition which will offer many ways to use the prize money. The reality is, it will probably go to something special for the grandkids. Maybe a trip to Disneyland!”

What is in store for Wendy’s future quilting life? “Currently I’m working on a designing a series of historical, pictorial quilts of the Civil War, Revolutionary War etc., as well as continuing to design and piece my watercolor pictorial horses and other animals. My belief is that we can never learn enough, so I’ll continue to take classes and explore new techniques. I’ll retreat to my sewing room where, as I say, daydreaming and playing are always allowed.”

To learn more about Wendy, please visit her website.

 

 

Road 2017 Best Use of Color Winning Quilt

It took Andrea about 6 months to create Blue Anemone. One week to create the pattern, then one month to hand paint the whole cloth design and finally 4 1/2  months to quilt and finish. The quilting was done on her Innova Stationary Longarm and Janome Horizon 8200 Sewing machine.

The biggest challenge of this quilt for Andrea was creating the subtle nuances of the color changes with the lights and shadows within the flower.

What inspired Andrea’s winning design? “I always loved the deep colors of blue anemone poppies and I knew that one day I would create one in fabric. I was visiting my mom in Oregon and one day we went to one of her favorite nurseries. They had some of the most beautiful red, orange and blue anemones growing. This quilt is based on one of those photographs.”

Andrea has been sewing since she was a child and had created a number of other needle crafts projects over the years. Her quilting journey began when she moved to Texas and joined a stitching group as a way to meet people with similar interests. One of the women in the group was a quilter and she convinced everyone to make a round robin style picnic quilt.  After that project, Andrea wanted to make an applique quilt. She taught herself the technique from an applique book. When she finished that quilt,  Andrea felt she had officially “caught the quilting bug” and has been creating in fabric ever since.

Blue Anemone was awarded $1,500.00 for Best Use of Color by sponsor, Carriage Country Quilts. With her prize money, Andrea took her husband out to dinner, bought some fabric and put the rest in the bank.

Andrea hopes to continue her journey to create realistic botanical imagery with fabric, thread and paint. She says that “with each quilt I make, I try to challenge myself to hone my artistic voice.” Andrea also looks forward to teaching her techniques at quilt shows, retreat style workshops, and at local quilt guilds.

To learn more about Andrea, you can follow her on her personal and business Facebook Pages.

Another Double Winner at Road 2017

Joanne Baeth won two, prestigious $1,000 awards at Road to California 2017:

Sponsored by Brother International Corporation, Joanne received 1st Place: Art Naturescape for Country Roads 

and, Sponsored by Robert Kaufman Co., Inc, 1st Place: Art Pictorial for Summer Lake Sandhills

Joanne Baeth finds lots of inspiration to create her winning quilts from where she lives in South Eastern Oregon. “I am constantly inspired by the wildlife and landscapes surrounding me,” says Joanne.

A quilter since the 1980’s making mostly “traditional quilts,” when Joanne retired from teaching 14 years ago, she rediscovered her love for quilting and art quilting became her passion.

Joanne did extensive research and worked on both of her winning quilts over a one and half year period. Joanne got interested in tractors, the subject of Country Roads, when she and her husband attended a Country Fair in Arizona a few years ago. They were intrigued by a display of antique tractors. Then, for the next several years after that experience, they started taking lots of pictures of old tractors they came across along back country roads. Joanne said that they “even jumped a few fences to get a closer view.” At the same time, Joanne’s neighbor, Hank, got her on a tractor chat line where she was able to learn all kinds of interesting information about tractors.

The construction for Country Roads incorporated overpainted fabric for the different parts of the tractors.  The barn and house, which were inspired from old pictures of Joanne’s husband’s grandmother’s house in North Dakota, were assembled one board at a time.  Joanne’s “very detailed” design also includes fences with cotton cording barbed wire, thread painted bushes and grasses, and silk snippets for the leaves of the trees not to mention “extensive” machine quilting.

A wetland refuge called Summer Lake near where Joanne lives, was the inspiration for Summer Lake Sandhills. It has a ridge which rises to over 7000 feet called Winter Rim where hundreds of Sandhill Cranes migrate to early each spring. Joanne and her husband took many pictures of this area for the basis of her quilt.

Again, Joanne used unique techniques in creating Summer Lake Sandhills. The Winter Rim in the quilt was painted with acrylic paints and puff paints were heat distressed to add texture.  The feathers of the Sandhills were individually cut out, highlighted with inks, and fused one feather at a time.  Thread painted bushes and reflections were added prior to the extensive machine quilting.

Road to California is always a stopping place for Joanne and her husband as they travel all over the West. She says that she enjoys reconnecting with other quilters, viewing all of the beautiful quilts on display, and, “if I’m lucky enough, win a prize.” She also likes to purchase all kinds of products that she “absolutely needs” at the many vendors that are available.

You can learn more about Joanne and her fiber arts on her website.

 

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Excellence in Longarm Quilting

Bethanne Nemesh won $1,500.00 at Road to California 2017 from sponsor American Professional Quilting Systems for Into the Western Sun.

When Bethanne Nemesh began quilting, she “could not tolerate” the fabric choices being sold in stores which she described as “grandma” style calicos.” Then, in college, she met a well-known fiber artist who specialized in dying and using printmaking techniques to create her own fabric. This experience and the “batik revolution” opened Bethanne’s eyes to all the different fabric possibilities—and she was hooked.

Into the Western Sun, remembers Bethanne, was inspired by two things: First, a trip she took to the American Southwest and second, a family story. Bethanne says that she was deeply touched by the color and shape of the desert, and in awe of the many plants and animals that manage to live there despite the harsh environment.

The family story was of Bethanne’s “many times great grandmother, Cora, who immigrated in a Conestoga wagon from Tennessee to Kansas to homestead a farm.”  Her story made Bethanne think of the entire westward expansion and the many settlers who were unsuccessful in their efforts, perishing on the journey.  Perhaps, considered Bethanne, “If they had been more knowledgeable or respectful of the landscape they had hoped to cross or tame, they would have fared better.”  It was also Bethanne’s hope to make an environmental statement; to encourage people to live within their environment and not try to control or tame it.

It took approximately 700 hours to complete Into the Western Sun. Bethanne does a lot of environmental research on her quilts. She enjoyed learning many new things about the desert.  And, as always, she also learned a few new quilt construction pros and cons for her next quilt.

Winning Excellence in Longarm Quilting was a “deep honor” for Bethanne. She intends to use her prize money for a family vacation.

Where does Bethanne go from here? Besides having several new quilts in the works, she intends to continue to grow as an artist and as a teacher. Bethanne enjoys meeting and learning from her students as much as they learn from her.

 

International Quilter A Big Winner

Hiroko Miyama creates beautiful, award winning quilts from her home in Tokyo, Japan.

She says that she was a “born handicraft maker.” When her younger son entered elementary school, Hiroko thought it was a good time to start something new. At that time, hand quilting was just getting popular in Japan and she thought, this was it! After she began hand quilting, she stopped doing her other handicrafts like knitting, dress making and embroidering.

Hiroko confesses that she has been “addicted to machine quilting for 8 years.” Most of Hiroko’s designs are her interpretations of beautiful scenery around Nagano, Japan, and of flowers and fairy tales. Recently, her husband Mosanobu Miyama, has collaborated on some of her designs.

At Road 2017, Hiroko won first place in the Art Human Image category for her quilt, Lily. Hiroko received $1,000 from sponsor, Maywood Studio/EE Schenck Company for her winning entry.

For this piece, Hiroko wanted to depict her granddaughter Natsumi as an elegant lady when she came to visit her cottage. Hiroko remarked that the resulting snow tanned face on Natsumi was not her original intention but that it didn’t hinder the results.

It took 4 months (or about 800 hours) for Hiroko to make and quilt Lily. This project challenged Hiroko to harmonize the quilt with her original machine embroidery. She designs, “punches,” (creates the embroidery data) and then does the actual embroidery. Hiroko reported that “300 hours were required for embroidery only.”

When she heard she had won, “I and my husband celebrated by drinking a couple of mug of beer.” They travelled from Japan to see the quilt at Road 2017. “I really enjoyed the show.”

What did Hiroko do with her prize money? “I bought fabrics and threads, of course!”

For the near future, Hiroko plans on having Lily displayed at AQS Quiltweek in Grand Rapid and then on to Fall Paducah.

Congratulations, Hiroko, on another winning design.

 

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt- Excellence in Hand Quilting

Linda Roy won $1,500 for Aztec Sunset from Sponsor, World of Quilt Travel

Linda Roy’s quilting journey began in 1988 when her husband had a job transfer from Southern California to Conway, Arkansas.  Shortly after moving, Linda saw a program on television on vintage and newer quilts that introduced her to quilting. Then, a little while later, Linda met one of her new neighbors, Irma Gail Hatcher, who just happened to be an award-winning quilter. Irma invited Linda to join a small group that met monthly at her home and then to the Arkansas Quilt Guild. Linda said, “It was a pleasure to spend time with woman of all ages coming together for the pleasure of creating something beautiful.”

Linda made her first quilt when her youngest son was three. She found that she could keep an eye on her son while he played and do her hand work at the same time.  She was hooked on hand quilting with that first original quilt and now hand quilting is her passion.

The design and color for Aztec Sunset was inspired by Mayan Ruins. Linda designed her quilt using graph paper. Since Linda made this quilt for herself, she felt that she had total freedom to make it “outside the box.”

Two of her favorite large tomato red scraps were utilized in the quilt along with other fabrics in her stash creating a four-block design with a spiraling border.  Each quadrant has different but similar fabrics. The tea dyed muslin and stripes are the unifying fabrics. 

All the triangles are hand appliqued along with the bias bars.  Linda feels that the additional hand embroidery on the quilt gives a little more importance to the hand appliqued triangle shapes.

Aztec Sunset took approximately one year to complete. A hoop was used for the hand quilting, working on one piece at a time.  Linda remarked that after deciding on the design and color, “hand quilting is my favorite part of the quilt… (it is) very relaxing.”

Learning about her award, Linda said she “truly couldn’t believe I had won such a prestigious award.  Stunned would be a good word to describe how I felt and still feel.” She plans on using her prize money to replenish her fabric, thread, batting and various quilting needs not to mention that the “worn out chair I sit in to sew could use being replaced too!”

Linda’s thoughts on her experience in creating a winning quilt is motivational for other quilters as well: “This award encourages me to follow my heart without fear of the quilting police.  Sometimes it can work out!”