Category Archives: Winning Quilts

So You Want to Make A Winning Quilt: Best Applique

Kathy K. Wylie won $1,500, from Sponsor, Pink Sand Beach, for Best Applique on her quilt, For Such a Time as ThisBest Applique Quilt Show Winner

Kathy K. Wylie started quilting in the spring of 1994. A friend asked Kathy if she would join her in taking a beginner sampler quilting class. Kathy had just resigned from her job at IBM to stay at home with her two young sons and thought she could use a few nights out. Kathy had sewn since she was a child and enjoyed all kinds of different needle arts, so she agreed to take the class. Little did Kathy know how that decision would change her life!Best Applique Quilt Show Winner

For Such a Time as This is Kathy’s original design focusing on “time.” The first thing Kathy considered when embarking on this quilt was, “What does a quilt about time look like?” She brainstormed lots of ideas such as clocks, calendars, seasons, and celebrations. One shape that kept recurring in her mind was a circle. Kathy considered that “a clock is a circle divided in twelve. Twelve hours in a day; twelve months in a year. I began with a medallion divided into twelve equal sections. From there, I added birth flowers and birth stones around my “clock” to depict the months of the year.”Best Applique Quilt Show Winner

How did the circle clock idea evolve? Kathy said, “When a medallion is placed on a square background, it leaves a lot of blank space in the corners. I decided to use those areas to depict the seasons by the changing color of the leaves on the branches.” Kathy incorporated several machine quilting motifs to complement the original time theme: “The hours on the clock; ogees, that form the shape of an hour glass; the phases of the moon; and the symbol for infinity. This shape is echoed around the outside edge by quilting half scallops and then hand tying them with black embroidery floss.”

It took Kathy three and a half years to make her Best Applique quilt, For Such a Time as This.  She began the quilt in November 2013, working on the initial clock design. The hand appliqué was done from January 2014 to November 2016.Best Applique Quilt Show Winner

Kathy then spent almost 200 hours of machine quilting her Best Applique design which she finished in April 2017. All the finishing steps were completed in May 2017.Best Applique Quilt Show Winner

What techniques did Kathy learn along the way for her Best Applique quilt?  “All the shapes on the quilt are turned-edge appliqué and sewn by hand. My favorite method is needle-turn appliqué and approximately 75% of the quilt was done this way. But the very small shapes, like the tiny circles that connect the birthstones, and the very detailed shapes, like the lily of the valley blossoms, were done with a new method I learned called Apliquick. Using stainless steel rods for surgical precision, these shapes were turned and prepared in advance before stitching.

What is Kathy’s next project? She is working on a series of block designs featuring the birth flowers from For Such a Time as This and hopes to release those patterns later in 2018. Kathy also will continue to teach workshops. Her next quilt is taking shape in her mind; she wants to get the blocks done before she starts in on it because “otherwise they won’t get done.”

Congratulations Kathy on your Best Applique winning design. For more information about For Such a Time as This and other patterns developed by Kathy, please visit her website or Facebook Page.

Best Piecing Winning Quilt – Road 2018

From The Inside Out won Best Piecing at Road to California 2018. It was made and quilted by Catherine Butterworth who received $1,500 from Sponsor, American Professional Quilting Systems.Winning quilt Best Piecing

Catherine Butterworth is “addicted to fussy cutting fabric motifs.” She just knew that the Feathered Star block was the perfect way to showcase the centre cream design and surrounding pink floral of her original quilt design, From The Inside Out.Winning quilt Best PiecingCatherine comes from a family of seamstresses and quilt makers. She became interested in quilting over 30 years ago when patchwork fabrics were introduced into the family business. Up until then, the business only carried ladies’ dress fabric. Born and raised in Ohio, Catherine has made her home in Sydney, Australia for the past 44 years.

The fabric is what inspired Catherine to make From The Inside Out. Says Catherine, “It’s all about the fabric! I fell in love with an Alexander Henry design and fussy cut the center cream motif just because ‘I had to.’ I rather like Feathered Stars so that seemed a logical plan for the beginning of this medallion quilt. As the quilt name suggests, I worked from the inside out.  At every stage it was the fabric motifs that dictated the design.”Winning quilt Best Piecing

It took Catherine over 2 years to make this Best Piecing quilt which included 8 months of solid work. As each border was added, Catherine not only looked at her color choices but also critically analyzed the overall tonal balance within the quilt. Touches of machine couching, hand applique, Suffolk Puffs, 3 dimensional triangles and the odd French Knot were added for fun and extra interest. The quilt was machine pieced and machine quilted on a stationary machine.

Catherine received the news that she had won Best Piecing while on her family’s annual summer holiday on the mid central coast of New South Wales in Australia. Her reaction? “I let out a rather loud scream despite the fact that I was alone at the time catching up on email correspondence.”Winning quilt Best Piecing

What does Catherine plan to do with her prize money? The money will “cover my international postage bill” and “perhaps a plane ticket back to the United States for a visit.”

What is in Catherine’s quilting future? “I would like to take my machine quilting up a notch or two.”

To learn more about Catherine and her patchwork expertise, please visit her website.

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt- Best Use of Color

Melissa Sobotka was awarded $1,000 by Sponsor, Carriage Country Quilts, for Santorini Sunset, in the category, Best Use of Color, at Road to California 2018.Best Use of Color Quilt  Winning Quilt  Quilt Show

Melissa Sobotka is a familiar winner at Road to California. She won Best of Show in 2016 for her amazing art quilt, Silk Road Sampler.Best of Show Quilt  Winning Quilt  Quilt Show

Melissa became a quilter by accident. She was making some banners for her church when a friend suggested to Melissa that if she put some batting in the banners and added some stitching, the banners would become “art quilts.” At the time, Melissa had no clue what an art quilt was. She did some research and was fascinated by the art form so she got some scraps of fabric and taught herself.Best Use of Color Quilt  Winning Quilt  Quilt Show

Santorini Sunset was inspired by a trip Melissa took to Greece. She went specifically to Santorini to capture a photo at sunset. Melissa found the town to be “so picturesque.” She wanted to give a different perspective to Santorini so she changed  her original image to be abstract.

The quilt was “the most difficult quilt” Melissa has made. That is why it took almost 5 months to complete. Why was it such a challenge? “In abstract there is a lot left to the imagination or implied.  Sewing definitive lines of shapes that have a blurred boundaries becomes a challenge when quilting.”

Melissa had entered Santorini Sunset in another quilt show before Road 2018. In her words, the quilt “seemed to be the wallflower at the party; no one noticed it.” So she was both in “shock” and “delighted” that it was recognized for Best Use of Color at Road to California. Melissa intends to use her prize money with her project of building a new studio.

What can we expect from Melissa in the future? “I’m chomping at the bit waiting for the studio to be complete so I can get back to work.  I have so many ideas ready to go.  I see continuing with the process I have used but also experimenting with new ideas and techniques.  Always learning and growing as an artist is my goal.”

To learn more about Melissa and her work, please visit her website.

 

 

 

 

A Self-Taught, Hand Quilting Winner

Andrea Stracke won $2,500 for Best Hand Quilting from Sponsor, World of Quilts Travel, for Aragonithand quilting

It was just a matter of time before Germany native, Andrea Stracke, would discover quilting. She had always been interested in trying delicate, hand crafting. Growing up, she spent time experimenting with knitting, crocheting, embroidery, calligraphy, miniature painting and glass grinding.  In 1989, Andrea found a book about patchwork quilts in her favorite book store and from that moment on, she was “hooked.”hand quilting

Andrea shares that she is “completely self-taught” when it comes to her quilting. She learned through books and by trial and error. In 1995, she started specializing in making whole cloth and strippy quilts in different sizes after coming across Barbara Chainey’s book, “The Essential Quilter” in 1993.  She said that book “made my heart sing.”

Aragonit was inspired by jewelry made in the Belle Époque Era (1884-1914). Andrea said she loves “the beautiful ornaments and scrollwork used for brooches, pendants and other pieces.” Andrea spent 600 hours working on Aragonit. During that time, Andrea became “completely sure” that she was dedicated to hand quilting intricate and detailed hand quilting patterns. She learned on this project the importance of adding intense background quilting to make the main motifs stand out clearly.hand quilting

It was early morning in Germany when Andrea received the email from Road to California that was sent at 10:00 PM Pacific Coast Time.  At first, she couldn’t believe what she was reading on her computer. When the realization sunk in, she “shed some tears of joy.”

What did Andrea do with her prize money? She bought some fabric, batting and thread to create new quilts. She plans to use the remainder of the money to pay the shipping costs to enter a few more quilt shows in the future.

In the future, Andrea plans to keep on making whole cloth and strippy quilts – her real passion. Andrea admits that her designs “are becoming more and more detailed and intricate” and she knows that there is much for her to learn and apply to her upcoming work. “Inspiration is everywhere.”

You can learn more about Andrea Stracke on her website.

 

 

Behind Road To California 2018’s Outstanding Modern Quilt

Direction Optional was made by Stephanie Z. Ruyle and the 2016 members of Bee Sewcial. It was quilted by Christine Perrigo. They received $2,500 from Sponsor, Modern Quilts Unlimited.modern quilts quilt show

Many quilters start out first as garment makers and Stephanie Ruyle is no exception. “I love it when I can use a garment making skill/technique in quilt making,” shared Stephanie.  modern quilts quilt showThe idea for Direction Optional was based around the concept of linear— using the line in piecing, whether straight or curved. Each Bee Sewcial Member was given this directive as they created their own improv block. The color palette was chosen to keep the composition cohesive. The pops of color help move the eye around the quilt top. Stephanie said that “curating the placement of each member’s block and making the connecting pieces that brought all the varied pieces together into a pleasing whole was both challenging and thrilling.”modern quilts quilt show

Placing the blocks and the irregular pieces together took several months to complete. Stephanie felt “very lucky” to utilize the creative talents from nine of her “Bee-mates.” Seeing their diverse interpretations of the prompt and then how they all came together proved to Stephanie that the “sum is really greater than its parts.”

The quilting was done by Colorado longer quilter, Christine Perrigo, and took another several weeks to finish.modern quilts quilt show

Stephanie was at home when she received the email saying that she had won. She had to read it several times before it sunk in. Winning in the Outstanding Modern Quilt category was really special because Stephanie had originally entered it in the Abstract Category. She used her prize money to update her “aging cell phone” and will save the rest for later.

What is next with Stephanie’s quilting? “There are definitely more modern quilts in my future, and hopefully more quilt shows as well.” She loves spreading the word about modern quilts and its growing contributions to the greater quilting community by creating quilts that inspire ideas and start conversations.

Congratulations to Stephanie and her Bee Sewcial friends for their Road 2018 winning entry.

 

 

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Outstanding Wall Quilt

Robin Gausebeck received $5,000 from Sponsor, Janome, for Art of the Ancient World at Road to California 2018

Robin Gausebeck did not set out to be a quilter, let alone an award winning quilter.

A few years ago, when Robin moved in to a new house, there was a tall blank wall in the stairwell that needed some color. She thought she could find “a nice long piece of fabric, hang it up and be done.” Only problem: she couldn’t find anything that she and her husband liked. In her search, however, Robin DID find a book by Pamela Mostek called “Just Can’t Cut It” which featured simple quilts that Robin figured she could attempt to make. After all, thought Robin, she did know how to use a sewing machine!! 

That first quilt, which she revised to measure 4′ x 8’, was full of beautiful Asian fabrics but Robin felt that her “workmanship was atrocious since I really didn’t know what I was doing.” Consequently, her personal embarrassed kept her from letting anyone else see that quilt.  However, the process of using a variety of fabrics and colors fascinated her and she knew she wanted to do more.

What inspired Robin to make Art of the Ancient World? About 8 years ago, she and her husband were passing through Lincoln, Nebraska. They stopped at the International Quilt Study Center and viewed a collection of Baltimore album quilts.  They weren’t Robin’s “thing” but her husband was fascinated with the style and began mentioning to Robin how much fun it would be for her to make an album quilt.  After listening to his hints over the years, Robin decided that it would be “okay for me to do an album quilt but it was going to be on my terms.” Although Robin didn’t consider herself a “folk-art person,” she always had been interested in art history and figured that she could pull design inspiration from the decorative arts of early civilizations from around the globe.

Art of the Ancient World took over two years to complete. Some of that time, Robin spent researching in libraries, on the internet and with her own art books trying to design each of the 16 blocks.  After she made the first two blocks, Robin hit a creative wall and put the quilt aside for about 6 months until she determined that she had to finish it.

Robin shared that she learned a lot from making this quilt. She learned a lot about art history that she hadn’t known before. She learned some new quilting techniques. And she learned that “I will probably never make another quilt like this as long as I live!!”

When Robin received the email about winning, it was after a long day during which she and her husband realized that they would have to say goodbye to the last of the many loved cats they had owned over the years.  Robin had actually forgotten about when Road would be sending the notifications out so she was totally blindsided when the email said that she had won. She said that she “actually screamed out loud” when she read the email and then “rushed to tell my husband since this really is ‘his’ quilt.”

While Robin would love to say that she spent her prize money on fabric, a new machine, or a quilt retreat, she actually applied it to some household maintenance. She hopes to also spend some of her winnings on “a nice dinner and bottle of wine, too.”

What does Robin plan to work on in the future? “I have more ideas for quilts than I will ever have time to do.  I love color and form so I think I’d like to veer off in the direction of more abstract work but who knows?  An interesting idea (actually a title since that’s how most of my quilts start) may pop into my head and I’ll go off in another direction entirely.”

Congratulations Robin Gausebeck for winning Road 2018’s Outstanding Wall Quilt.

 

Beginner’s Luck

Do you have it?

Beginner’s Luck– Noun. The initial good fortune or success commonly supposed to come to a person who has recently taken up a new pursuit.

At Road 2018, Thalia Patricio had it.

She won 3rd Place-Fantasy for her quilt, The Witch.

The Henderson, Nevada resident had only been quilting “seriously” for the past four years thanks to classes she has enrolled in at her local quilt shop, Quiltique. One class she took, The Dress, a Laura Heine pattern.

When Thalia saw the pattern, she immediately thought that it would make a perfect witch. So, she contacted Laura and asked if she would mind if she changed up The Dress to become The Witch. Laura’s reply was, “It would be a compliment.” So off Thalia went.

The fabric used was the key to the Thalia’s inspiration. Starting on the collage part first, she would put different fabrics up on her design wall and just let it take on a life of its own. The face of The Witch was based on Tula Pink’s fabric line, Nightshade.Thalia had been to Road 5 times in the past and felt she could “never make a quilt good enough to be shown there.”  After she finished The Witch, Thalia began receiving lots of good comments on Instagram, Facebook and in the quilt shop. So many, that Thalia decided that maybe this quilt was the one “worthy” to enter in Road’s Quilt Contest. When she received the letter saying that The Witch was accepted for judging at Road 2018, Thalia “cried.”

A couple months later, Thalia was in a casino at the slot machines when she got the email that she had won—and she cried again!! Going to Road 2018 and seeing her quilt on display was “the icing on the cake.”

Where does this beginner’s luck recipient go from here? “I hope I’m not a one-hit wonder,” said Thalia. “I will be taking more quilt classes at Quiltique and want to try machine embroidery. I think I have an original design in me.”

Congratulations Thalia Patricio for your first win on your first try at entering a quilt in a quilt show. We were glad you chose Road to California.

Director’s Choice Winner

At Road to California, one of the top prizes in the quilt contest is chosen by the Director of the show, Matt Reese. Because he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tuba Performance from California State University, Long Beach, in the past, he was partial to choosing quilts with a music theme like last year’s, Yuja made by Linda C. Anderson.

For 2018, Matt left his music roots behind and chose Marilyn Badger’s Champagne SuperNova. Marilyn received $5,000 from Sponsor, Moore’s Sewing Center.

Marilyn is an accomplished, multi-award-winning quilter. She was Road’s last Featured Artist, chosen for that honor in 2017.

How did Marilyn start out in quilting? Reading the first edition of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine in the 1970’s!! At the time, she and her husband were living on a boat and didn’t have much room for sewing equipment so she hand pieced a design she saw in the magazine. As she finished the blocks, she would send them to her mother in Tennessee and her church group hand quilted them.

Known for her unique quilt designs, Champagne SuperNova was another Marilyn Badger original. Star Quilts had always been a favorite of Marilyn’s. This quilt evolved from her desire to make a hand embroidered, embellished, red and black quilt. The black gradated fabric was the first purchase for the quilt. Marilyn added the fireworks because as she explained, “What’s an exploding star without a few fireworks in the background?!” After the quilting, when she added the paint, the quilt went from a silverier look to gold. Thus why she chose the name, Champagne SuperNova. Marilyn confided, “The gold theme sort of popped out unexpectedly.”  It took Marilyn 9 months to make the quilt. She finished it right before the entries were due to Road.

In January, she was packing to come to the show when she decided to look at her emails one more time before going to bed. It was then that she saw Road’s name in the sender box. What was her reaction when she won? “My heart was beating a little faster than normal when I read the part that said ‘Congratulations.’ Then I read on and saw where it had won Director’s Choice and $5,000. I was totally thrilled and said a big silent thanks to Matt for choosing my quilt!!”

Marilyn hasn’t decided yet what she is going to do with her prize money. Maybe put it “towards my dream car.” She is already ready to put her next quilt on the quilting machine and is hoping it will be ready by Road’s next entry deadline. We will definitely be watching out for it!!

Follow Marilyn on Facebook to learn more about her quilting adventures.

 

Road 2018 Outstanding Artistry Quilt Winner

Lenore Crawford is featured frequently on our blog. Why? Because she has a knack for making award winning quilts.

In 2013, Lenore won Outstanding Art Quilt for Capturing Brittany.

She won again in the same category in 2017 for Emma in the Looking Glass.

Lenore’s latest winning quilt is Pinecones. It won for Outstanding Artistry at Road 2018. Lenore received a cash prize of $5,000 from Sponsor, Handi Quilter.

Lenore’s award winning quilt journey began around 1995. She had just learned about watercolor quilting with 2” squares and wanted to make impressionistic art quilts with fabric using this technique. Lenore developed her own style using those squares. After about 10 years of doing that technique, she felt she needed a change and tried fusing.

A large winter project that took months to complete, Pinecones was inspired by a trip to a nursery that Lenore took with her mom and sister who love conifers. It was in spring and the beauty of the brand new pinecones growing on the trees captured Lenore’s imagination. Lenore recalled, “They were bright colors against the dark greens of the branches.”

What was Lenore doing when she found out she had won? She was watching TV at about 11:00 at night and was just getting ready to go to bed. She quickly looked at her email and was very surprised to see the one from Road. Lenore was so excited to find out that she won that she immediately texted her husband (who was in California; they live in Michigan) to tell him. Next, she posted it on Facebook. Her husband answered the Facebook post before her text!!

What does Lenore plan to do with her prize money? “My husband and I are planning to retire at the end of this year. I am going to save it for a trip to either Ireland and Scotland or a riverboat cruise in France.”

Congratulations Lenore Crawford for another outstanding winning quilt.

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.