Category Archives: Winning Quilts

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!”

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

From The Bride’s Trousseau made and quilted by Margaret Solomon Gunn won $5,000 from sponsor Janome for Outstanding Traditional Quilt at Road 2017

Margaret Solomon Gunn is a talented quilter. She won not one but two prizes at Road to California 2017!!!

Margaret won Best of Show for The Twisted Sister

and Outstanding Traditional Quilt for From The Bride’s Trousseau.  

What inspired Margaret to make this winning design? In 2011, she designed and quilted a 40” whole cloth.  This was her first attempt at the design process.  Of that experience, Margaret says, “To this day, it is unbound!”  The design for From the Bride’s Trousseau originated with this first quilt’s design.  It underwent at least a dozen modifications to reach the final form that was quilted for the 2015 finished quilt.

The current design is larger, and more complicated.  From the Bride’s Trousseau is a 1/8 symmetrical whole cloth quilt, meaning that it was designed on a 22.5-degree wedge, then copied and mirrored to create the pattern.  It is quilted in silk threads.  Margaret’s favorite areas of the quilt are the Sashiko-inspired fills.  They are quilted with a marked grid and give the quilt a very traditional feeling.

It took Margaret about a year to finish the quilt. What did she learn along the way? Says Margaret, “I have this ability to make simple tasks take WAY longer than they should!  This is mostly because I don’t just work on one quilt at a time.  I frequently have at least 3 quilts in various stages of construction, quilting or finishing at any given time. I learned that quilting with colored thread creates a beautiful effect, but it’s challenging.  I also learned that I appreciate taking the time to make a quilt double-sided (and it helps identify those pesky little areas that need fixing before a judge finds them!).

Margaret was “surprised” to know that this quilt had also won a prestigious award at Road 2017.  She related that From the Bride’s Trousseau “had been out and to several shows the last 2 years.  Sometimes it does nothing, and other times, it surprises me.  During the quilting journey, I have just learned to appreciate when the quilts do win, as nothing is ever certain.  I do the best I can do, and then it is out of my hands.  It is wonderful when judges recognize my efforts.”

After winning two awards, Margaret is certainly not resting on her accomplishments. She recently finished a book with AQS, along with two other self-published books. She teaches at select quilting shows and writes for Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine.  In her “spare time,” she even still quilts for clients (one of her client’s quilts was also entered in Road 2017). And of course, she is working on the coming year’s show quilts. All in all, Margaret says, “It’s a fun life!”

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

Z is for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt at Road to California 2017. Sponsor Riley Blake Designs awarded $5,000 to maker, Mary Kerr and quilter, Karen McTavish.

Family and quilting goes hand in hand for Mary Kerr. She grew up in a family of quilters and her latest winning quilt, Z is for Zoey, was made for her granddaughter, Zoey Rose, Mary’s “very own mini-me.”

A Road 2016 faculty member and curator of the special exhibit, Quilt As Desired, Mary has a special affection for vintage designs. She wanted this piece to reflect the convergence of the past….her love of vintage with the excitement of the future….Zoey’s place in the modern world.

Z is for Zoey was inspired by a a single long strip from the 1930s. Tongues of fabric had been hand appliquéd with black thread on both sides of a muslin strip. It was never incorporated into a quilt and at one point someone even cut out one of the fabrics to reuse. The quilt married Mary’s “love of vintage textiles with the freshness of the Modern quilt aesthetic.”

Mary thought long and hard about the design. Once she decided how to create the “Z,” the top came together in just a couple of days. Then, according to Mary, Karen McTavish “added the perfect background with her distinctive lace quilting.”

While both Karen and Mary were “very pleased” that Z for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt, Mary says, “My Zoey takes full credit for the win!”

For the near future, Mary plans to continue to teach, write books and hopefully inspire others to work with vintage fabrics.

You can learn more about Mary on her website.

So You Want to Make a Winning Quilt-  Outstanding Innovative Quilt

REBORN was the 2017 Road to California Outstanding Innovative Quilt winner.   Made and quilted by Molly Y Hamilton-McNally, Molly received $5,000 from sponsor, SewBatik.

Molly Y Hamilton-McNally is a familiar winner at Road to California. In 2012, she won Best of Show for Everlasting Bouquet, a quilt she made and that was quilted by Cindy Seitz-Krug.

Fear, loneliness and deep depression brought Molly to quilting in 2000 when she was diagnosed with cancer and later her mother and husband passed away. Molly realized that she had to find some way to bring her back to the light. An acquaintance encouraged Molly to take a class in basic quilting. Unexpectedly, she found herself developing a passion for this art form.

Now remarried, life is bright again for Molly. Reborn depicts the rising of the ancient phoenix and represents Molly’s rebirth as well. 

It took Molly roughly 1-½ years (the equivalent of 1600 hours) to make Reborn. Molly enjoyed the opportunity to continue to improve her abilities using her favorite technique, needle-turn reverse applique.

What was Mollie’s reaction when she heard she had won Outstanding Innovative Quilt? She says she was appreciative and happy. Also, she was pleased to have been honored by Road to California and gratified that her hard work had paid off. She plans to use part of her prize money to help pay off her longarm machine.

What does Molly’s quilting future hold for her? Molly wants to continue designing large, award winning quilts as well as small quilts which she will use to teach others her techniques.  To learn more about Molly, please visit her website.