Tag Archives: Winning Quilt

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.

 

 

Marie White Masterpiece Award – Road 2017

The second highest award given by the judges in Road to California’s Showcase is the Marie White Masterpiece Award. This prize is sponsored by Road to California and is worth $7,500.

The 2017 Winner was Cardinal Points

Made by Gail Stepanek (l) and quilted by Jan Hutchinson (r), this was the sixth quilt they have collaborated on together. 

Gail is from New Lennox, Illinois and Jan is from Kansas. They have been partners for five years, having originally met on the internet after Gail saw some of Jan’s work. They didn’t actually meet in person until two and half years after they partnered together. Jan said that the two of them have “become good friends along the way.” Gail offered they get along so well because “we both have a sick sense of humor.”

The idea for Cardinal Points came from an antique quilt Gail had seen that had a similar pattern but was made from much larger blocks. Gail decided to reduce the size of the blocks to “teeny tiny” dimensions for her original design. It took Gail one year to finish the top. Creating a block pattern that was paper-pieced with lots of teeny-tiny pieces was “not the easiest thing to do,” said Gail.

Jan spent three months on the quilting. She decided to treat each circle with a different type of quilting. Consequently there are lots of different patterns throughout the quilt that she designed freehand.  Jan also wanted to keep the quilting traditional because the top is traditional. She used metallic thread twisted with silk to make the quilting more subtle.  “I loved doing this quilt,” remarked Jan.

They had a difficult time coming up with the name. Because the quilt is a variation of a Mariner’s Compass block design, they decided to name it Cardinal Points– the parts of a compass that point North-South-East and West.

The Marie White Masterpiece Award was the second time Cardinal Points had won recognition at a quilt show.  Previously, it had won First in Show and Third Prize overall at Houston in 2016.

What is Jan and Gail going to do with prize money? Why make more quilts to enter in shows, of course!!

You can stay up to date with Gail and Jan on their Facebook Pages.

So You Want to Make A Winning Quilt? Road 2016 Best Use Of Color

Technicolor Deco was made and quilted by Shirley Gisi of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Shirley received $1,500.00 from sponsor, Primitive Gatherings.Technicolor Deco by Shirley Gisi

Shirley Gisi has sewn most of her life, primarily with garments and home decoration.  Quilting was just a natural progression for her. IMG_0162 (3)

In creating, Technicolor Deco, Shirley used designs both from traditional quilting and stained glass.  She noted that the elements have a somewhat art-deco feel.  Shirley had recently taken a trip to Cancun, Mexico, and used some designs from an Aztec museum there for her quilting. Shirley said that she spent nearly every day for two to three months working on the quilt.

How did Shirley react when she found out she had won Best Use of Color at Road 2016? “I love color and so this particular award really speaks to me.  I like to use bright warm colors and gradated fabrics which I believe intensifies the piece.”

How did she spend her prize money? “We were doing some kitchen remodeling so I applied the award money to the project.”

What is Shirley working on next? She is continuing to try new things and work on new techniques.

To see more of Shirley’s work, please visit this Pinterest account.

 

Road 2016’s Top Modern Quilt

Modern Mojo Two was made and quilted by Linda M. Thielfoldt of Troy, Michigan. Linda received a $5,000 award for Best Modern Quilt from sponsor Riley Blake Designs.Outstanding Modern QuiltWhen Linda Thiefoldt was 12 years old, she tried her hand at quilting for the first time. Her sister was having a baby and Linda wanted to make her a quilt.   It was an original design and tied with embroidery floss. Her winning quilt at Road 2016 has come a long way from that first simple quilt.

Modern Mojo Two was very special to Linda.  She had a bad ski crash and broke her ankle and shoulder.  It was very painful and she couldn’t quilt or sew for 6 months. It was a full 10 months before she was done with physical therapy.  There was a point where she thought she might never be able to machine quilt again. It was a very dark time for her.  Modern Mojo Two was the first quilt Linda made after her physical therapy where she felt like she was back. She had a lot of charity quilt practice but she felt her quilting was pretty awful due to her limited range of motion. Linda was fearful that she might never get back to competitive quilting again. It took a long time as she could only quilt for an hour or so a day due to the lingering pain. The quilt was in the machine for 4 months.  Linda learned “that you have to make the most of every day and push harder through adversity.   Had I given up, which trust me I wanted to on many days, this quilt would have never come to fruition. It was a very humbling and soul searching time where I had only my faith to rely on. The thought of losing something so central to my life was very scary.”

The winning design was most influenced by the white fabric with the different sized dots she found. She had previously drawn out the stripes in the layout and was planning on doing some quilting in the background “white” space in a grid type format. But when she found that one print with the “spikey circle things,” the design changed and the spikes and circles really took center stage.

When Linda found out her quilt had won, she was “beyond thrilled.” Linda said, “I live in Michigan and I’m sure if you had been paying attention, you could have heard me squeal all the way to California.  I was stunned that this quilt which has so much meaning for me was chosen for this award and to make it to the “top tier” of awards was such a welcome. I have been competing a long time and have been blessed to have won many ribbons but this one by far has the most meaning to me.” Linda used some of  her prize money to pay off the balance on her embroidery machine and set the rest aside for a future longarm machine. LindaThielfoldt_headshotCropped

What is next for this modern quilt winner? Working on another modern quilt, of course. Even though she has been a traditional quilter all her life, Linda has found that she is most inspired by the open and negative space that is such a huge part of modern quilts.  Linda plans to keep the same name, developing a series: Modern Mojo One, Modern Mojo Two…..stay tuned.

Meet Laurie Tigner: Road 2016 Teacher and Quilt Award Winner

South Dakota resident Laurie Tigner had never been to Road to California before. The 2016 show ended up being an “absolutely fabulous” experience for her as Laurie not only got to teach three classes, but she also found out she won awards for two quilts she submitted!!

Laurie Tigner with Road's owner, Carolyn Reese

Laurie Tigner with Road’s owner, Carolyn Reese

Laurie won first place for Traditional, Wall, Other for Cameo Rose.

Cameo Rose made and quilted by Laurie Tigner

Cameo Rose made and quilted by Laurie Tigner

A whole cloth quilt, Laurie used a technique that she continues to learn about. She chose batik because when she painted over it, it gave the fabric a look of stone with shadows and provided the sculpted look of a real cameo. Laurie tried three times to get the appearance she wanted. At one point, being discouraged, she threw the quilt away. Her husband rescued it out of the trash. Laurie took the piece, squished it in a ball and threw it in a corner where it stayed for 3 months until she heard that HMQS needed another quilt for their show. She added  ”tons more color” to finish the piece and turned it in. To Laurie’s amazement, Cameo Rose ended up winning first place in the Wall Quilt category. Then it won first place at Road 2016. Laurie has promised the quilt to a friend after she shows it two more times to get back the time and money she put in to the project.

Laurie won another first place honor for doing the quilting on Janet Stone’s winning entry, This One’s Four Ewe.”

"This One's Four Ewe" made by Janet Stone and quilted by Laurie Tigner

“This One’s Four Ewe” made by Janet Stone and quilted by Laurie Tigner

Janet is a close friend of Laurie’s and asked her to do the quilting. Laurie confided that she was “scared to death” to work on the quilt knowing Janet’s status as a master quilter. Laurie “lived in fear” that she would bring Janet’s reputation down. When Laurie heard the quilt had won first place for Traditional, Large, Applique, she was so relieved. “I didn’t humiliate myself.”

What were Laurie’s first impressions of Road?  “Huge” and “Friendly.” She was particularly impressed with all the attention to detail.

Laurie’s Road classes all focused on using her Inktense Fabric Painting technique. She said she loved her students in her classes. “They were the best.” One day, Laurie remarked how she couldn’t believe how wonderful California oranges were compared to the oranges she got back in South Dakota. Laurie was totally flabbergasted when the next day, one of her students brought Laurie a bag of oranges from her tree!! “I didn’t expect that.”

To learn more about Laurie, please visit her web page.

 

So You Want To Make a Winning Quilt? 2015 Outstanding Traditional Quilt

My Brunette Whig was made by Gail Stepanek and quilted by Jan Hutchison. They received $5,000.00 from sponsor, ABM International, Inc. / InnovaTraditional Quilt

This winning quilt was a total collaboration between Gail and Jan. So much so, that they answered our questions for this post as a team!!!

 

How did you get stated in quilting? Gail: I was hooked after making my first quilt in the early 80’s. Jan: I started quilting so that I could finish a quilt that my Grandmother left unfinished. That was 14 years ago and I have yet to finish it.

 

What inspired your design for My Brunette Whig? Gail: Whig Rose quilts and variations of the pattern. I borrowed some variations and added my own to create a block that most likely isn’t recognized as a Whig Rose. The dark brown background gave it its name. Jan: I wanted to keep the quilting traditional but update it a bit with the use of metallic and contrasting threads. We worked on it up until the very last minute to enter it before the deadline.

 

How long did it take to make this quilt? Gail: People always ask how long it took to make a quilt. If I told you that I started it in 2011 and finished it in 2014 you would think that it took 3 years. I did start it in 2011 and finished in 11 months (5 of those months were spent trying to find an interesting layout). I then put it aside until 2014 when I sent it to Jan for quilting. Jan: It took about two months to quilt.

What was your reaction when you learned you won? Gail: Road to CA was the first show that MBW was entered in and the first time I’ve entered an all applique project. Not sure of my applique skills, this award gave me confidence to try another applique design in the future! I was thrilled with the award and so happy to be at the show. Jan: I was excited to win the award.

What plans do you have for your winnings? Gail: More fabric, attending shows, etc. Jan: At least part of my share of the award money went towards more fabric and thread. I learned to be sure to have enough thread I need before I start quilting – I had to make an emergency thread order at the last minute.

Where do you go from here? Gail: Jan and I hope to keep the quilts coming. This was our third quilt together and Jan will start quilting our fifth this fall.

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? Road 2015 Outstanding Innovative Quilt

Kathie Beltz and Mara Novak were awarded $5,000 by sponsor SewBatik for their winning entry.Innovative Quilt

Skyfall was the second time maker Kathie Beltz and quilter Mara Novak have collaborated on a quilt project. They began the quilt in 2013 and finished it in 2014. Skyfall was born of the desire to marry Kathie’s love of innovative piecing with Mara’s interest in translating everything she sees into quilting designs.

Both ladies are established quilters. Kathie got her start when she was invited to join a group of friends who were quilters and they started her with the basics. Mara began in quilting by taking a class with Deb Tucker.

It was Kathie’s idea to create as many different stars as possible in one quilt. Kathie had recently become a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor, and wanted to fully explore the Studio 180 tools. She was inspired to create as many different stars as possible in one quilt.  Kathie pieced fifty-eight unique stars and, instead of a basic block-by-block and row-by-row construction, she set them in a cascade across a deep blue sky.  The stars range in size from 2 inches to 10 inches and vary in brightness, to add to the perspective and depth of the quilt.  Kathie also added three Lemoyne stars in a blue fabric different from the background, which represented stars so far away and faded, they can barely be seen.  The cascade of stars left plenty of room for Mara to add secondary star falls, as well as an elaborate border, made entirely of thread.

From design, to shopping for fabric, then to construction and quilting, it took about 9 months for Kathie to make the quilt. This project taught Kathie that she needed to schedule more time for quilt making, because she was always up against a deadline. Mara’s quilting took even longer as she had to learn that it takes very bright thread to show up on dark fabric.

When they found out they had won, Mara did a “happy dance” and Kathie was “incredibly excited.” Kathie still isn’t sure what she is going to do with the prize money. Mara has bought a treadmill.

Mara and Kathie intend to continue collaborating in the future, as they “keep looking for the perfect balance of piecing and quilting” that will “push our abilities and stretch our imaginations.”

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? Road 2015 Marie White Masterpiece Award

On This Winter Day was made and entered by Nancy Prince. It was quilted by Linda French.Masterpiece Award

The Marie White Masterpiece Award is sponsored by Road to California in memory of Carolyn Reese’s mother who was a co-founder of Road to California. Nancy Prince and Linda French were awarded $7,500 for winning this category.

Nancy’s love of quilting began when she was 16 when her grandmother made a crazy quilt for her out of her grandfather’s wool suits. Due to family commitments, it took a long time before Nancy could start quilting. About 20 years ago, with her children grown, she finally had the time and opportunity to begin her quilting adventure. Nancy made traditional quilts for about 4 years but found that the repetition from making the same block over and over again was not for her.

Her journey into thread painting was quite by accident. Sixteen years ago, during a hiking trip in the Smokey Mountains, Nancy’s husband took a photograph of a waterfall. Appliqué was her passion at the time and she wanted to make a memory of the time spent in the Smokey Mountains. The waterfall created a problem because there was no movement in the selected fabric. Nancy thought that a bit of thread and a zigzag stitch could give some movement and direction to the water. There was a lot of trial and error but she finally got the stitches to look realistic. An overhanging bough was Nancy’s next challenge. Long story short, she figured it out and as they say, “the rest is history.”

On This Winter Day was inspired by Nancy’s love of period clothing. She was infatuated with the way of life during the late 1800’s, especially the mode of transportation. About 8 years prior to beginning On This Winter Day, Nancy had made a late 1800 winter competitive quilt. She loved the winter attire on the people and the cozy feeling she got when looking at the quilt. Plus, that quilt did well in competition, so her choice for a new quilt was quilt simple: another winter quilt.

It took close to 7 years, approximately 2,000 hours, and in the vicinity of 75,000 yards of thread to complete. Making the quilt was a journey of passion, commitment and the inevitable ups and downs. For Nancy, “there were days of tremendous highs and other days of great frustration, so much so that there were times I thought about giving up. But I had worked too hard and taken too long to give up and I am certainly glad that I journeyed on through the highs and lows.”

Nancy remarked that “whenever I make a new competitive quilt, I want to try some new ideas and techniques not only so I don’t get tired of making the same thing over and over again but also so the viewer is not seeing the same thing from me with each new competitive quilt.” For On This Winter Day, Nancy discovered a new way to thread paint a design so that the thread looks “tweedy.”  She also mastered Punch Needle to make the fur on the ladies and children’s coats look realistic. Other details included finding appropriate size leather, silver buckles and horseshoes for the horses to give them the realism they needed. Nancy raided a miniature store for trims, flowers and buttons to accentuate the hats and clothing. Nancy loves detail and believed that with On This Winter Day, that the new ideas and techniques she used greatly enhanced the realism of each thread figure and the quilt as a whole.

Nancy tells it best about what happened when she learned she had won her award: “I live in Orlando, Florida so there is a 3 hour time difference between Orlando and Ontario, California. I had carried my cell phone with me all day knowing that the winners would be announced that day. Around 10 PM Orlando time, I heard an email come in on my cell phone. I had pretty much given up hope at this point of a win so I was jumping-up-an-down excited and honored that On This Winter Day had won the Marie White Masterpiece Award. Knowing that this was an unbelievable award, I decided to fly out the next day to Ontario. So at 12 PM that night I am making airline reservations for a 6 AM flight the next morning.”422

Nancy stood by her quilt and answered questions during the show. She thought it “was so rewarding and way more than just fun!! At the end of the show I was exhausted but elated. Winning an award is an honor at any show but winning the Masterpiece award at Road was a very special few days in Ontario for me. My husband told me after I had been home for a few days that he only saw the bottoms of my shoes because I was flying so high. It just doesn’t get much better than that!!”

Nancy and her husband plan on using her prize money to take a vacation. She is teaching on a quilting cruise to Alaska next year and her husband wants to go along.

What does Nancy plan to do next? “Currently I am in the planning stages of a new competitive quilt. Due to my teaching schedule, I don’t have concentrated areas of time to commit to the quilt so I can only work on it as time permits. Of course, I have some new ideas and techniques planned and yes, it will be another winter quilt but a totally different look. Hopefully this one won’t take me 7 years.”

Congratulations Nancy for winning the 2015 Mary White Masterpiece Award.

Nancy will be back at Road, teaching three classes in 2016. For more information on her classes, please go to our web site.   

 

 

 

 

So You Want to Make a Winning Quilt? Meet Sandra Leichner, Road 2015 Best of Show Winner  

Sandra Leichner, from Albany, Oregon, won $10,000 for her Road to California 2015 Best of Show Quilt, sponsored by Gammill Quilting Systems. Sandra started and finished her quilt in 2014.Best of Show

How did you get started in quilting? When my children were toddlers, I could no longer balance my painting and their instantaneous needs. I had learned to do handwork, sewing and embroidery at a very young age and after seeing a quilting magazine on my mother’s sewing table, I realized I could focus my art and sewing skills into one creative outlet.

What inspired your winning design, Vivaldi by Moonlight?  I wanted to make a different style of wholecloth and at the same time, challenge my skills to the fullest and beyond. I am known for my handwork skills and my machine quilting skills were inevitably overlooked because the viewer focus was always on my handwork.

I knew I did not want feathers etc. I wanted to create a totally original design in my artistic style using only machine quilting to create the overall design. Although it is a wholecloth, I have used a subtle monochromatic thread color palette to create added depth and incorporate more visual dimension to the intricate twining quilting design.

I had originally made this for my bed but the quilt became too fancy to allow my neurotic kitty Milo, who lives on my bed, to sink his claws into. So I decided to enter it and see what would happen.

It took you a year to complete the quilt. What did you learn along the way?  This was an extremely difficult quilt to create using a domestic sewing machine. The quilt took six months to quilt and two months just to cut the trapunto. The hand embroidered dragonflies took one month alone to complete.

I used a jacquard fabric for the wholecloth and I will never do that again. It intensified the difficulty level by several percentage points. With a sewing machine, I do not have a large frame to keep the quilt sandwich taut and the tension always perfect so my fabric choices can make or break the experience. This almost broke me and more than once.

What was your reaction when you won Best of Show? Absolute dumfounded open mouthed shock—seriously. I had to read the email over and over a few times to see if I was misreading the news before I would let myself get too excited. Then I started running down the stairs and through the house to tell my husband. When I reached him, I paused and then said, “I better go check that one more time to be sure” and ran back upstairs to my computer to re-read the email again. Then I went crazy –bouncing around the house with supreme happiness crazy. 

I have been competing for ten-plus years and have many prizes but this one meant a lot to me. This quilt was a totally different technique focus and direction and I was thrilled that the judges got it. As with all my quilts, the closer you get the more detail you see.

What are you going to do with the prize money? College always sucks the coffers dry and this fall I will have two children in college so the money will definitely come in handy.

What are you going to do next with your quilting? I will go back to my “day job” of applique and designing applique patterns as well as continuing to teach applique and my embroidery techniques internationally.

The diversion of a wholecloth was fun and I am off on a new challenge to keep my quilting process continually interesting and prevent it from becoming formulaic and monotonous.

 I will continue to step out of my comfort zone because if I don’t fail from time to time, then I am not discovering and learning something new that may lead to a prize like this one or the pleasure the process brings in making a quilt.

Congratulations Sandra on your stunning Best of Show quilt!!