Tag Archives: Winning Quilt

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.

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.

 

 

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.

 

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.