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The Festival of Quilts 2017 competition winners announced

By Mark Hayhurst 18 Aug 2017

Faversham-based quilt artist Margaret Ramsay is the 2017 winner of the Fine Art Quilts Masters competition (sponsored by Vlieseline) at Europe’s largest patchwork and quilting event, The Festival of Quilts.

Margaret’s work, Birchington Breakwaters, was inspired by the fragility of disintegrating sea defences and wins her £5,000 in prize money. The quilt will be displayed in the Textile Galleries at The Knitting & Stitching Show in London (Alexandra Palace) this October and Harrogate in November.

Scooping Best in Show (sponsored by Mettler) and a £2,000 prize was Philippa Naylor from Beverley, for her quilt Measure for Measure. Philippa received high praise from competition judges who said her Miniature Quilt category-winning entry was: “An exquisite piece with a delicate feel and subtle colouring. Everything is perfectly scaled, especially in the attention to detail of the intricate stitchery and rouleau looped edging.”

Winners of the competition’s other categories were:

The Quilters’ Guild Challenge (sponsored by Bernina): Birgit Schuller from Germany, The Sprinter. The judges said: “Birgit’s quilt is evocative of freedom. Her fabulous quilting suggests both texture and movement.”

My First Quilt: Anita O’Brien, from Muswell Hill, London, Peter and Amina’s Quilt. The Judges said: “This is a thoughtful and beautifully constructed tribute which reveals more detail the more you look at it.”

Art Quilts (sponsored by Madeira): Lesley Brankin from Malvern, Big Brother. The Judges said: “This is a well considered design with strong focus which interprets the theme as well as the concerns of society in a well constructed manner.”

Traditional Quilts (sponsored by Clover): Annelize Littlefair from Henley on Thames, The Trouble with Magenta, Hot or Not. The judges said: “There is exquisite workmanship in this well balanced but varied design. The subtle thread shading creates a feeling of depth. There is beautiful texture throughout created by stitch and the addition of decorative braid plus piping.”

Contemporary Quilt (sponsored by Janome): Linzi Upton from Banchory, Beezlebub. The judges said: “The exquisite quilting that works so beautifully on the wholecloth side serves to enhance the chaos of the pieced side. The meticulous hand colouring on the wholecloth side emphasizes the designs created by the wonderful quilting.”

Modern Quilt (sponsored by Husqvarna Viking): Judith Lynch, Sticks and Stones 1. The judges said: “This is a stunning and visually exciting quilt, with good use of fabric that captures the essence of modern.”

Group Quilts: Friday Frolics, The Four Seasons: The judges said: “An excellent design with thorough consideration given to detail. It is visually exciting with striking execution of stitch and embellishment.”

Two Person Quilt (sponsored by Aurifil): Mary Palmer and Anne Kiely from Cork, Tidings. The judges said: “This worthy winner has a unique, intriguing and original design.”

Pictorial Quilt (sponsored by Juki): Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga from The Netherlands,African Village: The judges said: “This quilt took us right to the African village. With immaculate piecing and quilting, the skilfully executed piece of work has excellent visual impact.”

Quilt Creations (sponsored by Vivebooks): Jacqueline Harvey from Holt, Silvery Threads. The judges said: “The soft sparkle and meticulous hand stitching add to the jewel-like quality of this quietly magnificent piece. The subtlety of colour and attention to detail are superb.”

Young Quilter/Young Embroiderer 5-8 Category (sponsored by Brother): Fiona Pilcher from Romney Marsh, Gold at the End of the Rainbow Wave. The judges said: “This quilt is beautifully constructed, bright and cheerful. It made us happy.”

Young Quilter/Young Embroiderer 9-11 Category (sponsored by Brother): Leif Sinclair from Leominster, I Don’t Know: The judges said: “This is a very creative, original piece of work.”

Young Quilter/Young Embroiderer 12-16 Category (sponsored by Brother): Hannah Goldsmith from Lichfield, Freedom Bound. The judges said: “This is a stunning tryptic, well executed with a good feeling of 3D.”

Schools & Groups of Young Quilters – Primary (sponsored by Brother): Belmont Grosvenor School in Harrogate, Free as a Bird. The judges said: “The quilt has beautiful birds and a wonderful sense of movement. The handprinted background supports the theme perfectly.”

Schools & Groups of Young Quilters – Secondary (sponsored by Brother): Burgess Hill School for Girls in Burgess Hill, Free range Chickens. The judges said: “This is an amazing piece, full of fun and character. It demonstrates a range of skills, executed to perfection.”

Winner of the City & Guilds Award: Annie Henderson-Begg. The judges said of Annie’s work: “sophisticated and well-thought out body of work showing evidence of artistic development. We particularly enjoyed the sketchbooks which are wide-ranging in their approaches and held our interest. The finished piece shows confidence in composition with exciting use of texture and stitch.”

BA Bursary: Sumandip Dhesi, from Arts University, Bournemouth. The judges said: “A well documented journey from primary design sources to well-constructed resolved pieces. The work shows excellent potential for future developments.”

The Visitors’ Choice Award (sponsored by The Quilters’ Guild): Free to Roam by Donna Goymer from Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire.

The Festival of Quilts takes place at the NEC Birmingham each August. Highlights include professionally curated quilt galleries, hundreds of workshops, a programme of talks and discussions, social events and over 300 exhibitors selling essential supplies. The Festival’s nationally-acclaimed competition celebrates quilts that transcend craft and demand equal billing with gallery quality art works. The competition attracts entries from all over the world, which are judged by a panel of leading figures from the art and quilting worlds.


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