South West Quilters have various Challenges and Competitions throughout the year such as:
- The Audrey Dean Award
- SWQ Traditional Quilt Award
- Chairman’s Challenge
- Christmas Challenge
- Summer Day Challenge
- Junior Stitchers Monster Competition
The award of a silver thimble is given each Spring Meeting with AGM in the name of Audrey Dean, for a first quilt made during the previous 2 years. The quilter needs to enter her quilt for this award when completing the proforma for attendance at the meeting. Alternatively the member can send the quilt with another member. The judging, for the thimble, will be done by all the members present. The quilt will need to have a 3” hanging sleeve stitched on to the back. Stands will be provided to hang the quilts. Please encourage new quilters to enter this category.
Winners of the Audrey Dean Award
In 2016 the silver thimble was awarded to Angela Gibbons of Budleigh Salterton.
‘The class I took was in Suffolk, based on Lynn Edwards quilt sampler books. I made it for my Mother, when she was 96. I took the hand piecing and quilting blocks with me to work on when I went to see her. I finished it by her 97th birthday, and it was on her bed for the last 6 months of her life.’ Angela Gibbons
2015 Winner of The Silver Thimble Award for a First Quilt, by audience vote: Susan Vile
2014 Winner: May Hows
Audrey Dean Award 2012 was won by Jane Richardson
AGM Meeting 2011
The Audrey Dean award for first quilt was won by Jan Cumbes for her quilt ‘Rhubarb Delight’.
AGM Meeting 2010
The winning quilt for the Audrey Dean award is by Jenny Brewer and is picture here to the right.
AGM Meeting 2008
Maggie Marlow won the Audrey Dean award in 2008 for her quilt (pictured).
AGM Meeting 2007
Winner of the Audrey Dean award for 2007 given at the AGM, was Wendy Gosney a Taw Valley Quilter, for her beautifully executed and understated quilt, which was much admired.
AGM Meeting 2006
For new members first quilt and the recipient of the silver thimble chosen by ‘visitors choice’ – was Denise Powell (a pupil of Kathleen Hughes of Sidmouth) with her sampler quilt (see photo to right).
A perpetual silver platter is awarded annually at Quilts UK at Malvern (in May). The choice is made by a panel of independent Judges.
South West Quilters also forward £50 to the Winner.
‘Changed my Mind Again’ by Lynda Jackson.
I have been quilting with my long-arm for around 4 years now, prior to this I used my domestic but became frustrated at the restrictions it seemed to have and the strain it put on my neck and back. I decided to get a HandiQuilter Avante 18” on a 12’ frame and have never looked back. I Love it.
Shortly after buying my long-arm I went on a course and became friends with several other owners, and this turned into the formation of a Facebook group. As a group we encourage each other to try different things and push ourselves. This included entering competitions. I was encouraged to enter my first one, which was a whole-cloth quilt, and although it received lots of compliments, ooh and aaahs, it didn’t get any ribbons. However, this experience taught me so much, and I decided that I would start to enter more; after all, even if you didn’t win you still took home a beautiful quilt.
My second attempt at entering a competition was with a piece called Fireworks, and to my surprise won a Judge’s merit. A total surprise, but such a boost. The next was a piece called Cappuccino Dreams, a huge embroidered and quilted piece that I entered into a number of competitions and I am proud to say has won a good number of ribbons during its twelve month circuit, including one at the World Quilts competition in the US.
My latest is called Changed My Mind – Again. This is the one which I am proud to say won the South West Quilters’ Trophy. It is a design by Jaqueline de Jonge and is the first of hers that I have made.
Like many other people, I look at the way that others have quilted the same design tops, but I decided I wanted to do something different to the ones I found. As her designs are so colourful, I couldn’t find any that had had any further colour put into it. I decided that I wanted to add colour, but had to be careful in the way that I did it, and the designs I used within it. I had used hand-dyed fabrics which are very bright, so the threads I used within it were of the same tones but darker or muted so as not to fight with the fabric colours. I also added a lot of gold, I love gold metallic thread and it runs through my machine like a dream. All the quilting designs in the quilt were created by me.
So why the title? Well because I literally kept changing my mind. I quilted the centre and then decided I didn’t like it so I unpicked it all and put another in there. But it still didn’t do what I wanted it to, so unpicked it again and used another. This time I liked it, so it stayed. The area around the centre star was another in which I placed a design and then decided I didn’t like it, and again, my seam ripper became my best friend. I tried another, again it was not quite right so out it came and again on the third attempt I liked it, so it stayed. Perhaps I should have called it third time lucky. The outer borders, well they only had two attempts at getting it right.
The question I am most often asked is ‘Was it done by computer?’ The short answer is No.
All my quilts are hand guided, free-motion quilted. I liken it to drawing with a needle. Like any other skill, it all takes time to learn, and there is no better way than practice, practice and more practice. I like a challenge and continue to try out different quilting techniques, piecing techniques and using colours that are not always in my comfort zone.
I feel we have to push ourselves and try something new, otherwise you never know what you can achieve. When I first started long-arm quilting I never for one minute thought that I would be a multi-award winner, nor have the courage to send my quilts to a world competition. I am so glad I did though.
Through this journey I have met so many wonderful people, all of which have a common love – quilting, and I am looking forward to meeting many more in the coming years.
Lynda Jackson, Capricorn Quilting, Sheffield
Prism of Light by Emma Galbraith
I have been patchwork and quilting now for twelve years but have sewn since the age or four. Whilst at high school I did a textiles project for my Art GCSE coursework which involved making a small final piece. After visiting the knitting and stitching show in Harrogate with my mum that year I was inspired by Margaret Beale’s technique to create my art work in fabric. My finished wall hanging won the under 16’s category at Harrogate in 2005. I was hooked.
After school I went on to study A levels in Art, Graphics and Maths. Being a young one in my year with a late August birthday I didn’t want to make the big step to university when I also wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. Instead I enrolled at Blackpool & the Fylde College to do an Art Foundation course. It was here where I specialised in textiles and was encouraged to bring my hobby into my college work. After completing the year I was accepted onto the Embroidery degree course at Manchester.
That year my Mum opened up our Patchwork and Quilting shop Quilter’s Quarters and I began working in the shop at weekends and holidays when back from university. Whilst working in the shop a few of our customers encouraged me to look into long arm quilting. After I graduated we bought a long arm quilting machine and in January 2012 I began professionally quilting at the shop. I have a wonderful customer base who keep me in the best job doing what I love.
This year at Quilts UK my quilt ‘Prism of Light’ was awarded 3rd bed quilt, the piecing award and the traditional patchwork award, also my Mum was awarded 1st in the bed quilts and overall champion with her quilt ‘Starburst’. Mum’s quilt was also awarded the Long Arm Quilting Award which is the first award for long arm quilting I have received made all the more special that it was pieced by my Mum. We share the same passion and work together doing something we both love – we are both very lucky!
Two years ago I embarked on a hand pieced hexagon quilt which I was challenged by my boyfriend’s Gran to complete in time for the Harrogate Show. Considering I was first introduced to paper piecing aged around 10 and which I hated, I think I surprised us all to actually complete it in time. All 4537 hexagons! Naturally when I completed it I felt bereft as I love to hand sew in an evening. So then I started ‘Prism of Light’ I opened a jelly roll of plain fabrics and added a couple more colours to it. I don’t usually plan my quilts – I cut diamonds of each colour which I originally intended to sit on black. But it turned out that black was too dark, but white was too light. Using both seemed to bring the perfect balance and then my quilt was born. It symbolises both my love of colour and also my need for order as most of my quilts do.
Grandmother’s Flower Garden by Gretchen Danckwardt.
I would like to thank the committee and members of South West Quilters for the award for traditional quilting at the spring Malvern show this year. I was stunned to receive a phone call from the show’s organisers telling me of my good fortune, and the news put a smile of my face for many days following.
This is the first quilt I have entered in a competitive show despite having been quilting for over 30 years. I entered my hexagon quilt largely because of a well-timed reminder in a Di Wells’ newsletter saying that if we enjoy going to the shows and seeing other people’s quilts, then we should think about submitting our own work for others to see. Also, on my husband’s retirement earlier this year, we compiled a bucket list, onto which I had entered that I would like to make a really nice quilt to enter in a show. On reflection I decided not to wait for the ‘really nice quilt’ to emerge, but to put in a quilt I had recently completed.
The story of my quilt revolves entirely around my luck at being in the right place at the right time to acquire the tailoring samples I used in the quilt. In Thornbury where I live we had a traditional men’s outfitters’ shop, owned by a lovely man called Mr. David Smith. Mr. Smith is known to everyone in the wider community and is a popular and friendly figure around town. When Mr. Smith decided it was time for him to retire after a lifetime in the business, my husband and I decided to go in to the shop on his last day to wish him well and also to see if he had any bargains! When I discovered that Mr. Smith intended to dump all his lovely tailoring sample books in a skip the following Monday, I quickly persuaded him to let me have them instead. The quilt I submitted to Malvern was the third quilt made from these samples.
The first two were made from suiting samples, largely in the Welsh red and black geometric tradition. I sat on the tweed samples for a couple of years because I couldn’t work out how to join the patches together because some were very bulky. Eventually the idea came to me to use Japanese folded patchwork, covering each patch with a cotton backing, which could be turned to cover the raw edges of the wool tweeds on the front side. After that the quilt made itself. Sadly I have now used up all of the tailoring samples, so this is the third and last of Mr. Smith’s quilts.
Like most quilters, I am a hoarder of fabrics, but have been making an effort in recent years to use what I have rather than to buy more, and I had just the right thing to back the hexagons – cheap and cheerful Indian woven cottons in lovely rich earthy colours. I used leftover dressmaking corduroy material for the borders. The wadding comprised odd offcuts from previous projects, so I can honestly say the quilt was made entirely in the spirit of make-do and mend, and I was quite proud of the result even before I won your award. Now, of course, it means even more to me.
The first patchwork quilts I came across were in an exhibition in the late 1970’s near Tewkesbury. There weren’t many quilts on show but I was very excited by what I saw and knew I wanted to have a go. I have sewn since childhood, having had an excellent teacher in my mother, who made everything from coats to loose covers. I bought pre-cut hexagons from Laura Ashley and made my first quilt, like so many other people starting quilting at that time. The Laura Ashley fabrics were really furnishing fabrics, so were not the easiest materials for a beginner to sew. I still have the quilt and would not dream of parting with it, shabby though it is.
When I moved to Thornbury where at that time there was a shop that not only stocked patchwork cottons, but also ran courses, at last I could learn to quilt ‘properly’, and I have never looked back. I am so thankful for all the pleasure I have had from my sewing over the years and the lovely friends I have made along the way. Eventually I did a City and Guilds certificate course, and although I loved every moment (well almost every moment) and tried a huge variety of exciting techniques, I am still really a traditional quilter and patchworker at heart and particularly love hand sewing. I am especially drawn to the wonderful timeless quilts which were made of necessity by our predecessors, using simple tools and basic materials.
Thank you again for the award, I shall treasure it. I plan to put the prize money towards financing a trip to Beamish and Bowes museums to see the wonderful north country quilts.
Juliet’s Friendship Quilt:
During the past two years, the construction of this quilt has gone around the world, including my six month stay in New Zealand. Mostly designed on graph paper, and hand quilted with French knots, using crochet cotton.
A lot of the fabric was donated by friends, hence the name Friendship Quilt. It was shown at the Weston Quilt show in 2012 , where it won Visitors Choice. My friends encouraged me to enter it into the Malvern Quilt show, and I was so thrilled to win 1st in the Traditional section.
Juliet Nelmes, Weston Super Mare, Somerset
My introduction to the world of Patchwork came with a visit to the very first Malvern show in 1989 when I was amazed by the work on show, which was so different from anything I’d seen before.
At this first show I met Jackie Taylor who advertised ‘Make a Quilt in a Weekend’, and as I was working fulltime this seemed like a great idea. Needless to say, I didn’t complete the quilt in the weekend, but was introduced to the luxury of spending time away, with like minded people where I could develop my interest in fabric work.
Ever since that first quilt show I have tried to make some entries for Malvern, as without entries, there wouldn’t be a show. In the early days a Judges Mark Sheet was returned with each exhibit and it was useful to learn what the judges regarded as a good standard, and how my piece could be improved.
The first time my work was recognised was in 2005, when I received a Judges rosette of Merit for a bed quilt I’d made in gold and raspberry colours for my youngest nephew Richard, as his wedding present. This was based on a hanging designed by Sally Ablett, which I extended to the required size of 95″ square.
I hope to start a new main project on a ‘Jackie’ weekend, then work on the piecing over the next twelve months so hopefully I have an entry for Malvern. I arrived for a Jackie weekend in 2008, thinking I would to have an easier time, just working on a hanging created by Jinny Beyer, but Jackie reminded me that I usually made LARGE pieces, so ‘Flight of the Snow Geese’ was created. I was fortunate enough to receive the SW Quilters award in 2010 for this piece, which was shown on the cover of your autumn magazine, issue 108.
My next patchwork weekend was booked, but I hadn’t any idea what to make until on a visit to Midsomer Quilting, my local patchwork shop, a beautiful turquoise batik fabric caught my eye. It was so lovely that I wanted to use it as a focal point on a piece, so decided that an Irish Chain would allow this, so the planning for ‘When I’m 65’ began. Having visited a cousin in Bath, I decided to make a quilt for her bedroom. As her room isn’t very large the design needed to be delicate so I chose to make the Irish Chain with 1″ finished squares, which suits me as I enjoy small piecing.
I prefer my quilting to reflect the patchwork design, so having pieced the top I quilted across in each direction through the turquoise centre squares. This was relatively easy, as I didn’t have to feed the quilt through the machine throat to change direction. The second quilting row was more difficult as I stitched through the centre of the burgundy squares, so had to change direction every 7″, especially difficult when our cat insists on examining every quilt! The beautiful batik also needed to be quilted, so I experimented and using a triple stitch carefully stitched a four petal shape.
What a delight to have a call from Vicky @ Grosvenor exhibitions to say that I’d won the award for Traditional Patchwork. My cousin had no idea I was making the quilt for her, and as it was her 65th birthday in April, I felt ‘When I’m 65’ was an appropriate name for the piece. The quilt has now been delivered and is installed on her bed, and Helen is thrilled to bits with it. I was delighted to hear her say she now really enjoys going into her bedroom as it is no longer a plain and colourless place.
Many thanks Barbara Webber
“To Quilt or Not to Quilt” by Jane Rogalski won the 2010 SWQ Traditional Quilt Award.
Read more about Jane’s story here.
‘Flight of the Snow Geese’ by Barbara Webber won the 2010 SWQ Traditional Quilt Award.
Read more about Barbara’s story here.
‘Circling the Stars’ was the 2009 winning quilt for the SWQ trophy. The quilt was created by Rosemary Archer and the trophy was presented at Quilts UK, Malvern.
The winning quilt for the SWQ trophy at Quilts UK Malvern – entitled “the Heirloom Quilt” by Pauline Ineson – “This quilt incorporates over 30 sewing machine techniques. Silk, satin, linen and calico plus embellishments have been used. The design inspiration is from Venetian architecture.”
Winner of the South West Quilters award for Traditional Quilt at Quilts UK (Malvern) 2007 was Frances Meredith of Chepstow Monmouthshire with ‘Butterflies on the Move’. Made on the move travelling USA, Holland, France, England and Wales, but mainly Chepstow. In memory of Di Gunn, Bristol.
Each year the Chairman announces the theme for the Challenge for the following Spring Quilt Festival.
The Chairman’s challenge for 2018 is “Reflections”. Get the 2017 CHAIRMAN challenge entry form as Word or PDF.
“Up Up and Away” Winners
For 2016 the Challenge was The Magic Piper. Taking inspiration from the delightful poem by E.L. Marsh
1st Val Thomas
2nd Barbara Janssen
3rd Jeanette Orr
Judge’s choice Mo Nathan Miller
Winner of Judges Choice – ‘Flower Power’ Challenge – Anne Turner
Winner of Peoples’ Choice – Marlene Chaffey
For 2014 the Challenge was THIRTY. Our Magazine is 30 years old. The quilt could, for example, have 30 fabrics or 30 images, 30 blocks or patterns, or even the number 30 itself.
Viewers’ Choice 1st Anne Turner ‘Counting Sheep’.
2nd Ash Quilters ‘Purple Birds.’
3rd Joan Tunstall’s Liberty Bell.
Judges’ Choice: Del Whitfield’s Black and White Daises.
2013: As The Saying Goes…
A few feathers short of a whole duck – Jeanette Orr.
A Life time – Linda Baldrey
2011: Back to my Roots
Nurturing – Barbara Jansen
2010: Green and Pleasant Land
Winner Vineta Cable (no picture available)
2009: From Starvation to Liberation
to recognise the 100th anniversary of the imprisonment of the women of the Suffragette movement.
Won by Linda Baldrey (see image of quilt to right). For further information view the article ‘Spring Quilt Festival 2009‘
“Welcome to the Westcountry” at the Spring Quilt Festival Exeter – March 2008
Winner of the challenge was Marlene Chaffey with “Are we there yet Dad?”
…and some other entrants…
At our Christmas Meeting in November, a Challenge is set.
1st Christine Peckham
2nd Sandra Scott
3rd place Sandra Cooper
Judges choice Stella Bolland
The winner was Susan Edwards.
The Christmas meeting challenge “Snowman” for November 2015 was won by Val Thomas with her snowman waistcoat. It is customary for the winner to set the Challenge for the following year and so ..
The challenge for the 2016 meeting will be an embellished Christmas waistcoat
2014 A Christmas Wreath
1st Joan Collings
2nd Kathy Osborne
3rd Liz Baker
2013 White Christmas
1st Tracey Driver
3rd Jeanette Cox
2012 ‘Angels, Angels all around’
1st Jeanette Orr
2nd Kathy Osborne
3rd Pat Edwards
Judges’ choice: Jean Bartlett
2011 Advent Calendar
1st Pam Smith
2nd Barbara Janssen
3rd Sandy Marsh
Judges choice Glenda Simmons
2010 A Winter Song
The Christmas challenge of a winter song was won by Wendy Gosney.
2nd was Christine Coles
3rd was Denise Pearcey.
2009 Winter Wonderland
Won by Glenda Symons with her lovely quilt ‘Winter Song’
Second place was by Wendy Baker
Third by Ann Turner
2008 A Christmas Tree
The Christmas 2008 Challenge (theme ‘A Christmas Tree’) was won by Linda Baldrey:
2nd Jean Bartlett
3rd Alma Williams
The Challenge was to illustrate the following lines from a Christmas carol:
‘star of silver sweep across the skies, show where Jesus in a manger lies’
1st – Jennifer Grierson
2nd – Pauline Lilley
3rd – Glenda Symons
2006 Christmas Stockings
In first position was Kathleen Hughes, who will now set and judge next year’s challenge.
In both second and third position was Jean Stetson! They were all lovely stockings and gave a festive air to the meeting.
Summer Day Challenge
A challenge is set for our Summer Meeting in July.
2017The winner of the Chairman’s Summer day Challenge – ‘My favourite Song’ was Lorraine Folland with Rod Stewart’s ‘Sailing’.
“A 90th Birthday Celebration” – Make a Fabric Birthday Card for the Queen’s 90th Birthday.
Winner Glenda Symons
2nd Sandra Scott
3rd Flis Nye
The challenge gave a them of ‘Carnival of the Animals’ by Saint-saens.
1st Glenda Symonds
2nd Claire & Share
3rd Pat King
2014 – Poppy Postcard
The Challenge for SWQ Summer Day 2014 on 5th July was ‘a poppy postcard’ – made of fabric of course.
First : Jean Bartlett
Second : Val Thomas
2011 – Rainbow
1st – Maggie Howell: Over the Rainbow
2nd – Wendy Gosney
3rd – Tracey Driver
Junior Stitchers Monster competition
The Monster Competition run in conjunction with the Quilters Guild has been a huge success with 70 entries. Needless to say it was very difficult choosing the top three entries in each age category but with the help of Jo Colwill at Cowslip and Brenda Bonner, Chairperson for the Guild in our area the decisions were made. Jo has kindly given the prizes of WH Smith vouchers for the winners. There were so many good entries that special prizes will also be awarded as well as viewers choice.
Photographs : 11 and under and 12 and over Winners