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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Judges said: “This quilt took us right to the African village. With immaculate piecing and quilting, the skillfully executed piece of work has excellent visual impact.”
Quilt Creations (sponsored by Vivebooks) – Jacqueline Harvey from Holt, Silvery Threads. 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. Judges said: “This quilt is beautifully constructed, bright and cheerful. It made us happy.”
Schools & Groups of Young Quilters – Primary (sponsored by Brother) – Belmont Grosvenor School in Harrogate, Free as a Bird. 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. Judges said: “This is an amazing piece, full of fun and character. It demonstrates a range of skills, executed to perfection.”
The Visitors’ Choice Award (sponsored by The Quilters’ Guild) was 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.