Skip to content
Home » Private: Quilt National ’17 » Quilt National ’17 Prize Winners

Quilt National ’17 Prize Winners

Quilt National 2017 Prize Winners

The whole collection is documented in Quilt National 2017: The Best of Contemporary Quilts, published by The Dairy Barn Arts Center. There were 747 quilts submitted by 383 artists from 42 states and 19 countries. Jurors Nancy Crow, Petra Fallaux and Art Martin selected 85 quilts by 85 artists. The exhibitors represented 28 states and 9 foreign countries. In this exhibition 41 percent of the exhibitors are first time Quilt National artists. There were 13 awards granted. In addition, the People’s Choice award was chosen by the visitors to the show.


Best of Show

Margaret Black

Line Study 17 ©MB
90 by 75
Kona cottons, thread, wool batting, cotton batting. Free-form cut and pieced, straight-line machine quilted.

Artist’s Statement: I make art using fabric which is free-form cut and pieced. Line Study 17 is part of my body of work that explores line and color. I like my art to be energetic and joyful so that it delivers happiness to the viewer. I consider the final stitches and threads to be my paintbrush that adds surface design and texture to the piece.

Quilts Japan Prize

Denise L. Roberts
Finding Connections #8 ©DR
42 by 84.5
Hand dyed cotton fabric, cotton batting, thread, commercial cotton fabric. Direct fabric cuts, machine pieced and quilted.

Artist’s Statement: After years of creating very complex work, I have a desire to explore spare compositions. This figure was created using two curvilinear shapes. Once joined they created connections to form this figure. This new figure resembles some kind of character to me, a being. As I create more of these characters in this new series, I think of them all hung together finding connections to each other as human beings do daily in their lives.

Award of Excellence

Liz Axford
Shift 1 ©LA
75 by 69
Hand-dyed cotton broadcloth, cotton batting, cotton threads. Resist dyed, machine pieces and quilted.

Artist’s Statement: The combination of repeated geometric forms and the possibility for infinite variation within that repetition is what first attracted me to quilt making as an art form. Working with my hand-dyed fabrics affords me the opportunity to combine painterly effects with hard-edged geometry.

Most Innovative Use of the Medium

Sue Benner
Body Parts 3: Cuffed ©SB
90 by 89
Cuffs (silk, polyester, interfacing, buttons), thread. Machine stitched and quilted, some cuffs are dyed.
Artist’s Statement: Collecting and recycling women’s fashion has been a part of my studio work for over 20 years. In the continuation of this series, I am examining the concept of quilt to consider ready-made objects that already exist with three layers. These blouses and dresses have sacrificed their cuffs for this work and I am in their debt.

Lynn Goodwin Borgman Award for Surface Design


Surface Design Association Award

Judith E. Martin

Soft Summer Gone ©JM
100 by 100
Plant-dyed silk, silk floss, wool yarn, wool batting, silk chiffon backing. Dyed, layer, hand pieced, embroidered and quilted.
Artist’s Statement: Small marks/large emptiness. Working slowly and in solitude with a hoop, it feels as if I have the land in my lap.

McCarthy Memorial Award

Marina Kamenskaya
Squares #1: Red, Yellow, Blue ©MK
68 by 50
Cotton fabrics. Machine pieced and quilted.
Artist’s Statement: I explore line, shape, color, balance, movement, tension and texture. I follow my chosen medium and its innate qualities and possibilities. Every next work takes on from where the previous one has ended. I have my own vision as an artist, but like any artist I cannot make anyone see what I see. I can only speak with my own voice and let it be heard. Art does not require explanation.

Cathy Rasmussen Emerging Artist Memorial Award

sponsored by Studio Art Quilt Associates

Anna Brown
Reflections Dusk #3 ©AB
49 by 37
Commercial cotton fabric, cotton thread, synthetic batting. Machine pieced, raw edge appliquéd, hand quilted.

Artist’s Statement: I work from my home studio in the Great Lakes area of New South Wales, Australia. My main source of inspiration comes from my immediate environment, the local bushland, and lakes. I love creating contemporary art quilts while still incorporating some traditional techniques.

Heartland Award  &

Hilary Fletcher “Persistence Pays” Award

Pamela Loewen
Butterfly Garden ©PL
82 by 92
Hand-dyed cotton fabrics, wool batting. Free-form cut, machine pieced and free-motion quilted.

Artist’s Statement: The natural word inspires me. Plants especially intrigue me with an almost infinite variety of configurations–branches, stems, leaves, flowers–each species has its unique forms. A garden is cultivated growth, nourished beauty. My garden series explores the themes of growth and beauty in a variety of contexts. Butterfly Garden, thirteenth in this series, explores growth in the midst of light and shadow.

Hilary Fletcher “Persistence Pays” Award

Eti David
Orange Towers ©ED
50 by 30
Commercial cotton fabrics, polyester batting, various threads. Machine pieced and quilted, three dimensional pieces hanging from the quilt surface.

Artist’s Statement: I was intrigued with using only one fabric for a whole quilt. I found that the batik-gradated fabric gave me the answer for my wish.

Juror’s Award of Merit

Karen Schulz
…and the Skeptic ©KS
81 by 76
Cotton fabric, cotton batting, thread, yarn. Hand dyed, machine pieced, free-motion machine quilted, couched.

Artist’s Statement: This piece is the result of a sketch made after a five-hour visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. I was so taken with the sheer breadth of everything I had seen. I found myself asking the question, “What are you afraid of?” The answer came back, “Look at what people have done. You can do anything.” I decided then and there to embrace the whole of myself, the poet and the skeptic.

Juror’s Award of Merit

Robin Schwalb
Born Analog ©RS
80 by 47
Silk-screened and commercially available cotton fabrics, thread. Fused, machine appliquéd, hand appliquéd, machine pieced, hand quilted.
Artist’s Statement: Gertie is a dinosaur because she was drawn that way by animator Windsor McKay. I’m a dinosaur because, in this increasingly digital and digitized age, I’m still licensed by the City of New York to run 35mm motion picture film. Here I celebrate classic works of proto- and early cinema by Muybridge, the Lumière brothers, Georges Méliès, Edison, Buster Keaton, and Robert Flaherty, as well as my own history as a film projectionist.

Juror’s Award of Merit

Gerri Spilka
Conversations on Meaning ©GS
82 by 100
Commercial and hand-dyed cottons, cotton batting, wool batting, cotton thread. Improvisationally machine pieced and quilted, denoted by artist, machine quilted by Marina Baudoin.
Artist’s Statement: This piece is part of my Interactions series, which reflects a fascination with a recurrent set of themes that have reappeared in all my life’s work: the interactions, relationships, and ambiguities inherent among people, place and human-made and biological forces. In my artwork, these are expressed through two dimensional shapes, negative spaces, straight and curved lines, colors, and subtle texture. This is not surprising, as I am trained in this order, as an artist, social scientist, and architect and urban planner.

People’s Choice Award

Brigitte Kopp
Global Players ©BK
59 by 58
Cotton hand painted by the artist with acrylic inks, painted spun bond, cotton threads. Painted whole cloth, appliquéd, hand and machine quilted.

Artist’s Statement: Aren’t there a few Global Players holding the reins today? They play not only with goods and raw materials but also with people working for them.