The whole collection is documented in Quilt National ’21: The Best of Contemporary Quilts, published by The Dairy Barn Arts Center. The book is available from the shop, found elsewhere on this site. There were 747 quilts submitted by 388 artists from 6 continents. Jurors Karen Schulz, Nancy Bavor and Brigitte Kopp selected 84 quilts by 84 artists. The exhibitors represented 25 states and 13 foreign countries. In this exhibition 30 percent of the exhibitors are first time Quilt National artists. There were 18 awards granted. In addition, the People’s Choice award will be chosen by the visitors to the show.
Best of Show
Sponsored by MODA Fabrics
55 by 76
Cotton, silk, batting, thread. Dyed, monoprinted, painted, machine pieced, appliquéd, quilted.
Artist’s Statement: Fracas is my response to the outside world given these strange times. Shapes and lines converge, clank, and chatter with layers of color, allowing me to briefly turn my back on it all It’s wonderful to play with color!
Quilts Japan Prize
Sponsored by Nihon Vogue Co. Ltd./Japan Handicrafts Instructors Association
Corrupt Connections (A Diptych) ©VG
41.5 by 58
Silk organza, Evolon fabric, cotton. Laser cut, fused, hand and machine stitched, painted.
Artist’s Statement: Since 2016, our nation has been plagued by the shadow of corrupt connections with foreign countries. This piece provides a mapped narrative of foreign influences between our previous administration, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Russia. Partial maps of these countries intrude upon the map of Washington DC. However, they neatly fix into the grid of our nation’s capital. These unsavory influences co-exist in our nation in a way that seems to fit. Regretfully, they weaken the democratic underpinnings of our nation, eroding our country’s rule of law, values, economy, and democratic principles.
Young Emerging Artist Award
In honor of Bobby Masopust
Watercolor Study No. 7 ©AE
52 by 76
Cotton fabric, fiber reactive dye, cotton batting, polyester thread, cotton thread. Hand dyed, curved pieced, machine pieced, and machine quilted.
Artist’s Statement: I have long been fascinated by the transparency and colors created by thin layers of watercolor paint applied to paper using the veil painting technique. In previous works, translating this technique to fabric, I’ve worked with bold, high contrast colors. For this study, with intention, I dyed the fabric to show a subtle shift in shades, slowly fading from charcoal to a pale grey. The straight silver quilting lines continue to soften the overall coloration, and they shimmer slightly as they shift the background color to a quiet misty grey.
Award of Excellence
Sponsored by Aurifil
6′ of Chaos ©JK
35 by 52
Original photographs, custom printed fabric, non-traditional commercial fabric, yarn, batting. Painted, stenciled, hand stitched, free motion quilted at home, trapunto quilted.
Artist’s Statement: Where to stand? Where to move? How far is 6′? Mask? So much to learn so we can keep this virus in check. This is a collage of original photography printed on fabric with other layers of fabric and stitching, and a little paint. It portrays the chaos of moving around while still respecting the social distancing. The whole situation is surreal; time and space seem totally off-kilter.
Most Innovative Use of Material
Sponsored by Ardis & Robert James Foundation
Linda M. Kim
T.P. Mania ©LK
38 by 38
Fabric, toilet paper tubes, staples, found beads, thread, batting. Machine pieced; hand tied; paper was cut, stapled, and machine stitched to fabric.
Artist’s Statement: In early spring, the humble toilet paper made headline news for weeks. As fear and frenzy gripped people around the world, I wanted to reflect on this shared and surreal moment.
Sponsored by Mountain Mist
20 by 37
Cotton and polyester organza, waterproof watercolor pencil, paint stick, thread. Batik dyed, painted stenciled, machine stitched.
Artist’s Statement: When he saw that the white light was no longer white but consisted of the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Interspace is an attempt to reproduce Newton’s experiment “the refraction of light”.
Best International Artist Award
Sponsored by Cécile Trentini and David Dunand
Brittle Crazie Glasse ©AS
53 by 51
Recycled cotton, denim and synthetic fabric, hessian, string, embroidery cotton. Hand pieced, appliquéd, hand embroidered, hand quilted.
Artist’s Statement: On Tuesday nights in New York I helped my friend take food to some homeless people around Grand Central. They were very polite and trusting, but so fragile and vulnerable, my heart went out to them. In this quilt, two such people rest in a doorway under a Rodent Bait notice. Ramshackle, makeshift….but I wanted to show the light that I saw in them. Like the Brittle Crazie Glasse in George Herbert’s poem “the Windows”: ‘To be a window through Thy grace.’
Lynn Goodwin Borgman Award for Surface Design
Sponsored by the Borgman Family
summer inferno #7 ©SC
40 by 63
Vintage kimono silks, vintage papers, corrugated cardboard, perle cotton, repurposed dressmakers pattern tissue, and silk. Rusted, painted, oiled, collaged, and patched. Hand and machine stitched and fused to a silk foundation, and machine quilted.
Artist’s Statement: A huge wave of orange came down the mountain. The cataclysmic bush fire in the World Heritage forests left blackened trees and millions of dead animals. It is impossible to comprehend.
Quilt Surface Design Award
Sponsored by Quilt Surface Design Symposium
Reaching Out 8 ©DK
63 by 57
Cotton, machine pieced and quilted.
Artist’s Statement: Working in an abstract improv style, I build a small area, then decide where to go next. This sometimes requires some pretty fun and elaborate engineering. Reaching Out 8 is part of the series I’ve been exploring for a while, and I’ll keep going until I have all my answers. I usually have a story in my mind while creating, but I don’t expect it to be obvious to the viewer. I love not having a concrete plan and the suspense of how it will look when I’m done. I approach my work with energetic enthusiasm and passion for abundant beauty.
McCarthy Memorial Award
Up the Rabbit Hole #5 ©VMF
51 x 52
Hand dyed cotton fabric, commercial black fabric. Freely cut lines and shapes, machine pieced with an improvisational approach, machine quilted.
Artist’s Statement: This piece is a part of a series focusing on dynamic movement and 3-dimensional perspective. In this composition, my intention is to explore vibrant color juxtaposed with flat color.
Outstanding Machine-Pieced Quilt Award
Sponsored by the Crow Timber Frame Barn Art Retreats
Cell Magic ©NC
69 by 67
Hand-dyed and commercial cottons, cotton thread, cotton batting. Freehand rotary cut, machine pieced, machine free motion quilted using my Asemic Handwriting technique.
Artist’s Statement: Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle are discovering how to use CAR T-cells from a person’s own immune system to combat many forms of cancer.
Studio Art Quilt Associates Award
Sponsored by Studio Art Quilt Associates
Wisdom Cloak: Mender of Rifts ©HG
52 by 60
Wool, cotton, small objects. Appliquéd, needle felted, hand embroidered and stitched.
Artist’s Statement: This series of woolen cloaks was made in recognition of the wisdom that women accumulate as they grow older, a deep enduring wisdom, often unseen and unsung. I have sewn a primitive needle into each cloak to celebrate the generations of wise women who have gone before us, stitching paths of strength and beauty.
Hilary Fletcher “Persistence Pays” Award
The Mindset ©CK
38 by 68
Cotton, nylon tulle, polyester batting, cotton and polyester embroidery thread, mono-filament. Pieced using the Seminole technique, appliquéd, hand quilted, machine embroidered, embroidery motifs drawn and digitized by artist.
Artist’s Statement: Humans are creatures of habit, preferring stability and predictability over the discomfort of change and the unknown. We are often lulled into patterns of thinking that no longer serve us. Suddenly the universal forces of chaos come swirling towards us, jarring us off course — awakening us from our lackadaisical slumber and challenging us to move into great knowledge and understanding of life’s unfolding events.
Sponsored by the Nelsonville Quilting Company
Mutations #13 ©MR
83 by 87
Commercial and hand dyed cotton, wool batting, cotton, MonoPoly thread. Improvisational piecing, machine stitched, long arm quilted.
Artist’s Statement: Each block is based on the same configuration. Small mutations and a variety of value combinations in the blocks create interesting shapes and effects once assembled. I approach my art as a color experiment, curious to discover the impact it has on visual perception.
Surface Design Association Award
Sponsored by Surface Design Association
Night Horizon (Holland) #2 ©PF
68 by 42
100% cotton fabric, thread, batting. Monoprinted with thickened dyes, discharged, machine pieced and quilted.
Artist’s Statement: Night Horizon (Holland) #2 is a monoprinted and quilted meditation on my experience of ever-shifting horizons between my home and adopted country. While traveling back and forth between Holland and the United States in a time of grief and loss, my identity seemed to transform from a solid to a liquid state, expressed here in thickened dyes, discharged forms, and poetic lines.
Juror’s Award of Merit
Faces in Cages ©DF
98 by 97
Cotton, silk, canvas, burlap, paper, denim, fabric scraps, paint, marker, perle cotton, digital photo transfers, found objects, faux barbed wire. Layered cloth construction, hand stitched from the front and back, screen printed, monoprinted, stamped, hand dyed.
Artist’s Statement: Flaws and imperfections dominate the quilt’s design, and become the evidence of humanity in our imperfect world. Whose faces are these? Are these the faces of the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken over 150,000 lives in our country? Are they faces of people in the food panty line? What about the children who have been killed in school shootings? Are these the faces of Holocaust murders? Is it George Floyd? You decide. Have lost our way?
Juror’s Award of Merit
Six Degrees of Separation ©AM
37 by 51
Digitally printed cotton fabric, cotton wadding and backing, polyester and viscose threads. Designed, digitally by the artist, commercially printed on fabric, layered machine quilted.
Artist’s Statement: Like most people I am deeply affected by the 2020 pandemic. It has pushed us into a completely different way of living. Hugs, even handshakes are not allowed. The virus lurks unseen. We cannot tell who can be a carrier. Six feet of separation is the ‘new normal’ in public spaces. In this work I want to convey the uneasy feeling of not knowing who can present a danger. Figures are semi-hidden in the quilt; red areas could be the virus hanging in the air.
Juror’s Award of Merit
36 by 34
Clothes from my grandmother’s old stash of upholstery fabric, recycled canvas, bed linens, a skirt, a tie, mushroom spores on rice paper, craft batting. Machine quilted; hand stitched; hand embroidered; burned canvas; cotton and canvas left out in the backyard for about a year to rust and mold; exposed rice paper to mushroom spores.
Artist’s Statement: Petrichor,; that musty smell wafting up after a long overdue rain, while walking in the park under a canopy of trees with its leaves flicking the light of the sun coming around the clouds. I wanted to create a quilt that exuded a sense of atmospheric smell.
People’s Choice Award
This award will be chosen by the visitors to the show. The announcement will be made after the close of the show in Athens on September 5, 2021.