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Home » Quilt National ’23 Award Winners

Quilt National ’23 Award Winners

The whole collection is documented in Quilt National ’23: The Best of Contemporary Quilts, published by The Dairy Barn Arts Center. There were 673 quilts submitted by 364 artists from 6 continents. Jurors Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, Irene L. Roderick, and Chiaki Dosho selected 81 quilts by 81 artists for the show. The exhibitors represented 26 states and 12 foreign countries. In this exhibition, 47 percent of the exhibitors were first-time Quilt National artists. There were 12 awards granted. In addition, the People’s Choice award was chosen by the visitors to the show.

Best of Show

Sponsored by MODA Fabrics + Supplies

Mary Mattimoe

Not Enough Time
63” x 66”
Cotton, polyester, gouache, modeling paste, acrylic paint, paper
Quilting, painting, stamping

Artist’s Statement: Krissie Carter and Wanda Walters were real people with friends, children, and families. We worked together at the Clovis-Carver Public Library in New Mexico. While at work, the two ladies were shot and killed by a 16-year-old. Making this piece broke my heart and helped me celebrate both women’s joy brought into the world on the fifth anniversary of their murders.

Emerging Artist Award

Sponsored by the Pumphrey Family

Susan Byrnes

Conversation 1
78.5” x 78.5”
Cotton fabric, thread
Stitching, quilting, piecing

Artist’s Statement: This work is one of an ongoing series of what I refer to as Drawing Conversations. The work is made by spontaneous stitch drawing and mark making. Each segment calls to the next to respond to it, each telling a short story that, when put together, tells an ever-changing story of memories. The viewer is invited in to read and tell their own story of real and imagined memories.

Award of Excellence

Sponsored by Aurifil

Deborah Fell

Lines: People Waiting
50” x 44”
Cotton, canvas, digital photo transfers, repurposed clothing, scraps, paint, thread
Layered cloth construction, painting, machine stitched

Artist’s Statement: Lines. Lines are everywhere. The horizon line, standing in line, lining up during a field trip, lines on the road, drawing a line in the sand–is life possible without lines? Such a simple concept, apparent in many forms, affects our daily lives. Lines cross. Lines make circles. There are lines at the grocery store, lines waiting for a flight. Is it a good idea to cross a line? What if that is our only option? Do lines keep us in or out?

Most Innovative Use of Material

Sponsored by Ardis & Robert James Foundation

Cécile Trentini

40” x 62”
Cotton fabric, Velcro, jigsaw puzzle pieces
Machine and hand sewing

Artist’s Statement: A black and white doodle drawing by the artist was printed as a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle turned out to be impossible to assemble! So, the pieces were recycled into another playful work of art: 1000 puzzle pieces, each attached to a base of Velcro, thus allowing for change to the arrangement of the pieces. One work of art with a thousand possible variations!

Best International Artist Award

Sponsored by Annonymous Donor

Émilie Trahan

58” x 65”
Upcycled fabrics
Machine piecing, machine quilting

Artist’s Statement: My work focuses on improvisation, where I love to play with curves, movements, and color value. This piece was created at a point of exhaustion,
working as a healthcare professional during the incessant pandemic. Whether you see it bursting and being torn apart or being held and pulled together, this quilt explores how sinuous the lines of our destiny can be and how a narrow lifeline could change everything.

 SAQA Award

Sponsored by Studio Art Quilt Associates

Barbara Schneider

Forest Floor, Tree Bark Fragment, var. 5
15” x 58” x 6”
Fabric, thread, fabric paint
Fosshape fabric, cut, shaped, heated, painted, stitched,
needle felted, burned, additional free-motion embroidery

Artist’s Statement: This large-dimensional interpretation of a log is an ongoing series. I continue to work on recreating the beautiful remains I find as I walk in the forest. Even when a tree is no longer alive, it creates a life for the
forest floor. As it breaks down, lichen and mosses grow
while other small plants nestle into its interior, and
new shoots put down roots. The work is created using a thermoplastic fabric that shrinks and stiffens when heat is applied. I use that property to shape the piece. Assorted stitching, burning, and thread painting is also
included in the process.

Handwork Award

Judith E. Martin

Under Drifting Stars
86” x 91”
Cotton, iron water, silk thread, cotton thread, wool batting
Hand-painted with iron water, then entirely hand stitched.
Hand quilted with horizontal lines of white or light pink silk thread. Embroidery quilted with cotton floss and hand quilting thread.

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, LLC

Shari Werner

86” x 68”
Commercial and hand-dyed cotton fabric, cotton batting, thread
Machine pieced, machine quilted

Artist’s Statement: I work with bold shapes and figures that fill the plane. I am not intentionally
making quilts “about” something in particular. Instead, I am attracted to colors, patterns, and textures in the natural and built environments around me. When I focus on creating my work, all these images, sometimes subconsciously,
return to inform my designs..

Hilary Fletcher “Persistence Pays” Award

K. Velis Turan

Subway BC
38 by 68
Cotton twill, MX dyes, textile paints, sheer fabric, cotton and polyester threads, polyester batting, commercial fabric backing
Screen printed, painted, free motion quilted

Artist’s Statement: I always travel to New York City with a camera in hand. I love the buildings, the energy, and the people. I took many photos of people on the subway, and this piece is the result of riding the subway before COVID-19.

Juror’s Award

Rachael Dorr

Interwoven 3
40” x 40”
Recycled bed sheets, polyester thread
Knitting, weaving, quilting

Artist’s Statement: Interwoven 3 is a series exploring line, repetition, and texture. Old bed sheets quilted and knitted form a surface that is both rich and soft but is simultaneously falling apart and unraveling. This work was evoked by exploring family history and life experiences. Specifically, learning to let go: to separate and shape feelings before they overflow.

Juror’s Award

Anne Smith

Saint Jude by the Dumpster
56” x 57”
Recycled cotton and linen, mixed blends
Hand pieced, appliquéd, hand embroidered, hand quilted

Artist’s Statement: I was always intrigued to see among the small ads at the back of the newspaper:
“Grateful thanks to St. Jude.” He is known for getting things done smartly and quickly, resolving insurmountable problems and lost causes. In this scene, he has turned up disguised in shabby clothes to help a poor man in an alley, which is partly made from old jeans. The blessing is signified by an everyday angel, based on a medieval carving I spotted at Kilpeck Church, but here made from a burger print shirt.

Juror’s Award of Merit

Karen K. Stone

Las Almas Rotas
49” x 29”
Hand-dyed with commercial cotton, cotton batting, cotton and silk threads
Machine piecing, machine quilting

Artist’s Statement: As I saw the ghosts emerge in the patchwork, I knew its title, which translates to “the broken souls,” and is the name of my favorite neighborhood spot, the celebrated mezcaleria Las Almas Rotas. My improvisational work has a strong expressive and technical foothold in traditional quilt making. I continue to find inspiration in complex patterns, comfort in symmetry and repetition, and hold myself to a high standard of workmanship. My quilts convey passion and joy and honor historical quilts and their makers.

People’s Choice Award

Shin-hee Chin

Trees at Dawn
56” x 74”
Perle cotton threads, linen threads, rayon, polyester, cotton, wool, India ink,
recycled blanket
Random weave and stitch

Artist’s Statement: My commute to teach a morning class regularly brought me to the highway before daybreak, a quiet moment before sunrise. Driving across the serene Kansas landscape, I could see in my periphery a reddish glow seeping up along the seam of the horizon, the first insinuation of the sun rising above tranquil fields. Tree branches stand in bold contrast to the slowly brightening sky. That first illumination of day and the anticipation of the coming of light is a magical moment.