Sweetheart on Parade

"Sweetheart on Parade"

1998 Bernina Award for Machine Workmanship

Sweetheart on Parade

"Sweetheart on Parade" was awarded the Bernina Award for Excellence in Machine Workmanship, a $10,000 purchase award, at the 1998 AQS Show in Paducah, KY. The quilt is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of the American Quilter's Society (MAQS) in Paducah, KY.

"Sweetheart on Parade" is a traditional style quilt based on old Amish and Mennonite sawtooth diamond designs. It uses only two colors, rose and deep green, and depends on its deceptively simple graphic design and elaborate quilting to create an impact. The severity of the design is contrasted with the curvy, romantic feather quilting. It was machine quilted on my home sewing machine in one piece, and due to its size, 85" square, and the amount of extra stuffing or "trapunto" that is under all the quilting designs, it was difficult to fit into my machine. When quilting the very center I had to roll it past the center point to finish the wreath design and could move the quilt only a few stitches at a time. The roll of quilt was so thick my hand did not fit in the machine, so I had to "push" it to get stitches made.

Because of the simplicity of the design it has a contemporary feel to it. It uses all cotton fabrics and Cotton Classic batting. The feather designs are traditional; some were stencils and some I drew myself. The oval ones in the inner green border were from a small antique platter I traced and then added feathers and an interior grid. The most famous design in the quilt is the large feather scroll in the corner pink triangles; it's called the Kretsinger scroll in honor of Rose Kretsinger, co-author of one of the first benchmark books on quilting in America, The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt.

I made this quilt in 1997 for my cat Hillary who was seriously ill and not expected to live. I promised her if she would pull through I would make her a glorious pink and green quilt. She did miraculously survive, and this quilt is the result of my promise to her.

Photo courtesy of the Museum of the American Quilter's Society

Detail, "Sweetheart on Parade"

~Detail "Sweetheart on Parade"~