Sweetheart on Parade

"Shadows of Umbria"

Shadows of Umbria

Photos by Jim Lincoln, courtesy of IQA


83" square, hand dyed Cherrywood cottons, commercial prints, and silk dupioni. Free motion machine quilted on my Bernina 200 and 730 with YLI #100 silk thread, Hobbs' Heirloom wool batt

Made in 2005-6, this traditional Octagon Star block design quilt is a "re-make" of my "Arnie's Rising Stars" quilt made in 1995, although only the block pattern is the same. Freehand feathers (not marked) fill the center portion done on several dye lots of Cherrywood hand dyed suede-like fabrics. Urns, birds, and central Rabbit were drawn and then traced onto the quilt top. The inner border is a slice of Kay England's fabric that I embroidered with programmed stitches on my Bernina 200, adjusting them to fit the print of the fabric. Quilting "in the ditch" around all these embroidered areas as well as the print on the fabric makes it look like a Victorian ribbon. The outer border was marked with Diane-shiko and quilted in a bright scarlet thread with the Bouncing Bananas background done in a wine shade for depth. I used many shades of gold, copper, soft golden browns for the silk thread choices in the center and changed out the thread for each of the block areas.

This award was a benchmark for me - it was the first time a machine quilted quilt has been honored with the Founders Award at Houston. I feel as if we machine quilters have finally come into our own with a skill and art that is not only beautiful but accepted and admired by others in the world of quilting.

This quilt was one of the top winners at the 2008 AQS Show in Paducah, KY, and won the $12,000 Bernina Award for Machine Workmanship (quilting on a home sewing machine) and is now part of the permanent collection at MAQS, the Museum of the American Quilter's Society in Paducah, KY. Please visit it there.