Friday, November 1, 2013

More Award Winners from the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival

We're at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Show with some more extraordinary quilts to show you.  Two outstanding applique artists won top awards:  One from Australia, and one from the U.S. These award winners exemplify the best in traditional quilting styles.

Gorsuch Family Quilt c. 1840 Revisited, by Margo Hardie,  New South Wales, Australia

Winner of the $7,500.00 Founders Award, Margo's quilt is all done in needle-turn hand applique and hand quilting.   Margo's showstopper quilt is based on a Baltimore album quilt, possibly designed by famous 19th century pattern designer Mary Evans for two Gorsuch sisters who lived in Baltimore. We had a wonderful opportunity to talk with Margo about her stunning quilt.  She told us that each block took about a month to applique; and her entire project took three years to complete.

Close-up, Gorsuch Family Quilt c. 1840 Revisited by Margo Hardie

Margo notes that she began drawing the patterns in 2008 from a photograph of the original vintage quilt,  loved the diagonal  (en pointe) set of the blocks and the beautiful applique work. Margo's quilt is almost identical to the original work, except for a few blocks she included, like this cute little squirrel.  Margo told us,  "See his little jeweled glass eye?  When the light hits the quilt, it's like he's winking at you !" 

Close-up, Gorsuch Family Quilt c. 1840 Revisited by Margo Hardie

Here is just one of several elaborate baskets in this classic quilt.  Many congratulations to Margo Hardie for an award very well deserved. 

Forever In My Heart, by Lahala Phelps, Bonney Lake, Washington

Winner of the $5000.00 Robert S. Cohan Master Award for traditional artistry,  Lahala graciously took the time to talk with us about her exemplary work, which is all hand-appliqued and hand quilted. She notes, "This quilt was made in memory of my mother. She passed away from heart disease - the number one killer of women in this country. You will be 'Forever In My Heart', Mom."

Close-up,  Forever In My Heart by Lahala Phelps

In this close-up, you can see the magnificent applique and quilting, all done by hand.  The quilted wreaths inside each block lend an elegant touch to the heart and oak leaf motifs. Lahala says that her quilt was inspired by an 1885 vintage quilt,  Bleeding Heart, by Mary Ann Crowe, in the book, A Treasury of Mennonite Quilts, by Rachel and Kenneth Perlman. 

Close-up,  Forever In My Heart by Lahala Phelps

Lahala said that the folk-art birds that surround the border were among her favorite elements to applique.  We especially loved the bright, rich solid colors and  Lahala's most admirable workmanship.


  1. Incredible work! (And even more impressive patience!!) :D

  2. such beautiful work! love that it is needle turn by hand and hand applique.

  3. I like modern quilts. They're snappy. I like traditional quilts, too - they're so comforting. I even like art quilts - they catch our attention. But applique quilts? Let me say: They stop me in my tracks in awe of the talent that has created such beauties - stunning! Thanks for sharing these two fabulous examples.


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