Talented Jamestown quilter Judy Stacey has won the most prestigious quilting prize in SA.
Her meticulously hand-crafted quilt ‘The Caswell Challenge’ was named Best in Show at last weekend’s Quilters Guild of SA hotly contested State Show, the Festival of Quilts.
Three years in the making, Judy’s quilt was also awarded First Prize in the Collaborative Appliqué and Retaining the Tradition sections of the event.
‘The Caswell Challenge’ will now compete for the Best of Australia title at the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne next April and will go ‘on tour’ for a year of State quilting events.
Judy was surprised and overwhelmed with the honor and with the accompanying prize, a Bernina sewing machine.
She also received congratulations from Mrs Lan Le, Quilters Guild of SA Patroness and wife of SA’s Governor, watched on by family and friends from Adelaide and the Mid North.
Judy’s pattern of choice was an original by Castlemaine reproduction quilt designer Corliss Searcey, inspired by Zeruah Caswell’s famous circa 1835 woolen embroidered rug, the Caswell Carpet.
It features delicately embroidered folk-art style flowers, leaves, birds and butterflies and a bold color palette of pinks, reds, blues and yellows in the style of the 19th Century original.
“The Caswell Quilt design required me to extend my patchwork and embroidery skills to learn techniques such as needle turn applique, bias making, and fussy cutting,” Judy said.
“It has definitely been a challenge and I have been very fortunate to have Sharon Porter mentor me to master these very difficult techniques.”
Judy said she had loved simple patchwork quilting and embroidery for more than 40 years, creating blankets and quilts for grand-children and great grand-children.
“It’s a past-time I have always enjoyed, but in recent years it has become a very special interest of my own while home with my husband Robert,” she said.
Festival of Quilts exhibition coordinator Anne Marie Serrano said the quilt was a huge crowd favourite and judges were clearly impressed with Judy’s technical craftsmanship.
Judy’s quilt was custom quilted by Meredith England of Crystal Brook.