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Pretty as a Picture?

This blog is a reflection on the Pictorial Competition Quilt category at the 2022 Festival of Quilts. This category was the second largest after the traditional quilt category with 57 entries. Unusually a pictorial quilt won "best in show" which I certainly heard quite a bit of discussion about! "Impresion, Tramonto En Venecia" although impressionist, instantly was recognisable as Venice to me, the sunset depiction and colours were lovely. Inmaculada Gabaldon has effectively created shadows. The judges said, "we were drawn by the light into this market scene".

Interesting to note this "best in show" quilt was not a prize winner within the pictorial quilt category! The first prize was striking and skilled, Las dos caras del teatro (The Two Theatre Faces) by Maria Ragusini is an amazing fabric mosaic. Not as aesthetically pleasing to me but I can see why it was chosen. and it did remind me of Romain mosaics in Italy.

The same was true of the judge's second choice in the pictorial category: Oh My Dear by Jingook Yang. I loved the techniques, especially the stencil, and the photo print, but the quilt didn't really "grab me."

However, one of my top choice in this category was awarded the third prize: Rain at Sunrise by Sarah Entsminger. whose hand-dyed fabric, and use of coloured pencil and wax pastel depicted a great scene of water.

This quilt received a judge's choice and I agreed with the judge's feedback: "love the atmospheric feel to this quilt, the quilting representing the rain."

Staying with a sea view theme, Breakwater by Penny Armitage caught my eye and the combination of net, sheers and hand-dyed fabric along with both raw edge and reverse applique techniques really made me feel transported to this Devon scene. I wish I had managed to see this quilt before I taught the reverse applique class and was asked which quilts used the technique!

A totally different style bursting with colour was the overlay award winner for excellence in machine quilting. Typhoon by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga uses Angelina fibres which I like to use, and skilled needle-turn applique too! I could really sense the feel of the boat being tossed around.

Through The Window by Sarah Entsminger was shortlisted and this moonlight scene would add a great extra window to any room. Similar medium to Rain at Sunrise but a totally different scene.

The final two quilts that stood out to me that I will share with you were both pictures of animals. in no particular order, is Big Frank by Jane Haworth based on a photo of a dog (actually called Flossie!) which also received a judge's choice: "exudes energy, fun and movement" I loved the use of various coloured fabric some with text including "life is good".

Mountain Monarch where Laura Graham has portrayed a low sun against the misty highland hills receives my choice of a noteworthy entry in this pictorial quilt collection.

So what do you think? Do you agree with the many awards that pictorial quilts received, or indeed with my choices? Please do share your thoughts on these fabric pictures.

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