Beyond the Block mystery quilts in our contest, which ended in January. From embroidery to applique to foundation piecing to photos printed on fabric, participants showcased an incredible array of techniques and styles in their focus blocks. All 69 quilts are now posted for your enjoyment at http://www.americanquilter.com/publications/readers_contests.php?id=1&year=2011, where you can read about the quiltmakers and their inspiration. Three winning quilts have been selected from these entries and will be announced next week. Photos of the three winning quilts will appear in the May 2011 issue of American Quilter magazine.
The spectacular quilt shown above is one of the contest entries. Marlene Oddie of College Place, Washington, wrote this about her finished quilt, which she titled Bordered Beyond the Block:
"The focus blocks were chosen from the Savannah line by Michael Miller. This fabric reminded me of a painting, My Grandmother Dreams in Peonies, http://www.stacybarter.com/images/peonieslowresimage.JPG by Stacy Barter, a high school work colleague and classmate. This painting received the Best in Show $25,000 Award for the 2007-2009 Museum Exhibition Tour of Blossom - Art of Flowers. The fabric was in my stash with a few coordinating prints I had been saving along with it to someday do something spectacular. The ad for the 2010 American Quilter magazine Beyond the Block mystery quilt said it would have a ‘stunning setting’ so I decided this was the project to get out the Savannah fabric and put it to use. The rest of the fabric was selected from my stash based on the mystery guidelines. I did use two fabrics for #6 Light.
Extending the borders was exciting. I had just written an article about extending centers into the border for the Country Register, so it was fresh on my mind. I experimented in EQ7 until I was satisfied with the final outcome. I used black Quilter’s Cotton Sateen in the border, backing and binding and wool batting. I quilted this on my Gammill Optimum Plus with a fair amount of stitch-in-the-ditch and the rest free motion. It is fun to look at the backside with a light on in the front of the quilt—you can see the quilting in a whole new way."