Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I won Best Machine Quilting (frameless) at QuiltCon 2016!!!

My "I can't believe this!" face.  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs.

Man, you guys, I don't even know where to start!  I never, ever imagined that I would win such a prestigious award for my work on this quilt!  I was notified about two weeks before QuiltCon that the quilt had won something, and was asked to be at the award ceremony.  I skipped the first hour of my Thursday class to be there, but it was so worth it!

I took so many photos with this quilt!  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs.

Because this is a group quilt (logo design by Bob Lowe, pieced by Lois Warwick, applique by Sally Williams and Laurie Moody) I assumed we had won something in the group category.  But as they called out the winners for the group quilts I didn't know what to do with myself--what else could it possibly have won?!

Hugging Jacquie Gering on stage!  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs.

The Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild banner won the Best Machine Quilting (frameless/stationary needle) award!  HOLY MOLY.

Craig S. Meyer | Senior Vice President of Marketing for Baby Lock  (the award sponsor) and Jacquie Gering photo op!  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs. 

ABQMQG banner hanging at QuiltCon 2016 with the Best Machine Quilting (frameless) ribbon and sign.  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs.

The backstory on the banner is that I volunteered to quilt it (on my Janome 6300, which has a 9 throat space) about a year ago.  It looked like a fun project to work on, was a good way for me to contribute to the guild on my own time, and fit into my spring sewing schedule.  All of the quilting was my idea, though the variegated thread for the balloons was my husband's idea (and clearly a stroke of genius).  The air current quilting came together after much discussion and help from Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl.

These photos really illustrate just how much the quilting added to the banner: 

ABQMQG banner pre-quilting.

ABQMQG (Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild) quilted banner after 30 hours of quilting, measures about 86"x42".

Did you see that?  Thirty hours of quilting!  And another 15 hours for basting, thread burying, trimming, binding, washing, blocking, hanging sleeve, and show-prep!  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to lay out your quilt and go over it checking for loose threads, animal hair, dirt, lint, etc before you bag and box it to send to a show!  I've sent this banner to 2 shows now and have spent at least an hour per show cleaning it up so it is in tip-top shape.  If your quilt gets into a show, spend an the extra time to make sure it is in the best condition possible!

ABQMQG banner back--where the quilting really shows up!

Over the past year and a half I've really struggled to figure out where I fit in the Modern Quilt Guild.  Honestly, I've felt like I don't really belong--my quilting always seemed closer to "art" quilts than to "modern" quilts.  I was so thrilled this quilt got into QuiltCon (the only one of the 6 I entered, btw), and am still amazed and honored that the quilting won the top award for quilting on a domestic machine.  I feel like the MQG is starting to recognize FMQ as a really meaningful way to enhance a quilt in a modern way.  Not to mention the amount of thought, time, practice and work that goes into FMQ!  And the Best Machine Quilting on a frame award was also FMQ! 

Hanging out with Joshua of Molli Sparkles with his No Value Does Not Equal Free quilt that won Best Machine Quilting on a frame.

Huge thanks to Baby Lock for sponsoring the award, to the judges for picking a quilt that I poured myself into, and to Yvonne for taking and sharing so many wonderful photos!  And many, many thanks to all of the people that have supported and encouraged me!

See the original blog post for the ABQMQG banner here.  You can also see the work in progress posts here and here.


  1. Congrats on a very well deserved win. I remember following your progress on this on Instagram as well as here on the blog and it's wonderful to see you get the recognition you richly deserve for your amazing work.

  2. Congrats! Well deserved as your quilting is awesome.

  3. I am still pumped about your win, Renee. You do amazingly beautiful work, and it thrills me that it was not only recognized by awarded by the MQG. I'm sure the pendulum will swing around, so I hope you can remember this as confirmation that yes, you and FMQing definitely have a place. Watching people respond and react to your quilting was awesome. I never saw anything but awe (and the assumption it was done on a longarm!). LOL

  4. Girl, you KNOW how happy I am about FMQ getting out there in the MQG. I'm sooooo freaking happy for you (I know I've said it a million times). You deserve this so hard!!

  5. So awesome Renee~CONGRATULATIONS on an amazing job!

  6. That's awesome! Congratulations!

  7. Your quilting is fantastic and I was so happy to get to see it in person. I also am so glad to have had a chance to meet and visit with you. I'll be watching for your next quilt, I love the quilting part of quilts the best!

  8. I was so incredibly excited for you when I heard!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!

  9. Amazing! Congratulations! It's so wonderful that you are being recognized for your talent. Beautiful job!

  10. Love the quilting! You did a great job! And you know what I really loved---your wearing blue jeans and seeing so much happiness.

    1. Thank you so much! I'm a jeans girl, all the way!

  11. I'm so proud of you for this win!! I love modern machine quilting!!

  12. really awesome quilting - congratulations on a fabulous win !

  13. Congratulations Renee. What a fantastic win and recognition of your talent. Love the photos-esp the one of you , Jacquie and the guy from Babylock.

  14. I am so excited for you. You totally deserved this award. The quilting on this is so detailed and exquisite.

  15. So well deserved! Where will you hang your giant ribbbon?
    Did you win a cool prize? Babylock overlockers are divine.
    I like how they have hung your banner and Molli's quilt so that the backs can be seen. As you say, the quilting often shows as well if not better on the back.

  16. Congratulations! It's certainly a beauty!

  17. You so deserve that prize, Renee! Your talent will take the Modern Quilt Guild farther -- you are just ahead of the curve, my friend. :)

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