Claudia Scheja and Andrea Keuchel Had to Be Persuaded to Participate – and Won!
In the early morning of August 14, 2014 – I was still on vacation in the USA – I received the e-mail with the list of the prize winners of this year’s 2014 World Quilt Competition XVIII (WQC) and the great news that TWO quilters from Germany will receive a prize! Claudia Scheja won with her quilt “Skyline” the “Best of Country” prize of all works submitted from Germany and Andrea Keuchel’s “Japanese Medallion” convinced the jury with her perfect craftsmanship, so that she was awarded the “Best Hand Workmanship” prize in the category “Traditional”! Congratulations again to the two successful ladies!
If you look at the photos of all excellent quilts on the website of WQC organizer Mancuso (www.quiltfest.com → World Quilt Competition New England XIII → 2014 World Quilt Competition XVIII Winners ), you can see that the competition this year was very strong, extremely strong!
The announcement of the prizewinners was the provisional end of a competition that was characterized by spontaneity and excitement.
Let’s Go Back a Few Months…
At the beginning of May 2014, some WQC participants from earlier years asked themselves – independently of each other – when this year’s documents would finally be sent out. Emails were also written independently of each other and the organiser was asked whether there had been any changes. It turned out that a new coordinator for Germany had to be found at very short notice. In order to enable German quilters to participate in the WQC again this year, I spontaneously agreed to take on this task. It has to be explained that the WQC organizer uses a decentralized concept to collect the competition entries, whereby so-called state coordinators handle all organizational matters within their respective participant countries. These tasks include disseminating the competition announcement in the press, online or at events, sending the participation documents to interested quilters, providing assistance in filling them in and translating them, collecting the documents and later the accepted quilts and sending them to the USA in good time and generally being the contact person.
This decision was made only a few weeks before the planned deadline for submissions! In other words, there was no more time to publish the call for entries in the trade press. But thanks to the Internet – especially Facebook – and the great networking and communication of the quilters in Germany, numerous interested quilters were reached. By the registration deadline, 18 quilts (out of 16 quilters) had been gathered, distributed evenly between the two categories “Innovative” and “Traditional”. Some of the participating ladies already had experience from the past years, but more than half of the participants were newcomers to the business of international competitions and took the opportunity to present their work to an international audience in the USA without having to worry about language barriers and the sometimes nerve-racking international dispatch of the precious quilts.
Quilts and Visitors From all Over the World
After the opening event of the WQC at the World Quilt Show – New England in Manchester (New Hampshire), all submitted works will be on tour in the USA until mid-January 2015 and can be seen at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XXI in Oaks (Pennsylvania), at the Pacific International Quilt Festival XXIII in Santa Clara (California) and finally at the World Quilt Show – Florida VI in West Palm Beach (Florida). These four events are extremely popular and attract tens of thousands of visitors each year from all over the U.S. and abroad.
The quilts submitted this year came from all over the world – from Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA. For a Best of Country Award to be awarded, at least 10 quilts must be submitted from one country. Not all countries have achieved this, so for example only Marijke van Welzen represented the Netherlands with her quilt “Growth”.
By participating in the WQC, all participants had the opportunity to have their quilt inspected on site by an expert certified by the American Quilters Society (AQS) and to have an appraisal made. This possibility does not (yet) exist in Germany, so that some of the German participants were able to participate.
This possibility does not (yet) exist in Germany, so that some of the German participants gladly made use of this option. I myself always find it very exciting to find out what (insurance) value is determined for a job. The appraiser was enthusiastic about the high quality and extraordinary precision she was able to find in the German quilts.
And it goes on – Patchwork Days 2015!
Now that our 18 German quilts travelling around the world (plus one from the Netherlands) will be back in the hands of their owners by the beginning of February 2015 at the latest, the time of their joint public appearances is not over yet. The Patchworkgilde Deutschland e.V. took up the idea I had spun out in the course of the WQC preparations to show these internationally successful works together in Germany and promised to include this exhibition in the programme of the German Patchwork Days 2015 next May in Dinkelsbühl!
In this way, all quilters and patchwork enthusiasts from Germany and neighbouring European countries will also have the opportunity to admire the German quilts taking part in WQC 2014 – and perhaps one or the other will want to submit their own work next year. I will have the announcement and the participation documents with me in Dinkelsbühl and will be happy to distribute them.
I have a lot to do with quilters and I know what great quilts are made here in our country every year under your hands and sewing machines! Have the courage to submit one or two of your quilts for the World Quilt Competition 2015! Maybe next year I can quote your name and quilt from the list of winners.