These are the five Master Award winners from the 2011 International Quilt Festival in Houston. Each of the Master Awards include a $5,000 prize. Click on a photo to see a larger version.Susan Stewart won the Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry for her quilt, “Radiance.” It features digitized machine embroidery and also digitized free standing lace insets along the border. She did free motion machine quilting and achieved some beautiful trapunto effects. This view of the back gives you a better idea of her quilting and the lace insets. Sharon Schamber won the Maywood Studio Master Award for Innovative Artistry. I’m sorry I can’t find an overall picture of Sharon’s quilt. Between the crowds of admirers blocking the view and the excitement of taking closeup pictures, maybe I forgot! I’ll have to search my pictures some more. Just look at this incredible detail, though, and you’ll see why I was so excited. Sharon’s work is always flawless. The back of her quilt shows more of her fantastic quilting, and it also gives you an idea of her innovative use of inset cording. I heard her say she spent two weeks just making the cording! Joanne Baeth won the Superior Threads Master Award for Thread Artistry with her quilt, “Great Blue Herons.” She used extensive thread painting and machine quilting over fused applique, choosing her threads carefully to blend colors, shade, and highlight. Keiko Morihiro’s “Bouquet” won the Robert S. Cohan Master Award for Traditional Artistry. It was made as a 30th wedding anniversary gift to her husband. Don’t be fooled by the sedate colors. This quilt was amazing. It is hand pieced, hand appliqued, hand embroidered, and hand quilted. I sat next to Keiko during the awards luncheon, but unfortunately she didn’t speak English, although I must say she did memorize her speech and delivered it flawlessly in English, unlike others who shall remain nameless (me!). And, as I mentioned before, “Windblown” won the Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry!
(According to IQA’s quilt photography rules, “If you post your photos to your personal web site, you must include appropriate credit for each quilt artist, and note that the photos were taken at International Quilt Festival.”)