The Quilt Show is so excited to share the 2020 Viewers’ Choice Award Winner from The Great Wisconsin Quilt Show, sponsored by SewBatik. Congratulations to Barbara E Nagengast Lies from Wheaton, Illinois, whose quilt, A Garden is a Lovesome Thing, received this year's award!

Here is Barbara’s artist statement: "Every element, including the critters, was developed from my own photos. Everything, except the fence, the trellis, the background trees and the salvia, is needle turned. The trees and salvia were created by stitching tulle over shapes. I also used tulle to shade the flowers, particularly the yellow daylilies."

Barbara has been quilting for nine years. She said she was born with a needle and fiber in her hands and has been manipulating fiber with sewing, knitting, needlepoint, quilting and weaving ever since. Barbara’s mother has been her inspiration for all things textile. This quilt is dedicated to her mother, Dorothy E Leech Nagengast.

(Photo: The Great Wisconsin Quilt Show)



We Are the Story is a multi-site initiative of quilt exhibitions curated by Carolyn Mazloomi, and presented by Textile Center & Women of Color Quilters Network.

Curator Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi and Textile Center Director Karl Reichert will join Women of Color Quilters Network member Michelle Flamer in conversation about We Are the Story on September 30, 2020 at 2 pm EDT. Click the photo below for more details about We Are the Story.



Plainview, Texas Signature Quilt
By Marian Ann J. Montgomery, Ph.D.,
Curator of Clothing and Textiles, the Museum of Texas Tech University


A recent donation to the Museum of Texas Tech University of a Butterfly signature quilt from Plainview, Texas came as a result of a quilt documentation day. Due to the COVID-19 virus, graduate students needed work to do from home. They used information collected from Quilt Documentation days in 2016 and prepared it to be uploaded onto The Quilt Index a valuable and searchable index on the internet.

One student noticed that a butterfly quilt came into our possession, whose paperwork noted that the inscriptions were not recorded and were difficult to read in the image. Contact with the owner showed that the butterfly appliquéd quilt had been embroidered with names from Plainview, Texas—located almost halfway between Lubbock and Amarillo.

The quilt style, colors, fabrics and pattern seem to date it to circa 1925-1945, but there is no indication as to why this quilt was made or how the names are related. This quilt was in the family of Ara Mae Henderson Pierce whose name is on the quilt as is her second daughter’s, Clara Pierce. Ara Mae was the second wife of Lum Green Pierce and they had four daughters and two sons. Many of the names on this quilt are last names, but a few are specific enough that the women have been identified. The ages of the women who can be identified for sure seem to include two generations. So perhaps it was a gift made in the community for a young woman. 




Ara Mae Henderson Pierce with her husband, Lum Green Pierce, circa 1935. 
Ara Mae and Lum Pierce were the parents of Ara Mae Pierce Jennings,

Clara Pierce Sturdivant, Margaret Pierce Sigman and
Virginia Ruth Pierce Kirkendoll. 
Image courtesy of Joe Burleson)





Since the quilt came through Ara Mae’s oldest daughter, also named Ara Mae, perhaps it was a gift for her. Why were butterflies chosen as the pattern and why it was made is unknown—perhaps Ara Mae loved yellow and butterflies. She had three sisters which raises the question of why only one sister is on the quilt? Was it made for Ara Mae Pierce Jennings’ wedding in 1927 when the sister on the quilt would have been 12 and the two younger sisters only 9 and 7? That doesn’t seem likely since some of the blocks do not have names on them and their mother could have embroidered the names of the younger girls. 

Being that the quilt is yellow could mean that it was made for the birth of a child, before we had the technology to determine the sex of a child prior to birth. Ara Mae’s children were born in 1930, 1933 and 1938, so that is also a possibility, but again why are the two younger sisters not listed on the quilt? Perhaps it was made later. Ara Mae’s two younger sisters were married in 1941 and 1942, and by 1943 both had moved from Plainview. The youngest was living with her husband, who was in the service in Kansas, at the time. The next oldest had also married a serviceman and may have been away from Plainview. Clara was still living at home and didn’t marry until 1944.

This quilt provides many clues for which research will continue. It also reminds us to label our quilts so future generations don’t have to make educated guesses.  Besides, don’t we all want credit for what we make?

Learn more about the Museum of Texas Tech University Textile Collections.

Click here for related articles from the Museum of Texas Tech University Textile Collections.

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It's time to check your answers to see how well you did on last week's quiz.

Rhythm / Movement - Lesson 39
Unity / Variety - Lesson 40, Lesson 41, and Lesson 42
Contrast - Lesson 43
Radial Balance - Lesson 30, Lesson 31, and Lesson 32
Pattern / Repetition - Lesson 35, Lesson 36, and Lesson 37
Emphasis - Lesson 38
Asymmetrical Balance - Lesson 32 and Lesson 33


Emphasis: A technique of shifting the viewers attention to what the artist finds to be most important.

Harmony by Cristina Arcenegui Bono (Image by AQS)

Radial Balance: A design where all of the elements are equally balanced, toward or away from a central point.

Summertime by Elsie Campbell. (Show 407). [Image Road2CA]

Rhythm and Movement: A design that draws you in while also taking you on a visual journey into, around, and across a quilt.

Celebrating Our Diversity by Carol Ann Waugh. (Show 1011). [Image courtesy of Carol Ann Waugh]

Contrast: A design that brings together the variety of elements (i.e. color, texture, form) to create a unique and visually interesting work for the viewer.

Autumn Antics by Ethelda Ellis and Sharon Moore. (Image TheQuiltShow.com)

Symmetrical Balance: The visual arrangement of elements (color, texture, space, etc.) to create a sense of stability and calm. A visual line can be drawn down the center of the quilt, resulting in a mirroring of the elements.

Cardinal Points by Gail Stepanek and Jan Hutchison. (Image TheQuiltShow.com)

Pattern/Repetition: Combining of elements or motif in an arranged and repeated manner

Ova Nova by Louisa Smith. (Show 204 and Show 1705). [Image TheQuiltShow.com]

Asymmetrical Balance: A design that is balanced, but with a more energetic and exciting feeling because the elements are not place in a symmetrical order.


Johnny Jump Ups by Jane Sassaman (Show 301). [Image TheQuiltShow.com].

Unity/Variety: Everyone in a group is playing together. Unity-Every unit is the same color/size. Variety-Units are a different size/color.


Log Lunacy by Cindy Seitz-Krug. (Show 2603). [Image QuiltCon].

Cotton: A Very Long Journey
by Teresa Duryea Wong

You’re at the quilt shop, standing in front of rows and rows of fabric. Some bolts grab your eye immediately, begging for a closer inspection. Others, not so much. Whether the fabric speaks to you or not, there is a good chance most of that fabric in your local quilt shop is 100 percent cotton. And that cotton has been on a very, very long journey.


In fact, one tiny boll of cotton, from a seed in the ground, to a soft and strong fiber that is ultimately used to construct your favorite fabric, may have traipsed around the world two, three, maybe even four times before it lands on the shelf at your local store.

So, when you pick up that perfect fat quarter for a mere three bucks or so, consider this. Cotton is grown in some 80 countries. The cotton fibers inside your quarter-yard were most likely grown in China, India, Pakistan or the U.S., possibly even Texas, which is by far the largest producing state in the U.S. It’s also possible the cotton was grown in Brazil, Greece, or Australia.

The multi-billion-dollar quilt industry is one of the largest consumers of 100 percent cotton textiles. That is quite something to absorb. In the not too distant past, lots of things – clothing especially – were all made with pure cotton. But the evolution of technology has allowed countless combinations of synthetic textiles that enable clothes to be soft, strong, stretchy, structured, water/weather proof, etc. Not even blue jeans, which were once renowned for their use of cotton, are all cotton anymore. Instead, most jeans are now constructed with a blend of fibers and/or synthetics. That said, in the past few years some high-end blue jean manufacturers are returning to their roots and touting their “new” jeans made with pure cotton.

Today, quilting fabric stands nearly alone in the world of 100 percent cotton products. Only medical supplies and other specialty items are still made with cotton only. Quilters love cotton and have come to depend on its strength, its flexibility, the way it responds to sewing, the way it presses, and frankly among other reasons, its beauty.

The real beauty begins when a farmer, whether he’s tilling the savannahs of Brazil, plowing the plains of Texas, or turning the river basins of China, plants a seed in the ground. That seed grows into an ugly, squat little plant, and eventually, once a year, a beautiful boll of white cotton will emerge. Fields of white, often as far as the eye can see.

In the 1600’s, the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho wrote: “A field of cotton – as if the moon had flowered.”

Once cotton matures, it is harvested and begins the first leg of its journey to a cotton gin. Next, ginned raw cotton is packed into huge bales and the majority of those bales will be readied for export. They travel to one of the world’s prolific weaving and spinning mills. Back during the 19th century, the United Kingdom was the center of the textile world, then in the 20th century the United States became the dominant player. Today, Asia has taken over that title.









It’s almost impossible to pick up a bolt of fabric, or a garment, and distinguish where all that cotton is grown, even if we know where the base textile was made. Most often, huge bales of raw ginned cotton are spread across the spinning room floor and giant machines blend fibers of different strengths and staple lengths, creating a veritable cornucopia of fibers from every growing region around the globe. From there, a yarn is spun and a textile is formed.

For quilting cotton specifically, the fabric manufacturers most often employ textile printing mills located in Japan, Korea and China.


While researching my book, “Cotton & Indigo from Japan,” I focused on Japan and her textile printing mills. The most interesting, and perhaps confusing fact, is that for the majority of textiles printed in Japan, the base textile is not made in Japan. The base textile is most often imported from China, Pakistan, or India, or other Southeast Asian nations.


Japan began growing cotton 600 years ago. But today, this island nation no longer grows cotton on a large scale. Nonetheless, some base textiles are milled in Japan (with imported cotton) and occasionally Japanese fabric manufacturers will use these domestic textiles for special collections, or simply for high-end requirements. Yuwa Shoten and the ever popular Kokka both produce some fabrics where the textile is both made in Japan and printed in Japan. And this is important because it allows for total quality control over the entire process.

Regardless of the origin of the cotton or the base textile, Japan is considered the premier destination for printing the highest quality quilting fabric today.

For example, everyone loves Moda fabric, right? Interestingly, about 45 percent of all Moda fabric is printed in Japan, which accounts for the lovely finish and hand of many of Moda’s products. Cotton + Steel, another popular quilting cotton producer, prints 100% of their fabrics in Japan. The list goes on. Many fabric manufacturers make a conscious choice of Japan because they want the best quality the market can offer.

No matter whether the fabric is printed in Japan or elsewhere, after the manufacturer produces bolts and bolts of their new fabric collections, those bolts are wrapped up and once again, the cotton fibers begin making the second half of their worldwide journey.


A seed goes in the ground --- it might be planted in some far flung local, or in soil right in your own community. It travels to a gin. Then it travels to some port, where it is placed on a ship. It is imported by a mill and made into some form of a base textile. Then, off it goes again to a printing mill. Its printed and finished into a brand-new fabric. Then, its packed up again. Trekked across nations and oceans. Finally, trains and trucks get this worldly cargo delivered right to your local shop.

Quite a journey for a wonderous fiber.


Ricky sat down with author Teresa Duryea Wong while at the Houston Quilt Festival and discussed the different types of Japanese fabrics that can currently be found in today's quilts. You might be surprised, it isn't all taupe and gray.




Teresa Duryea Wong is a lifelong writer and communicator. She began her career as a journalist, and later published a fine art magazine. For two decades, she worked in public affairs and eventually became Vice President of Communications for a large corporation. She currently writes, quilts and blogs about quilts. Teresa holds a Master of Liberal Studies degree from Rice University and was recently named the 'Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee Foundation Scholar' by the Bybee Foundation and the Texas Quilt Museum.






Click here for more topics related to The Art of Quilt Design program


You can almost believe you are under water exploring the beauties of the sea in this quilt by Eileen Williams.

Enjoy Divers Cove, and see the quilt right here.

Star Members can learn about Eileen in Show 1811: Row by Row with Janet Lutz.

DiversCovebyEileenWilliams - 36 Pieces Non-Rotating

DiversCovebyEileenWilliams - 100 Pieces Non-Rotating

DiversCovebyEileenWilliams - 300 Pieces Non-Rotating

DiversCovebyEileenWilliams - 36 Pieces Rotating

DiversCovebyEileenWilliams - 100 Pieces Rotating

DiversCovebyEileenWilliams - 300 Pieces Rotating

Original Photo: Eileen Williams


This is a beautiful star block from Jinny. Do you know what it's called? Play the game and find out.



Envision by Sylvia Starr Clary is a strong statement that our ocean's and their natural resources need to be protected. Featuring machine quilting, machine piecing, and machine appliqué, it sends a message that we need to do our part to protect our planet.

Envision by Sylvia Starr Clary of Palm Bay, Florida was featured in the Pictorial category at Houston 2019.



From Quilts Inc.:

After the pandemic caused the cancellation of all its shows in 2020, Quilts, Inc. is proud to announce that Quilt Festival and Quilt Market have both moved online. Virtual Quilt Festival will be held December 3-5, 2020 and Virtual Quilt Market from January 26-28, 2021.

Both editions will have many of the same aspects attendees have come to expect and appreciate from our long standing in-person events. That includes exhibitors, quilt displays and competitions, and education, including classes and lectures. Because only a computer or a cell phone and internet access are necessary to participate, online shows are proving to be very popular.

“Like most other businesses both in the quilting industry and those far removed from it, we’ve had to shake up our business model for our attendees, our exhibitors, and ourselves. Something that would take the best aspects of the shows people expect from us, but with an online structure was required,” says Quilts, Inc. President/CEO and Market/Festival Director Emeritus Karey Bresenhan.

Bresenhan continues, “One of the most important advantages of the online shows is that people who have never attended can easily see the basics of the shows without the expense of traveling! Attendance at Virtual Quilt Festival is open to the public, although attendance at Virtual Quilt Market continues to be limited to credentialed participants such as shop owners and affiliated professionals.”

An internal team evaluated and tried out a number of virtual platform companies to see which one would best fit the different needs of a trade and a consumer show. All the latest info on both shows will be announced in the coming weeks and months, and will be available on Quilts.com. To be added to the email notification list, sign up on the Festival and/or Market page at Quilts.com.

“We’re very excited to take both of these shows into brand new, cutting-edge areas until we can all see each other again,” Bresenhan sums up. “Nothing can stop this industry, and the quilters making great quilts.”

Copyright © 2020 Quilts, Inc., All rights reserved.

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As we wrap up our formal lessons on the Principles of Design, we wanted to give you a chance to see how much you have learned over the last sixteen weeks. We have covered a wide range of subjects. Match the terms with the corresponding images below. Pay attention, some quilts include more than one type of principle. If you are not sure, we have included a link to each term so that you may review the principles again. (We will give you the answers in Lesson 46 on Wednesday.)

Rhythm / Movement - Lesson 39
Unity / Variety - Lesson 40, Lesson 41, and Lesson 42
Contrast - Lesson 43
Symmetrical Balance - Lesson 30, Lesson 31, and Lesson 32
Pattern / Repetition - Lesson 35, Lesson 36, and Lesson 37
Emphasis - Lesson 38
Asymmetrical Balance - Lesson 32 and Lesson 33

Harmony by Cristina Arcenegui Bono (Image by AQS)

Summertime by Elsie Campbell. (Show 407). [Image Road2CA]

Celebrating Our Diversity by Carol Ann Waugh. (Show 1011). [Image courtesy of Carol Ann Waugh]

Autumn Antics by Ethelda Ellis and Sharon Moore. (Image TheQuiltShow.com)

Cardinal Points by Gail Stepanek and Jan Hutchison. (Image TheQuiltShow.com)

Ova Nova by Louisa Smith. (Show 204 and Show 1705). [Image TheQuiltShow.com]

Johnny Jump Ups by Jane Sassaman (Show 301). [Image TheQuiltShow.com].

Log Lunacy by Cindy Seitz-Krug. (Show 2603). [Image QuiltCon].

Click here for more topics related to The Art of Quilt Design program


Taking a similar approach to a popular quilt she made before, Jennifer Sampou took a large animal, in this case a whale, and set it against a simple background to emphasis the appliqué work done in the quilt. Featuring quilting by Jenny K. Lyon (Show 2404), enjoy Whale And I.

You can learn from Jennifer in Show 2706.

WhaleAndIbyJenniferSampou - 36 Pieces Non-Rotating

WhaleAndIbyJenniferSampou - 100 Pieces Non-Rotating

WhaleAndIbyJenniferSampou - 289 Pieces Non-Rotating

WhaleAndIbyJenniferSampou - 36 Pieces Rotating

WhaleAndIbyJenniferSampou - 100 Pieces Rotating

WhaleAndIbyJenniferSampou - 289 Pieces Rotating

Original Photo: Kristin Goedert

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Learn about
Apliquick appliqué tools!

Watch Show 1912
with Rosa Rojas (free!)

Apliquick Rods


Apliquick - 3 Holes Microserrated Scissors


Apliquick Ergonomic Tweezers