Today I want to share insights about an award winning quilt that was on exhibit at the Road to California Quilt Show, this past January.  While attending quilt shows I enjoy all the quilts on exhibit, I do look for quilts in a variety of categories:  free-motion quilting, humor, modern, applique’, machine embroidery, stunning design, 

I messed up on my notes and had my photos of this beautiful quilt tagged for Cameo Rose, by Laurie Tigner.  But thanks to Calico Cat Quilting, she kindly corrected me.  This amazing quilt is by Margaret Solomon Gunn’s.  Thank you Calico Cat Quilting!

I hope you can see why it caught my attention while at Road.


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I also want to challenge you, should you feel you could never create such an award winning quilt, I’m confident you can. While some that create such quilts may do so without following these tips, what I see for common traits, from those that achieve such awards they: attend quilt shows and study award winning quilts, they break down designs in components (small areas), and they continually create, enter, accept feedback from the judges and incorporate it into their design process and repeat.  I want to encourage each of you to create and share your works in quilt shows, even small shows.  Most of us don’t like being judged, but in such a process our creativity can grow leaps & bounds.

If you have shared your creativity in a quilt show previously, I hope you’ll leave a comment to share your recommendation and encouragement to help others pursue achieving such an experience too!  I think there are many award winning quilters that have yet to discover themselves – and I see the potential in each of you.

Road is still accepting applications for teachers.  If you are interested in being such a teacher, I highly encourage you to apply.  Of course, I’m hopeful to have more teachers teaching classes on free-motion quilting on domestic machines, but then Road historically offers an amazing list of teachers on longarm machines.

This is a great event, unlike other shows, as this event is packed with amazing teachers/classes, juried quilts from around the world, as well as  great vendors and all in Southern California, during a time of year where most of the US is freezing and So. Cal. typically has nice weather.  Plus Road is near Disneyland, Knotts and more, making it a perfect place for a family vacation, all based around a quilt conference and show!  

You can find Road to California at:



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4 comments on “Inspirational Quilt Design and Free-Motion Quilting”

  1. I think these photos are of Margaret Solomon Gunn’s quilt, not “Cameo Rose” by Laurie Tigner. You might update your post, or change your photos 😉

    • Jean,

      I often feel the same way, but after getting to know so many award winning quilters I think the difference is “they don’t give up”. They practice, they enter, they keep building on their skills and keep entering. The judging process may seem brutal to many, but to others it is a great way to learn, improve and ultimate win awards (many with big cash prize $$$). And, I know you can do it too….if you want to.

  2. Yes, I agree with you and would also encourage other quilters to just give it a go. While nerve wrecking at times it is a truly rewarding experience. I look at my Wholecloths and they are never good enough in my eyes which is an entirely crazy thought because I have looked at it for the last few months and have lost all perspective. Putting it into a show brings you down to earth and acknowledges that skill whether you won something or not.
    And yes, that is beautiful quilting in the photos above. Would have taken a while but if you look at those components, all achievable.

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