Quilt show winner creates a winning study in contrast

10:00 am | October 9, 2013
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Photo by Ashley Rader
Jean Miller of Blountville won first place in the hand-quilted bed quilt category for her quilt “Sherman’s March.”

While the Sycamore Stitchers Quilt Show drew a wide variety of homemade quilts again this year, the entry destined for display as “best in show” — this year’s crowd favorite — has an unusual twist.

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Photo by Ashley Rader
Sandra Buckman won the Sycamore Stitcher’s Challenge with her quilt “Spring Bouquet.”

Its maker isn’t particularly fond of it.

“I don’t like it at all,” said Jean Miller of Blountville, whose “Sherman’s March” won first place in the hand-quilted bed quilts category.

“When everyone was telling me it looked like this quilt was going to win, I didn’t believe it,” she said. “The contrast between the dark and the light is what people like. I prefer softer colors.”

Despite her avowed preference for a softer style, Miller’s quilt will be featured in the 2014 show as the “best in show” from the 2013 quilt show.

Miller said it took her 2 to 2-1/2 years to hand-sew the 3,000 individual pieces in the quilt.

She said she learned of the pattern for the quilt from a fellow club member. She said the pattern called for darker colors to be paired with a lighter background for the contrast effect.

“There were seven different black fabrics in the quilt,” she said. “That is what made it so difficult to work on.”

After the quilt has been displayed in the show again next year, Miller said she plans to give the quilt to her grandson.
Of the 49 entries in the show, eight were selected by the show attendees as winners of the show. In addition to the hand-quilted bed quilt category, winners were chosen in the categories machine-quilted bed quilts, baby quilts, long-arm bed quilts, juvenile/lap quilts, wall hangings (large), miniatures and the Sycamore Stitchers Challenge.

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