myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Exhibition Winners

Brit Bee Retro Flowers

Our Scottish Modern Quilt Exhibition, which ran as part of the Edinburgh Fringe this year, was a great success. Visitors from all over the world came to see the quilts. And everyone seemed very impressed and interested in all the exhibits.
We asked all our visitors to vote for their favourite quilt, not an easy thing to do with so many beauties to choose from!
At the end of the Stitch Gathering Retreat ‘after show’ party we tallied the final votes and awarded 5 prizes.
First prize went to the amazing Retro Flowers quilt by Katy and the Brit Bee. I could have put money on this winning right from the start as it is so visually stunning with a fantastic colour pallette and so amazingly quilted by Trudi. Well done all of you! First prize was a Sheena Norquay selection box of Aurifil, kindly donated by Alex Veronelli. Maybe Katy will send you each a spool 😉

Then we had a tie for second place – Sarah’s Staind II and The Shirt off his back by Marilyn Rattray.

I was so delighted that Sarah won a prize and she had had a truly awful time actually getting to the Retreat but had soldiered on heroically! It is also a beautiful quilt, described as ‘very elegant’ by some quilters who I eavesdropped chatting about it.

Marilyn’s entry is a memory quilt, made for her cousin’s wife after her cousin died, out of his shirts and sheets. I think everyone was very touched by this story and loved the graphic simplicity of this reversible quilt (this is actually the back!)

Third prize was won by The Mum’s Recipe quilt  which is a really special piece.
Two young mums from Edinburgh were inspired by ‘When the Rains Come’, a children’s book written for MUMs and published by Polygon. They made this stunning quilt using images from the book and fabric from Malawi.  The quilt is being raffled and has been on a tour of Scottish quilt shops for the last few months. We sold tons of raffle tickets as well as recipe books and childrens books during the exhibition and were very pleased to help such a worthwhile cause. MUMs  was set up in 2005 to raise money and awareness of the terrible plight of the mothers and babies in Malawi. The raffle will be drawn later this week. 

Lynz got fourth place for this gorgeous Marcelle Medallion. This was my second favourite quilt in the exhibition (my first was Mod Pop by Sarah’s mum Jenny – but this didn’t make it in to the prizes). It looks even better in real life. The colours are just beautiful and it is perfectly pieced.
My good friend Dolores contributed the 4 other prizes of a big bundle of fabric each. Thank you so much Dee!

marcelle by the sea

Well done all you amazing quilters!

Just one more thing to show you before I shut-up about the Stitch Gathering (for a while…), this is the name badge I received in the name tag swap, made for my by lovely Lucy, our youngest retreater at only 15! Thank you Lucy, I love it!

Another great thing about holding this retreat (oops, sorry!) was that it helped lure Dolores back across the Atlantic to visit me (and attend)!
Dolores is one of the most generous people and not only contributed all those prizes for the exhibition but also brought over a parcel full of goodies for me too! I was a very lucky girl.

These amazing wooden bird ribbon holders were made by her father! I just love them.

And as well as that pile of fabulous fabric above, she made me this totally gorgeous mini quilt out of blocks that she made at the Sew South retreat earlier in the year! This is already hanging in my craft studio and inspiring all my students. Thank you AGAIN Dolores!


  1. Congratulations to all the well deserved winners! It must have been so hard for the voters to choose. Love those bird ribbon holders! And well done for such a great retreat. I've not heard a single negative comment about it!

  2. Well done you for organising it. The winning quilts( and the others I've seen in your pictures) are all fantastic. I've seen Katy's 'in the flesh' at FQR Retreat and the pictures don't do it justice but the others look stunning too in the photo's.

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