HOULTON, Maine — Hundreds of votes were tabulated to determine winners at the annual Friends and Needles Quilt Guild show last week at the Elks Club, where visitors saw brilliant displays of color, intricate patterns and impeccable stitching.
“It’s the people’s choice,” said Joyce Fitzpatrick, the outgoing quilt guild president, when winners were announced. “It’s just amazing. I’m not even in the category myself with some of these quilters. Their quilts really are art forms.”
Houlton’s Gayle Cyr took first and second place in the large-quilt category.
Cyr designed the first-place quilt in a log cabin style for her future daughter-in-law.
However, Cyr said she didn’t create the second-place quilt in the large-size category — she only entered it.
“I can really only take credit for the first-place quilt. Credit for the second-place quilt goes to the Cyr sisters, my husband’s aunts, because they made it,” Cyr said.
Last year’s first-place quilter, Marilyn Prince, took home the third-place ribbon this year and said she is always glad when her quilts do well.
“It gives me a good feeling. It doesn’t ever cease to be exciting, and I am very thankful,” she said. Her large medallions required a “fussy” cut to cover her mostly turquoise and black queen-size quilt with a walk-about pattern.
The complex design, she said jokingly, “took forever.” Then, when talking about her use of superior fabrics, Prince said the entire process, from start to finish, took about one month.
In the small-size category, Sandra P. Henderson, a Littleton resident, said she worked over the course of 18 months creating her twin-size quilt that took first-place honors in the small category with its red and white design and embroidery. “To me, it’s an honor. There are so many beautiful quilts in the show and so many great quilters. I was just stunned that I had won,” she said.
Diana Rauch drove into the group’s Houlton meeting from Woodland last Wednesday to claim her second-place handmade ribbon. Although there were no cash prizes, Rauch said she didn’t know there would be any type of recognition at all.
“I was surprised. At the show it was hanging low,” she said. “And, I didn’t enter it to win a prize.”
Rauch said the idea came first and she had to start, then stop and think about what would come next.
“Altogether it took about a week. I designed a potato basket. Everyone puts potatoes in potato baskets. I thought I would put apples in a potato basket,” Rauch said in explaining her Americana motif.