The annual Hoffman Challenge quilts are touring the country, and luckily for me, were just around the corner at Thimbles and Threads. I took my friend Dot with with to view these works of art. The chosen fabric for this year was from Hoffman’s Penny Lane collection, with a flowing paisley design in rich hues. As always, the quilts for this challenge had to be less than one metre in any direction, and be neither square nor rectangular. “Ride with Me”, by Joanne Mitchel won both the Best Overall Quilt, and Viewers Choice. Featuring a prancing white carousel horse, with an ornate saddle and livery, the quilt was harbouring a little secret. A sensor starts the lights to flash and the carrousel music to play when someone walks close by. I had to agree with the judges that this quilt deserved it’s awards. The front horse is beautifully done, as are the background details.
The iconic Combi van has been a favourite with young Kiwi surfers and campers for many years. This one, stitched by Wendy O’Neil, was sporting paint job straight out of the swinging sixties.
“Indian Chief War Shield” by Jenny Scudder was a little piece of calm amongst the riotous colours of the other items on display. We had to really look to see the challenge fabric hidden under the feathers and clothing. This little gem was very well thought out and executed and was my second choice.
Another small offering which took my eye was the little “Indian Elephant”, by Brenda Reading. This lovely little elephant was dressed in a pretty cover, finished off with beading. Quite simple, but very effective.
The award for Best Contemporary Quilt went to Cindy Watkins for “Masquerade”. The young lady’s face was peeping out of an extravagant mask, as she fluttered her matching fan to great effect.
The Barn Embroiderers of Chesterfield, UK, worked together to make “Ladies Day at the Races”. This group of embroiderers were unaccustomed to quilt making and they had to think completely “out of the box”, they commented. Inspiration came from ladies attending Ascot Races. I think they did a marvellous job working together to create this beautiful quilt of a lady at the Ascot Races sipping on her cocktail under her shady hat..
It is always a delight to view the Hoffman Challenge, and it was interesting to take a non quilter with me and watch her reaction as she studied each quilt.