A SHOALHAVEN quilter has taken out the major prize at the Sydney Quilt Show.
Pamela Brockwell, of Sanctuary Point, won best of show with her foundation paper piecing quilt entitled "Star Link”.
Pamela, who worked for a year and a half to complete the quilt, described it as her biggest ever win, comparing it to an Olympic gold medal.
“This was huge,” she said “the best win I’ve ever had.”
Which is a big statement considering in she won the “Best in Australia” at the 2015 Bernina Australia National Quilting Awards, with her quilt Canzone Rosso, “Red Song”.
“That was huge, having the best quilt in Australia, but to win the Sydney Quilt Show I think is the ultimate,” she said.
“It is a really tough gig to win.
“To win was an absolute joy. A 10-year goal.
“It was my first attempt at a foundation paper piecing quilt, so to win best in show was special.
“It was a bit more contemporary and really took me out of my comfort zone.”
She even set herself the challenge of only buying material for the background and the backing, using her “stash” [material she already had] to make the quilt.
“My husband said ‘please don’t buy an more material’,” she laughed.
The win was even more special as she also dealt with the death of her mother during its making.
“I took four months off from working on the quilt when my mum was sick and died,” she said.
“I’m sure she was there when the judges were deciding and gave them an extra push for me.”
Star Link took five months to piece together and seven months to quilt. Amazingly, it has more than 1.9 million stitches.
This was huge, the best win I’ve ever had. It's like an Olympic gold medal.- Sanctuary Point quilter Pamela Brockwell after winning best in show at the Sydney Quilt Show.
“It is an unusual quilt, with a scalloped border. I bought many of the colours of the stars on the quilt out into the border,” she said.
“It was a something very different for me.”
Pam was disappointed she didn’t hit the two million stitch mark, finishing with 1,981,600.
“My previous quilt had more than two million stitches,” she said.
She was delighted to share the win with fellow members of the Nowra Quilters.
“A number of the girls were there when the awards were announced,” she said.
“They were standing behind me and the cheered when each award was announced.
“When it got first place there was a cheer. I then won a quilting award, for which I was ecstatic.
“They went wild when it was announced best in show.
“It was great to able able to share it with them. It was a real buzz. The biggest buzz of my life.
“Having my own cheer squad made it very special. Their support was the best thing ever.”
She spent the four days of the show standing next to her prizewinning quilt answering questions.
“The response from the public was incredible,” she said.
“The warmth from the people and the feedback was a total buzz.”
Star Link will now compete for the best quilt in Australia at the Australian Quilting Convention in Melbourne next April. There it will come up against the other winners from each state.
She is also considering sending the quilt to the US to compete in various shows.