Flora Joy was a double quilt winner, receiving TWO prizes for her winning quilts at Road to California 2019.
Flora’s top prize was for the Most Humorous Quilt, From Rags to Stitches. She won $1,000 from Sponsor, BlocLoc Rulers – USAUS INC
A Unique Twist
What made From Rags to Stitches so fun was that it was made from re-purposed items such as a bra, a men’s tie, shoestrings, loose threads, garment labels, upholstery fabric samples, feed sacks, mesh produce bags, jeans, and zippers. Underneath each Dutch Doll figure, is the story behind that square.
Flora was inspired for her unique design from her quilting journey which started when she was in her 40’s after growing up watching her mom quilt in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. “It seems that I have NEVER discarded a scrap of fabric in my life—whether it was used for a garment or a quilt. When my wonderful mom passed away, I brought all HER scraps to my house and added them to MY already-enormous collection. As I did so, it dawned on me that I had quite a “fabric history” and—thus—my FABRIC AUTOBIOGRAPHY began developing in my mind. Because I had slept under a Dutch Doll quilt during my entire childhood, I stitched these quilt blocks in that shape. This quilt design actually DOES reflect the fabric periods in my life.”
It took Flora three years (from the time she began stitching) to finish From Rags to Stitches. She didn’t set any goals pertaining to when she wanted it completed. For each quilt block, Flora says she had to learn and re-learn LOTS about free-motion quilting and other techniques. And along her journey, she kept reminding herself that “quilting should be FUN!!!!!”
Flora also received $500 from Sponsor, Pfaff, for Night Trawlers, the Third Place Winner in the Fantasy Category.
Quilting a Famous Painting
Regarding Night Trawlers, Flora said that she likes to challenge herself with the “impossible” regarding quilting.
Over the years, she has toured various art galleries around the world and she “gradually” became enthralled with the idea of “quilting” a famous painting. She wanted the artist to be LIVING, so she took some time to explore current artists. By chance, she stumbled on Robert Connett’s work, and he “very graciously” encouraged Flora to stitch one of his paintings. He gave her several choices to pick from and she thought that Night Trawlers was one she could build some curriculum skills around.
After transferring the design onto fabric, Flora began exploring how it could be turned in to a wall quilt. Flora commented that it provided a “FABULOUS” opportunity to do free-motion quilting AND creative borders. She said, “I loved every second of making this quilt, and I especially like the dangling curriculum cards!”
The Joy of Being a Double Quilt Winner
How did Flora react when she found out she was a double quilt winner at Road 2019? “I’m betting you heard my loud squealing (here in Tennessee) all the way out there in California!!!! Just getting ACCEPTED in the ROAD show was thrilling! Getting TWO quilts accepted was cartwheel-turning!! Getting TWO RIBBONS resulted in that high-decibel-cheering you likely heard on your side of the states! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
What did Flora plan to do with her prize money from being a double quilt winner? Flora replied that she considers herself fortunate to be able to win quilt awards, so she has always “given back” the money she has received from these endeavors. The recipients vary—from her own local quilt guild, to college scholarships, to helping family members with their struggles. Flora views this as a “pay it forward” transaction, and she is enjoying seeing the benefits.
Flora’s loves quilting. “I have the BEST HOBBY IN THE WORLD! How fortunate can one woman be??? My goal is to continue making FUN quilts in a JOYful manner—and hopefully continuing with interactive design styles, especially when YOUNG LEARNERS can get involved.”
Congratulations Flora Joy for being a double quilt winner at Road to California 2019.