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Best Applique Winner At Road 2020

Georgia Spalding Pierce received $1,500 from Sponsor, Fiberworks, Inc., for Balam (Jaguar)

Best Applique

Meet Georgia Spalding Pierce

Georgia was familiar with quilts before she started making them herself. She grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where quilting and the Amish community is synonymous. Georgia started quilting 1987.  Her first quilts were functional quilts for beds, both pieced and appliqued.

Georgia entered a few quilts in her local guild shows starting in 2005.  About this time, she attended Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She wondered if she could make a quilt that would be accepted into that show.  Her first quilt she entered had a cultural theme, “Baltimore Goes to Japan.” Georgia commented, “Amazingly it was juried into the show and then much to my surprise; it received a Judge’s Choice award.”  Since that time, Georgia has made four quilts exclusively for shows and has “been blessed to win a number of awards. I am now hooked on making show quilts for the challenge they present as well as the feedback that I receive that helps me to become a better quilter.”

Making Balam

This Best Applique quilt is the fourth in a series of quilts based upon the art of various cultures. The first was based on Japanese family crests. The second, on the art of the First Nation People of the Pacific Northwest. And the third quilt was based on Ancient Egyptian art. Balam is based on Mayan art.

Georgia shares that she always researches the art of the culture she chooses before she begins.  For this award-winning Best Applique quilt, Georgia found a book called, “Blood of the Gods,” published in support of an exhibit of Mayan art in Texas.  She became acquainted with the drawings of Linda Schele, an artist and archaeologist, and was fortunate enough to receive permission to base the central portion of this quilt on one of her drawings. 

Best Applique

Georgia surrounded the central panel with Mayan hieroglyphs. The color pallet used on this Best Applique winning design is the same one found on existing Mayan wall paintings.

Best Applique

Because Georgia is also a full-time nurse, work on Balam took 2 years to complete as she had to deal with long interruptions during the quilting.

Winning Best Applique at Road to California 2020

Georgia has had some success at Road to California in the past, but not with the larger awards. She learned about her award for Balam by checking the Road 2020 judging results on the Internet at home. Georgia said she “was quite surprised to have received the Best Applique award.”

With her prize money, Georgia bought herself some more quilting supplies: fabric and embellishments for her next project.  In addition, some of her prize money will fund the future travels of Balam to other shows.  For Georgia, a successful year is one where any prize money covers the cost of shipping to shows.  Georgia shared that “The money is lovely, but the recognition and the judges’ feedback is equally valuable as I hope someday when I retire from nursing to travel to quilt shows as a teacher, not just a contestant and viewer.”

What is instore for Georgia’s quilting future?   She said that she is ready to leave the world of culturally themed quilts. She is planning to combine applique and crazy quilting together for her next project.  So far, work on her new quilt is proving to be “a very steep learning curve” as she incorporates the crazy quilting into a large quilt.  Georgia added, “It has also proven to be costly, since I discovered Etsy and all of those wonderful embellishments that are available out there in the world.

Congratulations Georgia Spalding Pierce on winning Best Applique.

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