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EAA AirVenture Quilt Block Contest

2008 Quilt Block Contest Winners
Each photo is a link to a larger view

First Place Winner
Name: Patricia Massimini, McLean, VA
Title: Premier Vol ("First Flight" in French)

Story: On August 8, 1908 at a racetrack outside Paris, Wilbur Wright executed a routine flight: a smooth take-off banking into a couple of tight circles, ending in a perfect landing. The flight took less than two minutes, but it left spectators awestruck and it electrified the French and world aviation communities. Wilbur made later flights as long as two hours, and trained European pilots to fly. Joined by brother Orville and sister Katherine, the Wrights became the first international celebrities of the new 20th century, meeting the kings and leaders of nearly all the countries of Europe. Wilbur is shown with the King of Spain in the photo. A former Prime Minister of Britain was so excited that he helped lift the launching weight for the aircraft's catapult.

I was inspired to make this quilt block to honor the hundredth year anniversary of the momentous flight near Paris. I digitized Wilbur and the Wright Flyer from the famous photograph of that first flight in Europe. I finished the block with appliqué and a Dupioni silk border. It was a labor of love for this aviation enthusiast.

Second Place Winner
Name: Jeanie Eatherton, Piedmont, SD
Title: Ninety-Nines 1929 - Airmarking

Story: Ninety nine flying geese circle a compass rose honoring the Ninety-Nines and their Airmarking program.

In 1929 there were 117 licensed "girl pilots" in the United States. The name of the organization evolved from the number of charter members - originally 86's, then 97's and finally the Ninety-Nines. The name stopped at 99, but the membership continued to grow worldwide. The 99's will celebrate their 80th anniversary in November of 2009.

In the early 1930's, the 99's worked with the Bureau of Air Commerce to institute a national program known as Airmarking. At a time before reliable maps, established airways, radios, and GPS, states were divided into sections of 20 square miles and markers were painted at 15 mile intervals to aid pilots in navigation. By 1941 there were 13,000 sites completed. Then came Pearl Harbor and WAR! The 99's went about the work of blacking out those very markings they had worked so hard to create.

The Airmarking program continues today as one of two original programs that have continued from the beginning. Navigation is no longer its main purpose, but many 99's chapters have painted compass roses at airports to be used for swinging airplane compasses.

Third Place Winner
Name: Elli Wollangk, Oshkosh, WI
Title: "Demoiselle" (Dragonfly)

Story: Alberto Santos-Dumont of Brazil and France designed and piloted the first European light aircraft in November of 1907. The craft was constructed extensively of bamboo and was nicknamed the Dragonfly and is considered the first "ultralight" craft. The pilot sat in a basket seat under the forward placed wing and used not only his hands to adjust flight direction, but the main control stick was just behind the seat and was slipped into a "sleeve" sewn into the pilot's jacket so he could lean his body left or right to bank the plane into a turn. There is a subtle background of a clock face in my quilt square because Santos mentioned to his friend, Louis Cartier, that it was difficult to check his pocket watch for flight times. Thus, the world was given the wrist watch.

Fourth Place Winner
Name: Diane B. Wantz, Kirtland Hills, OH
Title: B-17 Bomber "Flying Fortress"

Story: I wanted to use an overall technique that was visually simple but dramatic. The colors represent war and peace. Rain and wind fabrics symbolize forces of nature. The swirl quilting adds turbulence and the red points of light are enemy fire. Finally, the flags and red backing are in memory of the pilots and crews lost in action - forever gone, but not forgotten.

Fifth Place Winner
Name: Lacosta Lykowski, Everett, WA
Title: Flying in the Northwest

Story: When my husband and I bought a house off Paine Field in Everett, Washington, we did not anticipate how much we would enjoy being so close to an airfield. This block commemorates the lazy afternoons we spend watching planes come and go.

Honorable Mention
Name: Noel Stoinoff, Lawrenceburg, IN
Title: P-51 Flying Formation

Story: The P-51 Mustang has always been one of my favorite airplanes. I hope this quilt block helps people remember what a great airplane it is and how important the P51's and their pilots were in WWII.

Honorable Mention
Name: Denise Wehr, Cedar Rapids, IA
Title: Ercoupe over Iowa

Story: Rarely it seems that an object and place complement themselves so kindly. The object is an airplane, of course, the Ercoupe. The place is a small landing strip home to an aero club. Both fit cozily between the open and contrasting fields of Iowa. This idyllic scene is where you can feel more at harmony at five hundred feet than at any other height. The canopy open, wind swirling, on a late spring evening as you turn final. This is your front door where you are open to the world but found yourself home.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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