Quilt Block Contest
2010 Quilt Block Contest Results
First Place Winner
Name: Patricia Massimini, Stevensville, MD
Title: The First Century of Naval Aviation
Story: The inspiration for
this quilt block was the first takeoff from a ship and the
beginning of Naval Aviation. On 14 November 1910, Eugene B. Ely
flew a 50 hp Curtiss Pusher from a wooden platform built on the
bow of the cruiser U.S.S. Birmingham. The launch occurred while
the Birmingham was anchored in Hampton Roads, VA, and Ely landed
safely on the shore at Willoughby Spit. 100 years later, Naval
Aviation is in full flight, as indicated by the modern F-18
This quilt block honors the many
thousands of Naval Aviators over the past century, including my
husband, a career Marine pilot. He was an important contributor to
the design and he worked with me to ensure that the details on my
original embroidery designs were accurate.
Second Place Winner
Name: Liz Bergey, Norman, OK
Title: Flying the Mail
Story: This block
commemorates the early history of airmail and is comprised of 8
airport mini-blocks, images of vintage airmail stamps, and an
original illustration of a Curtiss Jenny biplane. The color scheme
follows that of the red, white, and blue 24-cent Curtiss Jenny
stamp. The block was sewn with a period treadle sewing machine.
The first US airmail flight was
made by Earle Ovington on September 23, 1911 - between Garden City
and Mineola on Long Island, NY. Scheduled airmail flights began in
1918, which also marks the first airmail stamp - the 24 cent
Curtiss Jenny (and the coveted inverted Jenny). Although flights
were originally operated by the US War Department, the Postal
System soon took over operations. Airmail postage rapidly became
less expensive, reducing from a very expensive 24 cents to only 8
cents in the first year! In addition to the Curtiss Jenny, early
airmail stamps depicted the DeHavilland biplane and propeller
(dating to 1923), Lindbergh's plane (1927), and wings (1923 for
the square 16 cent stamp and 1929 for the winged globe stamp
design). Air transport of mail has now become so common that
domestic airmail stamps were discontinued by the US Postal Service
in May 1977.
Third Place Winner
Name: Vicky Murphy, San Bruno, CA
Story: The sound of a single
engine plane flying overhead stirs fond summer memories for me.
When I was young and played on the beaches in California, I would
look up whenever I heard a plane pass overhead, and wonder
"Where are they going?" Later, when I lived in New
Jersey and sunbathed at the shore with my girlfriends, I enjoyed
watching the planes come from a far off distance, watch the pilot
acknowledge his audience with a flirtatious wing dip, and then
evaporate in the other direction.
More recently, when my husband and
I lived in Maryland, on a summer day we would take our Cessna 140A
and fly out to Ocean City. We would catch a ride into town to walk
the boardwalk and have some delicious crab cakes for lunch. Even
now, when I take my morning walk, I always look skyward as I hear
an engine overhead ... and remember back at those charmed summer
Fourth Place Winner
Name: Linda R. Dixon, Gaithersburg, MD
Title: SR-71 Blackbird
Story: Two weeks after my
high school graduation in 1971, I began a 37-year career with the
CIA. You don't work there that long without knowing something
about the SR-71 Blackbird, which was in operation from 1968-1989.
Just before I retired in 2008, General Hayden installed an A-12,
the predecessor to the SR-71, at CIA Headquarters. During my final
year at CIA, I made two quilts, a CIA seal and the SR-71
Blackbird. This block is a 12" reproduction of my blackbird
Fifth Place Winner
Name: Deborah Charles Dreher, Westfield, NJ
Title: The Gooney Bird
Story: When my dad was 12, a
friend of the family offered him a ride in a biplane. From that
day on, my dad, Horace Jack Charles, was hooked! After graduating
from high school, Jack attended Casey Jones School of Aeronautics
in Newark, NJ (September 1937 - December 1928). Upon completion he
earned both an Aircraft and Engine Mechanics License. Moving back
home to Buffalo, NY, Jack enrolled in one of he local colleges and
was offered a position with Bell Aircraft Corporation. At that
same time the government was offering college student pilot
training. Naturally Jack jumped at the chance, later teaching
civilian courses in basic aircraft in Akron, NY. As school and
work continued, one semester short of graduating from college, he
joined the US Army Air Corps.
Throughout WWII and the Korean War
as a pilot and test pilot, Jack became licensed to fly numerous
aircraft. Over the years, when asked what his favorite plane to
fly was, he would emphatically reply: the C-47 Gooney Bird.
To honor and in memory of my father
who passed away in December of 2004, I have proudly created this
"Gooney Bird" Aviation Quilt Block.
Sixth Place Winner
Name: Rhonda Bass, Tecumseh, KS
Title: Beyond the Blue
Story: "Beyond the
Blue" is dedicated to the service of my nephew, Captain
Brian J. Shanley, who is currently stationed at Enid, Oklahoma,
serving as a pilot instructor. His "classroom' is the T-6,
the featured airplane of this block. In 2001, after his
graduation from Eau Claire Memorial High School, he began the
journey of his dream, to be a pilot in the United States Air
Force, by attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Through Air Force ROTC, he completed his degree in engineering
in 2006 and was accepted into the pilot training program. As a
young boy, it was the highlight of his summer vacation to attend
the Oshkosh air show. With pride, Capt. Shanley will be flying
the T-6 to the 2010 air show. As his family travels from Eau
Claire, this will be the first time they will have the
opportunity to see him in flight.
This block was created using a
four patch of strip piecing to create the illusion of a diamond
with the T-6 as the focus point. The color scheme of reds and
blues represent the United States of America.
Name: Karen Davisson, Edgewood, NM
Title: Blanche Stuart Scott: "Tomboy of the
Story: On September 6, 1910,
Blanche Stuart "Betty" Scott (1889-1970) soared out of
her Victorian upbringing and into the history books as the first
American woman to solo an airplane. The only woman to ever receive
flight lessons from Glenn Curtiss, Scot had already made a name
for herself earlier that year as the first woman to drive a motor
car from New York to California, on a trip sponsored by the Willys-Overland
Company. The adventure proved that a woman could not only drive
the distance, but could make all the necessary repairs to the
vehicle during the trip.
Always one for adventure, Scott had
been a child that consternated the local authorities, driving her
father's motor car around a Rochester, New York at the age of 13.
Her parents, concerned with her nickname of "tomboy,"
sent her to a finishing school to shaper her impetuous nature into
the more acceptable societal norms of the time. Despite her
education, her tomboy reputation continued on October 24, 1910 as
she became the first female professional flyer performing as a
member of the Curtiss exhibition team. Dubbed "Tomboy of the
Air," Scott was known for her stunts of inverted flying and
death dives from 4,000 feet. In 1912 she became the first female
test pilot when she contracted with Glenn Martin to fly prototype
aircraft. In 1954 Scott accepted a position
with the United States Air Force Museum acquiring items related to
The Victorian Crazy Quilt
epitomizes the struggle faced by Scott and all women of the day,
that of assigned and acceptable activities. Women did not drive.
They certainly did not fly. Just as the popular Crazy Quilts of
the day, designed for their beauty rather than their usefulness or
practicality, women were looked upon as adornments with little
ability to master the skills needed to conquer the new inventions
of the 20th century. No matter the aptitude or desire of women to
take flight along with their male counterparts, society demanded
that they keep both feet planted firmly on the ground. The
resistance to allow women the freedoms and experiences afforded
men can easily be seen in the Crazy Quilt as each block, full of
its impetuous turns and playful embroideries, inevitably runs
headlong into the straight-laced boundaries holding the structure
Dismayed by the public's interest
in seeing whether on not she would crash rather than watching her
skill as a pilot, and by the continuing refusal of the industry to
allow women to train and work as mechanics and engineers, Scott
retired from active flying in 1916.
Name: Elaine Anderson, Hot Springs, SD
Title: Andy's Aeroplane
Story: N92774, a 1946 Piper PA12 Super Cruiser has been in the
Anderson family for 38 years. M92774 was purchased in Minneapolis
by Art "Andy" Anderson for $1,200. He replaced the
fabric on the airplane during a two week vacation and flew it home
to Rapid City, SD. The backing of this quilt block is left over
Grade A cotton from this job.
Art's son, Glen, also flew N92774. Glen was in the front seat
with his three year old daughter in the rear. She would pull the
stick back and then push the stick forward so she could have
"tummy ticklers." When Glen got queasy he took over and
flew straight and level. His daughter promptly hauled back on the
stick and said "You don't fly right."
Art, son Glen, and daughter-in-law Elaine missed Easter dinner
one year because they were busy "sight seeing" in N92774
and misjudged the time.
Art passed away in 1980 and another son, Paul took over
operation of the plane. In 1985, the day before the Anderson boys
were to head to Oshkosh, a storm destroyed the hangar containing
N92774. The left wing was bent upwards 90º and the right wing
bent down 45º. After securing the wreckage, the Anderson's drove
to Oshkosh, arriving one day later than planned.
The airplane was stored and rebuilt during the period of
1985-2004. In 2004 Paul flew the plane to Alaska where he
presently lives. In 1005 Paul flew N92774 from Anchorage to
Oshkosh and back to Anchorage.
In 2007 Paul, his wife, Verena, and eighteen-month old
daughter, Brianna, flew N92774 to a remote area of Alaska. While
camping there Brianna alerted her folks to a bear behind them by
using sign language and also making a "grrr" sound. Her
folks scared the bear away and all was well.
Presently Paul is flying N92774 in Alaska where he is a US Fish
and Wildlife pilot with 13,000 hours of flying time.
| Honorable Mention
Name: Jeanie Eatherton, Piedmont, SD
Title: Cherokee PA-28 - 50 Years Around the Patch
Story: 2010 marks the 50th
anniversary of the Piper Cherokee PA29 series. The first PA-28
received its type certificate from the FAA in 1960. The number
following the PA28 indicates the engine horsepower, ranging from 140
to 300 hp. Shortly after its introduction in 1964, the Cherokee
PA28-140 was modified to produce 150 hp but kept the 140 name.
The Cherokee PA28 series has
low-mounted wings and tricycle landing gear. There is a single door
on the co-pilot's side, which is entered by stepping on the wing.
The convex, rectangular wing is popularly called the Hershey Bar
The background behind the Cherokee
140 in this block is one of many attempts to represent the beauty of
the large circular patchwork created by irrigation sprinklers,
prevalent in the central United States and Canada. Quilters who fly
cannot help but be intrigued with all of the shades of earth tones,
sky tones, and water colors needed to sew nature's quilt-designed
landscapes. Every flight is like attending God's Quilt Show - the
quilt variations change with the seasons.