A resident of Brookings and her partner in North Dakota are the winners of the Janome America Best of Show Award for their quilt, Diamond Effervescence.
Beth Nufer of Brookings and Clem Buzick of Fargo are sharing $20,000 in prize money.
The award came during the American Quilters Society Quilt Week, held Sept. 9-13 in Fall Paducah, Kentucky. The event features nearly 700 quilts on display from around the world, according to spokesperson Alyssa Ragsdale.
“The high point of the show recognizes the artistry of today’s quiltmakers,” she said. “Hundreds of quilters compete for $121,250 in cash awards.”
Ragsdale said that following the judges’ selection of the top seven winners, the public has 24 hours to vote online for their favorite quilt. The next day, the winning quilt is put on display at the event. “So when people walk in, that quilt is the first thing they see at the show,” Ragsdale said.
Neither Nufer nor Buzick attended the event in Kentucky, receiving word of their accomplishment by phone. “We were both taken by surprise,” Nufer said.
Their vision for the guilt had been to create a three-dimensional image using silks and an ombre sateen background fabric, said Nufer. It took some nine months to complete.
Nufer said she searched for a new quilting partner after the Brookings-based woman she had been working with gave up the hobby a few years ago. After trolling major quilting shows, Nufer found Buzick’s quilts on display.
The two arranged their partnership about five years ago. “I do the piecing and she does the quilting,” Nuder said.
The two said there are challenges inherent in their quilting hobby, including trying to create an original piece of art. “This is accomplished with long hours of using graph paper, compasses, rulers and protractors,” Nufer said. “And the reward is that we get to pretend we are artists during the process.”
Nufer said her inspiration came in part from her husband. “He purchased some silk fabric, which allowed me to start and buy a heck of a lot more fabric,” she said.
“I am also very grateful to the people who have either inspired me or helped me along the way, especially Michelle Fallert, who encouraged me to enter international and national quilt shows,” said Nufer.
Her mother, Barbara, also a Brookings quilter, said her daughter became interested in quilting in about 2002. A second daughter, Dianalee, also quilts. “Beth has become a nationally known quilter and we are real proud of,” said her mom.
For more information about quilting, contact the president of the Azalea Quilters Guild in Brookings, Kathy Dedmore, at 541-469-8928. For more information about the American Quilter’s Society, visit americanquilter.com, or call 270-898-7903.