A quilt created by Arlen Mary Bird, of Union, has won a top award in the quilt contest at the 2017 Quilt Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

A record-breaking number of quilt lovers – nearly 21,000 – attended the 13th annual Quilt Expo, which took place Sept. 7-9 at the Alliant Energy Center. Quilt Expo is presented by Wisconsin Public Television with Nancy Zieman, host of public television’s “Sewing With Nancy.”

Bird’s quilt “My Valentine” won third place, with a prize of $200, in Category 2 (Hand Quilted Bed Size - Appliquéd, Mixed or Other Type). Bird writes, “Old prints from my cupboard, new batiks from the store, pattern by Elly Sienkiewicz, and stitches galore. The quilt was begun in 1998 and completed in 2014. It celebrates the marriage of Allen and Arlen Mary Bird on February 14, 1960.”

In 2017, quilters from 29 states and provinces submitted their best work for judging in this year’s Quilt Expo quilt contest. All quilts on exhibit made it through a juried selection process before going on display. The 277 quilts accepted in either the contest or the Winter Games Quilt Challenge were judged on visual impact and stitching technique.

Following the event, selected quilts from the Winter Games Quilt Challenge will travel throughout the United States, representing the spirit of Quilt Expo.

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