12 Chances to Win a Silk Opportunity Quilt!

In a creative twist on our usual Opportunity Quilt fundraiser, in 2023 the SFQG produced 12 quilts instead of just one! Starting in 2019, guild members began donating silks to use in Sue Fox’s workshops on techniques for working with silk in quilt-making. Those in-person workshops never happened. But Sue and her team turned that stash into sew-at-home kits, scores of participants got kits by mail, and they began piecing four styles of blocks. Working with thousands of those components, 12 guild members stepped up to design, assemble, and quilt a dozen quilts, ranging from wall-hangings to bed-sized.

And the Winners Are…

All “12 Chances to Win” Opportunity Quilt prizes are now in the hands of the Winners. Here’s WHO chose WHICH Quilt Prizes… (listed in order of the ticket pull.)

1) Karen Warner (in the audience) chose C—“Magic Carpet” made by Sue Fox.
2) Joanne Reiter (remote winner) chose B—“Tipsy Silks” made by Dani Lawler.
3) Kathleen Van Dyke (remote winner) chose G—“Spinning ‘Feathered’ Star” made by Carolyn Startup.
4) Sim Thadani (in the audience) chose E—“Ojos de Dios” made by Sue Fox.
5) Jan Etre (in the audience) chose H—“Ruby & Gold Improv” made by Kenan Shapero.
6) Deb Montgomery (remote winner) chose D—“Silver Leaves” made by Tish Chung.
7) Katie Woods (remote winner) chose J—“Rubylinth” made by Jason Horsey.
8) Sandy Thacker (in the audience) chose K—“Inspiration: Bento!” made by Christine Reiter.
9) Beverly Hawks (remote winner) chose F—“Neon Star” made by Holly Gatto.
10) Seema Rathod (in the audience) chose L—“Dragonfly’s Chase” made by Cathey Kennedy.
11) Joanne Reiter (remote winner) chose I—“Silk Stripes” made by Laureen Neilly.
12) Barbara Crawford (in the audience) chose A—”Plans Have Changed” made by Gail DeMartis.

Special Lottery Quilts— Prizes available ONLY to participants of the Community Built Maker Crew and the “12 Chances to Win” Ticket Sales crew were drawn on Friday.
Gail De Martis (component maker & quilt designer) chose “In Conversation” designed and built by Fern Royce.
Andrea Segura-Smith (Ticket Sales & the show’s Vendor coordinator) chose “Extra-Vaganza” designed and built by Mary Spadaro.

A Special Thank You …

We are grateful to ALL of the VOLUNTEERS who participated in this year’s Opportunity Quilt Project.

We tried something different… We learned a few things… and We had FUN!!

2023 Opportunity Quilt winner Karen Warner and project organizer Sue Fox with “Magic Carpet” by Sue Fox.
2023 Opportunity Quilt winner Sandy T with “Inspiration: Bento!” made by Christine Reiter.
2023 Opportunity Quilt winner Sim Thadani and project organizer Sue Fox with “Ojos de Dios” by Sue Fox.

And Now … Enjoy the Compelling Designs and Eye-Popping Colors of our Opportunity Quilts!

Prize A: Plans Have Changed
35″ x 44″
Designed and made by Gail DeMartis, quilted by Nancy Williams.
Gail’s improvisational wall quilt features bold colors, Dupioni silks and the strip-piecing technique.  Wool batting and cotton backing.
Prize C: Magic Carpet
85″ x 85″
Designed, made, and quilted by Sue Fox.
A bed-sized quilt of Chinese silk brocade squares in “framed box” blocks, mostly composed of solid-color Dupioni silks. Background color is teal blue/green. Wool batting and cotton backing.
Prize E: Ojos de Dios
85″ x 85″
Designed, made, and quilted by Sue Fox.
A bed-sized quilt composed of black Chinese silk brocade centers surrounded by bold colorful “frames,” all set within black silk gabardine. Wool batting, cotton, and raw silk backing. (Exhibited at Maine Quilts, July 2022.)
Prize G: “Feathered” Spinning Star
35″ x 35″
Designed and made by Carolyn Startup, quilted by Sue Fox.
Choosing colors to celebrate the SFQG’s 40th (ruby) anniversary, Carolyn featured three of our four basic piecing techniques (HSTs, 4-patch/9-patch, and strip-piecing) in her composition. Dupioni, Chinese brocades and necktie silks. Wool batting and cotton backing.
Prize I: Silk Stripes
44″ x 42″
Designed and made by Laureen Neilly, quilted by Sue Fox.
Laureen’s signature design style—utilizing her own distinctive strip-piecing layout—is featured here in Dupioni and plain weave silks. Wool batting and cotton backing.
Prize K: Inspiration: Bento!
48″ x 48″
Designed and made by Christine Reiter, quilted by Sue Fox.
Christine created a tribute to a large collection of Chinese silk brocades, composed with HST and “framed box” blocks and set with plain weave, iridescent, and satin solids. Wool batting and cotton backing.
Prize B: Tipsy Silks
28″ x 28″
Designed, made and quilted by Dani Lawler.
Dani created this lively small quilt using 64 Half-Square Triangle (HST) blocks in the central layout, featuring Chinese silk brocades and jewel-toned solid silks. Cotton batting and cotton backing.
Prize D: Silver Leaves
23.5″ x 32.5″
Designed, made and quilted by Tish Chung.
Tish‘s lyrical composition features colorful hand-appliquéed leaves on a silver background with strip-pieced silk borders. Cotton batting and cotton backing.
Prize F: Neon Star
40″ x 40″
Designed and made by Holly Gatto, quilted by Nancy Williams.
Holly used humble HST blocks made up in bold Dupioni silks, along with a variety of black background squares (satin, spotted, and plain weave), sprinkled with a few four-patch blocks. Wool batting and cotton backing.
Prize H: Gold and Ruby Improv
44″ x 46″
Designed and made by Kenan Shapero, quilted by Sue Fox.
Kenan’s improvisation features strip-piecing plus “framed boxes” (many of them quartered). Chinese brocades, Dupioni solids, necktie silks, and a few woven stripes. Wool batting and cotton backing.
Prize J: Rubylinth
47″ x 47″
Designed, made, and quilted by Jason Horsey.
Honoring traditional red and white quilts, Jason’s original labyrinth design utilizes strip-pieced red silks, highlighted by pebble quilting along the white pathways. Cotton batting and cotton backing.
Prize L: Dragonfly’s Chase
42″ x 42″
Designed and made by Cathey Kennedy, quilted by Sue Fox.
Cathey’s unusual octagon format highlights HST and “framed box” blocks, along with dynamic strip-pieced bold colors. Wool batting and cotton backing.

Project Background

As an unexpected result of pandemic conditions, the SFQG’s Opportunity Quilt project grew from one quilt to a dozen. Here’s how it happened.

  • Fall 2019. Our project began before COVID, when the guild asked for donated silks to use at the SFQG’s 2020 retreat in preparation for a new Opportunity Quilt. The response was overwhelming—Dupioni, plain weave, habotai, satin, large pieces and small, yardage, bags of Chinese brocades, mostly solid colors, but some stripes and plaids, too.
  • March 2020. Lock-down, and the project came to a halt. For the rest of the year and for much of 2021, we looked for a way to engage guild members who wanted to participate while navigating pandemic restrictions. Our brainstorm was to turn an in-person project into a sew-at-home endeavor using kits of pre-cut materials and how-instructions sent by mail.
  • November 2021—March 2022. Hundreds of kits were assembled for release over four months, with each month’s kit devoted to a different block style. All fabrics were drawn from our fabulous collection of of donated silks.
  • January–June 2022. More than a quarter of the SFQG memberships signed up to receive multiple technique kits. They stitched thousands of block components, while learning four simple, step-by-step strategies for using silk as a quilt-making material.
  • April–November 2022. As participants returned their components, 12 members stepped forward to design, make and quilt a variety of projects. The results display a wide range of design concepts, all using just our four basic block construction techniques.