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EAA AirVenture Quilt Block Contest


2010 Quilt Block Contest Results


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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 Hornet.

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.



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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.



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Third Place Winner
Name: Vicky Murphy, San Bruno, CA
Title: Sun-n-Fun

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 days.



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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 quilt.



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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.



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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.



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Honorable Mention
Name: Karen Davisson, Edgewood, NM
Title: Blanche Stuart Scott: "Tomboy of the Air"

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 early aviation.

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 together.

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.



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Honorable Mention
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.



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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 wing.

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.

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