Bernina Jubilee Anniversary Quilt best of show 2023

Area quilters gather for celebration of their craft

Freeport resident and Flying Needles Quilt Guild member Kathy Crews received the highest accolades with her “Bernina Jubilee Anniversary Quilt,” which she entered in the Emerald Coast Quilt Show.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever entered anything in a quilt show,” Crews said, but she added that the award should be shared with two fellow quilters and Flying Needle members, Ruthie Reynoso, Freeport, and Peggy Murrell, Miramar Beach.

Crews described her Best of Show entry as a “friend” quilt.

“A quilt is three pieces,” she said: the decorative top, the inner batting and the under fabric.

Reynoso assisted by machine embroidering many of the decorative squares used in the quilt top. Crews did the actual piecing and sewing of the top. Murrell attached the three layers.

Two ladies standing in front of a quilt that was named best in show.
The best of show quilt, by Kathy Crews and Peggy Murrell
woman standing in front of a red, white and blue quilt.
Quilts of Valor coordinator Barbi Ouellettes and show visitor Maria Roda.

Quilt show wraps up in Fort Walton Beach

The Emerald Coast Quilt Show ran on March 3 and 4 at the Northwest Florida Fairgrounds in Fort Walton Beach.

The show attracted quilters from throughout Northwest Florida and beyond, said Linda Weiss, who coordinated the show as a member of the Flying Needles Quilt Guild. She said that show visitors came not only from Pensacola and Tallahassee, but also from Alabama, Georgia and even Massachusetts.

“I have a great committee,” Weiss added. “They’re all hands on deck; everybody does their part.”

In addition to coordinating the Emerald Coast Quilt Show, Weiss is a quilter and an award winner. Her crazy quilt entry, “Times & Seasons,” earned first place in the Hand Work category. The quilt features hand applique work and surface embroidery, along with little fobs and buttons to add texture.


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A UFO Sighting

Weiss began working on individual squares in 2003, but it was put aside.

“I didn’t pick it up again until 2016,” she said. “I finished it in 2020.”

Quilters and crafters define such projects as UFOs, or unfinished objects. Weiss’ winning entry proves that UFOs can be completed and receive awards.

Another long-term project that took honors was “Breadfruit,” first in the Hand Quilted category.

“I quilted it for two years,” said Doris Olig, a resident of the Bob Hope Village. Her entry uses Hawaiian patterns, and all the piecing and quilting is completely by hand.

Other first place entries include Judge’s Award, “Midnight at the Oasis” by Sharon Thiel;

Art category, “Dream Big,” Peggy Murrell; Applique, “Love & Music are the Last Things to Go,” Sue Benvenutti; Large Pieced, “Blue Jeans, Pearls and Drama,” Kathy Bradbury; Small Pieced, “PBJ,” Kathy Bradbury; Mixed Techniques, “Bernina Jubilee Anniversary Quilt,” Kathy Crews; Modern, “The Butterfly Quilt,” Loraine Acosta; Wool Work, “Flowers Galore,” Barbara Fyffe.

Along with the quilt displays, the guild hosted hands-one workshops. Throughout the show, Quilts of Valor representative Barbi Ouellette encouraged visitors to sew a square for a future quilt, and the Quilts of Valor organization made a quilt presentation to a recipient.

The Flying Needles Quilt Guild hosts its show every other year, and it meets regularly at New Hope Baptist Church, Valparaiso. For information about the guild or quilting, visit

a woman standing in from of a quilt
Linda Weiss with Times and Seasons 2023

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