Local quilter wins second time in virtual festival

Benjamin Joe, Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, N.Y.
·2 min read

Mar. 3—Ruth Ohol, a quilt artist in Lockport, won the Mancuso Show Management's Visuals 3 for "Best Sewing Machine Workmanship" in traditional-styled quilts late in February.

The virtual show featured quilts from around the continental United States and for Ohol, who had won a prize in last year's second virtual contest, the win came after a year-long labor of love with her entry, "Cappuccino Delight."

Ohol said that the competition was pretty stiff this year but when the dust cleared, her entry stood with some of the greats of this year's quilts.

"You always hope, but on Wednesday morning when the show opened and I went to see who the competition was, the first quilt I saw was by Marilyn Badger," Ohol said. "In the quilt world, people know, she always wins, and then there was another one by Janet Stone, and Janet Stone always wins. I was seeing some of these names, and I thought, 'I'm in pretty tough,' so I was very pleasantly surprised that I was singled out for an award."

Ohol said that while nothing will compare to being able to walk through a show, seeing each entry and even getting to talk to the winners who might sit by their piece, there are certain qualities of a virtual show that she enjoys.

"One of the pieces of advice I was given years ago ... (was) if you're going to enter the show, you need to go the shows," she said. "That's so you know what you're competing against and you can see the types of quilts that are getting the awards. That was very good advice. The virtual shows are nice, in that, you get to see everything that was in the show, not just the winning quilts."

This particular quilt featured some of Ohol's collection of Japanese taupe fabrics and the quilt patterns are all original designs. Ohol noted that the quilting world has become more and more competitive as the intricacies of the quilting gets more and more detailed with space between stitching getting smaller and smaller.

"It doesn't get old because the work that people do keeps getting better and better, and if you can't get better, you just slip into being an entrant. It's like Olympic runners and swimmers," Ohol said. "If you look at the winning speeds for 20 years ago, the losers now don't even reach those speeds, because people push themselves to get better and better, and this is kind of like that. It's an evolving art and people are doing better and better work."

"Cappuccino Delight" and other awarded quilts can be viewed at onlinequiltfestival.com/visuals3winners.