A quilt made by a pair of Oregon residents was named "Best of Show" at the American Quilter's Society Fall QuiltWeek awards gala at Walker Hall in Paducah Wednesday night.

"Diamond Effervescence," by Beth Nufer and Clem Buzick, of Brookings, Oregon, won the top award, sponsored by Janome America, and the accompanying $20,000 prize.

The brightly colored quilt used silk fabric on a sateen background to enhance its diamonds-all-over pattern accented by starburst patterns throughout.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe presented the awards after a brief speech in which she humorously narrated some of her early quilting endeavors.

"Never be ashamed of the first quilt you made," she said, showing a few photos that drew knowing laughter from the audience.

She exhorted quilters always to find the joy in their creativity, telling them "if it's not fun, you need to golf or bake."

For Wolfe, whose exhibit "Playing with Purpose" is on display at the National Quilt Museum through Oct. 8, quilting is all about the story behind the art.

"Every quilt you make, you're putting a story in that quilt, whether you know it or not," she said.

Second-place winner Mary Olson, of Aumsville, Oregon, took home her highest award since competing in Paducah shows, for her quilt "Magnificent Millie," a tribute to her grandmother, Mildred Jackson.

Olson said this year's fall show was only her fourth time competing in Paducah, and she praised the quality of the pieces in the competition.

"I love the show, I love the people," she said. "You will never have one of my quilts in Paducah and not have me here."

In addition to the winning quilt, the following works took home overall awards:

Gammill Quilting Machines Best Wall Quilt Award: "Blue Anemone," by Andrea Brokenshire, Round Rock, Texas. Baby Lock USA First Place Overall Award: "Finding Light in the Darkness," by Teri L. Cherne, Henniker, New Hampshire. AQS Second Place Overall Award: "Magnificent Millie," by Mary Olson, Aumsville, Oregon. Innova Third Place Overall Award: "Ookpik," by Collette Dumont, Saint-Romain, Quebec, Canada. APQS Fourth Place Overall Award: "At the Junction," by Marla Varner, Sequim, Washington. Martelli Enterprises Fifth Place Overall Award: "Walt Whitman," by Lianne Schellenberg, Walla Walla, Washington.

The following winners took home first place in the large quilts categories:

Appliqued, sponsored by PFAFF: "Twilight Garden," by Linda Hrcka and Lisa Bonegan, Homer, Michigan. Embellished, sponsored by Husqvarna Viking: "Zooloo," by Betty Kent New, Stillwell, Oklahoma. Pieced, sponsored by Handi Quilter: "Christmas Poppies," by Linda Fleschner, North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

First Entry in an AQS Paducah Quilt Contest, sponsored by Brother International: "Whimsical Wonders," by C. Rosberry, Valrico, Florida. Pictorial, sponsored by Superior Threads: "Blessed," by Ann Horton, Redwood Valley, California. Quilter's Choice, sponsored by Statler by Gammill: "Okehampton," by Barbara Odor, Fort Morgan, Colorado. Hand Quilted, sponsored by Martelli Enterprises: "Flower Rondo," by Chinami Teraie, Abiko, Chiba, Japan.

The following winners took home first-place awards in the Wall Quilts category:

Appliqued, sponsored by AccuQuilt: "Balam (Jaguar)," by Georgia Spalding Pierce, Seattle, Washington. Embellished, sponsored by Bernina of America Q Series: "Golden, by Peggy Brown, Nashville, Indiana. Pieced, sponsored by Elna USA: "Antelope Canyon Mosaic," by Kimberly Lacy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. First Entry in an AQS Paducah Quilt Contest, sponsored by Juki America: "Braveheart," by Linda Anderson, La Mesa, California.

Pictorial, sponsored by Pro-Stitcher: "Acadia's Own: Cobblestone Bridge," by Barbara Binotto, Island Falls, Maine. Modern, sponsored by Quilt Path by APQS: "Mesmerizing," by Jodi Robinson, Enon Valley, Pennsylvania. Flora and/or Fauna, sponsored by American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine: "Do You See What I see," by Lise Belanger, Trois-Pistoles, Quebec, Canada.

Art Quilts, sponsored by Bernina of America: "Cat Under the Stars," by Chi Chen Wen, Ping Tung, Taiwan.

Panasonic Cordless Irons sponsored the following Judges' Recognition Awards:

Judge Gail Garber recognized "Lace," by Antonia Hering, Horn, Noord Holland, Netherlands. Judge Katie Pasquini Masopust recognized "Harmony," by Cristina Arcenegui Bono, Alcala de Guadaira, Sevilla, Spain. Judge Cindy Needham recognized "Andesine," by Andrea Strake, Groß Niendorf, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

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