Where Quilt Nation Shops

New Quilts/Old Favorites

Each year this international contest organized by The National Quilt Museum challenges quiltmakers to create an innovative quilt based on a specific traditional pattern. Winners of the contest traditionally include quilts from many different U.S. states and several other countries.

Quilts are selected for their excellence in design and techniques, their innovations, and their contributions to an exhibit showing the wide range of designs and styles the selected traditional pattern can inspire.

In cooperation with the American Quilter's Society, a catalog is published, featuring the award-winning and finalist quilts in full color, with a photo of the maker, information about the quilt's development and patterns and tips.

Click here for the 2015 New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Nine Patch Brochure and Entry Form.

2014 Winners!

The National Quilt Museum is pleased to announce the 18 winning quilts of the 2014 Carolina Lily themed New Quilts from an Old Favorite annual contest.

Quilters from 13 U.S. states and Japan modified Carolina Lily block designs in imaginative ways, providing a wonderful look at the skills, techniques and creativity of today's quiltmakers. Support for the contest is provided by MODA Fabrics and Janome America, Incorporated.

First place was awarded to Julia Fraber of Brooksville, Mississippi for her quilt Only a Lily. Inspired by a bible verse from the Song of Solomon, she created a 'tiled' background of Carolina Lily blooms. Her finished quilt glows, a single Carolina Lily in the center, supported by extensive machine quilting.

The second place quilt, Lily Patch by Karen Watts of Mayhill, NM, is filled with jewel tones, vine-like applique, and Crazy-pieced borders. Mami Noda of Japan, the third place winner, used shaded Log Cabin blocks on which to place her Carolina Lilies for her quilt Autumn Lily. Jilli's Lilies by Marilyn Smith and Rachel Weekley of Columbia, Missouri references the current modern quilt movement with large solid colors and minimalist design for the fourth place win. The fifth place winner was Carolina Water Lily by Jean Freestone of Osprey, Florida; the basic format of the Carolina Lily block is the grid for her composition of naturalistic and pieced elements.

Sponsored by MODA Fabrics, and Janome America, Inc., this international contest challenges quiltmakers to create original quilts based on a specific quilt pattern.


Click on image for a larger view

Julia Graber, of Brooksville, MS, with her design, "Only a Lily", features over 100 lily designs patterned throughout the quilt.The autumnal hues playfully tease the black and create a truly remarkable piece. "The background was made using a technique from Gloria Loughman’s book Radiant Landscapes.  Instead of using squares, rectangles, or diamonds as tiles, I used a motif of the Carolina Lily quilt block. These Carolina Lily tiles were then fused onto my batik background fabric."

1st Place Winner

Only a Lily by Julia Graber

"Lily Patch" by Karen Watts of Mayhill, NM incorporates the fun flair of the South-West United states with these vibrant hues. The variation of cool and warm colors create an exciting energy in this winning quilt. "Lately I’ve been interested in using other fibers (silk and wool) and embellishing with hand embroidery. I also like crazy patch. My lilies went from traditional and formal (with a little embellishment) to crazy, anything goes!"

2nd Place Winner

Lily Patch by Karen Watts


This down to earth quilt, Autumn Lily, by Mami Noda of Yokkaichi, Japan, is an absolutely stunning display of hand craftsmanship. It is entirely hand pieced, hand appliquéd, hand embroidered and hand quilted. Her sutble transition from cold bright whites to the deeper chocolates vibrates as if the lilies themselves are the source of light and comfort. Winding around the lilies, as if to protect them, is a delicately crafted golden vine.

3rd Place Winner

Autumn Lily by Mami Noda

Jilli’s Lilies is a collaboration between mother and daughter quilters, Marilyn Smith and Rachel Weekley. "Although we live an hour apart we made this collaboration a fun and exciting experience! In making the quilt we tried to “think outside the box” at every design decision…whether it be color, size and placement of blocks, quilting and finishing touches."

Jilli’s Lilies is named after Rachel’s daughter, Jillian, whose exuberant personality is reflected in the quilt.

4th Place Winner

Jilli's Lilies by Marilyn Smith and Rachel Weekley



"I was inspired to enter this challenge when I added the word “water” to Carolina Lily! After an initial sketch, I selected one of my water lily photos and decided to present them painted on silk. Each individual petal was painted, then appliquéd to a tissue paper lily pattern.  With this technique I could adjust their placement and audition various backgrounds.  To add interest to the design, frogs, an indicator of a pond’s health, began to arrive in all their stages of metamorphosis.  This challenge included much that I love about quilting: designing with lots of detail, hand appliqué and free-motion quilting."


5th Place Winner

Carolina Water Lily by Jean B. Freestone

Finalists' quilts that will be featured in the exhibit include:

  • Lilypalooza by Sherri Bain Driver of Northglenn, CO
  • Lilies for Mary by Nancy Eisenhauer of Belleville, IL
  • Millefiori by Ann Feitelson of Montague, MA
  • Carolina in My Mind by Robin Gausebeck of Rockford, IL
  • Softly Grow the Lilies by Karen Grover of Rockford, IL
  • Carolina Lilies Go Hawaiian by Ann Holmes of Asheville, NC
  • Reborn by Barbara Holtzman of Holyoke, CO
  • Zen Lilies by Janice Averill and Janice Roy of West Haven, CT
  • Radiant Blooms by Denver Electric Quilters- Judy Ahlborn,
  • Christine N. Brown, Joan Christopherson, Barb Gardner, Mary Leeper, Lynda Milligan, Ann Petersen, Terri Scott, and Katie Wells of Colorado
  • The Seedlings by Tina McHenry of Jamestown, PA
  • Lilypalooza by Claudia Clark Myers of Duluth, MN
  • Lilies in the Sunset by Lynne Ott of Webster City, IA
  • Thoroughly Modern Lily by Sue Turnquist of Tifton, GA

A book featuring full-color photos of the 18 finalists and their award winning quilts, biographical information about each quilter in addition to tips, techniques and patterns will be published by the American Quilter’s Society and available for purchase at the museum in March 2014. 

Future & Past Themes
Double Wedding Ring - 1994
Log Cabin - 1995
Ohio Star - 1996
Mariner's Compass - 1997
Pineapple - 1998
Kaleidoscope - 1999
Storm at Sea - 2000
Bear's Paw - 2001

Tumbling Block - 2002
Feathered Star - 2003
Monkey Wrench - 2004
Seven Sisters - 2005
Dresden Plate - 2006
Rose of Sharon - 2007
Sawtooth - 2008
Burgoyne Surrounded - 2009

Sunflower - 2010
Orange Peel - 2011
Baskets - 2012
Jacob's Ladder - 2013
Carolina Lilly - 2014
Nine Patch - 2015
New York Beauty - 2016
Flying Geese - 2017

Traveling Schedule

AQS show
Charlotte, North Carolina July 30 to August 2, 2014

AQS show
Chattanooga, Tennessee September 10 to 13, 2014

AQS show,
Des Moines, Iowa October 1 to 4, 2014

AQS show,
Grand Rapids, Michigan August 20 to 23, 2014

Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum
Harlingen , Texas January 9 to February 28, 2015

Virginia Quilt Museum,
Harrisonburg, Virginia July 14 to October 3, 2015

Images of Past Winners

Click on links below to view images of past winners.

2013 Contest Winners: Jacob's Ladder

2012 Contest Winners - Theme: Baskets

2011 Contest Winners - Theme: Orange Peel

2010 Contest Winners - Theme: Sunflower

2009 Contest Winners - Theme: Burgoyne Surrounded

2008 Contest Winners - Theme: Sawtooth

2007 Contest Winners - Theme: Rose of Sharon

2006 Contest Winners - Theme: Dresden Plate

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