Release Date: June 30, 1995
"Pitiful, Yet Endearing”
Describes Winning Quilt
Atlanta Entrant Wins Dubious Honor,
Nets Prizes Worth $2400
Ami Simms, creator of the first annual WORST Quilt In The World Contest™, awarded prizes totaling over $2400 today to quilter #051-069 of Atlanta, Georgia. Simms referred to the winning entry, entitled “Cracked China,” as “pitiful, yet endearing.” Simms continued, “It’s an excellent example of what not
to do with a needle and thread.”
She described the quilt’s color scheme as “delightfully schizophrenic,” and the worksmanship as “perfectly horrible.” Simms added, “We tried to lay the quilt flat on a table to examine it. It couldn’t be done. No matter which way we pulled on it to get it flat, it still looked like there was a body underneath!”
The quirky quilt contest with $5,352.84 in prizes drew 702 entries from every state and five foreign countries. Over 250 serious contenders vied for prizes by submitting photographs of their most poorly made quilt.
Not surprisingly, 450 declined to have their quilts judged at all, claiming in the space provided on the entry form, that their quilts were too good to win. In bypassing their bids for the prizes, these confidant quilters accepted commemorative lapel pins which read, "THANK GOODNESS I DIDN'T WIN THE WORST QUILT IN THE WORLD CONTEST!™"
Quilters who thought they had a shot at the prizes entered the contest anonymously identifying themselves only by a six-digit number they selected. Their quilts were judged on general appearance, color, design, and workmanship—or lack of it. Judges rejected quilts that did not induce vomiting, prompt the majority of them to laugh, or cause shuddering, excessive tearing, or blurred vision. Points were also deducted if quilts were free of pet hair, dirt, and major stains.
Equally suspect, at least in this contest, were designs which exhibited balance, harmony or forethought. Judges commended entrants if their quilts included patches that were stretched or chopped to fit. Particularly sought after were quilts which were pleated, puckered or otherwise distorted. Winning this contest wasn't easy.
Nonetheless, in addition to the Grand Prize Winner, nine almost equally inept quilters each received "Abominable Mention Awards" and over $260 in prizes for producing the worst quilt in their category. To protect the reputations of these unfortunates, contest sponsors have agreed to release only the states from which these hapless stitchers hail: Alaska, Arizona (2), Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin .
In addition to the awards mentioned above, 16 Special Recognition Awards were also presented. These lucky recipients submitted quilts that, although not bad enough to win an entire category, nevertheless exhibited memorable shortcomings.
Included in this group was the winner of the "Most Obnoxious Use of Novelty Fabric Award," a Canadian quilter who stitched a Christmas tree using only fabric with cows on it. Judges presented the "Most Disgusting (But Fitting) Name For A Quilt Award" to a quilter from Billings, Montana, for the entry titled "Kitty In The Blender." Other awards included the "Pathetic Piecing Award," the "I Can Fix Anything With A Zig-Zag Stitch Award," the "So What If There Are A Couple Of Holes In It Award," and the "Most Bizarre Use Of Bias Binding Award."
Perfectly respectable sponsors generously donated prizes hoping to encourage entrants' improvement. Corporate participants were Omnigrid, Inc., Bemina of America, Gingher, Hoffman California Fabrics, Keepsake Quilting, MounWn Mist, Mettler Threads, Quilting Today Magazine, and Hinterberg Design.
Randy Schafer, president of Omnigrid, Inc. placed tongue firmly in cheek and made this request of those who won sets of his company's rulers: "Until your skills improve, please keep our trademark covered with an opaque tape and assure anyone who inquires that you are not using Omnigrid rulers."