Gina Perkes learned to quilt in a beginners class at a Payson store six years ago. Now her work is earning national recognition.
Two of her pieces, a quilt and a garment, have been selected for competition in the International Quilt Association's show, "Quilts: A World of Beauty" in Houston, Texas. Earlier this year her work won three first place awards, along with two other honors at the Machine Quilters Showcase in Springfield, Ill. Perkes was also a winner at the Arizona Quilters Guild Show in March.
"I submitted my work for the International Quilt Association show in July," Perkes said. The announcement of their selection was made in late August.
She said she has made more than 30 quilts in the six years since she learned the craft, including wall hangings. Perkes has also made about five quilted garments.
"I love being artistic and creative and seeing my ideas take shape in my quilts and garments," she said.
Of all the work she does, she most enjoys making large wall hangings.
To make a show quilt, she said she will spend about 80 hours on the project. Her utility quilts take about 20 hours of work.
Perkes has a studio for quilting, and she will have a bigger room in the new home she and her husband are building.
She said she is able to purchase all the materials she uses locally, "Except specialty, hand-dyed materials have to be ordered."
Perkes recommends quilting. After she started, her mother and grandmother followed her example.
"Beginners should start with something smaller, like a small wall hanging or pillow top" she said, "But usually they start with a quilt for a queen-size bed. They have great beginner classes at The Quilters Outpost."
The pieces she is competing with in the International Quilt Association show are a traditional pieced item she calls " Feathered Frenzy" and the garment, which she calls "Puttin' on the Glitz." Finalists had to pass a stringent screening process by a panel of jurors.
Winners of the competition will be named Nov. 2 and then included in the International Quilt Festival, the largest annual quilt making show, sale and academy in the world, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Winners will be awarded $76,250 in cash prizes.
The festival is Nov. 4-7 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston and will feature more than 1,000 merchant booths, 450 lectures and classes and more than 1,800 quilts, dolls and wearable art ensembles.
The International Quilt Association was founded in 1979. The non-profit organization is dedicated to the preservation of the art of quilting, the attainment of public recognition for quilting as an art form and its advancement throughout the world.
The festival website is www.quilts.com.
Name: Gina Perkes
Employer: self and family
Birthplace: Biloxi, Miss.
Family: husband, Chris; sons, Dalton, 6 and Dillon, 4; daughter, Rylie, 9; parents, Jeff and Debbie Vaughn
Greatest feat: Creating show quilts while taking care of my family and home.
Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Quilting
Three words that describe me best are ... creative, hard-working, generous
I don't want to brag but ... My family is the best.
Luxury defined: Sitting on a beach with my husband.
Dream vacation spot: Hawaii
Why Payson? It's a great place to raise a family.