Quilting Blog

Meet the 10 Quilt Designer Fellowship Finalists + Vote for Your Favorite!

We are so excited to announce the 10 finalists of our 2018 Quilt Designer Fellowship! A special program created to help up-and-coming quilters make the leap from amateur artists to professional designers, this year’s third annual Fellowship saw tremendous popularity, with hundreds of incredible submissions. Now we need your help to choose the winner!

Craftsy Quilt Designer Fellowship 2018

How it works

Keep scrolling to see the finalists’ work and learn more about them. Then vote for your favorite based on the following criteria:

  • Creativity
  • Display of initiative
  • Design

The last day to cast your vote is March 23 at 11:59 p.m. MST. From your votes, our team of judges will work together to decide on the final Quilt Fellowship Winner! The winner will receive their own Fall Quilt Market booth, $1,500 cash to build their brand, a new Janome sewing machine and so much more.

We’ll announce the Quilt Designer Fellowship winner on or around March 30 on our website, the Craftsy Facebook page and Instagram account @becraftsy.

Of course, a huge thank you goes to our judges Angela Walters, Pat Sloan, Roseann Keremes, Kristin Link and Roxane Cerda. As you can see below, they certainly had their work cut out for them (literally!).

Meet the Finalists

Arianna Caggiano

Quilts by Name Quilts by Name Quilts by Name

“I have never felt more confident in myself then when I’m in my studio making quilts and I want to take my passion for quilting and help teach others to have that same confidence in modern quilting.

I truly push my work as much as I can, trying new approaches and techniques to create modern and contemporary quilts that push the idea of what quilts are suppose to be and look like. I believe that my work has a very distinct aesthetic and I haven’t really seen too many similar quilts like it out in the market, especially when it comes to patterns.”

Cassandra Beaver

Quilts by Name Quilts by Name Quilts by Name

“My goal as a designer is to elevate the ordinary. I seek inspiration in both the unusual and the mundane. My training as a theatrical scenic and costume designer influences my approach to quilt design, and allows me to reinterpret the patterns and rhythms of the world around me. When designing, I locate and isolate specific aspects of an environment, then combine them in unexpected ways. This process creates a strong abstraction of the original inspiration without being a direct representation.”

Cathey Marie

Quilts by Name Quilts by Name Quilts by Name

“I [realized] that there was one block that I used frequently in my designs because of its endless design possibilities. I wanted to simplify and streamline the making of this block so I designed a ruler that could be used for cutting fabric squares, marking stitching lines, and squaring blocks. The ©Y Block Ruler creates identical (no mirror image) quarter square triangle units used in making Y Blocks and Quarter Square Triangle Blocks with NO bias edges. I had the ©Y Block Ruler manufactured and finalized my supporting patterns.”

Jessica Plunkett

Quilts by Name Quilts by Name Quilts by Name

“Quilting speaks to me in a way nothing else has in my life. My creativity comes alive when I design quilts. I feel challenged, excited, calmed and fulfilled when I design and make a quilt. I started designing quilts three years ago, but those quilts were just for myself and my family. As I continued to share my work, I started getting more compliments and affirmations that my designs were fun and unique.”

Lori Miller

Quilts by Name Quilts by Name Quilts by Name

“It has taken some time to figure out my own voice in my designs. My patterns are simple, vibrant and have a unique graphic quality to them. I create designs that build a quilters confidence to learn new skills and complete a project using larger blocks, piecing shortcuts and forgiving assembly techniques. I love, love, love bright, happy color combinations. My quilts are modern, fresh and joyful, yet inspired by tradition.”

Ronald Stefanak

Quilts by Name Quilts by Name Quilts by Name

“My quilting design style has an architectural perspective that makes it unique, drawing upon my background as a shoe patternman, and then as an architect[…] I started sewing after being unemployed and bored, looking for something new to do and a chance to reinvent myself. Quilting and quilt designing has brought me real joy that draws upon my past experiences. Geometry plays a strong role in my designs which I write patterns for. Also the design themes of scale, transformation, transparency, and deconstruction are often explored.”

Sally Manke

Quilts by Sally Manke Quilts by Sally Manke Quilts by Sally Manke

“I find joy in creating fiber art that delights and inspires others to realize their own creative ambitions. Every piece I create unites color, texture, quilting precision, and artistic creativity. I enjoy all forms of fiber art, but my passion is designing original art quilts. Art quilts give me the opportunity to showcase my eye for color and texture. I create confetti quilts with a fresh, color-rich style that draws inspiration from my travels and the beautiful landscapes that surround my home studio in Arcadia, Michigan.”

Sarah Goer

Quilts by Sara Goer Quilts by Sara Goer Quilts by Sara Goer

“I enjoy bold, saturated color and graphic design. I love exciting color combinations and often add another color in lieu of a neutral background. I create geometric designs with thought to the value contrast between the fabrics. And I love working out the quilt math!”

Sarah Overton

Quilts by Sarah Overton Quilts by Sarah Overton Quilts by Sarah Overton

“Some of my favorite quilts put a twist on traditional blocks to create new and exciting designs. For example, my “Lennox” quilt is made with flying geese, but half of the “geese” are made with strip sets. My designs usually begin with color, and I let the fabric guide me. I like to create bold graphic designs and play with movement. With all of my patterns, I try to create designs I’ve never seen before, using both traditional methods and paper piecing.

Sarah Ruiz

Quilt by Sarah Ruiz Quilt by Sarah Ruiz Quilt by Sarah Ruiz

“Quilting perfectly combines my engineering and artistic mindsets, and I love the puzzle-solving required to turn an idea into reality. Inspired by increasingly fluid boundaries between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and STEAM (add Arts), I design modern quilts that bring new twists to traditional patterns and feature bright colors, bold lines, and graphic shapes. I produce designs that are easy to make, but pack a visual punch.”

131 Comments

Edith Jouppi

Voting for Sally Manke

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Diana Salmon

Me too! My jaw dropped when I saw her beautiful quilts!!

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Patricia Chechak

I have used several of Cathey Marie’s patterns they are versatile and the directions are easy to follow.

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Sherry Duarte

Unable to vote, however I’d like to select Sarah Goer as my favorite quilter.

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Lynn Glessing

That was the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make. The quilts were all stunning!! I would buy any one of those patterns.

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Lindab303

So many talented quilters. Very hard to pick just one. Hope some of them reapply next year.

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Laurie Devers

I am trying to vote for my favorite Quilt Designer Fellowship Finalist. I must me doing something wrong, however, because only half of the names of the finalists show for me to click on. I’m sure I am doing something wrong, but I can’t figure out what it is. Please help! I would like to vote for my favorite!

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Marcy Land

Well I’m plum wore out! Each of the 10 quilt fellowship finalist’s entries are amazing. The individual creativity is what I noticed the most. Definitely not grandma’s quilts. While all were appealing in their own way, in the end it was the background design and how it enhanced or detracted from the overall piece that made my decision.

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Ruth L

Wow! Incredible work from everyone! I think Cassandra Beaver’s quilts stand out as truly unique and creative. Her choice of colors is beautiful and each quilt is so different. I’d love to see more of her work!

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Teresa Massa

When I sent the comment it reloaded the page and I was able to see all choices

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Colleen Turcotte

Every and ALL Quilts are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!
Each and every artist should be proud of their work and it touches many people like me to give inspiration.

Thank You to ALL

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diane s. mudgett

Sally was by far my favorite. Color, beauty and a little whimsy thrown in. Designs are easy on the eyes.

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Linda Carlson

As soon as I posted the comment, the rest of the choices appeared, so please disregard my previous comment.

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Annie

So hard to make a choice, all of the quilters are extraordinary! I need a day or two to come to a final choice, have three in mind. Wish I could vote for all of them! I’ll be back for sure.

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Kresti

Not all of the designers names are accessible on the ballot. How do I vote for someone if their name is below the cutoff on the ballot? You should restart the voting with a corrected ballot.

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sharon

in my browser the last candidate’s name is cut off and I can’t scroll or get to it
if voting has anything to do with winning
this seems unfair

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Ann Westr

I could not vote for my favorite designer because the above drop down menu would not give me her name to choose. I choose Sally Manke.

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Donna Walczak

I like the way Cassandra Beaver mirrored the main components of her quilt (appliqued circles) in the actual quilting (bubbles) – a nice crosstalk between foreground and background, great use of both color and negative space. A winner in my book! I wonder if it is for sale?

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Deanna Anderson

Tough decision. They are all beautiful.

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Marija Vujcic

I am not sure where do we vote? My vote is Cassandra Beaver.

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Carole Walkden

I like the circles best.

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Cindy Hollenbeck

My favorite was Sallie Manke but she isn’t in the list shown to me.

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Anna Jarczewski

Love Sally’s work!

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Judy Jones

Sally Manke is my choice!

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Lynn Patch

Sally Manke love them

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E

It’s only showing the contestants up to Ronald. There’s no way to vote for anyone who would appear after him. Votes shouldn’t count until this is fixed.

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Jen M

I can’t see all the finalists or the ballot! Fix please!

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Swati Mody

Love Lori Miller’s work.

Also found Sally Manke and Ronald Stefanak’s work interesting.

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Sally Carl

Me too. Lori Miller has good color sense and a real modern feel.

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Brenda

Love Cathey Marie’s work!

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Pam Shallenberger

LOVE Sallie Manke!!! There were several I liked but hers were awesome! Will she have patterns for these quilts?

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Kathleen Miller Charnell

I vote for Sally Manke

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Carolyn Frahm

I thought Cathey Marie had the best ones. The Flag was closest to my favorite because of being in Quilts of Valor and supporting the veterans who have so bravely fought for us. My dad was on the front lines in WWII.

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Carrie Moradi

It’s unclear if my vote went through, so just in case it didn’t, I’d like to throw my support to Arianna Caggiano. Amongst an amazingly talented group of finalists, Arianna’s work is a beautiful combination of modern design, stunning color palettes, and simplicity—something that is much more difficult than one may imagine. She’s blurring the lines between graphic design, fiber art, and traditional craft, while capturing a real moment in modern quilting and ultimately showing us the future of the discipline. Bravo, Arianna!

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Janet T

Ronald Stefanak

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Debbie Joy

Sally Manke – would love on my bed.

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Sandy Bradfield

I selected my favorite, but there’s no button to register the vote. So, I will say it here as well. I vote for Ronald Stefanak, because his work fits your criteria & is much more original than many of the others. I don’t feel I can vote for anyone whose work is derivative or reminds me of classes currently being taught. The Designer Fellowship should go to someone with more original designs.

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Karen

I chose Sara Overton but not there is no indication the vote counted.

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Laura

Wow! Hard choices!! I’ve narrowed my favorites down to five, how to only pick one?!?!

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Jeanne

This is a wonderfully diverse group of nominees! Sarah Overton is my #1

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Denise Lenau

Sarah Overton’s are beautiful!!!! So gifted. The designs and colors are so inviting and warm. Like a spring day!

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Labobine

They are all so great ! It is so difficult to make a choice ! Ronald Stefanak’s quilts are my favorite.

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ML Nielsen

Sally Manke, all the way! Love her work.

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Lorena Troche

AWESOME work Sarah Goer! My vote goes to you.
-Lorena Troche

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Stephanie Cassino

Love Jessica’s design

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Jeanne Kelly

SLly Manke’s are amazing! Not sure that I could make any of them, but true art!

My second fave is Ori Miller – truly unique designs, but sticking to geometric patterns – I have a true chance of replicating these beauties!

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Christine Boyd

Love Cathey Marie’s quilts! Beautiful and something that I would love to make myself.

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Sheri

Sally Manke

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Terri Barto

Sally Manley gets my thumbs up!

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Rita Vinatieri

I love 8architectural flare to Ronald’s quilts, the colors and boldness of Sarah Goer and the beauty of simplicity plus modern element to traditional block for Casandra Beaver.

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Susan Cutri

Voted for Sara Ruiz. Her quilts are beautiful. All of the entries are awesome. Makes me want to quilt. If only I could sew.

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Sta Strittmatter

Lori Miller

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KAREN JONES

It is so very difficult to select! All of the quilts are just fabulous and so very inspiring!

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Jenny

Sarah Overton is the best! Her designs are beautifully simple.

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Jan

Sally Manke is my choice.

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Maureen Haupert

Unable to vote but my favorite is Sally Manke. She is a very talented artist. There seems to be a lot of other talented artists also but Sally has my vote. Good luck!

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Amy Penn

Sally Manke always my favorite….love her bikes and cars. The windmill is so cute too!

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Karen Mikalauskas

Voted for sally. I want these patterns!

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Pat Barnes

Sally Manke is my favorite, she is an amazing fiber artist!

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Barbara Massey

Sally Manke is just absolutely AMAZING!!!!

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Sharon

SALLY MANKE
.. true artist ..

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Debra cole

Voted for Sally Manke love her work

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Mary Spriet

Ron Stefanek, very interesting & stunning! Pleasing to look at too. 2 nd choice is Sally monkey.

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Mary Spriet

Correction on Sallys name.

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Judy

Love those Sally Manke quilts!

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Wanda

Love Lori Millers designs

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Bev Koop

Sally Manke – absolutely a beautiful designer. Met her a few years ago on a quilt bus trip to Paducah.

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Beatriz

Lori Miller

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Denise Brooks

Sally Manke, love your design so inspiring . You get my vote.

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Susan Thomas

Sally Manke is my favorite. #2 Sarah Goer. But they are all wonderful! Congratulations to all on your beautiful work!

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AnnLouise Pugh

Not sure if my vote went through….the ballot was not very clear as how to use…..My vote was for Ronald Stefanak. There were several others that were very appealing but of the examples shown, I found Ron Stefanak’s work to be the most original.

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Kathy Hoenig

Voting Sally Manke

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Barbara Pye

Love Sally Manke

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Sandra J. Kotrba

Although all the designers were creative in design, use of color, etc. The one that stood out for me at first sight was Sally Manke’s. Her design flows and her use of color makes the design pop. Exceptional.

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Alice

Lori Miller!!!

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Susan Grancio

Sara Goer

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Celia

DEFINITELY SALLY MANKE! I have one of hers! I’m in love with that windmill! LOVE her stuff!

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Vicki

Sarah Overtons quilting is art, along with her color choices and piecing it’s a masterpiece. I’ve never seen such intricate quilting.

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Sheri Morrison

All of the quilts are beautiful. Such talent! Sara Goer is my choice.

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Debbie

Lovely quilts!

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suzanprincess

Not sure if just clicking on Lori Miller’s name counted as a vote, so noting her here also.

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Denise M. Breau

Sally Manke’s designs are my favorites!

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Jenny Anderson

Voting for Sally Manke.

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Kathy Winkelhake

Sally Manke is truly an artist who deepky loves her craft and shares it generously with others. She gets my vote although all are amazing!

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Linda Harrison

Love Sarah zovertons creativity!

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Kelly Penland

Trying to vote for Sarah Overton, pretty please. The site isn’t working correctly.

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Susan

Sally Manke gets my vote! Love her designs.

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Patt

Love this quilt. Want to make one myself.

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Deanna Draze

I tried to vote for Sally Manke but when I clicked on her name, it registered to the person above. Very disappointing because I loved Sally’s original designs.

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Donna Kuykendall

Sally Manke is the best. I clicked her name and hope that counted as a vote.

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Melody

Voting for Sarah Overton! Love her creativity. Love the Lennox!

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TP Pratt

Sarah Overton

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Danna Uyehara

Sally Manke all the way!

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Sheree

Sally Manke’s quilt spoke to me.

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Diane

I voted for Sally Manke but didnt get any confirmation. Hope my vote went through!!!

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Clairequilty

Sally Manke

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Christine OMalley

Cassandra Beaver! She’s an amazing artist and a great teacher.

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Phyllis

Vote for Lori miller

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Diana Winkler

Sally Manke

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Ann

Can’t vote on the page but I vote for Sally Manke

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Lynn Meadows

Not sure my vote processed. Sally Manke by far is my favorite from these designers.

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Bernie

I was unable to vote? Clicked on the name but nothing happened???

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Rosalind Gutierrez

Sally Manke stands out to me.

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Laura

I had the same problem with clicking on name and nothing happening. My vote is for Sally Manke.

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Quilting Tangent

Vote for Ronald Stefanak.

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Bobi Levine

My vote goes to Sarah Goer – her designs are great!!! Great teacher as well!

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johanna

Me, too. How do we know vote went through. There is no submit button.

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Rochelle

These decisions are so hard. Everyone of the designer/makers is supremely talented and deserving of this award. Good luck to all.

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Colleen

Ron Stefanak

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Roberta Pabst

Apparently I am also not allowed to vote. I would choose Sarah Goer. All of the finalists are amazing!

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Sandy Allenbaugh

Sally Manke

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Lauren

Also not sure if voting worked so SALLY MANKE!!

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Caroline Goldblat

I can not find a vote button either. I would vote for Sarah Goer.

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Lyn Morales

Voted for Sally Manke! Love love her work!!! So inspiring!

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Joelle

Sarah Goer!

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Elaine Schaefer

Sally Manke is the best!! Love all of her work!

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Emily

My vote is for Sally Manke! Such talent!

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Linda Guthrie

I choose sally manke but it would not let me vote?

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Patty

Sally Manke is my choice. Love her quilts.

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Carol Branch

I would vote for Sally Manke, her designs are so whimsical and beautiful and delicate…….love love love her!!

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Dorris Froese

Sally Manke!

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Deb

Vote Arianna Caggiano – her work truly defines the direction in which quilting will do lay a significant part in our today’s culture

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Catherine Newbill

I would like to vote for Sally Manke. Beautiful and whimsical, just the way I like it.

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Deb

Not sure if this voting format is working. I have voted for Sally Manke three times.

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