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"Polar Vortex"
Local quilter misses out on show thanks to coronavirus posted on 09/01/2020

A blue and white quilt, titled “Polar Vortex,” created by Welches resident Jean Ludeman took a trip to Paducah, Ken. this year. Unfortunately, Ludeman did not.


The quilt was accepted for the American Quilter’s Society’s (AQS) QuiltWeek, a quilt show featuring hundreds of quilters from around the world, competing for ribbons and awards. The show was initially scheduled for April, then rescheduled for September and finally cancelled altogether, all due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thankfully, the quilt made its way back to Ludeman earlier this summer.

“It’s been like many things for many people, it’s been a roller coaster ride,” she said, noting that it now resides in her dining room. “The disappointment of not being able to go and see it hanging was difficult, but certainly understandable under the conditions we’re in right now.”

Ludeman started sewing garments when she was nine years old and has sewn on and off her entire life. When she was close to retirement, she took a class to make table runners, then got serious about quilting in 2005.

“I enjoy selecting the fabrics and figuring out the patterns; I like the challenge,” Ludeman said, adding that she does all kinds of quilting, including applique, landscapes, portraits and more. “I enjoy it all. I think it's the challenge of finding the right fabric in creating the look you want.”

Ludeman, who quilts on average five days each week, got the pattern for “Polar Vortex” a few years ago, noting the person who designed it had done it with primary colors. Looking to do something different, her vision was a quilt featuring gradation of blues and whites.

She finished it last September and it was included in quilt shows in Portland and the Columbia River Gorge, where it received multiple first place ribbons. Ludeman noted that judges at shows look very closely at each quilt, including the stitching, design, matching of points and more.

“Quilting shows are very competitive,” she said. “It gets very detailed toward the end, picking which is best. I was honored to receive all those ribbons.”

Ludeman added that she has been to the AQS QuiltWeek twice before, but this was to be the first time with one of her quilts. The show typically lasts up to four days, including classes and vendors offering the latest tools and patterns.

But she may get another chance to see her quilt there, as she plans on submitting “Polar Vortex” for the 2021 show.

“It’s hard to know whether it will be juried in a second time, but we’ll hope,” Ludeman said.

By Garth Guibord/MT




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