The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) announces its 2008 quilt block competition, open to everyone across the state. This year's theme, "Toast a Rising Star," highlights Texas' thriving and popular wine industry. As the nation's fifth-largest wine producing state with more than 220 family-owned vineyards covering 3,700 acres, the Texas wine industry contributes more than $1 billion annually to the state's economy.
This year, TDA is honored and delighted to have Janet Staples, wife of Commissioner Todd Staples, assisting the agency with the competition.
"This competition provides a great opportunity to work with fabulous, quality Texas materials while incorporating our great Texas creativity and spirit," said Mrs. Staples, an experienced quilter. "I'm very proud to be part of the process and am looking forward to the competition."
Each contest participant will use Texas natural fibers - cotton, mohair and leather - to create a quilt block design that will be submitted to TDA. A panel of judges will select the winning entries, which will be pieced together into a quilt and unveiled in TDA's Food and Fiber Pavilion at the 2008 State Fair of Texas in September. The quilt will become part of TDA's quilt collection and traveling natural fiber exhibition.
As the country's leading producer of wool and mohair, Texas has earned a global reputation for superior quality and durability among international textile buyers. Texas also leads the nation in cotton production and is a major producer of hides for leather and suede.
This year's contest sponsors include Hobbs Bonded Fibers of Waco, Joy's Fabrics & Quilts in Godley, P & B Textiles of Dallas and the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers' Association. This year's final quilt will once again be designed and constructed by Terri Vogds of Denton and will be quilted by Johanna Iaia of Denton.
To help defray the cost of the material packets, postage and the statewide travel and display of the quilt, a $12 donation for each participant packet is requested. The packets contain the natural fiber fabrics to be used in the design along with tips and techniques for developing the block and more information about the contest theme. To participate in the 2008 quilt block competition, call (877) 99GO-TEX or download a participant form by visiting our Tips and More page at www.gotexan.org. The deadline for submissions is June 5, 2008.