Italia Invita 2: Competition winners

Before starting this new topic I’d like to go back to the previous Italia Invita post on the Japanese quilt artist Noriko Endo and confetti naturescapes.

Carolyn Foley of the Caro-rose blog commented that Noriko Endo and an Australian quilter, Ruth Bloomfield, began working on confetti quilts at around the same time and independently of each other. She includes a link to a behind the scenes look at Ruth Bloomfield’s work in her comment – go to the comments section of the previous post and check it out if you’re interested in a different approach to this technique.

Now for the competitions at Italia Invita…

Cerchio Internazionale/International Circle Competition

This was a national needlework competition for embroidery, lace or weaving. The requirements were that participants interpret their idea of internationalism in a circle of textile material or woven fibres of different kinds. The work had to be original and not previously exhibited.

There was a very interesting range of entries.  Each work was about the size of a dinner plate.

First prize went to this work called L’albero/The Tree by the group Atelier Merletto di Orvieto.


Circle with tree in Orvieto lace from italia Invita 2013

Orvieto is a small city in Umbria in central Italy and has one of the most dramatic locations in Italy – it sits on top of vertical cliffs that rise up over the surrounding plain. Because its setting made Orvieto a fortress it has rich layers of history – Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance. It’s also part of the very rich needlework history of Umbria.

Merletto is an Italian word for lace. Orvieto lace is a type of crochet lace with strong bas relief (raised) elements in the designs – in this case the tree motif.

The traditional bas relief motifs for this type of lace are based on those on the facade of Orvieto cathedral and include leaves, acanthus, vines, flowers, animals and figures. The bas relief effect is achieved by shaping the motifs with special irons. This must be a risky and difficult process for a beginner!

This competition piece was exquisite. The jury notes comment that it takes traditional needlework and interprets it in a contemporary way relevant to the theme of the competition. They also liked the  refined three dimensional presentation of the tree motif.

The Atelier Merletto di Orvieto had a booth at Italia Invita with beautiful work on display as well as information on their classes. Unfortunately they also had a sign up asking people not to take photos so I can’t show you any other examples of their lace.

Second Prize went to a very different kind of work:


Green circle with smaller circles from Italia Invita 2013

This piece was called ‘Ma che strano questo mondo..’/But how strange is this world… and was by Emanuela Micucci. The jury commended it for the originality of its design and colour composition and the fact that it was a fusion of different techniques.

Third prize also went to a contemporary piece called ‘il sole luminoso, vitale e internazionale’/ the sun – bright, vital and international by Maria Grazia Giacomini.

Orange contemporary lace circle from Italia Invita 2013

The jury highlighted the range of natural and metallic fibres  and weaving techniques used to create a very original work.

There were a couple of other entries in more traditional Italian styles that also caught my eye:

Lace circle with heart from Italia Invita 2013

Colourful embroidery circle from Italia Invita 2013

Thick geometric lace circle on net Italia Invita 2013

Art Quilt Competition

The theme for this national quilt competition was La Quadratura del Cerchio/ Squaring the Circle and here’s the winner of the art quilt section.


Art Quilt of globe from Italia Invita 2013

Free Pattern for heart scissors keep

If  you’re looking for a small project to do over the weekend then head over to Anna Scott’s blog and her post of 3 September. She’s gifting readers a small hearts and flowers design for a scissor keep, Christmas ornament or whatever takes your fancy!

Have a great weekend!

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