The 20th Annual Brother International Quilting Contest

And the winners are...

Thank you to all the contestants who have entered their quilts in our 2020 Brother South Africa Quilting Contest. It was a tough job, but the judges have adjudicated and the winners have been chosen. Our South African quilts will now head to Japan to compete in the International edition of the Brother Quilting Contest for 2020.

South African Prize Winners 2020

Automatic Finalists for Japanese Contest


Alet Davy - Pretoria


Susan Grobbelaar - Nelspruit


Mariss Stevens - Grahamstown

Outstanding Performances 2020

Selected as Finalists for Japanese Contest


Tilly de Harde - Johannesburg


Elaine Barnard - Newcastle


Tilly de Harde - Johannesburg

Mystery Judges’ Choice 2020

Selected by Suzen Bornman as a Finalist for Japanese Contest


Elaine Barnard - Newcastle

Fan’s Choice Winner 2020

Selected as a Finalist for Japanese Contest


Frances Manson - Alberton

South African Fan Votes

Thank you to all the quilting fans for casting your Fan Vote in this year’s contest. Over 2,000 votes were cast!

The winner of the Fan Choice is awarded a R1,000 cash prize.


Contest Ended


Frances Manson

The African sky, our wildlife roaming free. Many of us are lucky enough to see these beautiful animals in the wild but some can only see them in a photo. Inspired by many trips to Kruger Park. My own photo.

267 Votes

Tilly de Harde

The colour purple is definitely one of my favourite colours and I decided to express my love for the colour in a quilt. Designing my own quilts and patterns, Handwork as well as machine work as well as the ability to design my own quilts and patterns, are some of my most favourite things to do as can be seen everywhere in this piece. I expressed my love for handwork in the centre design by doing candle wicking and continuous chainstitch for the flower design. Then I used Swarovski crystal beads to draw attention to the petals. Trapunto quilting was used in the hearts in the centre. I machine quilted the rest of the quilt.

219 Votes

Elaine Barnard

During the Corona Virus lock down I came to realise that I cannot live without fresh vegetables. This is my own original design. I used a combination of free motion machine embroidery and hand embroidery, appliqué and quilting. Cotton, silk, linen, felt, tulle, velvet, lamé fabrics, uncarded silk and wool yarns were used.

182 Votes

Tilly de Harde

My favourite place to live is Joburg. All my favourite things to do are in and around Joburg and I just love the vibe here! One can almost feel the heartbeat of the city which is also the commercial heart of Gauteng. As most people know, 40% of the world's gold is found in the Joburg region giving the city the nickname of 'EGOLI' which means 'PLACE OF GOLD' in Sotho and Zulu. This was my inspiration for this quilt. I used 100% blue cotton fabric and the same shade of blue machine embroidery thread to quilt it and afterwards I used a gold oil paint stick to highlight it.

142 Votes

Susan Grobbelaar

When in my sewing room, my cat is always there to keep me company. Sewing quilts and clothes, bags and cushions, is my whole life. I cannot imagine my life without a sewing machine. I love designing and painting with a brush, or crafting something with a piece of fabric and thread.
My love for classical music keeps us happy and inspired for many hours a day. A sleeping cat on the ironing board, or a cat that sometimes comes to look for love while I am busy with a piece of fabric under the sewing machine, is a regular occurrence. My sewing table is is the perfect sleeping place for my cat; or at least so he thinks!

It was the first time ever that I had to plan and paint a picture in my head of all my favourite things together. I never thought these things will end up together on a quilt! Such a lovely and fun theme to work with! It was not work at all!

134 Votes

Elaine Barnard

We all know about Popeye's love affair with spinach! This is my own original design. I used a combination of free motion machine embroidery and hand embroidery, appliqué and quilting. Cotton, silk, linen, felt, tulle, velvet, lamé fabrics, uncarded silk and wool yarns were used.

121 Votes

Elsje Janse van Rensburg

I am a Honorary Ranger and I see the most exciting and amazing nature scenes ever.

119 Votes

Mariss Stevens

One of my favourite activities is gardening. The quilt "Garden of Delights" is a reflection of this. The appliquéd garden trowel is intentionally oversized so that it stands out against a heavily hand stitched background. Perle thread in shades of green and brown are stitched and quilted onto an Amafu hand dyed block print. The leaf patterns, squares, triangles and lines printed onto the fabric represent the foliage and structural elements of a garden and these patterns are subtly accentuated through the hand stitching. The beautifully wrought forked trowel has a wooden handle and stainless steel prongs and these have been represented with hand dyed brown fabric and lamé. To accentuate the steel material the lamé has been heavily overstitched by machine.

99 Votes

Gerda Wolmarans

My children and I truly enjoy our trips to Sodwana. In the beginning it was only me out on the boat. Hubby used to look after them. They could dive with me from 12 years old. Surita joined and Dirk had to wait another year. He was so upset! Now hubby stays at home and the three of us go to our trip. Hubby also bought me a 4×4 so we could go on the beach and relax after a long, exhausting diving day. We dive with Twobar diving school (makes the anemone with the Twobar fish special to see on the reef.)
At the 9 mile reef there is the most beautiful green coral tree with hundreds of yellow Goldie fish. The Clown Trigger fish, and The Moorish Idols are favourites of mine. Also the plate coral and other sponges.
The three divers are a representation of us three, Surita pink, Dirk lime green and my red fins.

93 Votes

Elsje Janse van Rensburg

Sanparks Mapungubwe is one of the most amazing National Parks in South Africa and is famous for their rock fig trees. It is truly my favourite place to be.

93 Votes

Diane Passmore

The concept of my quilt is reflections. I was inspired by a large wall hanging I completed 6 months ago which was made up of swans and lilies at sunrise. It is my own idea and not copied. The large wall hanging takes pride of place in my sun room and truly is "My Favourite Thing" and an original work of art.

82 Votes

Gwyneth Perry

I have a great love of the ocean as well as of living creatures. I decided to try and combine both of these loves of mine into one artwork. I have a number of wild rabbits in the neighbourhood where I live and I really enjoyed their company during the pandemic lock down. So I was very inspired to do a portrait of one of the bunnies who visited my garden regularly between March and July 2020.

73 Votes

Surita Joubert

I love planting and nursing my succulents. My family always bring me cuttings of their succulents for me to nurse, and I also make cuttings of succulents that I find beautiful. My quilt is a representation of a photo taken in my father's garden. The pot with succulents is standing on a little wall or bench with ferns growing through the cracks of the bench.
Before I plant my cuttings of succulents, I put them in water so that they sprout roots and become stronger so that they can survive easier in the ground. After I plant them, they make new leaves faster, as well as new sprouts. Each of them blooms once a year, making the garden full of red, pink, white and yellow flowers.

72 Votes

Bev Barr

My crazy, insane sewing space makes me the woman I am... sheer inspiration.

69 Votes

Angela Fraser

As well as one of my favourite things, our oceans are beautiful treasure troves that we need to do more to preserve. This inspired me to make a quilt depicting an under water scene of diverse marine flora and fauna, to show case their beauty. It is a small way to highlight the need for people to stop polluting the oceans before it's too late.

65 Votes

Brenda Williams

The inspiration for this quilt started with a 'scribble pattern' using batik fabrics in my favourite colours and over-laid with hatching stitches. I created lace and Angelina Fibre circles to add texture and glitz and finished off with a scattering of beads to add an extra tactile element to the pebbling and puffiness of the circles. I would like this quilt to be experienced in both a visual and a tactile way. My passion for creating a beautiful garden using all the elements mentioned above and more, has influenced this quilt.

64 Votes

Liesl Bolze

The inspiration for my quilt comes from my love of walking outdoors in nature. From barefoot beach walks with my dog to booting up and walking the Camino. I am happiest enjoying the simple pleasures of the outdoors and nature. I have done the Camino de Santiago twice, along two different routes which is depicted in my quilt. I enjoy exploring the roads less travelled and the deep sense of calmness and serenity that walking in nature brings me. I have created a landscape scene in which I've included the beach, which I am lucky enough to walk daily with my dog. I have included a lighthouse which is symbolic in the sense of the light which guides me through life. Crossing the bridge on my quilt takes you along the Camino de Santiago, following the ever present yellow arrows and the symbolic scallop shell and sunrise. I've used a mixed media of appliqué, machine and hand embroidery and a variety of quilting techniques as befits a new quilter. I hope you enjoy the journey that my quilt takes you on.

61 Votes

Annatjie Swanepoel

 In memory of the best dogs we ever owned, one of which lost the fight against blindness in this Covid period.

55 Votes

Alet Davy

I tried to depict African, handmade claypots with different dyed fabrics and embellishments in a traditional ethnic style. The grey mosaic background creates interest and enhance the pots.

52 Votes

Gwyneth Perry

I love Spring and I love doing improv piecing. So, I decided to combine the two. This quilt visually demonstrates the new sprouts of life emerging out of the burnt and dry winter ground indicating that there is always hope and life always returns in the Spring.

42 Votes

Erentia du Toit

My marmoset monkey, Olaf, was my inspiration to do a photo quilt. It's all been done on my Brother Luminaire Innov-is XP1.

39 Votes

Bev Barr

I love coral colours and added the bees, my personal symbol, to show how I buzz around.

39 Votes

Marietjie Coetzee

I like flowers and country cottages and I love pink and green colours.

10 Votes

2020 Quilt Contest Judges

Suzen Bornman-01

Suzen Bornman

SAQG Accredited Quilting Teacher

Suzen Bornman is an award winning quilter who has exhibited her work in South Africa and other international countries. Suzen is an Accredited SAQG Teacher and has taught quilting techniques nationally, at several National Quilt Festivals and also at the Natal Quilt Indaba.

Suzen has received numerous awards in various national quilt festivals over the last few years and is continuously taking part in national quilting challenges. She has participated in various travelling exhibitions in South Africa and was invited to take part in the International Movie Directors exhibit which was showcased in France, Japan and Ireland. One of Suzen’s quilts has been on exhibit at the World Quilt Exhibition and her work has been published in the ‘Laslap & Kwilt’ publication by Lapa Publishers. She is constantly expanding her quilting knowledge through various avenues, such as travelling to Bali for a Textile Tour and taking classes at the Houston Festival.

Suzen is a member of Quadrille Quilters and the Golden Rand Guild Quilters Guild.


Sandra de Wet

Director: INTERCHANGE South African National Quilt Festival 2019

Based in Johannesburg, she has been an avid quilter for the past 40 years, using fabric and threads to express her creativity. She appreciates the strong worldwide quilting traditions but even more that quilting keeps reinventing itself to keep pace with modern times.

Sandra enjoys learning, experimenting and meeting with fellow quilters. She is committed to growing the public interest in quilt making. Sandra loves quilt competitions! She enjoys both making her entry and then seeing all the wonderful works on show. 


Doreen Crause

Accredited Quilt Judge

Doreen started quilting in 1998 when she joined the Outeniqua Quilter’s Guild, but has been sewing since primary school.

She visited the International Quilt Show in Houston during October 2009 and attended lectures and workshops by well known quilters Libby Lehman and Hollis Chatelain. During September 2013 Doreen was part of a group of quilters who took South African Quilts to France to exhibit at the 19th European Patchwork Meeting, where they received many compliments on their use of colour and good workmanship.

Doreen qualified as an accredited National Quilt Judge in 2011. Since then she has judged regional shows at Riversdal, Outeniqua and the Diaz Spring show in 2015. She have scribed at the NQF Stellenbosch in 2011 and has also juried and scribed at the NQF Bloemfontein 2013 as well as NQF Johannesburg 2019. Doreen has also judged at the NQF Port Elizabeth in 2017.

Doreen is currently a member of both Jacaranda and Outeniqua Quilter’s Guilds.


Jenny Hearn

Accredited Quilt Judge

Jenny has a broad academic and practical experience in the visual arts. With a BA degree in Art History and English, a higher diploma in Library Science and Diplomas in Interior Design and Architectural Draughting, Jenny is also an accredited Quilt Judge.

Jenny is a member of the art quilt groups Fibreworks and Tagg in South Africa and SAQA in America. In the fibre art field, she has studied extensively and has exhibited in both national and international shows where she has won awards. She has a piece in the permanent collection of the M.A.D. Gallery in New York, and quilts in both private and corporate collections. Her work has been published in various books and magazines including “Masters: Art Quilters”.

Jenny has judged in Bulawayo and Harare; locally for home based groups; was a jurist for the 2008 National Festival; and was a judge for the 2011 South African Quilt Festival. She is passionate about quilting and of course, collecting fabric!

Great prizes to be won

Our South African judging panel will select winning quilts from the entries submitted. The winners will receive the following prizes:


  • 1st Prize of a Brother F420 Sewing Machine
  • 2nd Prize of R3,000
  • 3rd Prize of R2,000
  • Fan’s Choice Prize of R1,000

All quilt entries will be presented on the web site for a Fan Vote. The winning Fan’s Choice quilt will be awarded R1,000.

2020 Quilt Contest Requirements


All quilts must conform to the following criteria to be eligible for the Contest:

  • The THEME for 2020 is “My Favourite Things”
  • The quilt should be 70 x 70cm (within 5cm)
  • Quilts should consist of 3 complete layers; top fabric, quilting cotton and back fabric; all sewn together
  • Use any quilting technique but do not frame your quilt
  • A hanging sleeve of 10cm must be sewn on to accommodate the hanging pole
  • A label with your name, contact number, email address and country must be sewn onto the back in the bottom right hand corner
  • Your quilt must be an original artwork
  • Do not use copyrighted material without permission
  • Your quilt may not have been entered in any other contests
  • You may enter more than one quilt
  • Each quilt entered requires a separate entry form and R100 entry fee.


  • Please ensure your quilt is securely wrapped and packaged to avoid damage while in transit
  • Packaging should be waterproof
  • Make sure your Entry Form and Proof of Payment is included in the package.


All quilts must be received at Brother Head Office in Irene by Monday, 14 October 2020. Quilts can be delivered by hand, post or courier to:

Angelique McGrath, Brother Head Office, 96 Sovereign Drive, Route 21 Corporate Park, Irene, 0157

You may send more than one quilt in the same package. Please ensure that EACH quilt has an entry form and proof of payment attached.

Please note:

  • All costs of quilt delivery to be covered by the entrant
  • Brother International South Africa will not be responsible for quilts lost or damaged during transit
  • We will confirm receipt of your Quilt package by email, please ensure we have your correct email address
  • Do not send your quilt to any other address other than Brother Head Office. Brother South Africa will not be liable for quilts that are shipped to the incorrect address.

Terms & Conditions


  • The Contest is open to residents of South Africa and sub-Saharan African Countries
  • Brother staff members, dealers and distributors are NOT eligible to enter the contest
  • Each quilt entered requires a separate entry form and R100 entry fee
  • No cash will be accepted at Brother premises
  • More than one quilt may be submitted in the same package
  • Entries must reach Brother Head Office, Irene, on or before 14 October 2020
  • Quilts received after the closing date will not be eligible for judging
  • Quilts must conform to the design criteria listed under Quilt Requirements


  • Judges will be selected from the Quilting community and announced at a later stage
  • Brother staff members and distributors will not be on the judging panel
  • Judging will take place in one location only
  • The Judges decision is final.


  • The closing date for entries is 14 October at Brother Head Office. Quilts received after this time will not be eligible for the contest
  • If the entry fee is not paid by the closing date, the quilt will not be eligible for the contest
  • Winners will be announced in the first week of November.

PRIZE WINNERS – South Africa

  • The top 5 winning quilts as adjudicated by the Judges will win cash prizes
  • These quilts will be entered into the 20th Annual Brother Quilting Contest in Japan
  • Quilts not selected as winners in the South African contest will be available for collection from 12 November or will be shipped back to the entrants

PRIZE WINNERS – Global Contest

  • The 5 winning quilts will be sent to Japan and entered into the 20th Annual Brother Quilting Contest
  • Evaluation of the Global Contest will take place at the end of December and winners will be notified in March 2021
  • Winning quilts will be displayed at various Brother International events during 2021 before being returned
  • Quilts not selected as winners in the Global Contest will be returned to South Africa
  • Entrants agree that the rights to display, publish and advertise winning quilts is retained by Brother Industries, LTD.
  • In order to return your quilt, please ensure your contact details are clearly stated on your Entry Form as well as on your quilt.