Donna Douglass displays her quilt, ‘A Walk in the Woods,’ that received accolades from the prestigious American Quilter’s Society.

By Gwen Rollings

“It is a big deal if your quilt has been accepted for consideration into American Quilter’s Society QuiltWeek,” said the executive show director, Bonnie Browning.

The American Quilter’s Society, the largest quilting membership organization in the world, recently announced to Apollo Beach resident Donna Douglass that her quilt was a big deal. She was accepted as a contestant with her quilt, ‘A Walk in the Woods,’ at AQS QuiltWeek in Paducah, Kentucky.

AQS QuiltWeek in Paducah features over 400 quilts from around the world with entries from 41 states and 16 countries and involves hundreds of quilters competing in the AQS Quilt Contest.

Browning explained, “Because of the recent health concerns, QuiltWeek is now being held September 2-5. Due to these developments, and in consideration of the rescheduling impact on our quilters, we have doubled the cash award money. The total amount awarded will be slightly over $200,000 with first prize winner receiving $40,000.”

For Douglass’s quilt to be considered one of ‘the best of the best’ by AQS, it went through a series of juried examinations. Initially, quilts are judged from images sent in by applicants, then the best quilts are requested and evaluated by the judges personally before official acceptance into the contest.

Douglass is not new to winning awards for her quilts. “I won the Best Hand Manship Award at the Daytona show several years ago, and it was exciting hearing I was accepted this year for consideration.”

Douglass said she always wanted to quilt, but when her husband took an early retirement about 18 years ago, she finally had the time and availability to learn. She continues to quilt with a Tampa group these days. Along with about five other friends, Douglass plans to attend the QuiltWeek in Paducah to see all the contest quilts as well as hundreds of special exhibit quilts on display.

Congratulations to Bonnie Douglass, because, as Browning said, “Just being accepted means you’ve already won.”

Although true…that prize money would be nice, too! For more information about AQS, visit or call 270-898-7903.

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