The 2022 International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas selected Angela Petrocelli’s “Beyond Reason” for their Best of Show Award. Petrocelli, who resides in Prescott Valley, AZ only has done three quilts and all three have won accolades.
"Beyond Reason" a gorgeous quilt measuring 96" by 96" consists of 226,576 pieces. The quilt has seven grades of value with at least 25 different colors in each grade, plus of course black. It was on display in Houston in November and will be shown at various 2023 American Quilter's Society (AQS) shows. From a distance, it appears monochromatic, but up close you see the incredible, colorful details. (insert Beyond Reason Award Winning Quilt)
Her first quilt, "Why Not" won numerous awards including two awards at the 2016 AQS Paducah, KY show. When working on her second quilt “Celtic Migration”, which has over 30,000 pieces of fabric (nearly 8,000 flying geese blocks) she complained to others it was far too many pieces. Someone mentioned that Albert Small held a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Record for the most pieces in a quilt with over 123,000. That inspired her to see if she could design an even more intricate quilt.
It took Petrocelli about three months to first design this quilt pattern. She worked out a design and then would test it to see if it was functional. When she finally finished the design, she thought "I can do this and I knew this design would work." With her husband's encouragement, she started on her journey; a long, long journey!
Petrocelli stated she bought most of her fabric from one fabric store in Mesa, AZ. The entire quilt took over 6,000 hours. The first 75,000 pieces of the quilt seemed to fly by, but the middle portion was tiring and seemed to take forever. The last 75,000 pieces also zipped by but facing the deadline to submit the quilt for judging, she worked solely on the quilt for sixteen hours a day. She found the quilting portion of her work the most frustrating and stated she often looked at the pieced fabric with scissors.
Both Petrocelli’s mother and grandmother had quilted, but that craft had not initially interested her. She had done hand embroidery and crocheting but was looking for something more creative. One evening, in 2013, while needing a break from her craft work she went to a nearby casino and won $900. That inspired her to drive down to Mesa, AZ (about a two-hour drive) and buy her first Janome sewing machine.
She is a devoted Janome sewing machine fan, noting "they just don't break". She uses a Janome 3160 for the piecing, along with an HD9 and a Continental M7 from Janome.
She only does one quilt at a time and is taking a few months off to rest up and clear her mind. I can understand why, but sure hope the next quilt does not take that long. I can’t wait to see what she dreams up next!
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