Postcard Competition

2014 Winners

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2014 winners postcard

2014 Competition Winner: Caitlin, Thorpe St. Andrew High School in Norwich

Congratulations to Caitlin, a year 9 student from Thorpe St. Andrew High School in Norwich, who is the winner of my Textiles Postcard competition. Also thanks go to Clare Fairy, Caitlin’s teacher for her support for Caitlin’s work.

Choosing a winner for the competition was extremely difficulty and much tougher than I anticipated. I enlisted the help of several teachers including those who attended the Textiles Teacher Open Day which was a couple of days after the closing date for the competition. 

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Caitlin’s work was chosen as the winner for a number of reasons. First of all the quality of the work is excellent with real attention to detail. A range of materials and components had been used, including more unusual materials such as the sweet wrappers. The theme had also been interpreted in an effective way but unusual way that wasn’t just a literal interpretation of the celebration theme. All of these were key criteria the judges were looking for from the winning entry. 

The background on Caitlin’s work was decorated with sweet wrappers stitched to the surface of the postcard. This really made her work stand out from the work of other entrants. The positioning of the coloured wrappers was effective and the stitching had been done carefully so that none of the wrappers ripped. 

The work was further embellished with flat appliqué and padded appliqué shapes, some of which were hand sew and some machined. Some were also decorated with sequins. 

The back of Caitlin’s work had as much attention to detail as the front. Decorating the back of the postcard wasn’t compulsory but entrants did have to include their name and contact details. Caitlin did this in a very effective way. 

Presenting The Prize

Caitlin’s prize was presented to her by Jan Wright, Sales Educator from Viking Sewing Machines who generously sponsored the prize. By an unusual coincidence, Jan lives in Norwich and actually went to Thorpe St. Andrew school herself! Caitlin said she still couldn’t believe she had won the prize and said that she has already been busy making several items and couldn’t wait to develop her textiles skills further. 

The Prize!

  • A Husqvarna Viking H Class 100Q sewing machine. This machine is great for beginners as well as for those that are more experienced sewers.
  • Compact, lightweight & easy to store 
  • Ideal features for beginners e.g. speed control, beeps if you forget to put your presser foot down when sewing, built in needle threader, needle stop up/down for easy corners and appliqué
  • Great additional features for the more adventurous sewer e.g. 20 built in utility and decorative stitches, buttonhole function, extra-high presser foot lift for stitching thick fabrics, fix function to tie off stitches neatly

Caitlin has found the machine easy to use and particularly likes the embroidery stitches. She has also found the speed dial useful to help her focus on some of the detail of her work as well as the built in needle threader. 

HUGE thank you to Coles Sewing Centre, Nottingham www.colessewingcentre.co.uk & Husqvarna Viking who sponsored this fantastic prize.  Check out the Coles Sewing Centre website or contact rose@colessewingcentre.co.uk if you are interested in this machine, or if you are interested in machine servicing or part exchange (they service any make or age of machine and are happy to travel across the country).

Runners Up

The quality of some work was so high that the decision was made to give out 3 small runner up prizes.  These prizes weren’t originally planned but it was felt that some of the work was so good it deserved recognition. 

Small runner up prizes were awarded to Caitlin Cross from Broughton Business and Enterprise College in Preston (teacher Mrs Purcell-Houghton), Jessica Lloyd from Wolverhampton Girls’ High School (teacher Mrs Sancha Wood), and Louisa Bowman from William Howard School in Cumbria (teacher Miss Gemma Gonzalez).

Jessica Lloyd visited the Sewing for Pleasure Show at the NEC to see her ‘royal baby’ competition entry on display. 


Commendation certificates were also awarded to 7 other pieces of work to acknowledge the efforts students had made. 

These were awarded to: Ebony Telford, Rebecca Robinson, Abi Marston and Imogen Davies all from William Howard School in Cumbria (teacher Miss Gemma Gonzalez), Amelia Tyler from South Hunsley School in North Ferriby (teacher Mrs Judith Pearson), Nicola Yates from The Wavell School in Farnborough (teacher Joanna Walford), Emily Ann Wells from Bitterne Park School in Southampton (teacher Miss K Staszkiewicz)

Nicola Yates visited the Sewing for Pleasure Show at the NEC to see her competition entry on display (the wedding & baby postcard in the image above)

Teacher Prize

It was clear so many teachers had worked incredibly hard supporting their students so a teacher prize was also added. This was awarded to Gemma Gonzalez from William Howard School in Cumbria. Gemma entered an impressive amount of work from students. What was impressive however was the consistent good quality of most of the work and how students had interpreted the theme in a range of creative ways. A range of techniques had been used on the work all to good effect. 

A small selection of the entries on display at the Textiles Teacher Open Day in November 2013. Teachers at the event helped choose the winner. 

What will happen to the entries?

Many thanks to everyone who entered the competition. Unfortunately entries can’t be returned but they will all be kept and displayed at various events I am running over the next year. 

The 2015 competition was featured in Sewing World magazine (Talented Teens, May 2014).

Aims of My Competitions

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  • To raise the profile of textiles and to get people talking about it
  • To motivate young people to think about textiles and to have a go
  • To provide prizes that provide schools with resources and equipment that helps them develop their curriculum
  • To provide teachers with project ideas, homework and activities that support curriculum development
  • To develop design skills, including: working to a design brief, interpreting a design theme, using inspiration, avoiding stereotyped and literal interpretations
  • To develop making skills, including: manipulating and handling materials, use of equipment, producing quality outcomes

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See competition winners from other years

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