Art Quilt Prize for Swan Quilt by Hilde van Schaardenburg

We were delighted to receive a phone call last week from The Cotton Patch's Handi Quilter Ambassador Hilde van Schaardenburg who was at the Open European Quilt Championships in the Netherlands. She had won First Prize in the Art Quilt Category at the Championship!

Hilde van Schaardenburg
Here Hilde shares some of her inspiration and thoughts on the quilt - it is the first one that she has entered in a competition using her Handi Quilter HQ18 Avante, As she doesn't have a lot of space and generally works on small quilts she has the frame set up at 6'.

We hope you enjoy reading about Hilde and her quilt entitled The Threatened Swan which is based on an old master painting. You can read more about Hilde van Schaardenburg on her website

Hilde will be teaching at The Cotton Patch in 2015 - look out for more details on our website!

The Threatened Swan

2014 146 x 93 cm

Threatened Swan Quilt by Hilde van Schaardenburg

Detail of Threatened Swan Quilt by Hilde van Schaardenburg

Translated and edited from an original interview by Ineke Schotanus / Quiltkompas 2014.

For Hilde van Schaardenburg the theme of the Open European Quilt Championships "Old Masters" was very challenging but in a positive sense. In order to achieve this required research and preparation. The examination and definition of exactly what the term "Old Master" meant - it relates to works from the heyday of the Dutch and Flemish painters of the 17th century, including many of the works in the National Museums in Amsterdam and Haarlem. With her knowledge of and experience of their paintings her appreciation for the work of these artists increased enormously. 

One thing that was immediately clear was the choice of work. "The Threatened Swan" by Jan Asselijn. "I knew the work, but had not previously considered doing anything about it. When this subject came up, I did not think about it very long. I knew immediately: this is it ".
The next step for Hilde was to go to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where her Swan is in the hall of fame where the Night Watch Masterpiece by Rembrandt hangs. To her surprise and joy she could take as many pictures as she wanted, even close ups.

"What fascinates me is how the painter could portray it as it is. Remember that at that time they could not take pictures. How could he view this and get it so lifelike, the exact moment in which this swan, a female, is startled by a little black dog, which is in the left corner of the painting. "

Through the research of the painting and the empathy that developed with the painter her understanding of his art deepened, and therefore her admiration of him. "This is another part of my qualification as a quilt judge." (Hilde is a certified quilt judge after a two-year course with the Quilters Guild in the UK).

Another decision for Hilde: how to reproduce this Jan Asselijn piece.

The Threatened Swan by Jan Asselijn

She decided to make a study of the crackle of the painting and this is where she started to work very intensively. "What/how breaks paint on canvas? I made ​​all kinds of sketches of this type of line, to make me familiar with it. I had to think of a solution for how to break up short lines and portray these through a continuous line, using the HQ18 Avante longarm. "

After all these preparations, she worked with Corinne Zambeek-van Hasselt, an expert in dyeing fabric, to develop a cloth with the background colors of the painting, the beige and blue. Onto that cloth Hilde then applied the crackle lines. She has a part of the work - the head and a wing - painted here. This part is increased by means of a halftone technique. It is deliberately not a copy, but becomes an interpretation of the original.

The result was then again worked on the longarm. At this stage, it was further painted with yarn: the head, the feathers, to create the finishing touches. As a final part she decided to add some Swarovski crystals, in chalky-white, marble and opal white, blue and green.
Remarkably, her response when I ask her what she likes by the result. "I'm a little overwhelmed by what came out. But I'm satisfied. It is good. "

Hilversum, October 20, 2014

Ineke Schotanus, QuiltKopas

Details of the Quilt:

Dyed cotton, textile paint, Swarovski Hotfix crystals

Quilting with the Longarm quilting machine Handi Quilter HQ18 Avanté, painting on fabric

“The threatened Swan” 1650 by Jan Asselijn (1610-1652)  
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam/The Netherlands

A swan fiercely defends its nest against a dog.
During the aging process of an “Old Master" painting cracks are formed. I have depicted this phenomenon in my quilt.

2014 Open European Quilt Championships/Veldhoven/The Netherlands

“Trophy for Art”


Geoff Sewell said…
Absolutely marvellous. A magnificent interpretation of the original work of art. Truly a masterpiece in it's own right.

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