Meet Our 2022 Creative Pride Contest Winners!

Written by Kate Curry

Darn Good Yarn is proud to foster a community of love, human dignity, and creativity. In celebration of Pride Month in June, DGY invited LGBTQIA+ fiber artists to share their creations and stories with us for the DGY  creative pride contest (formerly known as the DGY pride scholarship). This contest was created in 2020 by our queer team members to uplift the voices of our rainbow community and support their future creativity! We are grateful to everyone who took the time to apply for this year's contest and every single applicant was incredible in their own unique ways.

This year, two artists were selected to receive a $1,000 DGY gift card to put toward their next creations. Both of these artists wowed our DGY team with their creativity and meaningful responses to our survey. We are so excited to introduce you to our 2022 creative pride contest winners! 

Winner #1 Carolyn J Mann
Carolyn, a woman with white hair and glasses is posing in front of one of her fiber art pieces.

Tell us a little bit about yourself! 

At 70 I guess I am an elder, but I feel young at heart and seek to keep up with the times. My Partner/spouse and I have been together for nearly 37 years. We live on a farm in rural Ohio. 

Professionally I was a Church Pastor for over 25 years but I have been working professionally in the sewing/quilting world for the last 20 years. I am now mostly retired and doing fiber art on a daily basis when I am not traveling or doing other fun stuff.

How did you  get into fiber art?

I have been sewing and crafting since I was a child. I was active in 4-H, took lots of art classes both in High School and College and just plain live to create. I like to help people who cannot make things themselves bring their ideas into reality. I custom design quilts and wall art for others. I have made Church Paraments for many Churches working with committees to create works that are meaningful to them. The things I do have a contemporary look.

What are some of your favorite creations? (We picked a few of our favorites!!!) 

A circular quilted maze that is a mix of green, brown, and purple fabric.
Outside, in front of a field of flowers, three quilted panels are hung off of a black metal rack. The panels are yellow, white, and black. The theme of the quilts is women's suffrage, with the names and quotes of famous suffragettes
A gorgeous quilt with a golden star in the center, circled by 5 interlocking brown rings. The rest of the quilt is a patchwork of different blues and teals
A quilt with a gorgeous blue sky, white clouds, twisting branches, with a golden deer skull in the center.

Which aspects of your life have inspired your art the most?

I think nature, travel and social commitment most inspire me in my work.

What advice would you give to young LGBTQAI+ artists who are just starting to create?

Be willing to experiment. Don't go for perfection all the time but be willing to hone your skills as you go. Do what makes you happy. Don't expect to get rich on your art! 

Do you have anything planned for the future- whether that be in your life or for your art?

I want to finish my many unfinished projects. I want to use up my stash of crafting and fabric supplies! I want to find more ways of making a statement with my art and have it seen by others. 

Winner #2 Abby Collins
An amigurumi doll of snow white holding a little red apple.

Tell us a little bit about yourself! 

I'm a crocheting lesbian and a single mama of one sassy little girl! 

How did you  get into fiber art?

I've been sewing since I was a child, and got into knitting for a little while but always thought crocheted things look cooler. I taught myself using YouTube videos and Pinterest patterns, and here we are! 

What are some of your favorite creations?

An amigurumi doll of Yoda, a green alien from Star Wars, when we was a baby.
Three yellow and black amigurumi bees are hanging out in a little ceramic bowl.
A blonde amigurumi mermaid doll is resting on a couch with a matching mermaid tail blanket
A gorgeous pastel bag is resting on a dark table, decorated with a long white lacy runner.

Which aspects of your life have inspired your art the most?

My daughter mostly. I like making things she likes. 

What advice would you give to young LGBTQAI+ artists who are just starting to create?

Don't be afraid to express yourself - every bit of your loud, colorful, awesome self! And don't be scared to mess up. I've done it plenty of times but it never stopped me :)

Do you have anything planned for the future- whether that be in your life or for your art?

I want to become a successful novelist and sell my crochet items at a craft fair! 

Meet the Author

Profile picture of the author, Kate Curry, wearing a dark red Nanda Poncho sitting on concrete stairs in front of brick wall.

Kate has been on the Darn Good Yarn team since 2018.

They have their degree in Creative Art Therapy & Psychology - and like crafting and animals a little too much.