Tag Archives: applique

Australian Quilt Convention – Part 3 (Last part)

There are two major displays of award winning quilts at the Australian Quilt Convention each year. One is the ‘Rajah Award’. This is named after the historical quilt,  The Rajah Quilt, which was made by female convicts on the ship ‘Rajah’, as they were transported from England to Van Dieman’s Land (now called Tasmania), in 1841. Follow the link to learn more about the significance of this appliquéd coverlet, for it’s relevance to presenting the award, in recognition of the ‘outstanding contribution to quilting in Australia’.

Rajah Quilt

‘Rajah Quilt’ courtesy of National Gallery of Australia.

The displayed works of the previous year’s award winner are always a delight to behold. Michele Hill, the winner of the 2014 Rajah Award, is internationally famous for her William Morris designs and love of appliqué. These are just a few from her extensive body of work that were on display.

Michele Hill

‘William De Morgan Sampler’ by Michele Hill.

Michele Hill

‘Woven Morris Glows Again’ by Michele Hill.

Michele Hill

‘Thorngrove Manor Quilt’ by Michele Hill.

Then we come to the ‘Best of Australia” quilts. The ‘Best of Show’ quilts from the previous years’ major exhibition held by each State and Territory Guild, is displayed and judged for the ‘Best of Australia’ award. It must be a difficult task in deciding this award, as each quilt is both beautiful to behold and exquisitely constructed, as well as being so technically different.

I was fortunate to be on ‘Quilt Angel’ white glove duty, when one of the quilt makers visited her quilt with her daughter. Linda White‘s (Victorian entry), original design of Elenor Jean‘, ‘comprises approximately 22,500 1/4″ hexagons! While I have the utmost admiration for this Herculean task, there is no way I would ever contemplate even thinking about attempting such small hexagons. Little did we know that 24 hours after this photo was taken, it was announced as the winning quilt – well deserved for endurance alone!

Linda White

‘Elenor Jean’ by Linda White, winner of ‘Best of Australia 2015’.

Rose Lewis‘s (Australian Capital Territory entry) quilt was amazingly heavy to lift. The extensive trapunto brought to life the three dimensional trees, and the dense tiny quilting was appreciated more by seeing it from the back. Viewers had to peer closely to see the hidden creatures cleverly stitched in amongst the flowers and leaves.

Rose Lewis

‘Through the Garden Gate’ by Rose Lewis.

The hand quilting of Janet Treen‘s red and green quilt (New South Wales entry), was magnificant. I enjoy hand quilting with a 12 wt Aurafil thread and a utility stitch. I think that’s where I’ll stay – stab stitching I can do it much faster, than when I have a go at the ‘rocking method’ most likely used to get those amazingly tiny uniform stitches on this quilt.

Janet Treen

‘Coxcomb and Currants’ by Janet Treen.

The bright colours of Kaffe Fasset fabrics makes Joanne Johnson’s (Queensland entry), medallion appliqué a happy modern quilt. The eye travels around the quilt taking in the many fabrics used in the borders and comes to rest on the delightful Baltimore style vase of flowers.

Joanne Johnson

‘Summer Rhapsody’ by Joanne Johnson

With 10.000 1″ squares hand pieced, no wonder Melody Symes (Western Australia entry), named her work ‘Perseverance’. The unusual quilting method subtly complimented the quilt. A single embroidery ‘fly stitch’ in each square – so that makes 10.000 embroidery stitches as well! – kept the look and feel of the top without it being overtaken by lines of quilting.

Melody Symes

‘Perseverance’ by Melody Symes

Melody Symes

Close up of the embroidery ‘fly stitch’ used for quilting ‘Perseverance’ by Melody Symes

A work of art using multiple shiny and metallic threads over acrylic painted fabric, by Sue Domeney (Tasmanian entry) certainly made the connection to New Year’s Eve fireworks high in the sky over a city just near you.

Sue Domeney

‘Heavens Above’ by Sue Domeney.

Elizabeth McCallum (Northern territory entry), made clever use of a large print fabric as broderie perse over tea dyed fabric, for the ‘Chinese Coins for Tigers’. The browns and reds are so redolent of a camouflaged tiger.

Elizabeth McCallum

‘Chinese Coins for Tigers’ by Elizabeth McCallum.

This was a stunner! The back looked equally as good, if not better as the backing fabric was like a pale blue watercolour. Rachelle Denneny’s (South Australian entry) free motion machine quilting, using two different coloured threads and trapunto, gave the pattern an elegant lofty lift. Many viewers stood almost stunned at the amount perfect quilting repeated for every block.

Rachelle Denenny

‘A Touch of Blue’ by Rachelle Denneny.

Rachelle Denneny

Close up of the free motion quilting by Rachelle Denenny in her ‘Touch of Blue’ quilt.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse of the ‘luminary quilters’ of the Australian Quilt Convention for 2015.

Thank you for taking the time to read and share the works of our amazing quilters.


Australian Quilt Convention – Part 2

On display at the Australian Quilt Convention, there were several themed exhibits, one of which is Lucy Carroll’s ‘The Gallipoli Quilt’. This series of quilts depicts the life experiences of a soldier throughout the Gallipoli campaign (at the Dardanelles in Turkey, during World War 1). As we Australians are marking the 100th Anniversary of ANZAC Day on April 25th, it was very moving to see and read this commemoration. This is just one in the series. Hop over to Carol’s site to see the quilts and read the full story.

Australian Quilt Convention 2015

‘Cove’ Gallipoli Quilt

Jan Irvine-Nealie  from New South Wales, had a display of her amazing textile work. I was so distracted examining up close her hand stitching on airbrushed pigment that I forgot to take a photo! So go to her site to have a look, but remember to come back here for the rest of the AQC tour post.

The ‘Teach Me‘ display featured works made by the tutors who were conducting classes at AQC. Two in particular stood out for me. This precise paper pieced quilt by international quilt artist Jacqueline de Jonge, positively glittered in the light, this photo doesn’t do the sparkle effect justice at all.

Enchanting Stars

‘Enchanting Stars’ by Jacqueline de Jonge

One of the blogs I follow is Esther Aliu and her amazing appliqué quilts. She has been leading a very large world wide group of followers in making several of her original designs. One in particular gained huge international recognition and now there are many of this particular quilt being made across the globe.

Hearts Desire

‘Hearts Desire’ by Esther Aliu

The ‘Best of the Best’ were quilts selected by state or territory guilds. Of course there were a lot more to see, these are just a few. From Queensland Quilters Inc. came a black and white quilt which utilises the QYG (Quilt as You Go) method of construction and the choice of background fabric makes it zing! It may be hard to see in the photo – it’s like a spider’s web when you see it up close. Took this photo for you Sheryl (she just loves collecting and using black and white fabrics)!

Everlasting Love

‘Everlasting Love’ by Margaret Tweedle

Again from Queensland, an applique stripy quilt, with a pieced background, added visual depth for the ‘hot’ colours to pop forward. Notice that this has no bottom border, it makes it look like a pelmet or cornice above wallpaper.

Quilted Wallpaper

‘Quilted Wallpaper’ by Robyn Ginn

Another from Queensland, a Judges Choice lived up to it’s title, there were no mice to be seen in the building! Rather than being a stark contrast between the black and white fabrics and the very bright owl, Jenny included some very small splashes of orange in specific parts of the background which unified, and added dimension, to the quilt.

Jenny's Owl

‘Jenny’s Owl’ by Peggy Phelps

An art quilt using raw edge appliqué and stretch velour fabric, was presented by the Canberra Quilters Inc. Us Aussie’s appreciate the ‘unrealistic vibrant colour of the lizard’ and the play on words by Bronwyn in reference to a popular film.


‘Priscilla’ by Bronwyn Hill

‘Wait, there’s more …’ to come (next time), and no they’re not steak knives!


PP: The ‘Village’

What’s happening in the ‘Village’ this month?  Julie is powering on adding homesteads to her ‘Australiana’ theme. She has cleverly sewn a line across the lower edge of the panel, to show where the bottom of the appliqué is meant to sit, for later on where it joins the sashing strip.

Julie 02

Angela has decided to see how it goes by reducing the pattern to 75%, and try a ‘spooky’ theme. The ‘houses’ are going to be hand appliquéd using her own templates.

Angela 01

As for me, I’ve decided toy stick with the original background, add the trees on the horizon, and then have another think about the houses.

Robyn 02

This is going to be a slow quilt to make. There are over 30 houses to appliqué, and if one house is completed each month – that makes it a three year project! So,  let’s see how far I get between now and next month…..


Salamander: Applique

Now that the edges are turned, I use a dab of ‘Roxanne Glue-Baste-It’ on seam allowance and each ‘twirl’ of seams. It washes out and only a tiny amount is needed to hold the block in place.

Dabs of glue on half of the block.

Dabs of glue on half of the block.

By carefully flipping this half over onto the background and carefully smoothing out the fabric, it is easy to check that no seams have been twisted in the process. The second half is then temporarily stuck down.

Threads for applique.

Threads for applique.

I love using Aurafil 50wt threads for appliqué, they are fine and blend well with the top fabric. This is my personal preference, as I have tried using the silk threads, but dealing with a thread that is almost invisible to see when stitching, and has a life of it’s own, is not for me. What are your favourite appliqué threads?

Hand stitching is usually at night, under a daylight, while watching something on the ‘box’. Hence the stitching is not always perfect, and even if there is no such thing as the ‘Quilt Police’, I at least aim for a consistency that I am happy with. I’ve given up trying to get them straight and have settled for bumpy bits. I do so admire the many women from the past who  stitched without electricity to light their work!

Applique as seen from the back.

Applique as seen from the back.

Back to stitching!