April = Awesome

April is always a good month for quilting here in Brisbane because the temperatures finally start to cool after the furnace of summer. It’s often the time when many new fabric ranges are unveiled and also it’s a great time to have a quilt show. This April we have the lot. As the cooler weather started the postman became very busy carrying in large boxes of fabrics. One that I wanted to show you is the range called ‘Garden Delights‘. It’s a lovely fine cotton with delicate floral prints – reminiscent of Liberty of London prints but much more affordable. 

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The small sample quilt in the picture above was made by Sharyn – thanks Sharyn – and it highlights perfectly the beautiful range. The designer of this range, Jason Yenter, wanted to “combine modern with pretty” and hoped these fabrics would “spark your creative juices and inspire you to create something beautiful”. Well the Easter bunny was inspired and so were we. Actually the flower print above is from a free Michael Miller fabric designed pattern so call me if you would like the details.

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Speaking of Easter bunnies, they were out in force at Elaine’s place when she made some charming bunnies to adorn the family’s Easter table  – and wouldn’t you know it – being bunnies they multiplied! 

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As well as giving Easter eggs away this month was also the time when a couple of ladies finished gifts for friends and family. June finished this wallhanging for the sewing room of a special friend on the other side of the world (hope you liked it Sue!)

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Chris went Kaffe-coloured with this whimsical flower garden – 

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Margaret worked on her free motion quilting and constructed this bag for a gift for a friend. Now there’s an idea – make practice pieces that you can actually incorporate into a project!

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Suzanne merged a whole range of cultures and fabrics to complete her project. The edge around the first border is made up of pearls sewn to the front of the piece which appear again as the centre of the yoyo flowers – certainly an eclectic piece and great use of the fabric. 

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Sue had almost finished this quilt for her sister when we photographed it at Apatchy. It was heading to its intended home soon after so we didn’t get to see it completely finished. Another excellent use of colour.

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Tracey, whose children will insist on giving her more and more grandchildren had another cot quilt completed. We all loved these charming elephants.  

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Helen was a happy camper when she completed this caravan quilt. There is so much to see in this quilt. Some liked the suitcases on top of the van, others the lines of bunting. This is one of those quilts that you can look at for ages and find more things to see.

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Although I intended not to attend AQC – the major quilt show in Australia – that was held in Melbourne last month, various stars aligned and I found myself standing in the Exhibition Building. There really is so much to see at this show. The teaching programme is amazing and includes world-class tutors including Velda Newman, whose work I have admired for many years. It was very exciting to see it in real life and I took many photos . I haven’t cropped the building out of these so you can gauge the scale of the quilts. 

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As well as visiting tutors there are the quilts that have won Best of Show in their states that now line up to vie for the Best of Australia prize. This year that prize was won by South Australia’s Rachel Denneny with this quilt called ‘Modern Movement’.

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Another competition was the AQC Challenge which this year had the theme ‘Made in Australia:  Flora and Fauna’. The winner of this competition was Linden Lancaster with her quilt ‘Kangaroo and Wattle’. I have also included a closeup so you can see the detail in this piece.

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The runner-up of the competition was Jeannie Henry with ‘Hello Possums!!’. Her quilt, below, was very highly thought of with the viewing public and in fact won the Viewers’ Choice prize. I’ve also included a close-up of this one so you can see the details of this fabulous quilt.

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My sister accompanied me to the show and she has a thing for frogs. Naturally she loved this entry “Hangin Around’ by Gillian Shearer.

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There were so many wonderful entries for this challenge that we all agreed we would not like to be the judges who had to choose the winner.

As well as competitions there were displays of quilts from particular quilters. The Rajah Award winner this year was Beth Miller and I was particularly impressed by her work. She had done the most amazing art quilts way back when I didn’t even know anyone did art quilts. Here’s her 2003 quilt ‘Bush Larrikins’ – 

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and her 2002 quilt ‘Sydney Seabreeze’. The details on the cityscape on this quilt was brilliant and there were many more quilts from her to impress.

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The Taiwan quilts that impressed me at the Brisbane show were also shown in Melbourne – I added some photo of those in the last blog post. As well as Taiwan, Mexico was also represented with this quilt  – a collaborative work showing the ‘Magical Towns of Mexico’ and had many techniques. It was also interesting because of the block format – a rectangle rather than the usual square. 

AQC-Mexican-quilt April = Awesome

When Norma Slabbert turned 60 she decided to chronicle that year and compete one block every day. The resulting 11 metres is a fascinating work which shows scenes from her daily life; her home and garden, state of mind and so on. This highly personal, reflective quilt was amazing to see and was certainly inspirational – although I am not sure I would have the discipline to actually finish one block every day for such a long time.

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AQC-365-quilt-detail April = Awesome AQC-365-day-quilt-detail-2 April = Awesome

Another exhibition was the ‘Best of Quiltcon 2017’. This quilt ‘bling’ by Katherine Jones won Best in Show and you could see why. It was foundation paper pieced from solid fabrics and the inspiration was a princess cut diamond.

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Another tutor that appeared at AQC was Luke Haynes. I have followed his progress as a quilter for several years and always find his work very interesting. This is his quilt ‘Double Elvis’. In fact it isn’t Elvis – he was referencing the Andy Warhol painting and this is a reference to the collision between pop art and traditional art. At the time I thought it was Bono so that’s what a philistine I am! 

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When you’re in Melbourne for four days with your sister sometimes you may do things out of character – like eating massive morning and afternoon teas. There may well be reconnaissance missions to find the ‘best-of’ – purely for educational purposes of course. Here’s a tower of macarons which were definitely inspiring – although we didn’t eat any (only because we were headed to the Hopetoun Cafe to eat lemon tart!). Just look at the colours and the values in this picture – which is relevant to quilting (see told you it was educational).

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At the end of April Queensland Quilters held their own show Quilt Connect which appears to have been a great success. The Best of Show quilt was this one from Kay Crapp of Gatton. Baltimore quilts appear to be having a resurgence at the moment and I can understand why with their precise applique / no stitching look.

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At Quilt Connect they had a silent auction which, you may remember, included my Kanye quilt. He has now gone to a very good home and I think he may have achieved the highest price for any at the auction so he will be very pleased with himself about that.

May is now upon us and we got the month off to a fine start with this completed quilt from Margaret – an interesting treatment of a really busy fabric.

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So there was inspiration everywhere last month and this month looks no different. I hope you have been inspired by something you’ve seen lately.

Until next time – happy quilting



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Helen Belfrage
Helen Belfrage

Hi Kaye, what an awesome blog this month – not least of all because I feature in it! All the quilts are beautiful but I particularly love Norma’s 365 day quilt and the Mexican towns. I have sent off the blog to my daughter in Mexico to show her – you may get an international subscriber. The rectangular blocks in this quilt are really different.


Just Fabulous Kaye, Just wish I had more hours in a day. So enjoyed seeing the coverage

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