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Are you in Canberra for the Craft and Quilt Show?  Are you planning a visit to Canberra in the next couple of months? images

The NGA has a small display of historic Australian quilts from its collection on  exhibition until early October.

Further details can be found  here.


It was a very excited prospective Grandmother  who asked me in January if I would make her a quilt as a gift for the grandchild she had just been informed would arrive sometime in May.helene

She asked me if I would bring some of my children’s quilts to our next lunch so she could consider what sort of quilt she would like me to make.  Knowing Helene’s penchant for bright colours, I took along my samples of bright I Spy quilts as well as some more sedate choices.

Of course, it was the bright strong colours of the I Spy quilts that immediately sold Helene on the idea of a cot sized quilt – she wanted to take one away immediately!  Given these were my samples and had been traipsed all over the countryside, I could not let her have one of these… besides I wanted the chance to make something different and new for her.

Over the past few months I have put together this quilt – there were a couple of the I Spy fabrics Helene particularly wanted, and I tried to include a fair bit of Green and Purple in the quilt.  The bride and groom had worn purple and green (their respective favourite colours) at their wedding and I wanted to tie that into the quilt in some way.

Quilt laid out ready for basting.

Quilt laid out ready for basting.

The quilt for Eleana was handed over to Helene on Wednesday – Eleana had arrived a trifle early but safely on May 25th.

WAs very pleased with the effect of this diagonal stripe binding.

I was very pleased with the effect of this diagonal stripe binding.

If you haven’t had the chance to see this quilt “in the flesh’,  you still have a little time to go into the NGV Federation Square and take a long look.

Early reports suggested that it would only be on display until March but that time has been extended and now the quilt will remain in Gallery 5 until at least the end of April.  There has been no confirmed date for its removal but it is scheduled for “some time in May” according to gallery staff.


The gallery bookshop has been selling copies of Dr Annette Gero’s new book “The Fabric of Society –  Australian Quilt Heritage from Convict Times to 1960” in which this quilt is profiled.  The gallery bookshop is currently out of stock but have stock on order.  Interestingly not only does the book document our history, it provides patterns for 29 of the quilts.  The book can also be ordered directly from Annette via her website.

Today I took myself into see this beautiful quilt….and it is absolutely beautiful!  It won’t stay that way long if the gallery doesn’t do something about keeping the public back from it though.  In the short time I was there at least two people put their hands on it and another nearly tore the quilt from the wall tripping over the raised platform in front of it.

E Dickens Quilt

E Dickens Quilt

As you can see from this picture (Taken with the ambient light within the gallery as flashes can damage vulnerable fabrics!) the quilt is substantial in size.  On close examination there is little if any wadding left – it is very thin!  It appears to have a binding but in actual fact the edges have been turned under and there is a fine line of quilting right along the edge.

Outer Edge

Outer Edge

The fine edge three stripe fabric is approx 1 & 1/4″ wide and is applied in three sections, the middle section on each side reads orange, gold centre and dark brown stripe to the edge of the quilt as opposed to the two outside stripes as seen below.

RH Lower Corner

RH Lower Corner

As you can see there is even a tiny corner block – and this is broderie perse as are the larger floral blocks in the adjoining rows. The stitching of the broderie perse varies in “expertise” – some of it is so tiny, it is hard to believe it could have been hand stitched and other areas shows a less refined level of skill indicating that the quilt may well have been the work of more than one person.

The wall notes accompanying the quilt state that the broderie perse was executed using chain stitch… is clearly buttonhole stitch. (Full text of the wall notes can be found here.)

This quilt is a “must see” for anyone interested in quilting, historic quilts, quilt preservation techniques and old textiles.  It can be found in Gallery 5 Level 2 of the NGV Federation Square (Ian Potter Gallery) Melbourne.

I was delighted to discover that the National Gallery of Victoria has completed the restoration of a beautiful early Australian Quilt and it has been finally put on show for a brief period at the NGV Federation Square Gallery.

The article in the paper had a full sized picture of this magnificent large pieced and appliqued quilt that had been rescued from a shed in country Victoria.


Just a corner peek at this quilt – its size is not truly reflected with this little bit!!

Where do you go for ideas for designs for your art?  I find that inspiration for designs come from a range of sources; sometimes I am not even aware of what has been behind some of the pieces I have produced.

I have been known to leap out of the car with camera in hand when I have spotted a tree with beautifully textured bark and I have several pictures taken in different seasons of the same tree trunk in Kings Park, Perth.


I can say, however, that I have never been tempted to use xray images or pictures of internal organs as a stimulus!  This hasn’t been the case with two ladies recently written up in New Scientist magazine – they have produced quilts and a knitted sculptural piece based on images of the brain.

This is defintiely one of those things that falls into the “weird but true” category however it is worth looking at  – this is the article link and this takes you to a special website featuring their work.


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