Wednesday 4 March 2015

.: QuiltCon 2015 - Australian quilters + group quilts - post four :.

Today it's time to celebrate Australian quilters whose quilts were shown at QuiltCon!  And after that, there are a few great doGoodStitches quilts to share. 

Quite a few of the Australian contingent attended the Awards Ceremony, hosted by Jacquie Gering and held on the first morning of QuiltCon.  There were significant video/computer problems, and so none of the winning quilts were able to be shown on screen during the ceremony - but that didn't quieten down our excitement when "Rainbow Magic" by Mollie McMahon was announced as the winner of the Youth category AND winner of Carolyn Friedlander's Judge's Choice ribbon!  Mollie is a member of Canberra MQG, along with her Mum Jules, who helped with quilting the quilt.   

In Mollie's words “[t]his is the first ever quilt I made when I was 7.  Mumma let me choose fabrics from her boxes and use her sewing machine and I got this made.  It’s called “Rainbow Magic” as I love all the colours in it and it makes me feel happy and magical because I made it”.  Very awesome indeed. 

Another Australian prize-winner - in fact TWO prizes! - was Katherine Jones of the Tasmanian MQG.  Katherine's "CPU" quilts was awarded first place in the Bias Tape Challenge.  (I couldn't find a blog or instagam link for Katherine, so have linked to the Tasmanian MQG!).  This quilt was inspired by the sponsor of the challenge - Panasonic - and the quilt is Katherine’s interpretation of a circuit board.  Katherine machine-appliqued bias-binding strips in conjunction with quilting, and hand-appliqued the squares and circles, which were then "trapuntoed and then machine-quilted around the edge to add dimension".   This quilt is only small, but it's incredibly effective and a really clever design. 

Katherine also took out the second prize ribbon in the Bias Tape Quilting Challenge! - this is "Stock on Hand".  Katherine said this quilt was inspired by working at a plumbing firm.  The owner - for whom this quilt was made, and in their chosen colour palette - hoards pipes of various diameters, lengths and composition.  The quilt was constructed by making rings of bias binding, “‘sculpting’ them with a hot steam iron into circles, attaching with glue to a length of background fabric, and sewing them on with FMQ”.  

I totally missed seeing Jules McMahon's quilt in the show, but I really wanted to include it here as part of the Australian quilt-contingent.  This is "Faraway Fields" and it was shown in the Improvisation category.  I've taken a photo from Jules' blog post - where you can read her own lovely words about the quilt.  The quilt blocks were made from scraps provided by Denyse Schmidt and Free Spirit (at QuiltCon 2013!), with some extra blocks contributed by Cheryl Arkison.  The background is Essex Linen, and the quilting was by Jeannette Bruce.  Please click through and read about Jules' gorgeous quilt, as it's a really lovely story.

Sarah Fielke made this beautiful quilt, "The Definition of Stitch", which was quilted by Kim Bradley.  It's one of the very few quilts where I forgot to also take a pic of the information card next to it! - so please just marvel in its gorgeousness without any further info - and keep your eye on Sarah's blog, as she may post about it.  I am guessing it was shown in the Use of Negative Space category, but I'm not sure, I'd love to know!  I really love this quilt - sorry the photo is vaguely blurry - Sarah's words are fabulous, and her low volume background is gorgeous.  And I love the idea of the quilt - defining the word "stitch".

Clearly, there was a reason why I was too distracted to take a pic of Sarah's information card (say hi to Danielle and Rachel while you are marvelling at Sarah's quilt!).

Crystal McGann's amazing "Iceberg" quilt was shown in the Piecing category, and was made for the 2014 Sewvivor Quilters' Edition.  It's a really clever idea, showing the iceberg continuing beneath the surface of the water, and I just love the little newspaper boat - in Crystal's words, "[y]ou cannot cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore".  The quilt is a combination of paper-piecing, machine piecing, machine quilting and hand-applique.   

Catherine Mosley, an individual MQG member from NSW made a beautiful quilt from Jen Kingwell's "Gypsy Wife" pattern, which was shown in the Modern Traditionalism category.   Catherine made the quilt from solids, and pieced the black and white stripes for the background.  It's a gorgeous, happy quilt and it was a real treat to see it in person.  Lovely Jen Kingwell was at QuiltCon, in the Moda booth, and she posed with Catherine and the quilt - click here to see the pic from Catherine's instagram.

Alys Gagnon, a Melbourne MQG member, made "Gradient", which was shown in the Improvisation category.   "Gradient" started life as a single block, created for a guild block challenge at Alys’ very first MQG meeting. In Alys' words, “[t]he expansive negative space and the analogous colour scheme are a playful response to the theme of “Emerald”, the 2013 Pantone colour of the year”.  There was a fabulous moment at the MQG Leadership Drinks during QuiltCon, where Alys was able to chat a little bit about her quilt with Jacquie Gering - click here to see Lorena's gorgeous photo that captured a bit of the magic.

And that's all for Australian quilts in the juried show! - but I can't move on from awesome Australians without mentioning Dan and Andi from You Patch.  They travelled from Melbourne to have a "You Patch" booth in the Vendor Hall at QuiltCon.  They held three information sessions each day, and seemed to be surrounded by interested quilters each time I walked past - I wish I had stopped to take a pic or two.   Thanks to Dan and Andi's clever-ness, "You Patch" turns photos into pixellated quilt patterns, which include yardage requirements, cutting instructions and Kona colour recommendations.  "Little Brother" by Stacey Murton was made from a "You Patch" pattern, and was shown in the Piecing category - click here to see it in our post from yesterday.  And click through to read more about "You Patch" - and see more fabulous quilts - at Andi's blog

So now we move on to group quilts - well - just one Group Quilt, and then a few doGoodStitches quilts.  "Playing With Little Bits" won first prize in the Group Quilts category.  It was submitted by Rose Daley of Baltimore MQG, and pieced by Anna Levengood, Jill Stafford, Jessica Skultety, Jessica Levitt, Robin Tillsworth, Rachel Singh and Elizabeth Timmons.  The quilt was created at Mid-Atlantic MOD 2014 - each person had created a section before the weekend, starting with low volume fabrics and then adding pops of colour.  During the retreat, they sewed their sections and other elements together to create the finished quilt top.  The quilting was inspired by Jacquie Gering’s ‘Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot’.

There was a special exhibition at the show, to celebrate charitable quilts made by various doGoodStitches circles around the world (though all the quilts I saw were made by circles in the US!).  I loved that the MQG coordinated this exhibition - you can read the little info card about the quilts below - and click through to read founder Rachel Hauser's blog post about the exhibition.  I'm in the Care Circle, which is made up of girls from Australia and New Zealand.  One of my highlights from QuiltCon was meeting Rachel from our Care Circle - that's Rachel on the right up there with me and Danielle, in front of Sarah's quilt - she lives in New Zealand, and we've chatted on email, instagram and Flickr, but it was just awesome to meet in person!

"Watercolour" appears on the left below and was created by the Love Circle - Ara Jane Olufson, Jacey Gray, Rachel Hauser, Daisy Aschehoug, Jenelle Clark, Cat Downs, Deb Aspuria, Amanda Hohnstreiter, Jessica Rider and Natalie Sabik.  It was quilted by Natalie Sabik.  The quilt is an original design, with the scrappy blocks emphasising the transition from darker to light value fabrics, creating the illusion of watercolours blending together.  

On the right is "Trellis Crossroad", pieced by members of the Humility Circle - Jessica Kerkhoff, Carla Fawcett, Elizabeth Adle, Claudia Pate and Mary Gibbons, and quilted by Sandra Smith, Vickey Hughes, Brittney Selby, Jaime Penrod and Tiffany Searle.  The quilt pattern is from "Modern Bee".  The blue portion represents the teamwork required to make the quilt. 

On the left below is "Rainbow Triangles", created by the Nurture Circle -  Kat Drinkwater, Jennifer Ferriss-Salter, Mai Flourry, Briawna Hugh, Lisa McGriff, Dhia Peach, Gabrielle Robles, Kari Stewart, Carla Voorhees, Louise Wackerman and quilted by Carla Voorhees.  The triangle log-cabin blocks are from Modern Bias, and the tutorial for the 60-degree improv piecing is from Magnolia Bay Quilts

"Eclipse" was pieced by members of the Hope Circle - Afton Warrick, Cath Hall, Christie Kline, Ellen McKee, Heather Flegel, Kim Soper, Kimberly Swink, Melanie Hughes and Suzy Lampman, and quilted by Ellen McKee.  The blocks were originally to represent balls, with a layout making them appear to bounce across the quilt - but once the blocks were received “they looked more like the Sun and Moon, so the layout changed to reflect their cycle of rising and setting".  The use of curved blocks was inspired by “Log Cabin Beads” by Kathy Hamada, seen on All People Quilt.

"Gradient Patchwork" was pieced by the Grace Circle - Robin Correa, Melissa Devenney, Donna Swain, Jana Dee, Irelle Beatie, Elizabeth Jones, Kristen Russell, Laurel Krynock, Laura Collins and quilted by Laura Collins.    Each circle member sewed single-colour patchwork blocks using 2.5 inch scraps, sorted by value and moving from dark to light across a diagonal.  The group was inspired by “the trending popularity of gradients in knitting and the scrappy patchwork of Alex of Teaginny Designs”.

And last quilt for today - "Birds on a Line", created by the Dream Circle - Jeannette Day, Lindsey Rhoads, Leah Newman. Alison Robinson, Alex Duenkel, Tamara Hampton, Diane Stanley, Christine Horlbeck and Alexis Day, and quilted by Jeannette Day.  Circle members created birds in different sizes, based on a pattern on the McCalls website.

I know you may be suffering from QuiltCon overload by now, but that's ok - I'm on a roll - click away if you need to.  Tomorrow get ready for a little Gee's Bend, and then my last post will be the people of QuiltCon, because really, despite all these posts showing off a lot of quilt-gorgeousness  -the people were the best part of QuiltCon!  xoxo cat


  1. Thank you for giving us a look into QuiltCon- fantastic to see all those beautiful quilts!

  2. Awesome! I think I need to make a word quilt now!


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