Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Textile Conservation & Restoration Workshop

9th Oct 2010 - Conservation Workshop - a hands on workshop by Alan R Tremain from Oz Quilt Design. This half-day workshop will look at the practical implementation of Conservation and Restoration techniques for domestic textiles. Participants will need to bring along a quilt, quilt top or other textile to work on plus other notions to be advised. Alan will have some specialty items including sewing needles and thread for participants to purchase if necessary. Karen Fail will take bookings for the event. To reserve a place at the workshop please contact her via email at
This event will be held in the Powerhouse Learning Centre, at the Powerhouse Museum.
Entry is free for members of the Quilters' Guild of NSW Inc. and afternoon tea will be provided.
Access to the Powerhouse Museum is via the walkway over from Chinatown and by walking from Central Station. See for details. If you contact the event owner, Karen Fail, beforehand it is possible to arrange for car parking in the Powerhouse's parking area for disabled drivers. Or you can use the drop off area near the entrance to the car park which provides easy access to Level 2 where our events are held.

Hexy Madness - Old and New

24th April 2010 - Hexagon Madness - Old and New. Join many other hexagon lovers at the Powerhouse Museum to pour over antique hexagon quilts, be enthralled by the many modern interpretations of the hexagon and to learn more. We hope to have several well-known quilt makers who specialise in hexie quilts along to show off their quilts. This event will be held in the Powerhouse Learning Centre, at the Powerhouse Museum on 24th April 2010 from 2pm to 4pm. Bring along any of your hexie quilts, old or new, for us to see. Entry is free for members of the Quilters' Guild of NSW Inc. and afternoon tea will be provided. Access to the Powerhouse Museum is via the walkway over from Chinatown and by walking from Central Station. See fordetails. If you contact the event owner, Sandra Lyons on 9589 2537 before hand it is possible to arrange for car parking in the Powerhouse's parking area for disabled drivers. Or you can use the drop off area near the entrance to the car park which provides easy access to Level 2 where our events are held.

Road to Condo #3 by Judy Hooworth

After lengthy negotiations with the Powerhouse Museum and Christina Sumner Principal Curator - Design and Society, the Sydney Quilt Study Group has brokered and funded the acquisition. At the final meeting of the Sydney Quilt Study Group, the members voted to use outstanding funds for the acquisition of a contemporary work by a NSW quilter. (The quilt study group is now known as the Quilt Study Group of NSW and is a subcommittee of the Quilters Guild of NSW). The final choice of quilt was made by the Powerhouse Museum.

Road to Condo #3 (138cm x 157cm) 2004
Torn and layered cotton strips stitched to two layers of cotton fabric. Machine stitched and quilted. Pellon batting. Black cotton backing. Zigzag stitched edge. Signed and dated with embroidery.

Artist's statement
I've travelled to Condobolin many times since I was a small child to visit my favourite uncle and aunt. Visits to Condo were special, and each visit made a huge impression on me. The colours of the landscape stay in my memory, and the variations from season to season, year to year are enduring images in my colour vocabulary. The trips to Condo were a revelation, my introduction to the extraordinary landscape of the bush.

My quilts record my impressions of the journey, the importance of family relationships and my feelings about the passing of an era that meant so much to me.
Judy Hooworth

Exhibited in Quiltessence, Fairfield City Museum and Gallery, 2002; Quilt National 2003, toured 2003/2004/2005; Sydney Quilt Show - awarded 4th prize, Art Quilt Open; Stitched in Place, Orange Regional Art Gallery 2007.
Published in Show Catalogue for Quiltessence; Quilt National 2003: the Best of Contemporary Quilts.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gentle Arts - 'Textiles'

For anyone who has some free time in Sydney this Saturday, the Powerhouse Discovery Centre at Castle Hill in Sydney is having a textiles-focused open day. Anyone visiting Sydney may like to add it to their trip! Here is a brief overview of the day. For more detailed information about the day, go here:
The Gentle Arts 'Textiles' Saturday 14 November 10.00am-4.00pm
Join us when the Powerhouse Discovery Centre presents an Open Day celebrating the 'gentle arts', focused on embroidery, quilting and needlework in the Powerhouse Museum's collection. Highlights of the Open Day include; a lecture by Powerhouse Museum Conservator, Suzanne Chee, on textile preservation and how to display needlework; displays and demonstrations of fine embroidery and patchwork quilting and a hands-on workshop where visitors can take part in embroidering a convict bonnet as part of the 'Roses from the Heart' convict bonnet project, developed by Tasmanian artist, Christina Henri. Visitors can also spend time in the Centre's Collection Lab to view a selection of quilt panels from the Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt Project and meet some of the Discovery Centre volunteers involved in the conservation of the quilts.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Enthusiasts of Contemporary Quilt Art

November 5th to 28th 2009


Thursday 5th November
6pm to 8pm
RSVP by Monday 2nd November
t:02 9957 2401

Gallery open Thursday to Saturday
12pm - 6pm or by appointment
t: 02 9957 2401 m: 0420 372 401

View works

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jennifer Burton - 1930s quilts

27th February 2010 - Jennifer Burton will give a 30 minute talk about 1930's quilts and will bring along some of her 1930's quilts for us to see. Please bring along your own 1930's quilts or quilt tops or any you have made that are reproductions of or inspired by these quilts for the members' show and tell after her talk. Afternoon tea will be provided.
The talk will be held at the Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo in one of the Powerhouse Learning Centre rooms on the second floor at 2pm.

Soft Furnishings Project - Old Government House

Fabric Samples Thistle design for Drawingroom sofas

The Quilt Study Group of NSW visited Old Government House Parramatta on 10th October 2009. Fourteen members of the Quilters' Guild of NSW Inc. visited Old Government House for the last event of the year organised by the Quilt Study Group of NSW. The building, which is home to one of the finest collections of early colonial furniture in Australia, has curtains, braids, bed hangings, mats and othersoft furnishings that were made by hand for the rooms on the ground floor of the house. Because of the expense of sourcing the soft furnishings from commercial sources, the National Trust of NSW decided to call for volunteers to make them instead. Thus was the five year long Soft Furnishings Project created. There are 20 or so volunteers who form the main team of the Project. They worked under the guidance of Dr James Broadbent, who sourced the fabrics, and Elizabeth Wright who worked on the designs. Some had existing skills but many developed new skills for the tasks at hand. These included painting on velvet, spinning cords for bell pulls, and the painstaking work of binding silk thread over vellum strips to form tassels. Rug making and upholstery skills were also required. The tassels and fringes, which would have cost thousands of dollars if purchased from European workshops, were all made by hand by the volunteers. After a very informative guided tour of the house four of the Soft Furnishings Project volunteers kindly took us back to the rooms where their work was exhibited and explained exactly how they had created the items. Back in the Soft Furnishings Project work room we were allowed to touch the items, and the ladies demonstrated how they had created these amazing braids, curtains, mats etc. Thelma, Sue, Nerida and Fran were all veryhelpful and informative in sharing their knowledge and experience with us. If you want to see the house and visit the Soft Furnishings Project room to look at their exhibits and source references, the volunteers for the Soft Furnishing Project are at Old Government House on Wednesdays between 10 - 2 pm.
Phone 02 96358149 to confirm the project volunteers will be there before visiting.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The E. Dickens Quilt : Rare early 19th century quilt

Late in 2007 the NGV acquired, through generous donation, a rare and valuable ‘frame’ quilt about which very little was known. The quilt was given to the donor two decades earlier by someone who had, in turn, been given it by relatives who were also unacquainted with the original maker.
Quilting was a common pastime of genteel and middle-class women in colonial Australia, yet there are only a few extant examples of these quilts in Australian collections. Quilts of this type were particularly popular in the first half of the 19th century, with examples using similar fabrics and designs found in England (and subsequently Australia) from between 1800 and 1860.
A large medallion-style, pieced patchwork, the quilt comprises many graduating, linear borders around a central panel. The particularly impressive central design consists of appliquéd cotton chintz partridge and flower motifs executed in the broderie perse technique (a technique used to appliqué small flowers and leaves using a tiny chain stitch). While on the reverse, embroidered in black cotton crossstitch is the enigmatic dedication: E. Dickins / The Gift of Her Mother / Finished When 60 Years / Of Age.
Sadly for us, no date accompanies this dedication, although it has been suggested that the embroidered ‘signature’ may mean that the quilt was sent to an early Australian settler as a gift – a practice that has been previously documented.
When the quilt first arrived at the NGV it was in a fragile condition. Damp storage had caused mould and mildew to develop while the presence of iron in dye mordants had corroded fibres, resulting in areas of discoloration and loss over time. The surface of the quilt was badly soiled and despite initial cleaning with a low-suction vacuum, it still appeared grimy.
On the recommendation of our Textile Conservator a wet-cleaning treatment in de-ionised water was undertaken (to remove degradation products and to minimise their effect on the quilt in the future). The challenge, however, was the quilt’s large size. A tank was custom-built by NGV’s Conservation Art Technician, which enabled the quilt to be completely submerged. At times this required the assistance of nearly all the conservation staff! Yet the result has left the quilt in a much-improved state both visually and structurally.
Through the process of acquisition and a combination of expert opinion and curatorial knowledge, the NGV has also endeavoured to recover some of this quilt’s lost history.
A quilt is usually dated from the most recent fabrics used in it. In this case, we discovered that many of the printed cotton fabrics along the outer patchwork bands were similar to those seen in 1840s dresses from the NGV Fashion & Textiles Collection. The floral chintz was also found to resemble fabrics from the 1830s. The most exciting revelation, however, was that the central bird chintz fabric could be identified as an English furnishing chintz called Partridge and May Tree printed circa 1815, making our quilt a valuable piece of textile history.
While the name of the maker and the actual date of the quilt’s completion may never be known, it remains a rare surviving example of textile endeavour and a significant example of early domestic skilled handicraft.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Assyrian Australian Association: Textile Exhibition

29 September 2009 - 11 October 2009
To be opened by Smithfield MP Ninos Khoshaba on Saturday 3 October at 3.00pm.
This textile exhibition will showcase magnificent artworks produced by women of the Assyrian Australian Association meeting each week at Fairfield. It will be a good opportunity to see their unique work.
(Fairfield City Museum and Art Gallery, Cnr Oxford St & The Horsley Drive,Fairfield)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions

Inaugural International ArtCloth exhibition
Fairfield City Museum and Art Gallery, Cnr Oxford St & The Horsley Drive, Fairfield
29th August - 11th October 2009.

Opening at 2.00pm Saturday, 29th August by Joan Truckenbrod, Professor of Art & Technology, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA.

The list of participants in the exhibition includes: Laura Beehler, USA Claire Benn, England Regina Benson, USA Jane Dunnewold, USA Susan Fell-McLean, Australia Claudia Helmer, Germany Cas Holmes, England Ken Kagajo, Japan Helen Lancaster, Australia Jurate Petruskeviciene, Lithuania Jeanne Raffer Beck, USA Julie Ryder, Australia Joan Schulze, USA Tjarya (Nungalka) Stanley, Ernabella Arts, Australia Norma Starszakowna, England Tjunkaya Tapaya, Ernabella Arts, Australia Annie Trevillian, Australia Joan Truckenbrod, USA Jurate Urbiene, Lithuania Els van Baarle, The Netherlands

For further information visit Jane Dunnewold's website

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Craft and Quilt Fair, Canberra

Have a craft filled winter weekend in Canberra at this year's Craft & Quilt Fair, August 6 - 9, Exhibition Park In Canberra!

Visit our website and see what's on at this year's fair. From local and international craftspeople to inspiring displays and fantastic shopping, your weekend will be packed full of crafty things to see and do.

In addition to the Craft & Quilt Fair, you'll also enjoy some quilt history in the nation's capital.

The National Gallery of Australia had delved into its quilt collection and selected some beautiful historical quilts to display. These Australian quilts from 1890 through to the 1920's show a variety of styles and techniques. There will also be lectures on the National Gallery of Australia's quilt collection.

Come to the fair to see, learn and buy everything to get crafty, and then stay in Canberra to appreciate the long history and passion our country has with quilt making.

For more details, visit
See you there!
Judy and the Craft Team

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stitches through Time

A talk on Australian Antique Quilts by Dr Annette Gero will be held at:
11.30 am, Sunday 19 July 2009
The Tebbutt Room Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor
$15 per person -light luncheon included Bookings essential.
Mail cheque or money order to:
The Friends of the Hawkesbury Art Community & Regional Gallery Inc,
PO Box 462 Post Office, Windsor NSW 2756

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wrap Unwrapped

An exhibition of works inspired by the wagga rug
Parliament House of NSW
Fountain Court, Macquarie St Sydney
7 July – 30 July 2009
Monday to Friday. 9.30am – 4.00 pm
Free Admission
Artists will be at Parliament House NSW every Friday to talk about the exhibition and to collect wagga rug stories from visitors.
There will be a free, illustrated, 1 hour, talk and discussion on 17 and 24 July at 11:00 am in the Parliamentary theatrette.
Further information
Mail: PO Box 621 Balgowlah, NSW. 2093
Phone: 95972982 (Annette)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Textile Art Collection of the NSW Parliament

An Invitation to Tour the
Textile Art Collection of the New South Wales Parliament
with artist Diane Groenewegen
This tour takes you through the textile artwork of the NSW Parliament. Diane, your guide, will explain these artworks in terms of technique and history and reveal some of the behind-the-scenes stories associated with their creation. At the time these were commissioned she was the President of the Craft Council of NSW and is a well-known textile artist and teacher. Join us for a unique opportunity to view and learn about these important works.
Date: Friday 17 July 2009
Times: 10:30am -12noon (registration 10:15am)
or 2:30pm - 4:00pm (registration 2:15pm)
Cost: $10 (includes colour booklet)
Venue: Parliament House is in Macquarie Street, almost opposite Martin Place. Public transport is recommended as parking at the Parliament is not available. The nearest train stations are Martin Place and St James. Participants should enter Parliament via Macquarie Street and make their way to the Legislative Assembly reception desk.

The program is organised by the Education Section of the NSW Parliament.BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL, please contact us on:
9230 2047 or email:

Airing of the Quilts

AIRING OF THE QUILTS, a selection from the national collection from 1st August to 11th October.
The Canberra quilt exhibition is on during that time, August 6th to 9th. So think about a trip to Canberra.
On Wednesday, 27 May 2009 Exhibition and Free Talks at NSW Parliament House.

WRAPs next exhibition is at NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney from 7th July to 30th July 2009.

Monday to Friday only. 9:30am to 4:00pm.

At 11am on 17th July and 24th July there will be a free, one hour, illustrated talk and discussion in the Parliamentary Theatrette. This will be about the history of the wagga, the background to the exhibition and the stories collected along the way.

WRAP is a group of The Embroiderer's Guild NSW Inc. The textiles are on show from the the 7th to 30th but they could only committ to be there to sell catalogues and talk to people on the Fridays only.

History of the Wagga- NSW Parliament House

On Wednesday, 27 May 2009 Exhibition and Free Talks at NSW Parliament House.
WRAPs next exhibition is at NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney from 7th July to 30th July 2009.
Monday to Friday only. 9:30am to 4:00pm.
At 11am on 17th July and 24th July there will be a free, one hour, illustrated talk and discussion in the Parliamentary Theatrette. This will be about the history of the wagga, the background to the exhibition and the stories collected along the way.
WRAP is a group of The Embroiderer's Guild NSW Inc. The textiles are on show from the the 7th to 30th but they could only committ to be there to sell catalogues and talk to people on the Fridays only.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dr Annette M. Gero - Patron

Dr Annette M. Gero
PO Box 398 Neutral Bay,
NSW 2089
1983 Joined The Quilters Guild of NSW
1985 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts (FRSA London), in recognition of research of historical quilts.
1988 Committee, for Australian Bicentennial quilt exhibition
1996 Faculty, Australian Academy of Decorative Arts, Sydney
1996 Founder and Convenor of the Sydney Quilt Study Group
2000 Work in relation to Australian quilts archived in National Library of Australia
2001 Convenor, Quilt Study Group of Australia
2002 Postgraduate Guest Lecturer, School of Fine Arts, Newcastle University.
2003 Elected Board Member, International Quilt Study Center, Nebraska
2003 Associate Fellow, International Quilt Study Center, Nebraska
2007 Patron, Sydney Quilt Study Group
Annette Gero, one of Australia’s first quilt historians, has been documenting and collecting quilts since 1982. She has travelled widely around Australia giving lectures and exhibitions on the history of quilts. For this work she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts (London). She was the first Australian to present a paper on the history of Australian quilts at the American Quilt Study Group Symposium in 1987 (Australian Patriotic Quilts) and at the quilt symposium "In the Heart of Pennsylvania " at the University of Lewisberg, Pennsylvania, USA, on Australian Waggas in 1988. She has also presented papers on her quilt research at the Quilt Study Group of Australia seminars; “Unleashing Collections”, the symposium of the NZ Costume and Textile Section of the Auckland Museum Institute; and at overseas conferences in Edmonton, Canada, New Zealand, France and London, UK. She has also studied quilt conservation and quilt documentation at workshops in the USA. She has published over 80 articles in magazines and journals on Australian quilt history.

She is perhaps most highly recognised for her own quilt collection which as been regarded as a "National Treasure" by the Manly Art Gallery. Her collection contains Australian, English and American quilts which have been exhibited in over 30 exhibitions throughout Australia in Regional Art Galleries, in NSW, Queensland and Victoria and through The National Trust. Her Australian quilt collection has been invited to the International Houston Show (USA) in 2002 and in 2003 to "Mosaiques d'etoffes : a la recherche de l'hexagon" at the Musee des Traditions et Arts Normandy , Martainville, France. In 2006 her quilts were exhibited in France at the textile museum, Musee De L'impression Sur Etoffes, Mulhouse and at the European Quilt Symposium at Ste Marie aux Mines, Alsace. Her first book “Historic Australian Quilts” was published by the National Trust in 2000. Her second book “The Fabric of Society. Australia's Quilt Heritage from Convict Times To 1960” with Kim Mclean is to be published this year.

Letter From Karen Fail

Quilt Study Group of Australia
PO Box 398, Neutral Bay, NSW 2089

Dear Members,
It is exciting times for the quilt study groups of Australia.

The Quilt Study Group of Australia (QSGA) was formed by Margaret Rolfe with a small group of enthusiasts in Canberra, ACT. The group exists to promote interest and research into quilting in Australia. Members are committed to the study of quilts both past and present, this study encompassing both the social and historical context in which quilts are made. The group encourages the preservation of significant historical quilts and while not itself having the resources to preserve quilts, will aim to facilitate preservation through appropriate organisations and institutions.

At the recent Australian Council of Quilters meeting, all Presidents of the state guilds agreed in principal to embrace the idea of forming a quilt study group in their state. Currently, ACT, WA, Qld and NSW have active study groups.

Following the British model to some extent, it is proposed that each state guild to form a focus group or sub-committee to maintain the current quilt study group or to form a new quilt study group in their state. Members of each guild would then be able to join in all activities of the quilt study groups and current quilt study group members are encouraged to join their local guild. Most members of the existing quilt study groups are already members of their state guilds and hence would only have to pay one lot of membership fees under the new structure.

To this end, The Sydney Quilt Study Group is being unincorporated as it is brought under the umbrella of the Quilters’ Guild of NSW Inc and the group will be now known as the Quilt Study Group of NSW. It is hoped that each state will name their study group similarly. For NSW members, the Quilters Guild of NSW usually renew membership in on June 1 but have agreed to have memberships paid for at the Quilt Show in Darling Harbour. Contact the guild office on (02)92873737. Other states, please contact your state guild for further information on membership if required.

The aims and objectives of the Quilt Study Group of NSW will not change. It will still continue to be committed to the study of quilts both past and present as stated in the original aims established by Margaret Rolfe and restated at the beginning of this letter.

Currently, as members of the Quilt Study Group of Australia, you receive a newsletter, which provides you with information regarding events and news. From now on matters relating to the Quilt Study Group of NSW will be published in The Template and all other state quilt study groups will be able to publish information in their state guild’s newsletter. Everyone will have access to information on the web via the Quilt Study Groups of Australia blog at Here you will find information on what’s on, what’s been on, reports on research, interesting quilt finds and other matters of interest to quilt study group members. We are hoping this is a vibrant blog with lots of information for and from the Australian quilt study groups.

It is intended that the biennial seminar which has proved so popular each year since its inception in Canberra will continue with the responsibility for the seminar moving from state to state. In 2008, The Southern Queensland Quilt Study Group hosted a very successful seminar with well over 100 participants from just about every state in Australia. It is hoped that there will be another seminar in 2010/2011. You will be able to find all information, registration forms etc regarding the next seminar on the blog.

Currently, ACT, NSW and Qld have embraced this new structure, while WA, SA, Vic and Tas have agreed in principle and are investigating their options. NT is making enquiries regarding the availability of quilts to study in their state before committing to forming a quilt study group. It is suggested that a committee of 4-5 people can happily organise the activities of a quilt study group and I am delighted to report that the current committee of the Sydney Quilt Study Group are continuing as the committee for the Quilt Study Group of NSW. Karen Fail – Convenor, Liz Bonner – Minute Secretary, Janet Marwood – Treasurer, Sandra Lyons – Reporter and Dr. Annette Gero remains the Patron of the Quilt Study Groups of Australia.

This will be the last formal letter you will receive from the Quilt Study Group of Australia or the Sydney Quilt Study Group. From now on you can find information about your quilt study group’s activities in your guild’s newsletter or on the blog. Put the address in your favourites list.

Warm regards and best wishes,
Karen Fail and the committee of the new Quilt Study Group of NSW.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Conversation with Rain

A national innovative contemporary textile exhibitiion to stimulate and inspire the artists. A challenge has been sent out to artists to develop new and innovative textile artworks. This exhibition will involve work sthat address environmental issues. This exhibition is curated by internationally recognised textile artist Helen Lancaster and involves thriy selected contemporary textile artists from all over Australia.
Fairfield Art Gallery & Museum,
Corner Oxford and The Horsley Drive, Fairfield. Phone (02) 9609 3993
A Conversation with Rain by Helen Lancaster

Floor talk with Helen Godden

Helen Godden & one of her pieces -Screeching Cockatoo

Floor Talk with Helen Godden 11.30 am, 10th June at the Quilters’ Guild of NSW Quilt Show at Darling Harbour. Helen will have several of her prize-winning quilts on display and will be talking about her design inspiration through to finished work.
Drawing, painting and designing have always been an integral part of Helen Godden’s life. Now that she has discovered that she can ‘draw’ with a sewing machine, her artistic life has developed a new dimension, taking her to unexpected heights. With a background in clothing design and production, Helen also completed commissioned paintings for clients. It was not until 2000 that Helen began her interest in quilting when her mother, Pat, asked Helen to design a stained-glass style quilt featuring Australian birds and flowers. Soon after, Helen discovered free-motion quilting and a whole new artistic dimension opened up to her. “A constant in my life has been the need to be creative and design on a daily basis. My mind is constantly thinking design and colours, and creating images in my head that must be allowed to flow from the imagination to the paper,” says Helen.
Helen is a multi-award winner with her quilts receiving awards both nationally and internationally. She most recently won the Master Award for Innovative Artistry at the ‘Quilts: a World of Beauty’ exhibition in Houston in 2005 for Mekong Gold. Now well-known for her free-motion machine quilting, Helen confesses that she has completely succumbed to the lure of working with fabric.

Soft Furnishings at Old Parliament House

Soft Furnishings at Old Government House, Parramatta.

To see the results of the five year long Soft Furnishings Project – designed to recreate as far as possible the tastes and style of Mrs. Macquarie during the residency of Governor Macquarie until 1821.

The tour will be up to two hours led by a member of the Soft Furnishing Project.

$5 payable on the day.