Sunday, April 27, 2014

Di Ford talk on 6th July at the 2014 20th Anniversary Seminar of QSGA

In her lecture "Primarily Quilts ... 19th Century Inspirations", well known Australian quilt designer Di Ford will talk about her life as a quilter. She will cover the early days of the quilting phenomenon which started in Australia in the late 1970s, and which is still so popular today.

She will tell us how she started one of the first quilt shops in Melbourne, "Primarily Patchwork" and her journey since.

Di has a great love for the look of antique quilts and she takes much joy in creating quilts that look like they belong to an era long ago. She also enjoys teaching others how to create their own heirlooms. 

Sixteen of her beautiful quilt patterns have been assembled in her first book for Quiltmania - "Primarily Quilts". Di has also started a Mystery Quilt project for them. As they say on their website “After the international success of her first book, Primarily Quilts, featuring projects inspired by 19th century quilts, we asked Di Ford to launch this project with us. It should keep you on tenterhooks for the best part of 2014!”

For more details see

Friday, April 25, 2014

Quilt Uncoverings on 7th July 2014 at the Australian Maritime Museum

On Monday the 7th of July 2014, as part of the 20th Anniversary Seminar of the Quilt Study Group of Australia, we will hold a full day of Quilt Uncoverings.

Starting at 10am at the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, four NSW quilters will share selected quilts from their collections. These collectors and makers of wonderful quilts and quilt designs are Trish Bloomfield, Melinda Smith, Carolyn Sullivan and Brigitte Giblin.

If you wish to come only to the Uncoverings Day, and not to the Seminar on Sunday, it will cost $A40, payable before by booking or you can pay on the day at the Australian National Maritime Museum. 

Click here to download the 2014 QSGA Seminar registration form, the speaker schedule and other important information.

Trish Bloomfield

Trish Bloomfield will talk about and show quilts from her own collection and a couple of quirky quilts from Annette Gero’s collection. Trish has titled her section “Quilts Outside the Box”.

When describing her quilt collection she told us: When I started collecting I really had no idea what I was doing. I decided to buy utility quilts including some that were well worn (I was interested in the effect of wear over time on quilts and batting).  I also liked block quilts.  This in turn helped me make some decisions with regard to my own quilting process. 

“Annette Gero thinks that I have a unique collection because in my ignorance I have collected some unusual and perhaps quirky quilts. Although I have not seen all of Annette's quilts there is one Poppy kit quilt that I think needs to be shown. Annette doesn't get my interest in that quilt, but, I think it is a perfect example of someone with sewing ability ordering their 1st quilt kit and then having no idea of how to quilt it.

“So I guess ‘outside the box’ is my journey to learn more about the craft and history of quilting and the examples I bought along the way”.

Melinda Smith

Melinda Smith is the owner and manager of “Quiltsmith”, a well known quilt shop in Annandale, Sydney. She began quilting when she was 16 and her interest in antique quilts started at an early stage of her quilting career.

Melinda’s Quilt Uncovering session is called “Collecting Eclectively”. While showing us a selection of her antique quilts, she will explain how she has built her quilt collection, how it has developed over the years and why quilts attracted her. Melinda collects across all themes, but has a particular interest in scrap quilts made with multiple fabrics.

Carolyn Sullivan

Carolyn Sullivan is an embroiderer and quilter who enjoys working with fabric and thread to make colourful works where shape and texture are important. As most of her work is done by hand, much of her life is spent stitching. She has exhibited widely in Australia and overseas. She lives on five acres just outside Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands of NSW, so she has a close involvement with the natural features of the land surrounding her.

Carolyn has titled her session ‘Quilts from Traditional to Award-winning Art’. Hand stitching is at the core of my textile work. Indian kanthas and the tradition of close, straight stitches have formed the majority of the work that I do. However, I am also interested in finding other ways of stitching that express what I see. I cover large expanses of my own plant-dyed cloth with stitching that expresses the vastness of the Australian landscape

Brigitte Giblin 

Brigitte is well known for her quirky sense of colour and fabric choice. Her ability to reproduce antique quilts with a new twist places her quilts in a naïve, whimsical light. She especially enjoys working with colour to create quilts which have a “feathering the nest” quality, with a traditional approach to techniques. 

Her latest book is Feathering the Nest (see for more details).

The quilts Brigitte will share with us and discuss are French Vintage Quilts - Boutis.
“The term ‘bouti’ tends to be used today to describe all French quilts, however there are 3 different techniques for French quilts made in the south of France from the 1600s.
I will talk about the 3 different techniques and show quilts and fabrics dating from 1785 to 1920s. My collection is mostly whole cloth quilts of the simpler ‘matelassage’ type”.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gail Chalker talk for the 2014 20th Anniversary Seminar of the Quilt Study Group of Australia

On Sunday 6th July 2014 at the 2014 20th Anniversary Seminar of the Quilt Study Group of Australia in Sydney, Gail Chalker will give a talk titled 'Greenmount Cemetery - an Early Inspiration for Baltimore Album Quilts'.

In 1982 Gail first came across two things which changed her life.  The first was the famous American quilting magazine ‘Quilters Newsletter’. And the second, within that same magazine, was a photograph of a Baltimore Album Quilt and an article about it.   This chance encounter was the beginning of a life of appliqué for her.

Now, over 30 years later, Gail still has a keen passion for all styles of hand appliqué - in particular Baltimore Album quilts and recreating/reproducing old quilts.      

Currently Gail is working on a series of Mourning Quilts from Victorian times that were made in England and America.  The epitome of this series will be her tribute to the Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. A goodly portion of the original Baltimore Album Quilt (BAQ) makers are buried in Greenmount Cemetery.

When Gail first spoke to us last year about this work, she said – “In September 2012, I visited the Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland to view the headstones where most of the motifs used in Baltimore Album Quilts were taken from, and where a good percentage of BAQ makers were buried.   This cemetery was a planned business venture in 1838, as opposed to burials being in church yards.   After much discussion with the Board of Directors I have been given permission to make a quilt featuring the layout plan and headstones. As well, I have been researching both the stone carvers etc. families of the time period and why their motifs became so popular with BAQ makers.    The quilt will be large around 96 x 96”.  I don’t know what I am enjoying the most - the research or the construction of the huge site plan which I am doing in English paper piecing".

But what else could you expect from this unconventional quilter who not only loves motorbikes but is also a mortician and owns a successful quilt shop in the Lockyer Valley township of Gatton in Queensland?