Thursday, July 26, 2012

Best of Show!

I have had the most incredibly exciting day today at the Melbourne Quilt & Craft Show.  The 2012 Victorian Quilters Inc Showcase is currently being held in conjunction with the Melbourne Quilt & Craft Fair.  My quilt, First Blush was entered in the Longarm Category.

First Blush is a wholecloth colour trapunto quilt which I recently made after making some sample pieces earlier in the year.  The quilt is made using techniques by Karen McTavish and involves cut-away trapunto.  The pink colour is created by placing a bright red fabric behind a sheer layer of basiste fabric.

I was thrilled to find that not only had First Blush won First Prize in the Longarm Category, the quilt also won Best of Show!  I have spent most of my day on cloud nine and am still buzzing!

Detail of the centre of First Blush - the background fill is pebbles, one of my favourites.

Corner section of First Blush with sweeping curved cross-hatching.

I will be going back to Quilt Showcase on Saturday to spend some more time with my quilt.  I would like to thank the committee of Vic Quilters for organising another fabulous quilt show, the judges for their time and what must be a difficult job and the volunteers for making the quilt show possible.  I would also like to thank all the sponsors and in particular Bernina for their generous sponsorship - I will look forward to receiving my prize, a Bernina 820 Quilter's Edition sewing machine.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Red & White Quilt #2

Linda and I had lots of wonderful feedback on the Red Cross Quilt I recently quilted for her.  Linda from Quilts in the Barn has done it again, making yet another beautiful Red & White Quilt to add to her growing collection.  Linda saw a version of this quilt during her travels to the USA and has drafted the pattern up herself.  As usual, the piecing was immaculate and the quilt a pleasure to work on.  I love the fact that this quilt is predominantly red, a reversal of the usual red and white quilts.

The quilt has been quilted with curved cross-hatching in the red setting areas, continuous curves and orange peel in the white stars.

As Linda loves feathers, the large border was quilted with whimsical, curly feathers.

I love the secondary patterns created by the quilting - the circular elements of the curved cross-hatching and the orange peel running diagonally across the entire quilt through the stars.

This quilt will be exhibited as part of the Quilts in the Barn Exhibition
(a fundraiser for Breastcancer Research) as follows:-

Quilts In The Barn 2012
Infinite Variety Revisited
An Exhibition of Red And White Quilts
5th, 6th, 7th October 2012
Also featuring Red And White Antique Quilts
by Mary Koval
Check Linda's Blog for further details

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Australian Women's Signature Quilt

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Central Australia and I am pleased to say that I have returned with a quilt story.

Whilst in Alice Springs, in the very centre of Australia, we visited the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame.  On display there is the Signature Quilt made in 2003 to celebrate International Women's Day.  The quilt is made up of calico squares, all signed by Australian women who have recorded firsts or those who have made significant achievements within their field, with alternate patches of patterned fabric, appropriate to the signatory's field. The quilt is representative of both a traditional women's craft of the 19th century as well as making visible women's achievements of the 20th and 21st centuries - a "Patchwork of Empowerment".

The completed quilt on display measures around 3m x 2.5m (10‘ x 8‘). It contains the signatures of 343 Australian women who have been first in a variety of fields (ranging from sport, law, medicine, politics, public service, adventure etc) within Australia, their State or Territory or their community.

The quilt has been signed by a range of exceptional women - a complete list of signatures is on the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame website.  The signatories include:

Evonne Goolagong Cawley - First Aboriginal woman to win the prestigious Wimbledon tennis singles title (1971)

Zali Steggall - First Australian woman to win a World Cup alpine event (1997: slalom, Park City, Utah, USA); first Australian to win an individual medal at a Winter Olympic Games (1998: slalom, Nagano); first alpine World Champion in Southern Hemisphere (1999: women’s slalom, World Skiing Championships).
Margaret Fulton - First and greatest of the Australian celebrity cookery writers, with 4 million cookbook sales over the past 40 years; credited with being one of first to bring international cuisine to the Australian table after WWII.

Joan Kirner - First woman to head VIC government (State Premier: 1992).

Lowitja O'Donoghue - First Aboriginal woman to receive Order of Australia (1976); founding Chairperson of ATSIC (1990); one of SA’s first trained Aboriginal nurses (1956).

Dawn Fraser - First and only swimmer in history of Olympic Games to have won an Olympic event (100m freestyle) 3 times in succession (achieved Tokyo: 1964).
On a personal note, I am very proud to say that the quilt also includes the signature of my sister, Jo Van Son.  Jo is the adventurer in our family and her signature was included in the quilt as she was one of a team of four women (with Robyn Fox, Georgia Le Plastrier - also a signatory to the quilt - and Jenny McKenzie) who made the first Australian all female descent of Canada’s Yukon River by canoe (1997), a journey across Alaska of 2000 miles (3200 kms).  It was fabulous to see her patch amongst such illustrious women.

I will leave you with this inspirational message by Josephine Tobias - First woman to own and operate cruise ship in Australia (weekly cruises, Cairns to Cape York: 1990); founder of Women at Work Australia, Brisbane (1994).