Sunday, October 9, 2016

Saturday 12th November QSG of NSW talk by Kathy Doughty



On Saturday the 12th of November 2016 Kathy Doughty will give a talk for the Quilt Study Group of NSW about her experiences of designing quilting fabrics.



Kathy is well known to Guild members as a maker and designer of quilts, a judge at quilt shows,   owner of Material Obsession quilt shop, and writer of popular quilting books. She has also designed three ranges of quilting fabrics - “Trail Blazing”, “Flock Together” and “A Wandering Mind”.  Her latest fabric line, “Folk Art Revolution”, has recently arrived in shops.

She will talk to us about why she produced her own fabric ranges, the steps involved and her experience of dealing with this aspect of the quilt industry. If you have ever wondered about this important element of our art creation, please bring your friends along to hear Kathy speak.

The talk will start at 2pm on Saturday the 12th November 2016 in The Meeting Room at The Glover Cottages, 124 Kent Street in Millers Point. Entry is $5 for Guild members and $10 for non-Guild members. Afternoon tea is provided.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Report on Rhonda Pearce's QSG of NSW talk



In April Rhonda Pearce gave a talk for the Quilt Study Group of NSW about her quilting journey and  showed five of her remarkable quilts.  She explained that she was a dressmaker by trade and started working when she was 15 for Sydney’s most famous fashion house, Germaine Rocher. The Sydney couture atelier was started by Germaine Rocher in the 1930s and was allowed to make a limited number of exact copies of some of the latest Parisian designers’ collections. There were only two treadle machines and, like the other 19 women she worked with, Rhonda sewed most of the garments by hand. This is where she honed her skills, and explains both her love of hand sewing and why so many of her quilts have won awards both here and overseas.

Rhonda’s only lesson in patchwork came from Val Moore, whose quilting tour of USA she went on in the 1990s. After she returned, Rhonda realised her dream of owning a patchwork shop by buying the local post office building at Glenbrook. She started with just 89 bolts of fabric and due to interest from her students, started making patterns of her quilts for sale. For this reason, Rhonda estimates she has made over 300 quilts, mostly samples for the shop. Now she enjoys the luxury of making only quilts she likes. Over the ensuing years Rhonda has developed many patterns and produced many outstanding quilts, including First Place in The NSW Quilters' Guild's "Professional, Traditional and Viewers' Choice 2007"category for her "Insanity" quilt, which has attracted a huge following, both in Australia and overseas. Although she does tend to use the same colours in her quilts, Rhonda said she never sticks to a fabric range and adds the odd quirky coloured fabric.
Rhonda and Baltimore Classic

In 2013 Rhonda took out First Place in the "Traditional Applique" category in Houston, with her entry "Baltimore Classic".  Rhonda is a member of the Cocktail Quilters and 17 of the group went to Houston with her for the prize giving ceremony. She discovered she had also won the Viewer’s Choice award when she landed in Honolulu on the way home.  The inspiration for this quilt came from a photograph in a book about the quilts in The American Museum in Bath. Rhonda said drew up the blocks using graph paper and decided it would be a Block of the Month. Most times she was only one step ahead of her students. The top took her 24 months to sew plus 12 months of hand quilting (using 15-16 spools of quilting thread). At 3 metres square it is such a large quilt that in order to fit the hangers at Houston, the sleeve had to be put on part way down the quilt. 
Civil War Journey
Rhonda likes to use mainly reproduction fabrics and tone on tones. She prefers to applique using the freezer paper on top, needle turn applique method using a blue wash out pen. She transfers her design onto the fabric she is appliquing on, but marks only as much as she can sew that night. At the end of the night the block is immersed in cold water, rolled up in a towel and spread out to dry overnight. When asked for more details, Rhonda told us that she doesn’t prewash her fabrics, uses Gutermann thread for applique and hand quilting, uses a thimble for quilting and a short needle. She has a Clipfast frame for her quilting and balances it on the arm of the chair. She does a lot of crosshatch quilting and said that she doesn’t like quilts which are overquilted.

Half inch Hexie Quilt
Rhonda then showed us an amazing quilt top she has made of 15,000 half inch hexagons for a grand daughter’s 21st birthday. She reuses her hexagons and said she only bought 300 to do the whole quilt. She will probably quilt it by ditch stitching around each hexagon and hopes to show it in Paducah.
Rhonda’s newest quilt, “The Glenbook Star”, has a foundation pieced log cabin centre using quarter inch strips from her stash of left over fabrics.
The Glenbrook Star

 Still another quilt brought was based on the “Ann Randoll Coverlet Quilt” which was in the recent V & A Quilt Exhibition. The centre was appliqued onto a circle of fabric, a bias strip was sewn on and then it was appliqued to the quilt top and the fabric cut away from the back. She quilted it using Hobbs Poly-Down batting.
Ann Randoll Coverlet Quilt

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Report on Kerry Easton's QSG of NSW talk on Sewing Tools



On the 13th of February 2016, Kerry Easton gave an outstanding and fascinating talk for the Quilt Study Group of NSW on sewing tools used in the past. 

Kerry is an ex-CSIRO researcher and currently the NSW convenor of the Needlework Tools Collectors’ Society. Her interest in this area started when she decided to restore an empty 1820s Palais Royale workbox, thus kick-starting a ‘restful passion’. This involved using her husband’s woodworking tools, including his new oscillating spindle sander. She did say that her work background in particular has helped her pursue her interest in all sewing tools and we were very lucky to be the beneficiaries of her passion.

Kerry started her talk by discussing early embroidery frames and took us through a series of photos of paintings and illustrations to show how the basic design has not changed in 265 years. We were led through the various types - embroidery frames, tambour frames, circular hoop frames and triangular table frames – and methods of tightening them, before she moved on to cover quilting frames. She is especially fond of padded silver hoop frames, and showed us a beautiful American example she has restored.

Kerry then covered the topic of clamps (also known as sewing birds or third hands), and showed how they were used to tension fabric for sewing. The variety of designs was mind boggling, ranging from simple G-clamps to the most ornate animal, insect and bird-shaped metal clamps doing double duty as pin cushions and tool box holders. Of course, sewing machines made them obsolete. Kerry brought along some collectors’ sewing birds to show us and warned us against buying any Charles Waterman (USA) gilded sewing birds from the 1970s as they are modern copies.



Kerry then talked about the more common components found in sewing baskets or etuis (scissors, thimbles and thimble holders, thread holders, pincushions, needles, needle and bodkin holders), as well as thread spinners, swifts or thread winders, reels and reel stands, tatting and other types of shuttles.

We learnt about the fad for parfilage or drizzling (recycling metallic threads and lace) in the court of Louis XVI and the beautiful sets that can now be bought for large amounts of money, before Kerry showed us a range of portraits including all these items.
Finally, Kerry covered the types of containers for these needlework tools. This included work baskets, etuis, chatelaines and work tables. She showed us a wonderful selection of etuis made from exotic materials, such as one made from a giant shell.


We finished by looking at all the sewing tools Kerry had brought along to show us, as well as the treasures that had been brought along for show and share. It was a wonderful and detailed talk.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

23rd July 2016 'Unstitching Quilts Symposium' bookings are now open

https://content.ngv.vic.gov.au/col-images/api-specialevents/EXHI036908/1280

In conjunction with the opening of the 'Making the Australian Quilt 1800 - 1950' Quilt Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, there will be a one day symposium on the 23rd of July 2016. Speakers from overseas and Australia will talk between 10am and 3pm.

See https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/program/unstitching-quilts-symposium/ for more details of speakers, topics, venue, costs and to access the Book Now link to buy tickets online.




Friday, April 1, 2016

QSG of NSW talk by Rhonda Pearce on 30th April 2016



On Saturday the 30th of April 2016 Rhonda Pearce, who owned Post Office Patchwork at Glenbrook for many years, will give a talk for the Quilt Study Group of NSW. 



Rhonda has made and designed many award-winning quilts, including the famous “Insanity Quilt” exhibited at the 2007 Sydney Quilt Show, and “Baltimore Classic” which won 1st prize in the traditional appliqué section at Houston in 2013. We will hear how she designed them, the steps involved and details of the particular techniques she used.

The talk will be held at 2pm on Saturday the 30th April 2016 in The Meeting Room at The Glover Cottages, 124 Kent Street in Millers Point. Entry is $5 for Guild members and $10 for non-Guild members. Afternoon tea is provided.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Report on Lisa Walton's QSG of NSW Talk



At the end of November 2015, Lisa Walton spoke about her quilting journey at the Quilt Study Group of NSW meeting. Most of us first met Lisa at her ‘Dyed and Gone to Heaven’ stalls at the quilt shows where she sells her hand-dyed fabrics and books, beads, fabric paints dyes and markers, and kits. Her quilts have won prizes in Australia, Paducah USA and Birmingham UK.

Her topic ‘Leap and the Net will appear’ became clear when she stated at first that her motto is ‘failure is an option’ and then recounted how many ‘leaps’ have been responsible for the development of her different skills and business opportunities taken.
Lisa’s first quilt made 20 years ago was a traditional quilt made from charm squares that ended up as the dog’s quilt. Her next one was made from Laura Ashley squares in a Mariner’s Compass pattern but unfortunately she ‘missed the quarter inch seam allowance’ – hence her ’15 minutes of traditional quilting’. At a SCQuilters Christmas Party her Secret Santa gift was a pack of hand dyed fabrics. She was fascinated by it and this led her to a class in USA in fabric dyeing - thus starting her journey in making hand dyed fabric and using them in her quilts. 


When others wanted to buy the fabric her dyeing business started. Then when they wanted patterns to use, the first leap in her career started. She made a quilt using her fabrics but when it was rejected by a well-know quilting magazine as being ‘too contemporary’, she decided to follow her heart and, rather than produce what was then ‘commercial’, put together kits of her own fabrics and her own style of pattern and sold them direct.  

When Quilters Companion asked Lisa to contribute to their videos she took a leap to putting herself out in front of the camera. At the same time she started producing associated simple kits for each of the projects. When her husband retired she was still working fulltime so when he offered to help in her business by cutting fabric and dyeing it, she ‘leapt’ at the offer.

Her next leap occurred when commercial batik fabrics became popular and the market for hand-dyed fabrics slowed. She changed the business accordingly to producing custom ordered fabrics, stocking Australian-made fabric paints and dyes, selling beads, and value-adding fabric by over stamping.  At this time too she started using more textured fabrics, playing with beading, paints, surface design and stencilling on her own quilts.

Her next leap occurred when she was awarded the Jewel Pearce Patterson Scholarship for Quilting Teachers in 2010.  As a result she developed new classes using overlay paint techniques. After she sat next to the C&T Artistic director in Houston she ‘leapt’ at the chance to write her first book – ‘Beautiful Building Block Quilts’ 

When her second book was cancelled, she leapt into the world of self-publishing and started the ‘Creative Journeys’ series which cover the different techniques she uses in her work. Another leap came when the Quilters Guild of NSW asked her to be a featured artist at the 2011 Sydney Quilt Show and her work to date was exhibited (You can see some of them at  http://thelastpiece.typepad.com/the_last_piece/2011/06/its-a-wrap.html)

Lisa is an active user of Facebook and contributes greatly to discussion on SCQuilters. She teaches classes on free-form fabric construction, indigo and shibori dyeing, fabric and thread dyeing, stamp carving, screen printing, beading, embellishing, couching and quilting around the world. She said she is inspired by her travels and continues to take tours of quilters to Italy, USA and Japan. All this while running her business ‘Dyed and Gone to Heaven’ with her husband, and working as Vice-President – Administration and Oceania representative for Studio Art Quilt Associates Inc. She is certainly a wonderful example of why we should take every opportunity to ‘leap’.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Wartime Quilts exhibition goes to Melbourne to the Australian Quilt Convention AQC April 2016



If you missed the exhibition at Manly Art Gallery in Sydney where 35,000 people viewed this stunning quilt exhibition of wartime quilts, curated by Dr Annette Gero, it will be on in Melbourne for four days in April.

These are extraordinary Woollen Quilts - all made by men from their uniforms, dating from 1800 to 1950, and pieced in a myriad of tiny pieces (some quilts have 15,000 pieces). A collection of such quilts has never been shown before and their design and colour are mesmerizing. Not to be missed.  Annette has written a book to go with the exhibition which will be on sale at the show 


Wartime Quilts from Military fabrics
Australian Quilt Convention AQC
April 14-17, 2016

Royal Exhibition Building
Carlton Gardens
Melbourne Australia
10 am to 4.30 daily