As you would know, from last week’s post – The Australasian Quilting Convention is currently on at The Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne. It kicked off in its usual fabulous style yesterday, and I was VERY lucky to be given early access on behalf of my gig with Make Modern Magazine! Roving Reporter I was! If you are looking for something special to do this weekend, please do get down there and see all the amazing quilts, stalls and demonstrations! Here is some eye candy for you….
I’m not sure there is another building like this in the world that showcases quilting quite so spectacularly. I started humming Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” when I entered, because it’s a bit of a religious experience…
There is so much to see, whichever direction you turn – from quilt exhibitions, to quilting stores, to classes and seminars.
Now, obviously I was in there before all the crowds, but imagine this space teaming with thousands of people, all looking for goodies to tick off their shopping list!
As well as the shopping, there are quilts. And loads of them! I’ve taken a selection of photos for you to drool over….
The “True Blue Challenge” quilts were sensational. It was amazing to see everyone’s interpretation of what True Blue Australia means to them.
The first prize winner was this magnificent Kookaburra – “True Blue Jacko” by Jeannie Henry. “For me, ‘True Blue’ evokes thoughts of things uniquely and distinctly Australian. A blue winged kookaburra high up in a gum tree, set against an intensely blue sky brings together three True Blue Aussie icons.”
Another that stood out to me was this beautiful tribute to Tori and Katrina, who were killed during a siege in Sydney late last year. It is called “Stand”, by Deb Layt. “I Found nothing more True Blue than the response to the recent siege in Martin Place. Everyone coming together in grief, supportive unknown faces in a time of national crisis. The #i’llridewithyou is what we do. We are a people who care for each other no matter where, no matter what.”
Jan Irvine-Nealie had a stunning display at the show, of her Acrylic pigment on hemp, wool filled, hand stitched artwork. This one is called “Cloth Covers Clay #1”. “Clay holds water. Water soaks cloth. Cloth covers clay – Interrelatedness and consequence.”
Check out the hand stitching!
Lucy Carroll had another great display remembering Gallipoli. “The Gallipoli Quilt honours the sacrifice of our soldiers on the Centenary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli Cove. It tells the story of one man’s journey; from his enlistment and embarkation, through his own personal ‘baptism of fire’, to his eventual journey home. You can see Lucy’s work at lucycarrolltextiles.com
Another brilliant display was by French textile artist SegoLaine Schqeitzer. This particular piece is called “A Day is a leaf of a tree of your life”. “In a precious life, I was an autumn leaf…. I love the company of trees. Roots deeply anchored in the ground, branches which carry numerous leaves, a hymn in the life. Log cabin made by pieces of woollen garments from clothes sewn for my family. The tree takes its relief thanks to a weaved ribbon, to a dark grey knitting wool and leaves made with felt and different knitting wool.
This year, the Modern Quilt Guilds of Australia were asked to put forward some of their work for a special display of modern quilting. The fab girls from the Melbourne MQG manned a stand and answered all sorts of interesting questions about modern quilting and what makes it modern! The above quilt is the Quiltcon Charity quilt we all contributed to – so I can now say my work was hanging at AQC! My little block is right up the top left!
One of our talents Melb. MQG girls Patch Andi, does some amazing pixelated work! “Having become rather interested in pixel quilting in the past year, I wanted to challenge myself and create a more photorealistic quilt design, even though that would mean a lot more piecing and quilting work. I used www.youpatch.com to design my quilt pattern which made the process so much easier. The choice of Audrey Hepburn was, for me, a no=brainer. She is the personification of elegance and style and THAT’s what I wanted to achieve in my quilt. I am so happy with how she turned out!” ** Machine quilted by Kylie Cannon.
Billie Stewart is also a member of Melb. MQG! (We have some serious talent in the group!). “I love to modernise traditional blocks by changing the scale and colour to focus on simple shapes within the block rather than the repeating pattern effect. In this quilt I found inspiration from a MQG post about half square triangles that showed different compositions in grey and white. I used a restricted colour palette to create a striking cross in the centre. Modern quilting fabrics have beautiful bright clear colours which automatically modernise the look of traditional blocks.” ** Quilted by Vera Fechara.
And whilst wandering around the “Best of the Best” displays, I caught a glimpse of this beauty out of the corner of my eye and RAN! This divine cross quilt is by the fabulous Gemma Jackson from Pretty Bobbins! Only one of my very best quilty friends! I was thrilled to see Gemma’s work in real life! Isn’t it stunning! This quilt took out the modern award at the Canberra Quilter’s Exhibition last year, and was chosen to hang at AQC for its brightness! I think they chose correctly!
And last of the quilt photos is this awesome beauty by Margaret Sampson. “M is for Mast and M is for Mackenzie” is machine pieced, hand appliqued. And machine quilted by Helen Campbell – The Quilting Room. “This quilt is from Pam Holland’s Book – The Adventures of the Amazing Alphabet. Hand painted alphabet blocks copied from Pam’s book using Fabrico and Uni Pin pens tell the story of the Amazing Alphabet.” I just adore it!
Now part of my day just happened to be spent hanging out with the marvellous Molli Sparkles! Molli and I have known eachother online for a few years now, but this was our first time meeting! Molli is the ambassador for Juki, and showed me all his tricks of the trade on the Juki TL98. I was pretty impressed.
I then got to have a play with the Juki QVP – their longarm machine. This was my first time ever playing on a longarm, and I have to say – I was a little out of my depth! But it was great fun! The representatives from Juki were just lovely, and gave me a good introduction to all things Juki!
I met up with a few wonderful Melbourne quilty friends and the lovely Sue from Newcastle, we looked at quilts, went shopping and also had lunch together – which was super! But I also dropped in and saw Emma-Jane Janson, who just happened to be hanging out with The Crafty Squirrel! Nice to see you again Emma-Jane!
Phew – are you still with me?!!?!? I got to the exhibition at 8.30am….. I left just after 3pm. And all I had in my shopping bags were these few little goodies! I’m so incredibly impressed with myself! I got my long lusted after Bloc-loc ruler for HST’s. Some rotary blades from The Scissor-man, a cute little cross stitch key ring for my daughter’s birthday from The Crafty Squirrel, One whole fat quarter of fabric from My Patch Fabrics and a beautiful set of needles (for all that hand sewing) and some divine little lengths of Liberty, which will be gifted to my daughter to use as shoe laces (thanks Amy Gunson & Cathy Barbagello for the idea!) for her Converse High Tops – from Luccello.
Soooooo – there you have it! We are so very lucky to have AQC here in Melbourne, and I have to tell you – if you live outside of Melbourne, you need to book a holiday here for 2016!