Monday, July 14, 2014

Sydney Quilt Show 2014

Forget sugar plums, when I close my eyes since last week's Sydney Quilt Show I have visions of quilts dancing in my head. Bright, exuberant, happy, ingeniously conceived quilts, cleverly pieced, intricately quilted and beautifully displayed in our new exhibition venue. 

It's just a (hugely) glorified tent, made comfortable with carpeted floors, air conditioning and all other services connected, but from the time the first exhibitors arrived to set up the word on everyone's lips was 'light'. The fabric of the roof - you can see it in the first photo - diffused the sunlight, and simply lit up the quilts with the most amazingly soft, flattering light. We all like a bit of that, don't we?

Come on, let me show you.

{Lucky for us, I have the permission of all these quilters to post my photos of their quilts - Rachaeldaisy, Jen Davis aka Penny Poppleton, Michelle Law, Chris Jurd, Selina Cheng, Sue Rowles, Sue Robbins - and even Janet Treen!}

Rachaeldaisy has been teasing us on her blog,in the most delightful way, for the last few weeks, revealing tantalizing glimpses of whimsical clamshells, but saving the big reveal of her entire quilt until the show. Here it is, in all its colourful, cheeky, prize winning glory, a fitting winner of Third Prize in the category Mixed Techniques, Anything Goes!

Happy as a Clam

By Rachaeldaisy of Blue Mountain Daisy

Next is this year's collaborative quilt by the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild. This beauty has taught me never to underestimate the 'wow' potential of a humble, traditional block in the right hands. These SMQG girls are experts at 'wow', and have worked their modern magic on the pickle dish block.

Rainbow Rays

By the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild

{Photo posted with permission from Jen Davis aka Penny Poppleton}

Michelle Law was another quilter who shared little glimpses of her creative journey on her blog. She had no expectations of winning with this seemingly simple concept, but her fabrics, placement and wonderfully textured quilting made it a clear winner of First Prize in the category of Modern - New Traditions from Old Favourites.

Across the Universe

By Michelle Law of Buttontree Lane

You can always count on Blue Mountains quilter and quilt teacher, Chris Jurd, to come up with something spectacular. Chris is the 'queen' of New York Beauty, Mariners Compass, Curved Geese and the like.

Come up closer so you can get a good look at her piecing in these New York Beauty blocks. Those points!


By Chris Jurd of Patchwork Fundamentals

Selina Cheng is a talented young modern quilter, one of the SMQG creators of Rainbow Rays. I always love the way she uses colour!

Mondrian Dreaming

By Selina Cheng of Mad Quilter's Disease

Fellow Paddington Patchworker, Sue Rowles, entered two quilts in this year's show. Zig Zag, which she made from jelly rolls, demonstrates that monochrome doesn't have to mean monotonous. Her Zig Zag has zing!

The white space gave Sue the perfect canvas for showing off her skill as a long arm quilter.

Zig Zag

By Sue Rowles of Sue's Top Finish

She also works in glorious colour, and the colours in this quilt are her favourite palette. I like how the lines of chevrons at the top and bottom add flair to the design.

Stars for Ruby

By Sue Rowles of Sue's Top Finish (02 9519 5907)

I was excited to take this photo of my friend Sue Robbins, another Paddington Patchworker, with her quilt Bungendore. I love to see a quiltmaker standing proudly with her quilt, and Sue has every reason to smile. Her beautiful quilt, which she describes in her notes as 'a riot of colour', won Third Place in the category Commercially Machine Quilted Quilt (Small), and was quilted by none other than Sue Rowles!


By Sue Robbins

Also on display were all the state winners from the 2013 Quilt Shows, the work of the creme de la creme of Australia's quiltmakers. 

Janet Treen took out Best of Show with her entirely hand appliquéed and quilted quilt, Rings and Roses, at the Sydney Quilt Show last year, and it went on to be chosen as Best of Australia earlier this year.

Rings and Roses

By Janet Treen of Quiltsalott

Amazingly, Janet again won Best of Show in this year's Sydney Quilt Show, this time with with her quilt Coxcombs and Currants. 

In a milieu increasingly populated by modern quilts, Janet's consummate skill with a needle and thread has ensured that her exquisite, more traditional quilts have risen to the top two years in a row.

In addition to Best of Show Coxcombs and Currants won first prize in the Traditional Professional category, the Retaining the Tradition prize, and the Best Hand Quilting Award. Wow!

In case you think I'm indulging in hyperbole, here's a close up photo of Janet's work. Can you believe this is all hand stitched?

In a nod to the Amish tradition of including a deliberate mistake in their work (reasoning that only God can create something perfect) Janet has tweaked her design in a tiny way. Can you spot her deliberate mistake?

Coxcombs and Currants

By Janet Treen of Quiltsalott

You can see why I'm in inspiration overload, and itching to try some new quiltmaking techniques and designs. Who knows, I might even do something courageous and enter a quilt next year.

I think I just need a few more hours in my day.


  1. I don't see the mistake - I love Janet's quilts I'm on two on- line groups that she belongs to and she does some amazing work - I was so pleased to see she won so many awards with this one, I had watched some of the work progress on her blog the past year or so. What an amazing show it must have been.

  2. Oh MUCH to see...I think I will dream in color tonight as well! What a fun time...

  3. In order to accomplish what Janet does, we'd have to be like the giraffe, and sleep in increments of seconds! Her work is astounding. Forgive me... I can't seem to find the tiny "mistake" in her piece. I sure appreciate you sharing all this bright stuff! Love, love, love what I'm seeing, particularly the SMQG's group quilt. It's stunning.

  4. How lovely...what a showing and that quilt that was hand quilted is simply divine...
    thanks for the great visit

  5. Looks as though it was a good show......but the extra travelling required to get there didn't tempt me to come down from the Small Smoke for it!

  6. Great post Di! Thanks so much for all those kind,words. It was a great show and a great venue. Better get started,on your red and white quilt for next year!

  7. What an eloquent and inspiring post. Thank you so much for the shout out. You've shown some of my favourite quilts, what eye candy! I was very smitten with Rachael Daisy's clams.
    I went back to look at Michelle Laws quilt quite a few times, loved her work. What struck me this year was the sheer variety and use of colours, it made for a wonderful show.

  8. You've shown so many of my favourite quilts, it's lovely to see them all again. I love how you described to venue and show, you are so right when you say the word this year was bright be it the light and colours. Thank you for your lovely words about my quilt. I'm looking forward to seeing your quilt in the show next year.

  9. Fabulous photos. Thank for sharing. I've been completely inspired!!!! I'll join you and enter a quilt next year too

  10. What a fantastic post! Thanks Di - it was great to look back at my favourites through your eyes (and I so agree!). And thank you for including me. It was so much fun entering my first big Sydney show - I'll be back for sure! And you should most definitely enter!

  11. I have to much time to spare, and found an extra circle, in the top right hand applique piece? Is that a mistake, or just acknowledgement of the amish? Loved everyone of those quilts........ what a great display of talented creators you have in NSW!

  12. Fabulous quilts, and photography & commentary too. What a pity the show isn't still on this weekend.

  13. Hi Di, I have recently found your blog and great photos on Instagram after Christine J posted a link to your blog on Facebook about the story of her beautiful quilt. I'm a 'MW' myself and I've loved reading bits of your blog and seeing your lovely quilts, other crafts and your amazingly cute Chester :) I'm inspired to take more photos so am discovering Instagram and am a keen crafter when I get the time...crochet, jewellery, girls hair bows...but as you say there aren't enough hours in the day :) The work that has gone into the quilts in these photos is incredible! So clever and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I can't spot the deliberate mistake anywhere! Beautiful quilts.


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