Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Saturday, April 30, 2011

An Award!

Yesterday at Island Quilts, the Tasmanian Quilt Exhibition,  Pauline and I were thrilled to receive an award for our crazy patch quilt - Crazy Ladies of Franklin Court.

The award we received was Best Use of Mixed Media.  All credit for this win goes to Pauline's extraordinary embroidery.

As much as I love working through Harriet and Carrie's QA projects, I sometimes get the urge to be individually creative.  Imitating someone else's designs is absolutely necessary when learning, but after doing this for a year or so, I needed something else.

After moving house 10 months ago, I was delighted to discover my new neighbour was not only a lovely lady, but talented both as a sew-ist and artist.  Pauline had never made a quilt before but was happy to embroider the crazy patches as I produced them.  I took a lot of time and trouble choosing fabrics, pictures, laces etc. to put the patches together, but honestly, I needn't have bothered.  Handing over the first patch, I expected to have some nicely worked hand embroidery across the seams, but Pauline had other ideas.  She put close to 500 hours of hand-work into this quilt and the completed patches I received back were nothing short of astonishing. 
To understand what I'm talking about, please take around 3 minutes for a close look at the quilt in the slide-show below..............

Pauline, who is quickly approaching 75 (she doesn't mind me saying that, I did ask!) has been sewing and embroidering for as long as she can remember and is currently teaching some of the young neighbourhood girls the craft (for no fee) which is a brilliant opportunity for them.  She learnt to sew from her mother and grandmother as a young child and can still remember embroidering a duck at age 7.  She tried to teach me, but alas I just don't have the patience - I'm busy enough learning machine quilting. 

It seems I've started something - Pauline started making crazy patches of her own and has already made some gorgeous bags from them.  Now, after viewing the beautiful quilts on display at the exhibition, she has shown a lot of interest in learning free-motion quilting.  I think ladies, we have a new quilter about to emerge!  I will of course point her in the direction of the free motion quilting bible - Harriet Hargrave's Heirloom Machine Quilting!

As for my own contribution, after the crazy patch embellishments were completed, I set about turning them into a quilt.  It was no easy task adding the sashing - have you ever tried to rotary cut sashing while your ruler is sew-sawing on top of buttons, beads and balls?   I did the best I could to get it all assembled, using the window-pane technique I'd just learned from making Harriet's Card Trick quilt and adding a jewel pieced border (which I wish I'd made larger),   The quilting is simple stitch-in-the-ditch, it being rather pointless to try to quilt it any other way. 

The inner seams of the patches have been hand-quilted to help carry the weight and prevent sagging of the heavy blocks.  This was done by Pauline, who armed with a batting sample for practice and a how-to-hand-quilt book, learned the technique overnight and finished the quilting the following day.

A big thank you to Horn Australia who sponsored this award.  The prize is very much appreciated!

The Island Quilts Best in Show 2011 - a very well deserved win for Rose Lewis - can be seen on the Tasmanian Quilting Guild website here .  The show finishes Sunday May 1st, so if you're in Tassie and haven't yet been, the details can all be found on the quilt website.

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  1. It's absolutely magnificent. I enjoy your blog and the wonderful quilts you make.

  2. It is just beautiful. But..... who is going to keep it? Which of you will it belong to?

  3. Congratulations Lesley and Pauline. A well deserved win.

  4. Thank you ladies :)

    Jenny - interesting question! The quilt belongs to both of us, so it can't be sold, gifted or altered without permission from the other. As to where it hangs, the joy was in the creating of it and we've not given much thought to the finished product.

    We have already been approached by the southern branch of the Tasmanian Sewing Guild to bring the quilt to a meeting to talk about it and allow the ladies to see it close up and it would be nice to do more of that.

    As we live right next door, it's not really an issue whose house it hangs in - I'm happy for Pauline to look after it as long as I get visiting rights!

  5. Congratulations to you both!