© 2014 Australia Quilts Artists. All rights reserved.
Website design: Brenda Gael Smith
exceptional quilts from the Great Southern Land
Australia Quilts is an invitational exhibition curated by Brenda Gael Smith to showcase the diversity of Australian quiltmaking and textile art - both traditional and contemporary. The 34 featured artists are set out below. Visit their websites to see more of their work and learn more about their creative practice.
Ruth de Vos
Brenda Gael Smith
Flora #6: 2012
I am inspired by the Australian bush, its unique flora and foliage and the importance of preservation and regeneration of native plants in their natural habitat.
Machine appliquéd and pieced.
229 x 139cm
Roaming Free: 2013
'Grey nomads' are a part of the Australian landscape - couples with children who have 'flown the nest' and intend to spend as much as possible while they are young enough to enjoy it. Like my parents, they often buy caravans and go on the road to explore our beautiful country.
Painting and dyeing,
raw edge appliqué, piecing,
and free motion quilting.
Outback Beyond Broken Hill: 2013
Australia is a vast land and the outback can seemingly be empty and barren, but look about you and there are many treasures. Flocks of corellas flying to find feed or a waterhole make a beautiful contrast to the red earth. This quilt was inspired by a visit to Broken Hill (the biggest silver, lead and zinc mining area in the world). The outback is like entering another world; the peace and serenity are exhilarating.
Machine appliqued, embroidered and quilted. Couched gold thread. Rhinestone embellishment. Cotton fabrics and batting. Lutradur trees.
147 x 129cm
The Bibbulmun Track:
Forest & Coast 2014
The Bibbulmun Track in south-west Western Australia is one of the world's great long distance walks. It passes through the Valley of the Giants, the last refuge of the Red and Yellow Tingle trees, 400 year old relicts from a period 65 million years ago, when Australia was part of the supercontinent Gondwana. Walkers then trek through magnificent south west landscapes as the Track moves into coastal heathland with its rugged granite outcrops, spectacular cliffs, headlands and beaches.
Recycled dressmaker's pattern tissue, silks, batting, acrylic paints, fusible web, cotton threads; stamped, rusted, painted, hand and machine stitched, textured stitching.
2 x 95 x 200cm
It's a Wonderful World: 2011
Small children don't need to see the largest waterfalls and tallest mountains in order to marvel at God's creation – they see the wonder of the small, everyday things in their life – raindrops, bubbles, beautiful leaves, tiny insects, and falling blossoms.
Procion fabric dye, texcraft fabric paint, cotton homespun fabric, cotton batting.
200 x 180cm
Orchids of the Orient: 2011
The beautiful orchids and design work on buildings that I saw during a visit to Japan were the inspiration for this quilt. I designed a stylised version of an orchid to be fitted between the scrolls in a vertical row design. I then drew the quilting designs to fit the spaces, keeping the orchid theme.
Machine appliqué, machine quilted
Cottons, wool batting
203 x 209cm
Flood #3 Flotsam: 2013
At night the ghostly hadows of darkened buildings bore witness to the devastation of the flooded river. Lives and possesions became flotsam in the flood waters. In the face of this natural disaster, the community rallied.
Cotton fabric, paint, batting, threads.
122 x 90cm
A Wing and a Prayer: 2011
I have always wanted to make an American Eagle quilt, but I designed birds of fantasy to fly across mine.
100% cotton fabric and batting. Machine pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted.
225 x 225cm
Flow #3: 2011
This diptych seeks to capture, through the use of figure and ground, notions of eddy and flow.
Reverse applique, machine stitching/quilting,
viscose felt, cotton backing,
135 x 146cm
Waratahs Wandering: 2013
Made from six different coloured panels depicting the waratah flower. It is a simple design but the placement of each square is critical to maintain the fabric design. Quilting is minimised to complement the screen print design.
Screen printed and solid cottons by Reece Scannell. Wool Batting. Quilting threads
150 x 182cm
Dotty Roo: 2013
My inspiration comes from the trees and flowers I see during my morning walks at various times of the year. I have take many photos during flowering time. There are so many different shapes and colours. I like to use as many techniques as I can in my quilts so the eye can wander around my quilt.
I use a technique I call "Baglique" where the main flowers, Kangaroo Paw, are bagged with batting inside , then hand or machine quilted. The Banksia Pod is made with shrinking material, the Banksia flower is free motion embroidered, Wattle are Yo Yo's,. Painting and free motion Paper daisies. Hand dyed and commercial fabrics. fabric
135 x 178cm
The red hooded black cockatoo, the Gang Gang is an Australian bird like me. He is bold and loud and soars through the tree tops, free from restrictions, rules or boundaries.
This quilt represents my creative spirit and the FREEDOM I have as an Art Quilter.
Introducing my new technique "Paint-chwork"
125 x 248cm
Sothern Flowers #6: 2013
Exotic, stunningly beautiful and vivid flowers of the southern hemisphere. Immigrants to Australia brought with them flowers from South America and Africa.
Raw edged applique, free machine quilting, hand dyed and commercial fabrics, poly wadding
135 x 135cm
Forever Journey: 2013
Wedding quilt for Heidi and Jon. I have used my "window view" approach to illustrate the colours of dusk and early morning as photographed by Heidi and Jon along the Ocean Road.
183 x 122cm
"Momijigari" is the wonderful old Japanese tradition of visiting areas where leaves have turned their brilliant autumn colours.
I have always admired Japanese gardens, and was inspired after seeing so many glorious photos from woods, gardens and fields in Japan.
"Machine pieced, appliquéd
160 x 101cm
My challenge was to make a whole cloth quilt that appeared to be pieced and appliqued. Inspired by a block pattern by Faye Goldey from "The Quilter's Album of Blocks and Borders" by Jinny Beyer, I began designing from the center and worked out using a Frame-in-a-Frame method. I first quilted with white thread on white fabric and then added colour with ink and metallic pigment powder. Tiny stipple, pebble and pumpkin seed stitching create background texture.
Machine quilted. Coloured using inks and pigment powder. Cotton thread,
101 x 101cm
Flax Lily: 2014
The Dark Flax Lily (Daniella Revoluta) is a little native Australian flower that I found growing wild in a neglected corner of my garden. I was entranced by its prolific blooms and clusters of vertical stalks and leaves. In my work, I strive to create pieces that have depth, atmosphere and radiant light. I am inspired by and strive to achieve the same ethereal qualities that can be found in water colour paintings.
Machine appliquéd. Machine quilted.
100 x 110cm
Rainy Day Dora Creek #11: 2014
...puddles of black water hold the earth and bits of sky...
Acrylic paint, ink, oil stick, crayon, mono prints. Machine pieced and quilted with variegated thread.
124 x 124 cm
Long Fong:Chinese Dragon & Phoenix
This is an original design inspired by traditional Chinese motifs and legends. The Imperial Dragon (Long) and Phoenix (Fong) are surrounded by a lattice of peonies and they are playing with a flaming pearl altogether represent prosperity, wealth, harmony and good luck.
hand turn edge appliqué, hand embroidered, machine trapunto and quilted, piped binding
178 x 176cm
Memory Cloth #12 Numbers Lost: 2013
"Memory Cloth" is a series that extends my thoughts even beyond what I feel is possible. My way of thinking was changed when the Black Saturday bush fires ravaged the Victorian State in February 2009. Our son and his young family lost everything in the fires. Within their very small neighbourhood they lost 11 friends and 43 houses… this new work is a testament to the strength of character of human nature.
Plant-dyed wool blanket
140 x 220cm
& Billy Buttons 2014
My coastal garden this summer has been resplendent with a great many kangaroo paw and billy button plants, among others, which have given me great joy and an abundance of design inspiration. They delight me with their many varied forms, colours and textures and this leads to many sketches and photographs of these delights which are at my very own doorstep.
Silk screen printing; free motion machine stitching; procion dyeing
106 x 118cm
Capturing the emergence of animals and plants emerging out of a primordial swamp is represented by the ordered movement of shapes and colours.
Machine appliqu&e; and piecing.
Machine quilted by Susan Campbell
230 x 230cm
The Waratah (telopea speciosissima) is an Australian native plant and the floral emblem for the state of New South Wales. The large red flower at the top of the upright stalk is a collection of many tubular florets clustered together to create a dome shape. The flowers are highly sought after for floral decoration and its image has been used as decoration in textiles and ceramics.
Hand painted and
commercial cotton fabrics.
150 x 112cm
Preston Dreaming: 2011
"Preston Dreaming" celebrates the work of Australia's foremost female painter between the wars, Margaret Preston (1875-1963). Preston lived in Paris and London for 7 years and was influenced by Cezanne, Gauguin, the Fauves, Jean-Baptiste Chardin and Japanese print makers. This quilt reflects the influence of Australian Aboriginal art on Preston who sought to create a unique and symbolic Australian artistic representation. The internal border is Australian native mistletoe. The outer border was designed by a contemporary Australian Aboriginal artist.
Hand appliquéd, embrooidered and beaded,
224 x 232cm
Daisy Field: 2013
The daisy is such an unassuming little flower, yet in a field - quite spectacular. I have merely tried to capture a small area of daisies. I find it interesting that although it is a flat piece of work, through a lens the daisies appear to come out of the background.
Machine appliqued and quilted.
and painted with ink.
107 x 98cm
It's All About Colour: 2013
The enduring perception of Australia by outsiders is a vast continent with a dry interior and a few large cities along the coastal fringe with a relatively small population. Those who actually traverse the country recall the sheer 'colour' of the Outback and the warmth of the light (which visiting artists find such a revelation), combined with the overarching skies reflecting and enhancing ancient soils and rocks, and the rich diversity of unique trees with myriad bark patterns, colours and textures.
Machine pieced, raw edge machine applique, machine quilted, hand-dyed.
118 x 176cm
Reflections on the landscape at Lake Eyre in flood inspired this vast sunset sky with reflective waters…where the colours disperse and shimmer. Fabrics were chopped and mixed to create the colour to "Paint" the surface allowing light, depth and perspective.
Cotton, silk, nylon organza and metalic threads were chopped and mixed to create new colours, textures and patterns. Sprinkling them onto the surface and stitching them down with water soluble fabric. Quilting where necessary to continue the watery effect on the surface.
77 x 99cm
Budgies Uncaged: 2013
In some parts of the world, budgies are caged as family pets. In Australia, tens of thousands of budgies fly free in murmurations creating a spectacle as they swoop through the air.
Freeform piecing. Machine quilted.
Cottons hand-dyed by the artist.
125 x 125cm
Lain Lou: 2013
I love the was the deep blue of the Australian sky makes the colours of our native plants so bright and sharp.
The applique was stitched (raw edge) onto a ground and then I used different styles of quilting to create texture on the leaves and flowers and movement in the sky, it was then finished with ink to create shadow and depth.
150 x 100cm
Roadside Coreopsis: 2010
Coreopsis flowers grow along the side of the road and make a colourful view as I head south on my various journeys. I enjoy portraying the living features around my community and these brightly coloured flowers are a real expression of early summer in Australia before the heat burns off the green of the foliage and turns the countryside brown.
Plant-dyed wool. Hand stitching.
135 x 97cm
Holiday Waltz: 2012
This quilt celebrates the joy of Christmas and the holiday season.
Cotton fabric, wool batting, hand appliqué, trapunto, beading and machine quilting on a domestic machine.
196 x 200cm
Purple Haze: 2011
Purple Haze is a quilt made as part of the Australian Machine Quilting Association Challenge. The dimensions and piecing of the quilt were stipulated and blue, red and purple fabrics were to be used. The quilting was as desired by the quilt maker.
Purple Haze has been pieced with shot cotton fabrics and layered with a wool wadding. The quilting design includes a central vase motif, surrounded by feathers and further floral quilting designs in the outer edges to enhance the medallion effect.
114 x 114cm
Blue Corridor: 2012
Inspired by a corridor in Anton Gaudi's Casa Battlo in Barcelona and his hexagonal designed paving stones.
Hand dyed and screen printed hexagons layered under tulle and organically free motion quilted.
150 x 210cm
Southern Delight: 2011
Several textile artists living in Australia have strong connections with New Zealand. This quilt was made by Mariya Waters for her husband's 60th birthday and their 40th wedding anniversary. The bird is a New Zealand kea - the only snow parrot in the world and it lives in the south of the South Island of New Zealand. The quilt incorporates Maori style motifs in the sky, water and border. The hearts in the quilting of the sky represent 40 years of marriage.
136 x 181cm