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Best of the Best

Two quilts sponsored by Waverley Patchworkers into the 2016 Quilt Showcase are hanging in the Best of the Best display at the Australasian Quilt Convention. Congratulations to Darelle for The Pleasure of Patchwork and Suzanne for Water Lilies.

Not only are these ladies talented members of Waverley Patchworkers, they have both recently taken on co-ordination roles in the group. I was asked by a visitor when doing White Glove duty at AQC “How do I get to have my quilt hanging in this exhibition?” The answer I gave was to join your local guild, get active in the group and display your quilts at the local show. This is exactly what Darelle and Suzanne have done – and look how far they have come.

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AQC Challenge Finalists

Two members of Waverley Patchworkers have quilts in the finals of the 2017 AQC Challenge. Congratulations to Mariya Waters and Eileen Campbell. Both quilts feature birds in their makers response to the theme Made in Australia: Fauna and Flora.

Mariya’s larger than life portrait of an Eclectus Parrot was seen at our February meeting but had to be kept under wraps until now. Eileen has placed the familiar Rainbow Lorikeets in one of her favourite plants, the Bushy Yate.

Winners of the challenge will be announced on April 19 and we wish both of these talented ladies the very best.

All quilts can be seen at the Australasian Quilt Convention, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne from Thursday April 20 to Sunday April 23 where you can vote for your favourite.

You can preview the 31 challenge entries here.


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Shibori Workshop

Our first workshop for 2017 was led by Leanne O’Sullivan of Kimono House. Leanne has extensive experience in using indigo dye and with shibori techniques and shared three processes with an enthusiastic group of 11 ladies and one gentleman.

Kimono House is located in the Nicholas Building, Swanston Street Melbourne. The current exhibition My Blue Heaven is from Leanne’s personal collection of indigo textiles and continues until April 22.

Shibori involves resist dying, using stitching, wrapping, knotting and clamping. Careful preparation is the key to a successful result, although we learned that it is an organic process so the unexpected may happen.

The dying process began with the careful mixing of the indigo and chemicals in buckets of water. As the dye reacts to both fibre and oxygen it was important to work slowly and avoid bubbles. The mix was left to brew all morning, by afternoon the indigo flower on the surface indicated that the dye vat was ready.

The pieces came out green at first then, as they were exposed to the air, the deep indigo colour appeared. The clamped pieces were carefully unwrapped to reveal symmetrical patterns. The stitched pieces were allowed to dry and then painstakingly unpicked to reveal the delicate lines.

By packup time everyone had completed three pieces of gorgeous indigo in cotton and silk. It is easy to see that we are very pleased with our work and appreciate the time and energy given to the class by our teacher Leanne.

Workshops are an important part of the Waverley Patchworker’s year, you can find a listing of the full program under the Workshops Tab at the top of the page. Details of the next workshop, Bag Making with Leesa Chandler are in your member Newsletter.

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March Show and Tell

Maybe the weather has been far too hot to do any quilting, or it might be that everyone is working on really large projects. Whatever the reason there were only three quilts for show and tell at our March Monthly Meeting, fortunately they were all stunning.

The Gift Quilt team was busy planning the sewing day on the 5th Wednesday in March. Here are some of the recently finished quilts.


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The Journey

Guest Speakers at our March Monthly meeting were Waverley members Liz and Heather who are also members of the Lions Club of Quilters. They have been involved in The Journey project from its inception and told of the dream to establish a Quilt and Textile Museum here in Victoria.

This dream began after a 2011 trip organised by Annette Blake to various textile museums in the United States. The question on everyone’s lips was “Why can’t we have a museum like these ones in Australia?” The first answer was that we don’t have the strong tradition of philanthropy that is behind the American quilting museums. Undaunted a group of quilters decided that Lions International may be the organisation to assist. And so the Lions Club of Quilters was established.

With the centennial of Lions in 2017, they decided to make a quilt, to celebrate this occasion and to raise awareness of quilting and funds to go towards the dreamed of museum. Not ones to dither about, the quilt was designed by Maree Marr and work commenced in October 2015. It was finished in May 2016. The Journey will go to the Centennial Celebration in Chicago and maybe attract a significant sponsor. It will be accompanied by four panels of leaves, each leaf sponsored by an individual or a group in the manner of the Red Cross signature quilts. At the same time the Lions Club of Quilters are researching possibilities of a home for the museum, or for a museum without walls. It was quite clear from the enthusiasm and commitment exhibited by Liz and Heather that this dream will become a reality.

The quilt was made in four sections by a total of 25 quilters doing the appliqué. To give an idea of how enormous this task was, one white magnolia flower took four hours to appliqué. Each flower and leaf was then embroidered by Kirsty Beckett and it was quilted by Kerrie Thomas. In all it is estimated that 2000 hours work went into its creation.

Some of the symbolism embedded into the quilt was explained by Liz. As well as the foliage representing where Lions Clubs work, the language of flowers tell of the organisation’s attributes. The year 1917 can be found in the Olive leaves, 2017 in the Eucalyptus, the vine makes 100 and a message in braille along the trunk can be seen near the oak leaves. Butterflies found in the Sala and the Eucalypt are the symbols of the Deafness Foundation and Beyond Blue. The embroidered shapes in the flowers relate to sight, mobility and other areas of Lions work. The full story is available in booklet form and also detailed on the reverse along with all the makers names.

Attending the Monthly Meeting is always an opportunity to learn, this time it was about a new group of quilters with a very specific goal. We wish them every success.

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March Guest Speaker

Our next Monthly Meeting will be held at Mt Waverley Community Centre on Monday 27 March. The guest speaker is Ruth Nunn from Lions Australia. She will be explaining a project that started in 2014 and culminates in a quilt representing Australia and the Oceania area in the Centennial celebrations of Lions International to be held in Chicago this year.

The quilt “The Journey” was designed by Maree Marr and is based on the tree of life motif, in this instance the trees flowers represent the areas where Lions are active all over the world.

Ruth Nunn speaking at a Ballarat Quilt In earlier in March

Ruth will be telling us all about this project and the larger aim of establishing a museum of Australian quilts and textiles. Members and visitors on Monday evening will have the opportunity to view this quilt and of course ask lots of questions.

To whet your appetite here are a two sections of the work.


The Lions Club of Quilters Victoria have a Facebook page where you can keep in touch with The Journey.

A reminder to members: the library will not operate at the April meeting, so what you borrow in March is not due until May.

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Waverley Art Quilters Summer Challenge

At the end of 2016 members of the Art Quilters were given a brown paper bag. Inside were the instructions to make anything using the enclosed fabric and the idea of focal point. 

For many the first reaction on seeing the fabric was the paper bag would be easier to use. From the picture it doesn’t look so bad. But the silver fabric is woven from a heavy cotton in the warp and metal strips and finer thread in the weft. So it felt awful too. There is nothing good that can be said about the metallic lace.


But a challenge is supposed to be challenging. At the reveals in February and March it was obvious that the Art Quilters are up to it. An amazing array of pieces came back. Most used the given fabric as a background, some used very little and it was almost totally obliterated by paint in one case.

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February Show and Tell

We had many lovely quilts on show at the February Monthly Meeting, quite a few are original designs. You will not see all of them here as our photographer was not able to capture one and one is entered in a competitive challenge – all the best Mariya for the next selection round.

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Quilting – some things to think about

Desley Maisano of Addicted to Quilts gave a most informative talk to our members on Monday and she has kindly allowed us to publish a summary here for those who could not make it on the night. She also provided some links to designers and tools that she referred to during her talk, just click on the name.

Desley’s reference sheet as supplied at the meeting  Waverley Reference sheet 2017

The photographs of quilts were taken at the meeting and do not do justice to Desley’s quilting, however they are useful in illustrating the particular points made.

The key message provided by Desley is to think about the quilting at the very beginning. She spoke from the perspective of long arm quilting done by a professional quilter, however many of the messages are relevant for those doing their own quilting.

Ruled by Chocolate All meanings that can be made of the quilt title are relevant. This quilt was pieced in a day and took three weeks to quilt. The quilting designs came first and they dictated the width and length of the strips. Then the hunt was on for the right fabric. The backing in red provides a different image of the quilting as the bobbin thread matches the top thread.

Feather Rose This quilt was made so that feathers in the corners and setting triangles could be featured. A border fabric with broadly scattered flowers was chosen so that the swags can be showcased. Ditch stitching needs to be on the cream to be seen, so when piecing press seams to the dark fabric. The second quilt is the same pattern but no feathers in the quilting. The quilting design is inspired by the Secret Garden colouring book.

All over or edge to edge quilting vs custom quilting. The quilting design does not show on busy fabrics so the quilt on the left is suitably edge to edge quilted. Plain fabric shows off quilting, so the quilt on the right with its large sections of cream and pink solids is suitable for custom quilting.

Custom quilting is the most expensive option. An allover pattern of dense feathers randomly placed can be a good substitute as shown in this group quilt.






Light or dark fabric. Custom quilting does not show up on dark fabric. Also think about your backing fabric colour.

This is the back of a quilt where the centre is quilted with a dark thread and the border, showing to the left, is quilted in a bright yellow thread. As illustrated in Ruled by Chocolate Desley matches the bobbin thread to the top thread. To avoid this showing she has used a busy dark grey and pale yellow print for the backing fabric. You can possibly see the feathers on the left of the photo where the black thread is used, but the overall look on the back is an even texture rather than a quilted pattern.


Thread choice. The modern quilt has vast areas of white which have been quilted in a strongly contrasting blue thread (too difficult to see in this photo). The brown top will be quilted with a cream thread to make the dull background more interesting.

Almost any batting can be used in long arm quilting, Desley prefers Matilda’s Own 60% wool 40% poly because it is medium loft, quilts and washes well. An exception is with the quilt on the left. The bright white background called for a white polyester wadding, the cream of the wool would have dulled it. It also has a high loft to really plump out the quilted shapes. In this example the quilting is an extension of the piecing.


 You should also think about who the quilt is for when choosing the type of quilting. Less quilting makes for a soft and cuddly quilt that drapes over the body. This is young Xavier’s bed quilt from the back. A pieced back is fun, but keep it asymmetrical as it is not easy to get a backing perfectly centred.

The McTavishing around the flowers in the quilt below left is very dense and makes the quilt stiff, suitable for a show piece that will hang on the wall. This stitch does not work well next to feathers so Desley has done some pebbles in between.

The dense quilting adds interesting texture, but needs to be spread evenly across the quilt. Straight lines can give the idea of more piecing. Close spaced double lines add contrast to curved elements like feathers.

This quilt was designed around the diamond quilting element that Desley had used in a customer’s quilt and liked very much. The quilting takes the place of piecing that may have been done in these alternate blocks.

Windmills of My Mind Piecing and quilting work together perfectly in this stunning quilt.

New Challenges: Metro Hoops Modern quilt designs call for modern quilting patterns rather than the feathers Desley loves. Lots of straight lines work in their place to create interest and complement the piecing.

Until recently all Desley’s quilts have been quilted on a hand guided long arm machine. This includes her commercial work the majority of which is all over or edge to edge designs. She has had one of her machines retrofitted with a computerised unit so that she can continue quilting and place less strain on her body. The quilt on the left is her second practice piece, it took far longer to set up and program rather than do it free hand, but that is what learning is all about. The pebbles are free hand quilted.

Waverley Patchworkers are very grateful to Desley for all the time and thought that went into her presentation. We hope this small summary will be useful for you as well.

See and read more about Desley’s quilting work at her blog

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