A visit from Grace Errea

Members of Waverley Patchworkers have the opportunity to learn from an international tutor every second year thanks to the June Lyons Scholarship Fund. June was a founding member of Waverley and proceeds from the sale of her fabrics were donated to the group by her family in her memory. 

This year Grace Errea from California presented a lecture and taught two workshops. Grace has a love of appliqué and a dislike of piecing and she is known for her exceptional use of colour in her quilts.At her Thursday evening lecture ‘The Value of Value” Grace described the steps she takes when designing a quilt. Her focus is on value and she has created a fabric table of eight values from lightest to darkest of the primary and secondary colours. This enables her to focus on the values in a shape she has photographed rather than the colour.

In an example of how value can be used to highlight a focal point, on a dark background the cone flower is the focus but on a light ground the same image needed a darker focal point, the butterfly.

Grace dislikes piecing so much that she even makes her backgrounds with this technique rather than piece it. In the Breakfast of Champions  the random edge was not planned but looked so good it was totally faced. Usually Grace makes a wide binding with a narrow flange to frame her quilts.

A neat summary of her attitude is found in the statement, “Colour gets all the credit but value does all the work.”


Everyone was very keen to get a closer look at the quilts after this very informative lecture.

Friday Workshop – Reverse or Take Away Appliqué






A new technique of heat setting was demonstrated and then tried in a sample piece.

Then it was onto using this process to make a stained glass like image. It involved tracing, painting on the mixture, cutting with surgical precision and then heat setting the image and removing the freezer paper.


Everything then needs to be stitched and lots of people made a start on their machines.


Saturday and Sunday Workshop – Heat Set Appliqué

This workshop involved some very detailed patterns and a new appliqué technique using a glue that is dabbed on, dried and then heat set in place.

It started again with a small learning piece and everyone was happy with their progress. Again it was a process of pattern tracing, numbering pieces, cutting templates and finally choosing fabric before dabbing and heat setting. Although it will be quite some time before these quilts are finished, everyone was well on the way and having a good time.


The use of value was the secret to fabric choice and much was learned over the two days.


“I learned to be braver with my fabric choices” “How to cut up little bits.”

“I learned to be very careful not to do things the wrong way round.”

“A whole new way of how to stick things on”

“I learned about the value of colour.”  “About having value as a priority.”

“The Value Matching Tool has been very useful to choose the value of fabrics.”

“I need to raise some cash to increase my stash!”


About Waverley

Waverley Patchworkers Inc is a group of about 300 patchwork and quilting enthusiasts located in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. We meet regularly to share our passion for all things textile.
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One Response to A visit from Grace Errea

  1. Suzanne says:

    When I showed my husband the flower that I had made over the weekend he exclaimed “Oh, a jellyfish!”

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