Art Quilt Australia 2015

Art Quilt Australia 2015: National Wool Museum, Geelong
24 October – 13 December 2015

Linda Balding - Understory
©Linda Balding

Price: $850

Statement: My work is inspired by the forest that I live in. Acres of tall trees between the cliff face and the river where, during winter, there is the feeling of being under the forest, with the vines and creepers creating a safe, enfolding canopy.I wanted to capture the feeling that the bush is far more intricate than it first appears. To develop this idea I have layered images and fabric to be looked beneath and seen through.

Materials: Cotton fabric, embroidery thread, cotton batting..

Techniques: Hand painted and silk screen printed fabric layers cut up and reassembled with more layering and hand stitching. Backing machine quilted.

Photographer: Cassandra Balding

Linda Balding - The Hill:Drought
Linda Balding

Price: $350

Statement: This work is based on the beautiful curve of a small hill near my home. It also references Australian Wagga quilts made through necessity of old wool army blankets and patches of fabric squares cobbled together. The colours are those of a parched landscape and the grid structure references paddocks and fencing in the farming communities hard hit by the lack of rain.

Materials: 100% recycled wool blanket, rusted cotton pieces, wool batting, cotton backing, threads, silk strip.

Eco-dyeing and silk screen printing. Hand and machine stitching.

Photographer: Cassandra Balding

Barbara Bennetts- Rebirth:Everything Old is New Again
© Barbara Bennetts

Price: NFS

Statement: An old blanket, a rusted grate and gum leaves all reborn as a composite whole. Each step requires water as an active ingredient to make the process successful.

Materials: Old blanket rusted over barbeque grate, echo dyed with Eucalyptus & Casuarina leaves.

Techniques: Machine quilting and hand embroidery with silk and rayon thread. Cotton and silk knitting thread edging. Backed with cotton material used in the echo dying process.

Photographer:C S Bennetts

© 2015 Anna Brown

Price: $2500

Statement: Inspired by the beautiful eucalypts growing near my home, I have been studying the patterns which form when gazing through their canopies.

Materials: Cotton fabric and thread, synthetic batting.

Techniques: Raw edge reverse applique. Machine piecing and hand quilting.

Flora Bushblooms #4 by Anna Brown
©Anna Brown 134x93cm

Price: $2500

Statement: This piece is an abstract interpretation of Australian wildflowers.

Materials: Woollen fabric and quilting thread, cotton thread for piecing and a thin synthetic batting.

Techniques: Raw edge reverse applique, machine piecing and hand quilting.

Lucy Carroll - Deglupta Lucy Carroll - Deglupta
© 2015 Lucy Carroll

Price: $2900

Statement: Old trees play a huge role in our ecosystems, sheltering the lives of a multitude of living creatures. When we retain them in new building developments, not only do we provide security to these creatures, we give our children the gift of growing up surrounded by old nature.

Materials: Wool, silk, cotton.

Techniques: Raw edge applique, free motion quilting.

Susan Cunningham - FamilyTies
©2015 Susan Cunningham

Price: $1050

Statement: Family ties conveys the connectivity between family generations. Images based on a family photo of my young daughters and their grandmother were transferred onto retrieved family linens using needle and thread as it they were a pencil. Demelza Sherwood's work is an influence.

Materials: Salvaged and used family utilitarian linens - hand towels, tea towels and an apron, embroidery thread.

Techniques: Hand quilting and embroidery using running stitches.

Photographer: John Simpkin

Lisa Davis - The Art of Record Keeping
©2015 Lisa Davis

WINNER: Expressions: The Wool Quilt Prize 2015

NFS: Acquired by the National Wool Museum, Geelong

Statement: "The Art of Record Keeping" pays homage to the work of Ernst Haeckel, German zoologist and evolutionist from the late 1800's. Raw edge machine applique and intricate quilting combine to create texture and detail reminiscent of Haeckel's illustrations. Including parallel lines in the quilting echoes the idea of documentation.

Materials: 100% wool fabric, silk and synthetic thread, 65%viscose/35% wool batting, synthetic batting.

Techniques: Raw edge machine applique, longarm quilting.

Ruth de Vos - Skies of Blue
© Ruth de Vos

Price: $2300

Statement: Gardens and sunshine and rain drops and bubbles and creatures and blossoms; it is a wonderful world!

Materials: Procion fabric dye, cotton homespun, textile paint, cotton batting.

Techniques: Hand-dyed, screen-printed, machine pieceing, machine and hand quilting.

Sue Dennis -Tangled Sue Dennis - Tangled
©2015 Sue Dennis

Price: $3000

Statement: Tangled thoughts like tangled weeds grow in the garden of the mind; reflections on age dementia and how it is affecting my Mother.

Materials: Hand dyed cotton, batting, thread, textile ink.

Techniques: Hand printed with the actual plants, machine quilting.

Photographer: Bob Dennis

Sue Dennis --Backyard Blueprint
©2015 Sue Dennis

Price: $700

Statement:Summertime weeds in my yard provided the raw materials for botanical prints reminding me of plan blueprints. Roots and seed heads are reproduced in the print.

Materials:Hand dyed and commercial cotton, batting, thread, textile ink.

Techniques:Hand printed with the actual plant, machine piecing, machine quilting.

Photographer:Bob Dennis

Dianne Firth - Flora
©DIanne Firth

Price: $3000

Statement: Plants colonise space to take advantage of sun and air. Their roots spread in a similar way in their search for water and nutrients. These ideas are referenced in the transparency of the work and the flowing lines of stitching.

Materials: Cotton, cotton thread, 80/20 cotton/poly batting, acrylic paint.

Techniques: Discharge, painting, piecing, machine quilting.

Photographer: Andrew Sikorski

Dianne Firth - Red Hills
© DIanne Firth

Price: NFS

Statement: This quilt is an abstraction of the rolling hills of the high country of eastern Australia.

Materials: Wool felt, wool/cotton fabric, wool batting, wool backing, polyester thread.

Techniques: Torn-strip applique, machine quilting.

Photographer: Andrew Sikorski

Pat Forster - Kimberley Reds
©Pat Forster

Price: NFS

Statement: Red sands and sandstones of the Kimberley, like the red squares, vary in intensity and hue, from sun-bleached at mid-day to fiery at sunset. The landscape textures, quilted here, include spinifex, palm fronds, rippling water, freshwater snails, mangrove shoots, gum leaves, pebbles, sandstone cliffs, and windblown desert sand.

Materials: Fabric, thread, batting.

Techniques: Machine piecing, machine and hand quilting.

Pat Forster=Leafy Sea Dragon
©Pat Forster

Price: NFS

Statement: The inspiration for the green ‘Leafy Sea Dragon’ was the classic dragon fractal as portrayed at The curve was adapted to suit patchwork and, as in the wild, the sea dragon is surrounded by varied sea-life, which on the quilt are scientifically named.

Materials: Fabric, batting, machine and embroidery threads.

Techniques: Machine piecing, machine and hand quilting, machine and hand embroidery, painting.

Photographer: Jim Forster

Pat Forster - Monuments & Stairs
©2015 Pat Forster

HIGHLY COMMENDED:Artist Development Award

Price: NFS

Statement: The monument and stair figures each exhibit a repeating pattern in different scales, so are fractals. I designed them on a hexagon grid, each within a same sized large hexagon - parts of these appear to be bases of the figures. The design reflects my mathematics background and traditional patchwork methods.

Materials: Fabric, thread, batting.

Techniques: Machine and hand piecing, hand applique, machine and hand quilting, hand embroidery.

Helen Godden - Eagle Soaring
©2015 Helen Godden

Price: NFS

Statement: The quilt was inspired by the dynamic colour and flowing movement of the eagle as he soars high in the sky towards the hot setting sun, his glossy feathers glowing in the warm light. 

Materials: Wool and arcylic yarn on stabiliser with woollen batting and cotton backing.

Techniques: The entire surface is machine couched with a specialised couching foot designed for Handi Quilter Sweet 16 by the artist.

Helen Godden - Lyre Lyre
©2014 Helen Godden

Price: NFS

Statement: Surrounded by the rich colours of the waratah, bottle brush and ferns, the Lyre bird nonchalantly displays his elegant, delicate tail.

Materials: Wool base with hand dyed wool felt and hand dyed wool couching.

Techniques: Couched appliqué and free-motion quilting.

Helen Gray - My Place Helen Gray - My Place
© Helen Gray

Price: NFS

Statement: The immediate environment provides inspiration for daily sketches and materials for plant dyeing cloth. The resulting imperfections stimulate mark making with paint and stitch.

Materials: Cotton, paint, various threads.

Techniques: Dyed, painted, stitching

Photographer: Billy Rushton

Alvena Hall - Edicara Suite Alvenna Hall - Ediacara Suite

WINNER: Ozquilt Network Newsletter 25th Anniversary Award of Excellence

©2015Alvena Hall

Price: NFS

Statement: A found wornout silk scarf sketches the Ediacara hills where 600mya "Arboreus" fossils are found. Like today's seapens, Arborea sway beofre a ghostly future-landscape. Catastrophic floods and mud-slides smashed these fragile creatures.Thus it's rare to ever find complete specimens. By about 550mya the beautiful, elegant Arboreus had vanished from the oceans.

Materials: Cotton, silks, embroidery.

Techniques: Quilted layered fabrics with pre-emboidered elements applied.

Ronda Hazell - Woman of the Wagga
©2015 Ronda Hazell

WINNER: Artist Development Award

Price: $850

Statement: The woman of the Wagga is a dreamer, an artist and cat lover. She is a lover of colourful cloth and is seen here wearing her favourite vintage wool challis dress. The Wagga symbolises her ability to warm those she loves.

Materials: Wool

Techniques: Piecing, appliqué, hand stitching, free motion quilting.

Judy Hooworth- Creek Drawing #11 Judy Hooworth -CreekDrawing11
©2014 Judy Hooworth

Price: $3500

Statement: My quilts are about place, in particular Dora Creek which flows near my home. Walking along the creek is part of my routine, integral to my life and artistic practice. I document each walk with photographs and drawings. I’m interested in patterns.... light on water, trees and branches, grasses and leaves; and the changing colours and moods created by variations in the weather day by day……

Materials: Cotton, cotton thread, 80/20 cotton/poly batting, acrylic paint.

Techniques: Discharge, painting, piecing, machine quilting.

Judy Hooworth - Rainy Day Dora Creek #11
© Judy Hooworth

Price: $3500

Statement: My quilts are about place, in particular Dora Creek which flows near my home. Walking along the creek is part of my routine, integral to my life and artistic practice. I document each walk with photographs and drawings. I’m interested in patterns.... light on water, trees and branches, grasses and leaves; and the changing colours and moods created by variations in the weather day by day……

Materials: Cottons, cotton thread, 80/20 cotton/poly batting, acrylic paint, gesso, oil stick, crayon.

Techniques: Hand painted, mono printed, piecing, machine quilting.

Photographer: Garrick Muntz

Cathy Jack Coupland -NeverEnding Cathy Jack Coupland -NeverEnding
@2015 Cathy Jack Coupland

Price: $2200

Statement: A circle is a simple, never ending line. Add a myriad colours and this also becomes never ending. Where to stop?

Materials: Acrylic felt and rayon thread.

Techniques: Free machine embroidery

Photographer: Julie G Photography

© Yvonne Line

Expressions: The Wool Quilt Prize 2015

Price: $3050

Statement: The shearers’ bunk house was made from planks and unlined. Holes had been filled with scraps of material and newspaper to stop the drafts. Some roughly made waggas hung between the beds for privacy. Bedding was often roughly sewn and well worn.

Materials: 95% pure wool, 5% blends, black and white wool sourced from small holdings around Victoria and NSW, natural vegetable and plant dyes, home spun wool yarn, commercial wool yarn, 100% wool batting.

Techniques: Wool and some wool/blend on wool blanket with embellishing machine, hand knitted wool samplers using home spun wool and one commercial spun sampler, hand stitched edging. Home dyed with natural plant dyes or left in their natural state.

Photographer: Camden Photographics

©2015 Suzanne Lyle

Price: $1600

Statement: Colours of Paradise is based on a stylized drawing of a Strelitzia.

Materials: Eco dyed wool and silk dyed from local plants, recycled wool blanket, wool yarn, wool felt, cotton.

Techniques: Piecing, wool applique, wool couching

Photographer: Ed Dunen

©2015 Peggy Lyon

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ozquilt Network Newsletter 25th Anniversary Award of Excellence

Price: $1350

Statement: A compressed, dead native plant leaves its mark on a worn damask tablecloth; as the water evaporates over time a residue is left behind.

Materials: Old Damask tablecloth, cotton cloth, polycotton thread, small amounts mixed media (eg felt, fibreglass flywire, acrylic printing ink), Atelier Carbon Black Ink (Waterproof, lightfast ASTM1).

Techniques: Staining of cloth using residue dyeing technique, reverse applique, hand stitching and quilting.

Techniques: Eva Fernandez

©2015 Kathleen (Kate) Martin

Price: $2000

Statement: From the soaring heat, the forks of lightning, dense smoke and burning debris, roar of the fire, fear; to the aftermath acres and acres of burnt landscape, trauma, heartbreak, dead and injured animals, ruination of the man made and the destruction of the bush.

Materials: Two recycled Wool Blankets, wool batting, merino wool gaberdine, cashmere lino printed, Spoonflower digital print using waterbased pigment inks and dyes on cotton fabric, recycled satin blanket ribbon, hand spun wool yarn, silk, cotton, acrylic threads.

Techniques: Rusted eco-dyed blanket backing, Spoonflower digital print from cropped photo on cotton, eco-dyed iron mordant blanket and ribbon, hand and machined stitching,

©Susan Mathews

Price: $2800

Statement: Part of a large and ongoing series of work expressing my fascination with the forms of Australian native plants, particularly banksias and more recently, kangaroo paws. Lino prints in mainly neutral tones with collograph accents allow the brightly coloured silk screened kangaroo paws to dance on the surface.

Materials: Cotton fabric, water soluble fabric printing ink, polyester and rayon threads.

Techniques: Lino printing; silk screen printing; machine quilting using a domestic sewing machine.

Constructions 2 © Susan Mathews Constructions 2 © Susan Mathews
©Susan Mathews

Price: $2500

Statement: I love old French buildings built using the colombage (half- timbered) technique. Infills of narrow bricks forming patterns; peeling paint revealing history; texture and patina; wear and repair; make-do and mend; shuttered windows. Lino printing on an old cotton sheet from France produced textures evocative of those ancient worn surfaces.

Materials: Cotton fabric, water soluble fabric printing ink, polyester and rayon threads.

Techniques: Lino printing; free motion machine stitching.

Janie Matthews - If Every Stitch Were a Step
©2015 Janie Matthews

Price: $1950

Statement: If every stitch were a step I would have walked over 394 kilometres and I'm still not sure where I'm am, where I'm going, or where I've been.

Materials: Cotton fabric, water soluble fabric printing ink, polyester and rayon threads.

Techniques: Shibori dyed, hand stitching.

Cremorne ©Alison Muir Alison Muir- Cremorne
©Alison Muir

Price: NFS

Statement: In 2010 we moved after 22 years in the 1 home. I explored my new home by watching the seasons change. 'Cremorne' encapsulates garden plants and cut flowers with dollar notes and experiments in natural dyeing that has taken 3 years to complete and visually records my new home.

Materials: Silk

Techniques: Hapa zome plants, bundled flora dyed in banksia, heat set images, machine and hand quilting, hand embroidery.

Photographer: Andy Payne

Jan Mullen - Feathering the Nest Jan Mullen - Feathering the Nest
©2015 Jan Mullen

Price: $3000

Statement: My two volumes of Weldon’s Practical Needlework from the late19th century contain suberb illustrations of stitches, techniques and finished items. These were times of hope chests and glory boxes, when spare time was spent stitching for the future - preparing for a love nest of one’s own.

Materials: Linen, silk, hemp & cotton fabrics, cotton batting, various threads.

Techniques: Photo transfer (photography), digital manipulation, digital print on linen, piecing, quilting, handstitching.

Photographer: Bewley Shaylor

©2015 Beth & Trevor Reid

Price: $1200

Statement: A small quilt that provides a setting for 64 understated line drawings of birds. These drawings based on an Oyster Catcher, a sea bird found in coastal areas of Australia, are an exercise in conveying the sense and movement of the bird without delivering a detailed execution.

Materials: Wool, wool gabardine, wool/poly batting, cotton thread.

Techniques: Hand dyed wool gabardine, machine piecing and quilting, hand drawing and painting.

Photographer: David Paterson (Dorian Photographics)

Frances Schifferli -Warmth Frances Schifferli -Warmth
© Frances Schifferli

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ozquilt Network Newsletter 25th Anniversary Award of Excellence

Price: $350 SOLD

Statement: Bordering the National Anzac Centre, Albany, overlooking King George Sound, a tar-patched trail stretches like thousands of army blankets, end to end. In this quilt, the trail morphs into a hastily vacated bunk, which today provides warmth not for soldiers but the camouflaged King's Skinks baking on its sun-drenched surface.

Materials: Wool blanket, woollen applique, wool yarn, cotton backing and interfacing, leather.

Techniques: Needle punch felting, hand embroidery and applique, hand quilting and tie knotting, fabric printing.

Brenda Gael Smith - High Country Lupins #2
©2015 Brenda Gael Smith

Price: $1500

Statement: The ancient progenitors of lupins appeared in the Cretaceous period and the species has been evolving ever since. My lupin series also shows evolution. This work involves a change of scale and the challenge of working with a new (to me) material - felt.

Materials: Wool blend and acrylic felt, poly-wool batting, cotton backing, Perle cotton threads.

Techniques: Machine applique. Hand stitching.

Brenda Gael Smith - Galah Gala
©2015 Brenda Gael Smith

Price: $1750

Statement: Inspired by the colour and movement of Australian parrots.

Materials: Cottons hand-dyed by the artist. Wool-poly batting.

Techniques: Freeform piecing. Machine quilting.

Carolyn Sullivan - Distant
©2015 Carolyn Sullivan

Price: $5000

Statement: Travelling as a tourist, I saw the Central Australian desert from the road where there had been a lot of runoff. The flowers along the roadside were beautiful and varied. When I stopped being a tourist and just sat and looked I was able to feel the impact of the desert.

Materials: Wool (nun's veil), wool thread, cotton thread.

Techniques: Plant dyed, needle felting, hand and machine stitching.

Photographer: Andrew Sikorski

Margaret Wallace - Snowy River Landorm Take Two Margaret Wallace - Snowy Landform - Take Two
©2015 Margaret Wallace

Price: NFS

Statement: Wonderful impressions from my first visit to, and swim in, the mighty Snowy River prior to the dam being built have stayed with me over the years. This work presents a microcosm of images stored in my memory.

Materials: Recycled blanket, cotton, satin, many different threads, wool batting.

Techniques: Freehand machine stitching and quilting. Hand embroidery.

Photographer: Andrew Brown

Louise Wells - Silver Linings Louise Wells - Silver Linings
©2015 Louise Wells

Price: $1500

Statement: Difficult times lead to better days; Dark clouds are just blocking the sun. "There’s a silver lining to every cloud that sails about the heavens if we could only see it" - Katty Macane in Mrs S Hall’s 'Marian', 1840.

Materials: Silks and polyesters.

Techniques: Dyed, printed, stitched, cut away, transfer printing.

Photographer: Josh Wells

Alison WIthers - Urban Alison WIthers - Urban
Alison Withers

Price: $1750 SOLD

Statement: High density residential development has arrived. The concrete grows while the green retreats contemplating its next move, trying to accommodate its desire to permeate the vibrant centre. Tensions mount between development and the ecosystem. Will we be able to maintain our status of the most liveable city?

Materials: Woollen fabric, hand dyed wool felt, pure wool industrial felt, cotton fabric, polyester thread, wool yarn.

Techniques: Free machine embroidery on industrial and hand dyed wool felt, hand stitching with wool yarn.

Prize Winners

The prize winners were announced at the Art Quilt Australia 2015 opening Friday 23 October as follows:

DavisL-ArtRecordKeepingExpressions: The Wool Quilt Prize (Acquisitive Prize)

  • Winner: Lisa Davis, The Art of Record Keeping
  • Highly Commended: Yvonne Line, Ode to the Shearer

Ozquilt Network Newsletter 25th Anniversary Award of Excellence ($3000)

  • Alvenna Hall - Ediacara SuiteWinner: Alvena Hall, Arboreus: Ediacara Suite 2015
  • Highly Commended: Frances Schifferli, Warmth
  • Highly Commended: Peggy Lyon, Contested Ground

HazellR-WomanWaggaArtist Development Award ($500)

  • Winner: Ronda Hazell, Woman of the Wagga
  • Highly Commended: Pat Forster, Lit from the Left: Monuments and Stairs

Congratulations to all 31 featured artists:

Helen Gray
Alvena Hall
Ronda Hazell
Judy Hooworth
Cathy Jack Coupland
Yvonne Line
Suzanne Lyle
Peggy Lyon
Kathleen( Kate) Martin
Susan Mathews
Janie Matthews
Alison Muir
Jan Mullen
Beth & Trevor Reid
Frances Schifferli
Brenda Gael Smith
Carolyn Sullivan
Margaret Wallace
Louise Wells
Alison Withers

Selections were made by:

  • Dr. Susan Wood (Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture, School of Communication and Creative Industries, Charles Sturt University, NSW)
  • Jacque Schultze (former Creative Director and Curator at Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra, ACT); and
  • Martha Sielman (Executive Director of Studio Art Quilt Associates, USA).

For more information, please contact

Art Quilt Australia 2015 Catalogue

Order your Art Quilt Australia 2015 Catalogue – $20 (including postage within Australia). Additional copies $18.