Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Quilt Exhibition

I went to the Territory Quilts 2017 exhibition. Many quilts were entered in the competitions but some were for display only. Some quilts were suitable for use and some were artworks.
I had never before been to one of these exhibitions and this was more accessible for me than those of previous years.

I was very impressed by the quality of some of the quilting. That was definitely inspiring. With perseverance, I can get closer to that level of skill. Perseverance. Lots of perseverance.

Some of the patchwork was excellent too. I always enjoy Bargello in all its forms and there were some patchwork examples of that too.My photo of a bargello quilt does not show that quilt at its best.

Quite a few of the quilts were the end products of a workshop that the local club had run. Hmm. Eight quilts almost the same is not inspiring. Some were not exhibition ready either. While that does show the public how quilts are made, the quilts in question were very large and that display did not appeal to me.

Some quilts were straight from a book. Several were made from a block-of-the-month scheme. I think that is fine for domestic use, but not really for public exhibition and competition. Perhaps if the people had used some different colours it may have given a different impression; but paint-by-numbers is not creative, only a display of a few technical skills.
Maybe I am just too old-fashioned in this regard, but I would have thought that originality and art should play a huge role in selecting entries for a competition with some generous and high profile sponsors. I wonder what other people think.

Some quilts were made of recycled fabrics. I like that idea and have plans for a quilt like that myself. Maybe one day I could enter that section. Maybe, no promises.

One quilt really grabbed my attention because of its colours. It was made completely from indigenous prints. Possibly it was a group project, but I do not really know. Unfortunately, the layout was a little crooked and that detracted slightly from its points, but the artist has obvious artistic talents. Just a technical glitch.

Most of the applique was that type that is glued to the top and then machine stitched in place. I admit I can rarely do that well. Some quilts had felt appliques and hand stitching.

I thought it was odd that some quilts were made by two people. One had done the patchwork and the other had done the quilting. I wonder if this is a common practice for competitions.

Would I go again? Yes.

Would I suggest other people go to a quilt exhibition? That depends on how much you know about the techniques. A quilt is a big project, even a small quilt. I go to galleries and look at paintings and sculptures but I definitely have specific likes and dislikes. I like fabrics and fibre art in general. An enthusiast would get more than their money's worth from such a show, but a newbie might find it dull. My suggestion is to be prepared to work up to a good appreciation of the works and be prepared to grow intellectually from seeing the exhibits.


  1. Interesting observations!

    It is very common for quilts to be made by two people; one doing the patchwork, and a professional quilter. But in big shows they are judged in different categories from those made by one person only.

    Many people make quilts from patterns because they love the process, but the big winners at these shows will be original.

    Luckily I will get to see the biggest winners, because there is a display of the winners from each state and territory at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne each year. The "Best of Australia" display is one of the highlights of the AQC for me.

    1. Thank you for this information about categories and partnerships in quilting.
      I hope you are able to see the winning quilt from here. The lady had made it over a long period of time and it contained appliqued images of significant buildings in Darwin and in Katherine. It is a good personal interpretation of an idea.

  2. My mum used to sew a lot of clothes and also made use of left-over fabric for patchwork, not usually big quilts, but cushions etc. She also did a lot of embroidery. But she was very modest about her talents and never entered any competitions or exhibitions. She gave lots of things away though, to family and also for lottery prizes (supporting a local history society).


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