Australasian Quilt Convention 2015 – Crystal Palace, Carlton


Australasian Quilter’s Convention 2015 in the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, Melbourne

Quilt Mania is about to hit Melbourne town!

On show in the glorious former ‘crystal palace’ at Melbourne, the historically charming UNESCO World Heritage Royal Exhibition Building in the divine surroundings of Carlton Gardens, the Australasian Quilter’s Convention 2015 will run from 16th to 19th April, 2015.

All the Australian Quilt Clubs, Groups and Guilds will be there, all competing for Best of Show, incorporating hand appliqué and hand piecing as well as on a domestic machine. It will be both a feast and festival of all things Quilts.

The Royal Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens at Melbourne is a wonderful venue for all sorts of shows, including the display put on annually by Australia’s largest event dedicated to all those involved in Quilting as a source of both national and civic pride and cultural significance.

The skills that have evolved from the refinements brought about by ‘quilters’ over the centuries today attracts millions of people around the world to either view historic textiles in museums and galleries, or to take up the challenge of producing their own contemporary numbers.

With their inherent emotive response of comfort, quilts continue their extraordinary evolutionary process while engaging people on every level; especially those who want to snuggle up in one on a cold winter’s night.

Quilters are indeed a special band of people apart, dedicated to creating a stitch in time.


Medallion quilt, designs developed from the 1500’s onward, this is an early colonial Australian number, which has seen much wear and tear – Carolyn McDowall

They are kept busy creating threads of destiny in our society while enjoying a program of classes, catered lunches and social functions, especially those held over the four days of their convention.

You can grab a needle, thread and go and join into the fun and enjoy a ‘great gaze’ while pondering your options from a range of outstanding events.

Interestingly The Royal Exhibition building is the only hall in the world still being used for its original purpose, to showcase the products of a nation to the world. It was all about the spirit of innovation.

The original ‘crystal palace building created for the landmark 1851 Exhibition in London, was designed to ensure that exhibitions would be able to be mounted easily and run smoothly and it’s the same here in Melbourne. Shows come and go with extraordinary speed of set up and dismantle.

Theming is an integral aspect of the Australasian Quilt Convention with modern, international, art and competition quilts on display. There will be an inspiring spread of international and homespun tutors leading seminars and workshops for every skill level

Over 100 specialty retailers from around the world will showcase the latest quilting products to the adoring crowd.

Broken Hearts

Broken Hearts by Isabella Klompe, To All Who Served

This year the Lest We Forget Quilt Challenge – 100 years and 100 quilts will be sure to garner attention, along with the ‘True Blue’ challenge, producing quilts with essentially an Australian flavour.

Aussie Hero Quilts will also be on show, those worked to assist and give comfort to Australian troops when travelling or serving overseas and when they return suffering various health disorders.

Visitors will be given a chance to see the best quilts from all annual state quilt guild shows.

The 12 metres ‘Gallipoli Quilt’ was made by a veteran of the Royal Australian Air Force Lucy Carroll as a tribute to the ANZACS.


Spirit of Anzac by Ineka Voigt

Ineka Voigt a youthful artist has produced the splendid ‘Spirit of Anzac’ quilt.

It features an appliquéd Red Cross and painted poppy on a piece of 1908 tracing linen inherited from her grandmother.

Now 15 years of age, Ineka has been quilting since she was seven and was selected as one of four ACT high school students to travel to Turkey as a result of her Quilt submission ‘Spirit of Anzac’.

Her finished quilt just under 40 inches square and was made on an old piece of tracing linen her grandmother had kept as a piece of history from her early days in drafting during the 1950s.

Ineka appliquéd the nurses’ Red Cross, painted the poppy and created the patches from old felt.

The ‘Best of Australia’ National Quilt Award will be selected from the winning ‘Best of Show’ quilts from every state and announced at the AQC Gala Dinner, an event no Quilter would ever miss.

The historical aspects of decorative needlework is both diverse and rich.

Most cultures on earth have enjoyed and have, in the 21st century begun to value their traditions of needlework.

French quilt

Detail of Quilt by French designer Ségolaine Schweitzer

French designer Ségolaine Schweitzer will offer an international perspective of her renowned work, which is created from all sorts of materials old and new including additional embroidery. She is quoted as saying ““I have always loved to patch up and tinker with all sorts of materials and in the end, textile won the game, especially embroidery and cross stitch, sewing, quilting and patchwork.”

Embroidering on textiles can be the measure of the development of an individual as they master such a skill. It has been in the past, and is also still today, a powerful transmitter of wealth and status, as well as a measure for the development of a society from its primitive or early beginnings.

The skills that have evolved from its refinement over the centuries today attracts millions of people around the world to either view historic textiles in museums and galleries, or to take up the challenge of producing their own. Quilting beginners and experts alike will gain experience under the watchful eye of some of the world’s best quilting teachers.

Carolyn's Quilt

Detail of Medallion quilt, designs developed from the 1500’s onward, this is an early colonial Australian number, which has seen much wear and tear – Carolyn McDowall

There are one, two and four day pre-booked workshop packages as well as one hour walk-in make and take classes for those who may be hesitant and want to look before they commit.

Mini-workshops and lectures on offer during the four days will feature tutors from Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, South Africa and the USA talking the latest trends, styles and techniques.

From traditional hand techniques to contemporary art methods one renowned ‘fabric painter’ from the USA, Lenore Crawford will teach people of all skill levels how to design a fused project from an original photo.

2014 Rajah Award winner, Michele Hill from South Australia will teach her specialty, machine appliquéd quilts with hand embellishment

Caroline Sharkey from NSW will demonstrate her cutting edge confetti technique using the colours and textures that are her trademark as she creates Australian scenes.

Esther Aliu from Victoria will uncover secrets to create her modern version of the advanced quilt ‘My Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet’.

It is an evocative homage to an unnamed 1790 Georgian original made during a time when quilting was limited to a small class in society.

Some of the most amazing quilts are now shown in great art galleries all around the world, and they have had an important role to play in the development of The Bed!

antique-chic-quilt-bed-in-a-bagAn integral aspect of community life Quilts are above all creative counterpanes of comfort. Just like a comfortable and familiar friend, they envelop us all in their warmth while providing security, enabling us to continue to be inspired and to dream.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015-04-09

Australasian Quilter’s Convention 2015
April 16 – 19, 2015

Royal Exhibition Building
Carlton Gardens, Melbourne

Hundreds of hours, thousands of stitches and a considerable dollop of dedication has helped quilters to fabricate more than 350 exquisite quilts including many celebrating the ANZAC Centenary which will be on show at the biggest, most celebrated quilting event in the southern hemisphere, the 11th annual Australasian Quilt Convention (AQC).




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