Adelaide’s Festival of Quilts

Our annual Festival of Quilts Show and Exhibition was held this past weekend and was a success on every level. The number of entries was record breaking, with 50+ first time entrants. The quality of quilts was outstanding and I really didn’t envy the judging teams the task that they faced. That said, I don’t think I’ve ever attended a quilt show when some of the decisions made by judges remain a total puzzle to me. This show was no exception.

That said, I have no quibble with the decisions they made with regard to my entries!


Cafe Au Lait (106cmx106cm)


This quilt started life as a supper cloth but I can’t actually recall how it came into my possession as I’ve gathered quite a few in the last few years. I loved the beautiful golden brown thread used in the embroidery and knew that a chocolate brown background would set the cloth off beautifully. Once I’d quilted it to death I beaded it to death, so it’s undergone gone a transformation.

Last year Heather, from Adelaide Sewing Centre, gave her Handiquilter girls the challenge of all making the same one block quilt and then to ‘quilt as desired’.  Two months later we compared efforts – learning so much in the process about considering designs that we hadn’t thought of doing ourselves. I decided to enter my quilt and it too won a prize.



I’ve always loved miniature quilts. Half a lifetime ago my girlfriend, Maureen Harper, and I wrote regular articles in Down Under Quilts featuring miniature quilts.

I made this little (20cm square) foundation paper pieced top in Queensland whilst minding Isla.


I’ve long loved an antique quilting pattern from England called the Sanderson Star. Hand quilting one is still on my bucket list, but I thought I’d try one in miniature. This poor little thing was actually sewn on 5 different sewing machines in order to get it finished by the deadline. I started it on my Bernina 440 (which lives at my daughter’s,) then on my Bernina 710. I started quilting it on my Sweet Sixteen, did the final border on a Q20 in Hobart and then sewed the binding on on my girlfriend’s Bernina.


Sanderson Star (30cm x 30cm)

We worked very hard to make this Show a success and our best hopes and wishes were realised. To paraphrase a well known movie: we built it and they came.

We made/make a great team, but every strong team has to have an extraordinary leader and I just want to put it out there that we wouldn’t be celebrating tonight if it hadn’t been for the vision, talent, tenacity and the superb leadership of Anne Marie Serrano.

And… many others who came to our Show, I’m going to spend the next week or two thinking about what quilts I might make a start on for next year!

Til next time…