My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Interview with Catherine McDonald, Festival of Quilts

Friday 7th November was the opening day of the 2014 Auckland Festival of Quilts.  I have inside knowledge that festival goers were queueing up at the gate at least 20 minutes before opening time!

Best in Show.  Dockside Reflections by Alison Laurence.
I had a great time, travelling down with two of my quilt 'besties', browsing merchants, admiring quilts and catching up with quilt buddies from around the country.  I also had the privilege of interviewing three wonderful women who make quilting a big part of their lives.

Photo Credit: Aotearoa Quilters
My first interview was with Catherine McDonald.  Catherine was one of the three judges for the Festival.  Catherine is the president of Aotearoa Quilters, our National Association, and works hard to promote and support New Zealand quilting.  She is also part of the Distressed Threads trio, a small company producing and selling handmade fabric.

Catherine states:

"Quilting gives to me a fellowship, creativity and a connection to the feminine world.  Having grown up only with older brothers and having two wonderful sons, my quilts tend to be more masculine than pretty.

I love all forms of quilting but find that it is the artistic quilts that I want to make.  I find inspiration sometimes from the fabric I produce but more and more from personal feelings. 

Recently my work has reflected the impact the Christchurch/Canterbury earthquakes have had on me.

I am part of Distressed Threads trio and really enjoy seeing the results of the fabric we make and also how people use our fabric.  It’s a lot of fun.  I am the current president of our National Association, Aotearoa Quilters, and encourage all quilters to become members and help us grow.

As a judge I am concerned with colour usage, design and the use of quilting (does the quilting pattern fit the design of the quilt) and technique.  The piece has to work as a whole first and be interesting from afar as well as a close up inspection."

Catherine generously sat and talked with me about all things quilty and now I get to share this talk with you.  Thanks Catherine!

Catherine's work displayed at the Festival of Quilts


  1. Glad you could make it, wasn't there some stunning quilts on display.

  2. Really enjoyed this interview... she sounds so nice! Can't remember if this was the post that mentioned me and my piecing "technique", but I'm pretty sure you can attribute it to Mary Ellen Hopkins. Hopefully it has worked out well for you.

  3. Thanks for keeping me company on the commutes late in the week. I had three episodes back to back, which was nice.

    Love how I'm learning more about New Zealand through your podcast. You mention a location and I go look it up. I think it's the closest I'll ever get to being there!

    Whenever you talk about your job, I think about the BBC Show "William and Mary." Have you ever seen it? The male lead is a Funeral Directos and the female lead is a Midwife. They fall in love; it is very cute.


  4. I'm with Torie - I was behind on your episodes but listened to all three of the latest in a row while cutting out a quilt that has to be done quickly. This was a fantastic interview. I enjoyed hearing about the judging process (I'm not sure I'd bother if I weren't going to get any feedback on my quilt) but especially loved hearing about the fabric treatments. Roasted! Oh my!!


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