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!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Natural Wonders of the World Quilt Challenge

In April last year, Aotearoa Quilters were invited to take part in an international quilt challenge organised by a group in Japan and including quilters from France.  The idea was to have an overarching theme and 30 sub themes.  There would be 30 quilters from each country participating, each making a 50cm x 50cm quilt interpreting the sub theme they had been given.  The challenge theme was 'Wonders of the World' and the sub themes were places like Aoraki Mount Cook, Great Barrier Reef and the Northern Lights.  In the end there would be 90 quilts, with one from each country for each sub theme.

I was able to take part, and although my first pick (Moeraki Boulders) had already been snapped up, I got to choose Fjords.  Although this was meant to be Norwegian fjords, I felt a resonance with that theme because of the fiords (spelt without a j) we have in NZ.


The quilts travelled to Japan first and have toured several different venues there.  Now they are in New Zealand before they head to France, and I hear they will be in the UK as well.  I got a chance to see them in Wellington and was super impressed by the impact they made all together and now I hear they'll be coming to Whangarei - just down the road!


I thought I'd show you some of the process that I went through to get from theme to quilt.

Before I began I did a lot of research, looking at different types of fiords, u shaped valleys, images from fiordland and learning about how fiords are made (glacial activity).


I started by making some thumbnail sketches, you can see them to the left in the photo above.  The most important concepts that I wanted to convey were the impressiveness of the landforms and the sense of awe I had when I visited fiordland and Milford Sound a few years ago.  So I knew the fantastic shapes of the land had to be the focus and I wanted a quiet quality to the quilt too, which I thought I might be able to get through the colours.


Once I had the sketch I wanted, I drew an accurate sized pattern and then I auditioned fabrics from my hand-dyed stash.


When I had the colours I wanted, I pinned them up in an approximation of the final layout on my design wall so I could stand back and get a proper look.  I cut out a freezer paper copy of the pattern and used the pieces as templates.  The hills have a turned under edge, but the little shining edges are raw edge.


I auditioned quite a few fabrics for the sky.  I wanted a sense of light to be coming from behind the hills, so it took me a while to find the right sky and to get a feeling of light and shadow on the water.  I achieved the shadows and the water with layers of silk organza.


Bird life is important to me and a constant feature of my quilts, but I also wanted a bird in this quilt because fiords are a rich habitat, both here and in Norway, with many diverse species making them their home.  I chose a heron in the end, because it's a bird that can be found in both countries.


I also quilted in a couple of 'ghost' herons when I was doing the quilting.  I was thinking about indicating the loss of habitat and decline of species that we face all around the world.  I also like to put something subtle into my quilts that the viewer has to be paying attention to find!


Fiord by Charlotte Scott

So if you are anywhere near Reyburn House in Whangarei between 19 June and the 1st July, I urge you to go and see the show.  It's fascinating to see the different styles of quilting from the different countries and to see the three different interpretations of each theme.  I'm including a photo of the fjord quilt from Japan so you can see what I mean.

Fjord by Kazuko Funabasama



Saturday, June 9, 2018

Jenny Bacon Quilt Judge on The NZ Quilt Show


I was lucky enough to attend the recent Aotearoa Quilters education seminar in Wellington, New Zealand, to attend a three day intensive workshop titled ‘Judging at Quilt Shows’.  The tutor was well-known quilter, teacher and quilt judge, Jenny Bacon, who graciously made time during the weekend for an interview with me.

AQ Seminar attendees with Jenny in the middle in blue.

Jenny Bacon has been making quilts since the 1970’s when she took a class with the Embroidery Guild and learned to make a silk pincushion.  

Jenny makes traditional quilts, describing needle-turn applique and hand quilting as favourite techniques, but she also makes art quilts, where she uses traditional techniques in non-traditional ways.  She has won many awards and accolades for both styles of quilts.  

Jenny is also a certified judge with the Quilters Guild of the British Isles and has travelled widely to judge quilt shows, including in the UK and the US, as well as New Zealand and her homeland Australia. Jenny is also an accomplished exhibition curator, being heavily involved in the biennial Golden Textures quilt exhibition.  Jenny lives in Maryborough on the East Coast of Australia.  

Fyvie and Paula practicing their jurying skills on the Wonders of the World International Challenge quilts.

Thanks Jenny!  I learnt so much during the weekend and during the interview, and had a great time to boot!

Maree and I feeling proud with our certificates!

You can find more of Jenny on her website here, on Facebook here, and on Instagram here.