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!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Great NZ Quilt Show 2019

Phew!  Aotearoa Quilters once again put on an awesome event.  The Great NZ Quilt Show was held in Rotorua, and I had the opportunity to attend all three days, both viewing the lovelies and helping out.

I helped out at the door, selling tickets; as a white glove lady, showing people the backs and closeup details of the quilts; and on the AQ stand selling raffle tickets and templates for the new colour challenge that AQ unveiled at their breakfast (silver and hexagon shape btw.)

I also got to help out of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) stand, which AQ generously let us have set up to inform everyone of what SAQA was and hopefully attract a few new members.  And I think we signed up at least five!

All of those helper jobs let me blab away about quilts and techniques and colour and all the things I'm passionate about, so they are not really jobs, I love doing them!

But I know you don't really want to hear about my croaky voice from talking too much, you want to see pictures!  So here goes.  These aren't all the prizewinners, they will be up on the Aotearoa Quilters website shortly, but they are quilts that caught my eye for some reason or another, and, since I love talking about quilts so much, I'll be giving you a rundown on exactly why they caught my eye.

These three quilts were part of the NZ Through Our Eyes challenge display.  I'm excited to report that all quilts submitted for this challenge are travelling to Canada for the Ailsa Craig Quilt and Fibre Art Festival in May.  The top quilt is mine, titled Subantarctic, the middle is by Lorraine Holmes, Braided River - Raikaia and the bottom quilt by Shirley Sparks, Hinemoa.  I liked how these three quilts looked together and I appreciated how, throughout the whole show, the quilts had been hung sympathetically so that they worked as a whole display as well as showcasing individuals.

Another NZ Thru Our Eyes quilt, only 8" x 8".  Look at that glorious colour scheme!  And the detailed hand stitching gives a wonderful texture to the background without distracting from the subject.

Here was another pleasing collection from the NZ Thru Our Eyes.  Anne Groufsky made Christchurch Window 1 and 2 on the left and Margaret Rogerson with Layers on the right.  The windows particularly caught my eye, beautifully composed and with interesting colour schemes, the stitching was such an important element in bringing them to life.

At first glance I thought these three must have been made by the same person because they looked so good together.  But no, from left to right: Rae van't Hof, Weatherboard Gothic; Donna Cumming, A Maori Paddle; and Lorna Newsome, Aotearoa - Land of the Long White Cloud.

The church reminds me of the small country churches we have dotted around the countryside and one in particular that I pass on the way to work.  I'm a sucker for clean lines and symmetry and both the church and paddle exhbit this in spades.  The button NZ is very clever, for at first glance this seems simple, but Lorna has managed the shape almost exactly, which I can imagine is much harder than it looks.

Mary Jane Sneyd.  Me and My Sisters. What gorgeous painterly work!  And it's not photos on fabric, this is applique at it's finest.  My phone tried to insist that I tag a few of the woman as it was sure it recognised them!

Here's another by Lorna Newsome, titled Swan and Rush.  As I said, I'm a sucker for symmetry.  I also appreciate the slightly unusual treatment of the subject matter - no lifelike stitch painted birds, or dreamy romantic perfect swan on pond applique, but an interesting arts and craft style rendering.

Timeless by Shirley Sparks.  I really enjoyed the painterly quality of this quilt.  The hexagon is a timeless shape in quilting, but this is quite a different treatment of them.

NZ Bush Walk - Please Stay on the Track, by Valda Sutton.  Valda has been working with the circular format for a while and I'm pleased to see her stick with it and hope she continues to push it to see what else she can do with it.  This was laid out on a plinth in the middle of the show and it was a good counterpoint to have something horizontal to balance all the vertical quilts.  I wasn't able to get directly above it for a perfectly circular shot.

La Passacaglia by Maggie Bentley.  La Passacaglia quilts aren't anything new anymore, but this one has a particularly pleasing difference with colour scheme.  And I immediately thought of my quilting buddy, Jane, who the colours may appeal to.

Anna Williams, Catch a Falling Star.  Lovely piecing with silks, lovely quilting, lovely flow across the top, just an all round lovely quilt.

Whytangi by Merrilyn George.  I listened to some viewers comment that it seemed very somber and why hadn't she made it more cheerful?  I took the time to ask if they'd read the artist's statement, which commented that this treatment of the poppy, a symbol for our ANZACs (returned servicemen), may more accurately depict the effects of war.  So for me, the quilt was poignant rather than somber.

Exotic Wildflowers by Mary Metcalf.  I had to take a detail shot of this so you could delight in all the colours and details as I did.  So fun!

Peace by Piece. By Lois Parish Evans.  I see a theme of symmetry happening!  An interesting quilt with beautiful workmanship.  There are clever shading details on the white lillies, which take them from being white shapes to lovely curved flowers.

Jean McLean with Lava Flow.  Stunning use of colours and the section below imitated the way lava cracks as it cools and you can still see the red glowing under the crust.  Jean won best of show with another of her applique quilts, she has a real talent for it.

I adored the colours in this quilt, Southern Abstraction by Rachel Ratten.  Rachel said the colours of the wild South were her inspiration, and I can totally relate from my recent trip around the South Island.  The turquoise of Lake Tekapo, the purples and pinks of the lupins, the tussocks, the blue and purple of the mountains in the distance....

And another quilt that firmly reflected my memories of the South Island.  Lindis Pass by Rae van't Hof was a small delight.

My Mother was Dutch and this quilt called A Piece of Holland by Ann Gregory was just a beautiful reminder of her.  Such a peaceful, beautiful and cohesive quilt, no wonder it won first place in the large category.

My favourite piece in whole show.  "As man disappears from sight, the land remains".  Merrilyn George has such a strong sense of place that comes across in her landscape quilts.  And I adore these colours.  Whenever I drive through the central North Island, I see Merrilyn's quilts everywhere I look.    And this one has a sobering message too.  Closeup below.

And last but not least, Kaleidoscope by Mary Metcalf.  Perhaps another in my symmetry collection?!  I love this play with how one block can look so different when made out of different colours.  The change in scale and the half blocks lift the level of interest nicely.

So that's it from my photo roll.  There was plenty more to see, great merchants and other attractions like the daily judges talks and the guest speaker, Linda Werner, who was very interesting.  Next time the Great NZ Quilt Show comes around, I urge you to come along and see for yourself!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful pictures! Lots of hard work by the very talented quilters. Having moved back to UK last year from NZ seeing all these wonderful quilts makes me feel closer! 😀

  2. So many interesting quilts, techniques and mixes of texture and media. I am particularly interested in the quilting on those swans, as we have often talked about keeping the design lines realistic, and whether this is necessary. Obviously not, but this does wonderful job of being abstract and realistic at the same time.

  3. WOW! I registered for the course you will be teaching in Ailsa Craig, and then, of course, decided to look at your blog. The pieces above are exquisite, and so varied. Thank you for sharing them. I am really looking forward to the Ailsa Craig show and to spending a day learning and sewing with you.


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