True Blue Birdies

The beauty of the quilts at the Australian Quilt Convention brought us a lot of joy and inspiration especially a couple of the quilts in the True Blue Challenge featuring favourite Aussie birds with blue plumage.

Now we’re birders and spend a lot of our free time looking at birds with binoculars and telescopes. We’ve also done volunteer work on bird banding projects. So when we look at birds on quilts we’re interested not only in the visual impact but the detail and authenticity of the way the birds are presented.

Sometimes the birds have a static look that suggests they’ve been modelled on field guide illustrations. But others really capture the jizz (a term used by birders to describe the vibe, the overall impression of a bird) and that’s so true of two quilts that really made an impression on us. Yes even Alistair spent quite a bit of time looking at these.

The first is the runner-up in the Challenge called Really True Blue by Jan Clark. It showcases five of the fairy wren family.

Really True Blue by Jan Clark

We’ve seen all these tiny birds in their natural habitat and Jan has really captured the essence of the way they stand and move and hold their tails.

But this quilt has so much more – a painterly effect and the swirling blues radiate energy & motion. We loved the composition and use of colours and textures.

Since I wrote this post I’ve had a couple of emails asking if I had any close-ups. So here are the wrens in more detail..

Detail 1 of Really True Blue by Jan Clark


Detail 2 of Really True Blue by Jan Clark


And here’s a detail from the second quilt called True Blue Raider of My Stash by Naomi Hynes. You can see the full quilt here.

This photo is a bit washed out as this piece was right under a blast of light from the Exhibition Centre’s Atrium.

Detail 1 from True Blue Raider of My Stash BY Naomi Hynes

We were blown away by how Naomi has used fabric to create the complex plumage patterning of the female Satin Bowerbird. She’s also nailed the luminous lapis lazuli colour of the eyes.

Soooo much talent in these two quilts!


For Dog Lovers Everywhere

Whew ….it’s been a busy week with family but I’ve finally found a minute to start sharing more of what I saw in Melbourne.

I had great fun looking at the quilts from the 2015 Challenge True Blue at the Australian Quilt Convention. If we were playing one of those word association games and you said ‘true blue’ then I would quickly say ‘blue heeler’ – the beloved Aussie cattle dog.

Three quilters explored this challenge by creating portraits of blue heelers and other too cute dogs.

We’re going to start with this amazing quilt called Best Mates by Kathy Adams:

Best Mates Quilt by Kathy Adams


The block that really caught my eye was this one – the stitching is incredibly intricate and I could’ve taken him home he seemed so real!

Detail 1 of Best Mates by Kathy Adams


Then there was this awesome bundle of puppy cuteness in a quilt called Beginning True by Sue de Vanny from Victoria which received an Honourable Mention from the judges:

Beginning True by Sue de Vanny


Here’s a closer look

Detail 1 of Beginning True by Sue de Vanny


Detail 2 of Beginning True by Sue de Vanny

Detail 3 of Beginning True by Sue de Vanny

Just fantastic!

And then there was this super fellow called Harry Dog by Sandy Price

Harry Dog by Sandy Price


Hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I did!