Starting with Some Stunning Gallipoli Quilts

Today is one of mixed emotions.

On the one hand it’s Woo Hoo that I’ve finally found the time to start this blog and a whole new adventure! For the last 18 months I’ve been writing the blog for the ACT Embroiderers’ Guild but it’s now time to hand it over to someone else and focus on my own stitchy and other adventures. There’s so much to share!

On the other there’s the poignancy of the Anzac Day commemorations of Gallipoli and WW1. I spent some time this morning looking through photos of all the Italian members of the family who fought with the Allies in WW1 on the eastern front. It’s very moving to look at those oh so young faces and to think of what they went through.

Last weekend we were in Melbourne to catch up with family and we lucked out as the Australian Quilt Convention (AQC) was on as well as some awesome textile exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Gallipoli Quilts at AQC

The guest artist at the AQC was Lucy Carroll and her Gallipoli quilts. They were just stunning and based on original photographs and paintings.

Lucy has a fresh and very striking technique. She paints or dyes the fabric then cuts it up and collages it back together before quilting it. The way she cuts and layers the fabric creates a painterly and fluid effect so that the surfaces of the quilts seem dynamic rather than static. Really cool and intriguing.

This is The Gallipoli Quilt that featured as the centrepiece of her show:

The Gallipoli Quilt by Lucy Carroll

It’s a large, imposing work with a powerful visual impact. The range and depth of experience reflected in the soldier’s face is moving and thought provoking. If you’d like a closer look at this or any other image just click on it to enlarge.

Here are some of the other Gallipoli quilts…

Gallipoli Quilt 4 by Lucy Carroll

This one celebrates Simpson and his donkey who under continuous enemy fire transported wounded soldiers away from the battle field – one of the iconic stories of the Anzacs. In an unexpected twist Lucy displayed a photo from a contemporary conflict with each quilt. In this case a military helicopter which is used today to medivac the wounded to safety. Paradoxically these very modern images echo those from a 100 years ago and connect you to the courage and skill of the men and women serving in war zones today.

This next quilt captures life in the trenches…

Gallipoli Quilt 3 by Lucy Carroll

This one the peninsula itself and a moment of stillness in the tumult of war

Gallipoli Quilt 2 by Lucy Carroll


Gallipoli Quilt 6 by Lucy Carroll

and the exquisite touch of green life and hope in the bleakness of mud and death….

Detail of Gallipoli Quilt 6 by Lucy Carroll

with the use of painting, dyeing and quilting to create this effect.

Then the joy and elation of making it home to loved ones……

Gallipoli Quilt 5 by Lucy Carroll

Detail of Gallipoli Quilt 5 by Lucy Carroll

True Blue

Lucy also had a piece in the general competition which was to create a quilt that reflected the Aussie spirit of True Blue.

JM Quilt by Lucy Carroll

She created a wonderful portrait called JM which honours and celebrates Jan-Maree Bell the founder of Aussie Hero Quilts. This is a great organisation that makes quilts and laundry bags for Australian military personnel. If you’d like to contribute you can find out more at their Facebook page here and blog here.

Lucy’s portrait just brims with colour, energy and joie de vivre!

I was left in awe of her talent and energy. She lives in Cairns, has small children and her partner is serving in the Australian Navy and is away from home for long periods of time and she still manages to not only produce this amazing body of work but to revel in it all. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

You can see more of Lucy’s work in progress at her Facebook page here and her blog here.

Back soon!