An Australian quilt

A much-loved member of our sewing group, Gilda, has a special birthday this week so we all worked together to make her a quilt top.

As she and her husband are moving to New Zealand at the end of the year, the group decided to make something with an Australian theme so she could remember her years here after she has gone.

I decided to make a kangaroo paw, as this unusual-looking flower is Western Australia’s state flower and because my friends tease me about my love of floral prints and all things girly. The pattern is from Margaret Rolfe’s book Australian Patchwork, an oldie but a goodie. A few of us found inspiration in this book.

Kangaroo paw appliqué patchwork block

I started by appliquéing the kangaroo paw shape.

Kangaroo paw appliqué patchwork block

Then I stem stitched my way around all of the edges.

kangaroo paw

The Western Australian state flower is the kangaroo paw.

Everyone contributed a 10-inch block with an Australian theme, and I thought mine was pretty good … until I saw the amazing efforts of others.

Australian country farmhouse appliqué patchwork block

There is a lot to love in Deidre’s farmhouse block, but I particularly like the windmill.

Sturt desert pea appliqué patchwork block

Julie sewed Sturt desert peas, the South Australian state flower.

Ocean broderie perse patchwork block

Some clever fussy cutting of fish and Philip Jacobs prints allowed Gail to create this beautiful underwater scene.

Kangaroo appliqué patchwork block

This skilful appliqué block, made by Denise, shows a kangaroo in the sunshine.

I think I will have to make a bit more of an effort next time, don’t you?

Australiana patchwork quilt top

All together, our Australian-themed patchwork blocks formed this quilt top.

I did not manage to get close-up photos of all the blocks, but there is something to love in every block of this quilt, such as the:

  • cute flower on the koala’s head
  • real seashells sewn onto the abstract seascape
  • red sunset over the Sydney Opera House
  • cathedral, thoughtfully chosen as Gilda is a volunteer guide there.

My favourite block: the boomerang block in the middle that reads, ‘we want you to come back’. We mean it.

What would you choose to sew to represent where you live?

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28 thoughts on “An Australian quilt

      • Oh, I love yours!! I’m a nature girl so that could be part of it, but there’s something flat-out gorgeous about a simple, botanical beauty on a low volume background! To represent Maine, I would create a lupine block (and I just did a week ago, since I couldn’t find a pattern!). Or perhaps to get more close to home, I’d create a block with one of my kids snuggling a chicken.

  1. I love the hexie map of Australia too! I think I’d do mad lush tropical flowers and leaves. Or possibly the Barrier Reef. Or maybe the Cooktown Orchid, which is Queensland’s flower.

  2. What a beautiful quilt top and a wonderful collection of memories. It will probably make her homesick for her friends in Australia every time she sees it. And your block is wonderful!

  3. Lovely to meet another Western Australian quilter … we are slowly coming out of the woodwork! I’m sure your friend would treasure this quilt forever and hopefully she does come back, as the boomerang suggests 🙂

  4. Oh, I love how your block compliments the others! You definitely shouldn’t have done anything differently. The whole project is sweet – both in concept and execution!

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