Above: Members of MMQG with Victoria Findlay-Wolfe (in blue)
We are very fortunate that Melbourne is the home of the Australiasian Quilt Convention, so every year we step away from our sewing machines and head into the Royal Exhibition Building to catch up on all the latest in quilt world.
This year, we were abuzz with the news that legendary quilter Victoria Findlay-Wolfe was a guest, and members lined up to hear her keynote lecture, ’15 Minutes of Play’.
Victoria gave an engaging presentation, telling us about her journey from growing up on a farm in Minnesota, to moving to New York City. She came from a family of makers, and in particular, took inspiration from her grandmother, who sewed quilts from scrap bags of polyknit polyester. When embarking on quilt making herself, Victoria took this same approach and worked with small pieces of fabric, stitched together in an improv style. Her quilts were bold and daring, and grew in an organic style, with the use of a design wall to aid her creative process. When she became a mother, she found she had only small windows of time to pursue this creative endeavour, so she started carving out 15 minutes only each day to work on creating quilt blocks. This concept then formed the basis of her book 15 Minutes of Play.
Victoria focused on the process of creativity in our quilt-making, rather than being focused on the end product. By using a design wall, Victoria keeps her options open – experimenting, unpicking, and slashing when need be to create stunning modern quilts. She challenged us to stay engaged, conscious and curious when quilt-making!
We were also thrilled that Victoria chose to feature a quilt made by MMQG member Merran as part of her presentation. Congratulations, Merran, you’re in fine company indeed!
And if that wasn’t enough, Victoria was joined by MMQG member (and ACQ teacher) Andi on Hilary Harper’s “Saturday Breakfast” program on 774 ABC Melbourne, giving an interview about quilting.