Welcome to our October Block of the Month! I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan! Our Designer this month is the super talented Jane Davidson of Quiltjane from Brisbane, Australia! I first met Jane when she asked me to be in a blog tour and we’ve been friends ever since. I actually covet ALL her quilts.. I’m still trying to get one from her, she told me if I visit Australia I can pick one… mmmm… checking my schedule now.
I have had the pleasure of having Jane on my All Quilting podcast Nov 19, 2012. You can go HERE and scroll back on the player to listen
We continue our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). We will pick one random winner that has made a block from our 2014 designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our FLICK GROUP HERE
And we have an added feature this year of a machine quilting tip from Natalia Bonner. Look for that at the end of each interview!
Let’s get to know Jane!
When was your FIRST quilt sighting?
My first sighting was at the quilt shop where I had my first class. No one in my family had made a quilt. Some of the aunties were knitters and crocheters. I taught myself to sew when I was young and mostly hand sewn dolls clothes. I became hooked on quilting from my first introduction but really never had time until recently to express my passion for the art.
Do you still have your first project you ever made?
I have the first quilt I ever made in pieces at home ready to be re-sashed and quilted. It was a queen sized, self designed, hand sewn and hand quilted bed spread. It was the first class I ever attended at a little shop in Hurstville, Sydney with my best friend Rosie. We were 19 at the time and it was about 15 years ago, I unpicked the quilting so I could redo it again without the polyester backing. The fabrics of the 80’s were rusts, greens and creams. Unfortunately, it sits in a box waiting to be finished.
When you go to a quilt show, what types of quilts are you drawn to?
I am drawn to most quilts because I appreciate the work placed in every and each one. I admire the creativity in all the quilts that hang in shows, portrayed by the play with different fabric prints, colour and textures. I have a soft spot for applique and the overall quilting design. It adds a whole new dimension to the piecing. To me it is like adding textures to a canvas to complete the painting. Whether, modern, contemporary or traditional they all teach me something new.
We all have parts of the process we ‘prefer’ more than others. What part of quilt making do you ‘Prefer’ most and why? And which the least.. and why?
My passion is the designing the quilt. I could sit at the computer all day and draw up designs. It is fun putting it all together but there is nothing like joy of creating your own quilt.
Cutting fabric is my least favourite part of the quilt making process, unless it’s fussy cutting.
Did you have a career prior to making art, and what was it?
I have a degree in Biomedical Science and Business IT. While I still read medical journals, I don’t work in that field anymore. I left my full time job after having my last child and did contract work part-time before starting Want it Need it Quilt November 2010. The scientific background has provided a strong foundation for the calculation and engineering of a quilt project.
As long as I can remember I have always loved art and music. I was taught piano, composed many musical pieces and dabbled in cello and oboe while at school. I painted T-Shirts, knitted, crocheted, hand sewed doll cloths, made paper tole pictures, china painted, wove and even tried macrame.
You name it, I taught myself to do it. One of my favourite projects as a teenager was to knit fair isle ski jumpers made from 14 ply carpet wool. I would make the patterns up in my head and knit them out. The wool was purchased from a carpet factory which had skein upon skein of scratchy wool in every colour imaginable.
I have even dabbled in shoe making where my lovely neighbour taught me to make shoes from scratch.
What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown?
I am still a Sydney girl at heart. Born and bred in the Sutherland Shire in Dolans Bay. I have lived in Brisbane for over 20 years but regularly visit my family and friends in Sydney.
My favourite place is Dolans Bay. I grew up here with the bush and ocean as my playground.
My sisters and I and other kids from the bay would sail, fish and water ski all day in the summer.
Do you have a tip or trick to make your quilt making easier?
The most important tip in quilting is slow down. When we rush we make mistakes (and have quilting accidents). Take time to read the pattern instructions. Organise your fabrics, cut and piece accurately.
These are the foundations for completing your quilt top. Never be afraid to pin and never be afraid to try something new and challenging. If you slow down and take care in your technique you can achieve anything.
What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
I find I use many different shades and weights of Aurifil threads for piecing, quilting and embroidery but my three favourite are:
5015, 1148, 4020 in 50wt. These colours go with so many contemporary fabrics. I love using these on greys or darker solids to extend the colours from the prints into the background.
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
I am not ashamed to say that these photos are when my room has been tidied but when I am in a creative mood, there are fabrics. threads and piecing everywhere.
The long-arm takes up half of the room and if I won the lottery I would build another room to house it and keep the original room for sewing. My dream would be to set up a cottage on our property to hold classes and retreats.
Oh, and I large white room where I could hang and photograph quilts ( I don’t ask for much ).
If you could train with, or work with, or follow one person for a day.. who would it be?
This is the most difficult question asked in this interview. There are so many people in the industry that I want to learn from in the skills of long-arming, pattern design, fabric design and illustration, embroidery, publishing and quilt making. I really want to explore design, colour and illustration so I would have to say at this moment and equal tie with Kate Spain and Pat Bravo.
Anything else you’d like to share?
2014 has been a year of many new activities. I published my first patterns and appeared in a few Australian Magazines with patterns and articles. I have taught the Nested Churn Dash class in Brisbane and Sydney and find teaching others to enjoy quilting most fulfilling.
Late October, I will be publishing my first book titled, ‘Desert to Sea, 10 quilts from Australian Designers’. It is a collaborative design project by 8 Australian quilters, self published through Amazon Createspace.
What woman Inspired your Quilt Block?
The block was inspired by my mother, Rhonda Kay Shallala. My mum was the most beautiful soul that ever graced this earth. I never heard her mutter an unkind word about anyone or anything. Mum had time for everyone and made each person feel special like they were the only one in that room.
Sadly, mum passed away from a long fight with breast cancer in 2008. Even when mum was very sick she never turned away her family and spend every moment with her daughters, friends and 10 grandchildren. Family meant everything to mum.
The block reflects the 5 gifts that radiated from mum as the centre of our universe.
Love, Hope, Charity, Humility and Strength in all that we do.
CLICK to DOWNLOAD the Aurifil 2014 October Pattern
And a few on the light side with Jane’s quilting dog Jasper!
- The Book you are currently reading – Mastering the Art if Fabric Printing and Design by Laurie Wisbrun. I generally read Medical Journals and Technical books.
- Last Movie you Watched – Magic in the Moonlight
- Your current favorite Song – Ghost by Ella Henderson
- The snack you crave – Tomato, cheese, cracked pepper and sea salt on Vitawheat
- The Color you have always LOVED….. Turquoise Blue
Visit Jane at www.quiltjane.com
FB Want it, Need it, Quilt
The very talented Natalia Bonner has a Machine Quilting tip for you each month. Natalia will be quilting the final top for the Aurifil Gallery in Milan Italy!
Visit Natalia at http://www.pieceandquilt.com/
I am having so much fun with each new block our Designers make! Come see my selection options for this block AND all my blocks together HERE!
Are you on Facebook? I have a new group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you!
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The winner this month is Jennifer! She wins a Thread kit!
EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! This month our random winning block is from Sheila! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our FLICKR PAGE HERE
Sign up for the Aurifil Newsletter… scroll to the NEWSLETTER box
Become a member of the AURlfil fan page on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/aurifil.quilt.thread
I am a little confused , did Jennifer win or did Sheila?
Great interview Pat. Nice learning a little about Jane.
Lovely block and a great interview. The block is such a lovely tribute to Jane’s mom and all she stood for, and obviously for how she raised her family! It is a fantastic compliment to the other blocks. I too have great dreams for a bigger, brighter, white walled sewing room~ If only i could win the lottery~
Reading about Jane’s mom brought tears to my eyes. I lost my mother to cancer in 1998.
I enjoyed the article about Jane and the quilts illustrating the article. Great use of bright colors!! The block for this month looked simple enough and then, I changed the colors and it was a bit confusing. I used the sheet with the numbers and made certain my fabric choices were written down in the corresponding space. Voila!! I only had to rip once. Thanks for the pattern, Jane.
Curious how the monthly winner is selected. I think i may have missed that along the way. Congrats Jennifer! I’ve been loving your blocks!!
Thanks Jane for the design! I enjoyed playing with the colors and layout.
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