STUNNER: The works of award-winning quilter Dianne Johnston will be on display at Gympie Rotary Club's Quilt & Craft Spectacular on Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30.
STUNNER: The works of award-winning quilter Dianne Johnston will be on display at Gympie Rotary Club's Quilt & Craft Spectacular on Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30.

Spectacular quilts, crafts to go on display in Gympie

WHAT: Quilt & Craft Spectacular

WHEN: October 29-30

WHERE: The Pavilion, Gympie Showground

THE Rotary Club of Gympie's eighth biennial Quilt & Craft Spectacular brings to the region an inspirational showcase of contemporary, exploratory and traditional quilts as well as an array of selected handcrafted works by artisans from throughout south-east Queensland and beyond.

This year's event at the Pavilion, Gympie Showgrounds next weekend will be the most significant ever presented.

Co-organiser Kathy Kane said lots of stunning quilts and patchworks had already arrived.

"We are blown away with the response. They're coming from as far as the Gold Coast and Brisbane to Childers,” she said.

"It's great to see the diverse range of quilts entered, including Japanese-inspired, modern and art quilts as well as vintage and traditional.”

Along with the display quilts already received are 10 works for a special exhibit by invited guest Dianne Johnston.

Dianne is unable to attend the event as she will be teaching at the Abu Dhabi Quilt Guild, having received an invitation by a guild member - who just happens to be the granddaughter of the King of Abu Dhabi.

Dianne has also been invited to personally present her quilts to members of the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi. The presentation will take place in the King's Palace, one of the most luxurious palaces in the world.

This is quite a leap for the woman who began quilting while living on an isolated outback Queensland cattle property. With three small children, her natural creativity somewhat stifled, she thought she'd try her hand at patchwork, a craft she could manage along with raising her family.

Originally trained as a florist, she was inspired by the local native flora. Her first attempt, an applique quilt based on Australian wildflowers entitled "Unchanging Hues”, was entered into the 1988 Bicentennial Exhibition and won an award as the quilt with the most Australian character. She was awarded two fine cedar chairs.

In the following 10 years, the family relocated to the ancestral farm in Nambour where Dianne continued to create award-winning quilts.

"During this time, I began producing hand-dyed fabrics, and my quilts were made with hundreds of shades of hand dyed cotton fabric which achieves the most realistic flowers possible in fabric,” she said.

Her dyed fabrics became sought after by fellow quilters, so the family began hand-dying fabrics in an old dairy shed on the property. Soon, they were dying hundreds of metres at a time to keep up with demand. She also began selling her original designs and patterns which can still be purchased online through her website diannejohnstonproducts.com.au

Dianne's creations will be displayed at the Quilt & Craft Spectacular as a specialist exhibit, outside of the judged categories.

The event, as well as a collection of diverse and inspirational quilts and patchworks, will include the textile arts, fibres and basketry, papercraft, recycle craft, creative embroidery, woodwork, wearable art and more.

The inaugural Craft Beer Open Door Weekend will also be held in conjunction with the Quilt & Craft Spectacular at the Pavilion, Gympie Showground next weekend, October 29-30.

Just $5 includes entry to both events, and just by entering, you can have an opportunity to win a two-night holiday package for six quilters at Glenrose Patchwork & Retreat or taste four specially selected craft brews for free.

Visit websites www.quiltandcraft.org and www.craftbeeropendoor.org or call 0409 621 232 for details. Proceeds raised through both events benefit Little Haven Palliative Care.

Gympie Times


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