To many people spending nearly four years and over 17,000 hours on a single project may seem excessive, but for Mariya Waters (pictured with her creation) of Doncaster in Melbourne this was a true labour of love. Her stunning quilt, Renaissance Revival, has won a number of awards both in Australia and in the USA including the Best of Australia and will be on display at the Melbourne Craft & Quilt Fair, from July 24th – July 27th at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
Inspired by a ceiling panel and decorated room in the Islamic Museum in Kuala Lumpur, which were created in Italy in the mid 1700’s, simply drawing the intricate design took Mariya six months. The hand appliqué consumed a further 25 months and required this talented quilter to develop new techniques in order to achieve the desired effects.
Weighing 4.8kg, requiring over 20,400 metres of thread and using two sewing machines over 7 months of machine quilting, this is a true testament to Mariya’s love of the art form.
Renaissance Revival won professional and popular awards in both Sydney and Melbourne in 2007 and also won the Founders Award for Outstanding Achievement in Traditional Quiltmaking at the International Quilt Association Festival held in Houston, USA. “It was the biggest rosette I have ever seen!” laughs Mariya.
THE NEW INVENTORS
Leonie West’s Adjustable Ruler with Locking Fabric Guide:
Hot on the heels of having won the People’s Choice Award on ABC’s New Inventors earlier this month, Mt Evelyn mother of three, Leonie West, will unveil her invention at the Melbourne Craft & Quilt Fair, July 24th to 27th, at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
Her invention, an Adjustable Ruler with Locking Fabric Guide will be an invaluable tool to quilters both in Australia and around the world. Leonie, a former truckie and part-time racing driver turned quilter, had for some time been looking for the tool that could provide consistently accurate cutting. Leonie was not alone, tuned into quilting forums, she constantly heard others lamenting that they needed a ruler that would cut
Leonie explains, “Quilters are constantly faced with the challenge of difficult maths and precise measurements and cutting 1,200 identical bias strips can test anyone’s patience. There had been no change to this process since the rotary cutter was invented in 1979, so I felt it was time to address the issue.”
Realising that she was determined to find a solution to this age old quilters’ problem, Leonie’s husband, Bill soon joined her in the garage, teaching her to cut Perspex and began helping her make her ideas a reality. Two years, and many prototypes later, Leonie came up with the perfect design – a ruler that replaced the old adage measure twice and cut once – with a whole new, time saving approach, measure once and cut 1000 times!
With Leonie’s Straight Ruler with Locking Fabric Guide, quilters can simply set the desired strip width and lock the guide and cut. The last size will be the same as the first, every time! Her range of corner, half and quarter square rulers, negate the need for spending time and calculations getting triangles accurate. The measurements have been calculated to give the size of the desired finished block with seam allowances built in.
The now inventor, faced a new learning curve, the ins and outs of intellectual property and patenting her design, before facing the challenge of manufacturing the product. Leonie has now set up a factory close to her Mt Evelyn home where she is producing a range of 14 products for distribution around Australia, while setting up off shore manufacturing to produce rulers for the international market. Leonie plans to launch her products in the USA at the Houston Craft Fair later this year.
When Leonie won the ABC New Inventors People’s Choice Award, with a massive, 65.54% of votes last week, her husband rejoiced that he might be able to look forward to a home cooked meal from Leonie in the near future; while, Leonie herself says, she is looking forward to some time to sleep.
The Adjustable Ruler with Locking Fabric Guide, can be seen for the first time at the Aussie Patches stand at the Melbourne Craft & Quilt Fair, where Leonie will be on hand to demonstrate.
Nikki Vukmirica’s Dry Enamelling System:
The youngest exhibitor at the Melbourne Craft & Quilt fair is 18 year old Niki Vukmirica (pictured) has invented an air dry enamelling system, to make enamel jewellery and ornaments without needing a kiln. In 2007 she was nominated for the Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year and now her brand Posh Pendants is set to go international with interest from the US, Fiji, UK and New Zealand.
Niki will also be teaching a class in Easy DIY Enamelling at the Melbourne Craft & Quilt Fair. Choose your own project from the range of new enamelling kits – easy to make with unique paints and sparkling Swarovski beads. Kit cost $25 to $30. Book at Stand F14.
For more information about the Melbourne Craft & Quilt Fair including how to book for a class, see the website www.craftfair.com.au