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Designs from Down Under: Meet QuiltJane

Designs from Down Under: Meet QuiltJane

Written by: 
Linzee McCray

JaneDavidsonProfilecropresizeYou likely know QuiltJane: you may read her blog, follow her on Instagram, or know her patterns. QuiltJane really gets around (after attending Spring 2015 Market in Minneapolis she taught in Iowa and would love to do more international teaching), but she's rooted firmly in Australia. It's there that QuiltJane—aka Jane Davidson—runs her long-arm quilting and online businesses (Need It Want It Quilt), and recently self-published Desert to Sea, 10 designs from Australian Quilters, a collection of ten colorful quilts from bloggers and quilting friends. You'll be able to enjoy QuiltJane's designs stateside, soon. She's started Quilt Jane Patterns, and they'll be printed and distributed by United Notions.

Hometown-Nights---Quilt-Jane QuiltJane's Hometown Nights pattern, made with Pat Sloan's new Hometown Girl line, is one of the five QuiltJane designs included in Moda's soon-to-be-released September catalog.

Jane is a big fan of Moda fabrics (she claims to have a "Moda shrine" in her house) and Moda's a fan of Jane—some of her designs will be featured in the September pre-market catalog. We asked Jane a bit about herself and the way her quilting reflects her Aussie roots. Read on!

ModaShrine Jane's "Moda shrine"

• Your mum taught you to sew, but how did you learn to quilt?

My friend Rosie and I booked into a beginners quilting class at our local quilt shop in 1984. One self-designed, complex block (13 templates), hand-pieced, hand-quilted project later I had made my first official quilt. I was hooked. What keeps me interested is that quilting is a dynamic art,  continually changing, moving in a forward direction to reflect the contemporary ideas and styles of community. I never liked the phrase, ‘there is nothing new in quilting’. There is always something new to design, re-invent, create.

GreyMatterQuilt Grey Matter pattern

• You started your business in 2010. What did you do previously? Does that work influence your designs?

I was working very long hours at jobs in bioscience and IT and wanted to be around my small children. My core training as a scientist has had a great impact on how I design. I like the challenge, the outcomes, and the mathematics behind quilt assembly. While it does affect my ability to overthink certain aspects of design, it has never stunted my ability to mix colours and patterns together. I never overthink what fabrics I am going to use in a quilt. Nature is a chaotic mixture of colour, texture, and design elements, and thrown altogether it looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

RockPoolBlock Rock Pools quilt block

• How do you think living in Australia affects your designs and color choices?

Living in Australia, I want to make a design as bright as the coral in the Great Barrier Reef or as neutral as the red sands of the Simpson desert.

DesertSandsQuilt Desert Sands quilt

• Tell us a big about your home life. What do you do when you're not quilting?

If I am not running my small quilting business then I am being a mother to my two lovely boys, who have no interest whatsoever in quilting. I love my garden and the native animals that visit. I have the cutest mini apricot poodle, called Jasper Carrot, who sits at my feet all day in the quilting room and keeps me company. I love to sing and write the occasional music composition. When I was younger learned piano, oboe, and cello. My weakness is chocolate and I love crime shows. It’s all about the mystery.
JasperCarrot Jane's quilting companion, Jasper Carrot
 • It seems that Australians have a different attitude toward quilting than Americans. What do you think, and what differences do you see between the two quilting cultures?
Australians love colour as it reflects the landscapes and oceans of our beautiful country, but we also love the traditional country styles. I think that we embrace the use of vibrant colours and bold prints more than our U.S. counterparts, which makes our quilts a little more eclectic in style. Similar to the American culture, we also have communities of quilters that favour one style over another but not exclusively. Being part of two modern quilting guilds, I see such a diversity in style from all age groups. The Internet has not only opened up accessibility to products, it has inspired Aussies with images of quilts from all around the globe.
NestedChurnDash_1 Nested Churn Dash pattern
Check out more of QuiltJane's patterns in Moda's September catalog!