She drew the design in 2018 but with her busy life of teaching, lecturing and traveling, she wondered when she would ever have time to actually make it into a quilt. Then along came 2020….
So, Helen gave herself a personal challenge, because she had the time. She began the quilt in July 2020 and finished in January 2021.
Helen generously shared the process of creating the quilt on her Facebook page, Helen Godden Quilts. You can see videos of her painting this massive project. It’s fascinating to watch! She spent 75 hours painting with dyes on muslin. If you are interested in learning her technique, you can take her online class Arty Farty Sunflowers. I took the class and had a blast!
This quilt really is massive! It measures 220 feet wide by 5 feet high.
Helen quilted this on her HQ Sweet Sixteen stationary longarm machine. It took 110 hours total, about four hours per day over a six month period. Helen is an absolute wizard with her machine and quilting skills. You can watch her quilting on Facebook as well. (You’ll learn a few tricks and pro-tips as you watch her videos!)
The quilt is filled with iconic images of her beloved Australia.
From sea life,
on to mammals,
to well-known, iconic buildings and bridges.
Not to mention lizards and snakes and insects and trees and flowers! All that is native to Australia is in her quilt.
The painting and quilting are fantastic to see, but if you’ve been down under or studied anything about Australia, you’ll enjoy just picking out and naming the images. It’s a “where’s waldo” of Straya. If you actually live in Australia, you’ll likely find hundreds of things familiar to you! Let us know in the comments what you see on these photos.
My Australia truly is an epic masterpiece by a master quilt artist. Congratulations, Helen! Well done. We are so proud of you.
by Mary Beth Krapil