A Beautiful Australia

… a display by The Mexettes

This colourful quilt exhibition was inspired by the diversity in Australia’s flora, fauna, history and landscape and is coming to Stitches & Craft Shows in Townsville & Melbourne this month. The quilts have been created by six of the seven ‘Mexettes’, a patchwork and quilting group that originated 23 years ago in Mt Isa, Queensland. When their husbands’ work commitments took some of these women and their families to this isolated, outback town their common bond of quilting drew them together.

by Mindy Cook

Annette McRae-Sulphur Crested Cockatoo flits through Ghost Gums
Margaret Edwards-Dreamtime-Discovery
Diane Sheard-Colours of Summer


Although many of the original members have moved away from the area to other cities in Queensland and as far afield as South Australia, they continue to share this interest via reunions and internet contact.

Sue Dennis, Margaret Edwards, Annette McRae, Diane Sheard, Jennie Short and Marilyn Tucker are the six women who created quilts for this particular theme.
It was most recently exhibited at the Quilt Expo en Beaujolais in France and is now back on home soil.

The display’s diversity is the result of each quilter’s talent, passion and freedom of expression – they have really put their heart and soul into their pieces.

Sue Dennis is a quilting tutor, judge, curator, lecturer and journalist. Her subject matter for this theme is wattle – an iconic Australian floral emblem. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE A LARGE VIEW.

In Bloom
Wattle Nation

Margaret Edwards’ quilts reflect aboriginal heritage while using several textile processes.

Down Under Blue
Belonging to the Land

Annette McRae has focussed on the sulphur-crested cockatoo with a congestion of nylons, tissue and nylon mesh.

Cocky’s on the way to Beaujolais
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo flits through Ghost Gums

Diane Sheard’s interest in creative arts began when her grandmother taught her to knit. In 1990 she began her patchwork journey at the Mt Isa TAFE and when she met Sue Dennis and Marilyn Tucker at classes, a lasting friendship ensued. Her quilts reflect the bright diversity and mystique of the Australian coastline.

Sounds of Summer
Colours of Summer
Dreams of Summer

Jennie Short’s quilts highlight Central Australia’s beautiful colours, its vastness and the fascinating plants and wildlife.


Over some 30 years of quilting, Marilyn Tucker has organised, judged and involved herself in quilt festivals and exhibitions. She chose to highlight the beautiful Barossa Valley, the largest wine region of Australia in her work here. She used more traditional methods to capture the colour of the landscape.


Barossa to Beaujolais#1,2,3

As is often seen in contemporary Australian quilting, the Mexettes frequently find their inspiration in the environment, the flora, fauna and a contrasting landscape.

You can view Beautiful Australia at The Stitches & Craft Show, October 3-6, 2013 at The Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre, Breakwater Island, and October 24-27, 2013 at Caulfield Racecourse, Melbourne.


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