Three passionate quilters


Mary Transom
Deb Louie
Brenda Gael Smith

We spoke recently with three passionate quilters who find time in their very full lives to tutor at various Conventions, Workshops and one-to-one sessions, and who are part of the program at our upcoming Australasian Quilt Convention. Here’s what they revealed.


Mary Transom from Ohope, New Zealand:

Mary’s love of quilting began a generation or two ago. Both her mother and grandmother were wonderful stitchers and happily passed on their knowledge and their love of sewing to her. Quilting started much later.

Mary explains “After my partner and I built a house in 1985 and finished the interior ourselves I thought, ‘what next’ and made my first quilt, not really knowing what I was doing but had fun.”

She has been teaching quilting in various forms now for about 20 years. “I love making quilting accessible to everyone, it is so rewarding to see people’s reaction to actually finishing and being happy with their creations”, she says.

Mary has recently developed an interest in medieval and Old English design and is working on a quilt in this style. “Meanwhile, I’ll continue to create my flower quilts, there are so many more flowers to use in my designs and two new quilts. Rhododendron and Day Lily have recently been added to my class list” she adds.

So what can we expect in her AQC classes in 2013?

“My classes are structured as a step by step process, so everyone can achieve the finished quilt easily. Even beginners can make my quilts and experienced quilters will find enough of a challenge to keep them happy, and all my designs are project based.”

You can now book Mary’s 2013 AQC classes by going to Or to see more of her designs go to


Deborah Louie is back at the AQC by popular demand. She travels extensively for teaching and her quilts have won her many awards. But she doesn’t have to travel far for inspiration! Using a visual diary where she keeps photos, sketches, designs and ideas means when the time comes for a new quilt, this is her first point of reference.

“I’m making one now – a reproduction of a stunning quilt. I actually love all styles of quilts from traditional, contemporary and art quilts. And I want to make them all! My favourite techniques are free motion quilting trapunto formal feathers that I have designed, I love the three dimensional effect you get with trapunto and my next favourite is my own style of free form feathers,” Deborah explains.

Deborah teaches with a holistic approach, meaning she covers everything you need to quilt your own quilts on your domestic machine. “I look at machine set up, theory of how to quilt any size quilt efficiently with ease, no struggling to twist and turn quilts under the arm of a machine anymore. In the free motion classes we look at stunning options to make quilting a breeze along with techniques my students find enjoyable. Quilting just brings so much joy, friendship and happiness to my life!”

So what can we expect in Deborah’s 2013 AQC classes?

“My students can expect a really enjoyable day of practical and useful quilting advice for their own quilts. They will be able to go home and complete their own quilts and quilt unique individual quilting on their domestic machines. It will be an intensive but fun day of learning.”

You can now book Deborah’s 2013 AQC classes by going to Or to see more of her designs go to


Brenda Gael Smith was born in New Zealand and lives on NSW’s Central Coast. Following a busy law career she now immerses herself in various quilt making challenges, writing and tutoring.

One of the first things you notice about Brenda’s quilts is the striking use of colour. “When I first started quilting, I made a multitude of baby quilts in bright novelty prints. I have also since learned that drama, mood and emotion can be communicated by using a broad spectrum of hues and values. I just love sharing the joy of colour.” Most of her work is abstract and inspired by the colour and patterns of the natural world around her.

Brenda has also been a participant in an international quilting group ‘Twelve by twelve’. Their travelling exhibition ‘Colourplay’ is on display at this year’s Craft & Quilt Fair in Palmerston Nth, New Zealand, February 14-17, as well as the AQC April 18-21. “Participating in this Challenge has provided a framework for me to explore different techniques and styles that appeal to me. Our collaboration has provided support, encouragement and thoughtful critique that are invaluable to us as artists. I have also now formed enduring friendships all over the world and that’s a profound and life-changing experience!”

And what can we expect at Brenda’s AQC classes this year?

My teaching focus is on low-fuss, striking designs and the effective use of colour so as to promote fun and encourage the creative confidence of my students.

You can now book Brenda’s 2013 AQC classes by going to Or to see more of her designs, visit her website:

Potted Geranium by Mary Transom
Night time in Floral Garden by Deborah Louie
Lorikeet Circus by Brenda Gael Smith
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One thought on “Three passionate quilters”

  1. Hi, I used to live in Palmerston North, two years ago moved to uk. When I read about three passionate quilters felt home sick. I know about all three of them they are veryclever quilters. I wish I could come to Aussy to follow their classes.
    Anyway I wish them all the best on their endeavour.


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