By Victoria Mansfield, Committee Member
Participating in this challenge was my idea and fortunately, after floating the idea, I immediately had the support of the guild and was nominated to be the Project Leader. The first step, as always, is to come up with a plan, and since the Storey Bridge is the logo of the Brisbane MQG (BMQG) it was my first suggestion. Another member then suggested the bridge with fireworks, and that was it — we had our idea!
“Riverfire” is the finale event to the annual Brisbane Festival and is a huge fireworks display along the section of the Brisbane River which winds its way through the CBD, with the Storey Bridge being a massive feature of this display. Almost everyone in Brisbane has attended at least one Riverfire, and the event holds a special place in all of our hearts. The Storey Bridge also turned 75 in July 2015, right at the time we were coming up with our plan. Brisbane, by world standards, is a relatively young city and has very few noteworthy architectural features. The Storey Bridge is one of our most recognised structures and we wanted to help celebrate it turning 75!
The next step was to come up with a type of quilt that would be able to include any member who wished to contribute. We therefore thought smaller blocks would be the best option and liked the idea that this would pixelate the image. The quilt consists of 414 improv wonky log cabin style blocks 4½”. Twelve members made blocks, with a special mention to Janet Jackson, Jenny Cameron and Kirsty Cleverly, who between them made nearly 200 blocks.
BMQG held its first annual retreat in October 2015, and one of the retreat missions was to get the last 50 or so blocks made and to work on the final layout. It was fantastic to have input on the layout from all on retreat, which helped make this quilt even better! After assembling the top, we chose quilting to amplify the fireworks and make them the main feature of the quilt. The bridge quilting was done with a walking foot on a domestic machine and the sky, water and fireworks were all done on a Sweet 16.
I loved the collaborative process we went through as a guild to create this quilt and how much it brought us all together. The creativity of our members is a massive inspiration to me personally and to the guild as a group, and I want to thank the MQG for bringing us together!
As Project Leader, I also want to thank all the members of the BMQG for their contributions to this project and for helping to make our guild so amazing!
Our chosen charity is a Domestic Violence Shelter run by The Salvation Army. We have donated 33 quilts to them over the last year, with many more in the process of being created and hope they provide some comfort in a time of need.