Monday, April 8, 2013

Meet Lisa Walton - an Australian Quilter!

I met Lisa when she was a student in one of my classes at Quilt Festival in Houston. Lisa had been awarded the Jewel Pearce Patterson (JPP) scholarship by Quilts Inc. This award is named in memory of Quilts, Inc. President Karey Patterson Bresenhan's mother, a quilting teacher and a founder of the International Quilt Association. Each year the recipient wins an expense-paid trip to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.
Lisa and I chatted a few times over the next few days when we met in hallways and line-ups! We share a few mutual friends and it was wonderful to share our passion for fabric and art. I knew then Lisa would be a perfect quilter to introduce on my blog.

Tell us a bit about how you began quilting:
I began quilting seriously over 20 years ago after a false start 30 years ago when I tried to make a Mariners Compass quilt without realising that I needed to add a seam allowance. My neighbour taught me to join Laura Ashley charm squares which of course ended up as the dog blanket. But I was hooked.

Where does your inspiration come from for your designs?
I am obsessed by colour and textures and shapes. I can't draw so most of my designs are geometric although over the last few years I am incorporating images and text and organic shapes which I am really enjoying.

Do you have a favourite technique?

At the moment I have two main areas of interest. I am very keen on designing my own blocks and incorporating them into geometric style quilts. I love the crispness of solid fabrics as well as my passion for hand dyed fabrics. I am also really getting obsessed with different surface design techniques. I am having so much fun doing rubbings and creating thermofax screens and creating my own fabrics based on my own images. I travel a lot and love making rubbings of interesting textures or finding unique shapes.
Any tips you can share with others?
I always have a digital camera with me and take photos everywhere to use as inspiration.

You also travel and teach, tell us about your big trip last year to Festival of Quilts and European Patchwork? Any other trips planned for this year?
This was my second trip to the Festival of Quilts and first time at the European Patchwork Meeting. I have found that quilters are the same everywhere. I was really nervous of teaching overseas especially in France as my French speaking is pretty awful but it was such fun. Everyone was so kind and we had so much fun and many giggles. I was also fortunate enough to also teach in Belgium and the Netherlands but there were always some students who spoke enough English to get my message across. It was wonderful to teach at Houston as well. It is amazing where quilting has taken me. In 2010 I was awarded the Jewel Pearce Patterson Scholarship for Quilting Teachers by IQA in Houston. This really opened many doors for me and was definitely a turning point in my quilting career.

This year I have already been invited to teach in New Zealand at the Symposium and South Africa at the International Quilt Festival in Johannesburg which should be amazing. I will also be teaching in England, Scotland and Luxembourg at the end of the year. As well I'll be in Houston teaching this fall. I know I am very lucky.

I see you have threads, dyed fabrics and so much more for sale on your website, is there anything else that you are planning? I understand that your husband does the dyeing?
Our business Dyed & Gone to Heaven ( started as a small way to cover expenses for my hand dyeing passion. It has grown progressively over the years and when my husband Peter retired he was quickly dragged (not kicking and screaming) into being a part of it. He is now the main dyer and that leaves me more time to create new ideas and sew and generally have fun. The biggest thing that is happening this year is the release of my first book - Beautiful Building Block Quilts which is being published by C&T Publishing. I am beyond excited and nervous about how it will be received.  (

I have also started leading Quilting Tours and will be returning to Japan in October for another tour to the Yokohama Quilt Festival. There are also other trips in the pipeline which is a very exciting development in my quilting journey.

I have a monthly newsletter which comes out from my website. I am also very active on Facebook ( and love the immediacy of it. I also have a blog where I try to post my works in progress and anything else that takes my fancy. ( I love this digital world - it makes everything so close. 


Jackie said...

Wow, what a great guest Susan, love love love her work and her journey she is on.. thanks!

Laura said...

Thanks for introducing me to Lisa. This was most interesting. I'll continue to follow her.

Lisa Walton said...

Thanks so much Susan. I hope we can meet up again soon.Your work is inspirational.