SQ3 – Dianne Firth and Motivation

While what people do for a living or a hobby is fascinating, why they do it is even more intriguing. I find that you often get an amazing insight into a person when you ask them about something they are passionate about. Today is the next in the Dianne Firth Special Quilter collection of posts and I would like to share a little insight into what Dianne loves about quilting and what keeps her quilting.

Before you read the rest of the post, have a look at the quilts Dianne has generously agreed for me to share with you in the slide Show ‘Dianne Firth’s Quilts’. Here are the links to the two versions of the video – one normal and one for mobile devices. I must add that this is a selection of Dianne’s quilts so far, I’m sure there will be many more fascinating quilts to come.

Dianne as a landscape architect by day and a quilter by night is captivated not just by nature but by the environment. You can see this in her works. While Dianne started, like many quilters with traditional piecing methods and designs, it seems she was always hankering for something more. The photos in the slide show are in chronological order, that is the same order in which the quilts were made to give you a sense of the morphing of Dianne’s style and different ideas and techniques that she has experimented with over time.

Dianne has a strong love of the landscape. This passion developed from a love of the sea while growing up in Newcastle, NSW. While landscape was important to Dianne from an early age, its influence is so much more than that. The mood of the environment so affects Dianne that for example on holiday once, she did a special trip back to Goulburn from coast to get fabric as the fabric she had brought with her didn’t have the right mood or suit the environment. This is roughly a 6 hour round trip so it must be pretty important!

Another of Dianne’s observations that I found interesting was that the landscape in coastal areas of NSW has lots of contrast, whereas in land areas have a gentleness of colors and patterns. This struck me as so important and obvious, but I’d never thought of it quite like that. As I sit here writing this at looking out my window in the inland and I wonder how I had ever missed it. This beautifully demonstrates an observation that Dianne made almost as an aside “the quilts are pretty, but they are basically me making sense of life”.

While there is lots more I could write about Dianne, I thought I would share one more idea from Dianne Firth ‘we [quilters] are designers, crafts people and artists’. Next time you share a quilt with someone, remember that it’s not just a craft or a hobby, you are genuinely an artist designing and making something beautiful to share no matter how modest or complicated the quilt is.

Happy stitching,


PS: The Quilters Guild of NSW meeting that Dianne presented at was held at the St Xavier’s Church hall in Goulburn – although not as ornate as the cathedral, has its own special character, hence the beautiful shaped windows and mood lighting in the video.


About bertcollections

I began quilting, with the help of some friends, in 2005, and have been quilting ever since. In that time, I’ve completed several projects in a variety of styles and colour combinations. My approach to quilting generally doesn’t involve using a particular pattern. I tend to have a concept I want to bring to life, or find a fabric on sale somewhere that looks like it could be turned into something fun. As the photos in the 'Introductions' post show, my quilts cross a range of styles, but generally use some strong colours and shapes.
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