For Jane Davidson, her introduction to quilting began many years earlier than passion actually took hold. In the early 1980s, the early days of quilting in Australia, 19-year-old Jane attended her first quilting class in Sydney. “I was taught how to draft a pattern, make templates, cut pieces with scissors, hand-piece and hand-quilt a queen-sized quilt. The pattern was my own design, made up of 24 pieces,” she recalls.
However, life got busy and Jane let it go for many years before picking up her passion again a decade ago and deciding to make her hobby her livelihood. “For the next 20 years study and travel occupied my life and it was not until about 10 years ago did I start making quilts again. This hobby became a profession in November 2010,” she says. “Having a young family and working long hours away from home motivated me to leave the medical and IT industry and create a home business.”
For Jane, the more complex, the better. Not content to piece simple projects, she loves designing her own blocks and quilts, creating dramatic finished products. She elaborates: “My favourite style of quilt is one with loads of complex patterns and the occasional curve thrown in. I love designing a block that, when repeated, has many hidden patterns.”
When she designs a new project, she lets the fabric and the finished project’s purpose dictate her design, as long as the work is challenging. “My piecing style is based on how I read a fabric or the purpose of the quilt. I don’t really have one style but try to include many different techniques into my designs to challenge the maker.”
As a longarmer, the quilting is never an afterthought. “My quilting style is moving towards using many of the fun geometric patterns available today to enhance modern, contemporary quilts.”
Another passion of Jane’s is the modern fabrics available to quilters these days, and she puts a great deal of thought into how she uses fabric. “I rarely use white or black in a quilt, replacing it with charcoal, navy or a feature solid. I love the textured solids and weaves available today, especially the shot cottons, and the text prints to provide interesting backgrounds. I am fascinated with all the fabrics produced for today’s market.”
While Jane relishes the creative challenge of quilting, she never forgets one of the most important reasons we quilt — to comfort our loved ones. She loves gifting her quilts and when asked her favourite creations, she’s quick to reply, “The quilts I made for my mum to keep her warm while she was having chemotherapy for breast cancer.”
Jane considers herself a modern quilter and is excited to be part of the modern quilting movement. “I lean towards the modern or contemporary style of design these days but occasionally I like to use a traditional pattern design with reproduction fabrics. I am a member of the Sydney, Brisbane and US Modern Quilt Guilds as I support the modern quilt movement and gain a global insight into its uniqueness and boundless possibilities.”