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MPavilion Quilt Challenge – Selection

By October 10, 2023blog

I am a member of the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild and recently we had an opportunity to design a quilt for MPavilion.

I haven’t lived in Melbourne for 10 years now, so I hadn’t heard about MPavilion, so a quick visit to their website was needed! (and please do head there to read all about it!)

“Since 2014, the Naomi Milgrom Foundation has invited extraordinary architects from Australia and across the world to design a meeting place for the Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne’s heart. From this MPavilion, a five-month design festival of free events is launched – prompting locals and visitors alike to consider how architecture, art and design can change lives.”

It sounded fun, different to anything I had done before and it got my creative brain buzzing!

This year the architect Tadao Ando has been chosen to design the pavilion at the heart of the festival, and Melb Modern Quilt Guild was invited to create quilts to be used by people to enjoy the myriad events being held!

We were given a brief that our quilt designs needed to meet:

Design parameters
All quilts must be 150 cm x 150 cm (60” x 60”). Piecing can be precise or improvisational.
In keeping with Ando’s striving for spatial purity with MPavilion 10, use at least two of the following shapes in your design (and only these shapes):

  • Square
  • Circle (can be part-circles such as Drunkard’s Path blocks)
  • Rectangle

The colour palette was chosen by Studio Ongarato, a graphic design studio that is co-ordinating the quilt challenge. And yep, it included ORANGE (and a coral which is just a slightly pink version of orange in my book)! Well, the orange Devonstone colour is actually called Jarrahdale… but orange it is!

We were also allowed to choose one print fabric, but it needed to be approved by the design studio prior to being included.

The day the challenge was announced I was snuggled on the couch in front of the fire, so I grabbed some notepaper and a pencil and got to thinking about what I could create!

Tadao Ando’s MPavilion 10 is going to look like this (WOW!)

And part of the description was “A long horizontal opening running the length of both north and south walls serves to frame views of Melbourne’s skyline and parklands”…. I loved that idea of a rectangular window giving views out to the garden and this is what I centred my design around.

I played around with rectangles, squares and some three quarter circles. (and no triangles! been a long time since I have designed a quilt without a triangle in sight!) And after much scribbling, I popped my design into EQ8 to make sure the sizing was correct (it has to be 60″ square) and used the Devonstone colours to see how it would look.

I was pretty happy with what I had created and sent off my design to the Melb Modern Quilt Guild co-ordinator.

This was part of my ‘artist’s statement’ on my application:

The thought process behind my design was the rectangular window that is mentioned in Tadao Ando’s design – I wanted that to be central to the quilt and I will use a print for that inner rectangle – it will be a leafy print. This will replicate looking through a window out to nature.

The walls that are mentioned in Tadoa’s design I have envisaged having four rectangular ‘planks’ in the different colours. Where they overlap / are in front of the window frame I have attempted, to the limited colour palette available, some transparency effect.

The partial circles represent the paper plates of the people sitting on the quilt and using it for their lunch whilst enjoying the views!

A few weeks later, much to my surprise and delight, my design was selected to be one of the 16 quilts to be made out of 40 entries!

I am not able to show you the design until the reveal in mid November, but these are the fabrics, including my print fabric, ready to start the making part!

I am so excited to get started creating my very modern quilt!

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