Vision 20 20 the power of sight: the art of seeing exhibition

On Monday 20 January 2020 I received the rather delightful news that my textile work entitled Eye of the Beholder had been selected for the travelling textile art exhibition Vision 2020.  Brenda Gael Smith is the well-known curator and my textile work was one of 40 selected from 107 entries drawn from 14 countries.  The […]

Aotearoa Quilters 2019 Silver challenge

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Aotearoa Quilters (formally NANZQ, of which I am a founding member and the designer of the first two logos for the organisation) – sorry, a just a wee plug – members and non-members were invited to enter Silver quilts made in a hexagon shape.  The hexagon inside width point to point was 16″. The exhibition was unveiled at the Auckland Quilt Symposium 2019.  My entry Moonlit Dahlia was a merit winner.

Silver hexagon challenge merit

To see all the entries click on the Aotearoa Quilters website

NZ through our eyes

Aotearoa Quilters sponsored a competition with several unique sizes.  You had to make a mini quilt showing a part of NZ that was special to you or reflected your view of our wonderful country.  The sizes were: 9″ x 9″, 18″ x 9″ Landscape or portrait and 18″ x 18″.  I chose the landscape 18″ x 9″.  It was a great shape to work with and I used it to reflect our NZ bush and ferns with the koru design.  I tried to show the light coming down through the trees to the undergrowth where the ferns love to grow.  After being shown at the Rotorua show in March 2019, it then went to the Ailsa Craig Exhibition in Canada and now the exhibitions is at the Pumanawa Gallery at the Arts Centre in Christchurch.  It will then be shown at the Auckland Quilt Symposium in October 2019

NZ Koru


2019 Dorothy Collard Challenge – Reflection

The Auckland Quilt Guild’s annual Dorothy Collard challenge for 2019 was on the theme ‘ REFLECTION.  The size was 30″ wide x 20″ deep.

I had been painting various Resene test pots onto canvas in readiness for some home renovations.  While browsing the Resene colour charts I found a beautiful blue called ‘Reflection’ and knew this was a perfect idea for the Challenge

My quilt ‘The perfect Blue’ won a merit award and was featured on the Resene Habitat blog.

Here’s the link to the Resene blog.

Reflection by Mary Metcalf


The quilt is based on one block which I made larger in EQ8 and also cut the block in half for the border blocks.  I had a plethoria of Tula Pink fabrics so decided it was time to use them.  They made for delicious colour combinations and I fussy cut many of the sections of the blocks to make them more interesting.

Once again Susan Trendall quilted it for me.  This was also shown at Festival of Quilts 2018 in Auckland

Kalaidoscope Nov 2018

Foxley Village

I also entered this into the Festival of Quilts 2018 in Auckland under Quilts made by two makers.  The pattern was Natalie Bird’s from Homespun magazine and Susan Trendall quilted it for me.

I then had the fun of choosing fabrics and colours.  I also decided to make the entire quilt by machine – that includes all applique, embroidery embellishments and even the binding.  My granddaughter Amelia will be the lucky recipient.  Not the best photo unfortunately so will try again when I get the quilt back.

Foxley Village



Dorothy Collard Challenge 2018

This is an annual challenge set by the Auckland Quilt Guild. This year it was ‘Flying Geese’. The size is set at 20″ x 30″ in a landscape format.
I wanted to be graphic with my composition and as I love piecing I thought I would somehow piece the entire wallhanging in the flying geese pattern. I was searching through my batiks and found this delicious orange and purple/black and played around with ideas on EQ8 and settled on sewing 182 paper pieced flying geese blocks. Quite fiddly but I was very happy with the outcome.

Title of quilt: Red sky at night, Shepherd’s delight, red sky in morning, Shepherd’s warning.
Mary Metcalf Flying Geese 2018

In fact the judges were also happy as I won first prize!

Here’s a photo of the reverse side,  I was tempted to make this the right side but then decided not to as I rather like neat and clean results.  All those raw edges just didn’t make me feel at ease.

WIP showing reverse and the seams

Festival of Quilts Auckland 2017

Last weekend Auckland Quilt Guild held their annual quilt show out at Auckland Netball Centre in Stonefields.  A wonderful, light filled space, great cafe, plenty to see and with 40 plus merchants plenty to help empty the coffers.

I entered two quilts – my Sue Spargo free internet monthly pattern ‘Blue Illusion’ and my modern quilt ‘ ‘Life on a windowsill’.  I was fortunate to win ‘Best embellishment/applique’ for my machine appliqued cacti.
This is my Sue Spargo quilt.  Lots of hand embroidery (chunky), machine quilting inthe ditch and a vast array of blues and corals in cotton, silk and wool.  The other quilt is below this one.

Blue Illusion Sue Spargo internet monthly pattern Nov 2017

And my prize winning quilt ‘Life on a windowsill’.  I used my original kowhaiwhai quilting patterns and traced the entire background with a blue washable felt pen, quilted it with my Sweet 16 and then sprayed it to remove the ink.  Success!    The bottom half of the quilting shows free motion quilted roots from the cacti pots.
PS:  you can still purchase these patterns from

Mary and Life on a windowsill Nov 2017

quilting my Life on a window sill Nov 2017

Hoffman cushion challenge

As Annie mentioned in her article we had this rather lovely piece of blue fabric with a white lacey effect.  The challenge was to produce a cushion so I figured I needed to make it 3 dimensional and I had fun with machine applique, silver piping around the petals and quilting.  It had to fit into a square which is why the petals are different shapes to fit into the prescribed shape.

I was delighted to find that I had won first prize and $200 of fantastic Brother thread for embroidery.  One box of country coloured cottons and one of beautiful rayons.  I have used them often and are a dream to sew and applique with.  Many thanks Brother.


‘If I only had time’ Dorothy Collard Challenge 2017

The late Dorothy Collard, a former member of Auckland Quilt Guild, left a bequest from her estate to the Guild to sponsor an annual challenge for five years.   After nine years, the Guild took over the sponsorship of this challenge.  Each year Guild members wait for the new Challenge Theme.  In 2017  the Theme was ‘If I only had time”.  I had this small set of fabric samples and one of them had power poles, so I thought of telephone lines and then keeping in touch with friends and loved one via the telephone.  I used tuis as representing me and my friends and a fun tree which I stretched out into two different sizes and used softer fabric to make them recede into the background.

Unfortunately it did not receive any prizes however I thoroughly enjoyed making the small quilt and will proudly hang it on my wall when it is returned to me.  You will be able to see it at the Festival of Quilts in November 2017 at the Auckland Netball Centre in St Johns, Auckland.
If you double click on the image it will open in a new screen and you will be able to see the detail.

I would phone my friends more…