Category Archives: Art quilts

QUILT NATIONAL 2023 ‘Wattle Time’


I have been blessed to have a piece chosen into Quilt National 2023. This is a prestigious and sought after exhibition, which many people enter year after year without any success. This year there were 674 entries from 20 countries. Many thanks to jurors Chiako Dosho, Dr, Carolyn L. Mazloomi, and Irene L. Roderick; and the Quilt National Director Keri Wolfe.

The Diary Barn Cultural Arts Centre has been hosting this exhibition since 1979. It is a refurbished 200 ft barn built in 1914 set in the rolling Appalachian foothills, Ohio.

This piece has come about through a lot of thinking and experimentation with abstract landscapes. I have been wanting to get more ‘loose’ in my work and embarked an online course with a wonderful UK abstract landscape painter/ceramist Lewis Noble. Lewis takes his inspiration directly from being in the landscape and reacting in that space, making painterly sketches and gestural marks. He then uses this material back in his studio to make more resolved works. He has a very informative YouTube channel if you would like to check it out.

Although my work is a lot more representative than of Lewis’s, I found the process really helped me to get the feeling of being out in the landscape.

Preliminary work

Inspirational source: Gold dust wattle in my driveway

From my sketchbook, acrylic paint sketches, collaged.

Wattle sketch 1, Linden Lancaster 2021

Wattle Time sketch 2, Linden Lancaster 2021

Designing the fabric.

I spent a couple of days splashing dyes in various thicknesses. I decided to use a blue for the sky that was leaning to the complimentary purple to offset all the yellow.

Fabric audition

A light fusible was ironed to the back of the fabrics and then roughly cut and pinned on the substrate. I decided the size would be about 48 x 32 inches (122 x 81 cm). The idea in my head was for a high horizon, wattles everywhere in the background and a large feature wattle on top. I put the darks toward the bottom. I added a bit of stripy commercial fabric for a bit of zhuzh.

Fabric placement for ‘Wattle Time’ Linden Lancaster 2022

This background was then quilted. The final part was to add the trunk and branches of the main tree and all the blossoms on top. I like to use paper cut-outs to audition the branches etc (it would have probably been better to use dark paper). Confetti collage was a good way to depict the energy and vibrancy of the wattle, with some black fine tulle to add more shadow. Lots more machine stitching was added. I just use a domestic machine.

Using paper cut out to audition placement of trunks and branches.

I am not able to show you the whole piece yet (sorry), but here are a few details.

Wattle Time detail, Linden Lancaster 2022
Wattle Time detail, Linden Lancaster 2022

Wattle Time detail, Linden Lancaster 2022

This is a small piece in a similar style that I produced at the same time for Australia Wide 8. This exhibition showcases fibre artists from Australia and new Zealand is travelling around for the next few years. To check out the details

Gold Dust Wattle 40 x 40 cm Linden Lancaster 2021

Old Coach Road Flora

Old Coach Road Flora 155 x 96 cm Linden Lancaster 2022

Walking the Old Coach Road alongside our property has become a source of great delight since the lockdown in 2020. My husband and I have discovered hundreds of different plants, including some rare ones. I have used the process of ‘wet cyanotype’ to record a few here.

Cyanotype has been around a long time as a monochromatic photographic device since the 1900s. The algae specimens of Anna Atkins (1852) is worth checking out. These days cyanotype can be done in various colours, but I love the blue.

Here I have experimented with the addition of water spray, turmeric, salt and bleach on various types of fabric, including linen, cotton and silk. The additional fabrics are mostly screen printed with thickened dyes, with a few commercials thrown in for good measure. The piece is predominantly hand stitched with free motion quilting pulling everything together.

Old Coach Road Flora detail Linden Lancaster 2022
Old Coach Road Flora detail Linden Lancaster 2022

You can view this quilt at the ‘DARE TO DIFFER’ exhibition which is on at the moment at the Gallery M, MARION centre in Adelaide, Australia, until September 22, 2022.

Blue-green Algae


This piece is a finalist in the 2022 Australasian Quilting Convention challenge.

The theme was ‘Going Green’.

Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) are naturally occurring organisms that live in waterways. Under certain conditions they go crazy and reproduce expeditiously forming ‘toxic blooms’ that impact the environment. These conditions include excessive nutrients (often the result of fertilizer run off) and hot, dry seasons. Decomposing algae brings a depletion of oxygen in the water, leading to fish kills, and makes the water hazardous to drink or come in contact with. Throughout Australia, the potential for blooms is increasing…..a ‘going green’ not to be admired.

Cotton fabrics, silk organza, tulle, polyester and metallic threads.

Hand-painted and printed with thickened dyes, raw-edge applique, foiling, painting, free-motion stitching.

Middle of Nowhere…Picola


This quilt was recently a part of the at the ‘Australian Quilts in Public Places’ exhibition at the Whitehorse Gallery in Melbourne. The theme was ‘Where in the World?’

This is quite an experimental piece and based on a google map of the tiny town closest to where I live.

‘“Blink and you miss it”, I tell people travelling to my place.

A tiny Australian rural town like many others, but scratch the surface and you’ll find unique people, flora and fauna.

Parts of the map where enlarged and painted directly to a silk screen. I then printed sections using the breakdown method with dye paste. I was looking for organic lines and marks depicting trees, dams, roads paddocks, etc.

Houses were appliqued and other details stitched in by machine and hand. Overlays of printed silk organza with birds and leaves were added toward the end. It was difficult to balance all the elements in this piece, but I’m fairly happy with the result.

The birds shown are the iconic Superb parrots that live in our district.

‘Picola’ by Linden Lancaster 2021
‘Picola’ Detail Linden Lancaster 2021
‘Picola’ detail by Linden Lancaster

Church quilt part 5



Dyeing and overdyeing the fabrics

Layer one is a very pale tint of the colours. I have used an open screen with thickened Procion dyes and tried to vary the saturation by adding some weak darks/complements. I want to get rid of all the white, but retain some value contrast.

Here I have added a resist to some of the pieces using some soy wax with a tjanging.

The one in the front is done with a pastry cutter.

Overdyed with a stronger solution of the same colour palette. These are lovely, but perhaps a bit busy- I may not use them. I have still plenty of plain overdyed fabric I can experiment with.

The cats think I’ve made this little cubby house for them, but its really for batching the fabric!

Church Quilt part 4



I have decided to use hand dyed fabrics for this project. I like the way you can mix and control your own colour palette and I am comfortable with the process of screen printing with thickened Procion dyes. Dyes have a lovely translucent quality and can be manipulated in a number of ways- overlaid, discharged and broken down.

To test the dyes I have screen printed them in different tones and saturations, onto cover paper and cut out swatches. I did try to use the thickened dyes on a geli print plate, which did not work.

I have tried to stick with a limited colour palette: blue, orange, and violet. But couldn’t resist trying a little yellow and red.

Next blog I will be trying out some surface design techniques with imagery.

Church quilt part 3


This is where I will be planning the overall design. Some people let the process lead them to a design, which I very much admire. I don’t seem to get very far when I use this approach.

I am using the archways tracing. I will photocopy it, then enlarge, reduce, or rotate the archways. Using A4 size paper makes the calculations for enlargement easier. The photocopier is my best friend in designing.

The final design (after a lot of mucking about). The plan is to have writing along the curves and different things in the windows.

I have my own checklist that I sometimes use and is useful to think about various options before beginning a project, have a clear plan to work towards (that can deviate along the way if required) and most important of all to remember my original intent.

The most important thing is to feel very excited about the project- art quilts take a lot of time, effort and money to make. If you are not excited in the beginning, you are not going to have the momentum to see the project to its fruition.

Next week I will be working on some colour plans.

Australian Quilts in Public Places : ‘Metamorphosis’


AQIPP opened last Thursday night (14/11/19) at the White Horse Artspace, Box hill, Melbourne. The Australian Quilters Association produce this event bi-annually with a theme, which this year was ‘metamorphosis’. There were 52 entries from across the country that were judged by Jenny Bacon and Jan Frazer. The event runs until December 21/19.

My entry ‘Run the Fire’ was the winner. Thank you to Brother for the beautiful sewing machine, in which my daughter and son in law are going to learn to sew!


‘Run the Fire’ Linden Lancaster 2019

Artist Statement:

The traditional burning system employed by central Australian people produces a mosaic of plant communities in different stages of fire recovery – a true metamorphosis of the environment as the regeneration and germination of seeds and rhizomes allows the replenishment of grasses, bushes and trees. Bush tucker for everyone!


‘Run the Fire’ spinifex detail

Many different fabrics were used, including heavy furnishing fabrics and light weight tulle. The fabric was pre-fused then chopped up with a rotary cutter. The mounds of spinifex were made separately, then added to the picture plane. The sky and smoke were hand dyed.


‘Run the fire’ figure detail

The figure was trickiest part. I wanted him to be the focal point without adding too much detail.