Well, oh my colourful words. If you follow me on Instagram, you know all about this cat, and the invisible bag it is in. But oh my heavenly sparkles, I still can not even believe it. You see, this past weekend was Australia’s First Modern Quilt Show. I was honoured that they even accepted my quilt, Sparkleworks.


I was more surprised than any one in the room. With so many amazing quilts assembled in this show, I didn’t even consider myself in the running. (Despite the fact that I didn’t even realise there was a running!) Upon climbing that stage, I was showered with glitter, and then completely lost my words. I mean, the prize was a freakin’ $1200 Bernina sewing machine. Again, what?!

I guess I now live in a two-machine household, because this baby ain’t goin’ nowhere! I’ve yet to sew on it, but it’s a Bernina, so it’s virtually perfect, right? Here are some random photos from the quilt show, but like always, I never take enough! If anyone out there has some photos of me actually on stage, losing my shit, I’d love a copy!

Okay, I promise I’ll hush my mouth about Kimonos Ablaze after this post. But, but, but, on Thursday night I gifted the quilt to my friends, Bob and Chris. Needless to say, they loved it, and so did their little Chihuahua, Woody! Here are a few pictures of it already being used by the whole family. 
I bring this up, because of an honest to goodness blog post my friend Gemma of Pretty Bobbins wrote last week. In an effort to define what success means to her, she wrote down some of her own. I can see why this activity could be difficult for a lot of people. I have noticed there is a fear in our community of tooting your own horn too loudly. Now, I’m not talking ’bout egomaniacal behaviour, I’m just talking ’bout being proud of the things you’ve done and not being afraid to share them with others. Sharing does not have to be bragging. So without further ado, in support of Gemma, in support of us all, here are some of the things I define as quilting success for me.
1. Teaching myself how to quilt, with the advice of online tutorials, the quilting community, and phone calls to Grandma Sparkles.
2. Making quilts that are truly appreciated by their recipients (see above).
3. Winning Best In Show at Australia’s First Modern Quilt Show.
4. Starting the all-male quilting bee, NGAQB.
5. Teaching a class on colour and design at local quilt shop, Patchwork on Pittwater. Saturday, May 24, hope to see you there!
6. Making people laugh, smile, and believe in their abilities and self-worth.
7. Designing the Intrepid Thread logo.
8. Making (virtually and in real life) wonderful quilty comrades, who get me.
9. Getting points to align … most of the time.
10. Starting the Men Who Quilt Facebook group, now consisting of 150+ members and growing.
11. Providing thought-provoking blog posts about the state of quilting, and the quilt community. 
11a. Having more than two people read them.
12. Being contacted by Sew Mama Sew to write an exclusive article for them.
13. Being contacted by magazines to write patterns.
14. Having over 1,150 Instagram followers.
15. Doing all of this in less than two years of sewing.
Your turn! What are the things that define your own quilting success?
I fully recognise this blog post is all over the place… I’m just still shaking from the shock event of being honoured with Best In Show. So crazy, I can’t even understand it. I promise I’ll have my head on straight again soon. For now, let me thank Jane Davidson for quilting Sparkleworks, Lee Heinrich for designing the Bloom Bloom Pow pattern of the front, Mr. Sparkles for his never-ending faith and support, Bernina for judging the show and donating such a fantastic prize, all of the sponsors for their support, the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild for organising such a wonderful show, and for every other quilter who was featured. We are all winners in an event such as this!

63 Responses

  1. your post just popped up while I was in Bloglovin'! Congratulations on your fabulous quilt + win over the weekend, that's so wonderful. I loved seeing all the pics from the show on instagram over the weekend. And that's a very awesome success-list, thanks for sharing it. Here's to you + lots more things to add to that list! Cat

  2. Laurelle says:

    OMG! Congratulations! That is the most awesome news, I am so happy for you 🙂 Enjoy your new sewing machine you deserve it. 🙂

  3. Charlotte says:

    wahooooooooo! That is so bloody cool! Congratulations 😀

  4. Salley says:

    You deserve the success! 'cos you your-all into everything you make. Amazing and Congrats!

  5. charlotte says:

    First of all, congrats on your win. Very deserving as it's a great quilt! Enjoy that Bernina. Second, love your list and I will think about mine. Number 2 resonates with me today. My 2 year old grandson wanted me to spread a small quilt I had made him out on the floor. When I did, he flopped down on it and rolled around with great glee. Made my heart sing! That's what I'm talkin' about!

  6. Awesome! What a fantastic prize!! I bet you're going to have fun with that baby.
    I tried to get to the show but with the late notice and hubby's work schedule, it was not to be. I was bummed then and really bummed now as I didn't get to see you gobsmacked. Enjoy and well done!

  7. Vera says:

    oh wow! well done! congrats! spring some sparkles around!

  8. Kacey says:

    Wow, congrats Molli! One of my favorite "success" feelings is when I give a baby quilt and then spot photos of it (on Facebook or whoever ever) of the quilt actually in use with a baby on/in it!

  9. giddy99 says:

    Congratulations! That's fantastic! This past weekend I won my first quilt show ribbon, ever , and it's an awesome feeling!

  10. LissaK says:

    Congratulations! Well deserved!

  11. Many congratulations on your win!!! Have fun getting to know your new sewing machine.

  12. Pat says:

    Wow! Good for you and BIG congratulations!!

  13. Cheryl says:

    Congrats for your big win! Your quilt is wonderful.

  14. Oh my golly Miss Molly!!! CONGRATULATIONS!! How freakin awesome is that?? Of course you won!! Seriously so excited for you, tear shed even!!

    I read the rest of your post, honest I did but it's going to take me awhile to get my head on straight too – soooo excited for you!! 🙂

  15. Jusmom1 says:

    I just found your blog not too long ago. Thanks for the wonderful "positive" support you give to us all. AND, congrats on that win! You deserve it! Enjoy the Bernina (turning slightly green with envy now, lol)!

  16. DeborahGun says:

    Many congratulations on such a brilliant win 🙂

  17. Congratulations Joshua! Sparkleworks has always been one of my favorites of your quilts. Your use of color is so balanced throughout and the prismatic effect on the back is just amazing. It's one of those quilts that reaches out and grabs your attention every time you see it. You've accomplished a lot in the past two years, so grab a bottle of bubbly, or a martini with 2 olives, and keep on celebrating!

  18. Sooli says:

    Not just a prize winner but best in show if you don't mind. Talk about an over achiever! So happy for you, congrats aplenty! That certainly would be a slap in the face for all those non batik believers! Mwah mwah Miss Molli!

  19. YAY for you and I am a BERNINA girl. Perfect prize!

  20. Adrienne says:

    This is so great! There have been so many conversations (ahem, downright fights) about what "modern" is lately and on one particular chat someone was saying that if a quilt has batiks in it it is not modern. I got right into the fight and said "have you seen Mr. Sparkles "Sparkleworks"? If that is not modern I do not know what is and it is dripping batiks!". So happy that you have been recognized for your amazing work!

  21. Emily C says:

    Congratulations! There is nothing better than a surprise win!

  22. Anita C says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!….Glitter Confetti Flyin…. Sucesses: My family. Everytime I finish a project, good or bad. Getting my mom & niece quilting, they spend every Friday together sewing. Watching a local news cast & spotting a couple of my donation quilts getting boxed up to go off to those in need. And basically waking up every day…… and now a little glitter confetti for myself….

  23. Paula says:

    Huge congrats. I'm so glad your work has been recognised for what it is: A-MAZ-ING. I'm so very happy for you. Love the photos of Kimonos Ablaze – that's defintiely an already much loved quilt. As for the things that define my quilting success – well there is quite a list and I think that's one I'm going to have to write down and share. In the meantime I'm off to toast your success with a glass of bubbly. Keep on Sparkling!

  24. congrats, congrats, congrats!

  25. salamanda says:

    Congratulations on a well deserved win

  26. lindaroo says:

    Congratulations! I'm so happy to hear your quilt is receiving deserved accolades, for its beauty and for breaking those definitions of what is modern quilting! You're on a rocket ride, aren't you? Enjoy it, and keep steering!

  27. Jenny says:

    So fun I can't even stand it. Congratulations to you!! I do hope you find some photos of you losing your shit on stage, I'd like to see that.

  28. memmens says:

    Wow I saw on IG that you won but didn't know there was a new sewing machine in it too! That's fantastic, well done, enjoy the glory.

  29. Ali w says:

    I don't follow you on IG so only found out when I saw this post. Congratulations! It is 100% deserved and merited for that beautiful quilt. Actually, I think a number of your quilts are prize-worthy and can see you having quite a career ahead of you winning these shows! I am so very pleased for you and somewhat envious of your prize. Nice list of successes too.

  30. Books_Bound says:

    That's one hell of a prize! Enjoy that lovely little machine! 🙂 Congrats on the show win–what an honor, and certainly a well-deserved one. While I will personally probably never love batiks (truth tea!) I do think it quite encouraging that the judges at the show picked a quilt with batiks and with little white space, no doubt teeing off many an uptight "modern" quilter. I'm all for that. 😉

    And I bet that Grandma Sparkles was SO proud of your big news about the show! 🙂

  31. Jane S. says:

    Wheeeheeeheeeeee!!! That is SO exciting! Congratulations Molli. Very well-deserved win as you are a natural at color and design. I'm proud of you. :))

  32. It's a gorgeous quilt and deserves all the accolades! And that's the truth! Tea or not! It's amazing to me the quilts you create with just two years of quilting under your belt. I can tell you here and now, the quilts from my newborn stage wouldn't have won any prizes, even if my own mother was judging! 🙂

  33. And there's nothing wrong with being a two machine household. They do need to go in for service from time to time… now you've got a back-up! Maybe Mr. Sparkles will take up quilting now that you're not hogging the machine. 🙂

  34. Firstly, I must say it was very nice to have a quick chat with you on Sunday, I can say all of the people I spoke to on Sunday were very kind and very generous in taking thier time to chat with me. Congratulations on your most deserved win…your quilt was not only in the running…. it run everyone out of the room by winning!!! See…. all those little scraps on the back made that quilt win worth it !!!

    • Suzanne? (no-reply blogger so I couldn't email you) AND super thanks for such kind words!

    • that would be me……Tillyburger01 (for my doggy)…..facebook Suzanne Pinkerton-Mitchell.
      Just found your embarassing photo on Material Obsession, thanks to Kathy?…i can see right up your nose….bahahahaha…

    • email:
      am waiting for hosting to come through with my blog details…..can i ask who/how you arranged your blog though/with??
      I organised a domain name….but still trying to get blog and domain name recognised? through a hosting site??….i'm a bit technologically challenged!!

  35. kc says:

    Congrats, indeed! Well deserved, and yes, I'd agree with your success points! MY success? I count getting up every morning on the right side of the grass as a smashing success. Getting through the day with a smile and without chopping anyone's head off? Also a smashing success. 🙂 (and, thankfully, usually accomplished)

  36. Lin Whitley says:

    Well played, Sparkles! So proud of you. Quilt art success to me is creating something beautiful that did not exist before, and to do it without hurting anything else. Thanks from your fans in Kentucky.

  37. Yay! Woohoo! Wonderful! Congratulations! What an awesome prize! And well deserved. Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful creations and success.

  38. Congratulations and well deserved!!

  39. Farm Quilter says:

    Woooohoooo!!!! Congratulations on the BIG win…love your quilt and your prize!!! I'd love to see a picture of you getting "sparkled"!!!

  40. Am L says:

    Yay! Congratulations! You know I love this quilt, and it is obviously amazing in person. I love your success list. I need to put some thought into mine, but raising happy, confident children is at the top of that list. I definitely find myself thinking of everything I am not succeeding at when I start thinking about making a success list. I tend to be pretty self-critical, so this will be a good exercise. Thanks! BTW, I hope I am part of #8! I agree, as that is one of the things I enjoy most about the real and virtual quilt community as well.

  41. The O's says:

    go you! Congratulations! Well deserved. I am pondering the thought provoking section of your post but Amelia just wanted to say "LOVE your necklace, where'd you get it from??!" xxx

  42. Anita says:

    Congrats on your win!

  43. That is freakin' awesome, you deserve to be smiling from ear to ear for at least a month.

  44. Well Done!!! True talent just coming out and shining, very proud of you and you are a fantastic inspiration to all of us.

  45. One Wee Bird says:

    Holy balls Batman that is the shizz….congratulations, I am so excited for you,you make me smile every week….and now you are really a quilty Diva you have 2 machines! Happy dance 🙂

  46. As my English husband would say "Back of the net!" … translation … "you done good kid!" (with a puffed out chest)

  47. Stephanie says:

    Oh my goodness – congratulations and I can't wait to see what you can do with that super sweet prize!!

  48. jeifner says:

    That is fantastic! Isn't it just a shock and a pleasure and vindication all at once that others in the world find your art full of beauty and worth. Well done! And my oh my, two machines!

  49. Vicki Price says:

    Of course you won! Sparkleworks is on my quilting bucket list – to me it's by far the most stunning version of the Bloom Bloom Pow pattern.

    Congrats! Have fun with the new machine!

  50. Lindi says:

    Congratulations! That's a pretty mighty achievement and one to be very proud of, especially amongst such stiff competition. 🙂

  51. Congratulations that is so very cool. How could it not win?

  52. Jamie says:

    What a gorgeous quilt! Congratulations on the Best in Show placing. Enjoy your new Bernina!

  53. Becca says:

    Congrats! How delightful.

  54. Frau Hiltrud says:

    Oh my gosh, Molly! Congratulations! You freaking deserved this! Keep it up!

  55. audrey says:

    You're amazing and fabulous, and I'm so excited for you! This is very much deserved. Enjoy your Bernina!

  56. Congrats on your win! One of my favorite things about the fact that you won Best in Show at a Modern Quilt Show is that you did it with a Batik quilt! There are many modern quilters who don't like Batiks (myself included!), but I've always respected how you are so honest and excited about your love for them, without being a jerk about it. That's a hard line to straddle sometimes! So it makes me super happy that you won–because you were doing something YOU love, that meant something to you, and it was awesome. 🙂

    Also, I really love your list of successes, and your attitude about it. Like Am said, I tend to be very self-critical, and I love your admonition to celebrate success without bragging. I think my favorite on your list is the Intrepid Thread Logo–every time I look at my gorgeous business cards I think of you! Yay!

  57. Leanne says:

    Congratulations, I am so glad you won. And what a great prize! You have done very well with the quilting success, and I am sure there is more to come.

  58. Well done you, so many achievements there. Keep up the good work.

  59. Laura Links says:

    I loved this quilt when you first shared it and wish I could see it in person. CONGRATULATIONS on your well deserved win!

  1. January 10, 2017

    […] a can of AquaNet in sight. I mean, this is the show that two years prior I had won the inaugural Best of Show ribbon. This is the same show that the year before I had won first prize in the Minimalist category. Now, […]

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