Karen Terrens


Karen Terrens


Sanderson’s Apprentice
cotton fabrics, wool/poly wadding, silk and cotton threads
208 x 208cm

As a Longarm Machine Quilter – I quilt for customers helping them to finish their quilts.  Quilts I make for exhibition tend to be about the quilting rather than piecing.

I am a professional Longarm Machine Quilter and have operated my quilting business quilting for customers from home for over 10 years.   I provide a quilting service which helps my customers finish their patchwork quilts.  Customers can choose from the more basic all-over quilting designs or the more detailed and complex custom and heirloom quilting.  In addition, I personally make quilts to enter into quilt shows.  As I am a machine quilter the focus of these quilts tends to be about the machine quilting rather than the patchwork.  Much of this work includes shadow trapunto – a technique where extra texture is created through a process of incorporating additional wadding into certain areas of the quilt.  Additional colour is created through layering of fabrics which shine through the top layer of the quilt.  I have won a number of awards on both my own and customer quilts.   I have been particularly thrilled to have won Best of Show at the Vic Quilters Quilt Show in 2012 and the Excellence in Longarm Machine Quilting Award in 2013 and 2014.

The quilt being entered into the Victorian Craft Awards is called Sanderson’s Apprentice.  It is a quilt inspired by the vintage Sanderson Star quilts made by Elizabeth Sanderson (1861 – 1934).  Elizabeth Sanderson was an apprentice to George Gardiner, a draper of Allenheads in Northumberland.  She in turn took on apprentices and became more famous than her master.  She was the creator of the now well known Sanderson Star Quilt.  I was fortunate to attend the exhibition Quilts 1700-1945 at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane in 2013.  The exhibition was a display of quilts from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  One of the quilts exhibited there was a stunning Sanderson Star Quilt c1910-20 of which I was in awe.  This quilt inspired me to make my own version of the Sanderson Star Quilt.  Unable to find a pattern, I draft my own and pieced the quilt.  The quilting motifs were also drafted by me based on the traditional designs but adapted for machine quilting.  As a point of difference, I included shadow trapunto in the quilt.  While the quilt is made of yellow and cream fabrics, a layer of bright red fabric has been placed beneath the top layer of the quilt.  The trapunto has created an extra layer of wadding where there are quilting motifs.  The combination of the trapunto and the red layer of fabric has given the quilt the pink glow.  I am thrilled with the final result of my version of the Sanderson Star Quilt.

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