Posted on 18 September 201917 September 2019 by Monika McKinlay Geata Teaghlach pronounced garta ch-eye-lokh During a visit to Great Britain in 2005 I took many photos with the idea that one day they would make themselves into a quilt. The Chirk Castle Gates in Wales really impressed me. When a friend encouraged me to try Ice dyeing while I was in Victoria for The Best of Australia Awards in April this year, I knew that my idea of a wrought iron gate quilt had found its quilting muse. I took this photo on the 23rd June after I had played around for a while with scale to make sure I was using the pieces of fabric to highlight my vision of what I wanted to achieve. Drawing tools, stencils, reference books, template,s trusty lead pencil and the ever present eraser It was only after I was happy with a design in pencil that I then committed it to ink on quilt size piece of paper. Sketching different fills as I go. Pulling threads from all over the place in the stash to achieve what I envisioned, before I started to trace the design. Once I had had the design on my paper, I traced the main details with a fine tip gel pen. Then I used at least 3 Blue Water Erasable Leonis Pens to trace the design onto my top. I don’t have any pictures of the actual top all blue penned. I had decided I wanted a thicker thread look with my quilting so decided to run two threads through my thread stand and the eye of the needle. The Perfect backing fabric was also in my stash, possibly from a similar era as the inspirational photo. So on the 4th August the quilt was loaded onto my longarm machine. you can see some of the blue markings here. The quilting is no where near the same as Chirk Castle, I was using the picture to reference where I would stitch a solid line between metal pieces or leave it open to appear like it was a solid piece. I wanted to depict a stone base to the wall of the gate. I am actually standing on the table of my longarm machine here to take this photo from directly above the centre of the quilt. There is a garden path and gardens in the foreground of the quilt. The Southern Cross a constellation visible above Australia is beaded into the background. There are 8 different shades of maroon thread represented in this “Diamond Sky”, gradually fading as they distance themselves from the gate. after two weeks on my longarm I was able to take it off the machine, have a sticky beak first, then give it a cold water bath and start the process of blocking it. I felt curved binding replicated the idea of gates, but still felt it needed something a bit more The label gives an insight to how I chose what I felt were the major design elements, within the quilt. The name is for my mother, My Father used Morse Code to mark his items in the workshop during his apprenticeship. Can you find my Morse code links? There was also a story from a Great Aunty in my youth of something shady in the family past. I learnt this year that my Great Grandfather, of my father’s side, when he sailed to Australia changed his surname from Smith. Geata Teaghlach pronounced garta ch-eye-lokh – Irish for Family Gate – in all her painted glory.