Little did I know when I received an email from Ballaarat Quilters in 2008 requesting me to design and teach a quilt at their upcoming retreat, how many times I would go on to teach that design. The design brief was to make a quilt in the style of a traditional Ballarat Beauties, but scrappy in nature and with a number of variations within the individual blocks. And so... Ballarat Beauties was born. The quilt has an appeal to both traditional quilters, who prefer to use reproduction fabrics and those who make more modern quilts using contemporary fabrics. Ballaarat Beauties is inspired by a number of circular patchwork designs from years gone by. The quilt consists of elements from antique quilts such as New York Beauty, Whig’s Defeat, Georgetown Circle, Mariner’s Compass and Sunburst, as well as some original designs. There are 36 blocks, each one of which comprises a pieced quarter circle set into a square. The squares are then straight-set together and the blocks can be laid out to form complete circles or twisted to create different effects. It is foundation pieced for ease and accuracy.
I have taught Ballaarat Beauties numerous times and have lost count of the number of ladies who have done this workshop. It has been taught throughout Australia and in America when I visited there in 2014. The shops in the US, that didn't offer the class, purchased patterns at the request of their students who were inspired to make their own version of the quilt. The pattern is available on this website and I'll happily travel to your neck of the woods for a workshop if there's a group of quilters who would also like to make the quilt.
Enjoy the photos of the original quilt and my student's work in various stages of completion.