Girt By Sea


“Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea”

“Advance Australia Fair”, national anthem of Australia

It’s no secret that Modern Makers have been engaged in a passionate love affair with all things Aussie since we started in mid 2016.  We love everything about modern Australian makers and designers: so talented, progressive and fearless!

And boy, do we love this sunburnt country… girt by sea, with rugged mountains, sweeping rural plans, bustling cities, an abundance of nature’s gifts and a multicultural heartbeat.

Now you can join us in celebrating this special land as we pay homage to our wonderful home and its amazing makers, with the Girt By Sea quilt.


Girt By Sea pattern

In late 2016, we visited the breathtaking “Making The Australian Quilt” exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.  Inspired to continue the story of the Australian Quilt, we set to talking with our favourite Australian quilt designers about creating a modern Australian quilt pattern.  As so many of the quilts in the exhibition had been medallions, it felt right to continue the work of our ancestors in the same style.

With these designers on board we knew to expect something beautiful, but we didn’t anticipate that they would instinctively and completely understand our concept for the quilt.  When they presented their ideas to us and explained the inspiration behind them, we were hugging ourselves with glee!  This quilt was not only going to be gorgeous to look at, but also a perfect representation of this wonderful country.

The Elements

At the heart of the quilt is an eight pointed English Paper Pieced star, designed by Jodi to represent the eight states and territories of Australia.


Keera chose to honour her farming life with the windmills that grace the rural landscape, drawing water from wells and bores.


Living in a wine region, Sedef knew immediately that she wanted her design to show the fruits of the land.

Girt 10

Alyce was inspired by the hills and mountains that have surrounded her two home cities, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Girt 7

The lapping waves by Emma show the oceans that surround Australia.

Girt 9

Finally, Peta brought the whole concept together with her friendship braid representing Australia’s multiculturalism.


The designers were so excited with the final overall design that they collaborated to make the quilt between them. And is there any more perfect fabric for an Australian quilt than Emma’s Eureka range, inspired by Australia’s gold mining history?!  They each set to sewing up their individual rounds and sent them to Emma for the final quilt top construction.  The result is stunning!


And what about that name, Girt By Sea?  When it came to us in a collective brainwave right back in the early days, we had no idea the confusion it would cause our overseas friends! Girt = surrounded.  Makes perfect sense for a medallion quilt, right?!

Girt By Sea Sew Along

We love that this quilt includes different techniques, some that many makers confess to finding a challenge, so it makes perfect sense for us to have a nice, gentle 6 month sew-along to enable us to learn and master these skills together.  If you haven’t done EPP, interfacing or raw edge applique, curves, log cabins or any of the other techniques in the quilt, don’t worry – we’re going to hold your hand every step of the way.


The three of us have already picked out our fabrics for the sew-along and they are all very different!  So stand by for a variety of versions to inspire you.

The Girt By Sea quilt pattern is  available for purchase from Craftsy now, and the sew-along will start on 25 April, giving you plenty of time to choose your fabrics and join in the fun.

Girt By Sea pattern

Meanwhile, sign up to our newsletter and join our Facebook group to stay informed.

Our thanks to Erin Barry @quiltbystarlight for taking these beautiful photos.