Earlier in the Summer, I contacted Donna Goymer.  Her quilt of an elephant which won “Visitors Choice” last year at the Festival of Quilts was really unforgettable.  I don’t say that lightly, it was amazing and what’s more, it was the first piece she had ever entered into a competition. She calls him Eric …and this is his story – as told by Donna …

” The FOQ (Festival of Quilts) theme was ‘Free’. At that time, there were lots of reports in the news about poaching, with black rhinos and elephants numbers decreasing.  ‘Free’ to me meant the freedom for nature to grow. I considered a Rhino initially, but preferred elephants as their strength, kindness and their personality have always inspired me. 

“I chose tweed fabric for its texture, the colours as well as its strength and softness. It seemed a perfect match with the qualities of elephants.  I used batik fabric for the background which I cut in places to show the outline of the hills. The colours I picked were to represent a hot desert-like region. 

“I was encouraged to enter the FOQ by my sewing group and the manager at the local fabric shop. All their support help me through and I regularly bounced ideas off them. 

“The goal was to finish the quilt and just have it on display in such an amazing exhibition. It was my first exhibition I had ever entered work into and was worried that the quilt wasn’t going to be good enough amongst the other on display as I knew the skill and talent level would be outstanding. 

“My friends were disappointed that I hadn’t got an award from the judges. I never imaged I would get anything and was very surprised to hear about the visitors choice award. I didn’t believe it at first. By that point, I was at home,  and made friends take photos of the award next to the quilt/ It was only when I saw the photos that I believed it! 

“I am very proud of the award, I never thought that I would win anything”.

Eric really was a stunner. I remember voting for Eric and thinking what an amazing talent it was that had made such a piece. Little did I know that is was the first entry into a competition that Donna had made.

There is soo much talent out there… please share it and if you are going to the Festival of Quilts this year, make sure you vote for your ‘Visitors Choice’.

Thank you, Donna, for sharing that story.