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About Dianne

Dianne

My name is Dianne Johnston and I am a patchwork teacher of twenty years, based in Queensland, but willing to travel to perform my chosen career of teaching patchwork and hand appliqué to students.  In the past few years I have travelled widely around Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the USA.

In June 1993 I launched my first book in Australia, featuring 20 new and original appliqué designs, each with step-by-step instructions.  The book has proved to be a wonderful success, with several reprints. The second book “Decorate with Applique” explains more fully the unique techniques Dianne has developed to make “needle turn” hand appliqué quick, simple and enjoyable.  The patterns start with simple beginners blocks, and move on to complete quilts.  Distribution in Australia is by direct contact with Dianne Johnston Products. Wholesale and retail enquires welcome.

On the personal side, I was born, educated, and trained as a florist in Melbourne, and moved to Queensland 40 years ago, where all my children have been born and raised.  My patchwork started 20 years ago, when I found myself house bound with three young children, and frustrated with not being able to express my creativity through my floristry.  Some friends introduced me to patchwork, and I found that I could work at home with the children, and yet explore the design and technical fields of the craft from within the home.  The suggestion was first made that I should start teaching, and from then onwards it has become a full time career.  My main expertise is in the field of hand appliqué, and design, and with the exception of one class (Baltimore), all the other designs are original.  My training as a florist combined so well with the field of appliqué.  Because of my knowledge of colour, composition, and balance, it was easy for me to draw up appliqué designs, which have proved to be very popular.

Most of my quilts are large full sized bed quilts, which look equally wonderful as wall hangings.  Every one of my major works has won an award at exhibitions up and down the eastern coast of Australia.

My most successful quilt, "Old Fashioned Rose" was a finalist at the 1998 International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, won Best of Show at the 1999 Sydney Quilt Exhibition, and was awarded Best Hand Quilting prize at the 1999 Victorian Quilters Exhibition, Runner Up, and Best Hand Quilting at the Queensland Quilters Exhibition 1999.

Throughout this time I have produced hand dyed fabrics, and my quilts are made with hundreds of shades of hand dyed cotton fabric which achieves the most realistic flowers possible in fabric.

My classes aim to teach the students the art of "Needle Turn" hand appliqué, putting the emphasis  on the techniques to achieve invisible stitches, fine points, smooth curves, and fray free concaves corners.  Many of the techniques have been developed over years of experimentation, to find the simpliest, quickest, and most enjoyable methods for hand “needle turn” applique. I specialise in balance of colour, and use of colour within the flowers to achieve the most lifelike affect in the piece of work.

Over the past few years I have been designing blocks in the “Shattered Glass” technique.  This has proved extremely popular, and classes are available.  The technique is quick, easy, and very pleasing to the eye.  The range of designs is wide and variable, and new patterns should be coming on the market in 2007.

I enjoy teaching both beginners and advanced students, and classes are designed for all levels.  With the exception of the "Baltimore" classes, all my teaching patterns are original designs, and I hold copyright over all the patterns.