Our exhibition at symposium is called Bernina In the Making, and there will be Challenge and Open sections to view. 

The five Challenges for this symposium are:

  • Fiesta Flags Challenge
  • Resene – A World of Colour Paint Chip Challenge
  • Speak to Me Challenge
  • In the Beginning Challenge 
  • Informal Symposium Tote Bag Challenge.

The Open sections are:

  • Traditional quilts
  • Contemporary and Modern quilts


Our judges

We are pleased to introduce Catherine McDonald from Christchurch. 

Catherine has been quilting for over thirty years as well as teaching and judging exhibitions. She was the convenor of the 2017 symposium and co-convenor of the 2003 symposium in Christchurch, and is a former president and life member of Aotearoa Quilters. Catherine lives just out of Christchurch and is a Life Member of Christchurch Quilters.
In recent years Catherine has become a member of the international group Cloth in Common whereby members work in a series based on prompts from the group. Catherine has exhibited both locally and internationally.
Catherine says, “I tend to make Art Quilts of all shapes and sizes with a more masculine feel (surrounded by boys in my family) but truly appreciate and occasionally make traditional quilts. When judging an exhibition, I look for overall design and impact, workmanship and originality. It is important that the work is well made, has a point of difference and accomplishes what I think the quilter set out to achieve.


Kathy Doughty has been the owner and Creative Director of Material Obsession a patchwork shop known for innovative design, since 2003. Originally a self-taught quilter, her eclectic style developed over decades of obsessive quilting guided by working industry experts.
In 2006, she co-authored the international bestsellers, Material Obsession One then in 2008, Material Obsession Two.  As a sole author, she then wrote Making Quilts, Adding Layers and Mixing Quilt Elements before moving into her latest obsession, Organic Applique.  Her books, published by C&T Publishing, explore using contemporary designs while encouraging quilters to enhance their own creative experience.
In 2013 Kathy introduced, A Wandering Mind, her first fabric collection with Leutenegger, an Australian textile company.  She joined the Freespirit Fabrics design team in 2015.  Her collections are inspired by the beauty of the natural and textile world that surrounds her.  In 2021 Kathy Doughty will release her first collection for Figo Fabrics, Kindred Sketches delivering in May 2022.
Kathy spent her formative professional working years in NYC working in advertising before moving to the fashion district.  Her next move was to SWATCH Watch USA where she was involved in the groundbreaking introduction of the brand. 
She now manages Material Obsession with her husband John, a professional photographer.  John has brought the brand vision to life in pictures for all the books as well as the website and marketing materials.  The business values community and is an active supporter of QuiltNSW and local groups.  In 2018 Kathy trained and became an accredited Quilt Show Judge.  The shop services over 100 class participants monthly. The Material Obsession BOM program is sent around the world to 400 participants monthly.
Kathy, an American, now calls Australia home but enjoys frequent trips to the USA to teach in shops, at events and for guilds.  Her three sons have creative endeavours of their own from making art to music. Her life is an open book on social media:

Website:  https://www.materialobsession.com.au 
Facebook:  Material Obsession
or instagram: @matobsgirl or @materialobsession


Anne Scott began stitching her first hexagon coverlet when she was at school.

A patchwork class in Singapore in 1988 taught her the basics and she has been making quilts ever since. In 1992 she started New Zealand Quilter magazine – a quarterly publication of just 24 pages – four in colour. By 2017, the magazines had grown to 72 pages full colour. However, after 25 years and 100 issues she retired to run Minerva bookstore in Cuba Street Wellington.

In between, Anne served on the Advisory Board of the International Quilt Study Center in Nebraska, USA, taught sewing skills to women with HIV in Laos, took exhibitions of New Zealand quilts to Australia, Canada, the US, the UK and France, curated travelling exhibitions and challenges and facilitated New Zealand’s annual contribution of quilts for the World Quilt Show.

Anne was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2018 for services to Quilting. She still makes quilts.

Website:  https://minerva.co.nz
Instagram: minervaoncuba

Norma has kindly agreed to step in as alternate judge for Kathy Doughty in the event that travel from Australia is restricted in October 2022. We appreciate this support as we plan for our event in these challenging circumstances!

Norma Slabbert is a quilt maker and writer from Hamilton who grew up on a Bushveld farm and a mission station in Lebowa, South Africa.  She started doing fabric collage in the eighties, while working as a pre-school teacher.  

During a mid-career break, Norma backpacked through Europe to visit major galleries and museums to study art and quilt making. She visited quilt shows, took a quilt class, and researched quilt making at British museums and libraries. The experience inspired a lifelong commitment to quilt making. After returning from Europe, Norma worked as an art gallery curator in Cape Town.  She initiated and curated a number of quilt exhibitions in the city gallery – which was ground-breaking at the time.

She returned to university in midlife, to fulfil a passion for writing and to do an Honours in Journalism.  After qualifying as a journalist, the focus of her work shifted to quilts that were grounded in the realities of daily life. Norma’s migration to New Zealand, in the late nineties, inspired more changes in her work.  As a migrant her quilts often comment on emotional truths, coming and going, isolation, belonging, place and displacement, and the space between.

Norma has written and published extensively on quilt making.  She completed a quilt Judging Skills Certificate during the late nineties – presented by Jeannie M Spears from the US.  She has been a quilt juror at numerous quilt shows, including most recently, the 2019 Great New Zealand Quilt Show and the 2021 SAQA Oceania Regional Exhibition.  

Norma is working towards her fourth solo quilt exhibition to be held towards the end of 2022. 
For more information, please visit:

Website: normaslabbert.com
Instagram: quiltmakernorma