Introducing Tracey Bareli

tracey bareli

1st Place-Traditional quilts. “A Purple sensation” also first place, Best long arm machine quilting and also Best of show.

Today we are saying hello to Tracey Bareli, Tracey resides in Esperance, unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to meet her in person, at Quiltwest, whilst in Perth, but I did have the opportunity to gaze in wonder at her quilts that were at the exhibition.  Tracey won quite a few prizes for her beautiful quilts.  Through the wonders of email, I spoke with Tracey and put a few questions to her.

How long did a ” Purple Sensation” take to make and where did you draw your inspiration from for this quilt?

The inspiration for “Purple Sensation”  came from the Book ‘ Design Inspirations’ by Margaret Solomon Gunn. 

The quilt is largely Hand pieced and took roughly 12 months to put together.  The quilting is Hand guided with Ruler work. Some of the quilting Motifs are Margaret’s. The actual quilting took just over 52 hours. That’s just the needle going up and down,  not including marking of the top readying for quilting. It was a challenge to put together and was pleased with my efforts that I decided to ask permission from Margaret to be able to show the quilt and for it to be judged.

On the off chance that she wouldn’t give permission i did have another quilt for the Show.

” Quilty As Charged ”  this quilt is made with hand pieced Hexagons with a Radiance Silk background.

The Robert Kaufman Radiance Silk fabric is beautiful to quilt. Unfortunately it is now discontinued.

This is an original design, taking 15 hours of quilting time.




How long have you been a quilter for? And what part of the quilting process do you enjoy the most? 

My first quilt I had ever made was a wall hanging in 1989. We ( Dan My Husband) had just moved to Boyup Brook, newly married.  My mum had given me her Singer sewing machine.  I can’t say that I had a love of that machine, but I saw a wall hanging pattern in a magazine and decided to give it a go. My sewing skills were pretty basic, I knew  nothing about tension,  but looking at it now, it wasn’t too bad, perhaps a little tight.

  I still have the Cat walhanging,  a little thread bare, when I look closely at the quilting today,  I don’t think I lowered my feed dogs – back then I wouldn’t have even know what a feed dog was!! 

I then made a hexagon quilt., which was a grandmothers garden pattern. This quilt pattern was for a large single bed, but it  grew and grew. I think I was a little concerned about how to put those hexies together. I hand quilted this quilt, I  need lessons on how to hand quilt! And I  still have this quilt in a cupboard.

 After that I fell in love with my garden and also studied for a Gardening & Landscaping Certificate.  I also started Cross Stitching.

 I didn’t look seriously at patchwork again until 2012. I joined a sewing Guild, “ Grass Patch Patches”, which is a little town about an hour north of Esperance.

Tracey’s cat wallhanging ( her first foray into patchwork and quilting)

 It was late in 2012 that I discovered what you can really do with a sewing machine. I had a small Janome machine that I used for mending more than anything, and very rarely do I do any mending on my new machines)

I look back now and wonder  how I ever got queen size quilts into that throat space!! .

I decided to buy a bigger machine and that’s when I attempted my first wholecloth original Design.   Using Gold Radiance Silk and being very bold and using contrasting colored thread.

 In early 2013 Deb Van De Bogart of Patches & Things ran a 4 day retreat and one of my classes was with Jocelyne Leath.   Deb encouraged me to show Jocelyne,  my gold wholecloth.  Jocelyne asked me if I was a member of WAQA, I replied that I wasn’t a member.  Jocelyne said become a member and put your work in the show.   I entered “Sun & Sea ” into the 2014 QuiltWest and to my surprise, it came 2nd in All Professional Quilts and also won Best Domestic Machine Quilting.

tracey3 sea and sand

 My favourite part of the quilting process is the quilting. I first sighted a Long Arm quilting machine having never seen one before 2012. Our sewing group was fundraising for Breast Cancer and Judy, who opened her home for the Biggest Morning Tea had a Long Arm.  Judy mentioned a few days before that she would put Calico on the frame and anybody who wanted to have a “play” was welcome to.  The room filled with all these ladies wanting to play on this huge machine.  Me?? I stood at the back and just watched,  I had a hundred questions that I wanted to ask Judy but so did everyone else. HaHa!,  and I never had a play! 

I saw the Handi Quilter advertised in a number of quilting magazines. I registered that I was interested in more information, and I also showed my husband Dan.  Dan’s first question was “where are you going to put it? “ Mmmmm….

 I started saving my pennies. We have our own Earthmoving Business, and so I drove a water truck and operated a Roller and Excavator for 9 months and then I brought my Handi Quilter Avante,   from Michelle at Handcrafters House around mid 2013.  Dan suggested we turn the formal lounge( a never  used room) into my Quilting Room. 

  If I have a project on the frame I have been known to turn on the machine at 4 in the morning and quilt away. I will have the radio on or sometimes I will listen to my music. Other times I will listen to a book.

 Would you consider yourself a Traditional Quilter?

 I like to do Traditional but I have done Modern pieces and Art pieces as well. Love to give anything a go. 

Are your Family supportive of your quilting endeavour’s?

My family,  are very supportive of my quilting and are very proud of my achievements.

Place to relax and unwind.

 When I’m not at home and not quilting… I commute to Kalgoorlie where Dan is working. Once work is over we will head to Perth to catch up with Corey for a bit of family time and R & R. This doesn’t happen often enough. I still like to garden, but not often enough these days.  We also have a little Jack Russell, Ruby. She lets me know when I have been at the quilting machine for  too long. After barking at me to get my attention, we then have discussions about what toy is at my feet,  or the next door neighbour’s cat sunning itself on the driveway.

You are a WAQA Member, however are you involved in other Groups?

 I am a Member of two sewing groups in Esperance. “The Fire Shed Quilters”, meet every 2nd Tuesday and “Port Patches” who meet every Friday. I am not a an accredited teacher as such,  but  I love to help in any way I can if any members at these groups are  having issues with their FMQ.  I love to pass on my knowledge and assist with their quilt making, if needed.

 What brand of Sewing Machine and long arm do you use?

 My sewing machine I use is the 720 Bernina. I also have the Handi Quilter Avante. I have long arm quilted since purchasing my machine in 2013, before that I quilted on my domestic machine, which before the Bernina,   was a Janome Horizon 7700. 

Is this the first time you have entered your Quilts  into a Show? (Quiltwest 2018)

 Since entering my first Quilt into a judged show in 2014, I have entered in to QuiltWest every year since,   and won Majors Prizes & 1st, 2nd & 3rds. I also entered the AMQA ( Australian Machine Quilting Association)  Show in Adelaide in 2014 and won a 1st & 2nd for Innovative Custom Small  Category,. “Sun & Sea” & “Aussie Toss”, both worked on a Domestic Machine

  I have entered quilts in to the Royal Show and picked up prizes and  I won Best Exhibit in 2013.  I also make it a point to enter exhibits into the Local Esperance Show. I have won Prizes here too.  I haven’t entered any Quilts internationally.

“Quilty as charged”, this quilt also entered at Quiltwest.


Blessing Quilt – A pattern by Robyn Falloon. My first attempt at Needle turn. Quilted on my Handi Quilter. Started 2012- completed 2014.


“Aussie Toss” – A pattern by Lisa Moore. Quilting achieved using my Janome Horizon 7700. Completed July 2013

On The Frame – Tablecloth Linen quilted onto rich Blue silk. This wall hanging was gifted to a Lady for her Birthday in 2015


Ruby, our gorgeous, adorable, cheeky dog

Thank you Tracey for providing us with some wonderful photos and the wonderful story of your quilting journey, thus far.  You are a very talented quilter and it has been a pleasure to get to know a bit more about you.  We hope to see a lot more of your quilts in the future and again Well done!

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