Brother International (Australia)


National Award Winning Quilt design in the 15th International Brother Quilt Contest

Diminutive bugs shine spotlight on global crisis and inspire national Award Winning Quilt design in the 15th International Brother Quilt Contest

14 December 2015

Coastal based former school teacher Alison Withers from Warrnambool Victoria has been named today as the Australian winner of the 15th annual Brother International Quilting Contest with her entry Beekeepers”.

Ms Withers who was prompted by her 91 year old mother to enter the competition was inspired to create a quilt work that would address a growing environmental issue with the potential to affect global food supply.

The Winning Quilt: “Beekeepers”

(click here to download high resolution image)

“The Australian honey bee industry produces up to 30,000 tonnes of honey annually. 70 per cent of Australian honey is produced from native flora so it is in the interests of the beekeepers to nurture and support the diversity of habitat that the bees need for year round forage. This is a simple economic fact, but often forgotten is that bees are also the key to food production as they're needed to pollinate crops. A third of the food we eat depends on bees and other pollinators,” said Ms Withers.

According to online research conducted by Ms Withers the bee population around the world is disappearing at rapid rates. In China, pollination is being administered by humans to combat the bee shortage crisis and in the US, 45% of the bee population is disappearing each year. The reality of this is a reduction in future natural agricultural and floral harvests.


Featuring a mix of quilting techniques, Ms Wither’s Beekeepers quilt incorporates raw edge applique, lino print, rust dyed fabric and fibre reactive dyes.

The Brother International Quilt Contest was recently introduced to Australia in 2013 and has been running across the Asia Pacific region for 15 years. Focused around a sustainability theme, the program works to inspire numerous visually arresting and creative quilt works and a growing awareness of the need to address environmental concerns, an initiative driven by Brother’s long standing worldwide environmental resource funding program, Brother Earth.

As the Australian winner, Mrs Withers receives a Brother home sewing and craft prize package valued at over $2,400. The prize package features a brand new Brother Innov-is 1800Q computerised sewing and quilting machine along with a CM550DX ScanNCut machine. Both machines present innovative technology to offer flexibility and greater ease of use to support users enhanced personal creativity in their sewing, quilting and craft work.  

“There was an incredible calibre of detail to the quilt entries submitted this year and a diverse artistic representation of the eco message, a great result following our #Brotherinspires theme this year. All of us at Brother International Australia are extremely proud of the national talent showcased and wish our Australian Top Ten the best of luck as they progress to the international stage of the contest,” stated Sherene Grace, Marketing Manager, Home Sewing Machines at Brother International Australia.

Ms Withers’ quilt along with the other Top ten nominated entries selected by local judges will be sent across for exhibition at the 2016 Tokyo Quilt Show and judging in the International Brother Quilt Contest.A panel of Fashion College and Magazine Experts will judge the entries and award a collective prize pool in excess of USD $3, 500.


About the Brother International Quilt Contest Australian Winner Pack 

Innov-is NV1800Q

RRP $1,799

  1. Sewing and quilting machine
  2. 290 built-in stitches including 58 combinable stitches, 10 one-step buttonhole styles and 5 sewing fonts
  3. 8.3" from needle to arm
  4. 14% larger workspace and included wide table for large projects such as quilts (versus previous model without extension table: 36% larger with extension table)
  5. Sideways sewing
  6. Automatic Height Adjuster (AHA) feature
  7. Pivot Function for fast and easy fabric manipulation
  8. My Custom Stitch feature allows the creation of personalised stitches
  9. Improved sewing with longer feed dogs and zigzag foot
  10. Reinforcement stitch button to automatically sew a tie-off stitch and to easily sew a row of decorative stitches
  11. Advanced needle threading system and automatic thread tension
  12. Jam-resistant Quick-Set drop-in top bobbin
  13. Hard case included
  14. Wide range of included accessories

ScanNCut CM550DX

RRP $699

  1. World’s first home and hobby cutting machine with a 300 DPI built-in scanner. Scan virtually anything - from a handmade drawing to your most cherished family photo
  2. No design cartridges or PC required. With over 840 built-in designs and the ability to scan virtually anything, your creative freedom is no longer limited!
  3. Large 3.7” colour LCD touch screen with on-screen editing capabilities such as rotating, welding, resizing and organizing.
  4. 11.7” wide scanning and cutting area to accommodate large projects
  5. Easy to use right out of the box with a limited set up time and user-friendly interface



About Brother International (Aust) Pty Ltd:

With over 100 years in operation, Brother International is a leading global manufacturer of laser printers, label printers, Multi-Function Centres®, fax machines, P-touch electronic labellers, typewriters and sewing machines. A specialist in its product lines, Brother combines customer satisfaction and comprehensive measures for environmental conservation, to manufacture innovative, reliable and practical products to enhance the consumer's lifestyle.

Brother Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brother Industries, which was founded in 1908 in Japan. Brother Australia was established in 1977, with a head office located in Sydney and State offices located in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Brother Earth

Brother Earth is Brother's commitment to play a part in building a society with better sustainable development. By clicking on the Brother Earth site you can determine how funds are allocated and play a part in contributing to a variety of global environmental protection activities.  Visit   

Media Contact:

Nicole Watson
Gap Marketing and Management Pty Ltd
02 9264 0701