Well, my stars must be aligned or in their seventh heaven or whatever the terminology is as I’ve had an amazing news week.

And while it’s great to look at this as success, which of course it is, what it really is, is the realisation of a lot of hard work.

I’ve had to learn my lessons the hard way on my journey to become an exhibiting artist/practising textile artist, but I’m not complaining because that suits my personality perfectly.  I learn best from a mistake – and usually don’t make it twice.  Hopefully.  Fingers crossed.

We all know that 90% of an iceberg is submerged and unseen, so I’m drawing a parallel between an iceberg and what’s actually needed for success because frozen under those icy waters are the elements holding the true keys to success – amalgamating discipline, time management, routine, focus, proficiency, knowledge, commitment – in other words, the unseen skills that are often overlooked.

Technique is a learned skill.  You can’t be taught that in one class and believe that’s all it takes.  You need to hone and sharpen that skill, hour after hour, day after day – on your own so you can develop your own way, and it’s the same for all those unseen elements that encourage you to persist, to have the right attitude, to commit.  That’s where the real magic of success can be found.

So what did my good news look like:

  • Selection for Art Quilt Australia 2021 – see the online gallery here
  • The Stitch Safari Podcast named as one of the 20 Best Embroidery Podcasts of 2021 by Welp Magazine – link here
  • Ozquilt Network Award of Excellence 2021


  • Possible inclusion in a new book focussing on birds in textiles

I’ve had to jump a number of fences for these achievements and I’ve loved every step and every deviation.

But it’s those precious unseen skills that have helped me across that line.

cathy jack coupland