Continuous Lines

Newsletter for AMQA Inc members

Friday, September 10, 2010

Newsletter No. 15

Newsletter for AMQA Inc. Members

Newsletter No. 15
September 2010

Editor’s Message

Hello. Please let me introduce myself. I am Michele Turner, the new editor of Continuous Lines. I am based in Cranebrook, which is on the western fringe of Sydney. I live here with my husband, Michael and our four children, three boys and one girl, who range in age from 9 to 14 years. We also share our home with two poodles and 6 chickens. Well, the chickens live happily in their coop outside.

I have been a quilter for the last 7 years. I love quilting in general and find that quilting for other people is very fulfilling. I was very new to patchwork and quilting when I bought my first Longarm machine. I had only made 3 quilts prior to starting my business. Looking back, I was maybe a little naïve, but I did a lot of research before I bought my machine and a lot of practice before I quilted for hire. I was confident I could pull it off. I mean really, what else does a young mum with a toddler and two pre-schoolers at home and a child at school have to do in a day, anyway?

I had a lot of support and inspiration from an online machine quilting community. I learned a lot from trial and error. I hope to share some of my learning throughout the next 12 months in this newsletter, and I invite you all to do the same. I would love to hear from you with hints and tips you are willing to share, or any ideas of things you would like to know. Let’s make this newsletter a great resource for all of us.

Little did I know what I was in for when starting my machine quilting business. I thought that I would just take quilts in. Quilt them. Get paid, then do the next one. I never anticipated that through my quilting that I would meet so many wonderful people, both my clients and other quilters who are just so inspiring to me. I have made the opportunity to travel to the USA in 2007 to attend MQX (Machine Quilters Expo) in New Hampshire and HMQS (Home Machine Quilting Show) in Salt Lake City. I have been to Trade Shows in Sydney and Melbourne and met many other Longarm quilters. I have become a machine quilting dealer and consider myself lucky to set others on this wonderful pathway. My quilting gives me confidence – you learn a lot of skills running your own business – and financial independence.

I have entered quilt shows. Sometimes I have won. Sometimes I have not. I think it is so important to enter into quilt shows, so we can show our work and be proud of it. I am looking forward to seeing this years’ AMQA Show shortly. I love seeing how each quilter interprets the patchwork and quilts it accordingly. I draw much inspiration from the work I see and strive to do as well myself. I find that I very much remember the shapes of the quilt and the quilting, but fail to see the colours in the quilt. Perhaps I have ruined myself, seeing things most often from a quilting, rather than patchwork perspective.

Well, that’s enough rambling from me now. I hope you will take time to sit and read through this newsletter. This is a very text heavy newsletter this time, so please stick with it. I do appreciate any feedback that you have.

President’s Message

The Australian Machine Quilters Association Show 2010 is fast approaching. We have received a huge response from entrants both in Australia and Overseas. Fantastic prizes are being offered by our Sponsors and I thank them all very much for supporting this wonderful organization and industry. I trust you all have your quilts ready, if not posted by now.

Thank you to our members who have come forward volunteering their time. Assisting with lead up to the event itself, as well as the day to day running of the Show. We couldn’t do it without you.

The Machine Quilting Issue of ‘Australian Patchwork & Quilting’ V19 No 4 has played a huge part in promoting AMQA. Also in this issue they featured State by State a list of Machine Quilters. This was free advertising for our members. A number of other stories & features also included related to our industry and would be of benefit to many of you. We have been very fortunate to receive this type of publicity from a well known magazine such as this one.

I do hope that you will be able to join the Committee and other AMQA Members for breakfast on Sunday 3rd October. This is an informal get together and we look forward to meeting you all.

Congratulations to all our Members who have entered shows around the country recently and a special congratulations to all prize winners. Well done.

I look forward to meeting as many of our members as I can while in Adelaide, so please make yourselves known.

Till next time

Terry Elverd

AMQA Members Get-Together at AMQF

The Committee Members would like to extend an invitation to all AMQA Members that will be attending the AMQ Festival to meet for breakfast at the:-

Mawson Lakes Hotel.  Sunday 3rd October at 7.30am

This is a great opportunity to meet us and other members from all over Australia for an informal get together. A buffet style breakfast is available at your own cost.
RSVP:  20th September 2010
Terry Elverd
AMQA President

AMQAS 2010

AMQAS 2010 is shaping up to be a wonderful exhibition of our work. There are plenty of quilts to admire at the show and some wonderful prizes provided by our sponsors, AMQF, Sue’s Sewing World, Horn Australia, MS Textiles, QH Textiles, The Quilters Quilter and Creative Quilting Services.

There are some simply spectacular quilts that will be judged and displayed at the festival, with two quilts coming from Germany!!!!  We have 85 quilts, which is fantastic. We are anticipating having many people view the quilts, the general public together with all Festival participants. 

All of the welcome letters have gone out to those who have entered, so they will all know how they are getting their quilts to the coordinator, or to those ladies that have been designated to accept quilts in Adelaide and what date they need to have them there.

This show is the result of members of AMQA who have put in many hours of work behind the scenes and will also be working hard at the show itself to make sure it is an event for everyone to enjoy. Thank you to all who have contributed time, effort and quilts.

Look out for the AMQAS2010 results and pictures of the prize winning quilts in the next edition of Continuous Lines.

Membership Renewal

Membership renewals are due on 1st October 2010. There are two convenient ways to renew this year:-

Renew via Post

Please click here and download the renewal form and mail it with your cheque or receipt for your bank deposit to the address shown on the form.


Renew at AMQF

There will be membership forms available to complete at the AMQF registration desk. There will be a locked purple box to drop them into, along with your renewal fee. Envelopes are available. If you are a registered participant, a renewal form and a rebate form will be in your ‘goodie’ bag. We accept cash, cheque or direct transfer to the bank account for memberships, so if you have completed a bank transfer, please include a print out of the receipt. Thank you.
Now this is also a reminder of the REBATE that AMQA offers to members who are endeavouring to educate themselves at Festival!

Current Individual AMQA members attending the AMQ Festival Workshops are entitled to a $30 Rebate in the form of credit towards the cost of renewing their AMQA membership in October 2010. So download your rebate application form here and include it with your renewal form and you have an automatic discount to your annual membership!

Some Housekeeping…

AMQA Web Site

Find a Machine Quilter Page

Please have a look at your information on the "Find a Machine Quilter" page and check to see that it is current and valid. Some of you may have changed address, telephone number or e-mail address so please take a minute to check your listing.  If you have a link, please make sure you take a minute to check that it is correct and your website is accurate and up to date. Sometimes we forget to update things on our web sites and any link to an invalid address or to incorrect information compromises the professional image of AMQA.

If you would like a web link attached to your name, please contact Suzanne, the Web Diva and give her the corrections to be made.

We hope that you take the time to check your information and notify us of any changes required. Thank You!

Quilters and Their Machine Page

We would like to update this page to give you an opportunity to highlight yourself and your most important tool, your quilting machine. Please send me a few paragraphs about yourself, including information such as when and why you started quilting for others, about your machine and why you chose it, where you live and any other interesting things you have to say about your quilting life. Please include a photo of you and your machine that we can place on the website.


To Val Towill of Murray Bridge , SA,  who quilted the winning quilt in the Two Person/Group section,  Hand or Machine Pieced/Applique/Quilting, at the Royal Adelaide Show.

This quilt was made by members of Fleurieu Quilters, SA for their 2011 Raffle Quilt. The quilt is called Tropical Whimsy, an original design by Cynthia Tomaszewski from Abu Dhabi.

Val said about the quilting, “Most of the quilting was freehand in blocks and border, but I did use the IQ for the sashings and cornerstones.  All applique was SID as per usual and took about 2 or 3 very full days to complete. Their piecing & applique was all done by machine & of excellent quality which made my job even easier.”

Well done Val, the quilt looks great! What a thrill for you and the Fleurieu Quilters.

Upcoming Events

URGENT - Calling all Southeast QLD and very North, North NSW Longarm Machine Quilters

We have once again been given the opportunity to display quilts to showcase machine quilting and our businesses, at the October Craft and Quilt show at the Southbank Exhibition centre.

If you are interested in having one of your quilts hang at the show (can be a customer's quilt) please let either Susanne Hughes or Suzan Saliba know by
Wednesday 15th September if you are interested please let them know how many and the dimensions of your quilt or quilts. At this stage if you can nominate two quilts that would be great. Whether you get a spot for two or one will really depend on how many entries in the official show there are and how many Machine Quilters make their quilts available. This is a wonderful opportunity to advertise your business to thousands of visitors. Last year was our first time and it was well received and very successful. Let's see if we can do it again!

Contact Numbers are:
Susanne Hughes 07 3425 3526 or 0412 841 425
Suzan Saliba 07 3435 2663 or 0417 898 885

Sharon Schamber is Visiting in 2011

Pam Hill is happy to announce that Sharon Schamber has put aside time to revisit Australia in 2011. Pam would like to gauge the interest in her classes. Those that attended her first visit found both Sharon and her classes very interesting, helpful and insightful. Sharon is a very giving teacher and loves nothing better than to share her wealth of knowledge and her quilts.

Could you please drop Pam a line or call her to let her know:-

a) Are you interested in domestic sewing machine classes, in long arm classes or in both?

b) Where are you situated and where would you travel to, to take these classes?

To make the most out of Sharon's time and ours as quilters, please call Pam with your suggestions.

Pam Hill 07 3396 8090 or

16 - 19 Sept 2010
Brisbane Stitches & Craft Show
RNA Showgrounds Bowens Hill,
1-4 October 2010
Australian Machine Quilters Association Show 2010


Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, SA
1 - 4 October 2010
Australian Machine Quilters Festival
Mawson Lakes Adelaide SA
20 - 24 October 2010
Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair
Brisbane Exhibition Centre
Corner Glenelg & Merivale Streets, South Bank
Brisbane.  Queensland
4 - 7 November 2010
Adelaide Craft & Quilt Fair
Jubilee Pavilion, Adelaide Showground
Wayville . South Australia
29 - Nov 2010
Tasmania Craft Fair

Article – Finding Quilting Inspiration

By Michele Turner

Do you sometimes run out of ideas? Feel like you are quilting the same way all of the time? Get sick of stipple? Would you rather stick a pin in yourself than quilt that same pantograph one more time?

Yes? So, what are you going to do about it?

I would like to share things that I do to find new inspiration for quilting my customer quilts.

I sometimes get a ‘run’ on the same quilt design. You know how it is, a whole class makes the same quilt and you end up quilting half of them, but you don’t want them all of the same. Luckily, most of the time different fabrics have been used and you can take cues from that. A quilt can look completely different made in modern brights vs civil war reproductions, so the quilting should too. In this case, to custom quilt, I would most likely quilt the modern quilt in a much less formal manner. Feathers, if used, would be looser and maybe have a variation in the plume shape rather than a traditional type feather. Background fillers might be more whimsical, a curly swirly type fill rather than cross hatching or echo quilting. The civil war quilt would have more structured quilting. Feathers would be formal and the spine would be very regular. I would use a more structured background fill as well. Let the fabric designs and colours guide your quilting choices.

So what to do when you are totally stumped and have no idea what to quilt on a particular quilt? I like to hit the books and hit the internet. I have a good supply of quilting books, and one of my favourites for inspiration is ‘Frameworks’ by Diana Phillips. I tend to struggle with border ideas and I look in the book to find ideas that go with the style of the quilt. I use these ideas in the border and use the same type of quilting in the blocks or sashing to tie it in. Repeating the same style of motif or background fill really unifies the quilting and gives a balanced look to the whole quilt.

You can always search Google Images for quilting ideas. Recently I had a quilt which I was unsure how to quilt. It was a panel featuring a tiger surrounded by piecing. I knew this quilt was a kit, so I figured that someone else would surely have made one. I typed ‘tiger quilt’ into google images and the very first picture was identical to the quilt I had to quilt. I saw what the other quilter had done on the panel and was inspired to quilt mine in a similar manner. Google images will also provide plenty of ideas on what not to do as well. You can just as easily see what will not work quilting-wise on a quilt and choose something else to quilt instead.

Use the find a machine quilter section on the AMQA website to see what other quilters are doing. Lots of us have galleries of pictures on our websites or blogs. Spending time browsing and looking at different types and styles of quilting help us develop our own work too. Keep a sketch pad nearby and draw what you like and create and Idea Scrapbook. Refer to this when you are stumped. Just looking through designs can get the creative juices flowing and you might just find the perfect quilting for the quilt you have to quilt.

Thinking time is sometimes necessary to gain inspiration. For a custom quilt, I will always stitch in the ditch. I often complete all of the stitch in the ditch on a quilt first on a quilt that I am stumped for inspiration.  By the time I am finished all of this tedious but necessary work, I have an idea or two for the rest of the quilting.

Pantographs are absolutely wonderful for quilting quilts nicely and quickly, but choosing the same one all the time can get very boring, very quickly. Your customers will also notice that you are tending to use the same designs all of the time too and perhaps would also like a change as well.

Pantograph designers are always coming up with new ideas. If you haven’t added to your pantograph collection for a while, take a look at their online catalogues. If you have a ton of pantographs already, take another look through and evaluate them. Think about what you use all the time and why you use them. Do you have a similar panto that you can use instead of using that same one all of the time?  Is there a new one available that still fits into your style guidelines, but is a touch different to what you already use? Look at the pantos that you have but don’t use. Why don’t you use them? Is there a place you can use them? Consider taking another look that those pantoes next time you have a new quilt in that might suit them. I always like trying different, but appropriate,  pantographs. This helps me avoid the boredom of always using the same one and be inspired to find new favourites.

There is plenty of inspiration out there. You just need to know where to find it and hang onto the ideas that will work for you. Go for it!

New Members

Welcome to the following new members:

Kylie Cannon - Finely Finished Quilting – BEAUMARIS
Sandy Biggs – SB Quilting – GAWLER
Vicki Sievwright – BUSSELTON
Valerie Slater – House of Valerie – SALISBURY
Karen Palmer – Annie’s Farm Quilting – IPSWICH
Georgi Smith – ROSSMOYNE
Kym Colgrave – Professional Quilting Services – BUNDABERG SOUTH
Elizabeth Hill – ALBION PARK

Coming up next time…

Do you have trouble staying on track when working from home? Is it hard to say no to going out for coffee with friends when you know you should be working? Are you really disciplined when it comes to staying at the machine for a full working day? How do you time manage?

Next Issue, I would like to share your Hints and Tips on How to Stay Focused when working from home.

We NEED more pictures - please share your triumphs and quilts that you are extra proud of - don't be shy. Email them to me please!

Please email me with your ideas to share, I would love to hear from you. Submission Deadline is  October 8, 2010.

Your 2010-11 Committee and Contact Details

President: Terry Elverd, WA 
Vice President: Raylee Bielenberg, ACT 
Secretary: Susanne Hughes, Qld 
Treasurer: Gayle Dayman, SA 
Membership Secretary: Gayle Dayman, SA 
Minute Secretary: Jo Northcott, WA 
Web Diva: Suzanne Cappello, NSW 
Editor: Michele Turner, NSW 

Committee Members: 
Julie Nixon, SA 
Val Towill, SA 
Sharon McGill, WA 
Tracey Browning, SA

AMQA Corporate Members

Our Corporate Members are:-

Lorien Quilting
Lorien Quilting - Australian publisher of machine quilting patterns by local and international designers. 
We carry block designs and motifs, pattern sets and a huge range of pantographs for all sizes of quilting machine. Our pattern clubs are a must for adding variety to your pattern stash while saving big bucks!
Visit our website for discounts 
We would like to give a special thank you to Hermione of Lorien Quilting for allowing AMQA to use her design "Fantasia" on the background of the new AMQA website. 

Widebacks Australia
Widebacks Australia is an Australian owned company which specialises in top quality 108" (275cm) wide backing fabrics including well known names such as Moda, Benartex, RJR, P&B, South Sea Imports and Marcus Fabrics. Widebacks Australia only sells top quality fabric and Brenda, the proprietor, feels confident that you will be delighted with the look and feel of them. They will certainly enhance your quilts and add value too. 

Many colours are available from White on White to Jet Black, with every colour in between, including a selection of Batiks. The fabrics are all 100% cotton. Also available is a range of 108" wide Flannel in solid colours, Reproduction Civil War & 30's prints too.
Visit Widebacks online at