Continuous Lines

Newsletter for AMQA Inc members

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Newsletter No.18

Newsletter No. 18 - March 2011

Editor’s Message

As the cooler months approach, I trust that our members are doing well and are very busy quilting. It seems sometimes that quilts come out of the woodwork when the weather cools down. My family quilts have started to sneak out on to the sofa of an evening to keep little people (big people too) snug and warm. Hopefully our clients will pull some quilt tops out and send them to us for quilting if business has been slow.

There have been a seemingly large number of natural disasters of late, all those affected being tossed out of their normal way of life and into a period of uncertainty. As quilters, I find that it is a natural thing to want to use our talents to help those less fortunate and it has been great to see quilters and other craftspeople take initiative and donate goods for auction in return for the highest pledge to charitable organisations. Look here for the result of this inspiring initiative.

Part of the reason why I have a tendency to procrastinate is that I ilke to look at lots of blogs for inspiration, trends and new ideas. As you read through this newsletter, I will be asking for members to share their blog links for the AMQA Continuous Lines blog.

I hope you all stay safe and well throughout the upcoming holidays. Please consider making a Challenge quilt or two. Don't forget, a charm pack is still up for grabs for the first AMQA Member who correctly guesses the inspiration for the pieced quilt. Email me with your guess, at the address below.

Michele Turner

President’s Message

Christmas Tree, lights and decorations are well and truly packed away ready for next time. I hope you all had a well earned rest after the pre Christmas rush and now back in full swing again.

I would like to take this opportunity to send my heartfelt thoughts and wishes to all those of you who have been effected by the devastating Storms, Floods, Fires, Cyclones and the Earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan. If you or your Group has organized for quilts to be done and would like extras. Please let us know so that we can post it on the Community Board for all to see. I know that many Quilters would love to help, however don’t know who to contact or send them to etc.,

The Quilt Challenge 2011 is in full swing. Michele and Raylee have come up with a fabulous design. The Categories are for Pieced and Wholecloth so if you would like to participate please go to the link. The more the merrier, great prize money to be won also fantastic exposure for you and your business.

AMQA Inc., is now on Facebook. Yes that’s right, we have moved forward. It appears that many of you are on Facebook and we, the Committee thought that this might be more appealing to our Members as another avenue for keeping up to date with what is happening. The Yahoo Groups will continue as well, however they don’t appear to be visited regularly for postings. We are hoping that you will all become more involved with the Association. I’d like to see a lot more postings. So please share with us what you have been up to. Any good books you may have read, an interesting Quilting/Patchwork technique you have found. Details of your local shows and Get Togethers, these could be for either Longarm, Shortarm or Domestic machines and/or State meetings being hosted. We would love to hear from you, so please don’t be shy. The Association was formed to keep you abreast of what is happening in and around the Quilting world. Unfortunately, we the Committee don’t have access to all the information available and rely heavily on our members to help us out. An Association is only as good as it’s members and the support that it receives. It shouldn’t always fall back onto the committee.

We look forward to receiving your Quilt entries for the Challenge.

Till next time

Happy Stitching


Terry Elverd

President AMQA

Meet Your Committee Members - Val Towill

Bluegum Quilting Services, Murray Bridge, Sth Australia

Val Profile pic

When I offered to do this profile I thought, where do I start? I somehow think it was likely to happen at some stage in my life as I have been a sewer for most of my life starting off with my Mum’s Singer machine at about age 5. Lots of my clothes, a few doll clothes, 3 sons & most of their clothes, then I fell into Patchwork about 20 years ago once my boys didn’t want my creations anymore - they didn’t have Reebok or Nike written on them! I will admit it did take a little while for the ‘quilting’ bug to take hold (I liked the patchwork part more), but after starting work at the local patchwork shop I found myself doing the quilting for others using my DSM. I had often thought about those big machines so decided to investigate the possibilities. I started out with a Gammill Shortarm which I thought would do the job, but soon discovered I was to out-grow this machine as I was quilting much more than I expected. Little did I realise this would be my training wheels for what was yet to come!

I was working in the lounge room of our home & space was limited, so a studio had to be built adjacent to the house (we are on a large block) so I could have enough space for all my ‘stuff’, teach patchwork & maybe upgrade to a larger machine. About 18 months later an A1 longarm arrived, then last year I added an Intelliquilter which has been one of the best investments ever made. As I’ve had many problems with back & shoulders over the years, this has helped take the ‘stress’ out of the body while still being able to maintain my workload in both edge to edge & custom quilting. I have now been working ‘Bluegum Quilting Services’ for 8 years & still find much pleasure in the ooh’s & aah’s from my clients’ when they see the work done on their quilts. Operating your own business has it’s many challenges as most would know, but there are also many rewards with the lifestyle that this job creates, including the many friendships made with both clients & fellow quilters’. I enjoy most aspects of quilting, even more so now that I have the IQ, but I am often challenged to create miracles for a few of my regular clients. They seem happy with the work I’ve done for them, some of which are on the gallery page of my website.

Although time is always limited, I still like piecing my own patchwork projects. The more traditional designs are fairly common but I do like machine applique, stained glass plus many other techniques & designs. I constantly have UFO’s waiting to be finished (piecing) & more are always waiting in line to be put onto the longarm. After all these years I think my husband & family finally understand my passion for quilting (it took them a while!). They now know to book well ahead for any babysitting duties just in case I’m off to some seminar, booked solid with work, teaching a class here at the studio or going to a class as a student! Life is never dull around here.

Last year I was involved with the inaugural AMQF in Adelaide. Having known Tracey & Sharon for some time, it wasn’t hard for them to ‘rope me in’ & I was soon given the job of Volunteer Co-ordinator. This was certainly a new experience for me, but I could not have done it without the help of others who made it much easier. Although quite tiring, I had great satisfaction with how everything came together as the Festival approached with all the Volunteer duties. If you were one of the many Volunteers who offered their time, I thank you once again most sincerely for your involvement, it was very much appreciated. I’m quite looking forward to the next one in 2012 & hope to have just as much cooperation as we did for 2010. Hopefully there will be lots of volunteers as many hands make light work, then we’ll all be able to enjoy the experience even more.

I’ve also been a member of AMQA since it’s first year & have followed the activities of the committee in their endeavours to promote machine quilting in Australia. During last year with AMQF approaching, I put my hand up to join the committee to give some of my time & hopefully contribute in some small way. Recently I have taken on the role of Minute Secretary which I’m sure will be an interesting journey to see how such an organisation operates for the benefit of its’ members’. I am looking forward to the upcoming Quilt Challenge & hope to put in an entry myself as time did not allow me this privilege last time it was held.

I am located at Murray Bridge in South Australia, which is about an hour east of Adelaide on the freeway toward Melbourne. There is a map on the contact page of my website if you want to find me, so if you are travelling through the area & need a rest break, please call in for coffee as the kettle is always on. Keep on stitching everyone!


AMQA Quilt Challenge 2011

The AMQA Quilt Challenge 2011 has been launched. Important dates to remember are -

May 9, 2011 - Entry forms due

June 3, 2011 - Quilts to be received by this date

June 13, 2011 - Winners announced on AMQA website

June 18-19, 2011 - AMQA Challenge Quilts exhibited at Quilt and Craft Expo at Rosehill, Sydney

The definition of hand-guided vs computerised quilting has been queried.

Any machine may be used to quilt the quilt for the Challenge, but if any part of the quilting is the result of computerised application of a design, it must be entered in the computerised subcategory. If the quilting has been applied entirely by hand guiding either the machine or the quilt, (eg. in the case of quilting with a domestic sewing machine) then it should be entered in the hand guided subcategory.


Michele Turner is offering a prize for the first person who can correctly guess the inspiration that Raylee used for designing the quilt. Email me, , your guess. I will publish all guesses in the Newsletter. The first to correctly guess the inspiration will receive a Moda Charm Pack.

Do You Blog???

Blogging is a great way to show your work and have your clients and friends get to know you a little better. On the right side of the AMQA Newsletter blog,, there is a blogroll of AMQA members blogs. If you would like your blog to be posted there, please email Michele with your blog address and your blog will be listed in the AMQA Blogroll. C'mon, show us your stuff!

Some Housekeeping…

AMQA Web Site

The AMQA website will soon be having a little overhaul!

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!

DSCN2256Irish Chain - quilted by Michele Turner February 2011

Behind the Scenes

Upcoming Events

We would love to hear of any local quilt shows or events near you! Please email your details to Raylee and we will include it in the newsletter and on the AMQA website.

‘Committee News’ – February 2011 Meeting

During February the Committee got together over Skype to discuss the business side of running AMQA. It was during this meeting that a suggestion was made to do a short report of these meetings to keep you informed with matters that develop & post this into our newsletter. This was also my first meeting as Minute Secretary, which is all quite new to me, so I hope I have included things that will be of interest to you.

Various reports are usually presented such as Memberships (both Individual & Corporate) & Treasurer’s Report to keep up to date with all the finances. An ongoing issue for the last several months has been the position of Secretary. This is currently being held by Susanne Hughes in Brisbane, however she wishes to step down after spending some time in this position. We need someone to take on this post & that person must be a Queensland resident or at least within 65km’s of Queensland border (eg northern NSW). This isn’t a huge job, mostly letter writing when required & being available for committee meetings over Skype approx every 2 months. We all know how busy life can get, especially if you operate a machine quilting business, however AMQA needs someone to step up & share some of their precious time to help in the running of this association. All but one of our current committee are in a similar position & seem to manage to do this. If we can all put in a little, then it makes the workload much easier on everyone, & so I urge you to consider making yourself available for this position. Please contact our President Terry Elverd or Secretary Susanne Hughes if you are able to help us out, thankyou.

Another report on the current website found that some tidying up in this area is required to make navigation much easier & this will be attended to over coming weeks. Our Vice President Raylee is working on our mentoring program, which is there to help out those who have requested someone to help them or just to talk out any issues they may be experiencing. We are hoping this will be up & running very soon.

A page for Charity Quilting is being added where members’ can find information about groups who are looking for machine quilters’ to help them complete their charity quilts. If you know of a charity looking for some help like this, ask them to let us know their details so this can be added to this page on the AMQA website. Michele, our Newsletter Editor, requested some photo’s (quilt related) from committee members’ to put into the next edition,plus any other articles we think would interest our members. She also asked for a volunteer to do a profile about themselves for the newsletter, so I volunteered to do this even though I have only been on the committee since last year’s AGM.

There was also a lot of discussion on the upcoming AMQA Challenge. Michele announced the categories, terms & conditions as well as the prizes that will be available. The quilts that are entered will be on show at the Sydney Quilt Expo, Rosehill Racecourse in June 2011. Advertising for this challenge will commence shortly through blogs & the AMQA website. It is hoped that a major Australian Quilting Magazine will feature the winning quilts in one of their issues later in the year. This might be a good opportunity for some free advertising & to show off your work, so make sure you have your entries into Michele by 9th May 2011. Categories are available for both hand guided & computerised techniques, in both the supplied pieced design & wholecloth quilts.

Michele has offered a small prize for the first person to correctly guess where Raylee found the inspiration for the design, so if you think you know where it came from please let Michele know by email.

Another point of discussion was about setting up a Facebook page for AMQA as this seems to be a popular form of communication. We are hoping members will make use of this opportunity to keep in touch with each other & also with current committee members. The page is now up and we hope it will be helpful. Loading photos is quite easy, great for asking questions about quilting options, and each ‘album’ can hold 200 photos. No need to resize the photo for uploading either. To be able to access the Facebook page you will need a Facebook account, this is free and you can change your settings to be quite secure, only people you ‘friend’ are able to see your ‘wall’. So if you’d like to make use of the facebook page, log in and search for AMQA Inc. It is set up as an organisation page, so you can’t make AMQA Inc a facebook friend, it is the page where you can write a question, comment, or show some photos. Others can then comment on your question or photos easily. The graphics will be improved soon.

Meeting over Skype works quite well although there are those little technical issues now & then. It’s a great way to communicate with a group of people such as our committee as we are spread all over the country. I hope you found this first edition of ‘Committee News’ of some interest, we are hoping to keep you all well informed so that you may have a better understanding of what goes on with your committee. We will ‘meet’ again in mid April.

Val Towill

Minute Secretary, AMQA

Position Vacant

AMQA still needs a secretary to be on the AMQA Committee. The requirements are:

The secretary must be an individual residing in Queensland, or in another State but not more than 65km from the Queensland border.

Functions of Secretary

The secretary’s functions include, but are not limited to—

(a) calling meetings of the association, including preparing notices of a meeting and of the business to be conducted at the meeting in consultation with the president of the association; and

(b) keeping minutes of each meeting; and

(c) keeping copies of all correspondence and other documents relating to the association; and

(d) maintaining the register of members of the association.

(e) duties of the secretary may be delegated to other committee positions, such as minute secretary, membership secretary, as required.

Please, if you fulfil the residential requirements and are able to perform the duties of Secretary, please contact Terry Elverd. The committee ‘meets’ once a month via Skype linkup. There is an AMQA Committee Yahoogroup which the committee uses to communicate on a regular basis. You will find that the other committee members will welcome you with open arms and will give you all the help you need to get going. Thank you.

Coming Up Next Time…

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!

NEXT MONTH -Finding Time to Piece - please give me your hints and tips on how you find time to piece.

Submission Deadline is April 11, 2011, so do it NOW!

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: Val Towill, SA

Web Diva: Suzanne Cappello, NSW

Editor: Michele Turner, NSW

Committee Members:

Julie Nixon, SA

Val Towill, SA

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

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