Continuous Lines

Newsletter for AMQA Inc members

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Newsletter No. 21

Continuous Lines

AMQA Newsletter No. 21

Editor’s Message

Hi Everyone,

Can you believe that it is December already? Are you on the home stretch for finishing up your quilts for the end of the year? Do you take time off and if so, how much?

I always feel a little frantic at this time of the year. I have the last few quilts to finish off and have lots of commitments to end of year concerts and award days at school. Having four children means that there is always someone wanting something at this time of year - usually my most precious commodity - time! This week I have had an injured child and a post-surgical doggy to take care of as well. The fun never ends at my place.

I have about four quilts left to go until I finish up for a break. I take January off most years. This year, I am really planning to get on with some quilting for me! I have about four quilt tops ready to quilt. I am really wanting to spend some time on them so that I can enter them in to the AMQA Show next September/October. The AMQA Show will be run by AMQA and held concurrently with the Australian Machine Quilting Festival in Adelaide. Keep these dates in your diary. September 28 to October 1, 2012.

Keep reading the newsletter as the quilt show categories are all listed. I just can’t wait to go to the show and see the quilts that will be entered. Please think about making a quilt for the show. There is a category this year for machine embroidered quilts, so if you have an embroidery machine or a client that has you quilt their machine embroidered quilts, take a look at this category and enter it if you can.

There is a Quilt Challenge being run at AMQ Festival. I hope you consider entering it. The challenge is sponsored by Lloyd Curzon Textiles, Dayview Textiles and AMQ Festival to raise money for Alzheimers Australia. More information follows in this newsletter. Keep an eye out for it as you read on…

I have booked my accommodation for Adelaide. I suggest that if you are attending AMQA Show and AMQ Festival, that you make your booking ASAP. It is a long weekend and accommodation will book out fast. Click here to see the special rate accommodation. The Adelaide Convention Centre is located right next to the main railway station, so you can also have easy access by public transport to the Show. Visit for more information. I hope to see you there.

Michele Turner

Member Article

By Tonia Brooks of Malanda Quilting and Sewing Supplies

A Blank Page (confessions of a newbie quilter)

Like most people when faced with a clean page and asked to write or draw something, we are immediately blank.  It’s like being asked to say something in another language, and so it is for the new quilter.

What to do? Draw a squiggle, write my name or attempt a straight line (one of the hardest things to do I may say!). All are valid responses I hear you say, but not especially helpful when that space happens to be fabric and your pen a needle.   No magic eraser can make needle punch marks disappear. It’s enough to make a grown woman cry.

I began the journey into quilting as a necessity, when after creating those first patched tops I needed to have them quilted.  I had followed the directions in the pattern and now I was faced with that most dreaded of sentences, Quilt as desired.  As desired, hmmm, I desired swirls, feathers and interesting background fillers.  But I wasn’t then familiar with the fact there were lovely people around that would do this for me.  So down to the library I went to indulge in some quilt research.   Here I struck a snag.  The ole, Quilt as desired. Books were filled with intricate designs but none actually told me how to approach the sewing bit.  Okay, so I had to get a bit more detailed here.  The local patchwork shop proved to be a saviour.  A book by Alex Anderson – Learn to Quilt.  This looked good.  Home I went and devoured the book.  Following every instruction I began the process of laying and pinning – Oh my aching back! – But hey, here I was undaunted, attempting a new skill.  This was the mantra that kept me going.

Out came the trusty sewing machine – throat size, small – and so I began.  Up and down, just like the book suggested, crosshatching.  Cross-eyed more like it!  No walking foot for me. I didn’t even own one.   But Oh! How hard it was.   But even I could see this was not going to stand up to my perfectionist nature for very long.  There had to be a better way.  There was a lot more research and practicing and finding of other ways to do bigger and bigger projects.  Not for me the stitch-in-the- ditch and she’s complete.  (Though of course we all must learn this skill as it forms so much basis of custom quilting).  I wanted those lovely designs that I saw on the most beautiful quilts in the book.  Did I mention I never walk before I run?  That’s right! My learning curves tend to go straight up!

After a few years it became apparent that though I loved the intimate approach that is quilting by domestic machine, my back and shoulders didn’t.   So to continue what I loved to do I had to find another way.  Roll out Long arm quilting machine research, another of my steep learning curves.  Where do you begin to find out about what you need in a long arm?  Who can explain to you the difference between cruise and normal mode?  What about tension? Weight, what about weight!  Are you saying I’m fat?  And what the heck are Edge-rider wheels!  It took 2 years of stop/start research, lots of questions and constant watching of the Aussie Dollar to make a decision.  Thanks to the patience of the machine dealers and the AMQA mentors I am now the proud owner of Sally the A1 Elite Long arm.  Every day she brings me joy.  I have progressed with her into new territories.  Learned wonderful new techniques from great teachers, who were both patient and kind, and understood when I asked probably the most obvious of questions.

It’s taken some time, but now, that ole quilt as desired, it’s no longer quite the same problem it was.  Now I just need another lifetime to quilt all the designs I want to.

Editors Note - Here is some of Tonia’s Quilting. Her longarm was delivered in November 2010 and I think she is doing great. Here is some of her latest work. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Flori MacKay Quilt 008

Ascot Lane Embossed Quilt


AMQA Quilt Show 2012

The categories have been finalised for AMQA Show 2012 and are listed below. You can enter online by clicking here. If you wish to download an entry form, click here.

AMQA Inc will again be holding a judged quilt show in conjunction with AMQ Festival in Adelaide in 2012.

The dates will be 28th Sept-1st Oct 2012 and it will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, North Tce, Adelaide, South Australia.

AMQA Inc. SHOW 2012
In conjunction with
Terms & Conditions of Entry

Quilt competition entries must be postmarked no later than Tuesday 31st July, 2012. Acceptance letters will go out on or about August 31st, 2012 by e-mail. If no e-mail address is available, please give us the e-mail address of a friend or relative that is nearby and might be able to accept the letter for you. Instructions for delivery will be included in this email. Postage costs to send & return your quilts to AMQA Show 2012 are the responsibility of the entrant.

AMQA Inc. individual members must submit a separate entry form and a $7.50 entry fee per quilt. Cheques should be made payable to AMQA Inc. or we would prefer you Internet Bank your fees and confirm the details on the entry form as listed.

All other entrants must submit a separate entry form and a $15 entry fee per quilt. Cheques should be made payable to AMQA Inc. or we would prefer you Internet Bank your fees and confirm the details on the entry form as listed.

Any entrant wishing to join AMQA Inc. as a new member prior to entering the AMQA Inc. Show 2012 is encouraged to do so at the rates as detailed on the website and will then only incur the half price entry fees.

Entries must have been completed within the previous five years from date of entry, and not have been previously entered into an AMQA Show.

A photo of the complete quilt and another of the detail of the quilting must be provided with each entry. Please write your name, address and name of quilt & indicate the top of quilt on the reverse of the photograph. Please have more photos of the quilting detail available for e-mail, if required by the coordinator to confirm entry into the correct category.

All entries must be machine quilted. Quilting may be done on any type of machine including, but not limited to, domestic sewing machine, longarm, midarm or shortarm.

Enter the category that best fits the style and size of the quilt. If you have a question or concern about the categories, please tick the box on the entry form and an AMQA Inc. representative will contact you to provide assistance.

No quilt will be disqualified if it is inadvertently placed in the wrong category. AMQA Inc. will review the entries several times before they are brought into the judging room. If an error occurs AMQA Inc. will contact the entrant to apprise her/him of the error and work together to correct it prior to judging.

A false backing is grounds for immediate disqualification. You must not put a second backing on your quilt to hide tension flaws or messy quilting.

A 10cm deep rod pocket/hanging sleeve must be attached to the top of your quilt and a label detailing your name, contact details including address and telephone along with the date of completion.

AMQ Festival’s insurance liability is limited to public liability only. By signing the entry form you are agreeing to display your quilt with this knowledge and accept that you may wish to personally insure your own quilts. AMQA Inc. & AMQ Festival will do everything in its power to safeguard entries. However, transporting your quilt to/from ANY show is a risk and that risk is often limited. Transportation companies do not pay claims for quilt loss or damage without a certified appraisal. No matter what the value, consider carrying your own quilt insurance AND having your quilt appraised by a certified appraiser; especially if the quilt is irreplaceable.

AMQA Inc. awards all prizes to the ENTRANT. The entrant may share any prize at his/her discretion. When an entry is machine quilted or pieced by someone other than the entrant, two ribbons will be awarded.

Quilts accepted into AMQA Inc. Show 2012 must be available from September 10th through to October 10th 2012. AMQA Inc. & AMQ Festival reserves the right to photograph any or all entries for publication and for other appropriate purposes.

All decisions of the judges are final. AMQA Inc. reserves the right to reject any entry, including those that fail to follow the AMQA Inc. Show 2012 rules.

AMQA Inc. & AMQ Festival will not be responsible for any damage, or loss suffered by any person or organization due to infringement of copyright.

Note: Perimeter is determined by totalling the measurements of ALL sides. Please measure your quilts once completed to ensure correct measurements as this is needed for category choice and exhibition planning.

1. INNOVATIVE CUSTOM Large: Minimum of 240”, maximum of 480” perimeter. Heirloom/Show quilts have been specifically designed as quilt show entries and/or not intended to be used as functional bed quilts. Fibers, fringe, crystals and embellishments of any other kind are permitted.
2. INNOVATIVE CUSTOM Small: Minimum 60”, maximum 240” perimeter. Heirloom/Show quilts have been specifically designed as quilt show entries and/or not intended to be used as functional quilts. Fibers, fringe, crystals and embellishments of any other kind are permitted.
3. WHOLECLOTH: Minimum of 100” perimeter, maximum of 480” perimeter. The entry must be a single piece of fabric or minimally pieced from the same fabric to increase size only. The Wholecloth piece should be designed to highlight the many quilting techniques of today’s machine quilters, including, meandering or background quilting, straight lines, feathers, continuous line and non-continuous line designs. The quilting must be the dominant feature of the Wholecloth and the quilting should encompass the entire quilt. Painting or other embellishments are not permitted in this category.
4. TRADITIONAL CUSTOM LARGE: Minimum of 240” perimeter, maximum of 480” perimeter. This category is for those functional bed quilts that we do for ourselves or for our customers that are meant for daily use but have been machine quilted with high quality custom quilting techniques. No embellishments, metallic threads or thread painting of any kind are permitted in this category.
5. TRADITIONAL CUSTOM SMALL: Minimum 60”, maximum 240” perimeter. This category is for those functional quilts that we do for ourselves or for our customers that are meant for daily use but have been machine quilted with high quality custom quilting techniques. No embellishments, metallic threads or thread painting of any kind are permitted in this category.
6. THREAD ART /PICTORIAL: Minimum of 100” perimeter, maximum of 280” perimeter. Involving thread play and/or a mixture of mediums and embellishments.  All embellishments must be firmly attached and quilt must be able to be hung conventionally and with minimal care required.  All quilts entered in this category must be the original design of the quilt maker and not made under the direction of another person in a workshop/course situation. 
7. MACHINE EMBROIDERY: Minimum of 240” perimeter and maximum of 480” perimeter. The quilt must incorporate machine executed embroidered blocks or machine embroidered appliqués or motifs as a significant design element. Hand embroidery, while beautiful, is not allowed in this category. Specialty threads and embellishments are allowed. The quilt will be judged equally on the quilting and machine embroidery.
8. EDGE-TO-EDGE: Minimum of 240” perimeter, maximum of 480” perimeter. An all-over-the-quilt pattern which is continuous-line derived from a pantograph or freehand quilting. The quilting design must cover the quilt completely from one edge to the other. Painting on fabric is permitted in this category.

Best of Show
Runner up Best of Show
1st, 2nd and 3rd in each category if applicable (as per above)

Novice Award – This is an additional award given to a quilter who has begun quilting since October 2010, either on a Domestic Sewing Machine, Short or Long arm and have NOT entered any other exhibition.  This award is applicable to a quilt entered into any of the above categories. Please indicate on entry form if you wish to be considered for this award.
Note about quilts that are machine quilted with a Computerized Quilting System (CQS): Any quilt that is machine quilted with a CQS may be entered into the categories except for the edge to edge category. Utilization of a CQS is not a guarantee of perfection since stitch quality, stitch length, design choice and proper design placement are important factors for ALL machine quilters.

Achievements in Longarm Quilting

Congratulations to Judy Simcock whose quilt won the Award for Excellence in Embroidery and Embellishment at Vic Quilters Showcase in Melbourne recently.

Well done Judy!

Judy Simcock full


Judy Simcock detail

If you would like your achievements shared in this newsletter, please email your photos to so that they can go into the newsletter.

PLEASE NOTE:- It is up to members to share their news and winnings as the AMQA Committee cannot possibly know which members have placed quilts into shows and won awards, unless you tell us that you have. We will gladly share your achievements and celebrate with you here.


Alzheimers Quilt Challenge

AMQ Festival is running a challenge to raise money for Alzheimers Australia. This is what they are doing…

Quilt Challenge Theme “Memory”

Let your imagination run wild and think of a special memory that you have and then transfer that vision into fabric. A memory that is special to you, a childhood memory of a ride on a carousel, a place that you’ve visited, a person that holds special memories, a favourite quilt block the list is endless and remember how blessed we are to have our memories and be able to participate in this initiative.

Each entry is to be accompanied by a story of the memory no longer than 250 words.

All quilts are to be donated and auctioned with full proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association. The top thirty finalists will be selected for display at AMQ Festival 2012 with the top 10 being auctioned at the Banquet dinner at Festival. The remaining 20 quilts will be up for silent auction at Festival; all others will be auctioned online within 30 days.

Please be involved in this challenge, it is for a very good cause. If you really just can’t spare the time to enter, you may make a donation anyway, or even bid on your favourite quilt. Go here for more information and I suggest you bookmark the page, or like it on Facebook, or subscribe to the blog so you can go and bid on a quilt later on. You can also donate some extra $$$ as you enter if you wish.

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 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!

Upcoming Events

Christmas Day and New Year - The AMQA Committee hopes that you have a lovely break and take some time to spend with your family. Please stay safe in your travels. We would love to see you raring to go in 2012.

If you would like to know about quilty goings on, then please check the Upcoming Events listing on the left of the AMQA Home Page.

Position Vacant

Committee Members - we would love to invite members to join the committee. Your commitment is to be available for once a month voice linkup via SKYPE and help out on the committee. Please email the secretary, Tonia Brooks, for more information. The next meeting is December 15, 2011.

Webdiva -  we need to have someone to keep tabs on our website. Duties will include but not limited to updating memberships on the website, adding photographs, general maintenance etc. The website is run on Joomla so if you have an interest or experience in web design, please get in touch with a committee member. 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!

Submission Deadline is January 15, 2012, so do it NOW!

Your 2011-12 Committee and Contact Details

President: Terry Elverd, WA
Vice President: Raylee Bielenberg, ACT
Secretary: Tonia Brooks, Qld
Treasurer: Gayle Dayman, SA

Membership Secretary: Gayle Dayman, SA

Minute Secretary: Val Towill, SA

Editor: Michele Turner, NSW

Committee Members:

Julie Nixon, SA

Val Towill, SA

Vicki Jenkin, VIC

AMQF Liaison/General Committee Member

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.

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