Continuous Lines

Newsletter for AMQA Inc members

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Newsletter No. 28 - April 2013


April 2013                                           

Continuous Lines – The AMQA Newsletter for Members 

Editors Message

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the second newsletter for 2013.  Wow! Isn’t the year just flying by?  We are already at the end of April and into Autumn.  I hope everyone had a good Easter and are over chocolate for a bit.  I cannot believe the amount of chocolate that gets exchanged at Easter!  My favourite is Lindt White Chocolate anything – bunnies, balls, wafers!  Yummmmmm!!!  

I went to Perth over Easter, my first time in Western Australia.  Gee, Perth is a lovely city.  Lots of freeways and given that it was Easter, it was very quiet in the city. I caught up with many of my relatives that I hadn’t seen in ages (some since I was 9!) and also drove down to Margaret River.  Lots of wine tasting, beautiful sunsets across the ocean and wonderful company. I had a fabulous and restful time over the Easter break; I hope your break was great too.

The AMQA Member Challenge has closed for entries this year.  We had a disappointing turnout with only 7 members participating.  With such a small group, it will not be possible to offer these quilts as a travelling exhibition to the guilds, Raylee explains more in her message.  I hope many more members are able to join in future challenges; it is a great way to get your work seen by many, many people.   Look out for the entries in the next Newsletter and also on the website once the judging is complete. 

The committee is already working AMQA’s Biennial Quilt Show in conjunction with AMQ Festival for next year.  This takes a tremendous amount of planning behind the scenes, so we want to get on top of it as soon as we can. Any suggestions, comments for future shows are very welcome. I’m sure many of you visited the show last September so your feedback would be great.

We welcome Kym Colgrave to our committee.  Julie Nixon and Vicki Jenkins are on a leave of absence for the immediate future.  The committee needs your help!  Any members, who want to join the committee and help to build AMQA Inc, please feel free to contact any of your committee members.  The more the merrier and many hands make light work! All the committee members are volunteers who are working to make AMQA into a professional organisation that our members are proud of and that can provide increasing benefits to our group.  The committee is as follows:

President:                         Raylee Bielenberg

Vice President:                  Position Vacant

Secretary:                        Barbara Cutmore (temp)*

Minute Secretary:              Val Towill

Treasurer:                        Gayle Dayman

Membership:                     Gayle Dayman

Newsletter Editor             Vanita Roychoudhry

Webdiva:                          Vanita Roychoudhry

Publicity Officer (new position):   Vacant

AMQF Liason:                    Tracey Browning

General Committee:           Juliett Edwards

                                      Sharon French

                                      Kym Colgrave.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Kim Doulman in our last Newsletter.   The Member Spotlight is focussing on Kathy Adams of KoolKat Quilting this month.  All members can use this segment to highlight their business, themselves, their charities and provide us all with some of their tips.  If you are interested in being in our Member Spotlight section, please contact me at: Lines

Checkout the review on Glide threads by Lyn Crump as well. It is very insightful and Lyn is a National Supplier.   We also have a useful tip from Vicki Jenkins on watermarking.

That’s all from me for now.  I hope to get some feedback from our members and some articles that we can share with our group. Any information about products that you find useful, suppliers, general tips etc. Would all be welcome?

Yours in Quilting.......


President’s Message April 2013

Greetings one and all,

I am thoroughly enjoying the autumn weather here in Canberra; the trees make such a colourful backdrop at the moment.  In a few short weeks this will all change, and I’ll be desperately wishing to see the new leaves of Spring, meaning warmer weather will soon come.

The 2013 Members Challenge has now closed and entries are due to be sent in later this month, details will be forwarded to the entrants.   For newer members a little background info.  In the year between the AMQA Inc. Quilt Shows, we hold a Members Challenge.  This has 2 sections, a Wholecloth quilt and a pieced quilt.  Everyone makes the same pieced design and the challenge is in how you quilt it.  The quilts are not large, 40” square for the Wholecloth and the pieced design is a tiny bit larger this year. These challenges are a great way for you to use those techniques you’ve seen or read about and want to try in a smaller project.  I would like to encourage you all to consider an entry or 2 in the next challenge in 2015 and schedule some time to make your entry.  More details will be released regarding the 2015 challenge next year.  

Planning is under way for the AMQA Inc. show next year, with reviews being made on various aspects of the show.  If you have any feedback or ideas about the show or for AMQA Inc. in general please do not hesitate to email them to one of the committee via the email contacts available on the AMQA Inc. website.

Our lovely web diva, Vanita has been keeping up the website and I encourage you check it regularly.  If you have anything to add please send it to Vanita using the contact for the web diva found on our website. I would also like to encourage you to share your knowledge and experiences by writing an article for our newsletter.  We’d love to hear your stories and/or opinions about all things quilting related. Please send them to Vanita for inclusion; I look forward to reading your articles.

We are hoping to build closer links with the state guilds as we realise many of you are also members of you own and perhaps other state patchwork/quilting guilds.  The committee is currently leasing with guilds with regard to supporting guild exhibitions.  Your ideas for building these links would be appreciated please email them to a committee member using the contacts available on the website.

At the most recent committee meeting we welcomed a new member onto the committee, Welcome Kym.  There are still roles that need to be filled so please consider joining the committee and help with the operation of our Association. We are aiming to improve the Association and could really use your input. Please contact a committee member with your interest.

Happy Quilting,
Raylee Bielenberg

Member Spotlight

This edition of Continuous Lines is excited to focus on Kathy Adams of KoolKat Quilting.

About Kathy Adams:
Kathy, from an early age showed an interest in painting and drawing and won the Mayor’s Medal in Bundaberg while at high school.  She went on to graduate in Fine Arts, then developed an interest in pottery and completed a Certificate in Ceramics in the 1980s.  However, it was her childhood experiences of dress-making with her mother that led her to an interest in textiles.  She made her first quilt around 20 years ago and it survives to this day – as a quilt used in our camper-trailer.  Kathy’s other interests have included stained glass, some of which has been incorporated into various housing renovation projects.  “A current interest is mosaics incorporating glass and tiles to decorate pavers and also to make feature mirrors for our verandah” says Kathy.

Kathy’s current interest is creative textile pieces, incorporating her painting and drawing skills and hand-guided quilting using her Sweet Sixteen machine.  The next stage of this process will be to create her own fabrics and she is currently experimenting with hand-dyeing silk fabric for use in future projects.  She enjoys the creative process of design and utilising variegated and other threads and she finds her Sweet Sixteen is much easier to use than a Gammill with specialty threads. (Good to know Kathy).

KoolKat Quilting was born 10 years ago when Kathy decided to buy her first long arm machine, a Gammill Classic, while living in Warwick, Qld.  This was a hand-guided machine and no sooner was it installed than a friend knocked on the front door with 5 quilts.  While this was a vote of confidence, Kathy also took every opportunity to undertake training in the art of long arm machine quilting – Kaye and Bruce Brown of The Finishing Touch have always been helpful and Joanne Knott also gave a class in Queensland which was invaluable.  Also helpful has been membership of AMQA and information gleaned from various on-line forums. KoolKat moved to their current location in Toowoomba in early 2004.  In the mid-2000s KoolKat Quilting had grown to the point where computerisation was inevitable, so Kathy took the plunge and purchased a Statler Optimum.  KoolKat then grew with the addition of a Statler Supreme, the retro-fitting of the Gammill Classic with the Statler system and a Prodigi industrial embroidery machine.  This led to the naming of the 3 Statlers – Baby Bear, Mother Bear and Father Bear.  Baby Bear has since found a new home, and the Sweet Sixteen added for Kathy’s creative work.  In mid-2008 after husband Geoff was made redundant by his employer, KoolKat Quilting became a partnership.  Shortly afterwards, the external 12 x 6m double garage was lined and converted to become Kathy’s studio and teaching space.  The 2 Statlers are housed separately in a former family room, which is Geoff’s work-room.  “This arrangement of separate work areas keeps the peace, as neither of us can agree on temperature settings for the air-conditioner, choice of music, etc” says Kathy. 

Kathy made the difficult decision to cease custom-quilting just over 2 years ago.  This has allowed KoolKat to grow and diversify into quilt pattern design, teaching, writing columns for Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine travel to quilt clubs, stands at quilt exhibitions, and launching into social media, as well as allowing Kathy time to develop her creative textile projects.  Geoff does e2e machine quilting, “But we confer on each customer’s quilt before commencing and have a double-checking process for quality control for all stages including packing and dispatch”.

Kathy’s most recent quilt awards are as a finalist in the 2013 Australian Quilt Convention challenge and Viewer’s Choice placings at the 2012 Queensland Quilt Exhibition and Toowoomba Quilt Exhibition.  Several quilts commercially-quilted by Kathy won class event prizes at Queensland Quilt Show and Brisbane Royal Exhibition in the mid-2000s.    When asked about her favourite quilt Kathy says “It is hard to pick a favourite, but Gather Ye Rosebuds is a quilt I will always treasure”.  Kathy showed this quilt when still na├»ve, and didn’t realise she shouldn’t have put a false backing on it.  However, two people made it as a BOM, entered their quilts into shows and won prizes!  She is thrilled to be a finalist in this year’s AQC Challenge “Free”.  “It is a privilege to be “hung” in such company as Helen Godden and others while the exhibition tours various quilt shows this year”.

KoolKat machine-quilts charity quilts for Kathy’s local club in Toowoomba as well as other organisations and was particularly busy in 2011 when floods hit Toowoomba and devastated parts of the Lockyer Valley. 

Any tips for persons wanting to start a quilting business?  - The key word here is “business”, which means planning.  Commence with a written business plan – templates for these are on-line.  In addition to ticking all the boxes that business plans require, consider carefully how a home-based business will affect the family.
Any tips for quilters in general? - There are basic skills that if acquired early in your quilting journey, will save time, money and frustration.  Don’t be afraid to join a quilt club or group, and take as many classes as you can afford.  Some class experiences are better than others, but it will be rare class indeed if you can’t take away at least one idea or skill that will be useful.

Best advice someone gave you?  -  Probably Andy Warhol who said something like “keep showing up”.  That’s Kathy’s philosophy for entering quilt shows! 
 Something you live by?  -  Each day try to do something on your quilt project even when you don’t feel like it.  Tell yourself you’ll just spend a few minutes on something – it’s marvellous how quickly the time then goes!

Any suppliers that support you that you would like to plug?  Apart from Kaye and Bruce Brown who were invaluable sources of advice as well as retailers of Gammill machines, KoolKat Quilting has a range of suppliers for batting, threads and so on.  Developing good relations with suppliers is important – in return for timely payment of goods the key issue is delivery, the best suppliers contact us to let us know when an item has been dispatched, or if not in stock, how long it will be on back-order and if substitutes are available.

Thank you, Kathy for sharing! 

Kathy and Geoff can be found at:
Kathy & Geoff Adams, KoolKat Quilting
PH 07 4696 8746, International (617) 4696 8746.
Mail: Reply Paid 18, PO Box 18, Harlaxton, Q 4350

Studio: 7 Crestview Crescent, Blue Mountain Heights, Toowoomba, Q 4350.

Quilters! - 7 day e2e machine quilting. Free delivery to and from KoolKat within Australia.  Please use our Reply Paid address above to send quilts free of charge.  Completed quilts returned free by Registered Post insured to value of quilting.  Embroidered quilt labels, backings, wadding, original quilt patterns by Kathy Adams also available.

This segment is open to all members, so if you want to be part of the member spotlight or want to highlight the charities that you support, please contact me at and I will highlight on the website as well.

Tips from our Members:

Resizing and watermarking a photo

Resizing and watermarking photos can be done using a photo editing program.  There are a number of free photo editing programs available on the internet.  I found pixlr to be fairly easy to use.
Open (left click on) Pixlr Editor (advanced)
Locate the image you want to use from your computer and double click on it to open it in the pixlr screen. 

Resizing the image from a large file to a smaller one
Left click on "Image" on the tool bar at the top of the page, then on "Image Size"
Ensure the "Constrain Proportions" box is ticked, and then click on either of the down arrows. Hover cursor over the arrow on the slider bar, hold down the left mouse button and slide the arrow down the bar to the desired size and then click OK. I find that 1200 on the longest size is good for posting photos online or for emailing, it is large enough to see but will upload or email quickly.

To add a watermark
Left click on the text button (the capital A) from the tool bar on the left hand side of the page and then on your photo where you want the text to appear.  A box will then pop up, click in the text box and type in your text.

Click on the arrow beside the font box to get a drop down menu with lots of different fonts.  The font in the box is the one currently showing on your photo...

Left click on the first one below the box (Ahoroni) which will then be highlighted blue.   Use the down arrow on your keyboard to look at the different font options. Each time you press the down arrow the font on your photo will change. Keep going down, or up, until you find one you want to use hit then left click again to select that font.

Now left click on the down arrow next to the size option and use the slide bar to choose the size of your text.

Then click on the black box under "color".  Hover the cursor over the circle on the left side of the square, hold down the left mouse button and drag the circle around the square to change the color of the text. Click "OK"

When you have finished each of these steps click on OK.

You now need to save this new version of your photo.  Click on "File" (top toolbar) to name your image and for choices on where to save the photo.

Written by Vicki Jenkin, Horsham, Victoria

If you have a useful tip that you would like to share with our readers, please email

Product Review:

Glide Thread by Lyn Crump

I first heard of Glide Threads from Filtec in early 2010 through the APQS Quilting Forum.  I sent off my email to get samples but unfortunately they would not send them to Australia.  So they were on the long list of Vendors to visit on my trip to Houston  in November 2010.  In each of the Longarm classes I took at Houston we were given a sample of Glide threads and Magna Glide Delight bobbins.  So I came home with samples, two large cones - a black and a glorious gold colour called Cleopatra, as well as Magna Glide Classic bobbins in black and white.

My first quilting when I got home was a customer’s Drunkard’s Path, where I used my samples of Magna Bobbins and Cleopatra.  They must have worked well as the remainder of the quilts I quilted that year I used Magna Bobbins.

The secret to the success of these bobbins is the magnetic core that rotates the bobbin consistently throughout the entire bobbin resulting in uniform tension to the last stitch. You take the backlash spring/bobbin brake spring out of your bobbin and put the magnet side of the bobbin into the bottom of your bobbin case and away you go.  Have your bobbin case set to the correct tension with a thinner weight thread before starting with a magnetic core then you don’t need to adjust it again. I have a case that I use only for the Magna bobbins; very rarely do I even need to clean out under the finger for lint.

The Magna Glide Classic bobbins are wound with a 60 wt Polyester thread and come in 12 colours.  The M size has 220 yds of thread; the L size has 130 yds of thread on them. 
The Magna Glide Delights come in 48 colours wound in the same 40wt Trilobal Polyester as the Glide threads. The M size has 132yds of thread; the L size has 72 yds of thread on them. 
Classics and Delights are the most often used magnetic bobbins, but the magnetic core is also available in 50wt Long Stapled Cotton Magna Quilt and in 50wt Magna Soft which has the look of cotton but the colourfastness of polyester.

Glide thread is a 40wt Trilobal Colourfast Polyester thread that has the lustre of Rayon thread without the thread breaks.  There is virtually no lint throughout the machine, so less time is spent cleaning, the tension assembly or hook area. There are 180 colours in the range of Glide threads and they come in an economical 5000m cone. The sheen of the thread looks perfect on fabrics that read as solid, rights, batiks and modern prints, as it provides a texture to the quilting. If you want the look of a Metallic Thread without the hassle then there are many colours of Glide that have the lustre and look of metallic threads. I find that Glide can unspool quickly on the thread stand, but the use of a thread net on the bottom half of the spool, alleviates any problems.

Not every quilt needs Glide; I have very successfully used Cairo-Quilt a 50wt long stapled cotton thread that has been mercerised so it has minimal lint. Cairo Quilt works well on your traditional quilts and for the “cotton purists”.  It comes in a 2750m King Spool in 49 different colours.

The King spools that Filtec uses for their threads have a flip out bottom on them, can’t think of a better name for it, that when you have finished with the thread you can flip the bottom, slip the end underneath and flip back.  This holds the thread end securely when you store it. I use a 110/18 or 4.0 needle in my machine and find I do not need to change it for any threads.

In early 2012 I made the decision to become a dealer for Filtec threads, when the cost of postage, for the average longarmer to purchase their usual thread needs, became what I thought was too high. Now my postage and import costs are hundreds of dollars! I stock all 180 colours of the Glide threads, most of the Magna Glide Classics in L and M size, and neutrals in the Cairo Quilt.  If you want a Filtec product that I don’t have in stock and are willing to wait until I put my next order in then I am only too happy to place special orders for you.  My website is still a long work in progress.  As with all longarmers I’d prefer to be on my machine than on the phone, but I take frequent coffee/tea breaks and use that time on the computer.  

If you want more information or are interested in obtaining Glide Threads, emailing is often the easiest way to contact me. 

Upcoming Events

The website calendar is maintained regularly by the webdiva. If you want to add any events to the calendar please contact

Key Dates:

March – June 2013
AMQA 2013 Members Only Challenge
August 2013
AMQA AGM - Keep checking your inbox and the yahoogroup for updates.

Please consider joining the committee and contributing to AMQA.