AMQA Members Newsletter - September 2013
Welcome to my last newsletter, the last was my first and this is my last!
At the AGM Jan Foster kindly put her hand up and was elected as Newsletter Editor, please support Jan and send articles of your group get togethers, put your hand up to be the Member in the Spotlight’, any handy hints or fix it’s send in for Calamity Corner, this is your newsletter so use it to communicate with members and share your quilting experiences.
Since the last newsletter we have had the AGM, below is a list of your executive and committee members for 2013/14. Meetings are monthly and all are welcome to attend and have a say in your association, only executive and committee members are able to vote, but all members are encouraged to have their voice heard. June Ey from Bellbird A1 Quilting has given us a report on the Canberra show this years and Melissa Gelder, a new member from New Zealand tells us about her ‘Quilting School at Sea’, thank you June and Melissa for your articles.
Message from the President – Raylee Bielenberg
Greetings to my fellow quilters,
Thankfully Spring is finally making an appearance in Canberra and the weather is great at the moment. I’m sure the cold will return briefly but for now I am enjoying the sunshine.
Welcome to the new committee, elected at the recent AGM. Thank you to all those who were able to join the meeting via Skype. It was a great thing to see so many faces on my computer screen. Skype is a great tool and I am so pleased we can make use of this technology to make our meetings easier and be able to talk to all the members.
The committee has had a few changes and has also expanded. This will reduce the workload on the same few members and also enable others to be a part of the decision making for our association. Thank you to the outgoing committee members, your dedication and work has kept our association going.
Please welcome those new to the committee Veronica Prendergast (Treasurer), Jan Foster (Newsletter Editor), and General Members Jane Frankham, Melissa Gelder, Jenny Roberston, Rhoda Ryan. Please also welcome those returning in their position or in a new position, Val Towill, Barbara Cutmore, Vanita Roychoudhry, Tracey Browning, Kym Colgrave, Sharon French, Juliet Edwards and Gayle Dayman.
The 2013 Members Challenge; by the time you read this the challenge will have closed and I look forward to seeing your entries. Once the entries have been received I will be able to order the ribbons and have the winners prizes ready to send off.
I hope you will look forward to seeing the entries from this year and the next Member’s Challenge in 2015. More details will be released regarding the 2015 challenge in 2014. We’re planning to give you as much time as possible to create your challenge entry.
Newsletter: Remember if you have any news items or products reviews, helpful tips or techniques you’d like to share with the members please write a brief article and submit it to the newsletter editor for inclusion in the next newsletter due out. We are aiming to increase the frequency of the newsletter and would appreciate anything you have to contribute.
Happy Quilting - Raylee
Update on Membership – Gayle Dayman – Membership Secretary
As at the 30th July 2013 we have 2 Corporate members and 74 individual members, this also includes one new member from New Zealand. We have gained 21 new members this year, this is the most we have ever had in one year, with an additional 11 members renewing that hadn’t renewed the previous year. This would be due to the fact that we sent out invoices to all the previous 2 years members. Some members are slowly ordering their name badges, and other members are including our AMQA logo in their advertising. Many include on their membership forms that they wish to learn more about the mentoring, which is something that we seriously need to work towards improving.
Management Committee for 2013/14
All positions were declared vacant and Thomas Bielenberg chaired the meeting for the election of the new committee, which are as follows:
Vice President …position vacant
Treasurer… Veronica Prendergast
Secretary… Barbara Cutmore
Minute Secretary…Val Towill
Membership Secretary… Veronica Prendergast
Web Diva…Vanita Roychoudhry
Newsletter Editor…Jan Foster
Publicity Officer…position vacant
AQMF Liaison…Tracey Browning
General Committee Members…(in no particular order) Kym Colgrave, Sharon French, Juliet Edwards, Jane Frankham, Melissa Gelder, Jenny Robertson, Rhoda Ryan and Gayle Dayman
Exhibition Report – June Ey – Bluebell A1 Quilting
August 8-11 Exhibition Park in Canberra
The annual Canberra Craft and Quilt Fair was held in Canberra between 8-11 August 2013. I knew that I was in for a treat when I arrived. There were thousands of cars parked at the Exhibition Park. As I searched for a car park, my excitement grew. I joined the thousands of craft enthusiasts making their way into the exhibition hall, all there to enjoy the talent of many local and interstate quilt and textile artists.
Standing in the queue to enter the hall, the groovy 80’s music put me and all of the other enthusiasts into the mood. When I entered the quilt exhibit area, the hum of noise and number of people appreciating the fabulous work was exhilarating.
I started to move around and look at the quilts in amazement, not only at the colour combination, but also the amazing skills of the artists to create these works of art. Both of the sale rooms inside the quilt exhibit area and general circulation area were packed with keen shoppers and admirers.
One quilt which caught my eye was named “The Feather Beast : Slayed” by Angie Wilson and quilted by Raylee Bielenberg (President of AMQA Inc)of Sunflower Quilting, Canberra. Angie was awarded The Green Rose Award for Best Use of Colour.
Angie described her work as “based on Annja Maria Horner’s pattern ‘Feather Bed Quilt’. She explained that the quilt name developed during construction because it was a beast to make and Angie felt like she’d battled and slayed it by the time it was finished” (Members’ Exhibition Catalogue).
Other amazing pieces of work included The Splendour of the Sea quilt by Joan Porta. Quilted by Kay White of Kay’s Quilting. The combination of bright mix of colours made me feel like I was on a tropical holiday – I could almost feel the light breeze through the palm trees and tropical water lapping at the beach. I can imagine how special it would look on a king size bed and congratulate the artist who picked the colours and materials to put it together.
Continuing to walk around a lovely pink and yellow daisy quilt caught my eye. The quilt was titled “Fond of Flora” by Cindy Watkins. It could have been the colours or the combination of the material and sequins that added the glamour and ‘bling’. I kept thinking how my granddaughters would love the pink embroidery, flowers and dragonflies. I’m sure it will brighten the bedroom of its owner.
Walking around a corner, I heard gasps of amazement from fellow enthusiasts who were admiring the 1st Place Art Quilt called Earth, Air and a Memory of Water by Jenny Bowker. It was a spectacular piece of work from an experienced and very creative quilter. The quilt consisted of three panels; from Jenny’s memories of her travels across the Sahara to the Gilf Kebir. The hours of work and devotion that Jenny would have put into that quilt are truly inspirational. Her creativeness, eye for colour and sewing skill are something that I think everyone walking past would be envious of.
Just as I was leaving the quilt exhibition a lovely wall quilt was so engaging that I stopped to look. The Blue Wren wall quilt by Cindy Watkins was inspired by a photo taken by Tasmanian photographer Bruce Bain. Cindy used raw-edge appliqué and free-motion quilting. It was truly spectacular and an incredibly life-like rendition of a bird. I’m sure it will be a conversation starter in any room of the lucky owner’s house.
After a brief snack and fortifying cup of coffee, I headed into the throng of people in the sales room. I loved seeing the combination of materials and other sewing items on display and for sale. So did the thousands of other people jostling to purchase and brimming with newly motivated creative enthusiasm to creative their own masterpieces.
June Ey - Bluebell A1 Quilting
Quilting School at Sea – Melissa Gelder - member from New Zealand
I’ve just returned from a 10 day heavenly trip to Alaska… all the way from New Zealand. It was a cruise, which I found isn’t an uncommon way to see Alaska. Our first port of call had half a dozen ships stacked up as if it were a gigantic, oversized marina. Ketchican was overrun by hoards of shoppers looking for an Alaskan bargain, with only a few hours to find one. I felt confident I would find what I was looking for… fabric, notions, for I was on a Quilting Cruise. That means… Quilting Stores, lots of them
I found this cruise because I have long been an admirer of Nancy Mahoney’s work. While looking at her website I saw this comment, “Hurry, places are filling up fast for the 10 day Quilt’n’Cruise to Alaska”. Well, here’s an idea, I thought… Alaska, high on our to see list, and quilting! What could be better? Now, to present the idea to my wonderful husband, Frank… Really, it wasn’t a hard sell. He said yes. We’d both always wanted to see the magnificent landscape there.
We called the agent, Terry Caselton, got our booking, and all we had to do was wait. Then I applied myself to the education part of our journey. I had choices to make, which tutor going which direction? Nancy was a given, but my other choices were Sylvia Pippen, Sue Rasmussen, and Julie Curry. I resisted the urge to do Nancy’s class both ways, after all, I’m semi scouting for tutors to bring to the Auckland Quilt Guild. Yep… this is my first soiree into the international quilting community as a representative of our guild, having just taken on the somewhat lofty sounding position of “Education Officer”. I had a grant for my tuition. The total tutor fees were $350.00 US, and that was for 4 days study, two classes 2 days each. I chose Nancy and Sue. Traditional foundation piecing and curved picture piecing respectively.
What on earth do you take on a quilting cruise that leaves from a port in another country? As it turns out, not as much as I’d thought. The biggest bonus was that the machines were all supplied! Fantastic brand new Janomes that we could buy at a significantly reduced price should we wish. Sadly, I was thwarted by the different voltage, so had to leave mine behind. My packing was basically, my sewing kit, my prepared projects for each class, a judicious selection of thread… (you long armers know how painful that can be… ) a notepad, and an extra suitcase for all the quilting stuff I’ll find in Alaska. Easy!
One of the great things about the cruise was that Terry had every quilting shop within a 30k radius of every port plotted, so all we had to do was hop on the bus with our wallets! (Oh, my poor wallet!) She also arranged a discount in every store we visited. If you run a quilt store, welcome the tours. Every store was packed solid with ladies who bought bucket loads. Of course, there were other things to do too… a tour operator looked at Frank’s ticket one day and said “Sir, you’re going to a Quilting Store!” That day we also went to The Mendenhall Glacier outside of Juneau and saw amazing blue walls of ice, and… a bear. I stood literally 5 feet away from it… exhilarating! We were told by the park rangers that if the bear wakes up… to move away immediately. Thank goodness for the salmon run.
An unplanned port due to weather, Haines, was one of my favourite stops. It was less developed, we found beautiful hand crafted knives, and woolly mammoth jewelry. I think Haines could be an unplanned stop more often… plus it had 4 quilting stores. “What do you think we do here in the winter?” they said.
By now I was feeling pretty tired. It was about day eight, with either class or shore trips every day. My only day of respite was cruising the Tracey Arm Fjord, which was just so stunning I couldn’t stay in bed. There were ICEBERGS in the water! This was why we came, to see a whole different ecosystem. Though I was starting to feel like I’d need a holiday to recover from my holiday… my waistline had expanded from all the fabulous food… I was desperately in need of some fat eating underwear. You know, the really tight ones that feel like a wetsuit.
My last day of class went by too fast. All of a sudden I realized that I’d soon say goodbye to the wonderful people I’d met. Could it really be over so soon? One last port, Victoria. I loved the flavor of this city. By now I was pretty quilt shopped out, but rose to the challenge when I was directed to a dress shop that sold shot silk fabrics… about the only thing I could justify cramming into my poor strained suitcase by now.
All to soon, we disembarked in San Fransisco, where we started. Terry graciously hosted us, making us very welcome in her home town. She showed me more quilt stores… She is a quilter too. We were very fortunate to have such a kind and energetic lady looking after us. Every step of the way she kept us updated on anything to do with our cruise, found hotel deals for us, and was just a very good and efficient agent. I would cruise with Terry again anytime. Thank you Terry, Quilt’n’ Cruise, Pam’s Path to Travel, Princess Cruises, Nancy Mahoney, Sue Rasmussen, Sylvia Pippen, Julie Curry, and Ray’s Sewing for all contributing to making our trip unforgettable.
Now I just have to get all this stuff home.....
Melissa Gelder xx
Member in the Spotlight – continued from last newsletter.
As stated in the last newsletter here is the plan for Hermione’s Quilt Rack, I think we all need one of these in every room! Thank you Hermione, I am sure there will be a couple of these appear in homes soon.
Quilts 1700- 1945 Exhibition – Barbara Cutmore
Raylee and I recently had a lovely weekend together in Brisbane, part of the reason for the visit was to go to see the Quilts 1700-1945 Exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery, the other part was to work on and plan a project we are doing together. We stayed in a lovely apartment, 31 floors up looking down along the Brisbane River and Coronation Drive. Amazing amount of traffic on the river! It was a short walk across the river the Queensland Art Gallery.
The Ruth Stonely Exhibition was on at the same time so we had a look at that, one room containing a variety of quilts and wearable art, interesting and a lady who liked a lot of bling.
We joined a tour guide for the main exhibition but abandoned that, the guides voice was quite low and difficult to hear and she did not know the names of blocks! So we scanned in the scanner thing on my phone, thank goodness Raylee was with me, and did the tour by ourselves. Some of the quilts were over 300 years old and had never been washed, and never will be. The embroidery was something else, a chain stitch so fine; it looked like it was done with a single strand of sewing cotton, just beautiful. There was an embroidered box, with what would have been the early form of stump work and once again the work was so fine.
The fabrics used were also interesting, and paper piecing done with the newspaper of the day! I am a bit of a hexagon queen, so the quilt made in ½“hexagons from military uniforms really took my eye, about 48,000 hexagons! The hand work was stunning, the hand quilting so even and the tiny stitches! We bought the book so we can ‘go again’.
We were both a little disappointed in the way the quilts were displayed. Understanding the need for the dimmed lights, no photographs and no touching, and realising that the majority of visitors would be quilters or sewers, we thought it would have been better to display all the quilts under glass as some of them were, so the viewer could get up close and really look at the stitching and the beautiful work.
The ‘Rajah quilt’ was also on display but did not have any information with it, which considering its Australian history was a shame.
The next meeting of the AMQA Inc. is on the 25th September 2013. 8pm AEST – 7.30pm SA time and 6pm WA Time.
As I said earlier this is my last newsletter, I have enjoyed putting it together, hope you have enjoyed reading it!
Jan will be doing the next one, please support Jan with your items and reports.
Newsletter Editor (Retired)