Continuous Lines

Newsletter for AMQA Inc members

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Newsletter No.31 November

Continuous Lines

Newsletter for AMQA Inc. Members

Newsletter No.31

November 2013
From The Editor
My first newsletter…Let me introduce myself. I am Jan Foster. I have been Long Arm Quilting since 2003. I live on the Central Coast of NSW, with John and 2 gorgeous children, two cats and two dogs.
I purchased my first Gammill Long Arm from Kaye and Bruce Brown from “The Finishing Touch” …a NON- stitch regulated Gammill Classic…..and  my home based business “Red Shed Quilting” was born.…I quilted happily on this machine for 5 years, even though I have vivid memories of bracing myself as I turned it on….continuous speed…it would just take off!  Interestingly, my first machine did not have a name.
I have upgraded since then and now run 2 Statlers (called Kaye and Bruce)….and swapped my non-stitch regulated machine for a stitch regulated one….I do most of my hand guided work on “Verna”…who used to belong to Verna Horwood. When I was first learning, I took every available class that I could…and still do. I am looking forward to next years “Festival” in Adelaide for that reason. Last year I came home all enthused and full of new ideas.
I love what I do because I am constantly learning. I love finishing a quilt beautifully for a client even though it sometimes feels like “bear wrestling”.
Each year I vow to do more of my own work…hmmm…I tend to  inch along with my stuff…
At the start of this year I moved the business out of our shed, into a factory bay near home. It was time to separate work and home and I am enjoying having  a display area that does not compete with the lawn mower.
I would love to hear from you in regards to anything “quilty” in your area. So please send me your articles and photos. We would love to try to publish the newsletter more regularly….once a month…and will try to get it out by the end of each month, so if you have anything that you would like to send, try to do so by the 3rd Sat. of the month. Please email to


The last few weeks have certainly been tough ones with the enormity of the bushfire situation in NSW.

Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted in any way by the bushfires….

Presidents Message
Welcome Spring!  I am so pleased to see some regular sunshine and am looking forward to some warmer weather.  I really enjoy this time between winter and the hot days of summer.
Recently we have finalized the 2013 Member’s Challenge and there are some great quilts, I was inspired by the quilting ideas.  A couple were embellished which is something I have not tried yet.
We are pleased to announce the winners are as follows;

Pieced Design – Lemoyne Star


Hand Guided  

1st Belinda Betts

 2nd Raylee Bielenberg

 3rd Carolynne Diesler


1st Heather Shanks

2nd Kym Colgrave


Hand Guided  

1st Raylee Bielenberg

   2nd Jenny Robertson


Wholecloth -Computerised.

1st Kym Colgrave


All entries will be sent home soon along with ribbon and prize money. Congratulations to all entrants!
The Member’s Challenge is on again in 2 years time and we would love to see many more entries.  This is a great way to stretch your skills or try a new technique without committing to making a full sized quilt.  Information on the next challenge will be in future newsletters.

AMQA Inc. Quilt Show 2014

Preparations are moving ahead and  we are hoping to give you all as much time as possible to consider an entry or 2 into the show. We thought a great way to get your imaginations working and designs happening,  was to include a review of the show categories for the next few newsletters.  If you have any queries about a category, now is a great time to put those questions on the Yahoo group page or on the AQMA Inc. Facebook page.

The categories have not changed from the 2012 show.  Categories 1 – 3 are listed below.  The first 2 are very similar, in fact size is the only differing factor.  This is the quilt you do to really show off your skills.  Absolutely go to town, use threads, any kind of embellishment, 3D pieces, pretty much anything you like. The finished size of your quilt determines which category, 1 or 2.

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.

Unlike Innovative Custom there are no embellishments allowed in this category, use your quilting styles and designs as your feature elements.  Doesn’t mean you have to use one colour of thread, but that you use only thread.  Your quilt may be any colour, white is traditional, but let’s shake it up and see some other colours here. I love seeing what goes in this category.

More reviews next newsletter.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
Happy quilting

 Long Arm Get Together 23-26th September
With, finally, some sunshine we arrived at Judy Simcock’s ’Sanctuary’ in Bordertown, S.A.
A home away from home, with all the necessities for a quilting retreat.  Set in a beautiful cottage garden, neatly mown lawns, and a quirky backyard.
Inside Judy has fitted the house out to accommodate 10 people, with enough room to set-up your DSM on trestles in the living area and a dedicated cutting table.  With all the comforts of our own home sewing rooms, we began our LA quilting GTG.  We arrived Friday, noon and by early afternoon we were already set up and sewing away.
What a lovely way to pass the time sewing, but discussing all things to do with LA's.  With the last two ladies arriving late afternoon, the scene was set for a relaxing, but industrious week-end.
Judy catered for all our meals, included in the price, or we could have self catered if we had wanted to.  But who wants to bother cooking when you are at a quilting retreat.  Sewing to our heart’s content, even returning to sewing after a beautiful evening meal, easily prepared and delivered to the “Sanctuary” by Judy.
On Saturday, we sewed until the local quilting shops were open, then we made our sojourn out to them to get our “retail therapy” fix for the weekend
In the afternoon when we became too tired to sew, we had Show & Tell with quilt tops some needed advice on.  With several ideas to choose from, each had solved their problems and began sewing again.
I’m sure all were pleased with the amount of U.F.O’s they were able to complete for the weekend.  As for me, I was able to complete two U.F.O.’s I had begun at our “Quilt Encounter” in the previous year.  One a mystery workshop with only two fabrics, the other ‘Scrapmania’ using up all my left over strips from previous projects.  As you can image, I have plenty of those, so will be able to make several scrapmania quilts for Charity.

Above admiring Gayle’s scrap quilt.
Below 2 Mystery quilts made by Gayle in Faye Packham Workshops.

So with a little of BYO wine each night before dinner we sewed all and sundry.  Some ladies even had a little impromptu lesson on projects that were being made.


Above, Judy’s ‘New York Beauty” …a Lessa Siegele workshop…it only needed borders.

Below, Chris’s “Peppermint rose”… also a Lessa Siegele workshop.

….a wedding ring table runner from Val.
Thanks must  go to Judy for organising this LA GTG and for her hard work, and dedication in putting together such a lovely relaxing, quilting retreat/Sanctuary.
Gayle Dayman.
An article from Veronica Prendergast…
I wanted to make a brief report about “Tropical Delights”…the  Patchwork Group I am associated with, having a display at the Townsville Stitches and Craft Show.
We received a very positive outcome from the display, a few people were interested in what we do and expressed a desire to hopefully join us.   One lady who has moved up from Sydney told us our quilts were equivalent to what is hung at Darling Harbour.  So we felt quite chuffed.   The photo of the Australian Birds and Wildflowers quilt is the one we made for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to be raffled.   We sold around $2000 worth of tickets over the 4 days.   Ruth  (lady in the red jacket at the front of the display) who does all the money raising for the RFDS was very pleased with the sales.    We draw the raffle on 15th December, so couple of months to hopefully raise more.
Cheers Veronica
Congratulations to Belinda Betts with a 2nd place at HMQS in Salt
Lake City with her quilt “Winter Star”
Belinda  writes  an article on entering your quilts in overseas quilt shows…                                              
My quilts have just been on an extensive trip to the US, and hopefully are on their way home as I write this.  (Actually I just received email confirmation that they are en route from USPS).
I entered 2 quilts into the HMQS show in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was in about May of this year.  I like this show because they have good critique sheets, the organisers are very friendly and happy to deal with international quilts, and it is a lovely place to visit - always a good excuse for a trip!
To enter you need to keep an eye on which shows are coming up, what their closing dates for entries are, and where they are.  I have several which I like - HMQS, MQX (both shows), and Paducah; and this year I entered into the AQS show in Grand Rapids MI.  I keep an eye out on their dates, and need to allow for mailing times, and so have an idea of which shows I am going to enter which quilts in. 
Most shows these days offer online entry forms, which is a huge benefit for international shows, because you are not mucking around with postage times for entry forms.  Most shows required pictures of the quilts - if they are being juried in to the competition based on the photos, it is a good idea to spend a little bit of time getting a good show which shows the whole quilt and the quilting (check what they want).  Be aware of what their criteria is - size of pictures, what they want etc.  Mostly you can't photoshop the photo - for obvious reasons.  I usually take my own pictures, but have had professional ones done, expensive and I didn't feel they were any better than mine.
The other thing to be aware of is designer permission - some shows you just need to write down where you got your design from, but the AQS show this year required written permission from both pattern designers.  I had already asked them if this was OK, so there were no dramas, but some designers might have an issue with their quilt designs being shown, so it pays to check.  If you have an original design, then it isn't an issue.
One more thing, most quilt shows offer a valuation service.  It depends on how interested I am to find out what the US market values my quilt at, as opposed to the Australian market.  They are valued at the show, and you receive a written valuation a couple of weeks after the show.
It makes much more sense to have my quilts visit several shows while they are overseas, because the postage is so high to send them from here.  I have a quilting friend who is happy to mind them for me if there is a gap in time, ie they don't go from show to show, and then sends them on.
The main reason I enter overseas is to get written critiques back from the judges - there are few shows in Australia which offer this service at shows, and I like to see what they are looking for.  Sometimes I agree with the judges, sometimes I don't, but generally when they pick something up, I already know it is an issue, so that is something for me to watch for next time.
The 2 quilts I sent this year were vastly different.  The first, "Winter Star" is a triple feathered star, block design by Marsha McCloskey.  I have always wanted to make one, so I finished it last year, with most of my good humour intact.  It is blues and creams, very heavily quilted, and embellished with crystals.  This quilt won a 2nd in HMQS, in Salt Lake City.
The other quilt is called "Sparkling Shells" and is a foundation pieced quilt designed by Jacqueline de Jong of Be Colourful.  She came to Australia a few years ago, and taught a class through the NSW Quilters' Guild.  Again it is very heavily quilted, and embellished with crystals.

Finally it is important to remember that quilt show judging is based on a judging sheet, with opinions of the judges thrown in, so if you're happy with the quilt, don't be offended by what is written when you get a critique back.  Take it on board, or ignore it, but keep making the quilts you like.  Each show is different, and each judge is different, but as long as you are happy then you're a winner even if you don't get a ribbon.

Belinda Betts.

Memberships are now due…….have you renewed?