Members spotlight – Coral part 1

Our next members spotlight is the talented and award winning Coral. Tell us a little bit about yourself! What got you interested in quilting? 

Hi, I’m Coral. I’m originally from Northern California, but have lived in Australia for nearly 10 years now and call it home.

Me with my quilt at the Under 35s Quilt Comp in Sydney earlier this year.

Me with my quilt at the Under 35s Quilt Comp in Sydney earlier this year.

I was first exposed to quilts by my Grandma, who took it up as a hobby after retiring. She made quilts for all her grandkids’ high school graduations. I made my first quilt in 2006 when I was living by myself in Las Vegas for a few months. I called my Grandma for help with the extreme basics, like what “WOF” stood for. It’s more than a bit crooked, but I still love it.

2. My First Quilt

A woven strip quilt from McCall’s QuickQuilts magazine.

After that I made a few small quilts and projects, but I really caught the bug in 2010, when I decided to make a wedding quilt for my best friend. I had found a simple nine patch pattern and went to my local quilt shop for a “your choice” class to get help. After that, I was hooked. I made a nearly king size quilt, and the process also helped me make it through some tough times at work. I knew then I was a quilter.

3. Promise of Spring

The Promise of Spring made in 2010

When did you first find modern quilting? And, do you do any other craft besides quilting?

I first found modern quilting when I started browsing some blogs. I LOVE quilt magazines, but in 2010, not many had caught the modern bug – especially in Australia. Through various blogs I found out about the Modern Quilt Guild. To be honest, the explanation of a modern quilt on the MQG site at the time turned me off – I like using regular blocks and I love prints. Nevertheless, I made my first “modern” style quilt in 2011 for a baby gift.

4. First Modern Style Quilt

The striped and flower fabrics were from my Grandma Mary Jean’s 80th birthday party

When I moved to Canberra and heard that a MQG was starting, I was more interested in checking out the group dynamic than adhering to a prescriptive style. I’ve found the group to be so welcoming. It adds a lot of joy to my quiltmaking to share it with people who understand and are passionate about the craft.

At the moment, I also do crochet (I love amigurumi), embroidery and cross-stitch. But quilting is definitely my creative passion and escape.

5. Amigurumi Elephant

Amigurumi Elephant I made this year for a co-worker’s new baby

How has your style changed over the years?

That’s a tough question. I’ve definitely evolved in the complexity of my piecing, as well as machine quilting. I suppose maybe my “taste” level has improved. I’m still pretty attracted to “twee” prints and themes. I’ve definitely started to be influenced by the more modern style of Canberra MQG members, but I think I will still remain a more “contemporary” style quilter.

My biggest accomplishment is my Star of India quilt. It’s a Jinny Beyer pattern I started at a class at Rosemont Patchwork in Tuggeranong. The star fabrics are almost all from my stash. It took me nine months to piece it and nine months to quilt it (with other projects in between of course). I felt like this was my “thesis” quilt to go from a beginning quilter to an intermediate. I’m very proud that it won 1st prize in Contemporary Quilts at the Royal Canberra Show and 2nd in Bed Quilts (Non-Professional) at the Canberra Quilters Exhibition. It will also be showing at the Australian Machine Quilters Association Show in Adelaide in October. It then goes on permanent display in my guest room, which is being designed around the quilt.

6. Star of India

Me with my quilt Star of India at the exhibition

What are you currently working on?

I just finished a quilt top with “hexagons” made up of 60 degree triangles. I was inspired by the bee fabric and I’m quite pleased by how it’s turned out, even though it wasn’t quite what I was expecting due to some maths errors. It’s off being quilted by Gone Aussie Quilting.

7. Bee's Knees Quilt

Bee’s Knees “hexagon” quilt

At the moment I’m working on a blue and white mini quilt for the Braidwood Quilt Event challenge. I was inspired by a buzzsaw block I found in a quilt magazine. I had a lovely 5” roll of various blues from PolkaDotTea fabrics on hand. I like using modern style fabrics on traditional blocks. I’m also keen to quilt some killer feathers. I love to quilt feathers!

8. Buzzsaw

Buzzsaw blocks

What is your favourite part about quilting? What is your least favourite?

My favorite is definitely the quilting. I’ve worked very hard over the last four years to become a strong machine quilter. I was so pleased to see this hard work rewarded with the award for Excellence in Machine Quilting (Domestic) for my Star of India quilt at the Canberra Quilters Exhibition.

9. Star of India Close Up

Close up of the feathered quilting on Star of India

My least favourite would have to be trimming the threads on the back of the quilt top before basting. It’s so tedious and you never can quite get them all. But it does prevent those nasty strays from showing through after quilting, so I always do it anyway.

Is there a technique on your list to learn this year? How do you like to learn new techniques?

I’m going to knuckle down and vanquish half square triangles. I can never get the darn points to match, but I’m going to figure it out. I have a UFO with Ocean Waves blocks. There are 32 HSTs in each block, so that should be good practice. I’ve also got my eye on some machine appliqué patterns and would like to work on my technique there.

10. Ocean Waves

Ocean Waves block

I’m a visual learner so I love tutorials and books with lots of images. Videos are great too. Nothing beats a class with a hands-on teacher though. I find I learn so much in classes – much more than merely the topic of the class.

Where can we find you?

I’m mainly on Twitter. I can be verbose (as exhibited here), so Twitter keeps me concise. I love the interactions on Twitter as well. I keep thinking I need to get on Instagram since it seems like EVERYONE is on it, but I haven’t made the jump just yet. I probably need to get it figured out before QuiltCon.

I also keep track of all my projects on Threadbias.

That’s the end of part one for Coral. Keep an eye out for the second part where we hear about Coral’s inspirations and see a fantastic halloween costume

Thursday is our September meeting

Our September meeting – Thursday 25 September – is just around the corner.

Coral is going to explain the steps for getting a quilt show-ready. And this is in preparation for all the quilts we’ll be entering for the Braidwood showing of the quilts – 22-23 November!

Come along and hear about our blue and white mini quilt challenge for Braidwood, and our plans to enter our modern quilts to the show.

For anyone new to our guild, we meet at Civic Library – see you there!!!

Members Spotlight: Amira Part 2

Welcome to the second part of the members spotlight on Amira. So Amira what are you currently working on?

Currently I have just finished two quilt tops which I am currently quilting on. One is the Modern Medallion, which the pattern is by Crystal, a member of this guild as well. I have enjoyed making this quilt with all the improve style patchwork. Although I did find a bit of struggle here and there, I love the process of learning. Secondly is the “Swoon” quilt, pattern by Camille Roskelley. I am having fun doing free motion quilting on this one so far!

What is your favourite part about quilting? What is your least favourite?

I love piecing / patchwork and the quilting itself. I invest a great amount of time into freemotion quilting as I enjoy this part so much. My least favourite would be basting. I don’t have a large area for basting but find this part is critical to get good results when I start to quilt, so I have to spend a lot of time and redo this part.

Making small projects but with lots of free motion quilting is my favourite of all because basically it eliminates the time spent on basting!

Red modern patchwork table runner

Quilted placemats

Is there a technique on your list to learn this year? How do you like to learn new techniques?

I would love to learn how to do more curve piecing. I need to improve my skill doing this. Another thing on the list is hand quilting. I really admire Sarah Fielke’s work, and I consider her being a modern quilter as well with all her strong choices of fabrics and the free mind of quit designs.

Here is a modern quilt I made with an inspiration from Sarah Fileke’s fabulous needle turn technique.
Feather Mini Quilt_Feather quilting_Modern Applique

Show us your sewing space! What’s the best thing you ever bought into it?

Here is my current sewing space. I love every bit of it. The best thing would be the Janome Horizon which I invested in last year. This machine has definitely helped me bring free-motion quilting to another level.

Sewing Space

Thanks for hanging around – come and say hello on my blog!

And don’t forget, here’s where else we can find Amira

I am also on Instagram :

And Flickr :

Our August meeting

Here’s some photos from our August meeting. The show and tell just kept coming and then we had a chance to look through the latest fabric range from Polkadottea.

Coral's award-winning quilt

A close-up of Coral’s free motion quilting. Stars and feathers anyone?!

Amira's rainbow version of the Modern Medallion!

Amira’s rainbow version of the Modern Medallion!

Clair used her own @beeandlotus fabric in the centre - bold and beautiful!

Clair used her own @beeandlotus fabric in the centre – bold and beautiful!

A close-up of Danielle's hand quilting. A Sarah Fielke pattern.

A close-up of Danielle’s hand quilting. A Sarah Fielke pattern.

Lots of acid green, purple and red in Tracey's quick finish - speedy gonzales!!

Lots of acid green, purple and red in Tracey’s quick finish – speedy gonzales!!

Just finished the day before the quilt meeting - a Sarah Fielke pattern. Hand appliquéd and quilted.

Just finished the day before the quilt meeting – a Sarah Fielke pattern. Hand appliquéd and quilted by Danielle.

Members Spotlight: Amira

In the third members spotlight, we have the wonderful Amira. You can find Amira on her blog or @amira_littlemushroomcap on instagram or on Flickr I’ll let Amira start for our first part of the spotlight on her.

Hi, I am Amira, Malaysian who is currently in Australia for the last 2.5 years. I am a postgraduate student doing Physics at the Australian National University here in Canberra, Australia.

What got you interested in quilting?

How did I get caught in this quilting world? I could say, I have always been sewing all my life. Ever since I was a little girl, I would hand sew a lot of Barbies clothes and would make small items such as coin purses. I owe the talent and interest to my mum who also has sewing as her main hobby. We aren’t exposed to quilting in Malaysia as the weather is 24/7 365 days very warm already. So there was no need to snuggle into quilts. When I came here to Australia a few years back, I knew the first thing I have to own is a sewing machine. So, I bought a sewing machine from the local quilt store. Browsing through the store there, I knew I wanted to learn how to do patchwork and quilts! With limited time for quilting classes during the day, I decide to learn through the net and magazines. And it never stops till now. I also mainly start patchwork and quilting because there are so many gorgeous fabrics out there these days!!

How has your style changed over the years?

Since I have not been quilting for long yet (~3 years), I am still in search for my own style that I love. In the meantime, I am enjoying learning all sorts of technique and style. I am also not limiting myself to modern style of quilting and rather open about the title modern quilter. I would love to learn more about modern quilting and hence I am here in the modern quilt guild!

When did you first find modern quilting and who are your quilt idols? 

Modern quilting came to me when I found Jacquie Gering’s blog which I fall in love with in an instant. I bought the book “Quilting Modern” not long after that. I made a baby quilt and table mats with a bit of inspiration from the book. Of course, it is then I get to know Katie Pederson the co-author of the book. Not long after that, I also found Elizabeth Hartman. I also bought her book the Modern Patchwork. I love her style of patchwork and quilting. Although she uses repeated blocks, the end results maintain its simplicity and I would say remains modern. I love repeated blocks and believe I myself have made more quilts with repeated blocks.

Modern Placemat_a

I also love the modern quilting trends which I believe started with Angela Walter’s gorgeous freemotion work. I love to do freemotion myself with my domestic machine. I love that Angela lets herself free with freemotion and yet produces incredible jaw dropping quilting results.

CMQG Meeting May13__ Amira's S&T

Where do you find your inspiration and what is inspiring you right now? 

I find inspiration from everywhere. I see quilts wherever I go. Don’t we all? :P

There are also bucket loads of talented quilters on Instagram, too many to list down. Every one of them is wonderful.

Here are five other things inspiring me: Spring. Buildings photos. Tiles designs. Textures in nature. Seeing other people’s quilt design – currently loving QDAD group in facebook.


Do you do any other craft besides quilting?

Other than quilting, I have also started to crochet and knit. Often crochet and knitting projects are going at a very slow rate due to more sewing time and very limited “free time”.

Sock knitting

Crochet Granny squares blanket _6

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first part of the members spotlight on Amira. Stay tuned for the second part where we’ll learn more about Amira including what she is working on now 

See you tonight!

Very much looking forward to tonight’s meeting, hoping you’re all going to bring a swag of show and tell! Also, BYO stitching to keep your hands busy while we plan for the coming year! And if you don’t have any hand work to bring along, I’ve got a quilt to be bound so I can keep you busy ;) Jules

Next meeting – Thursday 28 August

A reminder that our next meeting is next Thursday, 28 August.

For any newbies, we meet at the civic library from 7:30. There’ll be lots of show and tell and lots of great news!!

Do a couple of people want to put their hands up to bring supper?