2015 raffle prize winners


I’m pleased to officially announce the following results from the first CMQG raffle. A big thank you to everyone who entered, your support ensures the sustainability of our guild.

The raffle was drawn at 4pm on Sunday the 9th of August 2015 under permit number ACT R 15/00278.

First drawn ticket  #0432 – Denise Carruthers

Second drawn ticket #0402 – Valerie Chisholm

Third drawn ticket #0479 – Lyn Walker

All winners have been notified.


Canberra Modern Quilt Guild has a new home!

Our members enjoying the recent sewing day

As we start a ‘new’ year at the guild, we have found a new home to host our guild events. The Civic Library was great, however we have outgrown the space, and the Downer Community Centre will provide us with more space, better facilities and a place for our sewing days too! The Centre is located in Frencham Place, Downer, with plenty of onsite parking.

Guild meetings:

The guild continues to meet every fourth Thursday of the month from 7:30pm at the Downer Community Centre.

Our 2015 meetings will be held on 23 July, 27 August, 25 September, 23 October and 27 November.

These meetings are a great opportunity to catch up with members, learn a new skill and be inspired by the incredible show and tell that we all love each month. Bring some hand sewing, supper (cake is always welcome!) and enjoy sharing and learning with our amazing community in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Meetings are open to the public and free for members. Want to join us? Visit our membership page.

Sewing days:

Sewing days will be held on the first Saturday of the month from 10am to 3pm at the Downer Community Centre.

Our 2015 sewing days will be held on 1 August, 5 September, 3 October, 7 November and 5 December.

Come to a sewing day and you can hang out with awesome quilty people while you catch up on your sewing projects. Tables and chairs are provided, please bring along everything else you need for sewing, including your machine, power cords, irons and cutting tools.

Sewing days are open to the public and cost $10 for members or $20 for non-members (for more information, please visit our membership page).

Hope to see you soon at one of our upcoming events!

Extension for entry Canberra Modern Quilt show

We have extended the deadline to enter your quilts into the Canberra Modern Quilt Show.  We don’t want anyone to miss out on having their quilts in our first big show.

There is so much talent in our guild, we see it every month at show and tell. We would absolutely love to share as many of the stunning quilts from as many of you as we can.

This is a great opportunity for us to share modern quilting in Canberra. The show is a really important event for us; it is a huge opportunity to publicise our amazing guild to the public.

Remember, your quilts don’t need to be completed to enter, just as long as they are ready by 1 August 2015. The application process is very quick and easy, a couple of questions and upload your photos.

If you would like to participate, complete the online form by Sunday 12 July.

Enter your quilts here!

Canberra Modern Quilt show – call for entries

Canberra Modern Quilt Guild – Modern Quilt Show

We will be exhibiting at the Canberra Craft and Quilt Fair 6-9 August 2015!

This is a great opportunity for us to share with the craft and quilt community Modern Quilting in Canberra, showcase our member’s spectacular Modern Quilts and publicise our fun loving guild to an interested audience. Applications to display your modern quilts in this exhibition are now open.

Regretfully the hanging space available to us is limited and our calculations indicate that we will be hanging 20 quilts. With such a tight limit on the number of quilts to exhibit, the show subcommittee has determined that quilts will be need to be curated by members of the MQG Board, similarly to the those shortlisted for display at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne earlier this year. Accepted quilts will not be judged.

It will be a tough job for the jurors noting the variety of quilts produced by our members. Please don’t feel upset if your quilt is not selected, it is not a reflection on you or your work, it is a product of the jurors having to select a specified number of quilts that best fit the categories.

If you would like to participate, complete the online form by Thursday 10 July.

You will be notified no later than 21 July 2015 if your quilt is selected to hang at the show. All selected quilts will need to be labelled and provided to the subcommittee with the completed entry form by 1 August 2015. Quilts can be provided at our 23 July 2015 meeting, 1 August 2015 sewing day or by arrangement with an exhibition subcommittee member. At this stage, a hanging sleeve will not be required.

Remember, this is a curated display not a judged show. Quilts will be selected by the jurors based on the overall look of the display and categories, taking into account that we are presenting modern quilting to the Craft and Quilt Fair attendees. It is important that members understand that not being selected is not a reflection of the quality of your work, you all make stunning quilts, the size, category and the overall show determine the quilts that will be exhibited.

Please note that the exhibition is open to financial members (paid by 31 July 2015) only.

Challenge Quilts
As part of the modern quilt show, we are also inviting members to participate in the challenge quilts. The theme for the challenge is ‘modern takes on traditional’ – get creative and redesign those traditional quilts blocks! The colour scheme is monochrome (black, white and grey) and your mini quilt must measure 24” square with binding on. We will display these all together in the show as a wall of smalls. Your challenge quilt must be delivered to the show subcommittee by 1 August 2015 with the completed entry form (sections 1, 2 and 3 only). Entries are open to all financial members who have paid their 2015-16 membership fees by 31 July 2015 and will not be undergoing a curation process.

Any questions regarding quilt entries should be referred the exhibition subcommittee.

Enter your quilts here!

April Meeting

Tomorrow is our April meeting, where has the time gone? Amira is going to show us how she uses her portable design ‘wall’. We will be meeting at the Civic library at 7:30pm. Bring your show and tell, name tag and something to work on.

Looking forward to catching up!

Members Spotlight: Monica!

Better late then never! In the second members spotlight, I would like to introduce Monica! You might know her as Squeak Ahoy on Facebook and @monnsqueak on just about anything else. She doesn’t use her real name on facebook because she works with kids and teens, and they’re not very good at boundaries, so this makes it a little harder for them to find her!

Tell us a little bit about yourself Mon! What got you interested in quilting? When did you first find modern quilting? And, do you do any other craft besides quilting?
I’ve been making things since I was a little kid. I don’t remember learning how to thread a needle, or to make a basic stitch, so I must have been quite young. I do remember learning to knit from my nan when I was about 4 or 5, and refining the basic knit-stitch knowledge with a very old book called Fun With Wool. Since then I’ve explored lots of craftarts, including embroidery and cross stitch, knitting, crochet, handspinning, as well as painting, drawing, printmaking and calligraphy. I used to go into quilting stores just to look at the fabric, but had never owned a sewing machine. After so many years of using my hands, I started to get symptoms of damage, with shooting pains and tingling in my hands and forearms, and so I ditched the hand-work and switched to machine sewing.

new machine

The first photo is me hugging my Janome 7700 the day it was delivered by courier. Very exciting! I first started with a $100 machine that I got out of the local paper, though, and with bag making, and after almost a year of this, made my first quilt a bit over a year ago. I guess the modern style was part of the choice to try quilting – I’ve never been attracted to traditional style quilts, but I liked the bold fun style of a lot of the quilts I was seeing online.

How has your style changed over the years?
So my very first quilt was completed in January 2013 using the Bento Box pattern and some leftover fabric I’d been using for bags. I used bamboo batting, and quilted it myself on my tiny $100 machine (it was then that I decided to buy the 7700 for its larger throat space). I didn’t know anything then, so I didn’t wash it, and I think it still hasn’t been washed over a year later! oops! Here’s a picture of her holding it up. I quilted it edge to edge with a meandering stitch that I happily referred to as “drunken snail” at the time.

My first quilt which I gave to my mum 🙂

The most recently completed and photographed quilt is the Dark Star quilt, which is very different! It was a fully improvised quilt design of my own making, using a little fat quarter batik set in black and gold (not metallic). I made a crazy-quilted triangle and cut it into the points of a star, and whacked it all together with black to make a large lap quilt for my old supervisor. I used FMQ and straight line quilting to bring it together.

The Dark Star quilt
The Dark Star quilt

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a quilt for my brother, who asked for something in “black and white and a splash of electric blue” 🙂 I’ve gone with a modern design based on Alissa Haight Carlton’s “Didn’t get the memo” and I’m actually not enjoying the straight-line quilting I’m doing on it much – it’ll look nice when it’s done but it takes SO LONG! And because I’m pushing it to be done in time for a quilt show, I’m not doing my usual trick of working on it for a while and alternating with other projects. :-/

Black, white and a pop of blue!
Black, white and a pop of blue!

Where do you find your inspiration? Who are your quilt idols?
I tend to pick inspiration up from everywhere. I take pictures of weird things like clouds that I like, or shadows on things, and come up with ideas from those types of things. The dark star quilt was dreamed up thinking about hope coming from the dark things in our life, and I thought a gradation of gold coming out of black would be a beautiful representation of this idea. This was a quilt that I had no idea what it would turn out looking like – I just started, and was quite surprised when it came out. Others I’ve made have been meticulously planned, every piece of them. At this point I’m still learning, so each quilt is different in process and design. I do tend to prefer making my own designs – patterns seem to waste a lot of fabric and I find them frustrating and tedious, whereas the process of making my own designs and just going for it is a purely joyful experience for me. My quilt idols are my friends and fellow guild members, I’m so impressed with the vast creativity in our lovely little Canberra MQG!

What is your favourite part about quilting? What is your least favourite?
My favourite part is the quilting itself. I adore FMQ, and I swear one day I’ll get my hands on a longarm to play with. I adore Angela Walters and her seemingly effortless fanciful work. My least favourite is the basting… but I do have a wonderful technique I’m willing to share to make this boring, backbreaking part of the job easier. 🙂

Is there a technique on your list to learn this year? How do you like to learn new techniques?
No particular list of techniques to learn – I am an information junkie, and I absorb knowledge as I go. Often I’ll hit a roadblock and then decide I need a certain technique to get past it, so I go on a search-n-destroy mission to find what I need at that point to move on. Sometimes I imagine something wonderful and just need to find the technique to express it (like the stars for the Riley Blake quilt, which were a variation on the porthole technique used by bag makers for set in zippers). I learn new techniques usually by photo and video tutorials online. I remember the old days of searching out books in libraries, and while I will always adore libraries, I cannot imagine being without youtube and the vast array of bloggers and their wonderful generosity in sharing their knowledge.

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

My sewing space
OOOO – My sewing space!

This is my pride and joy. I get a lot done not because I’m motivated but because I have an efficient space set up permanently – so if I have ten minutes spare, I spend ten minutes sewing. Works very well. My table, which I designed and made myself, can be used sitting or standing (this helps reduce fatigue). I store my fabric folded in square baskets and in clear DVD boxes so I can see at a glance what I have available, and I’m in the process of colour sorting my scraps and cutoffs. I know not everyone has a spare room to set up as a workspace, but if you can spare a corner, it makes a huge difference. Also, if you look closely, I use MANY hooks and and cuphooks to hang things from, as well as 3M velcro, which I stick awls, needle cases and other things to, so they’re always within easy reach. No precious time spent rummaging for things.

Where else can we find you?
My blog is monnsqueak.typepad.com and monnsqueak (two n’s darlinks) is the handle I use everywhere, twitter, flickr, instagram (i really need to start using that) as well as a few other random sites.

Who’s inspiring Gemma right now?

Gemma used to read a lot of blogs but these days she struggles to find the time.  She does spend a lot of time on Instagram – it’s a great place to seek inspiration from other arty types. So here are five people (with their instagram names) who are inspiring Gemma right now!

Tall Grass Pairie Studio  @jacquietps

Firstly, I love a good name and she has a great one!  It makes me think of beautiful American fields, vast spaces and the wind.  Jacqui has a fantastic eye for colour and I love that she shares insights into her process on her blog.  I love the photos of her studio on her blog, but it’s her modern quilts that get me every time.  She is bold and brave and fabulous and I might just want to be her 😉

Kathleen Quilts  @kathleenriggins

I love Kathleen’s IG feed.  Serious quilt talent and inspiration!  Her quilting in negative space is just wonderful and I particularly loved her recent supernova quilt.  If you’re into quilting and you’re on IG then you need to follow Kathleen!  Check out this blogpost with lots of serious quilt candy.

Quilts of a Feather @quiltsnkids

I cannot do justice to Renee’s recent “The Pandorica Opens” quilt (above).  Full disclosure, I’m a serious Dr Who fan and have been since childhood.  But even if you’re not and even if you cannot appreciate just how freaking cool an exploading tardis quilt is, you can still appreciate the skill in this recent piece!  Go look now.  Now.  Just go do it and then follow her everywhere and have your mind blown.  Freaky, freaky, freaky fantastic Dr Who/Van Gogh quilting!  I think you get it.  She is truly inspirational!

The Quilt Engineer  @thequiltengineer

If I ever meet Latifah I’m going to struggle to string a sentence together.  When everyone else had been doing “low volume” forever and we’d all been amazed at how cool it was and we could even buy “low volume” bundles so there was no personal choice left, Latifah took it to another level.  AND she told us that it took her three years to finish that quilt!  I love a quilter who shares all, I love an honest quilter.  Latifah is a bit of a legend in my book, but I just find her crisp lines, bold colours and down-to-earth nature inspiring.  Oh, and she said I should buy a vintage Singer, so I did.

Elisabeth Woo @elisabew

This girl is a classic over sharer.  And I LOVE her for it!  Her life looks like so much fun!  Her cute haircut, her puppy, her hilarious expressions, oh and she works for Robert Kaufman, spends half her life at Disneyland and has an impeccable eye for colour.  Seriously though, I really do find Elisabeth’s work inspiration.  I love how she throws colour after colour at IG (be it macroons, minifigs, farmerswife blocks or her recent finish, night sky quilt.  She is also an awesome FMQer and a great source of inspiration.

So there you go, that’s who is inspiring me at the moment.  It was hard to single it down to five as I currently follow 685 people on Instagram and many of them inspire me.  Oh, I totally forgot, you have to check out @houseofalphonse on Instagram.  Her papercut artwork blows my mind!

Gemma @prettybobbins.

Member Spotlight: Gemma Jackson | Pretty Bobbins

In the first members spotlight, I would like to introduce Gemma, or as you might know her – Pretty Bobbins. Gemma has just returned to Canberra and we are thrilled that she has become a member of the Canberra Modern Quilt Guild.


  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself Gemma!
    I’m a long term Canberra resident who has spent more time away from the Nation’s Capital than in it!  I grew up in Victoria and have lived in Queensland, Indonesia, China and New Caledonia.  I have always had a thing for textiles; costumes, rugs, fabric, clothes and weaving.  I came to quilting quite late and used my dress making skills and an old 1970s Better Homes and Gardens book to teach myself to quilt.  Convinced that there had to be a better way I took a beginners class and a few years later discovered modern quilting and got hooked!
  2. What got you interested in quilting? When did you first find modern quilting?
    I discovered blogging first and shared my creative journey sewing gifts and kids clothes.  I had made a couple of quilts and the more fabric I bought online the more quilts I came across.  Eventually I bought a few Modern Quilting books and followed a pattern or two.  After a particularly difficult period and whilst recovering from pneumonia I hooked into the modern quilting movement online and realised that quilting was more than just following a pattern and making a blanket.  Once my quilting addiction hit I couldn’t stop and haven’t looked back!

    two beds with mama quilts
    The quilt on left is the first Gemma made and the quilt on right is the first modern quilt she made following a pattern called “Kitchen Windows” in Elizabeth Hartman’s first book.
  3. How has your style changed over the years?
    My first four quilts (with large gaps between the first and second and third) were all made following patterns.  These days I am all about improv, designing my own quilts, using bold colours and making the quilting a large feature of the quilt.  My first two quilts I quilted in the ditch, these days I go crazy free motion quilting everything I can get my hands on. It’s been a little while since I finished a quilt, but I have lots of quilts waiting for binding…
  4. What are you currently working on?
    Too many projects to count!  Probably the most exciting for me are a quilt for my bed, designing my own medallion quilt (I’m still figuring out how to make a double orange peel block for the centre – it’s half the fun!) and making a few new wall quilts for our house (we moved recently).

    No doubt inspired by the beautiful colours of the South Pacific!
    No doubt inspired by the beautiful colours of the South Pacific!
  5. Where do you find your inspiration? Who are your quilt idols?
    Inspiration is everywhere! I tend to be inspired by the palette around me.  The vivid colours of the Pacific definitely made their way into my quilts and now in Canberra I find myself drawn to more rustic tones.  IG is probably my favourite place to be inspired by other quilters, artists and designers.  My quilting idols are Angela Walters, Latifah Saafir and Krista of Lola Blue Ocean.  Elizabeth Hartman was someone who inspired me early on and I found her blog and first book to be incredibly helpful as a new quilter.
  6. What is your favourite part about quilting? What is your least favourite?
    Binding is my least favourite part!  I’m a machine binder through and through or I never finish a quilt!  I love every other aspect equally and am often torn between selecting new palettes, designing a new layout, piecing and quilting!  There’s not enough time!!!
  7. Is there a technique on your list to learn this year? How do you like to learn new techniques?
    This year I need to learn time management so I can quilt more! Precise curves is something that I’m focussing on right now.  In terms of quilting I’m enjoying learning about ruler work on the longarm.

    A beautiful studio in Gemma's new home, where she runs her long arm quilting business
    A beautiful studio in Gemma’s new home, where she runs her long arm quilting business.
  8. Show us your sewing space! What’s the best thing you ever bought into it? 
    My longarm is my favourite thing in my sewing room, before that it was my Bernina.  I have just discovered Matilda’s Own rulers which I LOVE, oh, and I have to mention Sewline chalk pacer pens.  ESSENTIAL!
  9. Do you do any other craft besides quilting?
    At the moment I don’t do any craft, quilting is more art or meditation rather than craft for me and I just don’t have time for any other ‘me-time’ activities at the moment.  I do love rearranging my house and hunting down mid-century modern furniture, does that count as craft? 😉
  10. Where else can we find you?
    You can find me everywhere! I’m @prettybobbins on twitter, Instagram, flicker and facebook.  My blog is www.prettybobbins.com and my longarm site is www.prettybobbinsquilting.com

Gemma will be back next week, sharing five things that are inspiring her right now.

Craft de-stash mini market

Canberra Creatives are hosting a destash mini market this weekend! A couple of us will be sharing tables and I know that you guys can find a great bargain or three, riffling through the stashes! There will be paper craft, fabric, patterns, beads, knick knack and more.

Come along from 2-4pm on Saturday 23 November at the Downer Community Centre. See you there!Image

September Meeting – Hand Embroidery

Hello! The September Meeting is coming up and this month we are featuring embroidery. Personally, I think quilting and embroidery go hand in hand. I love combining them and relaxing under a quilt with my stitching. Ahh, bliss!Image

photo: girl on the cherry tree by Aneela Hoey, embroidered by me!

To show you just how fun hand embroidery can be, I have designed a little sampler to show you a few of my favourite stitches.


What you need to bring:

  • A square of fabric (white/neutral is best, however a light print such as a dot, stripe or text is fine too) – it should be at least 6 inches square.
  • Printed design sheetFOUND HERE. Spare copies will be available on the night. If you have the chance you can transfer the design to your fabric before the meeting.
  • Your favourite embroidery needle. Its got to be sharp and pointy with a big eye to thread the floss through.
  • Embroidery floss – Choose your poison. DMC, Anchor, Sublime Floss, Perle 8 etc are all great choices. You can bring as little or as many colours as you wish.
  • Transfer pen – I love the Frixon pens, but you can use a pencil, fine pen, blue washable pen. As long as it can be hidden under the stitches or removed.
  • Scissors. Nothing fancy, just good old fashioned snippers will do.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Thursday, 7:30 at the Civic Library as usual. Don’t forget to bring your latest projects for show and tell!