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? 😛

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?

Sewing day!!! Sunday 10 August

Come and join us! Our next sewing day is on Sunday.

When: Sunday 10 August from 9am to 4pm.
Where: Addicted to Fabric, 25 Dundas Court Phillip.
Cost: Members $4, Non-Members $15.
RSVP: 8 August here in the comments section.
Bring: Your sewing supplies, your own lunch and something to share for morning/afternoon tea (optional).

Come along for the whole day or just part of the day. There’s only limited space for machines (about 10 spots). There’s also lots of room for hand sewing, a huge cutting table and a design wall. It’s a great way to see your work in progress in a new light….Hope to see you on Sunday!

Next meeting – 24 July 7.30 pm

Hi everyone!

How is everyone going with their Michael Miller challenge projects? We’re really looking forward to seeing what everyone has been working on. Here’s a little sneak peek of Crystal’s improv circles! So, only another week to stitch down your binding, or whatever else you may need to do to finish, and at the meeting on Thursday we will vote for our favourites. The victor will win a prize donated by Polka Dot Tea – two metres of Cotton Couture solids of the winner’s choice.

And of course there’ll be a vote of a different kind – to elect our new committee. Everyone should have received an email from our returning officer Georgie Kelley asking for nominations. If you haven’t received the info, and/or would like to nominate yourself, or someone else (with their permission), please send an email to Georgie –  If you’re not able to make it to the meeting, you can still vote. Just make sure you let Georgie know.

See you on Thursday!

Crystal MM challenge

Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair

The lovely Queanbeyan Quilters have let us know that they have chartered a bus to go to Sydney for the Craft and Quilt Fair and they would love to share their offer with our members. The members of this Guild are super friendly, I think would be a great way to get to the show.


Date :: Saturday 12th July

Cost :: $60, entry ticket included

Departs :: The Q car park at 6 am, can arrive from 5.30am – the bus will leave as soon as everyone is there.

Stops :: McDonald’s Sutton Forest both ways for breakfast and dinner.

For tickets or other enquiries, please contact Queanbeyan Quilters directly via their email address ::


Our first 2014 sewing day is coming up, will you be joining us? Our last sewing day was so much fun and we are looking forward to this one!

When: Sunday 22 June from 9am to 4pm.
Where: Addicted to Fabric, 25 Dundas Court Phillip.
Cost: Members $4, Non-Members $15.
RSVP: 12 June here in the comments section.
Bring: Your sewing supplies, your own lunch and something to share for morning/afternoon tea (optional).

As mentioned at our last meeting, there is only space for a limited number of machines so we will need to share the spaces through the day if we get more than around 12 people coming along. The shop has plenty of space though so people are welcome to bring hand sewing, basting, binding and cutting projects as well. There will be plenty to do, we can’t wait to see you all in action!

May Meeting and some news!

Danielle Plus

Another month gone by and it’s meeting time again! First up, the meeting details:

This month we are going to have a BYO project night.

We are expecting to have a large show and tell as there will quite a few quilts that were exhibited in Berry to get through (those who exhibited, please do bring your quilt along).

Also, we have received the Michael Miller Challenge fabrics to distribute so we’ll have those to cut and hand out.

With all that will be happening, we thought it would be good timing for a BYO sewing night – bring your own hand work project to work on. Anything you can work on by hand, for example some binding or hand piecing, quilting, or perhaps it could be a good opportunity to get those labels on your quilts!

Now, onto the exciting part, our news!!!

Addicted to Fabric in Phillip have very kindly offered to host our Guild for sewing days every two months on a Sunday beginning on June 8th EDIT: DUE TO UNFORSEEN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE FIRST SEWING DAY WILL BE JUNE 22 FROM 9AM TO 4PM. We will then be there the second Sunday of August, October and December. We’re very grateful to A2F for allowing us to use their facilities and also really excited to be having regular sewing days. There will be more information at the meeting, looking forward to seeing you all there!

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 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.