The MQSA Organising Committee thanks all our generous sponsors for the 2016 show, from small fabric retailers through to major Australian and international companies. They include retailers such as Cottage Quiltworks, Craft Depot, Fabric Garden, Frankenstein Fabrics, Kate Quilts, Material Girls Down Under, Material Obsession, My Sewing Supplies, Polka Dot Tea, The Remnant Warehouse and Quiltsmith; designers including Anna Maria Horner, Bill Volckening, Carolyn Friedlander, Lorena Uriarte, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, You Patch; equipment and accessories suppliers Annie’s Designs, Bernina Australia; wholesalers including Blessington, Busy Quilting, Leutenegger, Two Green Zebras, Millhouse Collections, Victorian Textiles and XLN; as well as the Australian Machine Quilters Association.
Fiona and Chris: Two Green Zebras
Fiona Mason and Chris Roche, the principals of Two Green Zebras, have both worked in the textile industry for their entire careers. Chris started in the industry straight out of high school, and since then he has held almost every role in the business – from warehouse sweeper to sales manager to CEO!
Fiona studied a BA in Fashion design at RMIT and became a fabric buyer for Lincraft in the 1990s. She met Chris and joined the wholesale company where he was working. “We continued to work in together in the patchwork and quilting industry until 2011, when we decided to launch our own company,” Fiona said.
Two Green Zebras offers a fresh and modern perspective on its core business. “While we bring you the hottest trends and communicate via the most modern means available,” Fiona said, “you can be sure we’ll never forget those old-school values: personalised service, pride in our work, and quality product.”
Two Green Zebras came about when Chris identified a gap in the industry for a boutique, energetic craft supplier devoted to sourcing premium brands. “I am passionate about seeing the Australian craft industry expand its creative potential.” Chris enthuses, “I’m uniquely qualified to help our customers make that happen.”
“We are very fortunate to represent exclusively some wonderful international fabric brands including Robert Kaufman, Andover, Tilda, Dashwood, Red Rooster and P&B,” Fiona mentions, “as well as working with amazing international and local designers.”
This family business understands the highs and lows of retailing. “We aim to bring some innovation to this industry from a wholesaler’s perspective,” Chris said. “To love an industry and profession after 25-plus years is pretty magical.”
Two Green Zebras has generously donated multiple prizes, including bundles from the Friedlander collection (not available in Australia until January!) for Carolyn Friedlander’s Judge’s Choice award.
Marni Franks: Frankenstein’s Fabrics
Marni Franks has experienced many sides of quilting. She worked for Express Publications where she was in contact with project contributors and working on articles about modern quilting. She also has extensive experience in craft retail, and now as the principal of Frankenstein’s Fabrics, she machine-quilts for customers, teaches classes and dabbles in other crafty things.
“I started Frankenstein’s Fabrics in 2011 because it was my dream to run my own fabric shop,” Marni says. “After working for many years for other people in craft retail and publishing, I wanted my own space to work and design, making my own rules.”
Marni, who is based on the NSW Central Coast, teaches at her local machine shop, Gosford Sewing Machine Centre. She loves to help quilters of all levels, whether it’s with a product, machine quilting, quilter’s block or just to discuss fabrics and patterns. She’s always ready to use her decade-plus worth of experience.
“I’ve been a published pattern designer for the last decade, with more than 300 published patterns, from quilts, runners and wall hangings, to cushions, toys and jewellery,” Marni says. “I love it when I get emails from people who’ve made one of my patterns, or spotted my work in print.”
Marni believes that the modern quilting movement has created a greater variety of customers who come to her. “Those looking for help, supplies or even just someone to talk to about what they are making,” she says. “It’s always nice to see what people are creating.”
Frankenstein’s Fabrics has had a few changes over the years, but Marni’s passion for her work and the high level of customer service remains the same. She prides herself on helping point people in the right direction for their hobby. Named for her surname and love of the classic ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’, Marni’s business was set out to stand out.
Currently on offer at FF HQ are fabrics, haberdashery and quilting accessories, quilt patterns and kits, gift vouchers, custom and pre-made quilts and her special machine quilting service.
You can find Marni here:
Cottage Quiltworks : Quilting on the Northern Beaches
Cottage Quiltworks, located in Warriewood on Sydney’s northern beaches, boasts a wide variety of fabrics: cotton, shot cottons, linen, shirting, solids, pre-cuts, blenders, threads, haberdashery and hardware, and are proud to stock extensive fabric ranges from Liberty, Tilda, Moda, Kaffe Fassett, Japanese, reproductions, 1930 & 1940s, traditional and modern fabrics.
“We have always exhibited an interest in modern fabrics,” says Ariane Johns of Cottage Quiltworks, “so our awareness of modern quilting would initially stem from our passion for all things modern and exposure to modern fabrics in the market. Further, with our interaction across the social media platforms and from our visitors to the shop, our interest in the modern movement continues to grow.”
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced quilter, Cottage Quiltworks is the ideal community to share your expertise, to learn and to grow. “We have created a ‘home away from home’, with our goal to see our special quilting community grow,” Ariane says.
The classrooms at Cottage Quiltworks are designed as a space for comfort, as well as allowing for one-on-one interaction between students and some of Australia’s leading teachers.
“We have purpose-built design walls that can exhibit the beautiful quilts created in our classes as well as high-quality cutting tables,” Ariane says. “Our visitors have everything they need in the one place, a fully stocked shop, the classrooms and access to incredible minds and creative spaces. At Cottage Quiltworks, we are aiming to provide a 360-degree service to assist our quilting community.”
The Australian Machine Quilting Association: AMQA
AMQA was established in 2008 to raise the profile of the machine quilting industry in Australia for both domestic and professional quilters, and to provide support for professional machine quilters.
The association holds a judged Machine Quilting Exhibition in conjunction with AMQ Festival every second year. The AMQA Quilt show is the only event of its kind in Australia, dedicated to showcasing the amazing skills of machine quilters, professionals and amateurs alike. The 2016 show was a huge success and we look forward to the next one in 2018.
There is also a judged members’ challenge held in the alternate year. The AMQA challenge for 2017 will be providing fabric for the pieced challenge, and the wholecloth challenge theme is “Nature in flight”. This is a judged event, exclusive to AMQA members. The competition was introduced to provide a stimulus for members to push their boundaries, enhance their skills (and win some wonderful prizes!).
AMQA facilitates networking among its members through discussion groups on the internet, and has also established a mentoring program. You can also find a list of machine quilting professionals on the website.
Join AMQA today! Entry forms are on our website: www.amqa.com.au
Or check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AMQAinc
Busy Quilting: Helping quilting to shine
“Quilters want the threads and texture of their quilting designs to shine as much as the piecing,” says Lyn Crump of Busy Quilting and supplier of Glide Threads. “Glide was well established as a thread of choice for machine embroidery, by the time that quilters started to use it for non-traditional types of quilt patterns.”
Lyn noticed this uptake around 2010, by which time her Busy Quilting was underway as a machine quilting business. She bought her first APQS longarm machine in 2008, then became the dealer for APQS machines in 2012, and subsequently the Australian distributor for Glide Threads.
“Being a quilter myself for over 15 years, I’ve kept abreast of the trends within the industry through the use of the internet and social media channels,” Lyn says. “I was also President of Queensland Quilters Inc when they formed a Modern Quilt interest group within the club.”
Lyn has always listened to what her customers want for their quilting needs. “As new products have been produced by the parent company, I have made sure that they are available to the Australian users as soon as possible.”
Quiltsmith: A remarkable landscape of fabric
Walking through the doors of Quiltsmith in Annandale is a treat for any quilter. The broad expanse of shelving is home to so many delicious fabrics from such a diverse genre of fabric styles, and the colour groupings shine across the store.
Quiltsmith truly is a full service quilting store. As well as fabric, there is a great teaching space for their popular classes, and a well-stocked haberdashery department. They are particularly proud of their comprehensive selection of templates and papers for EPP.
The new Quiltsmith website – www.quiltsmith.com.au , launched in June, has received great feedback. New stock is constantly uploaded, and Quiltsmith’s aim is to make it the go-to source for Australian designers, fabrics and pattern-makers.
When asked if there was a particular point in time when she became aware of the modern quilting movement in Australia, Melinda smiles:
“Over the past eleven years Quiltsmith has catered to quilters of many different types. It’s been a process, rather than a fixed point in time. Some of our regulars have gravitated towards the modern designers and patterns, and other customers have found their way to Quiltsmith having heard that we stock such eclectic and broad ranges of fabrics; contemporary and modern designers – we stock a large selection of modern fabrics including Cotton + Steel and Art Gallery fabrics, traditional Japanese fabrics, 1930-50’s and 1800’s reproductions fabrics.
Quiltsmith strives to provide quilters with the fabrics they need to unleash their creativity.
“What does modern quilting mean to us?” Melinda asks. “Excitement!”
Sue Miller’s Fabric Garden
Sue Miller is a member of the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild, Barn Quilters Mosman and Quilt NSW which keeps her fully immersed in the Australian quilting world. Because of her passion for “all things social media”, she has embraced the way that the internet has changed the way we quilt.
“I had been following the modern quilting movement online, and when I saw that there was an active group in Sydney, I decided to join,” said Sue, who launched her online business, Fabric Garden in March 2012. “Although I don’t necessarily describe myself as a true modern quilter, the modern aesthetic is more my style.”
Fabric Garden is an online business selling a great range of modern quilting fabrics, patterns and supplies. It’s based in Sydney, wholly owned and operated by Sue.
“I follow and encourage my customers to get onto new social platforms,” said Sue. “Whether it’s using Pinterest for inspiration, Instagram to connect to other quilters, Facebook for its groups and YouTube for amazing quilting tutorials. Anyone taking up quilting for the first time or honing their skills now has a wealth of information at their fingertips.”
Sue believes that the modern quilter is time poor and idea-rich. “It’s not only the quilting style of the modern quilter, it’s also their use of technology which differentiates them. Instead of going to a traditional class, they might download a course from Craftsy or a YouTube tutorial. They buy PDF patterns, use rulers and other tools and are constantly reinventing the way we quilt, so it’s lovely to be able to provide them with a single point of purchase.”
Fabric Garden has also developed a reputation among Aussie quilters for Sue’s great ability to spot what’s trending across social media, and stocking hard-to-find products from overseas.
Pick up Fabric Garden’s information from the show, and check out Sue’s great deal for MQSA visitors – plus she’ll be running a special deal online over the show weekend.
Fabric Garden’s social media links:
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+FabricgardenAu/posts
Bernina Australia: Focusing on the future while respecting the past
Bernina Australia is a long-time supporter of Australian quilting. A familiar logo at the annual Quilt NSW show in Sydney and AQC in Melbourne, Bernina is also the home machine of many Australian quilters and they’ve been great supporters of the Modern Quilting movement in Australia since the inaugural MQSA in 2014.
“Our philosophy is born from the values established by the original owners of the Bernina organisation,” said Greg Alexander. “Being a family owned business, we believe the values of trust, sincerity, honesty and a huge level of care factor does make a difference to our customers.”
Bernina is no recent newcomer to the Australian home machine market. Many current quilters learned to sew on their mother’s or grandmother’s Bernina, and have chosen to continue the tradition. Having an easily accessible range of retail service locations, such as My Sewing Supplies in Kirawee, Bernina Sewing Centre Chatswood or Material Obsession in Drummoyne, also makes the long-term care of the home machine a straight forward task.
“Our goal is to provide a genuine point of difference to our customers,” added Greg. “We focus on the future while respecting the past. Bernina is constantly keeping up with new trends, in all areas of sewing and social media as progress is the most important cornerstone allowing us to play a prominent role in the world of sewing machines and textile technology.”
The Modern Quilt Show Australian 2016 is pleased to announce that Bernina has donated the prize for the quilt judged Best in Show.
Millhouse Collections: distributors in Australia of major fabric designers
Australian distributors Millhouse Collections, based in Queensland’s beautiful Coolum Beach, first encountered the Modern Quilt Guild in 2013 through the Riley Blake Designs sponsorship and fabric challenge for international members of the US-based Modern Quilt Guild.
Millhouse Collections are the Australian distributors for Riley Blake Designs, Penny Rose Fabrics, Sue Daley Designs, Soak, Where Women Create and many more quilting brands.
“We are passionate about the industry in Australia and strive to keep this art form alive for many years to come,” said Millhouse’s Natalie Olsen. “We pride ourselves on our on high end products, on-time deliveries, and customer service.”
Penny Rose Fabrics are an innovative fabric design house for Riley Blake Designs based in the US state of Utah. Inspired by local and international artists, they design fabric lines with vintage sensibilities and modern attitude. Their fabric reflects an elegant feel for colour – vibrant but with restraint – resulting in versatile prints for quilting, clothing, or home décor.
Riley Blake Designs’ colourful fabrics include cottons, flannels, sparkle cottons, home decor, knits, linen and many other substrates in a range of designer and basic prints. Their co-ordinating Sew Together line includes of a range of complementary buttons, rickrack, ribbons and lace, fabric kits and panels.
Millhouse Collections is a proud sponsor of the small quilt category at the Modern Quilt Show Australian 2016.
Material Obsession: primary sponsor and workshop presenter of the MQSA 2016
“We are thrilled to be able to work with the MQSA 2016 show as a place where we can conduct our workshops with some of the industry greats, Anna Maria Horner and Carolyn Friedlander,” Kathy Doughty, owner of Material Obsession (MO) said. “Both of these artists have deep talent in both quilt and fabric designs as well as giving spirits. They are full of integrity and creativity.”
Both international designers are holding workshops on Friday 25 November and during the show. In addition, Carolyn Friedlander will speak at the award night on Friday, and Anna Maria Horner will give a lecture on the Saturday evening, both events to be held at the Glebe Town Hall.
“Being part of the show allows us to meet and greet modern quilters, and understand how we can better meet their needs going forward.” Kathy said. She has observed many changes in the quilting community since 2003.
“We have always been about new techniques, tools and fabrics,” she said. “It has been exciting to watch the modern methods of improvisation, changing scale and layout, as well as big stitch or more relaxed machine quilting take hold in a broader community. What was once ground breaking is now accepted as a part of the quilting community in which we operate and that is something to celebrate!”
In addition, Kathy enjoys the quilting space shared between modern, traditional, art and all the other categories of quilters.
“We are currently putting together kits and products for the workshops and an offering of product at the show. We will come up with more by the show so stay tuned!”