Meet your Committee for 2015-2016:
President: Vanita Roychoudhry
Vice President: Jenny Robertson
Secretary: Kym Colgrave
Treasurer: Veronica Pendergast
Membership: Veronica Pendergast
Newsletter Editor: Raylee Bielenberg
Webdiva: Vanita Roychoudhry
Publicity Officer : Kym Colgrave
General Committee: Jane Frankham, Val Towill, Sheila Schmidt, Lisa Davis
Please email us if you have an enquiry or a comment by clicking on the links.
AMQA Inc Postal address:
AMQA membership secretary & treasurer,
67 Bowden Road,
Black River QLD 4818
Getting to know your committee……
Jenny Robertson – AMQA Vice President
Hello, I’m Jenny Robertson a self confessed quiltaholic from lovely Albany, situated on the southern coast of Western Australia.
My mother, aunts and both grandmothers were all very handy with needle and thread, making clothing, soft furnishings, upholstery and soft toys, you name it one of them knew how to make it. So it was a given that I would get hooked with the sewing bug.
I was the first of the family to make a patchwork quilt and that was out of necessity for my youngest sons first big boy bed. It was made from left overs from all my sewing projects. That was 37 years ago, not many garments have been styled since then, but gosh there has been a lot of quilts.
Only one of the many quilts was hand quilted, all the rest were quilted on my small domestic machine, until 4 1/2 years ago when I purchased my long quilting system.
I purchased it so I could produce quilts to donate to charity. Once I had mastered my long arm machine, I realized that was making more quilts than I could afford to make.
Jenny Robertson Quilting was created to finance my charity quilts and my obsession for making scrap quilts.
I offer hand guided custom quilting, freehand edge to edge and pantographs designed by Loren quilting, together with renovation and repairs to old and vintage quilts.
My biggest wish is that every person who has old UFO in the cupboard will get to that wonderful feeling of achievement when they pull it out and complete their quilt.
Raylee Bielenberg – AMQA Assistant Web Diva and Newsletter Editor
We’d love for you to know a bit more about those on the committee this year, so here’s a little info about me.
I have been sewing for most of my life. It’s a bit like reading, I don’t remember not knowing how to do it, sew that is. I still have my first quilts, cut with scissors using a cardboard template, not many corners match, and quilting? What quilting, buttons hold them together. These quilts are wonderful reminders of some items of clothing worn by our family as they are made from leftover fabric. Things are certainly different now.
As I have been sewing for many years I had collected a few projects that needed finishing, as we all do. Mum and I purchased a short arm machine to complete these projects though I soon found that I was thinking on a bigger scale and after much research I decided on the A-1 Longarm machine. After a trip to Sydney to the Quilting Symposium 2009 where I learnt a lot from those already in the quilting business and was tempted by much fabric and numerous sewing items, my machine was delivered and set up. That was a very busy weekend for us all. Now Mum has a quilter she knows very well, great rates too.
I haven’t always been a quilter; my previous work was in Pathology and then being a Mum. Thomas and I married in 1995 and we have four boys aged 11, 10, 5 & 3 years old. We have settled in Canberra and I use a studio out the back for my sewing and quilting. My two oldest boys have made a few quilts and both have won awards. For his first quilt I asked Jonathan how he wanted to quilt it, thinking of the domestic machine. “I’m going to use the big machine Mum!” And he did. I’m pleased to say they all call them quilts (no rugs here!).
When I was looking into starting a quilting business I was pleased to find the Australian Machine Quilting Association on the web and be able to talk to some one if I needed to and also ‘listen’ to comments and questions posted online.
Sunflower Quilting is my business name and it is a flower I love. I have been fortunate to have quilts come my way which has pushed me to learn and grow in skill and technique. My work is a combination of pantographs and custom work. I love seeing my customer’s faces when they see their quilt top after quilting, and I enjoy being part of the completion process.
If you are going to be in Canberra let me know, the kettle doesn’t take long to boil.
Vanita Roychoudhry – Webdiva & President
I have a background in IT and have worked in the industry for 28 years. It is a high pressure job with constant demands and tight dead-lines. Working full time, with three kids, I needed a creative outlet to keep my sanity! So I tried many things before I became a quilt-a-holic.
I started my quilting journey 10 years ago with small cot quilts and then progressed to large bed quilts. I had tried other creative outlets, pottery, folk art, painting, but I find that quilting is where my heart lies. I love everything about it from choosing fabric to piecing and quilting. I am passionate about free motion quilting and dream up new designs constantly. So I have decided to offer my services to other quilters like me.
I joined AMQA last year as I wanted to learn more about managing a machine-quilting business. The committee has been so supportive and inclusive and I feel like I’ve known them forever! AMQA has been set up for its members, so I am looking forward to serving our members and enhance the association.
Val Towill – General Member
I have been a ‘sewer’ for most of my life & a quilter for about 20 years. I am a wife & mother of 3 grown sons, have 4 grandchildren all of whom have a few quilts each. I bought my first ‘big machine’ in 2003, a Gammill Shortarm & began ‘Bluegum Quilting Services’. I learned an incredible amount about this industry over the next few years, attending an AMQ Conference at Mittagong, NSW where my eyes were opened even further. In 2006 I upgraded to an A1 Longarm machine, allowing much more versatility with the larger throat space. Three years later, I added an Intelliquilter Computer to the A1, giving me a much broader ability with my skills as a machine quilter & is one of the most valuable tools that I have in my business & studio.
I have attended many classes as a machine quilter with local & overseas tutors. I feel this is the best way to improve my skills & provide a quality finish to my client’s quilts. I became a member of AMQA in 2008, maintaining an interest in the development of this association for the benefit of its’ many members. I became a member of the committee in 2010, just a few short months before the first AMQ Festival held in Adelaide. Soon after this I took on the roll of Minute Secretary & I have also been the Volunteer Coordinator for AMQA Quilt Show & AMQ Festival in 2010 & 2012.
Being involved with the committee has given me a different perspective on how things are run with this Association. It has been quite rewarding to be so involved & I look forward to being a part of future improvements & continue to develop this association for the benefit of its’ members.