Just a little story….

I’m putting my organiser hat on to answer some questions so that newbies understand a little more on what the Australian Machine Quilting Festival is all about. (this is long – get a cuppa)

The first time I ever travelled to the USA was with an invitation to teach at the amazing MQX – Machine Quilter’s Exposition, run by JL & Mary in Manchester, New Hampshire. Since that time I have taught twice at MQS – Machine Quilter’s Showcase & 3 times at the Home Machine Quilting Show in Salt Lake City, UT. These shows are simply amazing for us die-hard machine quilters with shopping, quilt exhibits & competitions & brilliant teachers brought in to present their knowledge.

A loooong time ago Kaye & Bruce Brown, Gammill dealers in Camden started the AMQC – Australian Machine Quilters Conference. Run every two years on the opposite year to another machine quilting conference in New Zealand that was run by Mike & Lori Neels, Nolting Dealers. I participated in nearly all these as a student, vendor & teacher at various times & they were absolutely fantastic! Essential, I believe, not just for the education, but for the camaraderie found with other quilters as we all know we can isolate ourselves in this business quite easily. Back then we didn’t have Facebook either!

2005 was the last AMQC with the hard working Brown’s. Retirement in running such an event called to them & honestly it is SO MUCH work that I bow down to all that they achieved and gave this industry when we so needed it.

Five years later, one of my customers at the time, Shaz, approached me to see if I would join with her to start up a show similar to the USA ones that we had both taught at. AMQ Festival was born…. we pulled the first one together at Mawson Lakes Lutheran school in only 9 months & the rest is history. Sharon retired in 2015 & I still miss her… but all my students & volunteers make sure that we can carry on.

Festival is unique in that we do focus ‘more’ on the machine quilting side of this industry. However to be able to quilt quilts we also need to MAKE quilts, and we love having vendors with a huge variety of products for us to drool over & purchase. Primarily the machine companies of big, medium & small machines are present coz we all want something newer, better, different than what we already have. It is so great to see & test everything in the one spot! Some of these vendors will have mini demonstrations in their booths, others will present demonstrations on our stage area near the public catering & quilt exhibits, as we can fit 80-100 chairs in this spot. I have just had word today of a new vendor that specialises in creating fabrics with paints & inks & stencils. I’m thinking that is going to such a fun booth with demonstrations & lots of creativity going on.

We have quilt shops, thread vendors, machines, pattern designers, notions (lots of rulers), books, DVD’s & gadgets & more gadgets from all over Australia to make it easier for us all to create.

So when you come to Festival in Adelaide you can simply pay & enter as a visitor & shop in the vendor mall, watch the presentations on stage & view all the amazing quilts – OR you can be a student and pay for a registration bag & choose only the classes you want to and pay for those to learn the skills you always wanted to! The Registration bag fee includes a fantastic bag filled with goodies & a name badge that gets you entry to the vendor mall & quilts for the entire event.

We will have 7 classrooms running classes over 4 days. 2 of them are built on the same level in between the quilt exhibits & vendors and they will have the domestic machine classes in them. We are thrilled that all domestic machines will be provided for students so you don’t need to bring your own with you. One room is going to be full of lovely new Bernina machines & the other with new Brother Sewing machines. All of these will also be for sale at great prices after the event – so if you fall in love you can put your name on one & take it home!

The other 5 classrooms are downstairs immediately below the main halls in the Riverbank Rms 5-8. One large one full of Handi Quilter Simply 16 machines on frames for the hands on longarm classes that we are presenting for the FIRST time. (You can put your name on one of these to take home as well if you fall in love)

2 classrooms for drawing/design/colouring/handwork & lectures and 2 more for Longarm Demo/lecture classes. Machines in these 2 rooms have been kindly supplied by Bernina Australia and Hans Martini – with the Qnique longarm machine.

Please take a moment to appreciate ALL these companies who make the huge effort of bringing, setting up & maintaining all their machines for the duration of Festival. No walk in the park, I can assure you. The reason we do it? IS YOU…. how else are you going to learn, improve, be inspired & desire to upgrade or even start in this wonderful craft of quilting.

Classes will range from 2hrs to 6hrs long & with a few in-between, so when I finally get everything collated & uploaded you will need to study carefully to ensure your scheduling is achievable. The website will have the ability to search for classes based on date, genre & teacher, plus have a full list to scroll through. Also remember that we only do this every 2 years! So take advantage of this opportunity NOW or else you will be waiting for a long time for the next one.

The ticketing system is the same as what we have used for the last two events, so if you remember your password then all your details are still there to simply login & start working on your schedule when registrations open. These are bar-coded tickets that you print at home to bring with you.

I do intend opening the Registration fee/bag tickets 10 days early on 15th March, so that you can purchase that & get it out of the way before the big day. This fee must be paid before you can book any classes at all. The big day is 8am on 25th March. So that is MY deadline to be totally organised – fingers crossed I make it 🙂

Now I have to get cracking on the dreaded BAS’s due this month along with finishing all the classes. Help me please!!!!

Share the news of AMQ Festival with all your friends & groups to get the word out once again. Keep this growing so we can continue to provide this level of event into the future.

did you get to the end LOL????

PS: Don’t forget that tickets to Ricky Tims are now open with early bird pricing for a short time. The Ricky Tims Masterclass Lectures is on Wednesday 19th before the rest of Festival starts – so a stand-alone event that only requires a ticket & not the registration fee/bag.

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