An update from the CQ President: COVID 19

March 23, 2020 | Posted in Cook premises, CQ Administration, Member News | By

The following message was sent via email earlier this evening. Apologies if you get it twice.


In view of the most recent announcement of the Prime Minister, the Committee and I have sadly decided that all Canberra Quilters’ activities at Cook will be suspended for the time being.  Regretfully the increasing risk to our members has now reached a point where this action needs to be taken.

This suspension will take effect from today and relates to all Special Interest Groups, drop-ins, sew-ins and friendship group meetings.  This also includes all night and day meetings, and includes the AGM which was scheduled for 2 April.  Janice Nangle our Workshop Coordinator will be in touch with members booked to undertake workshops.

For members who are not aware, our Exhibition dates have moved to 10-13 September 2020 which coincides with Floriade.  Further information will be circulated by the Exhibition Coordinator regarding any date changes for entries.

The length of this suspension of activities is uncertain at this time.  Once the Committee has had an opportunity to consider the impact of the directive on the closure of non-essential activities, a further Bulletin will be circulated.

I encourage members to stay in contact with each other either by email or by phone or by virtual means. This may be an opportunity to use Messenger to chat to each other or to use one of the other platforms such as WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Discord etc. to keep in touch.

I would like to thank Canberra Quilters members for cooperating with, and implementing changes, as they have been put in place.

Raylee Bielenberg

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Change of dates due to COVID-19 : Aerie Retirement Village

March 20, 2020 | Posted in Member News | By

In the last newsletter there was an offer from the Aerie Retirement Village at Narrabundah. Dates have now changed.

Change of dates due to COVID-19

Please note that this visit has now been postponed to Thursday 10 September – 10:30am to 12:00 noon.

Is Anyone Interested In Finding Out What An Over 55 Independent Living Retirement Village Is? – And Fund Raising For CQ At The Same Time!
The managers of the Aerie Retirement Village in Narrabundah are offering us the opportunity to have a look at the Village (no big sell just a morning tea and a chance to have a look around the facilities). As part of their Community Connect Program they are offering a $500 Visa gift voucher donation to Canberra Quilters if we have at least 15 people come along. We think we should be able to get a big enough crowd to obtain the donation for CQ.
Details are:
Date: postponed from Wednesday 25 March TO Thursday 10 September
Address: Aerie Retirement Village, 265 Goyder St Narrabundah
Meet at Villa 21, the Display Villa at for a 10:15 for a 10:30 start (car parking spaces are a bit limited so if you park at Red Hill shops I will meet you there at 10am and drive you the short distance to the Aerie).
RSVP by Wednesday 18 March: Thursday 3 September (evening meeting) Please let me know if you are planning on coming along just so we can give them an idea of how many to cater for the morning tea (and so I know if we need extra people to come along).

Marcia McKinnon
0414290234 or

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A message from the CQ President: COVID19

March 15, 2020 | Posted in Member News | By

The following was delivered by email to members yesterday. Apologies if you get the message twice.

14 March 2020


On Friday, 13 March, several members of the Committee and I met with Ms Kathy Ragless, AM, Director of Companion House and some key members of her staff.  Members from HAGSOC were also present.

Ms Ragless advised that Companion House had activated its pandemic plan which could have a flow-on impact to other tenants of Block “C” at Cook.  She advised that among its many services, Companion House is a functioning medical facility and has set up a room for its clients who may be experiencing respiratory issues.  Where possible, these clients are met in the carpark and escorted to the room, however some clients may attend Companion House in the usual manner by coming in through the front door.

While the number of clients currently being assessed by Companion House for possible symptoms of COVID-19 are low, should there be an increase, Companion House or the ACT Government may seek to utilise the Hall.  Canberra Quilters will be provided with ample notice should this occur.

There are some actions that Canberra Quilters members should be undertaking now – not only for their own health, but in consideration of other members.

Members with Caring Responsibilities
Feeling Unwell
Canberra Quilters’ Meetings and the AGM
The Room
Local Events
Closure of the Building


If any member has recently travelled overseas, or been in contact with anyone who has travelled overseas, the Committee would ask that member not to attend any meetings for a minimum of 14 days on their return to Australia.  While the Committee accepts the member may not be unwell, we do need to ensure that all members remain healthy.

The Committee is aware that many institutions are also cancelling domestic travel.  We do not wish to restrict members who may have travelled within Australia, but please be aware of anyone you come into contact with and any impact on your health.  If you do not feel well on return to Canberra, please do not attend any meetings.

Members with Caring Responsibilities

Members who undertake the role of primary carer should give consideration as to whether they continue coming to meetings.  The Committee does not wish to ask these members to not attend, but we do ask them to give close consideration to any possible risk to the individual for whom they are caring and make an informed decision as to whether they should continue attending Canberra Quilters’ meetings.  We appreciate this may be a difficult decision but we encourage all members to monitor all health warnings as they are issued.

Feeling Unwell

Again, if any member feels unwell generally, the Committee would ask that member not to attend any meetings at Canberra Quilters until they have recovered.  The illness may not be related to COVID-19 but in the interests of all members, it is preferable that unwell members remain at home.

Canberra Quilters’ Meetings

Hall – at this time, the hall is available for use and Wonderful Wednesday and evening meetings will continue.  As the situation may change at short notice, please keep an eye on messages from our Bulletin or blog.  Our social media sites will also be updated.   Please share all messages – including this one – as widely as possible, particularly with those members who do not have access to the electronic messages.

We anticipate the AGM in April will go ahead but if the Hall becomes unavailable, we may need to hold it in our room or in the corridor of Block “C”.  For the ongoing running of Canberra Quilters, it is legally required that the adjourned AGM go ahead and we urge members to attend so that a quorum can be established.

The Room – while the building is open, Canberra Quilters plans to operate as normal but we do require a few additional processes.

  •  If a room coordinator needs to step back due to their caring responsibilities, own health issues or for any other reason, please let Cornelia, Room Bookings Coordinator know so that opening/closing arrangements can be maintained. Contact details for the Room Bookings Coordinator are or 62956214 where a message can be left.
  • Hand sanitiser has been placed in the room – please use this on arrival at the room, and after going to the toilet upon re-entering the room.Companion House will ensure the shared toilets are cleaned regularly to avoid any contamination, and members may wish to use the disabled toilet adjacent to the room.
  •  Please do not overcrowd the room.It is important to ensure the room is well ventilated and that members have sufficient space between each other. Again, if you do not feel well please do not attend the meeting at all. If you become unwell during a meeting, please let the room coordinator know and leave as quickly as possible.
  • Should you use any of Canberra Quilters sewing machines, please ensure they are wiped down after use using a wipe or a damp disposable paper towel.
  • At the end of the session, the last person out (usually the room coordinator) should wipe down the door handles to the room (inside and outside). If wipes are not available, warm water with detergent and a disposable paper towel should be used.

The Committee realises that these steps may sound tedious but it is in the interests of the health and wellbeing of all members that we need to introduce these requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic to minimise any cross infection of members.

Local Events

Noting the Prime Minister’s comments made late Friday afternoon that it is recommended that gatherings with more than 500 participants be not held, Canberra Quilters intends to liaise with the organisers of Craft Alive and be guided by their intentions.  There is still some time before the event is due to be held, but in view of the lead time needed to advise stall holders, sponsors, and the public, the event may not go ahead.  Once confirmation is received the Committee will formally advise members whether the display will or will not proceed.

I have just received advice from Expertise Events that AQC will be postponed to later in the year – with proposed dates of 20-23 August which follows closely on the scheduled dates for our Exhibition.  It is too early to assess any potential impact on our Exhibition at this stage but the Committee will closely monitor developments and liaise with Expertise Events as appropriate.  In the interim we encourage members to continue to complete their quilts and items for the Exhibition and Sales Room.

Closure of the Building

Should the ACT Government decide to close the building members and groups may wish to consider how they intend to keep in touch.  Do they wish to meet elsewhere (a member’s home), communicate by email or use virtual technology.  The Committee recognises that social interaction is a key reason members belong to Canberra Quilters and we would like this to continue in some form or other.  Should the building be closed, we hope it will only be for a short time.  The Committee, through the Room Bookings Coordinator, will keep you informed.

The Committee and I encourage you all to take care, look after your own health and be conscious of the impact that any cross infection may have on other Canberra Quilters members.

Raylee Bielenberg

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ROWmakers Design group – 2020 is the 10th year!

February 23, 2020 | Posted in Row-by-row Challenge | By

The ROWmakers is a design group that meets once a month on the second Wednesday, February – December. The purpose of the group is to design and make a unique quilt or quilt-related project, over the course of the year, using ingredients drawn at random each month.

This year is the 10th year this has been run and the ingredients fall into three categories – colour, shape and theme. The latter has new options and is based on social themes. Each month one item is drawn from each category. The first combination is Pink / Octagon / Legend or Myth

As mentioned in the email from our co-ordinator, Joanne …

 A bit of a challenge, but don’t feel daunted. Pink can be anything from the palest ice pink to the darkest burgundy and it counts if there’s only a dot. Any eight- sided figure can count as an octagon. (I’m planning an elongated one.) The easiest to do is the snowball block. (Blame my friendship group for this one – I needed a twelfth shape and this is what we came up with.) And myths and legends can include anything from Ancient Greek myths to urban myths to present-day sporting “legends” to witches and black cats (what I’m using in my Cat quilt). 

We came up with some other approaches:

  •  Children’s quilts were popular so Fairy Tales/Nursery Rhymes, Cartoons or Movies would be an option for the whole year.
  • Liz suggested if you wanted to do a travel quilt you could chose TV Shows and use “Getaway”.
  • Song lyrics was another suggestion. (“Somewhere over the Rainbow” – and then you could just do the colour!) Another was to base a quilt on the work of a favourite artist.
  • I’m doing a Cat quilt and finding cats in each theme. You could do the same for a House quilt or a Christmas quilt. 
  • You can expand the scope of the category. Zodiac could be western star signs, Chinese horoscope animals, the associated elements (earth, fire, air, water, metal, wood) and the associated gemstones, flowers and colours.
  • Or you could do what a couple of our members have been known to do and ignore the whole category. And then someone in the group will see the block and come up with a connection anyway!I hope everyone has fun and if you’re stuck there’s always Google. (I googled cats and myths and got witches – easy.) 

The next meeting is on Wednesday 11 March, 10am for a 10.30am start, in the CQ room at the Cook Community Hub. It is followed by a drop-in, until 4pm. So you can stay all day to sew.

The full list of ‘rules’ and instructions is available here. (ROW=Rowdy on Wednesday)

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Tea Lady drop-in (Dear Jane group) – 29 January

January 27, 2020 | Posted in Drop-in | By

This Wednesday, 29 January, is the 5th Wednesday so it is time for a tea lady drop in. This year Christine is hosting the day with a focus on making Dear Jane quilts. It is like a support group for Dear Jane makers.

Here is a message from Christine:

Morning ladies, how is your Dear Jane coming along? I’m  a bit overwhelmed by all the tiny pieces and so, haven’t done a stitch!
However,  I am looking forward to seeing how you have progressed, since we last met.
Our next scheduled meeting is next Wednesday, 29 January 2020, at 10amfor 10.30 start. We will have show and tell, introduce new members and perhaps discuss any issues you are having, to see if someome can find a solution. The rooms will be open until 4pm, so bring your lunch along and stay all day if you can.
I must remind you that you must be a current member of Canberra Quilters to continue in this group and to use our facilities.

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Congratulations to member Wendy Saclier

January 26, 2020 | Posted in Member News | By

Congratulations to CQ founding member Wendy Saclier, for being awarded a medal in the Order of Australia, announced today.
Details of the bio:
Ms Wendy Anne SACLIER, Curtin ACT 2605
For service to the creative arts, and to women.
* Canberra Quilters Founding Member, 1976.
* National Council of Women Australia Member, since 2002.
President, 2010-2013.
* Member, Queen Elizabeth II Family Centre, since 1994.
* Volunteer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, since 2007.

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Sponsor News- Fabric Sale

January 21, 2020 | Posted in sponsor news | By

One of Canberra Quilters’ sponsors (Robyn Cawdron) is having a fabric sale, starting this Friday and running over the long weekend.


Patchwork Fabric Sale 20% off most fabrics
(excludes already reduced fabrics, reproduction and toile)
Over 100 bolts at $12/m
Friday 24th Jan – Monday 27th Jan 10am -3pm daily
1 Mault Place Monash
Ph – 0411989391 for details


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First meeting of the year – Wonderful Wednesday, 15 January 2020

January 13, 2020 | Posted in Drop-in, Meetings | By

The first meeting of the year is this Wednesday, 15 January, in the Hall at the Cook Community Hub, from 9.30am until 12.30pm.

Canberra Quilters has resumed the normal schedule of meetings, drop-ins and special interest group get togethers. You can check the calendar on the website here or in the newsletter, Connecting Threads.

The meeting is followed by a drop-in at the Canberra Quilters room. The library is open for the first half of the drop-in. This drop-in is also when the English Paper Piecing (EPP) Group meets. The EPP Group is for members who like to do English Paper Piecing – learning from each other, getting help or working on a current project. You don’t have to be part of this group to come to the drop-in.

Don’t forget to bring something for show & tell. The ROWmakers group will be showing efforts from previous years. This will be the 10th year that this group has been meeting.

For new members, Wonderful Wednesday is held on the third Wednesday of each month except December, normally in the Hub Hall from 9.30am till 12.30pm. It is a good opportunity to do some handwork and meet for a chat. We have Raffles, Lucky Door Prize, and Name Badge Draw, some of the most wonderful morning tea fare and a themed Show and Tell plus the regular Show and Tell.

If you are a newcomer or you haven’t been for a while PLEASE come and sit at Christine’s table (WW convener) where ever that may be, until you get better acquainted with the other members.

Quilt in banner is Flowers for Zoe by Lyn Keoghan, exhibited in the 2019 Members’ Exhibition.

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A Message from the CQ President- Bushfire Response

January 12, 2020 | Posted in member activity, QFO | By

This morning members would have received the following in an email from our President, Raylee Bielenberg:

Our New Year has been smothered in smoke and full of concern for those affected by the bushfires.  Many of us have friends and family in the areas that have been burned or are still in danger from the fires.

It is hard to sit still and many want to contribute to the well being of those affected.

We have collated a number of links for you to explore in order to contribute or donate as you choose, however…

As a group our skillset sets us up for help after the communities start to recover and our QFO group is ideal for this.

Can I encourage everyone to consider making a quilt to be completed through our QFO group.  If we can concentrate our efforts in this area then we will be best placed to respond quickly to the call for quilts to go to those who have lost so much.

Many of you are probably acting ahead of this email and have started making. Thank you. We will need everyone who is able to help to do so and together we can have some comforting quilts ready to send when the time is appropriate. Makers, quilters and binders, everyone can be part of the quilts journey from Canberra Quilters to those who can use a hug in the form of a quilt.

There are various charities that are collecting items to send to help communities get back on their feet, but there is also the issue of storing and distributing those items.  The time for quilts will come when those who have lost their homes and livelihood need both the warmth and comfort we can share through our quilt-making.  Many times on the news they have made the point that if you can give funds that is often better than items that create a secondary issue and take personnel away from more pertinent roles at this time.

Therefore we have time to put our skills to great use and build the stock of quilts through QFO ready for when they are wanted and needed.

I look forward to seeing you soon at our February meeting.

Wishing everyone safety and clear air and praying for rain for our land.


Red Cross Bush Fire Appeal – this is a great site for donating money to help at the ground level.

NSW Rural Fire Services – these are the men and woman that are on the ground fighting the fires in New South Wales.

Animal Rescue Craft Group – this is a Facebook group that works together to make things to help with injured wildlife.

Cool the Vollies – This initiative is looking to make 10,000 cool neck ties for volunteers

Crafty Fog Bushfire Appeal – Laura’s mission; To provide a co-ordinated effort to accept and distribute craft items to those who have been forced to leave behind their supplies. The aim is to provide full kits thereby enabling recipients to be able to get working on their craft without having to chasing up missing supplies.

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT

WIRES Emergency Fund for Wildlife – for those that want to donate to helping look after the animals impacted by this disaster.


Port Macquarie Koala Hospital


Oz Comfort Quilts – blocks and tops, or whole quilts for those affected


GIVIT – give items or donate


Quilts of Love for fire victims


NSW Rural Fire Service – for info


Animals Australia – will take your fur coats if you still have any, to use for animals.

(Quilt in banner is Wonder in the Woods by Bronwyn Hill. It was exhibited in the 2019 Members’ Exhibition)

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Erindale Library Exhibition Request

January 10, 2020 | Posted in Exhibition, member activity | By

Elaine White has taken over as the Erindale Library Exhibition Co-ordinator. Here is a request from Elaine:


I am calling for quilts from members for the next Erindale Library Exhibition.  If you have completed quilts made in classes with our own Beryl Hodges, which you can spare for around 3 months, I would like to hang them at the Library at the end of February.  Our ongoing partnership with the Library gets the Canberra Quilters name recognition and publicity, and contributes to a strong community presence.

Quilts need to be a maximum of 230 cm on each side, and I would like the name of the class you attended as well as the title of your quilt.  Dates are even better.

Beryl has agreed to provide a couple of quilts as well, so this will be a lovely way of recognising her long career as a Canberra Quilters member and teacher.  Please email me with any questions or offers of quilts or you can phone me ( details under sponsors in the newsletter).

Thanks in advance!




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