Southern Cross Quilters is an online quilt group for Australians and New Zealanders and expats of those countries.
Currently hosted at YahooGroups, SCQuilters has existed since 1994 and has about 2200 members.

To join the group, go to and read the instructions. Don't forget to tell us your affiliation with Australia or New Zealand and provide us with your location and postcode.

17 March 2015

Retreat is coming to Canberra...

Our latest update from Jan on the SCQ 2015 Retreat committee really whets our appetites!

This retreat is about remembering 1915, not in a sad way but focussing on how it was for the womenfolk, how they taught each other skills and were ingenious at making do and creating a social life. It's not so much re-enacting as reactivating this sharing of knowledge and fun, in 2015 style.

The venue, Hotel Realm Canberra is definitely 2015. Two enormous ballrooms will be at our disposal, one for eating meals and one for socialising. You can stay at the hotel at a discounted rate but other accommodation  is available elsewhere, if you prefer.

To encourage us to learn from each other, there will be no traditional workshops with external tutors and extra fees. This year we have called on our own members already attending to share their knowledge by running either demonstrations or “have a go” tables. There will be a published timetable of what's on, so you won't miss a thing!
Fun activities include:
  • Michelle Law demonstrating how to make a simple skirt – we can all sew the most complex blocks and yet some of us are totally intimidated by the mere thought of whipping up a simple skirt for ourselves. So if you think you can’t make a skirt, come and surprise yourself.
  • Bernadette Brickley demonstrating sock knitting, which had quite a following at previous retreats. Bernadette has many tips and tricks and simple patterns that a novice can easily pick up.
  • Wendy Watkins, professional quilter of Honey Pot Quilting,  giving a talk on how to prepare a quilt for professional quilting so you can get the best result possible and avoid extra costs.
  • Wyn Roper giving a talk on Quilts of Valor. Come and hear about the project, see what people have made and maybe get inspired to make a charity quilt at home.
  • Jenny Bowker talking about Modern Quilting. If you're looking for a change of direction in your own quilt making, or want to attract and inspire new quilters who may think that quilting is just traditional fabrics and methods, this is a talk and slide show not to be missed.
Others are still in the panning stages but will include crochet, needle turn applique and English Paper Piecing (EPP). The organisers are happy to receive suggestions.

Of course, no retreat would be complete without the "siggy swap", a great way to meet new people. Put your name down, make your signature squares and swap away!
Then there are Challenges. Your first challenge is to make your own name badge. Very generous sponsors are donating prizes, so it's time to get started!
The second challenge is to use the block that has been especially designed for this retreat by our own Heather Hanneman. Heather took inspiration from the Rising Sun badge which is appropriate for the era as well as 2015. Instructions for the block are on the website. This challenge is open to everyone in Southern Cross Quilters, not just those attending the retreat.
The third Challenge is “Accessorise like a 1915 Quilter” Challenge. There is still plenty of time to consult Prof Google or your library or even just your imagination, and to produce something that depicts you as a quilter with accoutrements for your craft back in 1915.
Participating in any or all of the challenges is not compulsory, but there are some great prizes. 
There has been a lot of interest in the Monday shop hop, although it's not part of the official retreat. The Shop Hop came about because we realised that people travel from far and wide to come to Retreat and we all love to check out the local quilt shops. For some, it's been a way to fill in time until their travel times. In the past, there have been 2 or 3 coachloads of SCQuilter Retreaters heading off to the shops.
This time we are offering only one shopping bus. We're also offering a Tourist Trap bus, for those who would like to visit our national institutions with someone with local knowledge. A third bus is the Snow Bus, since, for some SCQuilters, Canberra is as close as they get to where it snows. While you may see some snow on the Brindabella ranges at Retreat time, if you want a closer experience, we have organised a coach to take you to the snow, via a quilt shop (so you don’t totally miss out on shopping), and via the Bredbo Christmas Barn so you can pick up a bauble or fairy or two.
 To take part in this wonderful retreat you must be a SCQuilter and have completed the EOI and Registration forms. You don't have to pay the registration immediately – see the web site for details.
Oh and when is the Retreat exactly?

July 31st - August 2nd 2015

Time to plan a little fun...
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