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Home » About » Committee – Aotearoa Quilters, National Association of New Zealand Quilters

Committee – Aotearoa Quilters, National Association of New Zealand Quilters

Aotearoa Quilters relies on volunteers who generously give their time and use their skills to facilitate the association, build membership, organise events and encourage creativity amongst the quilting community.

You can contact the committee via email  – Click on CONTACT AQ 

The current committee is:

Valda Sutton – President

Charlotte Scott – Vice President, Publicity, Social Media, Newsletter

Nita Harding – Secretary

Heather Craig, Treasurer

Jenny Ayden – Regional Funding

Cindy Dobbin – Calendar of Events and Touring Exhibitions

Jenny Fagan – Colour challenges

Jo Hollings – Membership Secretary

Sheryl Madigan – Members Challenges

Judie Wert – Website


Valda Sutton – President

In my professional life I was a Fabric Technology teacher in Hamilton. We retired to Thames in 2010 where we ran a B&B for 7 years. I now work as a volunteer/trainer for Citizens Advice and also volunteer for St John in the Emergency Dept at the hospital. I enjoy both jobs as I like working with people and it is great to be able to help people in these distressing times.
When time allows I love to create my quilts/ wall hangings from images I collect from overseas travels. As president of our local Patchwork Club ( Patchwork Unlimited) I enjoy working with others and consider myself a good team player who listens to others, but is also able to make decisions. I have enjoyed watching AQ develop, with lots of new activities, challenges and growth in membership and look froward to being part of that team, sharing my skills and knowledge.

Charlotte Scott – Vice-President

I am a Northland-based textile artist working in both contemporary quilts and textile art. I’ve been making quilts for 18 years, beginning by sewing a hand-pieced tumbling blocks baby quilt for my son and consequently falling deeply in love with all aspects of quilt making.  My current work is significantly inspired by the unique culture, flora and fauna of New Zealand, and usually features a bird or two. I am a quilt teacher, speaker and judge and writer. In my professional life I spent 21 years as a midwife, and have recently taken a different fork in the road to become a campground and accommodation manager.

Nita Harding – Secretary

I am interested in contributing more to Aotearoa Quilters as I have got so much out of my involvement with the group since joining.  I am relatively new to patchwork and quilting and keen to learn as much as possible.  I have been a sewer and knitter since childhood, and also dabbled in fibre crafts such as spinning, weaving and felting, so this is an extension of these interests.

I have been involved in a range of organisations and often served on their committees over the years.  These range from groups such as the local Plunket committee, swimming club, spinners and weavers, and committees related to work activities.  Generally, my role was to support other committee members, secretarial duties, or run an aspect of the committee work such as organising an event.

Heather Craig – Treasurer

My mother taught me to sew as a child making clothing and I started quilting in 2002. After joining Christchurch Quilters in 2009, I spent 4 years on the committee organising workshops, retreats and was President in 2016 & 2017. In 2016, I joined the main committee as Tutors’ Convenor for the National Quilting Symposium Christchurch 2017. I have attended many varied workshops with tutors from our own club and other parts of New Zealand, Australia, USA and South Africa. I have learnt lots of skills and techniques ie traditional and foundation piecing, applique, thread painting, fabric design using paints and inks with stamps and stencils for art quilts. I have won prizes with my quilts in local exhibitions with a couple of these travelling to Antarctica for an exhibition which were featured in the NZ Quilter magazine. I like to do pictorial quilts working from photos taken on walks.

I worked in administration, accounts and payroll then retired early in 2016 to enjoy life. I love gardening, walking, swimming, mountain biking as well as quilting.

Jo Hollings – Membership Secretary

I used to own a shop in Cambridge which I sold as we were moving to Auckland. For 14 years I was a member of Auckland quilters guild I was on the guild for a few years I was in charge of setting up and pulling down the meeting each week.
I was a long time member of the Counties Manukau’s Quilters quilt. I was involved in the education and classes portfolio. As well as doing a term as president and organising yearly retreats for Manukau members.
I’ve been a tutor now for over 15 years. I am now living in Napier with my husband two cats and a spoiled dog. I am still teaching locally and distantly.
And am a member of the Hawke’s bay Patchworkers.
Also I’m a member of the local art society and am a member of the committee.

Cindy Dobbin – Events Calendar and Travelling exhibitions

Having been an educationalist for 43 years makes me believe I can bring a raft of skills to AQ’s committee and engage members in welcoming and meaningful ways. I have been Quilting since I discovered it while in Auckland during the period 1971-3.
I live on a small farmlet in Opunake with husband Murray and dog Tia. I have two sons with four grandchildren between them.

Jenny Ayden – Regional Funding

My patchwork and quilting journey began around 1990, when a colleague asked if I would go to a Patchwork night class with her. I became a member of the Auckland Quilters Guild which continued until I moved out of Auckland 2 years ago. I joined Manukau Quilters Guild when it began and spent more than 10 years on the committee including two terms as the President. During my time as President there were weekend retreats and quilt shows which needed organising. I enjoyed my time on the committee.  However, I believe that for Guilds to continue to grow there needs to be new ideas and new people to keep it moving.

When I retired two years ago I moved to Thames and am enjoying becoming involved in local patchwork and craft groups.

Jenny Fagan – Colour Challenges

In the early 1990’s I took a quilting class at the New Lynn Sewing Centre (Janome) and have been bitten by the quilting bug ever since.

My husband and I retired to Blenheim in 2013, and two years later I was introduced to Friends of the Barn (who make Charity Quilts), Spring Creek Friday group, then Marlborough Quilters.  I have been an active member in all three groups.

I love scrap quilts and applique but enjoy trying new techniques all the time. I upgraded my sewing machine 6 years ago to be able to quilt with a larger throat. I enjoy free motion quilting and always trying new designs. I have made several quilts for family and myself and sold several at my Stall at the Picton Cruise Ship Markets along with table runners, wall hangings, etc.

I have been involved with Marlborough Quilters for past 8 years.  I was a committee member for two years then took a break and returned to the position of Convenor for the past three years. I have also been the Convenor for our Exhibition for the past three including this year’s (held every two years).

Sheryl Madigan – Members Challenges

I did my first ever patchwork way back in the 70s – hexagon cushion covers made from all sorts of 60’s fabrics. In the mid-80s I met Gwen Wanigasekara through Playcentre and she took me to my first Waikato Patchworks and Quilters Guild meeting. I was involved with the Guild all through the 90s and was a reasonably prolific quilter, exhibiting and even doing a little tutoring under the name Sheryl Nagels. My priorities changed when my marriage ended at the beginning of the new century. I had a house to renovate and a new job to focus on. Quilting since about 2004 has taken a back seat although there was always a project in the background. Now in retirement, I am excited to have the time and energy to be creative again.
My first ever quilt was your classic traditional sampler but I have made nothing that traditional since. I have always loved Amish quilts, specifically their simplicity and modern aesthetic. I am drawn to abstract contemporary art quilts but also love quilts made with a traditional block or element that has been reinterpreted in a modern way.
I moved to Athenree, Waihi Beach, when I retired in 2020 and belong to Beach Quilters and the local AQ group plus a group that makes quilts for community organisations.

Judie Wert – website

I started quilting in 1995 while I was living in Hamilton. I attended my first quilting class run by Donna Ward in 1996. I also joined the Waikato Patchwork & Quilters guild either that year or early in the next year. Over the years, I’ve made well over 200 quilts of various sizes. I discovered early on that hand quilting was not my thing. In 2007, I moved to Christchurch and joined both the Canterbury Patchwork & Quilting guild and Christchurch Quilters. I also rejoined Aotearoa Quilters about then as well. In 2014 I bought a long arm quilting machine. I still feel like I’m learning how to use it. At the end of 2021 we retired and moved up to Katikati. I’ve joined the Waihi Beach Quilters and, now that my mother is finally in a rest home, I hope to be able to at least visit some of the other quilt groups in the area. I have been a committee member in most of the quilting groups that I have belonged to, so I feel it is about time I volunteered to be on the Aotearoa Quilters committee.