The Committee

The 2023 committee of The Applique Guild of Australia Inc. 

Office Holders:

  • Mary Hitchens (President)
  • Heather Shepherd (Vice President)
  • Maree Stobbart (Treasurer & Membership Secretary)
  • Helen McCormack (Secretary)

Committee Members:

  • Carole Egan  (Newsletter Editor)
  • Maureen Mackie (Chapter Coordinator)
  • Jenny Gibson
  • Sue Pascoe

Mary Hitchens (President)

My patchwork life began on May 15, 1988, with a sampler applique quilt done by the needle
turn method. I had never heard about patchwork before this even though I had sewn and
knitted, from a very early age. I very quickly found a love (obsession?) of all patchwork and
quilting done by hand. Classes with my machine did not endear themselves to me at all. Nor
I, to them. I love the peace and fulfilment that using my hands gives me. My patchwork
consists of needleturn hand applique, reverse hand applique, back basting applique, hand
piecing, piecing over papers and hand quilting. Most of my quilts are rather large and they
take between 2 – 4 years to do. Having said that I don’t machine piece or quilt, it is amazing
what you will do for grandchildren when needed!
I love to share my knowledge and learn from others, but above all the social element that
binds patchworkers from all walks of life, and gives life to many people, is really what gives
me the most pleasure. The people I meet, sew with, work with, and walk with, are those who
have enriched my life. The two things I am most proud of in my patchwork life are my Mary
Mackillop Quilt which is now resident in the Mary Mackillop Museum Art Collection and being
awarded the Rajah Award in 2011.


Heather Shepherd (Vice President)

I started sewing when a child and looking back when in my early teenage years under mum's direction we made patchwork skirts which I now see around our childhood home as cushion covers.

I enjoy all forms of patchwork but in particular applique. The areas of applique of most interest are Broderie Perse and back basting. I'm a qualified Judge and quilt Appraiser. I belong to many quilt groups including Quilt Study Group were we were we learn about the history of textiles and view many antique quilts thus getting to know periods of materials design etc.


 Maree Stobbart (Treasurer & Membership Secretary)

My love of textiles and creating with needle and thread have been with me as early as I can remember.  I started with embroidery and then sewing my own clothes and then moved into various other textile crafts.  Quilting came in my late twenties, and I have gifted most of the machine pieced and hand quilted quilts I've made to family.  Most of my quilts have been quilted by hand as I don’t enjoy machine quilting.  I took a class in applique in 2001 finishing a 20-inch sampler which I framed.  Since then I have made several applique quilts trying different techniques from machine quilting to hand quilting using buttonhole edging.  I have recently finished my first hand applique and pieced quilt which took me three years to complete.  I never have one project on the go and still enjoy needlework, but my favourite is hand applique and currently have two quilts in progress and a few more waiting to be started.


Helen McCormack (Secretary)


Jenny Gibson

I have been quilting for many years having learnt to sew from my mother on an old Singer machine as many of us did, after many years of machine sewing I have recently discovered applique for hand stitching as I find it very relaxing and was pleased to join the Applique Guild to further my skills and give something back to the craft that I enjoy.

I am also a longarm quilter and have been lucky enough to be presented with ribbons at quilt shows for my contribution to the fantastic quilts I have been honored to work on.



Carole Egan (Newsletter Editor)

Embroidery was my first love but then my sister and a work colleague got me into quilting around 2005. One of the first quilts I made was Di Ford-Hall’s Morrell Quilt. I never would have started if I’d known what I was in for but it’s amazing the motivation you have when you really love a quilt.

I have eclectic tastes and enjoy piecing and appliqué by hand and machine but my favourite technique is needle turn appliqué. I love learning new ideas and techniques and seeing how others interpret the same design with different fabrics and colours. That’s probably why I’m a sucker for a sew-along and enjoy making the same quilt with friends either in person or online.



Maureen Mackie (Chapter Coordinator)

I think like most quilters I've sewed from a very early age and did every imaginable craft. I grew up sewing on my mums (knee operated) Singer sewing machine, I loved that machine... but once I had a proper job and proper money, the first thing I bought myself was a brand new, in a box Janome!

During all my years of dressmaking, I had attempted a few quilts, they were fairly basic... maybe a four patch or a nine patch... but in 1999 I decided I needed to learn real patchwork... so I booked into Primarily Patchwork for the beginner American Sampler Quilt... Every stitch was by hand... even sewed the binding on by hand. I remember the joy of finishing each block and moving onto a new block with a new experience... hand piecing or needle turn applique... Now in 2020 I can proudly say... I've been quilting for 20 years and loving every minute.

It amazes me how inclusive quilting is, so many great friendships, belonging to guilds, sit and sew groups, retreats and quilt shows to attend. Friends made here and around the world... all with the same love of quilting that I enjoy.

At present I am a member of these quilting groups... Victorian Quilters Association, Patchworkers and Quilters Guild, Australian Quilters Association, Victorian Quilt Study Group, The Appliqué Guild of Australia (Chapter Leader, Korumburra), Victoria Quilt Appraisal Team, and my weekly sewing group The Foothill Quilters.


Sue Pascoe   

I  began my patchwork journey in 1983.   I made a very simple appliqué sampler quilt for my daughter.
I did very basic quilting on it , however  my daughter was pleased with it.
Next I tackled 1 1/2 inch paper pieced hexagons and made  6 quilts  and loved every stitch.
Today 45 years later I still love making hexagons.
Since joining TAG in 2012 I have enjoyed the friendship and sewing get togethers by being a TAG member.


Committee Roles


  • Chairs Committee monthly meetings and the Annual General Meeting
  • Supports Committee members as required
  • Represents the Guild at events and functions where possible
  • Signature to the Guild’s bank account & credit card
  • Uploads relevant documents to the Guild’s online  document management system (e.g. Dropbox)

Vice President

  • Supports and assists the President and other office bearers as required
  • Chairs committee meetings in the President's absence
  • Assists with special projects as nominated by the President and/or the Committee
  • Signature to the Guild’s bank account & credit card
  • Uploads relevant documents to the Guild’s online  document management system (e.g. Dropbox)


  • Writes the agenda for the Committee meetings including the AGM and distributes them to Committee members
  • Writes up the minutes from Committee meetings & distributes them
  • Writes letters & emails on behalf of the Guild including answering them
  • Collects and collates all Annual Reports from each Committee Member for AGM report for the Annual Statement to Consumer Affairs
  • Submits the Annual Statement to Consumer Affairs
  • Uploads relevant documents to the Guild’s online document management system (e.g. Dropbox)


  • Manages the Guild's accounts
  • Pays all accounts owing
  • Submits a monthly report at Committee meetings
  • Submits financials to an Auditor for AGM
  • Signature to the Guild’s bank account & credit card
  • Uploads treasurer reports and relevant documents to the Guild’s online document management system (e.g. Dropbox)

ideally this role is underatken in combination with the role of Membership Secretary

Membership Secretary

  • Correlates all members information onto the Guild’s data base
  • Liaises with Newsletter Editor & webmaster to ensure that all members are on the Mailchimp database
  • Ensures automated welcome email goes out to members
  • Assists members to access the Guild's website if they are having difficulty
  • Ensures membership fees are in Guild's account or PayPal
  • Transfers money from PayPal to Guild's account

ideally this role is underatken in combination with the role of Treasurer

Chapter Coordinator

  • Assists in the organisation of New Chapters
  • Supports Chapter leaders wherever required
  • Ensures Chapter leaders have information relating to the Guild's Exhibitions & Applique-Ins
  • Promotes the Guild to possible new members
  • Collects images of Chapter meetings for promotion on social media and Newsletter

Newsletter Editor

  • Receives all submissions for articles of interest for the TAGA Newsletter
  • Liaises with the Membership Secretary to ensure that all current members are receiving Newsletter
  • Liaises with webmaster where necessary for technical support
  • Edits & publishes the monthly Newsletter

Event Organiser

  • Organises the AGM (including venue, any guest speaker/s, retail)
  • Organises the Applique-Ins in conjunction with the relevant Chapter Leader of the area (including any guest speaker/s, retail and venue)
  • Organises and co-ordinates the annual Members’ Quilt Display (venue to be determined on an annual basis)
  • Organises raffle tickets and distributes them



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