Sunday, July 13, 2014

July meeting recap


Our July meeting was held at the Stratham Public Library in Stratham, NH on July 12. We had a large and lively group in attendance, with many first-time visitors!

Peg opened the meeting by discussing several business items.

  • Our schedule of workshops and events for our regular meetings for the rest of the year has been planned. Please click the "Calendar" link at the top of the blog homepage to view meeting dates, locations, and a general idea of the plan for each meeting.
  • MQG challenge photos are due on the MQG website by July 25. Please see the June meeting recap for detailed instructions on how to post your photos, if you need help. (And note: if you find anything wrong in these instructions or they don't work, contact Laura and she'll fix/figure it out!)
  • Our guild has been asked to curate a large special exhibit for The Gathering quilt show in the fall of 2015. We will need committee members to volunteer to organize and curate the exhibit. If you would like to serve on this committee, please contact Peg soon.
  • Officer nominations will take place at our October meeting (and voting will be at our November business meeting). Please think about whether you would like to serve as a member of the executive committee! Self-nominations are welcomed. :) A rotating leadership committee helps keep our group fresh and brings energy and new perspectives. 
  • Lottery block tutorial is here. (Make the 16'' size.) We're accepting these lottery blocks for two more meetings, August and September. Please bring $1 per block you make to buy an entry for the lottery. Please consider making a block! The more we make, the more someone will win. And these would be great blocks to win!
Our regular show and tell was replaced by MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge voting; however, some special visitors shared mini quilts they had made. Mia and Elliot came with their mom Kerry to our meeting. Their mini quilts are so bright and cheerful!

 

By popular vote, Judy was our Michael Miller fabric challenge winner! 


However, she already had a copy of our prize book, Playful Little Paper-Pieced Projects, straight from one of its contributors (though she mentioned that she had not yet asked Amy to sign her copy!). So she graciously offered it to our second-place winner--

--Diane! 


First-time visitor Kerry brought along a copy of her book to share with someone at our guild, so it became a third prize for our third-place winner, Jess!


Amy then led the group in a workshop on machine-piecing 4'' clamshells. If you need access to her original tutorial for Sizzix, you can find it here

If you were at the meeting and are planning on finishing up your clamshells at home, she asked me to mention that using fusible fleece instead of batting would help to stabilize and flatten the curved piecing. Instead of basting as usual, fuse the fleece to the wrong side of your piecing and then quilt. 

(Here is Jess's WIP!)


Our mext meeting will be held on August 2 from 10 am to 12 pm at the clubhouse of Riverwalk and Drake's Landing in Hampton, NH. Bring your show and tell and your oohs and ahhs--Joanne and Mary will be presenting trunk shows of their quilts, past and present. Hope to see you all there!

Monday, June 30, 2014

July meeting reminder


Just a quick reminder that our July meeting will take place on Saturday, July 12 2014 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Stratham Public Library in Stratham, NH. Please note that this meeting will take place on the second Saturday of the month, rather than the first, to avoid the July 4 holiday. 

Amy will be teaching machine-pieced clamshells, and we'll be able to make a pieced pillow top similar to the one shown above. Please bring:
--61 charms (or fabric precut to charm size)
--a piece of batting at least 25" square (we will use this for a design wall and to roll up your wip to bring home)--sewing machine, coordinating thread, pins

We will need one person to volunteer to bring an iron/ironing board. There is no need for rotary cutters/mats (I believe this means we get to try Amy's Sizzix cutter!).

Please also remember that our Michael Miller fabric challenge projects are due. Bring your project and be ready to keep quiet about which one it is! A blind vote will replace show and tell for this meeting, and we will be giving a copy of Playful Little Paper Pieced Projects to our guild's winner.

We'll also be collecting lottery blocks! Please bring $1 per block you make to buy an entry. We're making the same block all summer, Happy Quilting's Star Value Block (16'' size) so you may even have more than one chance to enter. This would be a great one to win! These blocks look fantastic and are very high-impact.

Save all of your regular show and tell projects for August. Hope to see you all soon!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June meeting recap


We held our June meeting on June 7 at the Stratham Public Library in Stratham, NH. 

Our meeting opened with an informal discussion of our summer lottery block. We'll be drawing a winner at the September meeting, so there is still plenty of time to make one--or many--blocks and have a chance to win these beauties! Here is the link to the tutorial. Please make the 16'' block size (which is composed of 64 2.5'' squares OR HSTs squared to 2.5''). It's a good scrap buster!

Our July meeting will be held on July 12 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Stratham Public Library (NOT the first Saturday, due to the Fourth of July Holiday). Mark your calendars!

Our Michael Miller Challenge projects will be due at the July meeting. At our July meeting, voting for the Michael Miller Challenge projects will take the place of usual show and tell. Please save all your non-Challenge projects to show off in August. We'll be attempting a blind vote, and the winner will receive a copy of Playful Little Paper-Pieced Projects

Finished Michael Miller Challenge photos will be due on the Modern Quilt Guild website on July 25. To post your photos:
1) Go to https://www.themodernquiltguild.com/
2) Click the "Community" link on the upper right hand side of the page
3) Click Login, and log in with the email address and password associated with your MQG account. You'll be taken to your profile page.
4) Click "Forums" in the upper right hand side of the page
5) Click "MQG Fabric Challenges" (this is currently third in the list) 
6) Click "FINISHED Michael Miller Fabric Challenge" (this is currently stickied to the top of the page)
7) Click the "Quick Reply" button to create a new post. Click the little icon furthest to the right that means "media" and upload your photo. Add any text you want about your photo, and click Post. 

In other Modern Quilt Guild business, please remember that QuiltCon registration begins June 24. All of the information, including a schedule, registration details, and pricing can be found at http://www.quiltcon.com/ . If you would like to enter a quilt in the QuiltCon show, please find information here.


Nancy showed off two rows of a quilt she is making for her bed to try to bust her scraps and stash. It is going to be huge, and colorful! Can't wait to see this finished.


Barbara showed off some bunny wool felt applique pillows that she has been making while her students are taking tests this spring. She kept pulling them off her pile--Paula joked that they were multiplying like bunnies. I love how the slight variations in the colors she chose for the bunnies, flowers, and leaves change the whole look of the pillows.


Sarah is the host for a Do Good Stitches circle, and this is a quilt top she just finished piecing. The vibrant citrusy colors are so "her"!


Paula took some "made fabric" from last month's improv workshop and made a star tabletopper. The bright colors in her work have me itching to try some made fabric myself.


Laura finished a Fancy Fox quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's pattern,


and she finished quilting her Snake Trail quilt.

Laura then led a demonstration of sketch stitch applique, using black thread and a regular machine foot. The first photo in this post shows some cute little blocks that Diane (left) and Mary (right) created. Here are a few more photos of busy hands at work:




It was a good meeting! Hope to see as many people as possible in July for Amy's machine-pieced clamshell workshop. You can check the previous post for details about some supplies you will need, and I will post a reminder before the meeting. Happy summer stitching!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

June meeting reminder

Our June meeting will take place on Saturday, June 7 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Stratham Public Library in Stratham, NH.

We will be having our usual show and tell session. Please note that the deadline for the Michael Miller challenge has changed, so we will now be presenting and voting on projects at the July meeting. Watch your email, as we'll be looking for snack and drink volunteers.

Laura will be teaching sketch stitch applique. (And freezer paper applique, if you've never used it before.) If you would like to sew along, please bring:
--machine, threaded with BLACK or NAVY thread. Machine should be fitted with its basic straight-stitch foot.
--scissors--fabric scissors AND craft scissors. If you have them, pinking shears are handy.
--background fabric (precut to 6.5'' square OR 12.5" square) and scraps for appliqué fabric.

Laura will bring craft scissors, tear-away stabilizer, templates, paintbrushes, glue sticks, freezer paper, and starch.

We will need two or three volunteers to bring their irons and ironing boards. (I will bring mine if no one will mock my grubby cover!)

Here are photos of the blocks so that you can choose your scraps. Your circle-flowers don't have to be dandelions or violets, if you have a fun fabric to fussy-cut! They can even be lollipops instead of flowers. And your leaves don't have to be green.  The violet block takes a 6.5'' square of background fabric; the dandelions, a 12.5'' square.



Looking ahead to July, Amy will be teaching a machine-pieced clamshell pillow. So you can think ahead and save some fun fabrics, the pillow takes 61 5''x5'' charm squares (or fabric precut to charm size). Here is Amy's photo of the project, so you can scheme and plan:


Hope to see you all in June!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

May meeting recap



 Mary was perhaps unaware of this pre-meeting testing-my-camera shot, but I love how it shows off her handmade Alder skirt, her manicure, the Malabrigo she is knitting into socks, and, of course, Pinkie Pie.

We held our May meeting on May 3 at the West Newbury Old Town Hall--a new location for us, but it worked beautifully for our meeting! Thanks to Judy and Amy for arranging the meeting space. Judy, standing in for Peg, who was at another guild's show, opened the meeting with a few announcements.
--The New England Quilt Museum in Lowell is currently holding an exhibit of charm quilts. Find out more about it here.
--The Boston MFA quilts and color exhibit is ongoing until July 27. Info can be found at the MFA website.
--The MQG Michael Miller challenge has been extended. The new due date is 7/25 for finished project photos to be posted to the MQG forum. Our guild will show and tell and vote on a guild winner at the July meeting. 

Our June meeting will be held in Stratham, NH at the Stratham Public Library. Laura will be teaching Sketch Stitch applique. Plan to bring your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies (much like today); your machine should be threaded with black or navy thread. You'll need a 12.5'' square of background fabric and some scraps for applique. A block template will be shared shortly before the meeting so you will know what fabrics to choose.

Looking ahead, our July meeting will also be held in Stratham on July 12. Not our usual first-Saturday meeting, but it will help those who vacation over July 4th weekend to make the meeting! Amy will teach clamshell piecing.

Samantha drew a winner of the Block Lottery Herringbone blocks (hooray for Paula!) and introduced our Block Lottery block for the whole summer. Instead of taking a break over the summer--as the teachers pointed out, the summer is their key quilting-productivity time--we'll make and accept entries of the same block for the June, July, August, and September meetings. At the September meeting, a winner will be drawn. This will give everyone ample opportunity to make a block or four and we hope that the September winner will win a huge pile of blocks.

The block lottery choice for the summer months is the Star Value block by Happy Quilting. Please make the 16.5'' square size. Color scheme is scrappy, low volume, and gray. The tutorial instructs you to press seams open, but Sam says we should press as desired (you may like to lock your seams when you sew patchwork!)


At Show and Tell, Denise showed off some improv blocks she had started with some fabric she had dyed. Her dye work is beautiful! I can't wait to see what she is inspired to do with these after today's workshop.


Jess showed off (top to bottom) a zippy pouch that she made waterproof by rubbing the fabric with beeswax, a Noodlehead Cargo Duffle in some great purple fabrics (find the free Cargo Duffle Pattern at the Robert Kaufman website), and an Echino boxed zippy that was a mashup of two different zippy patterns.


Jess and Mary showed off a huge, collaborative almost-finish: Pinkie Pie. I believe these squares finish at 1.5'' (or is it 1''? they are tiny) and it has been a labor of love for Mary's daughter. Such careful, patient work--and a big payoff!


Laura's snake trail top drags the floor. The pattern is from Denyse Schmidt's book Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration and the background color is Kona Cerise. 


Stephanie made two test blocks for a bee quilt--she is queen bee and gets to keep it! These blocks are the Little Vines blocks by Elizabeth Hartman. (And the background is Quilter's Linen in purple.)


Amy's Oakshott runner collection is growing--but I have to confess, this is my favorite of her runners yet. She designed a diamond paper-piecing pattern that looks improv, and did some dense FMQ in the negative space to add texture. These colors are crave-worthy!


Robin shared a sweet baby quilt she made as a gift. Someone pointed out that the little crosses look like gifts! What a darling welcome for a baby girl.


Judy proved that 1) you should never let anyone throw out your grandmother's "what are these old quilted things?" and 2) sometimes you find treasure when you clean your house. (This probably will not motivate me, as I doubt this kind of treasure is in my apartment!) This quilted coverlet was with her grandmother's things and is in amazing shape.


This log cabin quilt was also with her grandmother's things. If she had showed this and said she made it last month, I would have believed her! What a modern aesthetic this old quilt has. It is backed in a chicken feed sack, suggesting it is a true Depression quilt. Judy thinks the fabrics used are pieces of her grandmothers' and great-aunts' clothing. A real treasure!


Thanks to Robin and Sam for sharing some of what they know about improv piecing. Look at these beauties up on the design wall! As a group they look amazing, but you should have heard the moaning and groaning about individual ugliness. Appropriately, Samantha won the little drawing we did for the blocks and got to take these home. Maybe they will become the treasure quilt her grandchildren will find in 100 years.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

May meeting agenda

How is it that we're almost to our MAY meeting and I can count the number of bloomed tulips I've seen on one hand?

Spring is slow, but May is coming. Our next meeting will be held on Saturday, May 3 from 10 am to 12 pm at the West Newbury OLD TOWN HALL. Please note that this location is different from our usual West Newbury location. The Old Town Hall is at 491 Main Street, West Newbury, MA, 01985.

Our Google calendar has been updated with the correct location and address.

Please bring to this meeting:
--your sewing machine and sewing essentials (piecing thread, thread snips, scissors)
--a FQ of "focus" fabric for our improv workshop
--your May lottery block (tutorial here)
--your projects for show and tell

Remember that Michael Miller MQG challenge projects will be due at the JUNE meeting!

Hope to see you all in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

April Meeting Recap

Hi, it's Amy here today filling in for vacationing Laura. Please don't expect the same quality, highly detailed minutes that we are used to because I am a tad bit over committed at the moment. However, I did manage to get photos of all the show and tell projects...I think!

Peg started our meeting by distributing the Michael Miller fabric for the MQG challenge.  Please bring your completed project to the June meeting.

The May meeting will not be held in Portland, ME.  Instead, the meeting on May 3 will be held in West Newbury, MA in a new location.  Try not to get confused...we normally meet at the Town Hall and the new location is also a Town Hall.  It's what locals call the Old Town Hall.  It can be found on Main Street, on the same side of the road as our normal location, opposite the town library.  There is parking in the rear. The location is 491 Main Street, Old Town Hall, West Newbury, MA 01985.  Our meeting will be an improv piecing workshop with Robin and Samantha. Please bring your sewing machine and basic sewing essentials including one fat quarter for your focus fabric.

Samantha introduced the block for next month's lottery.  (Fail number one, I forgot to take a picture of the block).  The chosen block is a Herringbone block.  The tutorial can be found here. An example of a quilt using the block can be found here. Please use bold, bright summer solids or prints that read as solids. One set of stripes should be white. Section 5 should be 6". Check position before sewing on.

Next, we listened to our speaker, Kevin Quigley. (Fail number two, I didn't take a picture of our speaker). He came to us to share helpful hints about improving our quilt photography. His presentation will well researched and prepared. He took many sample photographs of quilts for us so that the presentation really applied to quilt photography, specifically.  He hit upon technical aspects of aperture, etc., how to photograph a quilt and make it appear square for entry into competitions, how to compose interesting and compelling photographs, and tips for processing and organizing our photographs. Thank you Kevin!

Finally, we moved onto our show and tell. Here, I remembered to pick up my camera!


Peg shared this 1" scrappy log cabin quilt that she started ages ago and finished shortly after retreat.


Kali came back from retreat inspired to cut some fabric up and sew it back together and came up with this big quilt top.


Amy shared her completed selvage quilt top that she was working on at the retreat.


Amy also shared Melon Ice, her original paper pieced pattern featured in the May 2014 American Quilter Magazine.


Diane showed her Economy Block quilt that she was working on at retreat.  Do you see the retreat theme here?


She also shared one of 4 quilts she has promised to make out of these sweet butterfly blocks.


And she also finished this mini quilt with some great quilting.


Sarah visited us from the BMQG and shared a baby quilt that she pieced at retreat as well as a pillow she made as a pattern tester. (I apologize but the pillow pic was blurry.)


Stephanie shared a gender neutral baby quilt top that she made at retreat using the Littlest collection by Art Gallery Fabrics.


She also shared her massive feather quilt top, destined for the long arm.  I think she started this one last year at retreat!


Stephanie also shared this herringbone mini that she made as a class sample.


Nancy shared her paper pieced sewing machine cover and paper pieced knitting bag, as well as the hand knit sweater she is wearing.



Samantha has been spending a little time at the end of each project creating made fabric.  What a good idea!


Mary completed her economy block quilt at retreat.


She also finished this colorful scrappy trip quilt.


Always busy, she also finished this do.good.stitches charity quilt!  Check out the quilting!

After show and tell Peg mentioned her desire to create a collaborative SMQG quilt to hang at events.  She is picturing something with made fabric and will iron out the details and share them through email or at the next meeting.

See you all in May!