Wednesday, March 14, 2018

April Meeting: Charity Sew-In Details!

Hello SMQG members! I know this message is lengthy, but please read the whole thing. We’ll be spending a good majority of our next guild meeting sewing together a quilt top (or two) for charity. In an effort to keep this process streamlined, I’ll be bringing precut fabric kits so we can spend more time sewing and less time cutting.

We’ll be making 9.5” Polaroid blocks with a drop shadow like this:

I’d like to use this color as a background for one quilt and a lovely bright blue as a background for the other.

Each quilt requires 42 blocks if we stick to the plan. I’m not sure how many of you fabulous ladies are planning to stay and sew. Therefore we’ll work to complete enough blocks for 1 quilt before I hand out the other background color for the 2nd quilt. I was able to make 4 of these blocks in 1 hour.

So here’s what I would like you to bring:
- between 4 to 8 fussy cut blocks cut to 4.5” square for the centers of the polaroids (it took me an hour to make four complete 9.5” blocks if that helps you decide how many additional you want to bring).
- sewing machine
- rotary cutter
- cutting mat
- ruler to square up blocks to9.5”
- flower pins if you’re a pinner like me

A note on fabric selection: In order to create a cohesive look please consider centers like these (yes, that butterfly is paper pieced-let’s get creative!):

I’m NOT looking for centers that look cartoonish like these:

This should at least give you some direction and time to prepare. I’ll send out a separate email as the day approaches with a call for irons and extra cutting mats and things. Many thanks for reading this-I can’t wait to get sewing with you! 😊

Monday, March 5, 2018

March 2018 Meeting Recap

Our March meeting took place on Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 10 am to 12 pm at the West Newbury Town Hall Annex. Twenty-one members were in attendance, plus one first-time guest.

Judy opened the meeting with business. Riley Blake challenge fabric was handed out--we have four participants from our guild.

Judy reminded us that the snowflake challenge minis are due at the April 7 meeting. For information and requirements, please CLICK HERE. The word that was chosen is "Snowflake."

Barb gave the treasurer's report, and announced that the second retreat payment was due for those making three payments. Non-members who are guests of Seacoast MQG members are now welcome to attend the retreat. Seats are still open, so don't think you have missed out if you have not yet registered! Please contact Barb if you would like to make arrangements to attend or have one of your friends attend with you. Our final payment is due to the Franciscan the first week of April, so please try to make your reservation arrangements before then.

Two seats remain available in Amy's Improv Paper Piecing workshop. Judy gave a final call to members to register by 3/7/18, and then those seats will be released to the public. Please see information HERE.

If you are interested in one of the Anna Maria Horner workshops, please contact Laura to be placed on the waitlist. There is currently no waitlist for Friday's Mod Corsage class.

The Cambridge Modern Quilt Guild will be holding a public meeting on Sunday, March 25 from 2-4pm at the Cambridge Public Library main branch. This is a community-building event meant to connect modern quilters throughout the greater Boston and New England areas. Please bring show and tell to share.

Kelly collected blocks for the Ventura MQG's effort to support those who were displaced in the Thomas Fires last fall. She and Suzanne finished our group's quilt and were able to show it off at the meeting. Thanks to all who contributed blocks, but special thanks to Kelly and Suzanne for their time, effort, skills, and fabric contribution. It was suggested that we have Spoonflower yardage printed for charity quilt labels.

Laura spoke about her experiences at QuiltCon, which generated some useful discussion about guild goals.

Mary Lee inquired as to the status of the Strawbery Banke quilt show. Paula left with the action item of getting in touch with the Strawbery Banke staff.

Mary noted that the NH MQG has their retreat the same weekend we do, and asked whether we would be interested in trying to plan a game or social event with them. Barb agreed to check with the retreat committee about this matter. Mary also noted two potential meeting locations.

Diane won the lottery block drawing. It was requested that we have lottery blocks more than four times per year. A vote was taken and 12 people out of 21 voted yes.

Stephanie at Crosscut Sewing Company  gave a brief talk about how she got into her current line of work and some of her values and goals as a shop owner. She mentions that her shop offers classes for children as young as 5 years old. She emphasized education and community building as two of her main goals. We had fun shopping for fabric during snack break.

Show and Tell

Diane showed off her 2017 Block of the Month quilt top.

Sue Ann also showed off her 2017 Block of the Month quilt, but hers was basted by a longarmer. Several people were especially interested in her innovative basting technique!

Jane showed off her Elizabeth Hartman fish baby quilt. She used the "wiggle stitch" on her machine to quilt it.

Kelly finished her name tag. Way to go Kelly!

Sasha, a guest, showed off a quilt she is working on based on a data graph a friend made. 

Judy showed her Filtered Sunlight quilt as an example of negative space.

Laura finished her scrap quilt made with Jen Carlton-Bailly's quarter circle templates.

Amy showed her Agave quilt, which hung at QuiltCon and was published in the QuiltCon Magazine.

Jane showed a felt block book made based on Sarah Fielke's instructions.

I missed getting a photo of Lou's show and tell! She was too quick. It was worth seeing; you should ask her about it when you see her next :)

Diane showed a piece she made for a Metamorphosis themed challenge. She used some of her own printed fabric as well as some Allison Glass fabrics.

Paula showed a mini she calls "Ripples and Bubbles." She noted that it has lots of negative space.

Next month's meeting will be held on April 7 from 10a to 1p at the Brentwood, NH library and will be a charity sew-in (no show and tell). Please watch for block instructions and plan to bring your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies.

Monday, February 19, 2018

March Meeting Reminder

Our March meeting is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 3 from 10 am to 12 pm at the West Newbury Town Hall Annex, 381 Main St., West Newbury, MA.

Please bring the following:
--Regular show and tell
--Any quilts you have that show intentional use of negative space (for our modern quilting focus)
--Economy blocks for lottery (please see directions in the February Meeting Recap)
--If you would like to shop for fabrics, please bring a way to pay. Stephanie from Crosscut Sewing Co. in Melrose, MA will be visiting our March meeting with a pop-up shop.

Jane will be presenting her House BOM idea and hopes that you will join her. If you are interested, please read information HERE. Let Jane know via email or at the meeting if you would like to join her; she will then coordinate with the group offline to get the first block ready for the April meeting.

In addition, our executive committee will be meeting for an executive meeting immediately following the March meeting. This serves as your official notice of this meeting; please notify Laura if you plan to attend.

Monday, February 5, 2018

February 2018 Meeting Recap

Our February meeting took place on Saturday, Feb 3, 2018 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Kingston Community Library in Kingston NH. 25 people were in attendance.

Nancy presented Paula's Thank-you Churn Dash blocks. Diane made this lovely block!

General Business:
Judy opened the meeting by relaying thank-you messages from the Haverhill family to whom we donated quilts in January and Rosie's Place, which received a check representing our lottery block donations from 2017.

She reminded the group that Sewtopia registration takes place soon (Feb 12 7 pm EST); details can be found at the Sewtopia website. The event is in Waltham November 8-11 2018.

Registration for the MQG Riley Blake challenge has closed. One or two of our members signed up for that challenge; fabric will be coming to the guild and will be distributed as soon as we receive it.

Survey response was good and results will be made available to all this week.

Judy proposed that if a member of ours were to be willing to attend guild-related workshops at QuiltCon, that the guild should cover their expenses. Laura is attending QuiltCon at Pasadena later this month and will be attending the Leadership Breakfast and a panel discussion on Secrets of High-Powered Guilds. 22 people present voted to cover costs for Laura and for potential future guild representatives.

Barb presented the Treasurer's report, and noted that retreat registrations are going well. If you have not yet registered for retreat and would like to, please mail checks to the PO Box ASAP. Please consult the fee schedule to determine your payment. Please indicate who your roommate will be if you are choosing a double room.

Kelly thanked the group for making 18 Perikomen Valley blocks for those affected by the Thomas fires. We will need 24 more to make a quilt of the requested size. If you have not yet made blocks or would like to make more, please send your blocks to Kelly (see her mailing address in your email) by February 16. Blocks should be jewel-toned blue and green, like grass and sky.

Discussing potential layouts for the Perikomen Valley charity blocks
If you would like to participate in the 153 Pillowcases project for the Tewksbury State Hospital Mental Health Ward, please make pillowcases on your own throughout the year. These will be donated at the end of 2018. You may use your preferred pillowcase making method, or you can choose the Hot Dog Pillowcase Method.

The National Quilt Museum is showcasing modern quilters on Instagram. To have a chance to have your work featured, use the hashtag #nqmmodernquilter .

Lottery Blocks:
Colleen is taking leadership of the Lottery Block program for 2018.

For the March meeting, we will be making Economy Blocks. Please make any size economy block you like, paper-pieced or traditionally pieced.

For the center square, choose any fabric you like--fussy cuts are fun! The inner ring of triangles should be a dark solid OR reads-as-solid. The outermost frame of triangles should be low-volume.

If you prefer to piece traditionally, please see Colleen's block information HERE.

Amy has provided paper piecing templates for several sizes:
4 inch   5 inch    6 inch    8 inch    10 inch    12 inch
Please note that you will have to tape together the templates for blocks sized 8 inches and up.

Please plan to donate $1 per block. We are tentatively thinking that it would be good to donate our block lottery proceeds to an organization again this year, but we will put the matter up for a vote at the end of the year.

If you think you can't or don't like to paper piece, the economy block is a GREAT way to get your feet wet. Please feel free to email the google group if you get stuck or need advice or encouragement!


Judy used extra fabric to add interest to this quilt label.

Judy gave a demonstration on labeling quilts and on burying threads. If you would like, please see her handout from the meeting.

Barb shared her preferred Easy Threading Needle brand (see photo below) that makes burying threads less tiresome:

Barb uses these Easy Threading needles to bury her threads.

And I think we are all excited to try the product that Diane talked about for spraying regular fabric so that it can go through an inkjet printer to make printed quilt labels! It is called Terial Magic.

How many people are planning to try Diane's product for printing fabric labels?

--Maureen announced that Victoria Findlay Wolfe will be teaching from her new book in Salem MA in April. Please check out her FLYER for more details if you are interested.
--Essex County Needlecraft Guild Event: Catherine announced this; check out her postcard FRONT and BACK (in case you lost yours like I did!)

Show and Tell:
Judy shared her Spring Buds Improv project from Sherri Lynn Wood's 2015 workshop.
Laura's quilted tote panels are both minimalist and improv.
Catherine teaches a unique method for constructing Lucy Boston blocks (so that your stitches don't show!) and made up this tote to show as a class sample.
Catherine is a graphic designer by training and collects text fabrics. She made this quilt to show off her collection!
Catherine backed her text fabric quilt in minky and quilted it with a text design that includes ampersands.
Patty made this mini quilt for a challenge. It is paper pieced--the pieces are quite tiny!--and even the negative space blocks are pieced with star points in the white fabric. She used only 13 fabrics, cleverly flipping one of the fabrics to the reverse side to get a different look.
Nancy showed off her minimal Flying Geese mini quilt.
Barbara bought Nancy this cute felted wool birdhouse for Christmas. 
Kali showed off her eye-vibrating improv quilt (the background color is Kona Pomegranate). She quilted it herself on her home machine.
Kali also showed off her improv quilt that she uses for free motion quilting practice. She mentioned the "rules" she used to piece it. 
Amy also used "rules" when she pieced her bright solids improv quilt, and noted that many of her favorite improv projects include a set of "rules" rather than being totally random.
Amy showed off her new quilt "Celebration." The pattern is already available for purchase!
Hildy shows off her nametag, and notes that sometimes improv piecing can get rather large rather quickly!
I'm sad that my photo of Paula's quilt turned out a bit blurry. Paula used elements of improv piecing to construct this quilt, which has been a lot of work for a lot of years!
Paula also used this quilt label to show us that you can stitch the label right into the binding when you attach the binding, for extra security.
Sue Ann took Amy's Improv Paper Piecing workshop with her Bedford Guild. She channeled Hildy a bit with her color scheme! (I almost attributed this work to Hildy, but then noted that the manicure is definitely very Sue Ann ;) )
Diane participated in a Dusk to Dawn themed competition. She has been doing a lot of work with indigo dyeing.
This is the back of Diane's first Dusk to Dawn piece and shows the label.
Diane notes that this piece was also for Dusk to Dawn, but she wanted to design a graphic representation of the concept.  If you are interested in the ombre fabrics she used, they are available at Craftsy.

Next Meeting:

--Saturday March 3 at the West Newbury Annex (381 Main Street, West Newbury), 10 am to 12 pm.
--Please bring lottery blocks.
--Demo of basting techniques
--Visit and pop-up shop by Stephanie of Crosscut Sewing Co.

Monday, January 29, 2018

February meeting reminder

Our February meeting will take place on Saturday, February 3 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Kingston Community Library in Kingston, NH.

Please bring:
--general Show and Tell
--Blocks for Paula (details in January meeting recap)
--Perikomen Valley Charity Blocks (details in January meeting recap)
--quilts that show characteristics of "minimalism" or "improvisational piecing" to share for discussion

Several members will be demonstrating quilt finishing techniques: this month, burying threads, basting, and labeling.

Monday, January 8, 2018

January 2018 Meeting Recap

Our January meeting was held on January 6, 2018 at the Newburyport Public Library. It was a bitterly cold day, but we had eighteen people in attendance.

Judy opened the meeting by discussing the due date for the 2017 BOTM quilt tops. Voting was split exactly in half, so those members who are ready with their tops in March will bring them to the March meeting, and those who are ready in June will bring them to the June meeting.

Our guild is attempting to grow our social media presence in 2018. Look for more frequent posts to the Seacoast MQG page on Facebook and Instagram. You can help us by hash tagging your photos with #seacoastmodernquiltguild or #showusyourmqg . One of the goals of increasing our internet presence is to entice national modern quilting events and shows to consider New England as a viable venue. Please reach out to one of the members of the executive committee if you have questions about how to use social media.

One of the national events is already planned for Boston area in 2018: Sewtopia is coming to Boston  November 8-11 2018. Sewtopia is a quilt-retreat-style event with lots of open sewing time. Registration opens February 12, 2018. Please check out the Sewtopia website for more details and consider attending this event.

We are planning to run some technique demos this year in our regular meetings. Examples include how to bury threads, different ways of binding quilts, labeling methods, quilt sleeves, basting methods, and quilting tool demos. If you have a suggestion, or a quilting tool that you love that you would like to demo to the group, please reach out to Judy.

Suzanne won our door prize, which was donated by Amy--she is the lucky new owner of a low volume scrap pack, and a 100 quilt blocks calendar.

Barb gave the treasurer's report. We were able to donate $125 to Rosie's Place. Of special note, she mentioned that the first retreat payments are due February 1! Please mail your first payments to the guild PO box (Seacoast MQG, P.O. Box 774, West Newbury, MA 01985). You may also send PayPal funds but will have to pay a slightly higher amount due to the PayPal transaction fee. THE RETREAT COST SHEET will show you how much money is due on February 1, please consult it for details.

Kelly showed us two quilts that we found suitable for donation to residents of Haverhill who lost their home in a fire. Colleen is also investigating another opportunity to give to a family who lost their home. If you are considering doing some charity sewing this year, the most useful size is lap quilt sized, in colors suitable for both men and women. We have about six baby quilts left in the charity quilt stockpile.

Laura is still collecting registrations for Amy's workshop on March 17. Amy had noticed that her workshops that followed a lecture on the topic of improv paper piecing were most successful, so we voted on the possibility of holding a lecture before the workshop. It was judged that there was not sufficient interest to hold the additional lecture event. Please contact Laura if you are interested in signing up for the workshop. The cost is $42 and DETAILS ARE HERE. You can mail your check to Seacoast MQG, P.O. Box 774, West Newbury, MA 01985.

Due At the February meeting:
1) Thank you blocks for Paula: To thank Paula for her service as president, we will be making churn dash blocks. Blocks should measure 6, 9, or 12 inches FINISHED (so that means the blocks you bring in will be 6.5'', 9.5'', or 12.5''). Please choose any color you would like for the churn dash, and use a low volume background. There is a good chart HERE giving measurements for 6 and 9 inch blocks; Crazy Mom Quilts has a straightforward tutorial giving cutting sizes for a 12 inch block.
2) Charity blocks for Thomas Fire: Kelly is collecting blocks to send to Ventura MQG/Superbuzzy for those displaced by the Thomas Fire in CA. Please read more about the Ventura MQG's efforts HERE. If everyone were to make two blocks, we would have enough to send a completed twin sized quilt block. If you would like to participate, please use the Perikomen Valley Block tutorial to make your blocks in shades of jewel blue and grassy green.

After snack break, Judy gave a talk on the characteristics of modern quilts. You can access her talking points HERE. For the February meeting, please feel free to bring in a quilt that demonstrates examples of improvisation OR minimalism in design.

A mini challenge for the first half of 2018 was announced in conjunction with Judy's talk on modern quilting--PLEASE SEE DETAILS HERE. If you choose to participate, the word we are using is SNOWFLAKE. The prizes are good ones, so get your modern-design wheels turning!

Show and Tell:

Suzanne showing her modern-before-its-time 30-year WIP (finish it, Suzanne!)

Laura showing her MQG mini swap piece

Laura's Liberty Bloom Time quilt

Letty chose to make her tree skirt in colors of green and white, and it is elegantly Christmasy!

For her son, Kate made the Revolution quilt from Amy's book Improv Paper Piecing (the topic of our March workshop!) 

Bethany's hexie quilt started as a "gauge mistake" (her hexes were bigger than she expected), and turned into a lovely modern quilt.

Nancy lucked out in her Bedford guild's swap! She gave her partner some fabric, and her partner gifted her back a lovely tote. Recognize the Elizabeth Hartman Reef fabric from the Crayon Box challenge?