Monday, February 8, 2016

February Meeting Recap

Our sew-in meeting started with some announcements -
Fabric Extravaganza is happening in Nashua, NH on Feb 11. Many members have gone in the past to enjoy the annual clearance event by a number of local quilt shops.

There are also two quilt shows that are currently accepting entries. The Vermont Quilt Festival will have a modern category this year! The deadline is very soon, Wednesday February 10th. Find more info and the entry form here

"Affairs of the Heat" Go Red For Women juried quilt show is asking quilters to use your creativity to express how heart disease has affected you, your family, or your friends. Entries need to be postmarked by 10/15 find more information here.

Our QuiltCon charity quilt has arrived in California! It will be shown later this month during QuiltCon - be sure to keep an eye open on social media to see if anyone posts it. It's always fun to see our quilts out in the wild!

The wheelchair quilts that we made at the October meeting using the Jelly Roll Roace method will be donated to the Country Center Rehab in Newburyport and to the Rockingham County Nursing Home in Brentwood. 

The executive committee is working on drafting some policies- these are going to be mostly a firm description of how we have already been functioning. They will be emailed out before the next meeting to be voted on in March.

We had a really impressive show and tell this month! We make cool stuff!
Kate kicked us of with this pair of cute mini quilts she made using her new paper piecing skills!
Kate also showed off this fun quilt made with novelty fabrics.

 Laura finished the quilting on the mini quilt she was working on last month and is happy to report that the flock dot chambray quilted and washed up great!
Laura also finished this quilt that she started in a class with Latifah Saafir at the Gathering quilt show in November. The quilt is made using bias tape to put on those gentle curves.

A new member, Kathy, showed off some of her creations for us. This quilt was made using a variety of paints and glues to add texture to the landscape.
 She made this quilt using pieced strips and a wedge ruler. How awesome is the optical illusion in this!
 These were Kathy's experiments with bias tape for the Mighty Lucky quilt challenge in January.
Jane showed off the finished quilt from the quilt top she brought to her first meeting. Those flying geese borders really look great! And how awesome is the back too!

Judy made some of the blocks from our sew in last month into quilt tops to send along to England where they will be finished up. Don't all of these economy blocks look like they were made to go together? Another good reminder that it is such a versatile block!
Jane had come with most of these blocks pre made to the last meeting to donate and when added with the economy blocks made at the meeting and paired with that blue solid they made such a wonderful quilt! Some child is going to love it! Thanks to Judy for putting in some more time on these!
Amy showed off her recently finished bee quilt that she made with some friends. All of the blocks are sewing themed! Paula also passed the "high five hand" along to Amy as a recognition for being one of the founding members of our guild, with Peg and Becca, and giving us all a reason to come together. She also acknowledged all of the hard work that she has put in the past year professionally and in writing her book which is due out this spring.

Jane showed off her finished mini quilt that used the Mighty Lucky quilt challenge as the inspiration.

She also showed off this quilt that she made with a FQ bundle originally bought from the Fabric Extravaganza in Nashua.
Nancy brought this spool quilt that she finished, I believe that she worked on this at last year's retreat.
Barb finished off one of our charity quilts from the October meeting for us, and brought her Mighty Lucky quilt challenge block to show. Once complete this will be an ice skate! How cool!

Suzanne showed this baby quilt, and also her "Practice makes you better" quilt that was her first practice piece on her new longarm! Very exciting!

After viewing all of these great projects we got down to business and sewed (and maybe ate some pizza and snacks).

In March we will be meeting at a new location, the Newburyport Public Library. We will be talking about English Paper Peicing, or EPP. Please bring some fabric scraps that are around 5 inches square, needles, thread, and a pair of scissors. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Retreat Payment Time!

It's time again for another Retreat Payment!  We're so excited to have such a large group going this year, and that we've been able to accomodate a few guests.  The retreat committee is working hard to make sure that all of you have a great time.

You'll have a couple options as to how you'd like to pay.  I've added two different Paypal buttons here, one for a half payment (you'll pay the remainder in March) and one is to just pay the whole thing now.  You can also choose to pay via check to Jess at the next meeting.  Either way, payment is due by February 15th.

Thanks to all of you who will be joining us, it's going to be fun!

If you would like to split your retreat payments into two payments, please choose from this drop down menu:

Please choose room/night option:

If you would like to pay the full amount now, please choose from this drop down menu:

Please choose room/night option:

Friday, January 22, 2016

February Meeting Reminder

We will be meeting Saturday, February 6, from 10-3pm for a mini-retreat type sew in at the Durham Pubic Library in Durham NH - this is a different location than we had originally planned on, but we were seeking a location that would be a little bit bigger and still warm!

Please bring your machines, necessary accessories like thread, power cords and foot pedals, etc., as well as your current sewing project! We do not have any specific projects planned to work on, but this will be a great opportunity to make some progress, chat with friends, and get opinions and tips and tricks from other quilters.

Also, if you are one of the two people who still have jelly roll race quilts with you please bring them to the meeting as we are planning to donate them in February. If you will not be able to attend the meeting please get in touch with Kali at to arrange a handoff so that they can all be donated at the same time.

Monday, January 4, 2016

January Meeting Recap

Our January meeting was held in the Durham NH Public Library meeting room. After business and show and tell we made quilt blocks for the #donateablock2 Charity Drive.

We had an update on the QuiltCon 2016 charity quilt. The label will be stitched on this week and the quilt will be sent to Pasadena soon.

The blog has undergone some changes recently with more in the works. Click through to explore what we have to offer.

We had many great pieces at show and tell. Paula kicked us off with this quilt that she started and finished in December that came from a kit from a quilt shop.

Mary showed this table runner that she has been making to give away. Isn't her quilting lovely! 

Nancy showed two finished lottery quilts that she made using lottery blocks that she had won from the guild.


Laura passed the highfive hand to Paula for her hard work this past year as our hospitality chair. Colleen will be taking over and arranging our snacks for the upcoming year. 

Laura had two mini quilt tops that she finished, the first one used Amy's Haberdashery Quilt Pattern while the second one used ShapeMoth's pattern for feathers and a self drafted design for the border.

Colleen showed off her Bright Birch Trees quilt made using the pattern by Crazy Mom Quilts. This quilt was quilted by Mary and will certainly be nice and cheery for the winter months ahead. It even has a nice surprise on the back!

Mary showed this double wedding ring pillow that was to be gifted very shortly. The pillowcase came together despite a number of trials including the need to send her husband to Joann Fabrics for a pillow form – he got the right size and even used a coupon!

 Jess whipped up this quilt top from scraps made by her recent projects. 

Jane got a head start on our charity sew in with these fun wonky nine patch blocks from some novelty fabrics. 

We all got to sewing and amassed quite the selection of blocks by the time we were done. These blocks will be donated to #Donateablock2 which is a campaign by Nicola (@hhhomemade on Instagram) to collect blocks to make into quilts for children at Boston Children's Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. 

The charity drive is being sponsored by Karen Lewis Textiles so we purchased some charm packs of her new line, Blueberry Park, with Robert Kaufman to use. One of these was given as a door prize to Laura who had the winning ticket.

The February meeting will be held on the 6th - the location is TBD. We will be doing a mini-retreat so bring your WIPs, your sewing machines and any show and tell. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

SMQG 2016 Retreat Deposits are Due

It's time to make your deposits for our 2016 Guild retreat.  Please be sure to have read all the information before making your payment using the drop down menu at the bottom of this post.

1) The Franciscan has expanded our block of rooms and we can accommodate all members who answered the retreat survey, as well as a small number of guests, at the 2016 retreat.  Guests of SMQG members will room in a double room with the inviting member, and requests will be handled in the order received.  If you have interest in inviting a guest, please email Jess directly at

2) Deposits to hold your room reservation are due by January 2.  This PayPal button will be posted on the blog from December 27 through January 2nd for you to make that deposit.  If you have trouble with PayPal or prefer to pay by check, Jess can accept checks at the January 2nd meeting.  Please let her know before the meeting if that's what you intend to do.  

3) Please do not pay a deposit for the retreat at this time unless you are current 2016 member.  This includes any potential guests.  Priority will be given to members who pay the deposit between December 27 and January 2.  After Jan 2, we will accommodate guests and late members on a first-come first-served basis until all rooms in our block are filled.  After our rooms are filled, interested parties will be wait-listed and notified in the case that a room becomes available.

4) The $30 deposits for the 2015 retreat are non-refundable.  In the event that you have paid for the remainder of the cost of retreat and are unable to attend, any money that is refunded by the Franciscan for the cancelled spot to SMQG will be passed on to the member who cancelled; however, the Franciscan is not required to refund us for last minute cancellations.  If we are able to fill the vacant spot with another quilter, the cost of the retreat minus the $30 non-refundable deposit will be refunded to the cancelling party by SMQG.

5) If you are sure that you want a double, but haven't found a roommate yet, still select a double for your chosen number of nights.  In the "Rooming with" field, say "Looking."

6) And, last but not least, a quick reminder about all the other details:
The retreat will be April 14-17 at the Franciscan in Kennebunkport.  Our pricing is the same as last year, and includes room charges, onsite parking, 24 hour access to our sewing area, a catered meal on Saturday, swag bags and prizes, and a whole lot of fun.  After this deposit, you will have the option of either one payment due 2/15 or two payments due 2/15 and 3/15 for the balance.  The total price, based on the duration of your stay and whether or not you share a room, is below:

Single room for 3 nights, $324
Single room for 2 nights, $229
Double room for 3 nights, $224
Double room for 2 nights, $163

[Button Removed]

Saturday, December 26, 2015

January Meeting Reminder

Our January meeting will be held in a new location, the Durham Public Library in Durham, NH.  It is located at 49 Madbury Road.  There is parking in the lot, and also more parking across the street at the Oyster River Middle School.

The library opens at 10 a.m., so we will not be able to get in early to set up, but we have the space for an extra hour after the meeting.  The meeting room is on the second floor, and there is an elevator!

Our goal for this meeting is to make as many blocks as we can for a great charity brought to our attention by Judy.

#Donateablock2 is a campaign by Nicola (@hhhomemade on Instagram) to collect blocks to make into quilts for children at Boston Children's Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. (There's some more info here at the top of their sign up form.)

They are accepting old or new blocks. This is going to be a great opportunity to gather up any orphan blocks you may have lost interest in so they can be given new life.  And any quilt tops that are just gathering dust will also be greatly appreciated.

Blocks can be in any color, fabric, or style.  They must be larger than 5".  

These are just some ideas to get you started, because when you can make anything, it's hard to settle on one thing.

What you'll need to bring:

Sewing Machine
Sewing Supplies (scissors, thread, needles, etc.)
Cutting mat
Rotary cutter
Fabric (bright and happy would be nice, or child-themed novelty fabrics, but any will do)
Any orphan blocks or tops you'd like to donate

We are always looking for people to bring ironing boards, irons, and large cutting mats.  Please email Mary ( if you'd like to volunteer.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December Meeting Recap

End of the year business items began with the announcement of the 2016 Officers. Thanks for volunteering to serve!

Mary Gregory, president
Nancy Peach, vice president
Kali Zirkle, secretary
Jessica Benoit May, treasurer

Laura announced a guild pricing discount for the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club from Lucky Spool. This is a monthly design skill builder club. Laura has sent an email to the group asking who would like to participate. If you haven't responded yet, please send Laura an email. 

Our retreat at the Franciscan in Kennebunkport April 14-17 will come up fast. We're finalizing the details on how many the facility can accommodate and will let everyone know how many members and possibly guests we can have. A $30 deposit will be due in January with payments in Feb. and March. 

Judy collected mini challenge quilts to be displayed at the West Newbury Library's fiber exhibit in January. If you have a mini still, you can contact Judy about getting it to her. 

The guild received a lovely thank you note from the raffle quilt winner, Sue Frewert, a member of the Bedford guild. The Kite Tails appeared at the next Bedford guild meeting for show!

Our next meeting will be on January 2 at a new location - the Durham, NH Public Library. We will be doing a charity block sew-in for two Children's Hospital in Boston and another in the UK. We will be sewing blocks only for babies and young children. More details to follow.

The finished Quilt Con 2016 Charity Quilt was revealed! Our "improv with intent" winter scene glowed and popped with the made fabric layout and stunning quilting (Thanks Mary!). A minor bleed through that was painstakingly attended to by Jess and Mary was deemed not an issue so it's off to Pasadena to bring a breath of New England air.

Judy presented Laura with the block's made by guild members as a thank you for her year of serving as President. You did a fantastic job Laura. Many thanks. Judy made the sewing tote for the presentation.

Our annual year end celebration was a smorgasbord of tastes and delights both sweet and savory!! Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake, Artichoke Arugula Souffle Bits, Sour Cream Coffee Cake (recipes at the end of the post) were only some of the delicious fare.

Show and Tell

Sue had a handmade sweater with super cute buttons.

Susan has a friend who likes orange and a willingness to try new techniques on projects.

She showed her tie-dyed inspired quilt for her son-in-law.

She also made a quilt top from the City Quilt book by Cherri House.

Stephanie accented the mermaid with pebble quilting, making her pop out of bubbles.

Sarah showed a joint project she's working on with her grandmother. The embroidered labels are courtesy of Grandma and Sarah is assembling the quilt. A beautiful Sweetwater design.

Laura finished her mid-Century modern inspired quilt with palette courtesy of the Liberty binding.

Her Do Good Stitches quilt is complete and she's aching at the thought of sending it off.

Robin made foxes for her grandson. Notice anything out of the ordinary there? Even the back had foxes.

Diane showed a wonderful wedding present for friends.

A project with spirals and couching.

Nancy won a box of FQs from a vendor!

Judy showed a non-traditional Christmas wall hanging with made fabric tree silhouettes.

New member Kathy Berkeley showed her Gathering project from Latifah's class.

She interpreted the herringbone block without a pattern in bright lime greens.

Kathy had some great stars from a template pattern.

Jess made a thorough study of the Michael Miller Challenge rules and applied them to what was at hand... resulting in two "challenging" Michael Miller solids in grape and tangerine to go with the focus fabric. The puffy batting is tied with various embroidery flosses - fluorescent and otherwise.

The back is pieced with every bit of Michael Miller that was found in her stash.

Tree skirt with snowflakes!

Allison's Shades of Grey.

Mary's Michael Miller Challenge quilt has a very different take on the rules than Jess.

Mary showed her Glamp Stitchalot blocks.

The drawstring bag swap!

Oh the goodies inside.

Laura unveiled her Kona Name matching game. 

Sarah was the first brave contestant to play.

Thanks everyone for an amazing and productive 2015. Looking forward to 2016!


Sour Cream Coffee Cake - submitted by Judy Durant

½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup brown sugar
1teaspoon cinnamon
Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

½ cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together the oil and sugar.
Add the 2 eggs and mix well.

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Combine sour cream and vanilla and set aside.

Alternate adding dry ingredient mixture with sour cream mixture, mixing well after each addition.
Batter will be thick.

Pour half the batter into a greased, floured tube pan.
Add half the topping mixture, distributing evenly.
Add the remaining batter.
Top with the rest of the topping mixture and pat gently.

Bake at 350° for 45 min – 1 hour.  Cake is done when a tester, inserted at thickest point comes out clean.

Artichoke Arugula Souffle Bits- submitted by Marylee Welling

4 scallions, cut in thirds
3 garlic cloves
1 cup arugula leaves, packed
6 large eggs
12 oz. marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. nutmet
1/2 lb. shredded sharp cheddar
coarse salt for sprinkling

In food processor, pulse scallions, garlic and arugula. Add artichokes - pulse. Whisk eggs and add with cheese and spices. Pulse to mix. Pour into 9" greased pan. Sprinkle with salt. Bake in 350° for 30 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Serve warm or refrigerated.