Thursday, May 21, 2015

June meeting reminder!

Our June meeting will take place on Saturday, June 6 from 10am to 12pm at the Fremont Public Library in Fremont, NH. The address is Jackie Bernier Drive, Fremont, NH.

At this meeting, you might find it especially beneficial to wear your guild nametag. *wink wink* If you do not have a guild nametag, consider making one to wear! There are no rules--our current members have used methods such as applique and embroidery to make their own nametag.

At this meeting we will be holding our usual Show and Tell (hooray!), discussing the upcoming Gathering exhibit and submissions, and discussing the Charity Challenge quilt for 2016's QuiltCon.

Please prepare by checking out the information provided by the MQG HERE. You'll find the color scheme, a definition of "improv with intent," and all the information we'll need to plan this quilt. Come ready to brainstorm a plan--we'll be sewing at our July meeting!

Stephanie will also be demonstrating bias tape applique for use in quilting. If you are curious about what you're in for, check out photos of her Technicolor Galaxy quilt on her blog. Bias tape helped her create those perfect defined curves--so come curious, and ready to hear about how this technique can add to your quilters' toolbox.

I hope to see everyone there!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Recap: Sherri Lynn Wood Bias Strip Curves Workshop

Sherri Lynn Wood's Bias Strip Workshop

On Sunday, May 3, Sherri Lynn Wood taught our guild's very first "sewlebrity"-taught workshop: her Bias Strip Curves workshop. Using a totally ruler-free method, she walked eighteen workshop participants through the process of making continuous bias strips, attaching them to curved shapes, and then "committing" them together into a quilt top.

Sherri Lynn Wood's Bias Strip Workshop

After helping us find our centers, we selected three fabrics each and worked silently for thirty minutes. Silence was more challenging for some of us than others, but it helped set the tone for a day of good creative work, and I found I was much more able to work quickly when I was working quietly.

Sherri Lynn Wood's Bias Strip Workshop

After we made our bias strips, Sherri taught us how to attach the strips to the curved shapes of our choice. She also gave us tips for identifying problems, and stood by the ironing boards troubleshooting wavy pieces. Surprisingly, the answer was almost never "pick it apart"!

Sherri Lynn Wood's Bias Strip Workshop

After lunch we all had one to three petal shapes or half petal shapes to work with. Sherri walked us through some different methods of thinking about composing the shapes into a final composition. She emphasized making one "commitment" at a time--creating only one relationship between two pieces--before you could think about making the next move. Each seam and each "commitment" could not be predicted! While we worked, Sherri walked from table to table, providing composition advice and reassurance, and helping to unstick people who were stuck.

Sherri Lynn Wood's Bias Strip Workshop

By the end of the workshop, some people had nearly-finished pieces; others have a few more commitments still to make.

Sherri Lynn Wood's Bias Strip Workshop

Sherri was an excellent, approachable teacher who produced both productive group discussions and engaged with each student one-on-one to provide customized advice. By emphasizing centeredness, curiosity, openness, and flexibility, Sherri Lynn Wood changed workshop participants' perspectives on patchwork piecing, and taught us an advanced technique that I look forward to applying to my work in the future.

[[Thank you to Amy Friend for bringing her camera to the workshop and capturing most of these shots; image credit for the first group photo goes to Sherri Lynn Wood herself!]]

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Visual Feast - May Meeting Recap

Our May meeting was held at the Old Town Hall in West Newbury. Laura let us know the status of the Riley Blake Fabric challenge (if you don't have fabric by now, it isn't coming) and announced the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge featuring Glitz fabrics - black, white with silver and gold metallic. To sign up for fabric, look for your registration email on Saturday, May 9th at 10am EST. These challenge projects will be submitted to QuiltCon 2016. Fabric ships mid-July and the deadline for entries is Nov. 30.

Next up was the Modern Quilt Guild Charity Challenge 2016 themed "Improv with Intent". Click here for complete details. We voted unanimously to participate. Please read about the challenge and come prepared next month with ideas and discussion points. We will be donating to a local Massachusetts charity. Kali will be the project manager. The quilt will need to be in Pasadena on Feb. 3, 2016 and a blog post on Jan. 14, 2016.

Jess presented the Treasurer's Report with all the retreat financials tidied up.

Mary collected the Greek Cross lottery blocks. Laura won the FQ drawing.

And at long last, the sun was shining, no snow to be seen and a long winter's worth of work was ready to be shown! Show and tell had been on hiatus for a few months and there were so many lovelies to admire.

Laura shared a modern quilt that, though she didn't much care for, was well received.

Laura's first (and potentially last) commission quilt was equilateral triangles in the 1000's (check with her for the exact number!). It's queen sized and destined for a little girl's bed. An amazing and beautiful endeavor.

Laura's travelling quilt featuring a Virginia Woolf quote was a breathtaking collaborative piece beginning with the letters, embellished with a New York beauty, an octagon, a feather and arrows. Mary did the longarming.

Kali showed her retreat finish with V and Co. fabrics set in greys.

Jess' "soon to be bed quilt that matches the rug" was displayed, front and back.

Mary showed her string quilt made from her Portsmouth Fabric windfall.

Amy insisted on holding this peach and grey quilt, appropriately named by Judy "Pointed Statement" because it wasn't bigger than she was. But in fact, it was just as big as she and she remains hidden in this picture.

Not escaping the camera entirely, Amy showed this improv quilt that was included in Sherri Lynn Wood's book.

Nancy's Foxes made an appearance as a finished quilt, complete with Minkee back. (Note that Nancy looks somewhat fox-like peeking over the top.) Next up a colorful geometric quilt top.

Diane's Marsala challenge made an appearance. As did this top, constructed with star lottery blocks she won last year. She also shared some lap quilts from her winter work that were longarmed by Carrie Zizza.

Stephanie showed a top from a Lee Heinrich pattern called Chandelier as well as a Noodlehead Divided Tote she completed at retreat, filled with school supplies for Teacher Appreciation Day.

Mary Lee modeled a fitted jacket she made at a workshop, complete with a handmade Sculpey button.


Traditional Blocks Made Modern Challenge Minis!

Mary Lee's "Escargot Gone" is based on a Snail's Trail. She decided to go less snail, more trail. She also included the traditional block on the back. Clever!

Mary Lee also showed Robin's Broken Windows based on an Attic Windows block.

Stephanie made a "Deconstructed Bachelor's Puzzle" by breaking apart the elements of the block and assembling them with the arrow unit and blocks falling away.

Paula's "Churn Dashing" uses value variation and alternate placement of the block elements.

Diane's "Returning Birds" incorporates a two toned background and a free-form bird pattern.

Joanne's "Catch a Falling Star" uses a navy background for the night sky, very tiny star piecing and quilting to illustrate the catching hand.

Mary's "Complements Attract" quilt features subtle value shifts and piping on the border for a real dimensional look.

Judy's "Spoolin' Around" takes a minimalist and colorful look at a spool block with the 'empty spool' of thread in the corner.

Nancy brought her sister Barbara's "Water Wheel with Drops" showing the center wheel with square 'drops' falling to the sides.

Nancy's "Flying Home" show colorful geese in groups of three and five, with the one lone goose at the bottom.

Sue's "Modern Bear's Walkabout" takes the family of bear paws in different directions, accented by dense quilting.

Amy showed her "Improv Fan" with concentric circle quilting in multiple directions.

Jane shared "Pigeons in the Park" where the pigeon toes were rearranged and accented with diamonds.

Jess debuted "Fish in the Sea" based on Birds in the Air. The final product gets tilted 90 degrees clockwise (sorry, that picture was blurry) so that the little fishes are eaten by a shark, oh my!

Kali turned Robbing Peter to Pay Paul into "Something to Steal" in a blue/orange compliment with colorful orange echo quilting in the white.

Kali also brought Sarah's "Make Way for Ducklings" with quilting designs based on a Woodland Park block.

Mary's late night effort, "Rainbow DNA" takes the curves of Snake in the Hollow and lays them out on a rainbow.

Laura's daughter Lucy named this one "Navigation Sign". The block based on Crossing Canoes features an element exiting the plane on the left, perhaps a tip she picked up from Lee Heinrich.

Great work ladies!!!

See you next month in Fremont.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Kennebunk Retreat Recap

Our 2015 retreat was held on April 23-26 at the Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunk, Maine. We had a small, intimate group this year--sixteen of our members were able to attend--and by a lucky chance, we had a very large space in which to sew. We may be a little spoiled now! 

Mary's first real pincushion--the handmade swag was a hit!
Nancy and Sue were among the first to arrive, and they brought a trunk full of swag, giveaway prizes, and treats to share.

Nancy, Sue, and Barbara made the thread catchers and the pincushions. Sue embroidered the name labels on her Bernina. The scrap packs came mostly from a large donation from Peg. And, of course, Aurifil kindly sent each retreat attendee a lovely tasting of different weights of Aurifil in my personal favorite pale gray shade, 2600. (And guys, honestly, I didn't know the M&M's were even in there until I unloaded the bag to take this photo, or they never would have made it this long!)

Nancy and Sue also found, purchased, and donated enough prizes to hold hourly giveaways on Friday and Saturday. Paula won one of the best prizes in the pile--a sewing heartbeat t-shirt!

Because our retreat weekend was so "late" in the spring this year (end of April, instead of end of March), we were much more able to enjoy the outdoors. It was still in the high 30's those mornings in Kennebunk, but there were walks along the beach and downtown to be enjoyed.

Walking back across the bridge to Kennebunk after dinner
But we all know most of the action happened in the sewing room! Many people worked on their Modern Traditional Challenge minis for A Quilter's Gathering.

Judy's Spool Block-inspired mini

Nancy's mini

Mary's mini

I was also amazed at the amount of design work going on on the design walls. We had so much space at the Franciscan, everyone had as many design walls as they wanted. Many of our quilters took the opportunity to draft and refine their own quilt designs.

Kali's Simply Color quilt 

Sarah's "Petulant" quilt

Jess's Kaleidoscope quilt, pieced from templates

Mary's Tina Givens HRT quilt

Judy, Barb, and JoAnne admiring Paula's work (on the left), Diane's work (pink, on the right), JoAnne's mini, and Barb's mini

We also found much common and uncommon ground amongst us. We had a lengthy discussion on Tina Givens's designs, and confirmed that many amongst us are Lizzy House fans. Mary may even have predicted, like a fabric sorceress, the reprint of Lizzy's Jewels!

Laura's Meadow blocks, Stephanie's Lizzy House Cathedral Windows mini, and Mary's growing Wonky Stars mini
I also noticed that those ladies who actually sat at their sewing machines (instead of spending their time at the snack table or walking around bothering people, like yours truly) got a lot of sewing done!

SueAnn at her Bernina working on Metro Rings

Barb and JoAnne working into the night. Barb was last woman sewing on Friday night!

Finally, Judy finished assembling the Kite Tails quilt blocks for our raffle quilt (pattern by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time) and we pinned them up on the design wall for a beauty shot. I'll definitely buy some raffle tickets for this beauty!

It was a great retreat. I hope we will be able to repeat it next spring!