Monday, July 27, 2015

August meeting reminder

Our August meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 1 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Newmarket Public Library in Newmarket, NH. The library is located at 1 Elm St, Newmarket, NH. (Our Google Calendar has been updated with the correct location, and will show a link for a map with directions, if you need it.)

Please bring your show and tell to this meeting! If you participated in the Riley Blake challenge, we'd especially like to see your Riley Blake challenge piece.

Please also bring your Little Vines lottery blocks to this meeting. One lucky contributor will be walking away with enough blocks to start a Little Vines quilt! Mary's writeup of the blocks is on her blog!

The second half of our meeting will be turned over to our Gathering exhibit committee. Please bring a quilt or quilts you would like to submit to the show. Mary and Laura will help you photograph your quilt(s), Peg will help you with the details of submissions, and Diane will help you create a brief maker's statement to be printed and hung with the quilt.

If you have a laptop computer, you may want to bring it to help in writing your statement.

Please check your email for a worksheet to get your wheels turning about your statement, as well as a sample maker's statement, both created by Diane!

See you Saturday!

Monday, July 13, 2015

July Meeting Recap

Summer brought a smaller than usual crowd to the Stratham Library but everyone came ready to sew on the Modern Quilt Guild's 2016 Charity Challenge - Improv with Intent!

Business items first: (Thanks to Laura for the detailed agenda to copy/paste.)

1) August meeting at new location! We will be at the Newmarket Public Library, 1 Elm St., in Newmarket NH. Thanks to Jess for securing this location for us. We’ll be meeting August 1, from 10 am to 12 pm (our usual time) for a regular meeting plus show and tell (I hope there is a lot of it!) and then our Exhibit Committee will be walking us through our show submissions process. We’ll include a photography session, so bring quilts that you’re thinking about submitting to the show and let Mary help you take great photos of them.

2) MQG news: Riley Blake challenge quilts are due at the end of July. Please post your project photos online (path is:  click Community  Login  Forums  MQG Fabric Challenges (will need to scroll down a bit)  Upload photos for the 2015 Riley Blake Fabric Challenge Here! (only, don’t actually post your photos here, sigh, follow Andreas’ instructions for how to post your picture). We’re not holding voting/prizes for this round in our own guild, but please bring your projects to show off at the August meeting!

Two separate individual member challenges for QuiltCon West: the Triangle challenge, the Michael Miller challenge. Signups for the “free stuff” part have already passed, BUT it is my understanding that the free stuff was so limited that many people will be left purchasing their own rulers or fabrics. If you’d like to participate and enter a project in this special quilt category at QuiltCon, see:

3) Gathering update: show submissions still due September 15! Bring your quilts to the August meeting to get them submitted! Mary will have the quilted raffle quilt ready for binding handoff at that meeting. If you've requested a tee shirt, make sure Mary has your size or you may use a guild apron with the logo.

4) Retreat 2016 update: Jess will send off the deposit check to hold our spot at the Franciscan next April, weekend of the 15th.

5.) The Little Vines lottery block has been extended until the August meeting. Still time to make one if you haven't already.

Then, with machines readied, palette picked and improv direction from Kali, we began to make improv blocks to create our New England winter scene.

First some snow.

Then some sky, sun and the beginning of a barn-like structure.

More was added.

Hands were busy.

Then Sue Ann's design wall could no longer bear the weight of the blocks.

On to the floor for more placement decisions.


Assessment and adjustment, finesse and fine tuning.

And then it was nearly a quilt top!

Some informal sewing time will be needed to complete the top. It is in the hands of Jess and Mary, with plans to include Kali, our charity challenge conductor. There will be more work for assembly and we'd like to include this in the Gathering exhibit, so be sure to volunteer for some binding or sleeve when necessary.

Friday, July 3, 2015

July meeting reminder

This is a reminder that our July meeting will take place on Saturday, July 11 (NOT this coming Saturday, because of the July 4 holiday) at the Stratham Public Library in Stratham, NH.

This meeting will be a teamwork, improvisational sew-in for our QuiltCon Charity Challenge quilt. Please bring two fat quarters in the color scheme of the photo in Peg's recap post, below. We are planning to improvise a wintery scene, so lean on low-volume white prints and the light blue out of the colors above.

We are able to stay at the Stratham Library until 3 pm and sew. If you are able to stay late and work on our group quilt, SMQG would love to buy you a pizza lunch from Domino's! Please email Laura and let her know if you would like to stay late to sew and enjoy lunch together.

Paula will be organizing our usual meeting snacks for the morning, as well. There will be bottled water provided, but if you would like a particular juice or soda to go with your pizza, please plan on bringing it along.

Little Vines block lottery blocks are also due at the July meeting. Mary posted a tutorial here (with a h/t to and permission from Elizabeth Hartman!)

Hope to see you all there!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

June Meeting Recap

We welcomed a number of new guests last Saturday and we're excited to have you join us.

Laura started our meeting with a rundown of some national MQG news. 

MQG is presenting a Panel on Quilt Show Judging & Jurying —next Thursday June 11 at 9 pm. Registration is required, click here to sign up.

QuiltCon West (2016 Pasadena) registration is coming on June 25. The course catalog is already posted. MQG will probably email a link like they did last time. If you're wanting to attend a popular course, be ready precisely when registration opens.

Retreat 2016 Planning starts now! The Franciscan has offered the weekend of 4/15 to share with the New Hampshire Modern Quilt Guild or the last weekend of April using only the dining room space. Laura is unable to attend next year and is looking for a retreat coordinator. Is this you??

The Gathering Exhibit Update included more explanation from Diane regarding the email she sent last week.

  • Our show is not "juried". The national MQG is giving their opinions on what they consider "modern" but this is not the final word. We will be looking at featuring many aspects of modern quilting and know that everything exists in a spectrum. We all have a handful of quilts that fit on that scale and we'd like to see them.
  • Kate Sussman, the promoter of The Gathering, is excited to cross-educate the modern and traditional quilters and thinks one of the best ways is to "Tell Your Story". She believes that stories will resonate beyond labels. No word limit!
  • New submission deadline is Sept. 15.
  • Judy has offered a pet-free, child-free spare bedroom to store quilts. Drop off final quilts will be at the October meeting. Requests for exceptions to this are to go to Mary - The Queen of Exceptions
Our August meeting will feature three submission stations - Laura and Mary will have a photography setup; Diane will help with "stories" and Peg will have a computer to complete the submission process.

Mary will be ordering t-shirts and aprons with our new SMQG logo on them to wear at the exhibit. You can choose either. There will be about 6 aprons to share if that is your preference. If you prefer the t-shirt and haven't already done so, contact Mary with your t-shirt size. They will be American Apparel shirts (similar to Patchwork Threads) and sizing information is here (note says it runs small). The guild funds will be paying this expense.

Kali, our charity chair, spoke about the MQG Charity Quilt Challenge 2016 - Improv with Intent. (see color palette below) Of the many ways to interpret this, the ideas tossed out were:
  • Send some New England Winter to Pasadena, creating a wintry improv background with a red barn and cardinal
  • Floating Squares, a la Sherri Lynn Wood
  • Improv Stripes
The winning vote went to the winter scene. Kali will draw up a sketch to start us off. We'll be sewing collaboratively next month at the Stratham Library. We have the space until 3pm if folks want to stay and sew later. (Note: Meeting date is July 11, rescheduled for holiday)

Everyone should bring 1-2 fat quarters in this color scheme (monochromatics, please, don't introduce other colors). Click the link above to see the solid color names for different manufacturers). We'll need a bulk of the neutrals and icy blue with only a small number of red, yellow and black.

And then there was "Show and Tell". Alison showed this colorful, quilt as you go, trying desperately to bust my scrap bin beauty. 

Sue Ann showed her take on Tumbling Blocks entitled, "Blocks In Space". (sci-fi voice encouraged)

Barb showed off some Greek Cross lottery blocks.

Jane had a gorgeous Churn Dash quilt made from Carolyn Friedlander's Botanica collection.

Kali modeled this stunner in teal linen - Simplicity 2444. So flattering!

She also completed her Majestic Mountain quilt top in black and white prints paired with bright solids.

Paula had her Marsala challenge apron. 

Colleen needed some instant gratification and whipped up this quick baby blanket top.

Judy is nearly finished with a challenge piece using Anna Maria Horner fabric. Despite the troubles that the cone flowers gave her, it looks fantastic.

Nancy made a scrappy Rainbow Spool quilt top. Looks like her gorgeous garden pictures. So colorful!

Joanne brought in a Fifty Shades of Grey block. They certainly have added up. I'm excited to start sewing them together.

Mary was hand quilting her Lizzy House star quilt. Adding some gorgeous detail.

Caitlin, a new transplant from North Carolina and former Spoonflower employee, showed her Hexie quilt with yummy Liberty center.

The two months of Greek Cross Lottery blocks went to Mary Lee (thanks Nancy!).

Next month's block lottery will be "Little Vines" by Oh Fransson! Templates were handed out. The background should be white/reads as white; vines should be black/dark grey and leaves should be scrappy. (Oh Fransson!'s website is being reconstructed. If you missed the template, contact Mary.)

The vine blocks looked quite daunting until Stephanie shared here bias tape applique magic tricks! Some Clover bias tape maker tools, a glue stick and you're ready to go! She emailed a list of tutorials, and materials to the guild group email. If you missed it, let us know and we'll resend. 

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.