Friday, June 28, 2013

A Gathering of Stitches

The following information is shared by a fellow Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild member and founder of A Gathering of Stitches, Samantha Hoyt Lindgren.

"Opening in the August of 2013, A Gathering of Stitches is a workshop studio for those practicing the fiber and textile arts. Our mission is to foster learning, expression, and development of needlework, to help people make useful, beautiful, and enduring items. We will be located in the East Bayside area of Portland, Maine an easy hop off of 295, at 54 Cove Street.

A Gathering of Stitches will offer workshops on many aspects of the fiber and textile world including sewing, quilting, knitting, dyeing, screen printing, embroidery and much more. We will also have specialized equipment for rent (including sergers, knitting machines, screen printing equipment and more).  Instruction at all levels from absolute beginners to those looking to master a technique, or raise an avocation to an occupation will be available.  A Gathering of Stitches will be a community for those consumed by the world of fiber and textiles, a haven for stitchers, a place to share, create, collaborate, solve, expand, network, explore or dabble. Come join us!

We have launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money to buy some of this cool equipment. I would very much appreciate it if you can contribute, any amount helps. Please click through on the link, we have a beautiful video to watch. Spread the word, crowd funding works best by word of mouth! Share it with your friends and family and on any social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. Thank you for all your support!

For more information check out our website at and read our blog-Stitches. If you have any questions please contact Samantha Lindgren at"

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vote Outcome and Agenda for July 6

Laura has tallied the votes from the June meeting plus those that arrived this week through email.  We have 36 paid members.  Of those members, 23 voted.  The uncontested officers were unanimously accepted.  The bylaws passed with 20 out of 23 voting in their favor.

Our next meeting will be held on July 6th from 10:00-12:00 at the:
Town Hall Annex, 1910 Office Building
381 Main Street
West Newbury, MA 01985

We will be making pillowcases for charity.  Peg has generously offered to bring fabric from Sew Fresh Fabrics to be used for the pillowcases.  She estimates that she will have enough fabric for everyone to make one pillowcase from her supplies.  You are encouraged to bring your own fabric for any additional pillowcases you think you can make.  Think about bringing some boy appropriate fabric too as there is often a surplus of florals.  You will also need your sewing machine and neutral thread.  We will need some rotary cutters, rulers and cutting mats to share.  I will bring an iron and ironing board.

For each pillow case, you will need:

3/4 yd for the pillowcase body
1/4 yd for the contrasting cuff
1/8 yd for the accent strip

A tutorial was handed out at the last meeting and will be available at the upcoming meeting as well.  You can also consult this good online tutorial with pictures.

Our pillowcases will be distributed by our members to social services in MA and NH.  They will also be logged into the Million Pillowcases Challenge. 

If you are working on your Indian Summer charity baby quilt, remember that the meeting will be a good time to pass it to the next member of your team so that we can meet our deadline of August 3rd.

Future meetings (all are the first Sat. of the month from 10:00-12:00):
August:  Town Hall Annex, West Newbury, MA--We will be visited by a sales rep. from Pellon who will talk to us about batting and interfacing.

Sept:  A Gathering of Stitches, Portland, ME

Oct:  Nominate Officers, Stratham Library, Stratham, NH--We will have an applique workshop sponsored by ThermOWeb.

Nov:  Annual Meeting, Stratham Library, Stratham, NH

Dec:  Fremont Library, Fremont, NH--We'll celebrate the holidays and have a Yankee Swap. You are encouraged to bring a notion or fabric worth approximately $15 or a small handcrafted item.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 2013 Meeting Recap

Our June meeting was held at the West Newbury Town Hall Annex in West Newbury, MA. We had 19 total people in attendance, with three first-timers! It's great to see our guild grow and have new folks join us.

We started by discussing a few projects we have going.

1) Sew-Ins: Aimee hosted our guild's first sew-in at her home in Portsmouth, NH this May. I attended, and five of us had a great time talking family and fabric over our handwork, knitting, cookies, lemon bars, and wine. Aimee is currently looking for a volunteer to host the June sew-in. If you are interested in hosting a small (6 or so people), mid-week gathering, please speak up via email. A volunteer has been found! Watch your email for details on our June sew-in.

2) Indian Summer Charity Baby Quilts: Amy received the Indian Summer fabrics from the very generous (and talented!) Sarah Watson, and we formed four groups to create round-robin-style baby quilts to be donated to Moore, OK. The finished quilts will be due at the August meeting. No specific size dimensions have been given--just make them baby-sized.

3) July Meeting/Pillowcase Sew-In: Joanne brought copies of a pillowcase tutorial that we will use at the July meeting (West Newbury Town Hall Annex) to make pillowcases to donate to children entering the foster care system in MA and NH. If you did not pick up a pillowcase tutorial, the fabric requirements are:

  • 25'' (buy 3/4 yd) x WOF for pillowcase body
  • 9'' (buy 1/4 yd) x WOF for contrasting cuff
  • 3'' (buy 1/8 yd) x WOF for accent strip

Please BYO fabric (bright, cheery, child-themed prints would be great) and BYO machine and be ready to sew. More details and a reminder to follow later this month.

4) December 2013 Yankee Swap: We started discussing the possibility of swapping a small handmade item (pincushion, potholder, needle book, etc) OR a fun notion costing $15 or less at our December meeting. Sounds fun and festive! Keep your eye peeled for a fun handmade item idea.

But by far, the most important business we discussed was our officer elections and passing the bylaws.

The following officers were elected:
President: Amy Friend
Vice President: Peg Connolly
Treasurer: Becca Babb-Brott
Secretary: Laura Collins

Some final changes to the bylaws were discussed; 13 of the 16 members present voted to approve the bylaws. The revised bylaws can be downloaded here: REVISED BYLAWS

If you did not attend the meeting, and have not yet emailed a ballot to Laura Collins (lacollins AT gmail DOT com), please do so as soon as possible. The deadline for voting is Friday, June 7, at 11:59 pm. Though it is definitely possible to change the bylaws at a later point in time (such as the November business meeting in a few months), we must agree to a document before July 1 so that we can join the national MQG.

Show and Tell is definitely my favorite part of every meeting!

Jessica brought back her May lottery blocks as a gorgeous finished quilt! She did the way hard part--but look what we made, folks!

Gillian brought her brightly-colored scrap string top.

Diane participated in Art Gallery Fabrics' Make it Right Challenge. She made this mini-quilt that seemed to have two front sides!

Linda, a visitor and senior editor at the American Quilt Society, brought a wealth of red and white quilts from her in-progress book. The one occupying most of the right side of this photo is her "geese in the pond" quilt, and a single block showing off the opposite color scheme.

Here is a closeup featuring the free-motion quilting on Mary's Denyse Schmidt star quilt. She did it herself on her home sewing machine, and used many different designs.

The top of the pile (!) is Mary's half-square triangle quilt, also featuring her free-motion quilting.

And here Mary holds her blue scrappy trip-around-the-world quilt.

Maryly shows off her Wounded Warrior project "house quilt" mini. It is in honor of her father-in-law, who served in Japan during World War II.

Karen made more of these fabric flowers (she says they are addicting!) and wanted to make them look "modern." I think she succeeded! 

This is Karen's table runner. I believe she said it was leftover batiks.

And here, Karen shows off her yellow and black star quilt. She says she tried to stretch herself past her usual color scheme of red, black, and white, so she chose yellow, black, and white. Big impact!

Amy brought her Trending Chevron Lap Quilt. The background fabrics are various low-volume prints, and are incredible to see in person.

Gail says this is her try at a first "modern" quilt. I wouldn't believe it if she hadn't told us. 

Michelle brought her Hope Valley Disappearing Squares quilt. You can see the tiny hand-stitching she did in plum-colored perle cotton, in the block on the top left. 

Samantha modeled her Shibori Laurel dress. She will make a garment sewist out of me yet!

Laura showed off her scrappy string quilt. 

And then Laura also won the block lottery. Here are our group's spiderweb blocks laid out together:

Finally, fabric fun! Samantha taught the group about some of the fabric collage techniques she uses to create pieces like the top photo of the turtle, and like this:

Here is one of her WIPs, pins and all. I get a better sense of her process looking at the WIP. 

Piles of pink and purple scrap waiting for something wonderful to happen.

Hard at work discussing the round robin baby quilt.

If you attended today's meeting, thanks for joining us. If you missed us, please email your ballot to Laura, and we hope to see you in July.