Wednesday, May 28, 2014

June meeting reminder

Our June meeting will take place on Saturday, June 7 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Stratham Public Library in Stratham, NH.

We will be having our usual show and tell session. Please note that the deadline for the Michael Miller challenge has changed, so we will now be presenting and voting on projects at the July meeting. Watch your email, as we'll be looking for snack and drink volunteers.

Laura will be teaching sketch stitch applique. (And freezer paper applique, if you've never used it before.) If you would like to sew along, please bring:
--machine, threaded with BLACK or NAVY thread. Machine should be fitted with its basic straight-stitch foot.
--scissors--fabric scissors AND craft scissors. If you have them, pinking shears are handy.
--background fabric (precut to 6.5'' square OR 12.5" square) and scraps for appliqué fabric.

Laura will bring craft scissors, tear-away stabilizer, templates, paintbrushes, glue sticks, freezer paper, and starch.

We will need two or three volunteers to bring their irons and ironing boards. (I will bring mine if no one will mock my grubby cover!)

Here are photos of the blocks so that you can choose your scraps. Your circle-flowers don't have to be dandelions or violets, if you have a fun fabric to fussy-cut! They can even be lollipops instead of flowers. And your leaves don't have to be green.  The violet block takes a 6.5'' square of background fabric; the dandelions, a 12.5'' square.

Looking ahead to July, Amy will be teaching a machine-pieced clamshell pillow. So you can think ahead and save some fun fabrics, the pillow takes 61 5''x5'' charm squares (or fabric precut to charm size). Here is Amy's photo of the project, so you can scheme and plan:

Hope to see you all in June!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May meeting recap

 Mary was perhaps unaware of this pre-meeting testing-my-camera shot, but I love how it shows off her handmade Alder skirt, her manicure, the Malabrigo she is knitting into socks, and, of course, Pinkie Pie.

We held our May meeting on May 3 at the West Newbury Old Town Hall--a new location for us, but it worked beautifully for our meeting! Thanks to Judy and Amy for arranging the meeting space. Judy, standing in for Peg, who was at another guild's show, opened the meeting with a few announcements.
--The New England Quilt Museum in Lowell is currently holding an exhibit of charm quilts. Find out more about it here.
--The Boston MFA quilts and color exhibit is ongoing until July 27. Info can be found at the MFA website.
--The MQG Michael Miller challenge has been extended. The new due date is 7/25 for finished project photos to be posted to the MQG forum. Our guild will show and tell and vote on a guild winner at the July meeting. 

Our June meeting will be held in Stratham, NH at the Stratham Public Library. Laura will be teaching Sketch Stitch applique. Plan to bring your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies (much like today); your machine should be threaded with black or navy thread. You'll need a 12.5'' square of background fabric and some scraps for applique. A block template will be shared shortly before the meeting so you will know what fabrics to choose.

Looking ahead, our July meeting will also be held in Stratham on July 12. Not our usual first-Saturday meeting, but it will help those who vacation over July 4th weekend to make the meeting! Amy will teach clamshell piecing.

Samantha drew a winner of the Block Lottery Herringbone blocks (hooray for Paula!) and introduced our Block Lottery block for the whole summer. Instead of taking a break over the summer--as the teachers pointed out, the summer is their key quilting-productivity time--we'll make and accept entries of the same block for the June, July, August, and September meetings. At the September meeting, a winner will be drawn. This will give everyone ample opportunity to make a block or four and we hope that the September winner will win a huge pile of blocks.

The block lottery choice for the summer months is the Star Value block by Happy Quilting. Please make the 16.5'' square size. Color scheme is scrappy, low volume, and gray. The tutorial instructs you to press seams open, but Sam says we should press as desired (you may like to lock your seams when you sew patchwork!)

At Show and Tell, Denise showed off some improv blocks she had started with some fabric she had dyed. Her dye work is beautiful! I can't wait to see what she is inspired to do with these after today's workshop.

Jess showed off (top to bottom) a zippy pouch that she made waterproof by rubbing the fabric with beeswax, a Noodlehead Cargo Duffle in some great purple fabrics (find the free Cargo Duffle Pattern at the Robert Kaufman website), and an Echino boxed zippy that was a mashup of two different zippy patterns.

Jess and Mary showed off a huge, collaborative almost-finish: Pinkie Pie. I believe these squares finish at 1.5'' (or is it 1''? they are tiny) and it has been a labor of love for Mary's daughter. Such careful, patient work--and a big payoff!

Laura's snake trail top drags the floor. The pattern is from Denyse Schmidt's book Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration and the background color is Kona Cerise. 

Stephanie made two test blocks for a bee quilt--she is queen bee and gets to keep it! These blocks are the Little Vines blocks by Elizabeth Hartman. (And the background is Quilter's Linen in purple.)

Amy's Oakshott runner collection is growing--but I have to confess, this is my favorite of her runners yet. She designed a diamond paper-piecing pattern that looks improv, and did some dense FMQ in the negative space to add texture. These colors are crave-worthy!

Robin shared a sweet baby quilt she made as a gift. Someone pointed out that the little crosses look like gifts! What a darling welcome for a baby girl.

Judy proved that 1) you should never let anyone throw out your grandmother's "what are these old quilted things?" and 2) sometimes you find treasure when you clean your house. (This probably will not motivate me, as I doubt this kind of treasure is in my apartment!) This quilted coverlet was with her grandmother's things and is in amazing shape.

This log cabin quilt was also with her grandmother's things. If she had showed this and said she made it last month, I would have believed her! What a modern aesthetic this old quilt has. It is backed in a chicken feed sack, suggesting it is a true Depression quilt. Judy thinks the fabrics used are pieces of her grandmothers' and great-aunts' clothing. A real treasure!

Thanks to Robin and Sam for sharing some of what they know about improv piecing. Look at these beauties up on the design wall! As a group they look amazing, but you should have heard the moaning and groaning about individual ugliness. Appropriately, Samantha won the little drawing we did for the blocks and got to take these home. Maybe they will become the treasure quilt her grandchildren will find in 100 years.