Saturday, August 30, 2014

September meeting reminder

Our September meeting will be held on Saturday, September 6 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Wiggin Memorial Library in Stratham, NH.

Please bring projects for show and tell, as well as any lottery blocks you have made. This is our last month for collecting this summer's block and we'll be drawing a winner at this meeting. If you haven't yet made one please consider doing so--the block is a bit time-consuming but the quilt made from it would be a showstopper. The tutorial can be found HERE; please make the 16'' block size. If you are entering please bring $1 per block you make to put our guild "kitty", to be used for speakers and activities.

You also have a bit of homework to do before this meeting. We don't have a specific workshop planned, but will be doing a bit of brainstorming for our guild's contribution to the Charity Quilts for QuiltCon project. Judy has graciously agreed to project manage our guild's quilt. Amy has some of the specific fabrics called for in the assigned color scheme and will bring them to the meeting for us to see. Your assignment is to review the information that's been made available to us about this challenge on the Modern Quilt Guild Blog and come prepared to brainstorm! Do you have pattern or design ideas that fit the theme of "alternate gridwork"? Ideas about how to make a group quilt that's NOT a typical 4 x 5 block layout? Favorite fabrics that fit the color scheme? Most importantly, Judy is still seeking suggestions for local charities who could accept and use the finished quilt after QuiltCon, so if you have any ideas please pass them to her via email or bring them to the meeting.

I can't wait to make a quilt with you all. See everyone in September!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Looking ahead to October

In October, Paula will be leading us in a handquilting workshop. In case you need to dig around your sewing room to find supplies or perhaps buy supplies using one Joann's coupon at a time, she's provided a list of what we will need ahead of time.

You will need:

--18'' or so quilt: sandwiched and basted with thread rather than pins. It is easier to quilt if your project has few seams.
--12'' or larger quilting hoop (Paula notes that this is different from an embroidery hoop)
--thimble with a rim that fits middle finger of quilting hand (right, if you are a rightie)
--"Between" needles sized 10, 11, or 12 (Paula notes that the needles are called "Between" needles, and the larger the number, the smaller the needle.)
--handquilting thread (note that this is different from regular thread, as well)
--scissors/thread snips
--needle threader to make life easier
--marking pen for stencil: Paula has stencils to copy if you'd like to do a whole cloth project.

Hope to see you all in September, and then October!

Monday, August 4, 2014

August meeting recap

We held our August meeting on August 2 at the clubhouse of Riverwalk and Drake's Landing. 

Peg opened the meeting by discussing some items of business.
  • mini quilt swap with the Northampton MA guild will take place over the next few months. Peg took names of interested parties; if you were not able to attend the meeting and would like to participate in this swap, please email her ASAP. We will each swap a mini quilt, no larger than 20'' x 20'' with a member of the Northampton guild. The minis must be completed by the end of October and the theme is "a sense of place."
  • there is a possibility of partnering with the new NH MQG to bring in speakers, workshops, etc. Some names were mentioned in passing. Judy mentioned that this is an area we'd love to have feedback on. I have fielded one email from a member who feels strongly about getting a speaker, but if you have ideas, or specific people you'd love to see, please let a member of the executive committee--Peg, Judy, Robin, or Laura--know your thoughts.
  • a committee to organize our guild's show at The Gathering 2015 has been established. Our all-star team includes Amy, Mary, Diane, and Peg. We'll be devoting meeting time to planning for this exhibit.
  • two new member have joined via mail: Karen and Melanie (we were happy to meet Melanie at our August meeting). Welcome, ladies!
  • our guild has decided to participate in the QuiltCon 2015 charity quilt challenge--The theme for the challenge is "alternate gridwork". Our twin-size quilt will need to be designed by our guild, finished, and shipped in before QuiltCon, which takes place in February 2015. All of the challenge quilts will be shown at QuiltCon, and then they will be donated to a local charity of our guild's choice. Judy has graciously volunteered to project manage this project for our guild. If you have a suggestion of a local charity that might appreciate our quilt donation, please contact Judy.

We had a busy month of show and tell after taking a month off for our Michael Miller challenge in July!

Kali's dad Bob was so kind to show off Kali's Rainbow Economy block quilt this month before she gifts it to a friend. Kali won these blocks in a block lottery earlier this year. Setting them in bright solids is such a unique take on this block!

Diane showed off a table runner that she matchstick quilted. She also mentioned how she's started adding a selvage to the back whenever she uses a whole line to make a quilt, which is such a great idea!

This is Amy's Mittens & Main quilt. It is a pattern she designed for Basic Grey/Moda. Those mittens are NOT paper pieced! 

If you looked at your phone or computer this weekend you just *might* have seen Amy's Kite Tails quilt featured any number of places! She designed this quilt as the MQG free pattern for August, and worked up her sample in Cotton + Steel. Great work and congratulations, Amy!

Judy's "Filtered Sunlight" quilt won our guild's Michael Miller challenge vote at the July meeting--but it was also chosen as a top nine finalist quilt by Michael Miller Fabrics/the MQG! The honor is well-deserved.

Stephanie's Feather Bed quilt is back from the longarmer, and she's bound and finished it beautifully. This quilt is so stunning--and I love how this photo shows how large it is.

Sarah made this little tote, with such a lovely and creative fabric combination. Thanks for smiling so cheerfully for this photo, Sarah!

Rhonda wasn't able to come, but she sent her Smart Bag made with Tsuru scraps with Peg to show off. This bag is huge! And the way Peg explained the construction, it does sound very smart.

Mary finished piecing and quilting her clamshells from last month.

Jess's clamshells have become a pillow already! 

Jess also finished this robot baby quilt. She used sketch stitch and some of the products we received from Thermoweb last year to applique the robot. She includes such thoughtful and funny details in her work--did you notice that there are Lizzy House mice driving the robot?

Sue was stitching down the binding on this lovely quilt throughout the meeting. The appliques in opposing corners really make this design sing.

Debbie's show and tell is my favorite of all this month. This is a group quilt our guild made for her to warm her heart and her new home in Florida. We'll miss the Orange Queen!

Laura's rainbow scrap quilt is her May Do Good Stitches bee quilt.

And her brown Spiced Chai quilt will be a gift for a friend.

After Show and Tell ended--a more detailed Show and Tell began! Joanne and Mary were so generous to bring in their quilts and talk about their process and growth as quilters.

Joanne is a former textile salesperson and an experienced garment sewist. She turned to quilting after she became a lawyer, and needed an activity that would fully immerse her brain and her hands and relax her. She showed many of her beautiful quilts, including her French Braid quilt:

her Kaffe Fasset diamonds quilt:

and her personal favorite, a quilt she made for a close friend who was facing surgery and treatment for breast cancer. The back (pictured below) is signed by people who worked with the quilt's owner and the quilt traveled with Joanne's friend throughout her treatment and recovery. It is a beautiful quilt and carries a powerful story.

Joanne mentioned that the thing she enjoys most about quilting is that you can approach it anew, and differently, every time you sit down to work. When you pick up a knitting project you're still always just knitting--but when you work on a quilt, you can be working on any number of steps in the process. She finishes all of her quilts--even those really big king-size quilts--on her Bernina.

Mary showed us her very first couple of quilts, sewed by hand and in college. This bright scrappy nine-patch was a Crazy Mom Quilts quilt-a-long, and she would sew one nine-patch a day while wearing her newborn son. What memories are stitched into this one!

She also talked about her quilts and her quilting process pre-QuiltCon 2013 and post-QuiltCon 2013. She made these stars, and figured she needed more, but then was able to use some new ways of thinking about layout to set the stars in a more modern way. Alternate gridwork!

Here is one of her recent Do Good Stitches finishes.

and a quilt that remains a work-in-progress for her, as she adds perle cotton handstitching to all of the blocks.

I enjoyed hearing Mary talk about her process. She seems to be a fearless quilter, who doesn't limit herself by saying "I don't know how to do that." She figures out a way to do it anyway, even if it means finishing gift quilts on a deadline by pulling hand-sewing all-nighters.

Huge thanks to Joanne and Mary for sharing your precious quilts with us! I feel like I know both of them a bit better as quilters, and look forward to being able to have more member mini-trunk shows in the future.