Monday, June 4, 2018

June meeting recap

Jane was the lucky winner of these stunning lottery blocks!
Our June meeting was held June 2, 2018 at the West Newbury Town Hall Annex. 20 members were in attendance, with no guests or visitors.

Judy opened the meeting by noting that QuiltCon registration opens on June 26. The catalog can be viewed at the QuiltCon website. If you are considering participating in registration on June 26, please log in to your account at the MQG Community site and be sure that your login works. Also look at your email inbox to ensure you are receiving emails from the MQG. You will receive an emailed link when registration opens--it is the only way to register. The MQG usually sends out tips and instructions via email in the weeks before registration, so keep your eyes peeled. As an MQG member, you receive a three-day show pass for free, and are eligible for discounts on preregistration for workshops and lectures.
Barb gave the treasurer's report and noted the guild's good financial health.
JoAnne gave a wrap-up of our 2018 retreat and thanked all the retreat committee members. She is stepping down from the retreat coordinator position for 2019, please notify Judy if you are interested in this position. The group held a vote to keep the retreat for 2019 at the Franciscan Guest House, 16/20 people voted in favor. The Franciscan has us tentatively scheduled for the first weekend of May 2019. JoAnne has confirmed that she has reserved the Franciscan for the first weekend of May 2019.

Our group is also seeking a replacement for the role of special events/workshop coordinator. (Previously, Amy had done this job, and Laura did it this year.) Please contact Judy if you are interested in coordinating special guest workshops for 2019.

Paula gave an update on the decisions made by the Strawbery Banke committee and others who were interested in attending the informal meeting that was held at the retreat. Paula has distributed her information via email, please check your inbox for Paula's email dated May 6 2018. Please contact Diane and Paula via email if you are planning to show a quilt at this year's show, they would like a rough estimate of which quilts they will be showing by the July 3 meeting. Please note the size of your quilt and indicate order of preference about which quilt you would like to show. Diane noted that there will be only two drop-off dates for quilts, at the September meeting at at a later TBD September date. They are looking for white-glove volunteers to do two-hour shifts at the show on October 6, 2018. Please contact Paula and Diane directly via email with any questions regarding the show.

Jointly, the retreat committee and the Strawbery Banke committee have planned a "skinny mini" challenge to be due at the September 8 meeting. Only retreat attendees are eligible and Paula and Diane have distributed slips of paper inside swag bags that have instructions on them. The fabrics for the challenge were also inside attendee's swag bags. Please contact Paula and Diane directly via email with any questions regarding the Skinny Mini challenge.

Prizes for Diane's Skinny Mini Challenge
Our next meeting will be July 3, location and agenda TBD. August meeting is August 4, as expected, and the September meeting will be September 8. Our October meeting will be October 13, as the Strawbery Banke show is October 6.

Judy announced a WIP "encouragement" to take place over the summer. If you have a WIP that you started before 7/3/2017, and would like to finish it this summer, please bring it to the July meeting for a little show and tell. Then, plan on bringing that project FINISHED to the October 13 meeting. Each person who finishes their WIP will be entered into a drawing for a prize.

Colleen gave a pin basting demonstration, and Jane gave a spray basting demonstration. Thank you, ladies, for demonstrating a step that is so onerous but so vital to the success of a show-worthy quilt! 

Colleen likes to pin baste from the center of her quilt out, with lots of ironing
Jane's design wall spray basting technique involves a mask, lots of smoothing,  and a sturdy, non-meltable design wall.
Show and Tell:
Judy made a Tell Me a Story block pillow cover for her husband John. Each block tells a story about John's life.
Barb finished her flamingo quilt top for her granddaughter who turns 1 on July 4!
JoAnne shows off her 2017 BOTM quilt top, and matches it to boot.
Nancy shows a beautiful money lei made for her son Taylor (congrats, Taylor and Nancy!)
Diane made this paper-pieced sneaker quilt for her grandson.
Diane made this quilt top using her economy block lottery winnings.
Paula's "heart quilt for a heart patient" is made with wool batting to keep her husband cozy during his recovery.
Paula warns us all that this mini has about 310 pieces in it, just in case you are thinking about trying some teeny tiny piecing. Some seam ripping was involved, she says!
Jane's wonky star lottery blocks became this beautiful quilt.
Jane made this as a gift for a friend who keeps chickens! She self-drafted the rooster and all of the flowers.
Suzanne's setting of her 2017 BOTM quilt is quite unique .
Andrea hand-pieced these curves on a trip through Amish country, then machine-quilted it when she got home.
Andrea's jelly roll quilt top WIP--will it be finished in October?
Laura's Pine Burr quilt from Tara Faughnan's QuiltCon class
Laura finished her rainbow traveling quilt from 2015

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

June meeting reminder

Our June meeting will be held on Saturday, June 2, 10 am to 12 pm, at the West Newbury Town Hall Annex.

Please bring your lottery blocks and items for show and tell. Note that we have received individual color assignments for the lottery blocks, so if you would like to make them and have not yet received a color, please contact Colleen. Note that Colleen said via email that $1 would cover entry for both blocks. This will be a good one to win so please consider participating!
Judy's lottery blocks--she had the color aqua!
Our agenda includes: discussion of retreat and Anna Maria event, ongoing charity quilt projects, potential future speaker/instructor events, and the Strawbery Banke show. Colleen and Jane will be presenting a basting demo--I think you may be surprised by Jane's innovative basting method!

All visitors and potential members are welcome! Your first meeting is free; at your second and further meetings you may choose to join or pay $5 per meeting.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

April meeting recap

Our April meeting was held on Saturday, April 7 at the Mary E Bartlett Library in Brentwood, NH. Seventeen people were in attendance, including one guest.

Snowflake mini quilt participants!
Barb opened the meeting by giving the treasurer's report and noting the guild's good financial health.

Barb also noted that final retreat payments are due and some people still need to make their final payment. Contact Barb with any questions about your retreat payments.

Judy demonstrated our new pin picker-upper toy (it works!) and also noted that we had purchased table risers to be used for cutting tables in future workshops and sew-ins.

Sewing together--it's not always a race ;)
Judy asked the group if we were interested in inviting Michelle Wilkie, our MQG Regional Representative, to speak in early November. The guild would pay the speaking fee, and the lecture would be free to all Seacoast MQG members, with a nominal fee for non-guild members. The most likely time would be a weekday evening. Fifteen people out of seventeen present voted yes on exploring this possibility.

QuiltCon Charity Challenge info should arrive in your inbox via the MQG newsletter this month. Our group voted to participate in the challenge this year. Judy put out a call for the charity challenge quilt committee, to be led by Charity Chair Kelly. If you would like to help organize this project, please contact Judy.

Judy is also seeking members to form a Strawbery Banke exhibit committee. Any member of our guild who would like to help plan and execute the 2018 show should contact Judy.

Committees will be announced in an email. You don't need to join either committee to help sew the Charity Challenge Quilt or show a quilt in the Strawbery Banke show; these committees will be the leadership force behind each respective event.

Judy noted that there is a growing need for policy development, particularly re: refund policy. She also noted that we would like to develop a general budget to help us plan how much we would like to spend each year for charity quilting, special speakers, etc.

Suzanne played Sewing Concierge and helped us get our blocks done quickly!

Here is Nancy's blue string slab, 11.5'' square.

Nancy shows us that the lottery blocks can be made two at a time! Note that the seams in the string section run parallel to the center HST seam.

Colleen announced the block lottery block for June. This block will be due at the June 2 meeting. Please see details HERE. Each person drew a color at the meeting so that we will end up with a balanced rainbow of blocks; if you missed the meeting and would like to participate, email Colleen to receive a color.

Snowflake challenge winners were:

First prize, Bethany, with her Snow Squall quilt:

and second prize, Kelly:

Kelly then led the group in a charity quilt sew-in. She provided pre-cut background fabric kits, so that each person who sewed with us was able to make four blocks! I believe Kelly now has enough of these pink blocks to make a whole quilt. Thank you for doing the prep work and for organizing this project, Kelly!

Charity quilt blocks: I spy some precious fabrics (Tula, Thomas Knauer, Lizzy House...)
Our regular May meeting is being replaced by the retreat. Our next regular meeting will be Saturday, June 2, 2018.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

April meeting reminder

Our April meeting is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 7 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Mary E Bartlett Library in Brentwood, NH.

We will be sharing our snowflake challenge minis (directions HERE) and working on a charity quilt project. Please refer to the instructions provided by Kelly; you are bringing fussy-cuts cut to 4.5'' raw.

Please plan to bring your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies. We will be asking for volunteers to provide irons and ironing boards.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

April Meeting: Charity Sew-In Details!

Hello SMQG members! I know this message is lengthy, but please read the whole thing. We’ll be spending a good majority of our next guild meeting sewing together a quilt top (or two) for charity. In an effort to keep this process streamlined, I’ll be bringing precut fabric kits so we can spend more time sewing and less time cutting.

We’ll be making 9.5” Polaroid blocks with a drop shadow like this:

I’d like to use this color as a background for one quilt and a lovely bright blue as a background for the other.

Each quilt requires 42 blocks if we stick to the plan. I’m not sure how many of you fabulous ladies are planning to stay and sew. Therefore we’ll work to complete enough blocks for 1 quilt before I hand out the other background color for the 2nd quilt. I was able to make 4 of these blocks in 1 hour.

So here’s what I would like you to bring:
- between 4 to 8 fussy cut blocks cut to 4.5” square for the centers of the polaroids (it took me an hour to make four complete 9.5” blocks if that helps you decide how many additional you want to bring).
- sewing machine
- rotary cutter
- cutting mat
- ruler to square up blocks to9.5”
- flower pins if you’re a pinner like me

A note on fabric selection: In order to create a cohesive look please consider centers like these (yes, that butterfly is paper pieced-let’s get creative!):

I’m NOT looking for centers that look cartoonish like these:

This should at least give you some direction and time to prepare. I’ll send out a separate email as the day approaches with a call for irons and extra cutting mats and things. Many thanks for reading this-I can’t wait to get sewing with you! 😊

Monday, March 5, 2018

March 2018 Meeting Recap

Our March meeting took place on Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 10 am to 12 pm at the West Newbury Town Hall Annex. Twenty-one members were in attendance, plus one first-time guest.

Judy opened the meeting with business. Riley Blake challenge fabric was handed out--we have four participants from our guild.

Judy reminded us that the snowflake challenge minis are due at the April 7 meeting. For information and requirements, please CLICK HERE. The word that was chosen is "Snowflake."

Barb gave the treasurer's report, and announced that the second retreat payment was due for those making three payments. Non-members who are guests of Seacoast MQG members are now welcome to attend the retreat. Seats are still open, so don't think you have missed out if you have not yet registered! Please contact Barb if you would like to make arrangements to attend or have one of your friends attend with you. Our final payment is due to the Franciscan the first week of April, so please try to make your reservation arrangements before then.

Two seats remain available in Amy's Improv Paper Piecing workshop. Judy gave a final call to members to register by 3/7/18, and then those seats will be released to the public. Please see information HERE.

If you are interested in one of the Anna Maria Horner workshops, please contact Laura to be placed on the waitlist. There is currently no waitlist for Friday's Mod Corsage class.

The Cambridge Modern Quilt Guild will be holding a public meeting on Sunday, March 25 from 2-4pm at the Cambridge Public Library main branch. This is a community-building event meant to connect modern quilters throughout the greater Boston and New England areas. Please bring show and tell to share.

Kelly collected blocks for the Ventura MQG's effort to support those who were displaced in the Thomas Fires last fall. She and Suzanne finished our group's quilt and were able to show it off at the meeting. Thanks to all who contributed blocks, but special thanks to Kelly and Suzanne for their time, effort, skills, and fabric contribution. It was suggested that we have Spoonflower yardage printed for charity quilt labels.

Laura spoke about her experiences at QuiltCon, which generated some useful discussion about guild goals.

Mary Lee inquired as to the status of the Strawbery Banke quilt show. Paula left with the action item of getting in touch with the Strawbery Banke staff.

Mary noted that the NH MQG has their retreat the same weekend we do, and asked whether we would be interested in trying to plan a game or social event with them. Barb agreed to check with the retreat committee about this matter. Mary also noted two potential meeting locations.

Diane won the lottery block drawing. It was requested that we have lottery blocks more than four times per year. A vote was taken and 12 people out of 21 voted yes.

Stephanie at Crosscut Sewing Company  gave a brief talk about how she got into her current line of work and some of her values and goals as a shop owner. She mentions that her shop offers classes for children as young as 5 years old. She emphasized education and community building as two of her main goals. We had fun shopping for fabric during snack break.

Show and Tell

Diane showed off her 2017 Block of the Month quilt top.

Sue Ann also showed off her 2017 Block of the Month quilt, but hers was basted by a longarmer. Several people were especially interested in her innovative basting technique!

Jane showed off her Elizabeth Hartman fish baby quilt. She used the "wiggle stitch" on her machine to quilt it.

Kelly finished her name tag. Way to go Kelly!

Sasha, a guest, showed off a quilt she is working on based on a data graph a friend made. 

Judy showed her Filtered Sunlight quilt as an example of negative space.

Laura finished her scrap quilt made with Jen Carlton-Bailly's quarter circle templates.

Amy showed her Agave quilt, which hung at QuiltCon and was published in the QuiltCon Magazine.

Jane showed a felt block book made based on Sarah Fielke's instructions.

I missed getting a photo of Lou's show and tell! She was too quick. It was worth seeing; you should ask her about it when you see her next :)

Diane showed a piece she made for a Metamorphosis themed challenge. She used some of her own printed fabric as well as some Allison Glass fabrics.

Paula showed a mini she calls "Ripples and Bubbles." She noted that it has lots of negative space.

Next month's meeting will be held on April 7 from 10a to 1p at the Brentwood, NH library and will be a charity sew-in (no show and tell). Please watch for block instructions and plan to bring your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies.

Monday, February 19, 2018

March Meeting Reminder

Our March meeting is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 3 from 10 am to 12 pm at the West Newbury Town Hall Annex, 381 Main St., West Newbury, MA.

Please bring the following:
--Regular show and tell
--Any quilts you have that show intentional use of negative space (for our modern quilting focus)
--Economy blocks for lottery (please see directions in the February Meeting Recap)
--If you would like to shop for fabrics, please bring a way to pay. Stephanie from Crosscut Sewing Co. in Melrose, MA will be visiting our March meeting with a pop-up shop.

Jane will be presenting her House BOM idea and hopes that you will join her. If you are interested, please read information HERE. Let Jane know via email or at the meeting if you would like to join her; she will then coordinate with the group offline to get the first block ready for the April meeting.

In addition, our executive committee will be meeting for an executive meeting immediately following the March meeting. This serves as your official notice of this meeting; please notify Laura if you plan to attend.

Monday, February 5, 2018

February 2018 Meeting Recap

Our February meeting took place on Saturday, Feb 3, 2018 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Kingston Community Library in Kingston NH. 25 people were in attendance.

Nancy presented Paula's Thank-you Churn Dash blocks. Diane made this lovely block!

General Business:
Judy opened the meeting by relaying thank-you messages from the Haverhill family to whom we donated quilts in January and Rosie's Place, which received a check representing our lottery block donations from 2017.

She reminded the group that Sewtopia registration takes place soon (Feb 12 7 pm EST); details can be found at the Sewtopia website. The event is in Waltham November 8-11 2018.

Registration for the MQG Riley Blake challenge has closed. One or two of our members signed up for that challenge; fabric will be coming to the guild and will be distributed as soon as we receive it.

Survey response was good and results will be made available to all this week.

Judy proposed that if a member of ours were to be willing to attend guild-related workshops at QuiltCon, that the guild should cover their expenses. Laura is attending QuiltCon at Pasadena later this month and will be attending the Leadership Breakfast and a panel discussion on Secrets of High-Powered Guilds. 22 people present voted to cover costs for Laura and for potential future guild representatives.

Barb presented the Treasurer's report, and noted that retreat registrations are going well. If you have not yet registered for retreat and would like to, please mail checks to the PO Box ASAP. Please consult the fee schedule to determine your payment. Please indicate who your roommate will be if you are choosing a double room.

Kelly thanked the group for making 18 Perikomen Valley blocks for those affected by the Thomas fires. We will need 24 more to make a quilt of the requested size. If you have not yet made blocks or would like to make more, please send your blocks to Kelly (see her mailing address in your email) by February 16. Blocks should be jewel-toned blue and green, like grass and sky.

Discussing potential layouts for the Perikomen Valley charity blocks
If you would like to participate in the 153 Pillowcases project for the Tewksbury State Hospital Mental Health Ward, please make pillowcases on your own throughout the year. These will be donated at the end of 2018. You may use your preferred pillowcase making method, or you can choose the Hot Dog Pillowcase Method.

The National Quilt Museum is showcasing modern quilters on Instagram. To have a chance to have your work featured, use the hashtag #nqmmodernquilter .

Lottery Blocks:
Colleen is taking leadership of the Lottery Block program for 2018.

For the March meeting, we will be making Economy Blocks. Please make any size economy block you like, paper-pieced or traditionally pieced.

For the center square, choose any fabric you like--fussy cuts are fun! The inner ring of triangles should be a dark solid OR reads-as-solid. The outermost frame of triangles should be low-volume.

If you prefer to piece traditionally, please see Colleen's block information HERE.

Amy has provided paper piecing templates for several sizes:
4 inch   5 inch    6 inch    8 inch    10 inch    12 inch
Please note that you will have to tape together the templates for blocks sized 8 inches and up.

Please plan to donate $1 per block. We are tentatively thinking that it would be good to donate our block lottery proceeds to an organization again this year, but we will put the matter up for a vote at the end of the year.

If you think you can't or don't like to paper piece, the economy block is a GREAT way to get your feet wet. Please feel free to email the google group if you get stuck or need advice or encouragement!


Judy used extra fabric to add interest to this quilt label.

Judy gave a demonstration on labeling quilts and on burying threads. If you would like, please see her handout from the meeting.

Barb shared her preferred Easy Threading Needle brand (see photo below) that makes burying threads less tiresome:

Barb uses these Easy Threading needles to bury her threads.

And I think we are all excited to try the product that Diane talked about for spraying regular fabric so that it can go through an inkjet printer to make printed quilt labels! It is called Terial Magic.

How many people are planning to try Diane's product for printing fabric labels?

--Maureen announced that Victoria Findlay Wolfe will be teaching from her new book in Salem MA in April. Please check out her FLYER for more details if you are interested.
--Essex County Needlecraft Guild Event: Catherine announced this; check out her postcard FRONT and BACK (in case you lost yours like I did!)

Show and Tell:
Judy shared her Spring Buds Improv project from Sherri Lynn Wood's 2015 workshop.
Laura's quilted tote panels are both minimalist and improv.
Catherine teaches a unique method for constructing Lucy Boston blocks (so that your stitches don't show!) and made up this tote to show as a class sample.
Catherine is a graphic designer by training and collects text fabrics. She made this quilt to show off her collection!
Catherine backed her text fabric quilt in minky and quilted it with a text design that includes ampersands.
Patty made this mini quilt for a challenge. It is paper pieced--the pieces are quite tiny!--and even the negative space blocks are pieced with star points in the white fabric. She used only 13 fabrics, cleverly flipping one of the fabrics to the reverse side to get a different look.
Nancy showed off her minimal Flying Geese mini quilt.
Barbara bought Nancy this cute felted wool birdhouse for Christmas. 
Kali showed off her eye-vibrating improv quilt (the background color is Kona Pomegranate). She quilted it herself on her home machine.
Kali also showed off her improv quilt that she uses for free motion quilting practice. She mentioned the "rules" she used to piece it. 
Amy also used "rules" when she pieced her bright solids improv quilt, and noted that many of her favorite improv projects include a set of "rules" rather than being totally random.
Amy showed off her new quilt "Celebration." The pattern is already available for purchase!
Hildy shows off her nametag, and notes that sometimes improv piecing can get rather large rather quickly!
I'm sad that my photo of Paula's quilt turned out a bit blurry. Paula used elements of improv piecing to construct this quilt, which has been a lot of work for a lot of years!
Paula also used this quilt label to show us that you can stitch the label right into the binding when you attach the binding, for extra security.
Sue Ann took Amy's Improv Paper Piecing workshop with her Bedford Guild. She channeled Hildy a bit with her color scheme! (I almost attributed this work to Hildy, but then noted that the manicure is definitely very Sue Ann ;) )
Diane participated in a Dusk to Dawn themed competition. She has been doing a lot of work with indigo dyeing.
This is the back of Diane's first Dusk to Dawn piece and shows the label.
Diane notes that this piece was also for Dusk to Dawn, but she wanted to design a graphic representation of the concept.  If you are interested in the ombre fabrics she used, they are available at Craftsy.

Next Meeting:

--Saturday March 3 at the West Newbury Annex (381 Main Street, West Newbury), 10 am to 12 pm.
--Please bring lottery blocks.
--Demo of basting techniques
--Visit and pop-up shop by Stephanie of Crosscut Sewing Co.