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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

August meeting reminder

This is a reminder that our August meeting will take place at the clubhouse at Riverwalk and Drake's Landing condominium complex in Hampton, NH on Saturday, August 2, from 10 am to 12 pm. The address is Towle Farm Road. Here are directions, copied from the blog post from the last meeting we had at this location:

As you turn into the complex the clubhouse is the first building on your left. There is parking on the street or down at the pool. The driveway to the pool is the first left after the clubhouse. Down the hill is a parking lot that should accommodate everyone

Directions:   From Rt 95. Take exit 2, onto 101 East. Very first exit off is route 27 towards Hampton. Come off the exit and bear right, to the stop sign and turn right onto Rt 27. Approximately a mile down on the right is Towle Farm Road. Turn right into Towle Farm and the complex is the second (2nd) left. The signs will say Riverwalk and Drakes Landing. There is a duck Pond on the right and a little market on the left. We are the next left.

Parking  Just a note about parking.  This is a condo association and there is a rule against parking on the grass.  Please find a spot in the lot or along side the road keeping your tires on the pavement.  Thanks!

On the agenda for this meeting: show and tell (bring all the projects you didn't bring last month!), discussion of some upcoming activities for the end of this year and next, and member trunk shows by Mary and Joanne. Hope to see everyone there!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July meeting recap

Our July meeting was held at the Stratham Public Library in Stratham, NH on July 12. We had a large and lively group in attendance, with many first-time visitors!

Peg opened the meeting by discussing several business items.

  • Our schedule of workshops and events for our regular meetings for the rest of the year has been planned. Please click the "Calendar" link at the top of the blog homepage to view meeting dates, locations, and a general idea of the plan for each meeting.
  • MQG challenge photos are due on the MQG website by July 25. Please see the June meeting recap for detailed instructions on how to post your photos, if you need help. (And note: if you find anything wrong in these instructions or they don't work, contact Laura and she'll fix/figure it out!)
  • Our guild has been asked to curate a large special exhibit for The Gathering quilt show in the fall of 2015. We will need committee members to volunteer to organize and curate the exhibit. If you would like to serve on this committee, please contact Peg soon.
  • Officer nominations will take place at our October meeting (and voting will be at our November business meeting). Please think about whether you would like to serve as a member of the executive committee! Self-nominations are welcomed. :) A rotating leadership committee helps keep our group fresh and brings energy and new perspectives. 
  • Lottery block tutorial is here. (Make the 16'' size.) We're accepting these lottery blocks for two more meetings, August and September. Please bring $1 per block you make to buy an entry for the lottery. Please consider making a block! The more we make, the more someone will win. And these would be great blocks to win!
Our regular show and tell was replaced by MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge voting; however, some special visitors shared mini quilts they had made. Mia and Elliot came with their mom Kerry to our meeting. Their mini quilts are so bright and cheerful!


By popular vote, Judy was our Michael Miller fabric challenge winner! 

However, she already had a copy of our prize book, Playful Little Paper-Pieced Projects, straight from one of its contributors (though she mentioned that she had not yet asked Amy to sign her copy!). So she graciously offered it to our second-place winner--


First-time visitor Kerry brought along a copy of her book to share with someone at our guild, so it became a third prize for our third-place winner, Jess!

Amy then led the group in a workshop on machine-piecing 4'' clamshells. If you need access to her original tutorial for Sizzix, you can find it here

If you were at the meeting and are planning on finishing up your clamshells at home, she asked me to mention that using fusible fleece instead of batting would help to stabilize and flatten the curved piecing. Instead of basting as usual, fuse the fleece to the wrong side of your piecing and then quilt. 

(Here is Jess's WIP!)

Our mext meeting will be held on August 2 from 10 am to 12 pm at the clubhouse of Riverwalk and Drake's Landing in Hampton, NH. Bring your show and tell and your oohs and ahhs--Joanne and Mary will be presenting trunk shows of their quilts, past and present. Hope to see you all there!

Monday, June 30, 2014

July meeting reminder

Just a quick reminder that our July meeting will take place on Saturday, July 12 2014 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Stratham Public Library in Stratham, NH. Please note that this meeting will take place on the second Saturday of the month, rather than the first, to avoid the July 4 holiday. 

Amy will be teaching machine-pieced clamshells, and we'll be able to make a pieced pillow top similar to the one shown above. Please bring:
--61 charms (or fabric precut to charm size)
--a piece of batting at least 25" square (we will use this for a design wall and to roll up your wip to bring home)--sewing machine, coordinating thread, pins

We will need one person to volunteer to bring an iron/ironing board. There is no need for rotary cutters/mats (I believe this means we get to try Amy's Sizzix cutter!).

Please also remember that our Michael Miller fabric challenge projects are due. Bring your project and be ready to keep quiet about which one it is! A blind vote will replace show and tell for this meeting, and we will be giving a copy of Playful Little Paper Pieced Projects to our guild's winner.

We'll also be collecting lottery blocks! Please bring $1 per block you make to buy an entry. We're making the same block all summer, Happy Quilting's Star Value Block (16'' size) so you may even have more than one chance to enter. This would be a great one to win! These blocks look fantastic and are very high-impact.

Save all of your regular show and tell projects for August. Hope to see you all soon!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June meeting recap

We held our June meeting on June 7 at the Stratham Public Library in Stratham, NH. 

Our meeting opened with an informal discussion of our summer lottery block. We'll be drawing a winner at the September meeting, so there is still plenty of time to make one--or many--blocks and have a chance to win these beauties! Here is the link to the tutorial. Please make the 16'' block size (which is composed of 64 2.5'' squares OR HSTs squared to 2.5''). It's a good scrap buster!

Our July meeting will be held on July 12 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Stratham Public Library (NOT the first Saturday, due to the Fourth of July Holiday). Mark your calendars!

Our Michael Miller Challenge projects will be due at the July meeting. At our July meeting, voting for the Michael Miller Challenge projects will take the place of usual show and tell. Please save all your non-Challenge projects to show off in August. We'll be attempting a blind vote, and the winner will receive a copy of Playful Little Paper-Pieced Projects

Finished Michael Miller Challenge photos will be due on the Modern Quilt Guild website on July 25. To post your photos:
1) Go to
2) Click the "Community" link on the upper right hand side of the page
3) Click Login, and log in with the email address and password associated with your MQG account. You'll be taken to your profile page.
4) Click "Forums" in the upper right hand side of the page
5) Click "MQG Fabric Challenges" (this is currently third in the list) 
6) Click "FINISHED Michael Miller Fabric Challenge" (this is currently stickied to the top of the page)
7) Click the "Quick Reply" button to create a new post. Click the little icon furthest to the right that means "media" and upload your photo. Add any text you want about your photo, and click Post. 

In other Modern Quilt Guild business, please remember that QuiltCon registration begins June 24. All of the information, including a schedule, registration details, and pricing can be found at . If you would like to enter a quilt in the QuiltCon show, please find information here.

Nancy showed off two rows of a quilt she is making for her bed to try to bust her scraps and stash. It is going to be huge, and colorful! Can't wait to see this finished.

Barbara showed off some bunny wool felt applique pillows that she has been making while her students are taking tests this spring. She kept pulling them off her pile--Paula joked that they were multiplying like bunnies. I love how the slight variations in the colors she chose for the bunnies, flowers, and leaves change the whole look of the pillows.

Sarah is the host for a Do Good Stitches circle, and this is a quilt top she just finished piecing. The vibrant citrusy colors are so "her"!

Paula took some "made fabric" from last month's improv workshop and made a star tabletopper. The bright colors in her work have me itching to try some made fabric myself.

Laura finished a Fancy Fox quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's pattern,

and she finished quilting her Snake Trail quilt.

Laura then led a demonstration of sketch stitch applique, using black thread and a regular machine foot. The first photo in this post shows some cute little blocks that Diane (left) and Mary (right) created. Here are a few more photos of busy hands at work:

It was a good meeting! Hope to see as many people as possible in July for Amy's machine-pieced clamshell workshop. You can check the previous post for details about some supplies you will need, and I will post a reminder before the meeting. Happy summer stitching!