Sunday, October 5, 2014

October meeting recap

Our October meeting was held on October 4 at the Fremont Public Library in Fremont, NH.

Items of business and reminders:

  • QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge blocks were collected at this meeting. The blocks were SO beautiful and varied! Look for photos of makers and their blocks in Karin's upcoming blog post about the project. By the November meeting, Jessica et al will have assembled the quilt and Mary will have quilted it. They will then pass the quilt to Nancy and Sue who will bind it and attach the sleeve by the December meeting.
  • Northampton swap minis are due at the November meeting. If you volunteered to participate in this swap, get stitching! The theme is "a sense of place" and the quilts should be 20'' x 20'' or smaller. There are no other fabric or color restrictions so enjoy being creative!
  • Speaker arrangements are being made by Amy. So far, we have Lee Heinrich visiting us in March and Sherri Lynn Wood in May, and we may be able to work out additional speakers for the fall. Stay tuned for announcements about these events.
  • The 2015 retreat will be the weekend of April 24-26 in Kennebunk, ME. Laura is getting pricing from the retreat center and will pass on information about costs and deposits as it comes.
  • The Gathering 2015 Exhibit subcommittee has met and distributed information via email. Mary distributed a handout at the meeting. 
  • The SMQG Banner subcommittee has been formed and has been spearheaded by Jessica. If you would like to join this subcommittee, please contact Jessica ASAP.
  • Officer nominations were made. The following people have been nominated for the following offices: President: Laura; Vice President: Judy and Mary; Treasurer: Jessica; Secretary: Peg. Please make every effort to attend our business meeting in November and vote to elect our officers!
  • The December end-of-year celebration is quickly approaching. At this meeting we will have a potluck to celebrate two great years of being a guild, and we will have a handmade item Yankee swap. To participate in this year's swap, you must bring a small, handmade item such as a pincushion, mini quilt wall hanging, small bag, etc. 
Show and Tell:

Sarah showed off this mini quilt that was a gift from Stephanie. It says "Baller" on the back because Stephanie had made a version of this quilt several months ago, and Sarah's husband saw a photo and said it was "baller." Sarah and her husband are sharing the quilt :)

Samantha did some really sweet orange peel quilting on her Michael Miller challenge piece. She'll be giving it away as a baby gift. The citrusy colors make it very baby-appropriate!

Jessica took a seam ripper to her unloved top from last month's show and tell. She took apart the HSTs and reassembled them, and this piece has much more symmetry and rhythm. I think our group admired her willingness to rip and resew something that wasn't working, rather than wadding it up and hiding it!

Jessica's also doing a fine bit of multitasking with this mini quilt. It was her handquilting piece, and also will be her Northampton swap mini. See how her skirt matches the sky?!

Karin showed off her handquilting piece: a Dresden plate made from Leah Duncan fabrics. 

Karin also made this cute horse applique wall hanging for her daughter's room (It is also a Sizzix tutorial!). She says be careful not to be too still next to her or you might get appliqued to something!

Karin remade a blue version of her herringbone table runner out of Spotlight store fabrics because her pattern is being used as a tearsheet in the stores!

And Karin's Halloween tumbler quilt (I didn't catch her much more clever name for it!) is made of Riley Blake fabrics. Her quilter did a fabulous spiderweb design for the quilting. The green binding Karin chose is unexpected and perfect!

Barb's tumbler quilt is the first piece she FMQ'd herself. Her quilting does NOT look like beginner work! (And we even checked the back to see!)

Barb also used this circle of geese block to teach herself to paper piece. What beautiful colors! 

Diane made these three quilts out of some appliqued butterfly blocks from a lady in her family. The butterflies are genuine vintage fabrics--they look like feedsacks to me. She set the butterflies very creatively, and the quilts will be for children in the family. I think she said she has even more of these butterflies!

Nancy finished her purple and green wedding gift quilt!

and she made this wall hanging size quilt out of some of the blocks from last month's block lottery. These blocks look so beautiful assembled! 

Colleen made this colorful quilt out of Amy Butler fabrics. I believe she said it was a bed quilt for her daughter? 

Colleen also made this gloriously scrappy wonder. She laid it on the floor and we all spent several minutes peeking out our favorite fabrics! What fun this one will be to use.

Peg's piece for handquilting is a gift for a writer friend. The typewriters are very appropriate!

Laura is maybe done making fox quilts now, but also maybe not.

The foxes also made a cute mini quilt!

Paula gave a great lesson on handquilting at this meeting. It was such a fun stitching-circle experience, all the ladies sitting around and working on their quilting handwork. I learned several new tips I didn't know, and I am *determined* to get that rocking motion down correctly. It was such a treat for me to get to watch Paula use her thimble to rock the needle back and forth--I taught myself to handquilt by reading the internet, and you really miss out by not watching someone experienced work! Thank you Paula!

Our next meeting will be Saturday, November 1 in West Newbury; the agenda includes the annual business meeting and elections. Hope to see everyone there.

ETA: Here is Karin's group photo of all of us with our house blocks. Thank you for sharing this photo, Karin!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

October meeting reminder

This coming Saturday, October 4, our October meeting will be held from 10 am to 12 pm at the Fremont Public Library on Jackie Bernier Drive in Fremont, NH. This promises to be a busy meeting, and there is a lot of prep work to do this month!

--your house block for the QuiltCon Charity Challenge. PLEASE see your email for the specific instructions and ongoing discussion regarding this project. It is vital that these blocks be handed in to Jessica at the October meeting so that she can puzzle together the top. If you are making a block and will not be able to attend the meeting, please mail the block to the SMQG's PO box. (Click the "Contact" link at the top of this blog for the address!)

 --all the supplies for Paula's handquilting workshop. Check out the list, here

--officer nominations! If you would like to serve on the executive committee, please consider nominating yourself. The election will be held at our annual business meeting in November.

Hope to see you all for a morning of peaceful hand stitching!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

September meeting recap

Our September meeting was held on September 6 from 9 am to 12 pm at the Wiggin Memorial Library in Stratham NH. In the photo above, you'll see three of our members wearing handmade dresses and another working on a handmade knitted accessory! 

Peg opened our meeting with some important items of business. We're gearing up for an exciting fall! 
  • The mini quilt swap with the Northampton MA guild is ON. Peg has a list of 10-11 names of participants. The mini quilts should be less than 20'' x 20'' and our theme is "a sense of place." The minis are due at the November meeting, and they will be shipped to Northampton. If you have signed up for this swap, get making your minis!
  • Laura is looking into dates with the Franciscan for a 2015 retreat. I will keep the group posted on what is happening; Paula requested that we go ahead and look into 2016 dates and I have emailed my contact. However, we may need to look into other options for places to hold the retreat. Watch out, there may be a poll coming that may ask you questions such as what time of year might be convenient for you and how much you would be willing to pay.
  • As a group, we "appointed" Amy (who really kindly volunteered!) to contact some possible speakers to do lectures or workshops. I can't share any real details yet, but hold on--things are happening here! (really!)
  • The Gathering exhibit is still happening in 2015. Peg, Mary, Diane, and Amy have volunteered to be the committee in charge of our exhibit. At next month's meeting we'll have a discussion about what they will expect from the group in terms of our contributions. I'm excited to get sewing on my show quilt!

We had some great pieces shown off at Show and Tell this month.

Amy received her Sweet Tea quilt back from Spring Market. I love how this design looks classic but a bit unexpected too--check those secondary crosses!

Diane finished a quilt using some blocks from an online block of the month. She ended up not loving the blocks so she cut them up and set them in a very modern setting. See the quilting in the lower right area of the quilt? She used a very elongated zigzag stitch on her Janome to achieve that look. She said it is called "honeycomb" quilting. So neat! And I love the way she used the Marimekko large neutral print as background. Those lined-up bottom circles are such a thoughtful detail!

Mary is a little sad to have finished her beautiful Chicopee quilt because she had to take it to its new home right after the meeting. The good news is she has scraps to make another quilt! The saturated colors of Chicopee really pop against the Essex linen background, and the simple design lets her quilting shine. She's also modeling her brand-new Tula Staple Dress!

We had to twist Stephanie's arm to show off this gorgeous paper-pieced rainbow quilt that she is working on handquilting. My (sad) iPhone photo is blurry, but each star center is a fun fussy cut alphabet letter. I know her daughter will treasure this rainbow quilt.

Sarah is performing a public service by sewing fall into existence. Her scrappy leaf is appliqued onto a chartreuse (is it Mochi dot?) background. Bring on the apple cider!

She also made a Barn Bats mini that will become her Halloween decoration. Sarah, I think the weather FINALLY heard you!

Kali made this quilt from a bright fabric combo. She quilted apple peels in the squares. Her mom has expressed dislike for it but I think it is great.

Kali also finished this beautiful quilt as a gift for a friend. I didn't even notice at the meeting but it is a Friendship Star--so appropriate. She used a mix of deep stash cream-to-white prints and more modern low-value prints as backgrounds for the solid blue stars. She says this is the work she is most proud of to date, and I think with good reason. Hooray for the deep stash!

Jess showed off a beautiful Texas Lonestar piece that I didn't get a photo of (because I was busy running my mouth?) but I did get a photo of this piece. She says she is not sold on it, so I am looking forward to seeing what it becomes. I think some of those prints are Tula so this top is much too precious to abandon.

Laura made a Swedish Bloom-Time quilt (from the book Patchwork Please!) for her sister out of some brand-new Cotton and Steel. It was SO good to cut into new fabric right away.

Karin's beachy, sunny quilt is for her son (Karin--son-shine?) and was a Sizzix tutorial as well. The cornerstones that look like half equilateral triangles are a smart touch to make the border look even more sunshine-y.

Karin made this quilt as part of the Fat Quarter Shop's Jelly Roll Jam blog tour. It is so cute and colorful! The straightforward design really shows off the colors of the Lotta Jansdotter prints.

Karin also made this seaglass-inspired table runner as a tutorial for the Sizzix blog. Sarah's convinced me I'm ready for fall, but these beachy colors make me think I am not quite ready to let go of summer yet.

Karin also finished her fun Fruit Ninja quilt. She designed the paper-piecing pattern herself. It is so brightly colored, vibrant, and fun! Karin also showed off a purple tumbler baby quilt that didn't make it into my bad iPhone photo roll.

Nancy is smiling because she is so glad to have finished up this WIP! Maybe if you squint you can see the hibiscus flowers the quilter added to her brightly colored quilt. So appropriate and tropical.

This quilt Nancy made as a wedding gift. One of the couple likes purple, the other likes green, so this quilt helps them meet in the middle! 

Judy is calling this project her "Clamshell Bailout." She wanted to finish a project with her clamshells from Amy's workshop a couple of months back, but didn't particularly enjoy sewing those small, tight curved seams. So she figured out a modern setting for the clamshells and added some scrap strips. I think this is a really stunning, smart way to finish a project she was tired of!

Peg showed off a Washi Dress muslin she has been working on. She intended it to be a wearable muslin, and I think our group *may* have convinced her to finish it up and wear it. Now that she has all her fit adjustments done, she can Washi with the best of us! (Peg, I am sorry, the one photo I got is unusably blurry!) 

The rest of our meeting was devoted to planning our guild's QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge quilt. If you were not at the meeting and would like to participate, please check your email right away and read Judy's very detailed email about the project. Some details to note: fabric will come from Peg (THANK YOU PEG for donating the fabric for this project!) and we are to use ONLY the fabric in Peg's bundle; blocks will be due to Jess at the October meeting, so we really need to be sewing these now. Please refer to your email for the full details.

Thank you to all who attended, and I hope to see everyone at our October meeting in Fremont, NH. Paula will be teaching handquilting, so there are some supplies you will need to prepare/purchase if you would like to participate (save those Joann's coupons!) You can find the supply list HERE.

Officer nominations will also occur in October, before our annual business meeting in November. If you would like to serve on the executive committee, please consider nominating yourself!

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.