Thursday, April 25, 2013

Upcoming guild quilt shows FYI

I know of 2 upcoming guild quilt shows that I thought you might be interested in:

"Sounds Like New Jersey" - Garden State Quilters annual show
Sat, June 1st - 10 am to 5 pm
Sun, June 2nd - 10 am to 4 pm
at the William G. Mennen Sports Arena
161 E. Hanover Ave, Morristown, NJ

"A World of Quilts XXXIV" - Northern Star Quilters' Guild
Sat, May 4th - 10 am - 5 pm
Sun, May 5th - 10 am - 4 pm
John F. Kennedy High School, Rte 138, Somers, NY

Sounds like fun to me!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Preparing for Thursday's meeting! (and other stuff)

For those of you who haven't yet seen this, here is a link that Kathy found "In honor of our Diane and long-arm quilters everywhere..."  Check it out; it's fun!

Here's what Janita emailed to me - "My sister Berene is part of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild and they are making flags for Boston in response to the tragedy. It is a great project and they have an awesome potential place where these are going to be hung in Boston. She has just called me and told me so far 20 modern quilt guilds are participating as well as individuals as far flung as Ireland and Australia! I think it would be a great project for us to do this month - what do you think? ( esp as she said there is no one from NJ yet! - I said not for long….. :-) ) "
Janita and Beth will work together to coordinate this for anyone who is interested in participating. They'll give us all the details at Thursday's meeting. Meanwhile, here are 2 links you may wish to look at to get an idea of what the project is about:

Main blog post:

Patterns & inspiration:

Melanie is scheduled to teach both beginning quilting and free motion quilting classes at Rock, Paper, Scissors! As a "graduate" of her trial FMQ class, I can tell you she's a great teacher - she was so encouraging, gently and slowly pushing us along so we were able to make real progress. Though she talked us through the basics, she is a great believer in the hands-on approach; the real learning came by actually doing the quilting ourselves under her watchful supervision. Good luck, Melanie - you'll be great!

It's hard to believe, but we are coming up on our 1 year anniversary in June and we have grown to 44 paid members!

As we discussed at the March meeting, over the next 2 months we'll be talking about what direction we want to go with our guild in the upcoming year. Please spend some time thinking about what YOU would like the Guild to be - your opinion is important! 

Here are some of the things we'll be talking about. It might be really helpful for you to check out the blogs and web sites of other MQGs to see how they are organized and what activities they are doing. Some are very organized, some not so much; some are very active, some not so much, etc.

If you go to the overall MQG site,, you can choose geographic areas and will be directed to their sites On our own blog we also have links to many of the local MQG blogs. The Bay Area MQG also has a nice site and blog (

Goals -
What do you think the main goals of our Guild should be? Ex: camaraderie, learning, inspiration, community outreach, etc. A little of everything - specifics about how often?

Organization -
How do you think we should be organized? What leadership positions do we need, if any, and what would be the purpose of each? 
Ex: President (or co-Presidents), Treasurer, Secretary (Blogger/Emails/Social Media Chair), Community Outreach, Program Planning, etc. (One or more of those positions may be leaders for smaller groups instead.)
Should these leaders be elected? How would that be handled? Defined terms? In many guilds, people in those positions make up the Board which serves in an advisory capacity. Should we do this? If so, what would be the "job" of the Board?

What kinds of activities are you interested in - at meetings and outside of meetings? How often do you think we should have meeting activities (whether that be a demonstration, a speaker, a technique, a guided discussion, or whatever).
One thing many guilds do is to have members complete a survey to assess interest and solicit suggestions. What do you think of that idea?

Dues -
What do you think the dues should be for a year? What should the dues $$ be used for?

Over the next few months, we have to decide whether our guild will join the national MQG. Aleeda and Rayna as our current leaders have been kept abreast of what's happening on that front and know all the details and ramifications. Rayna cannot be at the next 2 meetings, but she and Aleeda have been talking, so I'm sure Aleeda will be able to fill us in on Thursday. 

Lots to think about - should be a great discussion!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

March Wrap-up

Hello all, hope you have enjoyed this gorgeous weekend!  Here's our post meeting wrap up from last month, in case you missed it!

We had some lovely visitors from the West Milford and Warwick guilds: Lola, Judy, and Caroline!  It was a pleasure to meet you ladies, and we hope you will join us again soon!  Another guest was Luba, a friend of Stephanie's, hope you enjoyed being with us!

Before I get to show and tell, here are some updates:

Our May meeting will be a bit more official than usual.  We will be discussing the future of the guild and the visions we have for it.  Be sure to bring your ideas and suggestions!  We will be discussing the MQG's structure for chapter guilds, what that means for us, and how we would like to proceed.  We will also discuss programming (things we would like to see and do, guests we are interested in having, etc.). So bring your ideas, bring a snack, and be ready to get down to business!

If you are participating in the name tag challenge, and received your partner in February, your name tag is due at our April meeting.  If you received a partner for the swap at our March meeting, your name tag is due in May.

Charity Quilts-  I believe we all so enjoyed seeing our QuiltCon challenge quilt finished and sent off to the Austin Children's Shelter.  We still have our tops from the Lonely Crayon challenge, as well as squares from some other challenges, and the beautiful hand stitched postage stamp quilt.  Melanie suggested finishing them up and donating them to charity.  If anyone is interested in participating, or has any suggestions, please let Melanie know!

Now, onto show and tell...

Diane, our resident long-arm quilter, had 3 beautiful quilts to show us.  First, we saw the most beautiful (and sparkly!) snowflake quilt.  This quilt had a flange binding, too.

Next up was the Majestic Mountain quilt, by 3 Dudes Quilting in Arizona.

And last, but certainly not least, Diane explained how she had been inspired by the guild and the QuiltCon quilt to create a "modern quilt".  Diane focused on negative space in this beauty named "Waiting for Spring".

Josephine showed us a quilt she is making for her niece who is having a baby.  She shared the challenges of building a quilt around a specific fabric, as with this Noah's Ark themed fabric. Can't wait to see it finished!

Amy showed us her "Beloved" quilt.  There was everything to love about this quilt that started out as a backing.  From Great Grandma's red fabric, to the fantastic straight line quilting and the hand embroidered label.  Simply beautiful.

Ashley, who may I remind you has only been quilting for about 3-4 months now, continued to impress with her granny square quilt for her two year old cousin.  It's so special the way the center of each block has different fabrics to represent each family member.  This will truly be a family quilt to cherish for years to come.  You can read more about it on Ashley's blog Wasn't Quilt in a Day.

Peggy shared a few issues of Quilt Life Magazine.  She states that she particularly enjoys this one because it has stories about the quilts and the people that make them.  That's one of Peggy's favorite things about quilting: the community and relationships that develop and grow from a shared passion.  I couldn't agree more, there are some awesome ladies in our group!

Rayna shared a book entitled Daily Beauty: 365 Ways to Play with Everyday Quilt Embellishments by Cecile Trentini.  In this book, the author tells how to use everyday items, including those little round cotton cosmetic pads. Looks interesting!

Andrea showed off a quilted jacket that she made. Wearable art! Fantastic!

The highlight of our night was when Aleeda demonstrated how to make "Barber Pole" bias binding out of striped fabrics.  I'm not sure if there is any scarier combination of words than  "bias, binding, and stripe".  Aleeda assured us that it wasn't all that bad.  We went over the directions and Aleeda shared some tips:

  • Go to the hardware store and ask them to cut a 2.5" (or your preferred binding width) by the longest length of plexiglass they have to make yourself a custom ruler.
  • Know the difference between "good" (even) stripes and "not so good" (uneven or already bias) stripes.  Make a viewer out of an index card by cutting out a rectangle on a diagonal and reinforcing it with some card stock or duct tape.  This little viewer will help you to visualize what the binding strip will look like once it's made, and its small enough to carry around in your purse. (Since you just never know when you'll get the sudden urge to pop into a fabric shop!)
  • Don't work with a piece of fabric larger than a half yard, it's simply too cumbersome.
  • If you think it's wrong, it's right!
Some of us were still a bit perplexed, so there will be a continuation of this little lesson at next month's meeting where Aleeda will pick some brave volunteers to actually demonstrate the sewing and the cutting.

Just a few more things before I go: The Brooklyn Museum is having a quilt exhibition through September 15, so if you're in a New York state of mind, go check it out!

PHOTOGRAPHER WANTED! As you can see, I am not the world's best photographer.  If anyone is willing to take on the responsibility of shooting the meetings and passing the pics on to me, that'd be great!  Shout out to Anne for sending me her pics from last month! :)

Next meeting: Thursday, April 25th @ 7pm.

Until next month, happy quilting!