October 28, 2014

October Meeting - Charity Quilt layout fun

Our guild is participating in the Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge (wow, that's a lot of capitalization in the middle of a sentence). You can read more about it here, but basically all the Modern Quilt Guilds who want to participate are asked to make a quilt using a specific colour palette, and some guidelines about how to set it (alternate grid work, read more about that here) and then when its done we can donate it to a local charity. I love working collaboratively, and also, am always happy to do something that can benefit others in the end, so I think this is a great project.

Last month we were given fabric in the predetermined palette, and decided that we would go home and each piece at least one star. Any star. Ohio star, five pointed star, lone Star, paper pieced star - sky's the limit! But we decided that Kona Shadow would be our background fabric (love those neutrals!) and  we could use any fabric we had so long as it co-ordinated with our palette. The Stars would provide a thematic continuity, but would also give everyone the chance to make individual choices.

It was very exciting to see what everyone came up with:
Doris brought us this little beauty. I love how those light turquoise triangles really pop. 

Lisa J. one of our new members really knocked it out of the park with this star made of triangles

Debi did three different wonky stars (and incidentally wins for best hand modelling). 

Marilou brought us three of the same block, but in different colour combinations, illustrating perfectly how much of a difference colour choice makes in block construction.

Sabrina brought us this little loveliness. Which reminds me of how much I love blocks made with all solids. 

Adrienne made these crisp, clean paper pieced nautical inspired stars. You can find a tutorial and download the paper templates here.

Many of our members used took what they learned in the paper piecing tutorial last month and applied it to their block construction for this project. Katherine is fairly new to quilting, and yet went home and designed her own, crazy, paper pieced star. Very ambitious!

And Emily did this four pointed star. See, there a so many star options out there!

Zoriana could not make it to the meeting, but dropped off her block earlier in the week. So sweet. And also entirely hand sewn piecing!

And here's me (Andrea) with the Saw Blade Star I made. I got the pattern from the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters book. 

A little wonky star, also known as a Maverick Star (such a great, easy technique, here's the tutorial I used.)

And the good old traditional eight-pointed star made of half-square triangle blocks.
And that's not even all of them! I know at least one other member has a block that they will be mailing in and sneaky Rebecca managed to be too busy leading the meeting for me to take a picture of her blocks. 

And here's our preliminary layout. Thank goodness The Workroom has a big table. We worked at getting it put together, but didn't manage it all in the little time we had. But don't worry, we'll get it done eventually. 

We also did the usual show and tell portion of our meeting and there were some really beautiful things to be seen. Lisa R. made this gorgeous Marcelle's Medallion quilt from the Liberty Love book.

The back is completely different, but equally beautiful. 

 Also, note the really well done concentric circle quilting. I would love to do this one day.

And this is a table top piece made with the Sidekick ruler from Jaybird Quilts. You can find the pattern, called Rock Candy (also from Jaybird Quilts) here. Love the brights on the black background,

Emily K. brought in the centre portion of the same Marcelle's Medallion that she'd finished piecing. Isn't it incredible what a difference colour choices make? (for more variations check out the Marcelle's Medallion flickr pool. It boggles the mind.)

Emily B. had this little beauty to show us. A stunning wall-hanging featuring cathedral windows.

And on the back, some simple appliquéd circles.

Frankly, I am just blown away by this piece. The handwork on the Cathedral Window portion is crazy, and the dense quilting along with it makes this so wonderfully three dimensional. You should see it in real life. Its nearly impossible to keep your hands off it.

I've been so impressed with the beautiful work our guild members are doing. So inspiring. And that's such a great part of being a guild member - being exposed to new techniques and being urged on to improve in your own practice by the great work of others. 

October 26, 2014

September Meeting

I don't know about you but I LOVE September. It is when I really get that "fresh new year" feeling, much more so than in January. Sure, January has all the New Year Resolutions business, but those mostly just make me feel guilty because I know they are not going to last. And also, New Years is in January, which is cold and crappy and right at the height of winter, feeling like its never going to end. But September! Ah, September feels all full of potential. Full of fresh notebooks and sharpened pencils and the smell of erasers. Funny how I haven't been to school in yeeeeeaars, but still these associations persist. Anyhow, my point is, Fall is awesome.
And our first fall meeting of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild was no exception. It was full of new faces and old faces and new fabrics and good ideas. Potential at its best.

After the business and introductions were out of the way, we did some show and tell as usual. Kristen brought in a beautiful quilt that she has sandwiched and started to quilt. She's decided to do a pattern of simple diagonals, but is going to continue to quilt it more densely. 

Doris brought in a beautiful small quilt, and original pattern full of appliqué and piecing. 

Doris is my hero because she always includes a label. One day, quilt historians will love her.

Doris is also very prolific, and brought in this quilt top for us to admire. I believe it is a pattern from the Transparency Quilts book by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. 

Debi brought in the final quilted version of a top that she'd shown us a couple of months ago. 

She'd sent it out to be quilted by someone with a professional long arm setup. And boy, does it look amazing!

After show and tell we moved on to a little tutorial, led by Andrea. 

We talked about paper piecing, both the kind where you use the printed paper pattern as a foundation. 

And also traditional English Paper Piecing, well known for its use in making hexagons. 

This is a portion of my own personal hexagon collection. I have big dreams of completely a queen sized hexagon quilt, where no two hexes are alike. People have been very kind in sharing their scraps with me. This is a "lifelong" project, and I just hope to get it done someday, but for now I'm just having fun making hexies.

 Its such a simple, fun process. I love this kind of little handwork.
So perfect for throwing in your bag and having on hand for waits at the doctors office or unexpected bits of downtime.

During the meeting we also decided to make a charity quilt, and passed out some fabrics to use as a guide for the colour scheme as we worked on if over the moth. We also decided that we'd all make stars, of any type, so that we had a cohesive sort of visual theme, but also that would give people room to play. I'll be back next month with pictures of our individual star block, and the resulting top.

September 1, 2014

August end-of-Summer out-of-town Meeting

The summer has been a bit slow, both on this blog (ahem, sorry about that) and at the guild in general. Many people had vacations, summer plans, prior commitments etc that kept them from our monthly meetings. So attendance was a little low. Which is neither here nor there, merely a fact as the short, precious summer rushes by us. But we wanted to wring one last little bit of sun-filled goodness out of the final weekend before school starts and a different kind of business and routine settles upon us. And so, we had our last meeting of the summer in a bit of a different location.
One of our guild members invited us to visit her "up North", though really, it was just an hour outside of the city. Nature obliged us with a beautiful day of spectacular Summer weather. Hot and sunny and just about perfect. 
We started with a little lunch.

I meant to take pictures of all the lovely food that people brought, but was so excited to be eating that I forgot all about my camera and by the time I pulled it out all that was left was corn cobs and chicken bones! 

But I managed to get some pictures of dessert. A Lime Tart with a Graham Cracker and Ground Almond Crust topped with Meringue. (I used the recipe that can be found here. It was very easy)

And delicious!

After the eating, and a LOT of talking, we decided to get around to one of the regular meeting features: show-and-tell. Doris Lovadina-Lee showed us this lovely little wall-hanging. Its quite small; 12" x 16", and has been made by Doris for the Canadian Quilter's Association's themed show: It's Time for Colour. The 40 pieces in the show, all made by award winning quilters will travel across Canada from January 2015 to May 2015 and end up in Lethbridge Alberta in June 2015 for Quilt Canada. Along the way they will be shown in Ontario, B.C., Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. with more information on exact show locations to be announced later on the Canadian Quilt Association blog. The quilts in the show will all be available for sale at $200 each (plus tax). All proceeds from the show will be donated to the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada.
This is a beautiful piece with a little hidden surprise under the leaf. A little fabric Pupa! The piece is entitled "Chrysalis Awakening".

Andrea Vander Kooij, our host for the day, finished this mini quilt top. The other guild members suggested that she should make a dress out of it. 

Doris had some other exciting news. See this book? Look inside...

She is a contributor to it! Congrats Doris!

Once business was done, there was other relaxing fun to get to.Or perhaps the not-so-relaxing fun of riding the zip line across the pond, which both Rebecca and Sabrina were both brave enough to try. 

 But for the non dare devils among us, there was always drinks on the dock. 

I feel like this picture sums up the day. The sun sparkling on the water, a glass of wine, and a quilt. The quilt was made by Andrea, out of random reclaimed home-decor weight sample scraps. It was made about three years ago, but was brought to this meeting for the sole purpose of laying on a dock in the sunshine and risking both dirty feet and wine spills. It was a baby quilt at one time, so it was up the the challenge. 

We never ran out of things to talk about. 

And after a lovely day, we walked back up the lane-way to our cars, where most of us braved the traffic to drive back to the city. We decided that this should be an annual event, and maybe even be expanded to being a quilting retreat weekend. We'll keep you posted on potential dates for that next year. And perhaps with the arrival of fall and the return to our regular routines that we'll see lots of our members at next Month's meeting at the Workroom on September 28th.

June 22, 2014

May Meeting

What an interesting meeting we had in May. Sorry I've been so long in posting about it, but here it finally is. 

We started with a little show and tell. Rebecca brought in a quilt that she'd made for her son's bed. Since our tutorial was going to be about circles, this fit right in. It has the graphic simplicity that I've come to expect from quilts made by Rebecca, with such a great added punch of colour.

And here's the back, with just a hint of the exuberance from the front. Such a nice detail. 

And here is a lovely quilt by Katrina Kilroy, who you can see peeking over the top there. This is a pretty great stash buster. Katrina says she is working through her backlog of fabrics from the 80's and 90's, if I remember correctly. Such a great mix of the purples and greens. 

Here's Catherine Clarke, holding the adorable little reticule she made. ("Reticule" is old-tymie speak for "cute little bag") From upholstery samples if you can believe it! She says there is a tassel that she meant to attach to it, floating around her house somewhere. I know what she means. 

And here's a sneak peek at the results of our Sow's Ear Swap. Doris got on a roll and made this sweet bag. 

And here's the first block I made out of my Sow's Ear Swap fabric. Tune in next month for the rest of the finished bag and the items made by other guild members. 

After our show and tell was done, and the business had been dealt with, Doris started her tutorial. 
It was all about curves, as your remember from reading the last post on this blog. She showed us how to piece entire circles like the ones above…

 And how to sew a nice, even curved seam for these quarter block circles.

Here's the one I sewed. Not perfect, but its practically the first time I've sewn a curved seam, and thanks to Doris I am now not quite so scared of circles. I think there may be a Drunkard's Path in my future somewhere. 

And here's one of Doris' own quilts that she brought along to show the different, unexpected ways you could use your cycles and quarter circle blocks. 

Emily brought in a nifty circle cutting tool that we tested. 

 And here's Doris showing us the last part of her tutorial, which was how to make Wonky Circle blocks. That was super interesting, and something I may have to try. Big thanks to Doris for hosting such a great meeting!