January 29, 2015

January Meeting 2015 - New Year and LOTS of New Faces

Its been aaaaages since our last meeting, so it was very exciting to head out to The Workroom again to see what people have been making and doing since last time. And boy were there a lot of people!

After we got the business and whatnot of introductions and dues-paying out of the way, we did our usual bit of show-and-tell.
Rebecca had one of her beautiful, minimalist quilt tops to show us. I love how its all back-lit in this picture. It makes it look like some sort of super contemporary stained glass. 

Andrea brought in these three little quilted board games. They are 27" square, and are intended for playing a simple form of Sudoku, where you use coloured buttons instead of numbers. If you are interested in making on like it the pattern is from the book "A Month of Sundays" by Cheryl Arkison. So simple and fun to make. 

Catherine brought in her finished t-shirt quilt. This one was quite an Odyssey and she is very happy that it is done. As you can probably see, it is a t-shirt quilt. 

She had some good tips after getting it done. As you can imagine, she backed all those stretchy knits with interfacing to stabilize everything, but also recommends that when working on patches like the one above, that have a LOT of printing on them, of the sort of plasticized ink that t-shirts are often made with, that you do a line of "pre-stitching" with an un-threaded machine, to sort of make a path for yourself, and then do the quilting with a threaded machine. Good tip!

Lisa brought in this adorable baby quilt on which she was just finishing the hand-sewn binding. She used the Les Amis fabric line by Patty Sloniger, which is just adorable!

And another lovely baby quilt from Jacqueline; a sweet pixelated heart…

…complete with gorgeous free-motion handwriting quilting. Lots of love in this quilt!

Dia, a new member to our guild (standing on the right) brought in this amazing quilt. The motif is an actual molecule (Mepalizumab, to be specific).

And the quilting is amazing! She had it done by a long-arm specialist. Note the syringe in there. The whole theme was in reference to an experience she had as she participated in a clinical trial. Fascinating!

Another new member, Julie (seen holding up her quilt on the right hand side) brought in this beautiful, bright classic. She's been working on this one for about two and a half years. Another epic quilt project, as she had it quilted by a long-arm specialist, but did not like the results, and so, picked out all the stitching and has started hand quilting it herself. Now that is dedication to your vision!

I think the hand quilting it a great choice and she is doing a beautiful job of it. She is making it for her daughter, and it is sure to be a treasured heirloom one day. 

Dana, a new, (though temporary member, visiting Canada from the Ukraine) has completed this strikingly graphic quilt top. I can't wait to see how she finishes it!

And Catherine C. has finally gotten over her fear of zippers, and is using little orphan quilt squares to make the cutest little zippered pouches. 

Another bit of fun from the meeting was the "We're Not Really Presidents Challenge". Many guilds have a "President's Challenge" but since our guild is somewhat unique in the way that we have structured our leadership, Rebecca and Andrea (our not-really-presidents) have issued the challenge. Anyone who wanted to participate chose a magazine at random out of a bag. Then, we chose a number  (25) and asked each member to open the magazine to page 25, and rip it out. We are to each use that randomly chosen page as our inspiration for a small quilted object that has a perimeter between 48" and 60". It can be square or rectangular. You can be inspired by colours on the page, motifs, text, anything really, so long as it is on that page. We'll bring the finished items to the May meeting to be judged by the Not Really Presidents, for a chance to win fabulous prizes!

Thanks again to all the people who came to the meeting, both new members and those lovely familiar faces that we always look forward to seeing again. See you next month!

December 17, 2014

November Meeting - Last meeting of 2014

Our November meeting was quite the party. Literally, because its the last meeting of the year for us (just a reminder: no December meeting folks) so we brought food and made a little Happy Holidays feast of it. But also because of the sheer number of us. There were LOTS of new people checking out the guild. More than twenty of us, all told! It was a lot of bodies to pack around The Workroom's big table, but we managed it. It was also an extra long event as our official host Jaqueline suggested we join in on the Quilt Sunday fun. Quilt Sunday is an event hosted by The Workroom on the last Sunday afternoon of each month, from 1-3. Quilters are invited to use the facilities at The Workroom to work on their projects, often working together to pin-baste a quilt sandwich or some other job like that, which is more easily accomplished on a big table with many hands, than at home on the kitchen floor!
So we all showed up with work to be done. Marilou did a little speed-piecing. 

And Rebecca was busy sewing hand-sewing on a binding. (see her lovely finished quilt wall-hanging at the end of this post)

The place was packed, but everyone found some little nook or cranny in which to work.

Various members of the TMQG, both old and new and Quilt Sunday enthusiasts worked together to pin-baste a quilt sandwich.

Rebecca was kind enough to put together all our various stars from last month to make the quilt top for our Charity Quilt. And she quilted it too! But there were a lot of thread ends that needed burying. So Doris, Debi and Lisa started in on it. 
But it was a big job and takes more people than you think, so Katherine joined them.

And then Emily got in on the action. And I still don't know if they got them all done!

Eventually we all gathered around the big table for show and tell. Our guild is participating in a zippered pouch swap with a guild in Victoria. Here are our various member's contributions. Aren't they sweet?
And how about this pretty thing? Part of a workshop available at the Workroom. And a work in progress by Jaqueline. 

Look at this kaleidoscopic stunner that Sheila brought in to show us.
I love her fabric choices. She always manages to combine playful and modern so well.

And Georgia is a new to our guild, but still had this sweet quilt to share. I love that it matches her shoes. 

Bereen is also new, recently arrived from the West Coast. Here she is showing us a bag that she patched and constructed for a charity auction... 
...and a stocking. One of a number that she will be making for her family, as Christmas is nigh.

Samarra made this amazing negative space wall hanging with a fairytale theme.

And Lisa brought in this baby quilt-in-progress.

Note the crazy skilled hand quilting. I know. Can you believe those are hand stitches? Amazing. 

Lisa was filling her time before the Holidays making lots of little coffee cup sleeves for all her co-workers and friends. A very nice little project for using up pretty scraps. 
And as promised, here is Rebecca's finished wall hanging. So cool and calm with the gorgeous chaos of pattern around it. 

Thanks so much to all who came out to the November meeting, both our "regulars" and all the visitors who came to check us out. We hope we'll see many of you again in the New Year. Our next meeting will be on January 25th. 

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 appliqu├ęd 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.