Monday, October 17, 2016

October 2016 Meeting Recap

This month's Inspiration Challenge winner -  Congratulations Amanda!

The QuiltCon Charity quilt top is almost done!  Zsofia handed it off to Lauren at the meeting.  Thank you to everyone who created blocks and/or participated in the sew day.  We're going to be right on target for the QuiltCon submission deadline!

Don't forget the FMQ workshop at the Quilt Company with Nikki is October 22nd.  Click here for the details.

We are proceeding with the planning for the March 2017 retreat.  You should have recently received an email survey asking about your interest.  Please respond so we can get a clear picture of numbers.  The retreat will be March 24-26, 2017.

September's #pghmqgic

The December sew day will not be at the Pittsburgh Project this year.  We are finalizing the location and date.  Stay tuned for updates!

The January 2017 meeting will be our annual General Meeting as well as elections for new officers.  If you are interested in being an officer, speak to any of the current members in those positions to get an idea of the duties.  Also, if you aren't able to attend regularly, try to make the January meeting.  The 2017 focus will be discussed and we value all input.

The Inspiration Challenge blocks keep getting better and better!  This month included a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Liberty Bridge woes, solving a kimono conundrum and recent trips.  Sound intriguing?  Well, come out to the November meeting and take a look for yourself!  You can find all of the info on the Inspiration Challenge by clicking here.

Show and Tell
The MQG (Modern Quilt Guild) held a town hall webinar and is also inaugurating a MQG mini swap.    There is so much going on over there!  Click here to get more information on the upcoming television show, QuiltCon 2017, a new book and how to submit your own ideas!

Trapunto applique

The topic in October was applique.  Discussions included machine versus hand applique, raw edge versus turned under, and the new style of reverse-applique of Alabama Chanin and Alison Glass.  There were samples of different decorative stitches that could be used on your basic machine.  In addition to the handout and points covered, members were asked to air their own problems, and victories to help everyone in the group.  Solutions for sticky needles, using water-soluble thread for trapunto applique and a few throwbacks to previous meetings were shared.  A great number of JoAnn fabrics' handouts on interfacing weights were shared to the delight of some.  Templates for using in a holiday table runner were forgotten at the copier store, but WILL make it into the November announcement . :)  Some of the tips shared by the group were added to the handout and appear in a separate color.  Thank you to everyone for sharing!

Click here for the Applique handout.

The notes on the measurements for the QAYG blocks were also removed from the handout and will be in the November meeting announcement.

Monday, September 26, 2016

October 2016 Meeting: Applique

The October meeting is less than a week away!  The topic will be applique, but before we get to that, let's get a few reminders out of the way.

~The FMQ workshop is October 22nd.  See you there!

~The QuiltCon Charity Quilt sew day was a success!  As of today, Zsofia is ready to hand off the top for the next step of the construction.

Ok, writing about myself in the third person feels weird, so I am just going to write normally.

I wanted to do something different with applique.  I am also going to be going over quilt-as-you-go methods in November, and I wanted to get back to doing a project during the meetings.  I came up with this plan.  In October, I have created a pattern that I will share with you and the several ways I think you can use it for holiday, or geometric-inspired blocks.  (You can use these blocks or your own orphan blocks in the QAYG meeting in November.)  I am going to cover applique methods, what has worked for me and what has not.  I am also going to go over the tools specific to applique, like interfacing, threads and templates.  Because applique is not limited to quilting, we will also go over combining different weight fabrics.  You can use this information in the many handbag and wallet patterns that are out there, or to enhance your inspiration challenge blocks!  Because I have really been enjoying the way we all share our own experiences in the icebreakers, PLEASE feel free to bring questions and stories about what has and has not worked for you.  Finally, I will show you some examples from social media of creative examples of applique methods.  I have a few photos that we will discuss and how to approach turning them into applique designs.  To be clear, you will work on the applique between the October and November meetings.   

At the end of the class, you will receive guidelines to prep and quilt your applique blocks (or an orphan block) to be ready to use in the quilt-as-you-go meeting in November.  We WILL be sewing in November.  If you are going to be at the FMQ workshop, this would be a perfect chance to get those stray blocks, or your applique design block, all quilted up for November.  If you aren't going to the workshop, that's cool, too!  You'll be able to easily get it done between the meetings.  You do not have to do any blocks before hand to do the QAYG.  We will cover 4 methods, and you will still be able to participate.  Stay tuned!                  -Cheralee

Friday, September 23, 2016

September 2016 Meeting Recap

This month, we were sharing the mini quilts we received in the Pennsylvania MQG Mini Swap with the Capital Area MQG (Harrisburg) and also our August blocks for our monthly inspiration challenge.  Members who missed the July meeting brought their earlier blocks, too!

Mini quilts received though #pamqgminiswap

In addition to those projects, the guild was busy prepping for the construction of the 2017 QuiltCon Charity quilt.  You may recall that we were back and forth between ideas based on an Italian artist's works and honoring the characters from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and the Land of Make Believe.  The workshop where the majority of that construction will take place will be this Saturday, September 24, 2016 at The Quilt Company in Alison Park. Details were provided via Evite.  Please make sure to RSVP and choose which tools you can bring when you respond to the Evite.  Thanks for that!

Inspiration Challenges!

We have had some amazing ice-breaker discussions in the past two months from how do you stay organized to what features you look for in an iron.  They have been super informative and it's always fascinating to hear how our fellow guild members sort their fabric and whether they are steamers or sprayers. ;)

The workshop with Nikki on FMQ is sold out!  Yay!  That workshop is also at the Quilt Company on October 22nd.  Lunch (provided by Sally) will have vegetarian options.

The MQG has been busy with webinars on "no tails binding", a town hall meeting that will be available to listen to if you didn't catch it, sending out requests for quilts, patterns, webinar ideas and potential book projects.  Watch your Inbox for those emails and take a second to check out the free monthly quilt patterns when you log in to their site.  Cheryl likes to make mini versions of them and they look dynamite!

Nikki and Gerry ran the education portion of the meeting, reminding us that the basics of quilting leads to less headaches when it comes to construction, pressing and longarm quilting.  

A few of Gerry's tips:

  • Read the directions! 
  • Make sure your machine is clean, is calibrated for your project and has fresh needles, etc.
  • Have good block hygiene: choose the proper thread, press correctly, measure constantly and keep your thread tails under control.
  • You can always use a refresher.  Check out a book or online class for beginners once in awhile to ensure you don't have any bad habits.  
A few of Nikki's tips:
  • Do your best.  Providing straight, flat and accurate quilt tops will ensure that your quilt looks its best after quilting.  Longarm quilters can fix lots, but they can't perform miracles.
  • Keep your quilts tidy: no loose threads, pet hairs, or wavy/puckered areas.
  • Choose batting carefully, discuss it with your longarmer - they may insist on a certain kind.
  • Be clear about your expectations regarding budget, designs, time frame, etc.  Work out the details BEFORE shipping the quilt top.
  • Each longarmer is different; you are giving them your work.  Before choosing a quilter, get recommendations, look at their work (front AND back) and be certain you are a good fit.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

FMQ On Your Domestic Machine Workshop

***UPDATE 09/15/2016 - The workshop is now FULL.  Thank you for your interest!***

Are you ready to add "free motion quilting" to your quilting toolbox? 
Or perhaps you've tried free motion and have questions about anything from batting to technique? 

Join us for a 6-hour workshop led by long arm quilter Nikki Maroon. The workshop will begin with tips for choosing thread and batting, basting, and setting up a domestic sewing machine for free motion quilting. Next we will cover tips for getting started, including demonstrations of many different quilting designs (come with ideas and suggestions!) and plenty of time for you to practice and ask questions. In the final portion of the workshop we will talk about determining a quilting design. Feel free to bring your own quilt tops to join in the discussion and gather ideas! All skill levels are welcome!

*Lunch, including vegetarian options, will be provided.*

Friday, September 2, 2016

September 2016 Meeting: Basics 101 and Preparing Your Quilt for the Quilter

   Can you feel the crisp air?  No?  How about the leaves changing?  Hmm... You know that pumpkin spice-everything has hit the shelves, right?  Yes?  Yay! It's almost fall!

For the September 11th meeting, here's a brief recap of what you should bring:

  • #Pamqgminiswap is over so please bring what your partner sent you.  You don't have to bring the extras - the mini is fine! ;)
  • The QuiltCon quilt blocks are due!  If you took packets, please make sure you bring them to THIS meeting.
  • August's Inspiration Challenge blocks are due.  We can't wait to see them!
  • Dues need paid asap.  If you did not renew by September 1st, the mother ship (MQG) will be removing you from the roster.  

Also, the Eventbrite email went out to all members for Nikki's FMQ workshop.  The link cannot be added to the blog, so dig into your trash or spam email folders.  We are opening it to non-members on September 15th and space is limited.

There will be a sewing day for the QuiltCon quilt later in September.  THAT email went out a bit ago via eVite, so again, look for it and respond aye or nay.

Our program leaders sent me these notes, so be ready! ;)

Thinking about sending your quilt out to a long arm quilter? Learn a few tips and tricks to make the quilter's job a bit easier and your finished quilt even more spectacular!


“Quilt Construction Tips”
With Gerry Benton
As a quilter, I’m always looking for ways to improve my quilting skills.
Come join me at the September meeting to review the following:
1. Methods for measuring/cutting patterns.
2. Reading pattern directions before starting project.
3. Accurate ¼”  piecing ( template and paper piecing)
4. Threads I use for piecing
5. Machine set up  and maintenance(thread /bobbin  tension and cleaning)
6. Completing block  pressing
7. Bring your questions about quilt construction.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

August 2016 Meeting Recap

There was SO much going on in July!  We had QuiltCon charity blocks, Inspiration Challenge blocks, our mini swap with the Capital Area Modern Quilt Guild and more.  Let's start with some updates, shall we?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August 2016 Meeting: Pattern Design and Manual Drafting

It's time for the August meeting!  Before we leap into the details of another great talk given by B, here are some reminders...

~The meeting will take place August 14 (the second Sunday).
~Bring your #pamqgminiswap projects so we can see them before they are sent off. They should be mailed and received by Labor Day!
~If you have the QuiltCon charity block done, go ahead and bring it back.  Maybe pick up another?  They aren't due until September.
~Have you paid your dues yet?  They were due in July.
~This is the first month for the PghMQG Inspiration Challenge.  Bring your block to be entered into the first drawing.
~Also, Pole2Polls will be having a workshop on Aug 20th from 10-2pm if you want to check it out! 
~Are you making pillowcases for Quilters Corner?  They will be collected at the August meeting.  Don't forget!


Have you ever wanted to…

         …make a particular quilt but couldn’t find a pattern for it?
         …translate a quilt image from a magazine, an online resource or even from your 
            brain into a usable sewing pattern?
         …enlarge or reduce a quilt pattern to suit your preferences?

If your answer is “yes” to any of the above questions, then this lesson is for you! Now let’s learn how to identify the underlying composition of common quilt patterns and how to confidently draft them with ease and accuracy.

Topics we will cover include:

Drafting tools – An explanation of common drafting tools and how to use them

Pattern Formation – A study of the geometry behind various patchwork patterns

Pattern Drafting – A lesson on drafting patterns at a variety of scales to suit our requirements

Template Making – A guide for making fabric cutting templates

 Tools that would be good to bring to the meeting if you have them include:

  • Calculator
  • Colored pencils, markers or crayons
  • Compass                                                
  • Eraser
  • Mechanical Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Transparent tape
  • Paper-cutting scissors