Monday, November 28, 2016

December 2016 Meeting : Sew Day at The Quilt Company

This meeting announcement is a quickie so you can get back to perusing the internet for sales all while sitting on your couch in your jammies.

First, the December meeting is this Saturday (12/3) form 9am-4pm at The Quilt Company in Allison Park.  An eVite went out in November with the details and you can RSVP straight from there.  Check you trash and spam folders, just in case.  The December meeting will be held at 1pm if you want to stop by for that.   

Second, because the Quilt Company is on the smallish side, we are holding the vote for the by-law changes until the January General Meeting.  We usually have a great turn out for that meeting and we'll be back at the Pittsburgh Project where we can accommodate everyone.

Third, don't forget about our newest thing- the Upcycled Clothing Challenge!  Those mini quilts will be due in February.  You can get more info on the challenge here.

Four, if you have been consistently making your Inspiration Challenge blocks from the beginning, you should be half done!  Congratulations!  Take a minute to reflect n where you began, where you thought you would be and where you are.  Here is the original post.

Five, we are going to be voting on new officers in January.  Consider taking on a bigger role within the guild.  Talk to any current officer or Pam.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

New Challenge!

We are unveiling a new challenge this month for our members, the Upcycled Clothing Challenge! This is an exciting opportunity to see what you can do with nontraditional materials and do a small part to keep usable items from ending up in landfills at the same time. The challenge is to make one miniquilt for which the top has been constructed entirely from material that has been salvaged from previously used clothing. Bonus points for also using upcycled backing, binding, and batting! (Note: there will not actually be points awarded.) 

You can find the clothing for this challenge in a multitude of places: your closet, flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, that shirt you keep nagging your husband to throw away, etc!

The finished minis will be due at the February meeting and should be 24" square or smaller (however, the mini does not need to be square). The finished pieces will hang at Spool for the month of February where they will be voted on by the public (a hanging sleeve is not necessary). The winner will win a $50 gift card and mad street cred. 

Please check out the hashtag #makedoquilt for some inspiration and use #pghmqgucc to tag your progress so we can all see it!

We can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

November 2016 Meeting: Quilt As You Go

Quilt as you go... There are several reasons why you might want to give this a try.  Maybe you don't have a long arm machine.  Perhaps you want to control every aspect of your quilting.  Rounding up orphan blocks and creating something is both useful as well as psychologically beneficial.  It could also be that you just want to add an additional skill to your quilting bag of tricks.

At the November meeting you'll be experimenting with two methods for QAYG - joining pre-quilted blocks and quilting while you also piece.  There are MANY methods to QAYG.  We are just going to cover these techniques with a few tricks to customize them for yourself.  I am linking the handout in case you would like to get creative!  Click here for the November handout.

We WILL need our machines and notions!  Don't bring irons, the guild will set up a few stations.

For QAYG, you will need the following supplies.

Joining Pre-Quilted Blocks:

At least 2 pre-quilted blocks (do not trim them!)
Strips at least 1" wide and the length of your blocks to use as sashing

Ticker Tape Method:

Square piece of muslin or background fabric
Square pieces of batting larger than the muslin
Square piece of backing larger than the batting
Assorted scraps

Here is the handout for the seasonal table runner and templates:



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.