Thursday, July 23, 2015

August meeting announcement

Our next meeting (Sunday August 2nd, 1:00-4:00pm) will be held at Quilter's Corner in Finleyville. We certainly hope to see everybody there! MaryBeth will be sharing with us the exciting new things she saw at the Spring Quilt Market and the shop will be open just for MQG members. 

It looks like the best bet to getting to the shop (Quilters Corner, 6101 Pennsylvania 88 #1, Finleyville, PA 15332) is to take Rt 19 or 51 to avoid construction on 88. Google maps seems to be aware of the situation, so we advise looking into the routes suggested on that website. If you are interested in organizing a carpool with other members we suggest that you take advantage of the MQG forum for the Pgh chapter. A topic has already been started for this if you are interested. (Didn't know about the Pgh MQG forum? This is a great place to communicate with your guild members in between meetings. Just head over to this webpage, login with your MQG username and password, and join the group to start chatting!)

If you are coming to the meeting, please bring some of your work for show and tell, even if you have shown it before. MaryBeth is very interested in seeing what our guild is up to.

Also, during the month of August, Quilter's Corner is accepting donations of homemade pillowcases that will be given to charities who work with pediatric cancer patients. We ask that you bring a completed pillowcase with you to thank them for hosting this meeting for us. Some tutorials on how to construct a pillowcase can be found here and here.

The FQ Club payment ($12) is due at the August meeting. Mona and Stephanie will be picking the fabric this time around, and it will be available at the Sept 13th meeting. Also, don't forget if you did not pay your dues at the July meeting, please bring them with you in August. Dues are $40 this year. Please email the guild to make other arrangements to pay your dues if necessary. 

We have been a little lax in designating our BOM's the last few months. I have updated the BOM page on this site with suggestions for the circles/curves and improv skill builders. We promise to remember to do this! Our block for August, Stashbuster #2 from Little Miss Shabby, looks pretty fun and great for scrap busting. Head on over to this great tutorial to make the block pictured here:

Stashbuster #2 by Little Miss Shabby

Maybe you can bring one of these to the August meeting for show and tell!

See you soon!

Monday, July 20, 2015

July meeting recap

We had a great turnout at our July meeting!  It was nice to see some old faces as well as meet some new friends.
  • We have exciting news! Details have been finalized for our upcoming workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood on October 4th, to be held at the Pittsburgh Project from 12-7 PM. We are very fortunate to secure this national speaker. More details will be available shortly. Members will have the first opportunity to register and at a lower membership rate. The workshop will focus on improv and will not require any special materials.
  • Annual dues were collected for the 2015/2016 fiscal year. If you were unable to attend please email the guild to make arrangements for mailing your payment.
  • Amanda presented her ideas for the QuiltCon charity quilt challenge. The color scheme this year lends itself well to really representing Pittsburgh. She has taken a photo of one of the area bridges and has sub cut it into 25 blocks. The guild will purchase the main fabrics, and members will be given a “photo block” along with a fabric bundle to improv piece the portion of the bridge that they have been assigned. The fabric bundles and block print outs will be available at the September meeting. Some members have already claimed their blocks!
    Amanda's improv pieced bridge block and the inspiration photo
  • Kathy announced the final details for our August meeting. Since the Pittsburgh Project is not available to us on August 2, the Quilter’s Corner has kindly offered to host our meeting. Mary Beth, the shop owner, will discuss what she saw at the Quilt Market in May. She will share with us the trends and new fabrics and patterns that are coming out. Quilter's Corner has some fabulous modern fabrics and great patterns! The shop will be open for our members so be prepared to shop! This is a special treat for our members so we are asking those attending to make a pillowcase to contribute to the charity that the Quilter’s Corner supports. We are also asking members to “strut their stuff” and bring some projects for show and tell.  Mary Beth would like to get a feel for our group and interests. The meeting is 1-4 PM and Quilter’s Corner 6101 Rt 88, Finleyville. More details to come soon!
  • Show and tell (our favorite part of the meeting) was full of some lovely projects by our members:
Gerry Benton discussing this captivating paper pieced mini

Gerri Bobnar showed an applique project
Cheralee showed a fun little quilt that she had made for a swap 
Sandy asked for ideas on her quilt, although the general agreement was that it looked great the way it was.  

Michelle finished the EPP project she was working on last month
  • Fat Quarter Club: Mona and Stephanie will choose the fabric for September. The $12 fee to participate is due at the August meeting.
  • Pittsburgh Project Charity Quilt: Every year the guild donates a quilt to the Pittsburgh Project Auction. This is the major fundraising event for TPP, and they are very generous with space for our meetings. Sarah is collecting 12 ½” by 18 ½ “ blocks in green, blue and grey. This quilt needs to be completed by the end of November, so consider making a block. Only a handful more are needed!

The skill builder for this meeting was foundation paper piecing with Amanda. Amanda began by showing us some blocks that she has been working on for her Polaroid quilt project. These little six inch blocks are quite detailed and really show off the power of paper piecing. 
Amanda's Polaroid paper pieced blocks

She began with a discussion about different papers that can be used and tips on how to accurately print the patterns. An exciting innovation is the use of freezer paper that comes in sheets and can be used in an ink jet printer. It can be ironed to the fabric, peeled off when finished, and then reused. No more picking paper from a piece! Amanda recommends a small stitch length, lots of spray starch, and the “add-a-quarter” ruler with the lip.  She demonstrated several ways to make the block of the month. Amanda's instructions for standard paper piecing and freezer paper piecing can be downloaded here and here.

The paper pieced blocks constructed at the meeting. Check out those smiles!

Look for the August meeting announcement to be up soon!

Happy sewing,

Friday, June 26, 2015

July Meeting Details

The July meeting is scheduled for Sunday, July 12th at 1:00pm. We will be meeting at the Pittsburgh Project, as usual. Please note that this meeting has been pushed back to the second Sunday in July due to the Fourth of July holiday.

Things discussed at the meeting will include:

- Meeting schedule for the rest of this year
- Raffle quilt arrangements
- QuiltCon 2016 charity quilt collaboration

Membership dues will be collected. They are $40 for the 2015/2016 fiscal year. If you cannot attend the meeting please email the guild to make arrangements to mail your payment. Cash or check are accepted. Please make checks payable to Sarah Lozecki.

The lesson for July will be Foundation Paper Piecing with Amanda. The block that Amanda has chosen for this month is "Worlds Without End" by Quilter's Cache. Please visit the Quilter's Cache website to download and print the template.

World's Without End 12" block

The supply list for this lesson is as follows:
  • Printed block template on paper of your choice (normal printer paper will work just fine, and you will need to print four copies for a 12 inch block)
  • Fabric scraps large enough to construct the block
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Ruler (Add-a-quarter ruler is preferable, but standard ruler will work fine)
  • Index card or post card
  • Fabric glue or pins
  • Iron and spray starch
  • Small, sharp scissors
  • Sewing machine with standard sewing supplies

See you in July!

Monday, June 15, 2015

June Meeting Recap

The meeting started with discussion of several items of business:

  •  Annual dues: Those present voted to raise the annual dues by $5 to $40 for the 2015/2016 fiscal year. This increase is necessitated by the increase in dues to the national organization based on our current level of membership.   Membership dues need to be paid at the July meeting. If you cannot attend the July meeting please contact the guild to arrange to have your payment mailed. 
  • QuiltCon charity quilt: When making last year’s QuiltCon charity quilt we had great participation and produced a really nice quilt, but we also learned a lot of lessons along the way! The plan this year is to start with a clear vision and to have the guild purchase the fabric to achieve a more cohesive look.  We are looking for volunteers to sit on a committee to plan and coordinate the QuiltCon collaboration. If you think you might be interested in this, and did not already do so, please take a few moments to respond to the survey that was emailed out last week.
  • Pittsburgh Project quilt: Each year the PghMQG donates a quilt to the Pittsburgh Project Auction.This is the major fundraising event for the Project, and they are very generous with space for our meetings. Sarah is collecting 12 ½” by 18 ½ “ blocks in green, blue and grey for the 2015 quilt. This quilt needs to be completed by the end of November, so please consider making a block. Here are the blocks that we have so far:
  • Raffle quilt: We discussed again the extra quilt from last year’s Pittsburgh Project donation. We would like to raffle this quilt off as a fundraiser for our group.  We discussed pricing and locations.  Amanda will follow up and arrange for tickets and signs to go with the quilt.
  • Sherri Lynn Wood workshop: We have an opportunity to have nationally known quilter, Sherri Lynn Wood, conduct a workshop on October 4th from 12-6:00pm. This is a great opportunity for our guild. For this reason you were surveyed to determine interest and willingness to pay the costs. The leadership has discussed ways to market the workshop to other guilds in the area. Please have a look at Sherri Lynn Wood’s website to see if this interest you and let us know, if you have not done so already. 
  • Schedule changes: With the possibility of the workshop we have made some changes to the meeting schedule. Please have a look at the meeting tab of this website for the currently planned schedule.
That concluded the business portion of the meeting.

The June FQ Club installment was handed out at the meeting. Please head over to the FQ Club tab on this website to view the latest selections. Lauren selected 6 great fat quarters. Yes, that’s correct; we each received 6 FQs this time due to some left over money from the last month and some savvy shopping by Lauren. Thanks, Lauren!   Mona and Stephanie will choose the fabric for September.  The payment ($12) is due in August if you wish to participate.

There were quite a few lovely pieces displayed during show and tell. Gerry, as usual, has been busy – piecing a quilt top using the blocks made at the retreat and the circles that she created for her demo.  She also made a great bag.
Gerry's quilt top constructed from the raffle blocks she won at the retreat!

Mona brought in several projects that she recently finished:

Mona's cool little mini quilt

 Melissa showed a finished quilt and the hand piecing that she does in the bus!

Melissa's charming charm pack project
Michelle showed off this impressive EPP project that is almost completed.

Michelle's EPP mini for a swap
Pleas see the guild Flickr page for photos of all of the show and tell items from this meeting. 
Finally, Lauren discussed improv piecing with us after generously sharing some of the fabric that she felt needed to go to other homes. She showed several of her quilts as examples and discussed her approach with each.  Some of her suggestions:

a)    Take some old blocks, overlap them and then just cut a straight line through them and then mix and join
b)    Give yourself a rule and then modify as you go along.  Maybe you are going to create strips of three and then join in different ways or vary color etc.
c)    Use scraps and build small units and then see how you can combine the smaller units to make a larger one and continue expanding to desired size.

Lauren explaining her improv process

A cool curved improv piece from Lauren
Several people tried this to create a block for the Pittsburgh Project charity quilt.

The next meeting will be Sunday, July 12th (please note that this is the second 
Sunday in July). We will be discussing Foundation Paper Piecing with Amanda. Look for details to be posted in a few weeks. Meanwhile, if you have not done so, please respond to the survey sent out last week regarding interest in the Sherri Lynn Wood workshop and the QuiltCon project.

Happy sewing!

Monday, May 18, 2015

June Meeting Announcement

June is rapidly approaching (where did the Spring go?!) and we are looking forward to seeing everybody for the next meeting on Sunday, June 7th at 1:00pm. We will be meeting at the Pittsburgh Project, as usual. The topic of this meeting will be Improv Piecing, led by Lauren. 

Lauren's Improv workshop supply list:

We're going to keep this pretty simple since the most fun thing about improv piecing is that it should be about doing what you want and how you want to do it!
  1. Bring a selection of fabrics to choose from (scraps, fat quarters, yardage, old clothes, leftover quilt blocks, whatever).  The amount you bring will determine the size of the finished piece.  Try to bring a selection of values, but otherwise there are no rules.  Don't over think it!
  2.  Bring all the other supplies you need to sew with.  For me, that means: 
    1. Machine 
    2. Rotary cutter + mat 
    3. Scissors 
    4. Iron + travel ironing board
    5.  Extension cords 
    6. Piece of batting or felt to use as a design board
    7.  An open mind
Some extras that might be useful but aren't required:  pins, erasable fabric marker, ruler (you heard me correctly, rulers are optional and you’re only allowed to use them at the end to square up your piece!)

Other things that will happen at the June meeting include:
  • June Fat Quarter Club disbursement
  • Voting on 2015 fiscal years dues 
  • 2016 Quiltcon challenge discussion 
  • Mona is collecting 9" or 12" crazy quilt blocks made from the donated fabric that was given out at the retreat
  • Sarah is collecting 12x18" blocks that are green/blue/grey for a charity quilt collaboration
  • other fun stuff!
Don't forget to bring some show and tell items! We can't wait to see what everybody has been working on!

See you in June!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Pgh MQG Spring Sewing Retreat Wrap Up

Thank you to everybody who came out to the retreat last weekend! It was great to reconnect with old friends and lay the foundation for new friendships with some fresh faces. We would like to extend a big welcome to Ana, our newest member!  

Those who attended the retreat last Saturday ate well; laughed a lot; sewed an amazing variety of blocks and projects; learned new skills; shared ideas; gained inspiration and just had a great old time. The hall at St John's Lutheran Church gave the 22 attendees ample room to spread out with their sewing machines, fabric and tools. Be sure to check out the guild flickr page to see all the photos from the retreat.

Michelle showing off the hexie sewing machine cover she is working on!

Sally's beautiful block!

Cheralee brought a basement sized donation of fabric from a very generous local woman to the retreat. Like vultures we quickly culled the pieces that we liked from this large pile of fabric! While the fabric reflected past tastes there were a lot of great finds to be had.  A big “THANK YOU” to Cheralee for picking up the stash.   

As with any group of women there was plenty of food being shared and sampled! After lunch Gerry Benton gave wonderful suggestions and tools to help us add circles and curves to our repertoires. Gerry discussed the different types of circles that you may want to use and also gave many alternatives for tools and techniques for each one. Gerry’s circles are awesome and hopefully one day we will be able to do as well. Gerry’s advice is to take the extra time to prepare and the results should follow.   
Gerry displaying what you too can achieve when you master the curvy techniques!
Eight people participated in the block raffle- Amanda, Dia, Gerry, Sally, Mona, Cheralee, Sandy, and Gretchen. These names were entered into a drawing, and Gerry won all six blocks.  We can’t wait to see what Gerry does with them!  

The blocks entered into the block raffle

Door prize winners were: Michelle won a bag for mats and rulers, Amanda received the book "Shape Workshop for Quilters", Gerry and Elmira were the lucky winners of gift certificates to Quilter’s Corner, and Karen nabbed a small fabric bucket. Most people stayed till dinner time, and six of us sewed on till 9 PM.The next retreat is planned for September. Hopefully you can join us!

In the meantime you can work on a block for our next charity quilt. Sarah is collecting 12” x 18” blocks that are blue, green and gray. If you attended the retreat don’t forget to make a 9" or 12" “crazy block” using the donated fabric by the next meeting. Drop the guild an email if you need to mail these blocks to somebody. 

The next meeting is June 7th. We will be doing improv piecing with Lauren. More details will be posted soon!  Remember we are the group that never stops quilting, and we continue to meet during the summer!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Don't forget to RSVP for the Spring Sewing Retreat!

The Pittsburgh MQG Spring Sewing Retreat is coming up in just two short weeks! Don't forget to RSVP "yes" if you plan on attending! Space is limited. For those attending, remember to bring or make a block that is grey, teal, and lime to participate in the block raffle. Quilter's Corner has also generously donated three $10 gift certificates that we will be giving away as door prizes! We hope to see you there!