Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's that Time for Us to Meet Again! Wow!

Modern Quilt Guild Meeting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stitched Studio
1144 East Paris SE
Grand Rapids

Social time:  6:30 pm

Meeting begins:  7:00 pm

 One of my hostess gifts for my daughter's in-laws.  Since this fabric is "modern" the young hostess will probably choose this table runner.  This pattern is from Quilted Memories in Montague.  Jill makes the  best patterns.  The red batik on the back is so that it can be flipped for Valentine's Day and President's Day (cherry pie etc etc etc)
 The apron below is more tradtional but the style is considered modern since it's Retro - go figure!
 This table runner is for another season.  This fabric is part of Jill's kit.  Both of these table runners I did in a day (yep, it's been dreary and sleepy dogs).  While we may be a modern guild, we sew for many audiences and have a variety of taste ourselves.  The backside of the sunflowers is candy corn for Halloween.
 The second apron is from a kit from a winter bus tour a few years ago.  I never made it until today.  More my style apron....but another great hostess gift!  (Yes, it's a tea towel.  I have several I have purchased as souvenirs....guess what friends!)


See you at the meeting!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

How have you spent the snowy days?

It's hard to believe that this is how my backyard looked a week ago!  We were so lucky to be featured on the national news for getting in the way of one of the big storms....thank you Buffalo for winning!  Grand Rapids only received 24+ inches in about 36 hours....but then the rains came and washed it all away!

The dogs were so cooperative the first day of the snow storm, they let me sew and didn't want  to go out every five minutes.  Consequently, I was able to make the wall hanging, shown below, over the snowy and very cold week.  The lion share of cutting and sewing was done on Monday - 6 hours of sewing, stopping only for lunch.

As you can see, it's not quite finished.  I'm not a machine quilter, so I must muster courage and a dreary day so the dogs don't make me go up and down the stairs.  This pattern is not really designed for scrappy sewing unless you have large scraps.  However, every fabric used, including the 3 yards for the back all came from my stash!  Yeah!  Comparing the pattern package to my work you'll quickly notice I added gray instead of a cream and I used two white on white winter fabrics for the background.  The cream suggested didn't inspire me, but I do love the effect of the gray "snowflakes".  Also, I HATE doing flying geese.  My drawers have several tools and instruction sheets to make beautiful FG!  Well, paper piecing the FG's was just too tiring and I was ready to be done with the paper piecing.  Why is it that we pay $9 - $15 for these patters and we get weak instructions or chintzy TISSUE paper.  Foundation sewing on tissue paper, not unlike the pattern companies use, is tedious.  However, the silver lining came because I have surgical quality tweezers that came with a gadget I bought.  The gadget is somewhere as I couldn't make it work, but the tweezers picked miniscule pieces of tissue paper out from the seams. 

Take care and be safe......

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Not just a turkey football day.....

A very happy Thanksgiving Day and weekend to you all!

While I have many reasons to be thankful everyday, I want my quilting friends to know how much I appreciate their sense of humor, advice, conversation, patience and most of all their

Quilting friends are the best!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Curve it Up Time again...

and I don't mean have another piece of pie .....

For those of us who are doing the block of the month using the Curve it Up Ruler we meet Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning for our third time, the 18th and 19th.  Of course come early for check in as the lessons begin promptly at 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. respectively.

How did you all do with your blocks?  These curves are definitely challenging.  However, I did make a discovery on measuring the tails needed for a "balanced" curve. I'm pretty good at guessing a 1/4" measurement, but my curves were off (my warped sense of humor could just carry on about "my curves").  When all else fails, measure!  Measuring points and curves are just annoying for me so I rustled an old friend from my hand piecing and hand quilting days.
 This little brass disc measures a perfect quarter inch.  By placing it at a corner and marking with a soft pencil and Voila!, you know where the 1/4" is for all directions.

 I found that my Pentel disposable mechanical pencils have softer lead than my old Bic Cliks.  With the softer lead I could easily mark two layers
 Be aware that when marking a single layer, the pencil travels through the fabric, so put a piece of paper underneath the fabric.
 This first square I marked the corners turned out very well for me.
 Well,not perfect when put together, but good enough for a class project.  I don't know if you're having the same problem that I experience: the squaring instructions are not clear.  The quilt designer must have been a reading specialist in prior life because I'm really reading out loud several times......still not clear.  Should my gold arcs meet in the center? Hmmmmm
 The Magic Seamer had limited use with block two for October.  The Curve it Up Ruler was needed for cutting and measuring......I ignored the squaring instructions for this block since we have a simple center where the blocks meet in the center.

I had another discovery with a tool purchased 10+ years ago.  You'll learn of this adventure in sewing when the quilt comes back from the quilter in a few weeks.  Do you love gadgets as much as me?!  There are a few tools  I just couldn't resist buying and still haven't figured out how to use them.....early New Year's resolution:  keep hand in pocket while perusing the gadgets in any store!

See you soon!  Next Guild meeting is December 2nd.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Minutes Reveal.....

Yes, the guild has an organizing committee to steer us to authorization and legal reality.  Kelly H recorded the meeting and the new interim organizers.  They have considerable work to do and need our support and inquiries when they present the membership with their work and recommendations.

Minutes of Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Social time began at 6:30 PM
The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM by Michelle L
There were 7 persons present for the meeting.
Michelle announced that she will be stepping down from the role of President. Ginger M will step in, beginning next month.
Officers will be as follows:
Ginger M …….President
Kathy N ……….1st Vice President
Becky B………..2nd Vice President
Kelly H …………Secretary
Nancy D ……….Treasurer
The executive board will consist of officers, Michelle L, Linda P, and Claire W
The executive board will meet soon. Look for an email to figure out best day and time to meet.
A presentation was given by Michelle L of the trends she saw at the International Quilt Market in Houston
What she saw: metallics; “painterly”, almost impressionistic fabric; quirky prints; faces; lots of Southwest; many garments, some made from pieced fabrics; combination of techniques-wool with wovens, quilting in garments; a lot of modern wool; and, longer stitch length in hand quilted items of modern quilted patterns
A presentation was given by Kathy N concerning the trends in modern quilting.
A great resource is Essential Guide to Modern Quilting by the editors of Lucky Spool
What sets modern quilting apart from traditional or contemporary is the use of  expansive negative space, heavy quilting of a modern flare (no feathers here), scale is larger (one might see a single traditional block blown up to bed sized), no borders, and the use of an alternate grid in the layout
We had a show and share time. The meeting was adjourned at 8:20.  Kelly H  secretary

I have no pictures of Show and Share to post as I have not received any from anyone who attended the meeting.  If I should receive photos, I will post them as we all enjoy seeing our work posted.

Reminder:  our next meeting is Monday, December 2 at Stitched Studio.  See you then!

I've been finishing my One Block Wonder that I started in a class last spring/summer.  Rather than choose the more traditional floral fabric, with the help of Vickie S (the most phenomenal teacher in all my years of learning), I selected a very muted, almost monotone batik.  Here are a
Here's the fabric before being cute in 90 degree triangles
couple pictures to show you one of my projects in the works.  I've begun hand quilting it so it ALMOST done - yeah!

The strips of half-hexies to assemble
I had sewn all the hexagons together only to take them apart.  It so pays to read the book of instructions.....

What have you been working on......

If you're looking for a guy quilt try this Martingale link.  The beiges and blacks are really quite sharp.

Bye for now......

Sunday, November 9, 2014

In case you missed it.....

It's so much fun when you know someone who gets a special article about them or what they're up to, unless it's an obituary of course.  In Sunday's Grand Rapids Press a feature article appears about Michelle Luke and her store, Stitched Studio!  Our modern guild also received a small shout out!  Great story, Michelle.  Enjoy the article!

I have been saving links and pictures to share with you but doing the blog from my iPad is ugly and requires more patience than I'm willing to punish myself with.....hang in there. More to come once the desktop comes home......

Here's tutorial on making Pick up sticks block

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Make a quilt or a poppy......

Pictured above is my late cousin Rose with her husband of 60+years one year prior to his passing.  Fritz survived D-Day. However, the battle(s) left him permanently disabled.  Because of the age difference between the "Kelly" cousins I never knew them very well until much later in my life.  After getting reacquainted as adults, I was planning a trip to Hancock, MI to give him a red, white and blue quilt I made as one of my first block of the month projects, to say thank you.  Sadly, he passed away days before my trip, but I gave it to Rose.  It's truly amazing how giving someone a quilt brings tears.  She kept that quilt on her bed every night after he passed; she passed away in June.  The spouses are veterans as well.  They struggle with the effects imposed upon their wives or husbands.

This Veteran's Day say thank you to a vet or a family member.

       This blurb is leading up to the Quilts of Valor project that is now 10 years old!  Their website details how many "official" QOV have been given to veterans.  The organization has specific blocks, size and handling instructions on their website.  If you don't want to follow their guidelines, just make a red, white and blue quilt and donate it to a vet or bring it to the Michigsn Home for Veterans in northeast Grand Rapids.  For more information on our facility home for women and men vets check out this website.

Did you know that there was/is an all female American Legion Post?  Read about this event from the Michigan Humanities website:

Celebrate Veteran’s Day with the Michigan Women’s Hall of 


November 8 in Lansing

Get a sneak preview of our new history exhibit (opening March 2015) about Michigan women veterans and submit your idea for a title.  Michigan women veterans are invited to share a story to include in the exhibit.  Get information and meet members of American Legion Post 535 Nuwarine—the last all-female post in Michigan.  Free admission for veterans and their families.  Visit for more information.

I went to the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame website but couldn't find this event specifically, but if
interested here's their site information.

Anybody remember buying red poppy pins to honor the vets?  I do!  My mother would tie up my money in a hanky and pin it to my dress so I couldn't lose it on the way to Arthur School in Detrot.  The Brits still wear them, what happened on this side of the pond?

Here is a craft that's quick and easy and fun to wear:
Red Poppies

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Election workers plan on a long day, as polls are ready for voters at 7:00 a.m. and can't begin closing until 8:00 p.m.   Help us out by showing up to vote.  When we are slow with low turn out the day often feels 10 times longer than it is.......we love to be busy.....


Monday, November 3, 2014

After you have voted......

  Come to the Grand Rapids Modern Quilt Guild


Stitched Studio

starting at 6:30 p.m. for meet and greet

Meeting at 7 p.m.