Wednesday, January 28, 2015

First Tuesday Already!

Our regular guild meeting is coming up fast, this coming Tuesday, at Stitched Studio.  The meeting begins at 7 p.m. with a social meet and greet starting in and around 6:30 p.m.  Below are the minutes from the January meeting.  With good luck from Mother Nature more members and perhaps some new wannabe members will attend.  Below are the minutes.  A big thanks to Becky for helping Kelly out, who couldn't make it to the January meeting.  Another big thanks when you see Becky for scheduling and arranging for the sew-in for Monday, yes, the day before Tuesday night's meeting.

"Minutes of Grand Rapids Modern Quilt Guild
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Executive Board met at 6:00 pm.  Those in attendance were Ginger Mileski, Kathy Nelson, Nancy DeMaagd, Michelle Luke, Claire Whitman, Linda Plowman and Becky Brink.  Kelly Hubbard was absent and Becky Brink took notes.

Discussed about opening checking account.  Will need EIN from Federal and State government in order to open account.  Ginger and Nancy will do that before opening account.  Account will be opened at Fifth/Third Bank so that it is convenient for future Treasurers.  There will be 3 signatures on the account; President, Vice-President and Treasurer. 

The by-laws and policies were approved and passed with a few errors corrected from the rough draft.

We discussed needing a Facebook page.  Michelle L. will look into that.

The regular meeting began at 7:00pm with 4 additional people present.  Due to inclement weather the number present was small. 

The Facebook logo will be done by Mary T. and Michelle L.

Everyone needs to be looking for a place to hold our meetings that is centrally located.  Somewhere along the East Beltline would be good.

There will be a Sew-In, Monday, February 2nd, at First Congregational Church in Rockford, from  9:30 to 3:00 pm.  A mail out will be done to all members to see how many people will attend.  If we do not have 10 people we will cancel at church and do it at Stitched Studio.  There will be a $5.00 fee for each participant.

We will communicate through the blog in the future, in particular, for canceling meetings or other activities. 

We need ideas for Skill School, held at our meetings.  Everyone should participate in ideas.

An introductory activity was done by the group so we may all know each other better.

Show and share was done by the group.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:40pm.

Becky Brink"

The January 26th blog has the agenda for Tuesday's meeting from our president, Ginny M.
Just scroll back to the previous blog if interested.

Doing this blog has really pushed me into blogosphere!  I have my usuals and Bloglovin gives me a nice smattering with their annoying sign-up dialog box on each and every one.  Somewhere along the journey I came across  She has a tutuorial on making a swifter- like replacement from flannel scraps.  She's a true seamstress, more than a quilter.  She has adorable clothes for small children:  stewart plaid children's clothing: suits for boys, dresses I could only dream about for my girls when younger etc.  She also has a plethora of home decorating or money saving tutorials.  Here are the instructions for the swifter from flannel scraps. I really plan to try this idea as I have several scraps from all  the receiving blankets I've been making for gifts these past several years.

swiffer duster cloths
 Also for those of you that would like to make your card table a castle, she has that pattern too!  Enjoy......such clever, clever women we learn about!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Our President Speaks on our union.......

Can you believe it's been about a year since a few avid modern quiltists (my work lol) decided to initiate a modern guild for Grand Rapids!  While not a part of the initial six, several of us did start attending once the word traveled though the various quilting networks.  The Stitched Studio was rumored to have opened but very few on the north end of Grand Rapids and Kent County could get valid information.  Well, that part is history and we have a thriving community of modern quilters.   Our president has sent the following information about our February meeting.  Among other things to show off, bring your check books so the money till has some cash!  Yeah! Here is Ginny's note:

                 Here is the information regarding our February 3 meeting.

"Please mark your calendars to attend the Grand Rapids Modern Quilt Guild meeting on February 3Come at 6:30 to socialize and maybe shop a little.  Meeting starts at 7PM.  We meet at Stitched Studio located at 1144 East Paris SE Grand Rapids, MI 49646.

We started our chapter of the MQG one year ago February.  6 of us met in Michelle’s then not - quite ready to open store, with bolts and bolts of fabric in boxes on the floor!  None of us really knew what to expect.  What we have found is a great community forming around the shared interest (?love) of quilting, sewing, creating, with a decidedly modern flair.

  We have learned new skills, stretched our comfort levels with a couple of swaps, created a quilt for charity and shared many many beautiful things during our show and share.

I am amazed at the level of creativity, skill and passion for this art that has been displayed at our meetings.

We are ready to begin the next bit of our adventure by formalizing our local chapter with the Modern Quilt Guild.  Your volunteer executive board has been busy.   We created by-laws, have submitted paperwork to become a non-profit organization, are opening a bank account, creating a Facebook Group page to help with communicating with members and hopefully attract a few new ones.   This hasn’t left much time for sewing - whew!!

Part of the process of formalizing our chapter involves pay our dues.  We decided at our December meeting that our dues would be $30 per year.  Please bring your check to the February meeting made out to the Grand Rapids Modern Quilt Guild.  We are required to pay our chapter dues to the national organization by the 28th of February.  Nancy, our treasurer, is looking into an account that will allow us to make our payments with a credit card and on line.  As of today, out banking method is definitely old school, not a bit modern, but we are working on that:)

Thanks to all of your for your sharing your time and talent with us."

Did you know that several of the fabric vendors have free patterns for the download.  For Moda look here!Moda patterns look here! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mod Squad Quilting Bee

Caroll D of GRMQG started two new bees last year:  an Applique Bee and the modern quilting bee named Mod Squad.  I asked Caroll to give me a few words about the bee:

       "What is a modern quilt? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Is it wonky blocks? Is it solid colors? Is it choice of fabrics? Is it straight line quilting? Is it geometric design? What makes a quilt modern? Is there one correct answer to that question? We will be discussing this topic at the Mod Squad Modern Bee at the Attic Window Quilt Shop on Wednesday, January 28th, at 10 a.m. Won’t you join us in discussing this topic and spending the day sewing with like minded friends? We will also be introducing a modern BOM that day.  Bring your sewing machine and extra fabrics and something to work on."

Here is some of Caroll's work.

Caroll has taken several classes and seminars on modern quilting.  She participated in the Jacqi Gehring class this past fall and attended her lecture  while the guru of modern quilting was in GR.  While Caroll is teased quite a bit about crossing the river (she lives on the west side), she traveled to West Virginia a couple years ago to attend a class on improvisational quilting as well.  While she would be the first to deny it, she has quite a bit of experience in experimenting and has become quite proficient in MQ.  I love her work especially when she claims her favorite fabrics are from the 1930's!  Please join us for all or part of the day.  Attic Window has space for cutting and all the accoutrements for sewing: iron, ironing board etc.  A small microwave is in the back for heating your lunch or late breakfast as well.  We're always glad to meet new quilters and their ideas on any style quilting, but especially Modern Quilting.  

Vick Welsh had an interesting post in December on the Drunkard's Path Quilt Along .  Please check it for interesting patterns and designs with two simple curved pieces.....

See you next Wednesday at the Mod Squad Bee!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ladies, start your machines.....

Our GRMQG board and members have been busy arranging our very FIRST event!  A sew- in has been scheduled for Feb 2. 2015. Becky Brink has been coordinating reservations and making sure we have irons, tables and mucho electrical.  Even if you don't want to haul your machine just come and meet new friends and do hand work.  I know I can only stay for the morning and will be there for the start and until about 12:30 or 1 p.m.  I have a dog issue - having dogs, while lovable, they do have to be let out.  No, I do not want a doggie door - some day when raccoons are in style I'll explain why I resist all urges to run them over.....

Any way, here is the vital information for planning your first Monday in February:

Join us Monday, February 2nd from 9:30-4:00pm
at First Congregational Church in Rockford

192 Bridge Street
Sew In is $5 for church rental
Please RSVP to Becky Brink at
Becky will be able to answer any further questions as well as directions.

Be careful when thinking you're sure of which church.  I just looked up the location for this link, there are two churches in Rockford that start off with the same name:  First Congregational Church.  We are going to the church with the Ucc after the first words (at least I hope).   Below are the directions to the church.  Also, since I drive via landmarks, Fremont and Division (aka 10 Miles Road) has a traffic light and a way-finding sign for the church. First Congregational Church Ucc of Rockford. 
Also, if you're not into packing your own lunch, Rockford has several great restaurants all within walking distance of the church - a chance for fresh air for you long haul sewists!

See you the first Monday in February and bring a friend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fun at the Curve it Up BOM

Last night those of us attending the Curve it Up block of the month at Stitch Studio had a fun time.  The instructions beg conversation - how to measure an inch down on triangle.....well, we had several thoughts on the was fun and we all learned something.   Every time we meet we get a bit more relaxed.  While I missed the first class in September and the November class was victim to a snowy, snowy day, I feel that we're getting to become more familar...that's when the fun can really begin.  We will be done in March, but will need an excuse to continue, Michelle!

 Our lesson this month was using the ruler to make a modern type Dresden plate.  This student designed hers like a bow tie.  If in a quilt of all the same pattern the bow ties would be very cool!

This student made arrows without realizing it as first....the fun with curves....We all had the same instructions, just different fabric choices.

 The two here are mine - ahh - you didn't get to see the ahead of class.....see my oops below?

 This student work that Michelle is focusing on shows a fussy cut center.  Looks very, very chic, but was she just trying to escape make one more set of curves?!!! Probably not.

I found this picture on the Modern Quilt Guild website while looking for interesting info for you has a Grand Rapids area connection.....can you guess....
It's entitled the Eames Block.  You can find it and more inspiration here at MQG.Look at all the points that meet on the diagonal and the curves....oh my gosh! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Babies are so Beautiful.....

See  Emma Grace!  Isn't she sweet!  Her mom is a childhood friend of  my younger daughter Jeny.  Annie and Tim were blessed with Emma on Sunday morning.
Emma Grace

my daughter, Jeny, holding a new born for the very first time

Once I heard that Annie, Tim and Emma were all fine and dealing with normal first time parent struggles I had to get my sewing in for the day!  Annie sent the above picture of Emma in one of the receiving blankets I made Tuesday afternoon.  Also another fun thing that Emma will have to play with is the fabric books.  I found a couple cute panels at Field's and whipped them up.  Both parents hail from large families and I'm sure have received many gifts - so thank you Annie for showing me Emma wrapped cuddly in her blanket. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Curve it Up Time Again.....

Tuesday and Wednesday of this coming week is Block of the Month time with Michelle and our favorite Curve It Up Ruler.  You won't have to suffer through my whining as I haven't done my blocks yet!  Michelle said they're easy - right? 

I haven't received any pictures from the GRMQG's January meeting so I don't have much to show and brag for you all.  One of the many things that women have to learn to improve on is bragging about quilters, mostly women, SEND ME PICTURES OF YOUR WORK.  It can be in any stage of the  completion progression.  The rest of us are always up for more inspiration - we can never have too much creative input - fabric YES! but not new ideas.  For those of you with smart phones just send me a photo from it to and I'll work it into the blog - I need new items to blurb about!  If you have a digital camera forward those pictures as well to the email address. 

One feature that would be nice is seeing the squares of the other BOM members.  I know many of you have purchased additional fabric or have chosen one of the florals made available to us.  The rest of us need to see your work!

Just so you have a picture today, I am showing my 2014 sampler quilt from the block of the month from Attic Window.  While I haven't assembled my 2013 sampler yet, the colors for 2014 were so uplifting.  While members had the choice of 30's fabric, Kansas Troubles, Civil War, batik, I and only a few other ladies chose bright batiks.  I spent many years in the garbage and sewage business and was very much involved with the waste-to-energy plant and the original recycling center.  When I retired many years ago I really thought  I had left that life behind.  Well, my scrappy friends have taken to sewing scraps onto used - AKA recycled- dryer sheets!  After my December knee surgery this girl wasn't too sharp to do any thinking or serious cutting.  16 of my multitude of well worn dryer sheets provided a shape onto which I resurrected my batik scraps....voila!  A 6" border!
While the interior 9 blocks appear traditional the use of bright colors makes them seem ageless.  I practiced the piecing of scraps without slashing.  However, with the smell of the sheets affecting my senses I finally got my trusty cutter out and started slashing finished blocks to add a new color aimed in a different direction.  It was fun and simple AFTER I got going.  Still have all 10 finger tips (but keep the crazy glue nearby).

If you want a new way to make continuous bias binding here's My Rainboots are Red tutorial using a fat quarter.  Just the name of her blog is enough to want you to visit it. 

Send me pictures, PLEASE!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Wacky Flowers

Below you can now see the quilt I have been working on throughout most of 2014.  The white floral fabric was selected by my daughter Anna and her husband Justin while on their honeymoon in August, 2014.  They tell a great story of shopping the bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey on a hunt for my souvenir.  Stacks and stacks of fabric.  In fact, I have two more small floral fabrics that I haven't figured out how to use yet.  They are the same print with only a different color: one is blue background and the other fabric is a teal.  When asked why two of the same Anna relayed that after pulling the one fabric out from a huge stack she couldn't say no to the shopkeeper!  Prior to the trip they asked how many yards would be sufficient - I said three was good.  Well, they did buy three but unbeknown to my non-sewists - all three fabrics are 92" wide!  My friends at the Stitched Studio sew-in helped me choose the pink.  Most of the flowers are a red with an occasional pink. The pink was perfect! The gray swirl was a fabric I purchased on a quilt hop with friend Caroll.  Luckily I purchased at least three yards of it, even without a known purpose.  When a fabric jumps at you and says buy me - what can you do?!

Of course Minne found her way into the picture, too!
The pattern is from Modern "One-Block Quilts" by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting.  This pattern was interesting as very few helpful hints were offered.   Caroll verified for me that my Tri-Recs tool from Quilt in a Day worked for my pink triangles.  Granted they're not going to promote someone else's tools, but in case you're interested in trying this block and have the tool, go for it.  Also, marking the 1/4" on the triangle tips and on which end of the triangles the tails should be would have been helpful.  While modern quilting is allowed by be wacky, it must have its points!
Take care!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Threads - can you keep them pun intended (link corrected)

These threads are in my side table in the TV room, most of which are for hand quilting.

I have a rack of threads where only a few of the stickers identifying the thread type remain.  Also, once gone is there a way to identify the now nameless thread?  Sewmamasew recently posted on the types of thread and created a nice graphic.  Explore here to learn of the variety of threads and uses.

I have learned that my main sewing machine, Janome 6500, prefers the less expensive threads threaded to the needle. The more expensive threads seem to create a situation of jamming requiring a complete rethreading on top and in the bobbin.  It seems to work better with Coats and Clark thread as well as Guttermann.  Now I have a collection multicolored spools with missing ID tags.  After searching, Coats and Clark offer this info for figuring the thread types.

Also, Superior Threads has an App at least for Apple products available at their store with a very involved chart on threads for all sorts of purposes.

The rest of my thread storages and lost tags....

These stands were my attempt to organize last year....oh, there's another storage place where I have been kept my hand quilting threads.....but occasionally I may have needed a color and then....oh my! 

I have blue spools, green and white as well as yellow spools, most with lost identifiers.  The Aurafil I recognize, orange, but I can only use these threads in my bobbin. 

Last year my quilting resolution was to work down my stash, which I think I did a decent job of doing - and kind of bough less.  This year I'll work on my threads and continue to make use of my stash.....another day....

How's your thread storage doing....

If you're looking for BOM, block of the month, without leaving home, Pat Sloan has Vacation Time, and it's free!  I've at least printed January's instructions - working that stash down.....keep smiling

Sunday, January 4, 2015


I erroneously reported the start time of Tuesday's meeting.  The correct meeting time is 7 p.m. With the meet and greet (Shopping time) at 6:30.  Wish I could blame the anesthesia effect, but that's pretty lame even though I did find the fresh broccoli in the pantry!  Sorry for the error.  Maybe I got it out of the way for 2015!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Meeting and Bill Paying Time.....huh?

While it seems that the first Tuesday of each month is a great time to meet, it also finds me writing the reminder blog while paying bills.....oh my, the meeting is much more fun....come one, come all and break away from the Christmas related bills and see what GRMQG has to offer this Tuesday.  As always the Meet and Greet starts at 5:30 p.m. and the  meeting at 6 p.m.  I'm sure more legal issues will be addressed as we are now officially one year old and finishing the relationship with the National Modern Quilt Guild.

Kelly Hubbard, Secretary of GRMQG
Here's Kelly's bio (sent willingly I might add): 
" I moved to MI in 1984 and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I'm married and have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. I've been sewing since middle school and quilting since 2001.

 I plan to showcase our officers, willingly or unwillingly, in the blog so we can begin to know our officers and persons in the guild.  So my message to the other officers, send me your bio and picture or leave it to me.....oh my!

The minutes are as follows:

          Meeting was called to order by Ginger at 7 PM.

          13 members present

           Board members introduced themselves.

The board is working on a mission statement and bylaws and non profit status. Bylaws will be presented and voted on at the January meeting. Officer terms will be January 1-December 31.

It was discussed and a majority of the general membership voted that annual dues will be $30/year. Join after July, dues are $15.
A portion will go to the National Modern Quilt Guild so that persons are members of both guilds.
Persons age 10-17 years may join as a junior member for $15 per year.

There is interest in having GRMQG sponsored sew-ins. We will rotate day/evening and weekday/weekend every other month. The first sew in will be Monday, February 2. Becky Brink will organize.  A fee of $5 per person will be charged.

Ginger shared the GR Press article about Stitched Studio and the GRMQG.

All members had an item to Show and Share.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35

Respectfully submitted,
Kelly Hubbard

I need a volunteer for Tuesday's meeting - take pictures of the Show and Share.  My attendance is weather dependent.  While my knee seems to be recovering well from a surgical repair on the 23rd my surgeon's clearance won't happen until the next morning.  Now that we have snow I'm admittedly leery of  walking where snow or ice might be present.  Just post a comment and I'll get the message that you're willing to help.  It would be great to have a person wanting to be the guild's photographer.  Between the two of us we can cover meetings, sew-ins etc.

The knee surgery somewhat explains why my blogs have been few and far between.  I can't seem to get Apple and Google (blogspot) to cooperated with  pictures, thus I must go down a level to use my desktop.  The blog on thread still will be coming - just not now.  I'll also show how I've been "making fabric" with dryer sheets - my sewing room smells very perfumery!  

Happy New Year!
Wishing you all well in 2015!