Friday, May 29, 2015

Meeting Reminder....Bring your teal, orange and cream blocks, too!

Our next GRMQ's meeting is Tuesday, June 2nd at Kuyper College on the East Beltline between 3 and 4 Mile Roads, on the southbound side.  We're having a tutorial on a special binding technique -should be interesting.  I've been wanting to try this technique for a few years now....

Here are the minutes in case you missed the earlier publication on our FaceBook page.


Grand Rapids Modern Quilters
May 5, 2015

General meeting 7:04 PM
Welcome and call to order by Kathy N.
Discussed Fall Retreat—if you are interested in attending the event at the retreat center in Holland Oct 30-Nov 1 please send $25 deposit to Nancy by May 19 to hold your place. Day sewists will be welcome provided there is room.
The possibility of a spring quilt retreat was discussed. Lynda will call for April/May 2016. Lake Ann was suggested as a location. Also Bluegate at Shipshewana Farmstead
Lotta Blocks: Cathy M won 9 blocks. Pattern for June meeting will be emailed.
Treasurer report Nancy reported on balance. She continues to accept annual dues and retreat deposits
Carroll D conducted skill school on “tea leaves” (cathedral window) Several brought fabrics to sew along
Show and Share
Future skill school: June-Becky B piped binding
                                            Mary T appliqué with fusible

Minutes by Claire W (thanks, Claire)
Submitted by Kelly H"

If you're interested in following us on Facebook search for Grand Rapids Modern Quilters and Kelly will befriend you.  

In spite of the very cool weather I just had to wash my kitchen bay window which is over my sink.  From cooking and just being in the kitchen a perpetual fog always seemed to be in the backyard.  While clearing the plants from the sill area, my little trivet lost a leg.  It belongs to the wood frame made especially for a tile block from the old Kent County Courthouse.  For those of you new to GR, the demolition of this building began the historical preservation movement in Grand Rapids.

Seems I should have a second trivet/block but can't place where I put it.  The Voigt House sold them after guests completed tours.  I was saddened to be reminded that the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the owner of the fabulous house, closed the house to regular tours.  The tile's pattern that originally attracted my attention, began a life long fascination with patterns  and oodles of  useless pictures from my various travels. The patterns led me eventually to did you get into quilting....?  Maybe one of you with EQ can create a pattern for our group to make or sell.....hint, hint....

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thanks to Lynda for the pictures.....

Neither Kelly nor I were at the last meeting in May.  Lynda Plowman took pictures of our Sew and Share and the demo that Caroll did.  Never to late to brag......

Monday, May 25, 2015

Gerontology Network is gone but has a new name and organization

For lots of reasons GN will no longer exist as of July 1st.  You ask, " How does this affect modern quilters?"

Directly, it probably doesn't affect many of us, but indirectly it could influence many of us.  I serve on the Older Adult Volunteer Program Advisory Council(OAVP).  For myriads of reasons this group has not had its regular quarterly meeting in a couple years.  Today we met.  Many of our quilting friends are 55 years and older. Have you ever met a quilter who couldn't use extra stash money?!  If we know of a senior(s) who may be looking for for additional money to supplement Social Security or feel a need to help another senior in need, the staff from OAVP can assist in placing a volunteer.  Some of the programs have income requirements and some of the programs do not have limits on income.  The money earned is tax free!  Three of  the four programs help children whereas the fourth choice helps other seniors.
The programs are:
  • Experience Corps:  tutors children in grades K-3 in reading and math.  I have done visitations to the schools and my gosh, the children cannot wait to work with the volunteer.  The negative stigma of being called out of the classroom is ancient history.  These children watch the clock and bounce like Tigger to work with the senior volunteer.  Imagine this scene:  helping a child with math using quilting as an example of basic arithmetic and geometry skills.....
  • Foster Grandparents:  provides support for the teacher and classroom
  • Senior Companion Program:  provides companionship and support to older adults in need.  (Rumor has that Sparta has a great volunteer need for this program).  It can be as simple as giving respite care for a couple hours so the care giver gets a much needed break.
  • Traveling Grannies/Grandpas: help educate youth on healthy lifestyle choices
Quilting has provided so many of us with great new friends and renewed acquaintances with pals from long ago. Here is another way to connect.  Not only do our children need us - our senior citizens need us.  If interested or know of anyone interested call 616-771-9748.  The Gerontology Network  website will be around until Senior Neighbors takes over July 1st.  The Older Adult Programs will continue and really need help - even in the summer!

A mission of many guild groups is educating young persons on quilting - imagine the influence just one person can make.....

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sewing vs Sowing

While May has been busy and the weather volatile, I've been doing more sowing than sewing.  My projects are piling on top of each other.  Projects that in the works that need finishing:
  1.  Swirling lonestar from last summer
  2. 2014 block of the month using dryer sheets for scrappy borders - quilting and binding
  3. 8 placemats for my daughter who at one point said I had made far too many placemats for her
  4. Amy Gibson's Double Barnstar quilt - QAYG modern way...
  5. The 9 blocks from the drawing at our Grand Rapids Modern Quilters monthly meeting.
  6. June's block for our next meeting
  7. and soon to come my Bee Hive blocks from the Stitiched Studio Modern Beehive!
  8. and way down the list the block of the month from 2013!
  9. Clean out all my electronic bookmarks and files of patterns "I love" and will never use....
  10. all the projects I have forgotten about and find underneath new fabric purchases on the extra table in my sewing room....
  11. Finish the binding on my Freedom Rings quilt
  12. Finish hand quilting a quilt from a quilt that is huge - going to give away....

Whew! However I have about half of my windows washed, shopped for perennials and annuals and planted them all, learned that mowing most of my lawn is worth 5000+ steps on my FitBit and walked and walked.....and had fun with friends.
 Since the place mats need to be in Chicago I'll get those done this weekend.  Here's what they may look like.  The mats required 288 2 1/2" squares for the tea leaves/cathedral windows.  Anna and I found the fabric at the Chicago Quilt show.  All 24 blocks are made and ready to be attached to the plate part of the mat, as the tea leaf blocks attach on the left side.  What  do you think......

The teal mat will probably work best with her all white dishes.  The middle block immediately above was an experiment that I will keep.  Another experiment makes a block that resembles leaves pointing upwards.  When all the work is done I'll show you.

If you're thinking of changing your storage area a bit, here is a tutorial from Aunt Marti's 52 Quilts
for fabric boxes/cubbies.  Several tutorials may appear, the May 19, 2015 explains with great pictures the cubbie boxes.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Part II: Curve it Up and QAYG....

In the previous post I showed my three quilts finished by the April 30th deadline for a discount from Stitched Studio.  Several years ago I took a class on a Quilt as You Go method from Betsey Carlson.  Those of you who know Betsey are aware of her endless energy.  Back then I was very new to quilting and doing everything by hand - including piecing so this QAYG method sounded like a life saver!  It wasn't, at least for me, from the school of " NOW I want it done"!  After doing a couple quilts with this "original" method, I just abandoned it knowing I just didn't have the patience for it.  Unlike Betsey, I wasn't going to sit at athletic events doing QAYG in the bleachers!  I always appreciated her enthusiasm for time saving methods.

About a year ago, my friend Caroll started teaching members of her Happy Scrappers Bee a new method she picked up on from Quilter's Edge, a blog.  I loved the simplicity of it but, of course I didn't want to start it from the very beginning since it makes a wonky quilt using this method.  After a bit of practice I adapted this method for blocks already quilted with the backing attached and trimmed to the unfinished  size.   My goal was to have it look traditional as much as possible and not feel the bulge from joining the blocks together as I would from the original method.  While you can't feel my quilt - this part of this overall disaster worked well, I thought.

 With this quilt, remember I did the 12 blocks into three tops, I did a narrow lattice-connector.  The block at about 1 o"clock has a strip added - but blended and quilted together.
 The next challenge was doing wider strip additions.  The machine quilting is straight lines following the length of the strip - bunchy by nature. but overall very smooth.
 Again, here I tried blending the strips with the block backing to look funky, and not obviously QAYG.  In the above picture, at the top right, a color issue appears.  Going back to my knitting days, 40 years ago, I remember yarn dye lots being important.  Same thing with fabrics....these fabrics are the same - just different dye lots.
 Just another example of the joiners on the back side. 
 I inherited my mother's love for gadgets.  At one of my other BOM's several years ago, the instructor raved about  this "hera" tool. It was so helpful and saved time.  Well, I found a definite purpose for it, finally!  As in the original method in QAYG, the folding in of a 1/4" edge for the last part of  attaching a strip is needed for completion.  With the strip on my table, a quarter inch ruler marking the needed measure and and held at where the fold line should be, the hera creased the 1/4" for easy ironing to the wrong side. 
The hera has a very sharp, defined edge for creasing fabric without tearing.  My fingers are so much better for using this tool prior.  I usually just fold and iron at the same time but the iron was really pushing the steam out last week.  Thank you hera...didn't we study about a Greek goddess Hera in school way back when?

Quilting is fun and frustrating - all in all I am having doubts about giving this quilts to the dogs....they're are perfect pads for the kennels, though!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Curve It Up is FINSIHED!


Over the winter months many of us participated in Stitched Studio's Curve It Up ruler block of the month.  Well, I challenged myself - it was hard for me in many regards - but it's completely finished thirds.

I had troubles with the blocks squaring to 16 1/2"  One block was 14 1/2" - one of these quilts is basically blocks brought down to this new size.  It did cut considerable borders off the blocks but adding a border to the small block just wouldn't work.  The next quilt is made from 15 1/2" blocks and the last was really close:  16 1/4' blocks.  Since the sizes were all over the scale and I really didn't care for the fabric line I chose, I decided to play and play and learn and learn techniques not yet conquered. 
 Machine quilting is still very new for me.  I've done a few smaller projects but the two techniques I wanted to work on was the machine quilting with my walking foot and the modern quilt as you go method.  Quilting straight lines and even with the curves, as in this quilt, require a series of coffee pots brewing.  OMG, it gets so boring!  So to counteract the drowsiness, I started playing with specialty stitches, see the stars peaking above.  Well, lost a few with the trimming exercise.
 Tensions above and below the throat plate are important....thought I had it figured out until the very last block.  The black thread from below only appeared at the pivot points.  Nothing I tried would fix this "here I am, see me" problem.
 The tacking or star stitch was fun to add the blank spaces.
 Much of my machine quilting on the top side matched the beige fabric.  The gold thread did help this block, but when quilting block by block a sense of continuity began crumbling. 
 Below, I'm playing with the black thread.  Stitch-in-the-ditch was actually fun to do and good practice for a good quilt someday!  The curves in the Dresden pattern below was SITD/

The next blog will talk a bit about my QAYG method.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg was very interesting since I had 25+ years in business and industry at various levels.  During the course of book she relates about a poster that was displayed at either Google or Facebook, her current employer.  Simply is says:  Done is better than Perfect!  Amen

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tuesday is Meeting Day!

Our meeting will again be at Kuyper Collage at 7 p.m.  If you missed last month's meeting a student will most likely be in the Chapel, near the doors to help direct.  Here are the minutes from the meeting:

"GRMQ General Meeting
April 7 2015
Called to order at 6:30 by Ginger M
Welcome to all.
Ginger shared a blog post regarding just what is “modern quilting” and where we all fit. Good for discussion as it is a process.
Weather policy for cancellation: If the weather is questionable, please check emails and the Facebook page for meeting status.
Thanks to Becky for finding our new meeting place at Kuyper College. It fits our needs nicely. We do have a kitty jar to collect donations ($1-2) to help defray the cost of the room.
Nancy is collecting yearly dues starting tonight. $30 for the year.
Kathy N. discussed the Fall Retreat to be held Oct 30-Nov 1 at a retreat center outside of Holland $25 deposit holds your spot. Let her know by May 19
Becky has a sew-in planned for April 18 at the Rockford Congregational Church. Cost is 10$. We need a minimum of 10 persons to cover the cost of the room fee. Let her know if you will be attending.
Skill School--Kathy shared a reverse appliqué procedure and also the use of a chenille rotary cutter
Cathy M will do skill school next month on cathedral windows. Bring 3 fabric squares (all the same size) needle and thread if you’d like to practice.
We will have a block drawing next month for those who would like to participate. An email will be sent out with block specifics. Fabrics will be red white and gray.
Show and share concluded our meeting
Adjourned 8:09 PM
Respectfully submitted,
Kelly H"

Remember to bring your gray, white and red mega block to participate in the free drawing.  Must have a block in the pool to be able to win.  

Kathy may have more information on the fall retreat, currently planned for Halloween weekend.

Also, Tuesday is Election Day for the whole state as well as many school know the expectations....