Sunday, February 7, 2016

February is for Love

And if you missed the February meeting you missed a lot of love. 

Jen Eskridge, our VP for Charity and Outreach was handing out NICU kits to anyone who wanted to make one or two or ten.  She had quite a few.  The finished quilt is only 21" square and requires very little quilting and no batting if you use flannel.  Threads of Love provides these to preemies.  If you want to donate to this worthy cause, use your own stash, or ask Jen for a kit.  Jen has put on a 2-month challenge to see how many we can all get done.  And she has made it very easy for you. There will be a sew-in on Feb. 18 to finish up many of these Threads of Love NICU quilts.  Watch for the invite on Facebook.

She also had invited folks to bring in charity quilts in any stage of the process and others will work together to finish these for some other charities.  If you're decluttering, this is a good way to find a home for those unfinished projects.  There were a few on display at this meeting.  Guild members will do everything if you just want to donate fabric.  If all the top needs is quilting or binding and it's not something you'll ever finish yourself, you can let your fellow guild members finish for you. Decluttering netted our charity efforts some real beauties.

If you are willing to donate your skills, you'll be able to pick up tops that just need quilting, or maybe just binding.  If you have some UFOs you've given up on,  you can drop them off with Jen, and she'll be bringing these to meetings so folks can pick one up and finish it and donate it to a good cause.

If you missed the meeting you also missed all the loving humps and bumps folks contributed to the block of the month.  Jen Eskridge was the lucky winner and I'm sure she'll make something awesome -- maybe multiple awesomes.  And Loretta, our creative BOM committee chair, brought some suggestions of how to use the blocks.

Our next Block of the Month is a red bird on a yellow background.  It was adorable and you had two choices (with or without wing). Loretta will be posting both in multiple sizes on Facebook soon.

It's already posted on facebook, but in case you missed it, we have added a new page to our blog called resources.  It includes listings and links for our guild member businesses, links and addresses for local quilts shops and no-so-local quilt shops, and a long list of links to other Modern Quilt Guild websites. Show some love to our fellow guild members when you can, and don't forget to love local and not so local small quilting businesses too.  And if you need some inspiration or motivation.  Check out what other modern quilters are doing at their own guilds and see if you can't find something there to love.  Rebecca also asked if we could make a list of member blogs and list them on our blog.  If you'd like your blog listed on the guild blog so others can check in on what you're doing and show you some love, provide your blog URL to Cathy by email or FB messenger.

You also missed one of the things I love most about our guild, the announcement of our next Quilting Retreat at the Main House in Kerrville.  All the details are on Facebook.  If you didn't already reserve your slot, you can send a deposit to Sarah to hold a spot just for you.

Rebecca, our fearless president, announced two challenges.  For the first challenge, she provided everyone at the meeting a ribbon with the SAMQG logo and a pin to be used to make yourself a modern nametag.  We have quite a few new members and to help get to know each other, we are asking everyone to wear a name tag.  If you don't have a home made fabric name tag, there will be paper versions for you to wear, but we're hoping everyone takes the time to participate in this challenge and make themselves a new name tag even if they already have one or two or ten.

The challenge is to make any kind of modern design  name tag in any size you'd like, somehow incorporating the ribbon, and bring them to the March meeting. If you need a ribbon, contact Rebecca, she had plenty of extras. We'll show off our new nametag at the March meeting  and members will vote for their favorite tag in different categories.  Prizes will be awarded.  Don't we all love prizes?  And I know I love meeting new members. So a lot of love on this challenge.

The second challenge is her President's challenge for this year.  She admitted that being able to host this challenge is the main reason she wanted to be our leader.  She loves this challenge so much, she's already made her quilt for the challenge and had so much fun she's thinking about doing another.  The challenge is to create a quilt based on someone who inspires you (you can read this as someone or something you love).  An author, musician, poet, artist -- check out your favorite (aka most-loved), get inspired and make a quilt of any size, color or technique. You're sure to love it and we'll love seeing it.  In April you'll be asked to bring in your inspiration, whatever/whoever it is.  Then, at the July meeting, the finished challenge quilts will be revealed.  I'm sure we'll all love the eye candy that results.

Sew-n-Tell was great this month.  I loved it and I'll post that in a separate blog post.  And you'll be able to find some on facebook, some on Instagram, and others here on the blog. We'll continue to do that in the future.

In an effort to receive feedback from our members and not send out another survey, poster boards with questions were placed around the room for you to provide some input to the board on improvements or ideas you have about the guild, building community, education opportunities, and community service/charity.  If you're interested in providing your feedback, let one of the board members know and we'll provide you the questions too.

Our presentation, Technology's Role in the Quilting World, ended up being a round robin as there were some issues with the technology in the room.  Guild members shared loads of information and tips on using Instagram, Periscope, Blogs and other technology.  The provided a lot of reasons for quilters to love technology.  I'll add some of the tips I picked up to the Sew-n-Tell pics in another post.  I know some of our members have found so many ways to use technology to support their quilting but this opened my eyes to other things I could do myself.  Thanks to all the presenters.  I loved it (bet you saw that one coming).

Enjoy the month of Love.  Hope you get time to quilt. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Threads of Love Sewing Challenge

Today we're kicking off the SAMQG Threads of Love Sewing Challenge! 

One of our members, Cindy, works with the Threads of Love sewing group and will be taking our sewing NICU blankets to them after the March meeting.

From the San Antonio chapter of Threads of Love: "We are a non-profit, non-denominational ministry dedicated to the production and distribution of clothing and care items to the premature babies - living and deceased."

So what is the challenge? The Quilt Shop in Castorville has donated a 10-pc Riley Blake Fat Quarter Bundle which will be awarded to a randomly drawn winner. To enter your name into the drawing, simply make a NICU blanket. You may make as many as you like. Each person who turns in a blanket will have their name entered once. 

The challenge will run through the March meeting. We will be drawing a winner at the end of the March meeting.
Blankets made by SAMQG Member, Emily R.
How do you make a NICU blanket? I'm so glad you asked!

Blankets are 20" x 20" finished and can be made from two pieces of flannel OR two pieces of quilters cotton with lightweight batting. The flannel blankets do not require batting.

Here's a guide:
Flannel Front + Flannel Back = no batting
Quilter's Cotton Front + Flannel Back = no batting
Quilter's Cotton Front + Quilter's Cotton Back = add a thin layer of batting
Blankets made by SAMQG member, Emily R.
1. Cut fabric 21" x 21". 
Note: Squares do not have to be pieced blocks; they can be solid pieces of fabric.
2. Matching right sides, sew around the square using a 1/2" seam allowance. Leave a 4" opening along one side.
3. Trim excess fabric from the corners.
4. Turn the square right side out through opening.
5. Push corners out and press the seam allowances into the opening. Pin.
6. Edge stitch around square. (Straight stitch or any decorative stitch may be used.)
7. Add some kind of quilting to secure the layers (with or without batting).
8. Use a zigzag stitch to attach the Threads of Love label to blanket. NOTE: These labels will be available at the February meeting.

My personal goal is to have the guild donate at least 50 blankets. I know you can do it! If you are a guild member and have questions about the challenge, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page. If you've found this tutorial and have questions, leave a comment or contact your local Threads of Love Chapter.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Brand New Year

We had a great meeting with lots of members on hand to welcome our new officers and celebrate our guild's 6th birthday. Don't forget to say welcome to our new President - Rebecca; VP Programs - Sarah R; VP membership - Joanna; VP charity - Jen; Treasurer - Kelli; and Secretary - Jessi. The presentation was Trends in Modern Quilting. Sew n tell included a  truly awesome as well as some other beauties. Check out the eye candy below. 

Our new Block of the Month committee chair, Loretta, showed us January's block, handed out pattern templates and showed us her inspiration for this hand-pieced colorful block. Instructions will be posted on Facebook. 

Sarah J. showed us the guild's charity quilt for QUILTCON 2016 and told us about some of the many other charity quilts the guild has donated and raised funds with this year. Watch for a report on Facebook. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Latifah Saafir Molehill Workshop

Molehill Making with Latifah Saafir 

In the middle of San Antonio lays the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas where we spent our Saturday sewing. I assure you it is quite the oasis, filled with amazing architecture, landscaping and generally stunning craftsmanship. It set the scene for a serene day of sewing with the wonderful Latifah Saafir. Not only was Latifah delightfully charming, but she provided the SAMQG with many new tricks and tips to use on her Molehill Quilt pattern.

The Molehills Quilt pattern was inspired by the tiles in Los Vegas and has many different options to achieve either a tiled look or layered hills. Sewing curves can be rather an intimidating challenge to even seasoned quilters. Her piecing technique uses no pins and no glue basting. The tile work can be paper pieced-or not! After sewing the first molehill everyone was quite comfortable with her technique and we started cranking out blocks (Are they blocks if they’re actually curved? Something to think about!). Latifah really stressed that it was a flexible pattern and for us each to find our voice in the quilt. 

Our class was small but there was such a diversity of ideas. Loretta was pieceing old ties into her molehills, Allison choose to focus on a red and white theme, Sarah Gregg pieced each like tiles, and Kelli used bright, fun fabrics. Everyone got a great start on their quilts but all blocks must be made before it can be pieced together. So alas, there are no fancy finished pictures of our group's projects. We couldn’t have had a better, more relaxed time with Latifah and hope she will hurry back to San Antonio to teach us her bias tape techniques. 

If you were unable to attend the class, her Molehills Quilt pattern can be found on craftsy at: