Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Paper Piecing

When you hear a pattern calls for paper piecing, do you do a little happy dance or do you break out in a cold sweat?  It's been the latter for me until recently.  I wouldn't say I go about dancing at the idea of paper piecing, but at least I don't now panic at the thought.

MQG Webinar
As members of The Modern Quilt Guild, we have access to an amazing array of talented teachers.  The latest example is a free Paper Piecing webinar with Elizabeth Dackson.  You should have received an email from The Modern Quilt Guild with a link to register for the April 28th webinar.  Regardless of your paper piecing skills,  I am sure you will learn something useful from Elizabeth.

Recently, a bee mate of mine provided links to paper piecing tutorials and a list of tips that I thought you may find useful:

          You Tube Tutorials:
  1. Tips:
  • If you don’t have an Add-a-Quarter ruler, you might want to get one. You can do paper piecing with your regular ruler, but I find it really helpful to have the Add-a-Quarter ruler. 
  • Use the cheapest, flimsiest paper you can find for your paper templates. Really cheap printer paper works great. Some people like using vellum. Some like special paper like Carol Doak’s paper, which is more like newsprint. The flimsier the paper, the easier it will tear off when you are done. 
  • I like to keep a piece of cardstock (like a postcard or a book mark) handy. When I’m folding my paper back on the line, I line up the cardstock with the line and fold against it. This makes it easier to get a good, clean fold. It also gives a little more of a ridge to nudge your Add-a-Quarter ruler against, if you are using one. 
  • Lower your stitch length to 1.5 or so. That makes it easier to tear the paper off when done, and it provides stronger stitches when you are pulling against them to tear the paper off. 
  • Make sure when you trim the block section after you’ve pieced it you leave the seam allowance on! Sometimes the cutting line is solid, and sometimes it is dashed. Just look at it and make sure there is seam allowance. 
  • Some people find it helpful to use a little glue stick (fabric or just regular school glue stick) to glue the first piece onto the paper-piecing pattern instead of using a pin. Place a little glue on the wrong side of the fabric andstick it to the back side of the paper piecing pattern, behind the marking for Piece 1. Some people like to stick down each fabric as the open up each seam, just so they don't flop around. I don’t do that, but some people find it helpful.
  • I like to hold the stitches down with my fingers as I tear the paper off, just to avoid pulling on the stitches too hard. 
So, here's the question:  Where do you stand with paper piecing?  Love it; hate it: somewhere in between: a little of both?  Leave a comment by Tuesday, May 5th and the Random Number Generator will pick a winner.  Commenters are eligible for the latest goody bag ;-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Veteran Quilts Delivery!

Just a quick reminder:

Thursday, April 16th at 9am

We will meet to donate the fabulous quilts made by our guild members for the Veteran's Hospital Community Living Center.

13800 Veterans Way, Orlando 32827


We would love to have many hands to pass out the more than 30 quilts we have donated for this wonderful cause.

(We plan to have coffee/lunch off site once we are done, too!)

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015
Maitland, FL

The meeting was called to order by President Yanick.  22 members and 5 guests were present.

Our current balance is $6535.50.

....was won by Marge.

The ReNae Merrill workshop was a big success.  Some attendees showed their work from the class, including Caroline:

This month's Blog Prize was won by Cara! (Note to all:  remember to read the blog regularly!  All our upcoming dates for workshops, Sew Days, salons, and any other special events are posted on the "calendar" page!)


 Kelly reports that some progress is being made on UFOs.  If you are one of our newer members, and did not get your name and UFO (unfinished object) list to Kelly by the deadline, it's not too late to get added to the list.  Contact Kelly or Yanick as soon as possible and they will get you added.

Linda reminded members that our current project is the "touchable" Alzheimer's patient quilts.  Instructions can be found on our blog.  Marge showed a couple of examples that she made:
Our quilts for the Veteran's Home will be delivered on April 16 at 9 am.  Linda asked that any members who wish to be there for delivery meet at the home a little before 9.  Quilts will be distributed in the Hospice ward.  Address and phone number for the home:

Community Living Center
Orlando VA Medical Center
13800 Veteran's Way
Bldng 11
Orlando FL  32837
407 631 6000

Please contact Linda if you have any further questions about the delivery.  A special shout-out goes to Mary S, who quilted 12 of the 28 quilts selected! The three shown below were all quilted by her:

It was agreed that our Quiltcon charity quilt will be donated to the Veteran's Home as well.
Linda gave us a sneak peek at our next charity project:  wheelchair art!  More info will be coming at our May meeting.

Debbe asked that members contact her if they would like to attend And Still We Rise, the quilt exhibit currently on display at the Orange County History Center through May 3.  We would like to put together a group on either April 11 or April 25 to see the exhibit.  Please contact Debbe ASAP to let her know which of those dates you would prefer.

Debbe asked that members take a moment to look at two websites: mamalovequilts, and Shannon Brinkley's website, both for inspiration, and possible future classes.  She would also like to encourage our members to "showcase ourselves more!"  Jacksonville has an upcoming event that would be a great opportunity for our members to enter (and possibly a great guild road trip as well!)  AQS is coming to Daytona in 2016, and this is another opportunity for both quilt entries and volunteering for our guild.  Our members show spectacular work every month; let's share it with more people!

A number of beautiful fabric postcards were collected.
Beth will still collect postcards at our May meeting.  They need to be slightly smaller than 4x6.  Check the OMQG Pinterest board for inspiration and ideas.

Four of our visitors were from Solivita Quilters, and they showed us their spectacular raffle quilt:

This quilt will be raffled at their quilt show on November 7 in Poinciana.  All proceeds go to charity.  Please let Ede know if you would like Solivita's contact information if you are interested in purchasing raffle tickets.

.....was won by Karol!

Sharleen spoke about the walker bags that were made at the last Maitland Sew Day. She will collect bags from any members at any time until June.  Tutorial may be found here. NOTE:  ties for the bag may be made both longer and wider than those in the tutorial.

The Maitland Library has asked us bring quilts to be hung and displayed this fall.  More info will be coming on this in May.

Meeting adjourned at 11:20 a.m.  Lunch followed at First Watch.

May Block of the Month

In May we'll be back to using our scrap basket, using bright colors and white or cream backgrounds. It is a very simple block with no points to match and very little to measure:

You can also do rows with just one color like the pink row below:

When you assemble the blocks into a quilt top, they form cute wonky columns. The instructions are here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Let's talk sewing machines

A recent guild meeting icebreaker question asked members to spill the beans on how many sewing machines they owned.   I'll not reveal the member with the most in case her husband is reading ;-)  This question got me thinking... Do you name your sewing machine(s)?

I do name my machines and you can meet them below.  These may or may not be all the sewing machines I have!

Meet Jewell
"Jewell" is my black 1938 featherweight, named after my paternal grandmother.

This is Dee
"Dee" is my mint green/white 1968 featherweight,  and named after my maternal grandmother.

Just Juki!
Not to play favorites, but my Juki is my favorite ;-)  I've tried to come up with a clever name for this machine, but keep coming back to "Juki".

how about Ruby?
This Janome Horizon was purchased while at SewDown Nashville and signed by my quilty friends, but so far I haven't spent much time getting to know her, so at the moment she does not have a name. Any suggestions?

So, tell us.  Do you name your machine(s)?  If so, what is the name(s)?  A random drawing (for a fun prize) from the comments left on this post will be made on Tuesday (March 31) before our next guild meeting (April  1).  Thanks for playing along.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spirals Boot Camp

Today's workshop opened our eyes to a new technique of paper piecing. We had a great time with RaNae Merrill. There were a few "aha moments" along with great company, fab fabric, and of course, our famous Sew Day potluck.

RaNae and Beth

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Meeting Minutes

MARCH 4, 2015

The meeting was called to order by President Yanick.  38 members and 2 visitors were present.

Jackie won the icebreaker by owning the most sewing machines--13!! (Don't tell her husband.)

Our current balance is $5559.76.

Payment is due for the RaNae Merrill workshop ASAP.  If you did not pay at the meeting, please mail Marge your payment prior to the workshop.  There may still be a couple of places open, so contact Marge immediately if you would like to attend.  Fee for OMQG members is $40.

We are getting the mentoring program up and running; further information to follow.

NOTE: if you are not receiving regular emails from OMQG, please contact Marge immediately so that she can update your contact information.

....was won by Pamela.
 Several members spoke about their fantastic experiences at Quiltcon.  This was a successful week for our guild; Debra's quilt won first place in the Michael Miller challenge, and Debbe King won a bonanza of fat quarters from the Michael Miller vendor at the show (nice payback for her 32.5 volunteer hours!)  Debbe handed out some Quiltcon swag to random winners.  There will be a Quiltcon magazine available in stores soon, which has an update on all MQG statistics.

Joan won the Quiltcon swag bag for her post.  In future, the blog post containing the "question of the month" will be highlighted, so that more members can respond to the correct post and thus be eligible for the random drawing of the month.

Our current project is making fabric postcards to swap with other guilds.  Some specifications: cards should be no more than 1/8" thick; no binding should be used; put card stock or some other stiff material inside (can be used along with batting, as long as it is thin); use plain fabric on the back so that cards may be addressed; cards should be slightly smaller than the standard 4 x 6 postcard size.

Cards are due at our April meeting.  Please bring your stamped card to the meeting.  Tutorials and examples are available on the OMGQ Pinterest board.

Linda collected the remaining Veteran's Home quilts.   If you made one, and were not at the meeting, please contact Linda so that she may get it from you as soon as possible. At our next meeting,  Linda will share a time for all members interested to visit the home and deliver the quilts.

Our next charity project will be making tactile quilts for Alzheimer's patients.  These quilts should be about 17 x 21 (just remember they are meant to be held in someone's lap, so should not be too large), and the more textures, the better.  Alejandrina shared an example:
The tentative deadline for these quilts is our May meeting.  Examples for these quilts may be found on Pinterest, under "Alzheimer's" or "activity" quilts.


Jodi demonstrated single-fold binding.  Verykerryberry has a good tutorial.
Alejandrina shared the envelope, or pillowcase, technique.
Pamela shared a couple techniques for adding prairie points to your binding. 
Jane demonstrated the use of facings, which is a particularly good technique for quilts in which the design needs to go all the way to the edge.  An example:
Beth demonstrated a flange binding. Marge demonstrated how to make mitered borders.

Mary S shared techniques for mitered bindings.  She recommends Sharon Schamber's videos on YouTube.

This month's blocks.....

...were won by Marge.
Next month's block instructions can be seen below.

Maitland Sew Days will now include an optional "mini" charity project 3 or 4 times a year.  This month, the project is carrying bags for walkers.  Sharleen will bring kits for the project to the next Maitland Sew Day.  Bring your usual sewing supplies.

The next Modern Salon will take place Sunday, March 8, at the Winter Park Michael's store, from 4-6 PM.  Salons will now be held at this location every 2nd Sunday of the month.

No regular Dr Phillips Sew Day will take place this month, due to the RaNae Merrill workshop.


Debra and her winning Quiltcon quilt....and ribbon!
"Wish I Had Made That" did not take place this month, due to time constraints.

Meeting adjourned at 12:05.