Monday, August 18, 2014

August Meeting in Review

A big welcome to all of our friends old and new for the beginning of Session 7! Meeting outside has such great energy and I loved seeing the Show and Tell. JoyLyn liked the surprise flow having your quilts be the grand finale, I think we'll do that going forward. Remember we are all together outside at 9:00 in September.
JoyLyn especially loved those of you who made declarations to the group about their goals for this next session.  Always inspiring when we combine our energy toward a common goal!  It is especially inspiring when you have the confidence to voice that goal to the group.

This month we introduced the WIP (works in progress) idea. We will discuss it more as we go, but let's focus on clearing our decks and getting rid of things that are holding us back in the next 6 months of meetings. And who knows, maybe it will seep into other areas of our lives and we will all be lighter and happier in 2015. We are all WIP's, and maybe looking at the unfinished piles of fabric clouding our stashes will get new and improved creative juices flowing. Let yourself be free to be who you are!

Check out the new edition of Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! We talked about the "Tools" section of the book & went over the goodies in your tool pouch.  The store as some copies you can use your class-day discount on it you'd like. In October we will be sharing some interesting tips and tricks from that book exclusively.

Anna shared one of her favorite Moda Bake Shop quilts, Pinwheel Baby Quilt , JoyLyn shared the most downloaded pattern from Moda United Notions free project section 30's Playtime , Machelle shared Candy Scraps Quilts . Sydney shared a mini made her way from the "Simple Whatnots Club" by Kim Diehl, starting at Broadbent's in September.   It is such fun to see these reinvented with different fabric choices.

Next month, we get to see some demos from Moda Bake Shop by class friends. I am really excited to see the variety that I'm sure will come out of this project. Feel free to browse this great site for free tutorials on a wide range of sewing ideas, and join me in making The TRIFLE DISH row quilt, if you like. 

Fall is a time of retirement where we get ready for the winter. The leaves fall and less flowers bring us joy, but despite all of that, it feels like a new beginning to me. I love Fall, and not just because kids go back to school. It feels like a crisp fresh start. A definitive change in season. The crest of the beginning of holiday season where love and family are hopefully felt by all of us. Take the time this Fall to recharge and renew and breathe deeply. 

And if you need a laugh, here's a great pic of Anna that I am not editing. That's what you get for giving me a pickle face on purpose. And thanks for always holding up our unending Show and Tell, friend. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Meet the Group: Ella

Ella joined our group several sessions ago, maybe as peer pressure, I'm not sure. Whatever the way, I'm glad she came. Ella loves the process of quilting, choosing the fabrics, and making beautiful things for her home and family. She is certainly good at doing that! She also has her very own long arm and the finishing quilting she does is beautiful, too. 

Her Favorite UCMQG project was a tie between The 75 Quilt, when each member received 75 different 6.5" squares to make something using half-square triangles, and our medallions. I'm not sure I saw Ella's finished medallion (hint, hint), but the along-the-way versions she shared were truly inspiring. 

If you can't tell by the fabrics she chose, she loves all things pink! I love Ella's spunky personality and her contagious laugh.  She likes to buy lots of fabric, drive big trucks, and make lots of friends. She has volunteered hundreds of hours for her local church, The Community Presbyterian Church, which meets in the historic Footloose chapel, and last year raised funds to replace the stained glass windows. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Meet the Group: Elisa

Elisa is a fun group member who has also been with us since the beginning of UCMQG. She is a quiet giant of a creative. She loves to learn new techniques and be inspired and I'm so glad she decided to give us a chance three years ago. I have learned so much from her quilting methods, her color choices, and the way she lives her life.

She joined because she loves the association with other quilters. Elisa said she loves to see what others are doing and that she quilts to keep her sanity (welcome to the club!). Her favorite project she's worked on that was inspired by UCMQG was the Steampunk quilt earlier this year. Bring it to group when it's done! Elisa loves to collect anyone's scraps and I'm sure her stash at home is mighty. Her color placement is very carefully thought out in each quilt she creates and this inspires me to slow down and take more time on the little things. Be sure to look for small subtleties in her quilts. Everything was done on purpose. She is also a wonderful grandmother, who encourages all of her grandchildren to be creative at grandma's house. A truly patient woman!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Meet the Group: Jill

Happy August! This month we are starting a new series on our blog called Meet the Group, where we will periodically introduce you to some beautiful faces we get to enjoy at UCMQG. We have so much talent, new and used, that it doesn't seem right to keep it to ourselves. And if you're in the area and thinking of joining us, you'll feel like you already know a few people.

Jill with some of her favorite fabrics lately

Jill has been with us from the beginning, going on four years now. She's not only a beautiful patchwork-piecer, she also makes darling clothing and machine quilts all of her own tops. When I asked her why she quilts, she said: "Because I must! I love fabric, I love color, I love building and creating things. Quilting reflects what I am feeling and how I see the world." So true.

Jill joined us to find kindred, creative spirits and I'm so glad she did! She enjoys being inspired by fellow quilters and feels like she gets lots of new ideas from UCMQG each month. Her favorite part of class is Show and Tell (mine too!). She loves seeing what others are working on and feeling closer to the gals who share a part of them with all of us. 

Her favorite project we've talked about is the bricks from Session 2. Here's what she had to say about her treasure: "I made a quilt with the black and white bricks and some Kaffe prints inspired by my Grandmother's garden. She was getting ready to move at the time and the quilt is a reminder of summers in her garden." Isn't that true for all of us! At Craft South Anna Maria Horner said that quilts are a physical reminder of our days. I truly believe it's an important art form worth our time (and money). See you on the third Saturday!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Session 7 Sign-up

           Session 7 : WIP  it  UP!!!

Sign-up opens Monday, July 28th 9:00 AM

Come into the store or call with payment by phone.
Sign-up comes with a great project pouch & a collection of tools to help you WIP it UP!!!

A few changes: 
Group One:  (25 students max.)
Starting time 9:00 am SHARP 
(the store will open at 8:30 for group members)

Group Two:  (35 students max)
Starting time 10:45 am SHARP 

Due to fire codes, when we meet inside you will need to attend the session you sign up for.
Please keep this in mind when signing up.

When weather permits we meet all together outside, 
One Group at 9:00 AM. 

After sign-up for session 7 are over, If our total enrollment is below 42 students, we will combine the groups to one 9:00 meeting for the session.

Every good cook needs a great cook book!  We have chosen Quilts, Quilts, Quilts!!! as our cook book for Session 7.  We have ordered a few for those who are interested.  Buy it when you sign up, while supplies last, and take 20% off the regular retail price.  (Regular price $29.95)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 2014 - End of Odd Shapes

Well, we made it through odd shapes this year, and we hope you're feeling a bit more comfortable using unusual shapes in your quilts. July is one of my favorite months for meetings, because we get to meet outside in such a gorgeous setting, and we end a session with new friends. Welcome to those just joining us, and thanks to everyone for wonderful Show and Tell. 

Remember, next session's WIP it Up begins in August, also outside. Registration begins at 9am Monday, July 28th either in the store or over the phone. The signing bonus is a truly fantastic "utensil kit" full of fun sewing notions to help re-energize you into getting at least one WIP (work in progress) done in the next six months. And as a special this next session, if a friend joins with you, you will receive 2 free fat quarters on the first meeting!

And we can't forget about all of the fun plans for QuiltBliss 2015 that are getting under way. July 24, 25 & 26 are the days UCMQG members get exclusive preregistration. Some of you have let us know you want to come with a friend, but as you can see by our monthly meetings, anyone is welcome and no one is ever alone!

So rounding out Session 6 was trapezoids. I really think this is such a fun, unlimited shape. (Did I say that about the other ones, too?) I shared my RWB stripe exchange quilt, Red Pepper Quilts' Butterfly Spools method, and some dresden plates that I'm having a lot of fun with right now.

My butterfly wings are 2/3 bigger than my background squares, and the backgrounds are tilted 1" on the top, and even on the bottom.

My dresdens were cut 9.5".

Anna showed us how you can use your ruler to make a template, if you didn't choose the ruler as your signing bonus this session (see above quilt), using tumblers to make a low volume quilt, hexagon log cabins - using a Hex n' More ruler, and a great paper-piecing pineapple pattern of Gigi's Thimble she's knocking out of the park with pastels.

And finally, JoyLyn went over the magical trapezoid-to-braid that's always so fun to make. She found a couple of great tutorials for you to watch as well here and here.

Don't you love how the summertime weather and fun influenced all of our colors in the demos today? Truly we are what we see all around us.  We sincerely hope to see you all back next session for more fun, sharing and creativity. Thanks for being along on the ride. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hexies, Hexies, and More Hexies! June Meeting in Review

Hello friends!  The June meeting for UCMQG was so lovely underneath the big shade trees behind Broadbent's.  It's the perfect backdrop for the amazing show & tell! I'm always so inspired by the projects that are matter what stage of completion.  It is beautiful to see everyone's individuality and creativity and I appreciate that each of you share a piece of you with us each month.

Here is just a peak at what we were treated to...I wish we could post everyone's right here, but that would make for a really long post so be sure to visit the Flickr group to see all the rest.


Clockwise from top left:

  • Susan S.'s family heirloom cathedral window quilt.  I loved the story behind this quilt - the quilter had made kitchen curtains and used the scraps to start the quilt.  Years later, she ran out of fabric so she took down the curtains and used the fabric to finish the quilt.  Makes me look all around my house with new eyes!  
  • Susan G.'s Flame-in-go quilt she made as a gift.  She used all the t-shirts from one fire season.  What a great gift!
  • Kris's beautiful sampler that incorporates many techniques - embroidery, patchwork, etc.  I love how she made this quilt her own by changing out one of the blocks from the pattern that she didn't like with a different block that she did like.  
  • Jennifer F.'s gorgeous red & white medallion - even prettier in person!

We also talked a lot about incorporating hexagons into your quilts.  JoyLyn shared her beautiful machine-pieced (yep, you read that right!) hexagon quilt using Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt.  She explained how easy it is to machine-piece your hexagons (not to mention a lot faster!).  The big thing JoyLyn said to remember is to make sure you don't sew into that 1/4" seam allowance.  If you picked one of the rulers for your freebie this session, they have great marks on them to make it easier to know where to start and stop for that 1/4" seam allowance.  If you're looking for online tutorials on how to machine-piece hexagons, click here and here.

Anna talked about some other ways to incorporate hexagons into your quilts - paper piecing; English paper piecing (EPP) - with either thread or glue; quilt-as-you-go hexagons; and log cabin style hexagons.

Clockwise from left above:

  • Log-cabin style hexagons - you can piece them in a round (like this tutorial), or piece them in half-rounds (like this tutorial).  Lots of choices for variety - all in one color and/or fabric or scrappy.  This would be fun to make into really large blocks with the rainbow strip swap.  
  • Quilt-as-you-go hexagons - using the Hickory Nut templates (the large template was used in the demo).  Here is a step-by-step tutorial that demonstrates just how easy this method is.  I machine-stitched very close to the edge of the binding on each hexagon, but you could also attach them the way you'd hand-bind a quilt.  If you choose to machine-stitch, I would suggest that you use matching thread, unless you like the look of contrasting thread, since the end result is a finished additional quilting needed.  
  • EPP using thread and glue basting. A great hand project if you have road trips planned this summer, or days on the lake or at the game. Glue basting is much faster than using thread.  Here is a tutorial for glue and  here is a tutorial for thread.  Both are very easy to do - sometimes it's soothing just to sit and stitch by hand.  
  • Hexadaisy pattern by Piece by Number - the 'look' of hexagons created by foundation paper piecing.  Pattern is available on Craftsy and comes with a handy coloring page so you can figure out exactly what fabrics you need where. Once color placement is planned, the block goes together quickly and finishes rather large.  

July is right on the horizon and brings with it a lot of exciting things...the 4th of July, hot summer days, road trips, and...

  • Our last month to 'Shape Up' this session.  We'll be talking about parallelograms and trapezoids - they are used in quilting a lot more than you think!  So, be on the lookout for those shapes in quilts you might be working on.  
  • Sign-ups for the next UCMQG session start at the end of July (see previous blog post for more details).
  • If you signed up for the rainbow fabric strip swap, you'll receive your strips in all the colors of the rainbow during our July UCMQG meeting.  So, be thinking of how you want to use all those fun fabric strips.  
  • Sign-ups open for Quilt Bliss!!!!  So excited!  Be sure to follow the blog so you'll be ready to register when we have the green light.  

If you weren't able to make it in June, please know that we missed you.  Hope to see you all out under the trees next month!