Sunday, December 2, 2018

Did you know..?

There is always more to learn! No matter how long we've been sewing and quilting, how knowledgeable and experienced we think we are, there is always more to learn. Here are two useful tidbits that I picked up recently...

Is there a right and wrong side to batting?  Yes, there IS a difference. Here's the explanation I found online:
Most battings these days are needle punched onto a scrim, a fine polyester mesh whose purpose it is to stabilize the batting and prevent it from migrating into balls of batting over time. The process of needle punching creates a right and wrong side to the batting. If you are having a problem with your batting bearding or poking through the backing fabric when you are quilting it, it may be that you are putting your batting into your quilt upside down. Here's what the APQS website has to say:
"If the batting has been "needle punched" then it has a right and a wrong side. Your quilting needle should penetrate the batting on the right side. Load your quilting frame with the batting's right side facing up. To find the right side of the batting, study the surface carefully. The right side will have more indentations or "dimples" where the manufacturer's needle-punching machine pressed the fibers together. The wrong side of the batting will typically be rougher, with more small "pills" or balls of batting. It will look like a worn sweater that needs a "shave." (Warm and Natural batting's right side is the "dirty side.")"
So now we know!  :)  I always have layered my quilts with the "smoother" side facing up and the rougher side against the backing, "just because", but now I know WHY we should always do it this way... Click here for a Youtube video with good illustrations to watch....

What does the word Mako mean on my Aurifil thread spool? For all you Aurifil lovers, have you noticed the word Mako on your spool? I recently asked Karen N. what this means. Here is her explanation:
"Mako is a cultivar of Egyptian cotton which has an extra long staple, meaning the fibre can be spun into a finer filament than most others, without breaking. Lots of threads are marked Egyptian cotton, but Mako cotton is the cream of the Egyptian crop. Aurifil uses only Mako cotton for their threads.
In the picture is a spool of Aurifil 50 weight and one of another brand of 50 weight. Even though there are 300 more metres of thread on the Aurifil spool, it is a bit smaller in diameter than the other because the strands are finer."

And now you know!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Nov. 20 meeting rescheduled

It seems Mother Nature is against us getting together!! Due to the impending storm and snowfall, our Nov. meeting has been rescheduled to Sat. Nov.24 at 9a.m. The planned workday will go ahead after the meeting, with Kathy T. demo-ing a number of machine applique techniques. Check your email for a more detailed message from our co-ordinator.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

October wrap-up and on to November!

Cheryl Arkison's recent visit with a trunk show and three days of workshops  encouraged us all to have more fun with our quilting. She encouraged us to relax and lighten up a bit, and give ourselves "permission to play." Participants in the workshops learned about modern quilts, improv piecing, using up small scraps, and putting a modern spin on traditional blocks. She reminded us that it is okay to "just play" - to feel liberated from the need to "make something"... no product required - just focus on the process and feel free to experiment to discover what we do and don't like. A good reminder to us all!

Cheryl has written three quilting books, Sunday Morning Quilts, A Month of Sundays and You Inspire Me to Quilt, and also has patterns available for purchase. Visit her site here for more info.

Shown here are several of the quilts she shared with us in her trunk show.

Thanks to Lee M. for these photos from the trunk show.

Today is Nov. 1, which means it's the first day of the Row by Row After Party! For those of you who didn't get to a certain shop to acquire this year's Row by Row pattern, or purchase a kit, you can do that now. If there was a far-off shop whose pattern you loved but you couldn't get there to receive it, now is your chance.
Click here for a list of the Atlantic Canada shop participants, and here for Canadian participants further afield.
Click here to find shop links which show their RxR block. It seems this list is incomplete though, so click here for complete lists of shops which participated, with their contact info.

Also today the final pattern for the free Christmas Block of the Month Gnome for the Holidays is available from Fat Cat Patterns. Have you been participating? If so, you'll want this final installment to complete your project, click here. I wonder if we'll see any at this month's meeting during Show and Tell?
If you've become (or always were!) a gnome lover, you might want to check out the next Gnome BOM, beginning on January 1, 2019.
See Gnome Grown here.

If you've been doing the Hallowe'en BOM, BooTacular, this month's free pattern is ready now too. Click here for it.

TrendTex Challenge fabrics are now available from CQA/ACC. The cost is $23.00 for CQA/ACC members and  $28.00 for non members. Click here for the rules and info on ordering a kit.

Are you participating in any other BOM's or Sew Alongs?  Temecula Quilts has started a Secret Santa Sew Along. It's not too late to join in and get caught up. The quilt (finished size 43" x 56") is scrappy so yardage totals are made up of a variety of prints- great for using up some scraps! Colours they've used are reds, greens, tans/browns and lights for the background; of course you could choose your own colours if you wish. Each week's instructions are posted on Friday mornings. The final "reveal" of the quilt will be Black Friday Nov. 23. Available now are the fabric quantities here, and instructions for the first two blocks here and here. Step three will be posted tomorrow- a great project for this rainy weekend coming up!

If you know of other BOM's or Sew Alongs that are just getting started, and might interest your fellow members, let me know and I'll add them here.

What are you sewing on today?

Monday, October 15, 2018

October Meeting Coming Up!

I saw this on Facebook yesterday and it made me smile, so I thought I’d share it with you....

We stitch. It is what we do. We stitch for warmth and comfort. We stitch to celebrate. We stitch to grieve. We stitch in protest and in support. We stitch for friends, for family and for strangers we will never know. Like the ancient pyramids, the power of our craft rises from a firm base of friendship and community to an apex of strength that will stand the test of time.

That about covers it, doesn't it?  

Our October meeting is this week. Have you been working on a fall or Hallowe'en project? If so, please bring it to share with us as well as any other items for show and tell, library books to return, toonies for our thread raffle draw, wear your nametag, and be ready to sign up for upcoming workshops/workdays. Our program is Improvisational Quilts, so if you have any examples of Improv quilts to share with us, please bring them along too.

Linda Hubbard now has an Aurifil thread colour chart if you need to check on a certain colour, or do a comparison.  She will bring it to each meeting. 
Karen, our Aurifil supplier, will be sending in another order next week, so if there is a colour you want/need and don't see it on her site, now is the time to let her know and she will order it in. Or if there is something you wish her to special order for you, she'll do that too. Let Linda H know by this Friday Oct 19, or contact Karen directly at 
New to her inventory is 80 weight Aurifil, wonderful for English paper piecing and hand or machine applique, and Karen says she loves it for stitching a binding as it just melts into the fabric. You can quilt with it too!  :) It's available in two collections, or individually. You can read about it on Karen's blog here.

Don't forget about Elm City QG's show later this week at Gibson Memorial Church, 183 Gibson St.
Fri. 10-8pm, Sat. 10-4pm. Vendors and refreshments, $5.00 admission.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

September Meeting is coming up!

How can it be mid September already?! The summer has flown by and we're lucky to continue to enjoy beautiful summer weather and warm temps.
Our September meeting is just two days away. Are you ready? Please bring your enthusiasm as we launch into another year of fun and friendship, learning and honing our quilting skills! Our September newsletter is out and our program and workshop committees have a great lineup for us. Don't forget to bring your completed membership form and cash or cheque if you haven't already renewed, your nametag, any outstanding library books, tips to share and of course your Show and Tell items.

Congrats to Jeanne Kaye Speight and Marj Deveau (and any other members I might have missed) on their ribbons won at the Exhibition.

September is National Sewing month. What are you working on? I haven't spent much time at my machine this summer with the lovely weather calling me outdoors, but I have a stack of projects waiting for me once cooler temps set in!

There is a long list of shows and events on the sidebar at the right, don't miss out on these fabulous shows - support your fellow guilds! The first in the lineup is the fabulous yearly show by KVQG later this week.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Whew! Is it hot enough for you? I am soooo grateful for our heat pump which we set to "cool" for a/c on these blistering hot days... I am happy to remain indoors when it's this hot! If you are the same, and looking for something to do until this heat wave passes, here are some things for you to check out...

First of all, for you Aurifil lovers, check out Karen Neary's latest blog post here to see the new collections and thread colours she now has in stock. (47 colours now in the 1300 m. spools!!) It's great to see her business growing. Aurifil is such a  wonderful thread and you just can't beat Karen's prices. I will continue to collect thread orders over the summer and place an order once we have reached the required amount.

I have a fair bit of colour in my garden right now, but on these hot days, I turn to the colour in my fabric stash for "playtime." If you love bright colours, you may like Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Here is the link to a number of free patterns, using Kaffe's fabrics. There are patterns for quilts, runners, pillows and totebags - something for everyone if you are craving some colour in your life!

At one of our winter meetings, I showed a needle organizer I had made for my sewing machine needles. I had said I would add the link to the directions to this blog, and then promptly forgot. Sorry! So here it is... It's a five part "series" of instructions, the link for the next day's directions is provided at the bottom of each post.

I made a few changes to mine - made it smaller (fewer pockets), rounded the corners and did a continuous binding, and used just one size (2.5mm) of twin needle rather than the three sizes suggested. If you decide to make one of these organizers and have never stitched on vinyl before, I would suggest you buy a small amount of vinyl and see if you have any trouble stitching on it. The directions recommend a teflon (non-stick) foot; I didn't need one as I didn't have any trouble but you might have a different experience. So it's a good idea to try the stitching on vinyl first, as I suspect few people have a teflon foot and they are pricey...

Is anyone working on Christmas projects? Hmmm, thinking of snowflakes and snow covered evergreens might be a good way to cool off!!  If you are participating in the free Christmas Block of the Month  "Gnome for the Holidays" at Fat Cat Patterns, the July block is now available. Check it out here.

Covered Bridge Quiltery in Riverview NB has just announced their new BOM - Winter Wonderland, which combines pieced and machine appliqu├ęd blocks. Call the store if you are interested in joining (506-386-2888). They are already sold out of fabric kits but you can still join to receive the pattern each month. The quilt can be seen in the shop, or on their Facebook page.

I have updated the list of summer and fall quilt shows in our area, on the sidebar. If you know of others, let me know and they'll be added. There's quite a good list, so if you're travelling, don't miss your chance to check them out!

EDIT:  One more thing.. In case you haven't heard already, Mardens in Maine is discontinuing their practice of giving guild members a 10% discount, as of the end of this month.
 Also, you may not know that Sande Gunning of River Gallery is no longer selling fabric. They are preparing to move to Ontario, and she has sold all her inventory of batiks and cottons. She is  continuing her wool business for now.  SUPPORT OUR LOCAL SHOPS, LADIES!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Row by Row 2018

It's time to start rowing ladies! Row by Row 2018 starts tomorrow! Woohooo!
Wait a minute... you don't know what Row by Row is?? Okay, I'll fill you in...
The Row by Row experience began in 2011 in New York state. 20 quilt shops participated that first year. Since then it has grown to thousands of quilt shops in the US, Canada and Europe welcoming travelling quilters who collect the free row patterns then use them to create quilts. This year the theme is Sew Musical.
Basically, we're talking about a summertime "shop hop" but there are no fees or cards to stamp. You simply visit participating shops and ask for their free RxR pattern- limit one per person, to walk-in customers only. (Shops will not mail or email their patterns - you have to visit the shop!) The RxR runs from
June 21- Sept. 4. Travel and collect as many patterns as you like, then use them to create your own unique quilt. Many shops will have kits for their row, RxR coordinating fabric and collectibles such as pins and tshirts. Here are the rules:
  • Visit any participating RxR quilt shop to pick up your free RxR Sew Musical themed row
    pattern. One pattern per person.
  • Each shop creates a pattern, then gives it away for one row in a row quilt.
  • Collect as many rows as you can, then mix and match your rows to create a fun and unique quilt.
  • Have fun traveling, shopping and collecting as many different patterns as you like during the RxR collecting period, June 21–September 4, 2018.
  • Have more fun making the rows and designing a quilt. Visit other participating shops all over the US, Canada and Europe to add rows to your quilt if you wish.
  • Be the first person to bring a finished (quilted, bound, labeled) quilt using at least 8 different rows from 8 different participating stores into a participating quilt shop and receive a bundle of 25 beautiful fat quarters.
  • Rowers may include The 9th Row and RxR Junior designs in a RxR quilt, but they may not be counted as one of the 8 rows needed to win a prize.
  • Include their row in your quilt and receive a bonus prize! Limit one prize per person
Check out the website here for much more info.
Click here for a printable list of all participating Atlantic Canada quilt shops. If you will be travelling outside Atlantic Canada this summer, you'll want to visit the website for a list of shops in that area- you wouldn't want to miss any!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

May Potluck

How time flies! Here we are part way through May already, and our final meeting/potluck dinner is just a few days away. Last month we enjoyed hearing of Kay Bourque's journey as a quilter ( we all could clearly see she IS now a quilter, having risen from the lowly rank of being a presser!) as we heard tales of her world travels and saw the lovely quilts she has collected or made along the way. Here's a sampling of what Kay shared with us.

Tuesday the 15th is our closing meeting and potluck dinner. Remember to bring hot dishes hot and cold dishes chilled. If you can include a serving spoon or utensil, it is much appreciated. Please clearly label any dishes that contain nuts.  Don't forget to bring your own plate cup and cutlery, it makes cleanup so much quicker and easier. Arrive in time to place your dish on the buffet table, and be seated and ready to eat shortly after 6:30.

We can't wait to see your "Beyond the Blue Horizon" challenge piece. If you have not yet done so, please let the program committee know the size of your challenge piece so they can finalize their plans for displaying the challenges. As always, items for Show and Tell are welcome too. See you then!

Lastly, Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mothers and all who "mother" or nurture another  living thing - two legged or four legged...  :)

Sunday, April 8, 2018

April Updates

Hello quilters! Just a few updates for you today.

First of all, some exciting news... Karen Neary of Amherst (our Aurifil thread supplier) will be a
guest on the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast with Pat Sloan on Monday April 9. It will be "live" at 5p.m. our time. You can find the link to tune in and listen on Karen's blog post here.

If you will be traveling to Maine this month, don't forget about the Maine Shop Hop which runs for the month of April. There are 30 quilt shops participating! You can find a list of the shops, print your Shop Hop passport, and get more info by clicking here. There is fun to be had, and prizes to be won, ladies!!

For those of you doing the Christmas Gnomes for the Holidays Block of the Month with Fatcat Patterns, you might like to know that a new free BOM has just started, for a Hallowe'en quilt. It's called  BooTacular and measures 53" x 65". There are 10 blocks, and this BOM runs from now (April) 'til January 2019, with one block being available for free download each month. After the month has ended, there is a small charge for each block pattern. So you have to remember to visit the site each month and print off your pattern and instructions! The first block is now available as are the general instructions and yardage requirements. Click here to join in the fun!