Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Calling all Members....

The last day of August- can you believe it? Where has the summer gone? Tomorrow, Sept. 1st, is the drawing of the winning ticket for the Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Centre raffle quilt. The draw is set for 9:30a.m. in the lobby of the Stan Cassidy Centre. We would like to have as many FQG members present as possible. If you can join us, we'd love to see you there. We can't wait to see who the lucky winner is! It might be you!!
Also- have you remembered to renew your membership for the 2011-2012 year? If not, Paula our Registrar  would love to hear from you. She can be reached at 459-3407 or by email at   If you plan to renew at the September meeting, get in touch with Paula to let her know your intentions - we would like to get a clear idea of our numbers for the year.
We encourage members to submit articles, stories or items of interest for our newsletter, The Template. Editor Joyce needs your submissions by Sept. 6 at the latest. Send them to  as soon as possible.
Our first meeting night will be here before you know it. See you Sept. 20th! New members are welcomed!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fall Fibre Arts Fest and more Quilt Shows

Can you believe it's nearly the end of August? I won't say the end of summer as I hope it goes on for a good long while yet... We'll be back at Guild meetings before you know it!
I've been asked to make you aware of the upcoming Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival in Amherst in October. Put it on your calendars now!! This is almost a full week of "all things fibre".. quilting, hooking, needlework (hardanger this year), spinning, knitting, felting, rug braiding.. well you get the picture - ALL things fibre!! Kathy Tidswell is teaching two classes too!  Click here to go to the website to see the schedule. I bet there might be a class or two there that interests you. There will also be quilt displays, rug displays, a  humourous lunchtime theatre and lots of other good stuff happening! I plan to attend this year- will I see you there? 
EDIT - Sept. 1 - The NS Fibre Arts Festival now has a blog: click here. Over the coming days and weeks more info will be posted on the blog, so keep checking back. By clicking on the grey tabs at the top, you will find info on the events, workshops, instructors, etc. If you need a little fibre in your creative diet - this is the place to find it!!

It must be time for another Quilt Show Tour, or two or three... Click here, here and here to see my favourites from Maine Quilts 2011. If you did not get down to Life at the Lakes in Cambridge Narrows, you can see a few photos here.
Click here to wing your way to the UK and a 3 minute video tour of the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham. (Thanks to Kathy F. for this link.) And here, here, and here  for another blogger's look at a Quilt Show in Burlington Ontario - the Halton QG Show.
Did you attend any interesting Quilt Shows this summer?

Friday, August 12, 2011

For Your Viewing and Reading Pleasure...

Here is a different type of Quilt Show for your entertainment. Click here for a short NFB film about quilts. And if you need a little inspiration today, click here to meet Diane Rose, a blind quilter from Texas. (short video)

On the home front, kudos to our own Gail Mitchell. She has just had an article published in McCall's Quilting magazine, September-October 2011 issue. It gives lots of tips on how to make more from your Raffle Quilt. We all know Gail is very generous with her time, having made quilt tops for local Church groups to hand quilt, so she has compiled a number of helpful suggestions. Well done Gail!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Great info on Thread

I thought some of you might be interested in this newsletter from Superior Threads. I have included the Q and A section below. If you would like to read more, you can find the entire August 2011 newsletter here. And if you'd like to read previous Superior Threads newsletters you can access them all here. Of course there's lots of other great things to check out too...Enjoy!

Superior Threads August 2011 Newsletter

This newsletter is longer than most but it is full of valuable information. Please print it out and read it as time allows. Good education, sales, announcements, and a joke at the end.

EDUCATION: Common and not-so-common Questions
Here are some questions (and our answers) asked recently in quilting blogs:
Q. Are all invisible monofilament threads the same?
A. No. Most invisible monofilament thread is nylon and nylon is not a good fiber choice for thread. It has very low heat tolerance (400 F compared to polyester’s 480 F). Nylon goes brittle over time and yellows. That is why very few threads are made of nylon. If you like invisible monofilament thread, choose a polyester type such as MonoPoly.
Caution: Watch out for a brand of invisible monofilament thread that is labeled as “polyamide.” That is the chemical name for nylon. It is not polyester.

Q. Does Superior have any threads made of nylon?
A. Yes. Charlotte’s Fusible Web. It is a fusible thread, meaning it melts at low temperature. This thread is wonderful for fusible applique. No more stiff webbing between the layers. Seven easy-to-follow video demonstrations are available on our website.

Q. How do I know what needle to use for quilting, sewing, embroidering, and piecing?
A. We listen to the professionals -- those who do and those who teach. The majority tell us they use the Topstitch style needle for nearly all applications including piecing (#80/12 needle), embroidery (#90/14), quilting (needle size depends on the thread size), general sewing construction/crafting (usually #80/12). The only exception is when sewing on knit fabrics and they use a ball point needle.
Top secret revealed: The bestselling brand of home machine needles puts the exact same needle in the Topstitch and Metallic needle package. It's the same needle. One needle, two packages = double the sales. Save your money. You do not need to buy both. This explains why we no longer sell metallic needles. The Topstitch style is the needle preferred by the professionals.

Q. What determines if a thread is for hand quilting?
A. Strength. Hand quilting puts a lot of repeat stress on thread so it requires a strong thread. Traditional hand quilting thread is coated or glazed with wax or starch which makes the thread rather stiff, slick, and strong. Our hand quilting thread is Treasure, a coated cotton. Some high quality non-coated threads such as King Tut are also perfectly fine for hand quilting.
Caution: Do not use a coated or glazed thread in a machine. The coating will rub off and gum up the machine.

Q. What’s the difference between a piecing thread and quilting thread?
A. Size. When piecing, we want the thread to be fine enough to make a flat, smooth seam. A medium or heavy thread will not do this. Choose a fine (#50) thread for piecing. MasterPiece was created as the ideal piecing thread.

Q. Is it OK to piece with polyester?
A. Yes, if you are careful when ironing the seam. A high-heat iron can melt polyester, so turn the iron temperature down to low or medium. We prefer to play it safe and piece with cotton (MasterPiece) so we can iron the seam on high heat with no risk of melting the thread.

Q. What thread should I use for quilting?
A. There are many choices. Polyester, cotton, metallic, variegated. Please refer to our Thread Selection Guide. And, it is perfectly fine to use polyester thread in your quilt. It will not tear the fabric. That is the biggest myth in the quilting world. Here is a good article on this topic.

Q. What is filament polyester?
A. Most polyester threads are made of multiple filaments (continuous strands) of polyester twisted together. If there is only one single strand, it is a monofilament thread. Most polyester threads have many polyester filaments twisted together. A 3-ply polyester thread has three strands twisted together, but each of those three strands are made up of many micro-strands twisted together. A top quality 3-ply multi-filament polyester thread may have as many as 144 strands (48+48+48) twisted together. A low quality polyester thread may have only 18 strands (6+6+6). The labels do not state the number of micro-strands. If you have wondered why you absolutely love a particular polyester thread, it is probably due to the high number of micro-strands.

Q. My dealer told me that using prewound bobbins will void the warranty. Really?
A. Your dealer is wrong. No sewing machine company makes such a claim. In fact, most sewing machine companies sell prewound bobbins.

Q. Is it true that Superior is the only brand I should use because other brands cause global warming, the swine flu, and other problems?
A. Thank you. This is my favorite question.