Friday, February 24, 2012

Member of the month

I thought it would be fun to have a member of the month spot highlighting one of our members each month. Here, you can find out a bit more about one of our members and see some samples of their work. Without further a-due, here's BMQG's first ever member of the month:

Alice Webb Greer!

Here's Alice, quilting at a football game. THAT'S dedication (or boredom??? LOL)

How did you get into quilting? :
I took my first quilting class when I was 12. My best friends' mother, probably to get rid of us for a few hours, arranged for us to take lessons from a neighbor. We hand pieced cute little calico pillows and hand quilted them with flowers. Not surprisingly it didn't stick but when I was 23 I decided I was going to learn to quilt again. I took a class and never stopped

# Completed quilts:
78, WOW!

What machine do you use:
Bernina Virtuosa 150 QE.

Favorite online fabric store:
Hawthorne Threads and Fat Quarter Shop. is great if you're looking for something specific but their shops don't always have a lot of modern stuff.

Favorite fabric shop:
Quilter's Way in West Concord.

Favorite pattern:
Sawtooth stars, flying geese, hexies, and anything made with HSTs.

Favorite fabric designer:
Jennifer Paganelli, Heather Ross, Tula Pink.

Favorite color:

Favorite sewing-related thing to shop for:
Fabric. I once couldn't find my favorite leather thimbles so now I buy them whenever I see them and hoard them.

Solids or prints? :

Why you love to quilt:
The process of quilting definitely relaxes me and it's fairly practical since I'm always cold and spend my life snuggled under blankets. I'm also very tactile so I love the feeling of running my hands over fabrics and feeling the different textures and designs made by the quilting. Most of all I love the creative process of chopping up bits of fabric and putting them back together as something beautiful: )

Favorite size of quilt you like to make:
Throw/lap. Every time I make a bed size quilt I say never again... until the next time: )

Quilting or sewing skill you'd like to acquire:
This year I'm really trying to improve my FMQ and add some more designs to my repertoire, especially feathers.

Handquilting or machine quilting?:
I LOVE to handquilt and almost always have a handquilting project going but I'd never be able to finish all of my tops by hand so I use the machine or longarm.

Other sewing or crafts:
I dabble in anything that catches my interest (needlework, painted pottery and quilling most recently) and last year I started knitting again but I'm too obsessed with quilting/sewing to do much else on a regular basis.

Blog, website:

Etsy shop:
Coming soon: )

This is Alice's Nicey Jane WhirlyGiggle quilt. I love the pastel feel to it, perfect for a child or an adult or even as a snuggle quilt.

Alice calls this one Ghastlies Coffin. This is my favorite of the three! I love the colors, I love the Tim Burtonesque lines to it. But most of all, I love the Edward Gorey feel to it. (Great picture, by the cemetary too. Coolness!)

Last but not least, this is Alice's Pips Zig Zag quilt. I love the mix of colors here. Anyone who's ever said red doesn't go with pink, you are WRONG! Nice, crisp, straight lines, great technique. It is beautiful!

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alice. I know I speak for everyone when I say it was fun to learn more about you and see your talent!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Meeting

Our February meeting was held in Topsfield.  For this meeting, we spent some time shopping at Sew Fresh Fabric's facility either before or after the meeting and we held a show and tell.  In addition, a bunch of members gave our beloved president, Laurie, a few homemade gifts in anticipation of the birth of her second child any day now.
Here we are at the beginning of the meeting.

Here are some of the quilts/projects shown during show and tell. 
Laurie finished her Bee quilt.
Karen is adding the binding to a quilt for a friend.
A quilt by one of our new members.
Another new member quilt (I wasn't quick enough here with the camera).
This is the back.
And another one...
Alexis finished her Swoon quilt.
Leah is working on this quilt and has four blocks done. 
She's also finishing the binding on her zig zag quilt.
Amy brought her fab courthouse steps quilt to show.
I showed my storm at sea quilt.
Jane shared another Verna quilt.  She's trying to use up the rest of her Verna fabric.
She's also working on an English paper pieced quilt.  Here's one block.
One of our new members is working on her first quilt.  Here she shows us two of her blocks.
These are two dowry quilts that Nyshma made prior to her wedding.  Her story is in American Patchwork & Quilting. Check it out.

Alice brought her zig zag quilt to show.

Baby Gifts for Laurie
Members of the guild made some great gifts for our president, Laurie as she prepares to welcome baby #2 very soon. Here are some of the gifts she received.

Talk about a great meeting!  Next month is our retreat up in Kennebunkport Maine and we're all excited for it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Show some TLC

February is now upon us. The month of candy, hearts, roses and love. Why not show our quilts some love? I've researched a few tips and pointers on how to care for your quilts so they last as long as you want them to, whether you hang them on your wall or throw them on a bed.

If you tend to make quilts that are meant to be used on beds (like I do!), then you know they HAVE to be washed at some point during their lifespan. You can handwash them in your tub with scent-free color-free detergent, or use this machine-washing technique. It seems to be very popular!

-set your machine to fill up with warm/lukewarm water
-add detergent (ALWAYS use mild soap, scent-free color-free. Obvioulsy, don't bleach!)
-while the machine is filling, distribute your quilt evenly in the tank
-push the quilt up and down with your hands, 3-5 minutes.
-DO NOT LET THE MACHINE AGITATE!!! This causes ripping, breaking, clumping.
-Set your machine to spin (draining the water out)
-Let machine fill up with cool water; agitate with your HANDS to rinse.
-Spin, repeat rinsing twice. NEVER LET THE MACHINE AGITATE!!!

Drying options include laying your quilt flat somewhere, away from direct sunlight, or tossing it in the dryer on low heat just until it is damp and then drying it flat. Machine washing in the above manner is easier than tub washing, and you also get the added bonus of a lighter quilt which in turn means less chance of ripping when you lift the thing up while it's wet.

Now for wall hangings. They'll get dusty. It's a fact of life! If you do not want to wash your hung quilt, you should at least consider using a small handheld vacuum to take out the dust and keep your quilt looking nice. Also, for those you us who have never hung a quilt for display before, there are a few ways to do this including using a rod, velcro, or framing. (Click on the links below for instructions!) If you choose to frame your quilt, consider having it done professionally, with UV protective plexi. Remember: fabric, like paper, will lose its color if exposed to direct sunlight. Consider this when choosing a spot to hang your quilt!

If you want to store your quilts, here a re a few pointers. Never put them in a plastic bag. Like a living entity, they need to breathe! Wrap them in a sheet to protect them and store them in a dark, dry, cool area.

Lastly, lets talk about repairing quilts. I haven't made many quilts and unfortunately, some of them were not treated with great kindess. Result: ripping. Here's a tip I never thought of. Store some scraps of fabric you used for you quilt as well as any special thread to do touch ups as needed. If your binding comes apart, it's better to replace the whole thing rather than try to restitch it.

I hope this little blog segment was helpful for you guys. I know I learned a few tips researching this!