Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December Meeting - Holiday Mini Quilt Challenge

In addition to our pincushion swap, we also had a holiday mini quilt challenge at our December meeting.  The guidelines were simple, make a quilt no larger than 30" square and no smaller than 12" square.  The quilt was to have a winter or holiday theme, all religions welcome.  The winner of the challenge would walk away with a $50 gift certificate to Hawthorn Threads!

We had four members participate in the challenge, all with some fantastic quilts!!!  I mean it.  See for yourself.
See, they're all awesome! 

Everyone at the meeting was given a piece of paper and told to vote for one of the quilts.  After the tally, we had two ties.  Quilts 1 and 2 tied for first and quilts 3 and 4 tied.  Truly a testament to the awesomeness of the quilts.  Since there was a tie, everyone had to re-vote between quilts 1 and 2 in order to break the tie.
How do you pick between those two awesome quilts? 

After the tally again, quilts 1 and 2 tied again until we realized we were missing one vote.  That one vote broke the tie and determined the winner, which was quilt 2!

It was made by Jen from A Quilting Jewel and was made using the needle turn applique technique we learned in the November meeting. 

Here are some close-ups of some of the other fantastic quilts.

Join us for our next meeting on January 29th at the Arlington (MA) Public Library where we will have Sew Fresh Fabrics give us a trunk show and talk about what it's like to work in the quilting industry.

To join the NEMQG, visit our group on BigTent or come to a meeting.

Monday, December 13, 2010

December Meeting - Pincushion Swap

We had a a fun-filled December meeting filled with a pincushion swap, a holiday mini quilt challenge, a great show and tell, and got a chance to get some great fabrics as one member was de-stashing.  Because it was so fun-filled, I'll share all of the activities into a couple of posts.

Our pincushion swap was a great way to conclude the year.  It was a "bring a pincushion, get a pincushion" event.  Quite a few members participated.  We all put our pincushions on a table without a label and they were redistributed to those that brought a pincushion.

Here we are opening up our gifts.  We had a large gathering this month with four new ladies joining us for their first meeting. 

Here they all are.  Don't you just love the variety?  There are round ones, square ones, owl ones, and more! 
I wanted to take them all home with me.  Can you blame me?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November Meeting

Yesterday was our November meeting which featured Joanna teaching everyone how to do needle turn applique using her tree and leaf tutorial.  It was fun to see everyone's interpretation of their tree block. Some were bigger than others and some more funky than others.

Here we all are, face down, carefully needle turning our leaves to our trees while Joanna helps a few out.

Here's a cute quilt that Joanna made of all kinds of trees and leaves.  How fun is this! 
Joanna the showed us some of the other quilts that she has made using needle turn applique.  It was clear after seeing her amazing quilts that she is just awesome when it comes to needle turn (as if it wasn't clear before).  ;)

After we all made our trees we moved onto show and tell.

Isn't this a cute advent quilt?

Finally, I received my bee blocks from some of the great ladies in the guild.  One of them is missing in this picture.  Aren't the great though?  I love them all.  Now to think of how I want to piece them together.  Thank you again everyone! -Jen

Our December meeting will include a pincushion swap and a mini quilt challenge.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October Meeting

I wish I had taken more pictures at the October meeting. Lisa kindly taught us all about hand quilting and we all practiced as we talked. I was thrilled that everyone in attendance brought show-and-tell. I am so glad everyone seems to be comfortable sharing their work with each other. I am also impressed with how diverse our sewing is - members shared everything from art/landscape quilting to some impressive Sashiko adorned linen napkins. Here are a few pictures from the afternoon:

Pippa shared her quilt made of Kona Cotton solids: Lisa shared the quilt she made for her daughter as she transferred into her "big girl" bed:
Monet showed her gorgeous improvisational baby quilt:

Aimee shared her zig-zag quilt to be featured in her other guild's quilt show next weekend:

Rachel shared a series of artistic quilts she has been working on:

It was a great meeting - thanks ladies!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Retreat planning

The photo above is from a workshop with Denyse Schmidt.

We are in the process of securing a date for our NEMQG retreat! We'll be spending two and a half days of modern quilty goodness at the Franciscan Guest House in the quaint village of Kennebunk, ME. The Guest House is a modest facility that hosts many quilting groups. It is situated on some beautiful grounds a short walk to the ocean and town.
In order to achieve maximal participation, please let me know what dates work best for you.......we will arrive Friday afternoon and leave Sunday afternoon. The price for two nights plus three breakfasts is.......single $160.50 or double occupancy $107.00
Depending on needs, we may be able to split up the weekend.
In order to ensure maximal participation, please let me know what dates work best for you.
April 8-10
April 15-17
April 22-24
April 29-May 1

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Broderie Perse at the New England Quilt Museum

On September 11, several of us met at Lowell's New England Quilt Museum and toured their "Broderie Perse" exhibit. According to womenfolk.com, broderie perse means "Persian embroidery" in French but it also has come to refer to applique of printed chintz flowers and other motifs onto solid fabric. This art has been around since the 1700's.

Here is one of the quilts we admired in person: Image courtesy of www.nequiltmuseum.org

A quick google image search unveiled a more contemporary usage of the technique:

Image courtesy of theappliquesociety.org

The quilts on display were impressive in their precision, use of color, and design. We were also privileged to admire some other type of quilts representative of some of the museum's permanent collection.

We hope more can join us in October as we meet at the Arlington Public Library to learn more about handwork in quilting.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

World Quilt Show - New England

Several NEMQG members were able to attend the World Quilt Show in Manchester, NH on August 20. The show did not disappoint. Quilts on display came from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdon, and the United States.

The quilts on display were simply stunning, in this post I will let the images speak for themselves with a few notes here and there.

The small blocks here were actually miniature pieced log cabins.
The same artist as above also completed this stunning orange masterpiece.

I was intrigued by this quilt made with genuine South African textiles (ironically purchased in a MA shop).

The artist explained that the "birth of stars" was her inspiration for this quilt.

The use of neutrals here was very clever.

This was one of my favorites, made by a woman in England out of "polyester silk" (oxymoron?).

An American woman did improvisational piecing here:

This quilt is a draw-dropping masterpiece when you take a closer look.......

All of those pieces are tiny little squares pieced together!

This quilt, "Fire and Ice," received 1st place in the competition.

There are over 55,000 Swarvoski crystals heat bonded to the entire quilt.

This quilt was the grand champion, made by a woman in Kentucky.

Attending this show was very worthwhile. I encourage to make plans to attend next year.
You never know what you might see.....

(Just in case you need help deciphering this - it's actually a cat doing yoga surrounded by donuts).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lowell Quilt Show

On Saturday, August 14, a group of us met up at the 2010 Lowell Quilt Festival. We saw some absolutely amazing quilts, and there were also some fantastic vendors.

Although many of the quilts were not what we would call modern, it was impossible not to appreciate the work that went into them. This quilt was about 110" square and was entirely hand-quilted using a variety of techniques, including trapunto. Trapunto produces puffed-up areas like these:

Here's an interesting tidbit for you: the oldest known quilt, the Tristan & Isolde quilt, which is housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum, was made entirely using trapunto. Here is a photo of one of its fourteen panels, courtesy of the V&A:

You can find a beautiful selection of images here and the quilt's museum page here.

But I digress.

There were quilts of every variety: art quilts, whitework, applique, antique, hexagon, embroidered/ embellished, and even a Ted Kennedy memorial quilt. This one featured a plain black top and backing, embellished with complex quilting in a rainbow of colors:

One featured enthusiastic owls:

Some used modern art as subject or inspiration:

The quilt that we universally declared the winner was not actually entered into the show at all; it was a part of a display of antique quilts. The tag did not list much information about its maker or provenance, but whoever she was, she knew how to mix fabric:

I think it is difficult to appreciate this quilt from a photograph, but it was incredible. There were seven different fabrics featured, but each blended so easily into the next for a very subtle and striking effect.

We had a wonderful time at the show, and I hope you all have a chance to attend next year!