Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Victoria Findlay Wolfe Trunk Show

Have you heard the news?  The SeacoastMQG and BostonMQG will be hosting a lecture and trunk show by the totally awesome Victoria Findlay Wolfe.   Victoria is a New York City based quilter, fabric designer, and author of 15 Minutes of Play, Improvisational Quilts, founder of NYC MOD quilters, board member for the Quilt Alliance and Founder of BumbleBeansBASICS (a community quilt drive for those in need).  Her fabulous quilt Double Edged Love won Best of Show at Quiltcon.  Born and raised on a farm in Minnesota, she credits her quilting influences to her grandmother's double knit crazy quilts that kept her warm growing up.  Her biggest supporters are her husband and daughter.

Join us for this inspiring lecture and trunk show 7-9 PM on Friday, October 18th in the Annex at 381 Main Street, West Newbury, MA 01985.  The cost is $5 at the door for guild members, $10 for guests.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September Meeting

Just a reminder that our September meeting will be from 1-3 this Saturday at the Franklin Mill Store.  Hand-quilter extraordinaire Natalie will be presenting a big stitch quilting workshop this month.  If you didn't see her amazing hand quilted Single Girl quilt in person at the Lowell Quilt Festival you can check it out here.

Ready to give the hand quilting a try at the meeting?  Please bring:
  • A basted quilt sandwich at least 24" square for trying out some stitches.  You can use scrap fabric, solid or printed, for the top and bottom.  Please use a low-loft cotton batting such as Warm and Natural or Quilter's Dream cotton.
  • A quilting frame or hoop, if desired (not required to practice some big stitches, but can be helpful depending on personal preference). 
  • Size 8 perle cotton thread. 
  • Size 24 chenille needles. 
  • Scissors. 
  • A can-do attitude! 
As always we will have show and tell so bring your latest finish, work in progress, or anything else you'd like to share.  Sancks are welcome.  As an added bonus the fabulous folks at the Franklin Mill Store are offering a 20% discount off everything in the store for all attendees:-)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cute and Spooky Spider Web

Looking for something fabulous to make for Halloween?  Check out this fabulous tutorial by extremely talented BostonMQG member Hema.  It's being featured at Riley Blake Designs - Cutting Corners College.

I love the shots of purple and aqua and the swirly quilting perfectly accentuates the spider webs!!!  I hope we get to see this one in person at show and tell;-)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Philly SewDown

While I'm not sure it can quite compare to our annual retreat in Kennebunk, a group of us headed south for the MQG Philly SewDown last weekend.

All the Pretty Weekenders! by Jen, Alice, and Aimee
Hosting the Weekender Sewalong definitely helped keep us on track to finish these up in time!!!  Karen finished hers also but decided not to bring it with her.

It worked out that we were all in the same workshop group so of course I insisted on a picture with each instructor:-)  It was so fun to see what everyone was working on plus it made it easy to swap scraps and share supplies.
The workshops were really small.  It was amazing to get individual attention from each instructor...

And to see Alexia's fabulous Marcelle Medallion up close and in person!!!

A huge thank you to Alissa, Jen, and the rest of the MQG for organizing this super getaway!!!  Portland isn't that far away... you know you want to go;-)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Looking for another way to celebrate National Sewing Month?  Check out this awesome exhibit of non-traditional quilts!!!

Photo courtesy of  Completely Cauchy
Unbound: Quilters and Artists Redefine Quilts
Babson College - Hollister Gallery
September 11 - November 5
Artist Talk and Reception: September 18 at 5:00pm
This is an exhibit of non-traditional quilters and artists who use quilting processes in their work. Jan Johnson speaks specifically to memory-forgetting relative to her daughter and grandmother. Andrew Mowbray teaches at Wellesley and makes quilts from Tyvek.  Kyung Ae Cho sews natural elements such as leaves and stems into the quilt and allows them to dry and decompose, so there is a strong temporal element to the work. Kathryn Clark sews quilts about America's housing foreclosure crisis.  Chawne Kimber's quilt is an homage to Trayvon Martin. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Quilt for James

We started Quilts for Boston last April as a way to show our love and support for those affected by the Boston bombings.  While all our hearts go out to those who were hurt, one of our members has a very personal connection to one of the injured children.   7 year old James is the son of her childhood friend Anita.  As they have done many times before, Anita and her sons were cheering on the runners at the Boston Marathon finish line that day.  When the bombs exploded they were right in between them.  James was injured by  a piece of shrapnel that went through his shin.  The family was brought to the medical tents before leaving for Children's Hospital where James received stitches.

We chose a special quilt to give this young boy with Batman fabric and birds hidden among the squares.  The quilt was gladly received.  Anita was very grateful for all of the people who contributed to it, and the boys were amazed by the number of people involved in the Quilts for Boston project. We hope the quilt keeps them cozy and warm for many years to come.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Weekender Sew Along: Finish It Up!

Alright, it’s September 2nd - let's finish this thing so we can move on to other projects!  

If you’re like me, it’s the sewing the whole thing together, all 12 layers of fabric (in some places) while avoiding the peltex and cording that is so intimidating.  So let yourself procrastinate a little by starting with the lining and false bottom  (Steps 12 A-E and Step 13).  I told myself sewing the lining was like a dress-rehearsal for the big show.  The only real difficulty is sewing the corners with a 5/8” seam without puckering.  I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures.  I’ve got no suggestions for you beyond forgive yourself.  Anyone who judges you for the lining is not worth having as a friend. 

Then I went back to Step 10. Sewing the top to the bottom is no problem – just a couple of things to note:

The bottom is a little bit visible from the sides of the bag.  I was originally planning to do my bottom with my bright red liner fabric because I thought it would be less likely to show dirt, but after seeing how much of the bottom was visible from the side, I switched back to the main fabric. 

Once you’ve got the top and bottom together, you mark them for attachment. The instructions tell you to mark the center of the top and bottom panels by pressing it gently with an iron – I used fabric pen.  The peltex hasn’t been inserted in the bottom at this point and if you’re anything more than gentle with that iron I think you'd seal up your interfacing before you get the peltex inside.

Now it’s time to attach.  Don't forget to tuck those handles back in the pockets! Remember how hard it was to sew the corners on the lining?  I had clipped my cording a little when I sewed it to the side panels:

The corners here were an unexpected breeze after that lining!

I will say I needed all ten of my red clips to attach just half of the top/bottom to a side panel – so I only sewed half of each panel at a time.  I was glad I did this, because it's really nice to be able to check half-way through and confirm that you're doing it right and that no old seams are showing.

If you go slow, there are only three really bumpy parts – when you hit the seams that attach the top to the bottom:

And where you hit the overlapped cording at the middle of the bottom.  

If you can get through these three points, you’re fine.  The denim needle, recommended by everyone, really works.

Inserting the peltex (Step 11 E): So, I’m sorry, once the whole thing is sewn together I'm expected to stick three layers of peltex in and re-sew it closed with a ½” seam?  I ironed it to seal and then hand basted it – I think getting all those layers under my zipper foot would’ve been impossible, no matter what the internet says!

Then it’s just the lining attachment.  I attached the bottom four seams first and then the top and just did a little tacking at the corners and the side seams.  Don’t skip pinning the top along the zipper, I was too impatient for this step and it didn’t turn out as pretty as it might have.    But hey, it’s done!

As you can see, I skipped side pockets; two are enough for me to lose things in!

And finally, with some "I'm going somewhere pretty for the weekend" staging: