Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July Meeting Wrap Up

Cindy, our secretary and blogger, missed our July meeting so I (Kelly) will be writing this post.  If you're reading this and missed our meeting as well, know that you were missed, and we hope to see you again soon!

Our July meeting had a great turnout.  If you've been with us for a while, you'll know that our Guild has grown substantially in the last several months.  We used to average about 10-14 people at meetings, with about 19 paid members.  I believe now we're at about 40 paid members, with about 20 people attending the meetings!  Wow!  

Presentation - Modern vs. Traditional quilting

Since we have had such growth recently, and so many of our new members are new to the concept of modern quilting, I thought it would be good to go over exactly what modern quilting is, and how it compares to traditional quilting.  It was a last minute decision, so I had to scramble to put together a presentation.  Thankfully, my friend Melissa (who founded the Front Range MQG in Colorado) gave me permission to use her PowerPoint presentation she made on this very topic a while back.  I also used a presentation that Cara from the St. Louis MQG put together, also a while back, that showed pictures of quilts that would be considered traditional, followed by modern versions of those quilts (I don't know Cara, but she posted the link to this presentation on Flickr a year or two ago, which is here if you missed it).  This is a very visual subject, so I was thankful to use these visual presentations to get my point across.

The first thing I really wanted to get across was that we're not trying to change anyone's tastes, or exclude anyone from our guild who might consider themselves more traditional.  Everyone is welcome in our guild!  The main reason for this presentation is to show what we expect for projects that represent our guild as a whole.  We want things from our guild to read "modern."  So everyone should feel free to bring in traditional projects for Show and Tell at our meetings...we can all appreciate and respect the work that goes into quilts - whether it's a traditional or a modern aesthetic...but if we're making a charity quilt, or working on blocks for our Block Lottery, or making items for a booth at a craft fair, we'd like for people to step out of their comfort zone and make things modern.  Modern is what sets us apart from other guilds, after all!  

The definition of modern quilting, taken from the MQG website is this:

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. "Modern traditionalism" or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

I emphasized that most of us in the ECMQG who would call ourselves modern quilters, would line up more with the "modern traditionalism" mentioned in that last sentence - we take a traditional block or quilt pattern and make it modern in some way.

Next I talked about modern quilting roots, showing pictures of Gee's Bend quilts.  Then came Melissa's and Cara's slideshows, then I showed my own slideshow showcasing a few popular modern fabric designers, as well as trends in modern fabric.

The point I ended the presentation on was this:  fabric is everything!  When it all boils down, fabric choice is what can make a quilt modern or make it traditional.  So it's important to become familiar with modern fabric designers, and try incorporating solids into our quilting.

I hope I made sense, even though this was all put together very last minute!

Show and Tell

As usual, we had a time of Show and Tell.  Here are some pictures from that...

Moving on to other guild business...

Block Lottery

We had our first ever block lottery this month.  People were asked to make 12" string blocks, then if you made a block, to bring in $1 to turn in with the block.  At the meeting, we drew a name from everyone who turned in a block and $1 to see who would take home all the blocks.  All in all, we had something like 38 blocks turned in!  And Susan - who is a new member, as well as a new quilter - won the blocks.  We witnessed a very sweet moment when she won, because the very first block she ever made was in that group of string blocks, and she didn't want to let it go.  So when her name was called, she became very emotional and was so excited to actually win the blocks!  We were all very happy for Susan.

Marcy, our President, suggested that since Susan won, she could choose what August's block would be.  Susan chose stars.  So here's what  you need to know:

-Blocks should be 12.5"

-The background must read gray, whether it be solid, tone-on-tone, etc.  You can use "50 shades of gray," meaning the background does not have to be the same shade gray all over, and we don't have to use any specific gray.  Just as long as it reads gray.  Gray.  That's the key word!
-The star can be either a pop of one color, or several colors can be used.  
-Stars can be wonky or straight, paper pieced or not paper pieced, simple or intricate.  As long as it's a star!
-The block can consist of one star or multiple stars

If you need some inspiration, go to Flickr and simply type in "star block" in the search box.  Additionally, Kira mentioned that Quilter's Cache has several star block patterns and tutorials, so that's another good place to be inspired by.

Bring in those star blocks to the August meeting, along with $1 for every block made (you can make more than one).  Let's have fun with this, and remember to use modern fabric.  If there are any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Scrap Swap

We also talked about our upcoming annual Scrap Swap.  We've had two of these before, and they're always a big hit.  Here's the details about that:

-Bring in a ziploc sandwich bag full of the scraps of your choice - whatever you'd like to see something made out of.  It can even be a charm pack.  It's really up to you - whatever you can fit into a ziploc sandwich bag.

-At the August meeting, we'll put those scraps into brown paper bags and have a blind swap.  Everyone who brought in scraps will choose a bag.
-After you select a bag, find the owner of the scraps to find out what they would like made out of the scraps.  Some people might not have a preference, and others might be very specific.  Regardless, we like to keep these items small, since we're working with a short timeline and scraps.  Some ideas are potholders, mug rugs, a mini quilt, pillow covers, etc.
-You have one month to make something with these scraps.  Bring them back to our meeting in September (which is also our 2 Year Anniversary!) and give the completed item back to the original owner of the scraps.
-Since we're only working with scraps, you may add an additional fabric - but only one!  You may use as much of this additional fabric as needed, but please, only one additional fabric.

Those are the guidelines!  As usual, if there are any questions, please ask.  If you'd like to see some of our previous Scrap Swaps - here's our first one and then our second one.

The great thing about this kind of swap is that you're sure to be happy with what you receive, because it's something made out of your own fabric!

August Presentation Info

For our August presentation and demonstration time, we're going to shake things up a bit.  Everyone is encouraged to bring in their favorite tool to show to the Guild and talk about why you like it so much.  

I won't be at the August meeting, and I happened to have my favorite tool with me, so I took a minute to show it and talk about it.  It's the Martelli RoundAbout - a cutting mat that's on a turntable base, which comes in handy for things like trimming half square triangles.  I love this mat so much!  And I love that it's a Martelli product, which is local to us (Pensacola).

Cutting Mat, 16

That's my favorite tool...what's yours?  Bring it in and tell us why you like it so much!

Sewing Time

Our sew times are usually a time for us to work on our own projects.  However, during the August Sew, we thought it would be a great time for us to work on items to be sold in a Craft Fair, coming up at the end of October.  So if you have something in mind that you'd like to work on to make several of, bring in whatever you need to make that.  If you don't have anything in mind, I think we'll have some patterns for people to use, so just bring fabric and tools!  A few of us mentioned that smaller items sell better at these craft fairs, like pouches, luggage tags, potholders, stuffed animals, etc.  Also, since the Fair is in October, seasonal items (fall, Christmas, etc.) tend to sell very well.  There will be an option to include things in the Craft Fair booth that will be sold to raise money for the Guild, but there will also be an option to sell things and raise money as an individual.  We'll go over all of this in more detail as the Craft Fair approaches.

We hope you'll join us in August!

Kelly S.

ECMQG Vice President

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Scrappy Strings Progress

They're taking shape.  

The scrappy string blocks for our first block lottery. 

It's not too late to make one or two (or more).  

Remember, your block and $1 for each block submitted, earns a chance to win the ENTIRE pile of blocks. 

We've started with a simple 12" x 12" sting block.  

Lighter weight scrapbook paper is ideal as it's already 12" x 12".

Your center diagonal strip MUST be white, and should measure between 1" and 2" wide.  

There is no color palette this month.  

Think scrappy.  Think colorful.  Think fun.  Think modern.

This tutorial by Ashley of Film in the Fridge is one of my favorites.

Another good tutorial can be found here.  It's from Rachel at ps i quilt

And Kira's tutorial for strip piecing can be found here.

Just think, for a few scraps and a dollar or two, you could walk away with enough blocks to make a quilt.  Ta-da!  Insta-quilt!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July Meeting Agenda

Hello Everyone - 

Our Meet and Sew is this Saturday, July 13.  The meeting will begin at 10 am, and the Sew will begin at noon and go until 6 pm.  Feel free to come for some or all of it!

First Baptist Church - Fellowship Hall
171 Hickory Avenue
Crestview, FL 32536

(The Fellowship Hall entrance is on Cedar Avenue under the blue awnings.)

Pot-luck style snacks to share are ALWAYS appreciated.

We love to see what you're working on, and we always have a time for Show and Tell - so bring your WiPs, your UFOs, your finished quilts to show everyone your work!

At the last meeting, we talked about a potholder challenge.  If you weren't there, it's simple - bring in a potholder!  That's it!  The idea is to collect some for a future craft fair to sell in order to raise funds for the MQG membership.  If you didn't know about this challenge, or haven't had time to make one, no worries!  

Also at the last meeting, we talked about doing a block lottery.  Details for this month's block lottery can be found here.  So if you have a block, bring that in along with $1 to be entered into the lottery.

Just a reminder with both of these last items - we are a modern quilt guild, with ties to the national Modern Quilt Guild, and when making something that's reflective of the Emerald Coast MQG, please use modern fabrics by modern designers to better reflect the modern aesthetic.  Solids are also a great way to add a modern touch to projects - they bring a sense of calmness to quilting.  And because of the modern quilting movement, several high-quality fabric distributors have added solids to their inventory - Robert Kaufman has Kona Solids, Michael Miller has Cotton Couture, Moda has Bella Solids, Dear Stella has Stella Solids, etc.  If you're not used to working with solids, try it out!     

Speaking of all of this, I'll be doing a presentation about modern quilting vs. traditional quilting, as well as talking about some modern fabric designers and fabric lines.  So if this is something you're unfamiliar with and want to learn more about, make sure to be there!

If you're staying for the Sew, bring something to work on as well as whatever supplies you need.  You can work on whatever you like - it does not have to be something for the guild!  If a couple of people could bring irons and ironing boards, that would be great.  In addition to the basics, you might want to bring an extension cord, in case you're not near an outlet.

If there are any questions, don't hesitate to ask!  Otherwise...

See you Saturday!

Kelly Spear
ECMQG Vice President