Wednesday, June 11, 2014

May - That's a Wrap

Despite a little confusion and a quick change of venue for our May 10th meeting  and sew-day, ECMQG had a full house.

Kelly's last minute discovery of a key that wouldn't open any doors at our usual location, Crestview Baptist Church, sent us down the road to her church, Grace Redeemer.  A big thank you for the use of the space!    

Business matters, including a reminder from our President, Marcy Gallagher, about our latest charity project, were discussed.  

Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, Inc. will be the recipient of our quilt for their upcoming silent auction, which takes place Friday, September 19, 2014. 

You can learn more about our local Fisher House here.  

We are using the beautiful sea colored and uber-modern Sphere collection from designer Brigette Heitland for Moda as it compliments so well, our aesthetic, and the colors of the Gulf Coast. 

All of the May birthday girls celebrated in style by choosing their fabric lollipop, which I think is certainly one of the best kinds!  Totally beautiful and non-fattening, right?

ECMQG had a terrific group of gals representing us at Stash Bash just outside of Atlanta the last weekend in April.  Kira, Wendi, KaSandra, Marcy, and Kim had a mini-reunion with Leslie who drove up from Jacksonville.

From the pictures posted to Instagram, and from the highlights recounted by Kira, KaSandra, Kim, and Wendi, ECMQG is overdue in hosting a sewing retreat.  Hmmm...  Sounds like we need some volunteers. 

Sadly, we have no pictures of Kelly's demonstration and short program on QAYG.  

Finally, May was our Make a Bag, Make a Friend swap of which these colorful little Friendship Bags stuffed with goodies - notions, fabric, chocolate! - were given and received.     

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, here are the quilts and projects from Show and Tell.

KaSandra's Relay for Life t-shirt quilt (above) and a snippet of Diane's latest improv creation (below).

One of our newest members and our first Junior Member, presented several of his original quilting creations.

ECMQG has some fantastically talented ladies - and gents - who practice many styles of quilting and needle arts, as is plainly evidenced in the following photos.

This is but a small bit of the creative talents within our guild.  I would love to be able to share more details, so please, leave a comment or send us an Email and we'll give credit where credit is due.

A sailboat and water quilt Carol is working on.  The genesis for this began with Diane's improv curved piecing demonstration.

Cricket showed her completed intertwined quilt.  This is an original design we saw come together over several sew-days.  

Kira, with a couple of her quilts.  The one above belongs to her son.  The one below is from her Fresh Flowers QAL.

If you belong to our Facebook group, then you saw the progress on this "quilted" stitchery project.  It was designed and quilted by Kathy, who has the online shop Needle Delights

This quilt was whipped up after Diane's presentation and workshop on improv curved piecing.  

The next two photos are of a quilt gift to a special friend.  Gina made this for Karol and presented it to her upon her retirement from the USAF.  

Consider this your PSA and friendly reminder to ALWAYS LABEL YOUR QUILTS.

Part of the fun of swapping is learning new skills.  This is a little dumpling pouch from Michelle Patterns Cindy made as practice for an Instagram swap.  

Stash Bash afforded Wendi quality time to finish several longstanding WiPs.  We saw this bee block quilt top first.  

The second was Piece of Cake III by Camille Roskelly from her Craftsy class Playful Piecing.

A nearly completed Shiny Brite quilt top designed by Wendi's daughter, Amanda was the third quilt top.  Amanda is also the owner of Westwood Acres, one of our favorite independent online modern fabric shops.

The fourth beauty Wendi shared was this Single Girl quilt top (pattern by Denyse Schmidt).  

Elaine shared this medallion quilt top.

And here is another version, same pattern, but different fabrics, shared by (please let me know).  Both are equally beautiful, but so different!

That was May.  So glad you joined us or stopped by.

Cindy Marvel, ECMQG Secretary and Wendi Mihalik, ECMQG Treasurer

Monday, June 9, 2014

July 2014 - Lottery Block Pick Up Sticks

Welcome to the ECMQG July 2014 Block Lottery!

If you are new to the group, or our blog, you can read the general Block Lottery information here, as well as see previous blocks (with instructions or tutorials) and past winners.  As always, please read through the entire instructions before cutting and sewing.

The rules are simple:

  • The Lottery is open to all ECMQG members in good standing.
  • Please use only quilt shop quality fabric (no Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's fabric with the exception of designer lines. **Please no batiks, civil war or traditional fabrics). If you are not sure if your fabric fits in the category of 'Modern' please ask :)
  • The aesthetic is ALWAYS MODERN
  • Take your time and effort to construct your block well, and use 1/4" seam allowances (unless the tutorial states otherwise). 
  • Blocks should be the correct size, within about a quarter of an inch.
  • Each block + $1 is one entry in the drawing.You may submit as many entries as you would like.
  • Please label your block with you name, either within the seam allowance on the back or an address label stuck to the back. The winner would love to know who made their lovely blocks.
  • Past winners can still contribute, but please understand until we see a finished quilt from your win, allow someone else the thrill of winning.
  • If you have any questions please contact me - Kira - or comment below.

This month the color palette is - SOLID COLOR FABRICS! 
All solids and only solids - NO prints, please.

Block Tutorial - Pick Up Sticks (Improv Block Making)

I am not normally a improv quilter. I like plans and maps and the orderly process of quilt making. Improvisation scares me, yep it does!
I know there are other quilters like me and I know that there are quilters who are thrilled to cut and sew with wild abandon. But sadly thats not me...

So to get over my fear and learn to love the freedom this type of piecing can bring, I decided to make a tutorial for all the 'uptight - like their rules - always needing a pattern' quilters like me :)

Start with a 13" square of solid fabric and strips from 1" to 2" wide strips (any size you have, but much longer than 13") of solid fabrics. Use as many strips as you want.

Now lay the 13" square on your cutting board. 
You are going to cut it ....and not use a measurement.
But do use a ruler to make a straight cut.
Make a cut - yea, go ahead and do it! I promise it will be ok!

Next take one of the strips and place it on the cut square.
Take it to the sewing  machine and using a 1/4" seam allowance sew it.

Press the strip and trim even with the original square.

Trim both ends.

Now line up the other side of the square.
Make sure you have at least 1/4" points on the top and bottom.

See here... the little point.
Sew and then press. 

Now you are ready to add another strip.
Cut as before, but make sure to have fun with it!!

Add another strip.
Keep going until you feel happy :)

Now you have an untrimmed block.
Press well 
Optional - I use spray starch, it helps with my uptight 'A' type personality ;)

Trim to 12.5" square.
All done and you did it!!
You just did improv block making!!

Have fun and good luck!!

Kira Bell
ECMQG Block Lottery Coordinator