Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Mini Shop Hop and Free All Day Sew-In!

At our last meeting, when we asked our members what they might like to do in May if the Shop Hop had to be canceled, the chorus was unanimous - a Sew Day!

Because you asked...  our May meeting will be a Crestview Shop Hop and All-Day Sew-In!

Dawn at A Quilter's Place will offer ECMQG members a special Shop Hop discount on Saturday, May 14.  In addition, the shop will have treats and snacks just for us!  She has specially ordered a selection of MODERN JELLY ROLLS  for the Jelly Roll Race Event at our June meeting.

Our regular meeting place at First Baptist Church of Crestview will be open from 10 am to 6 pm for our Sew-In!  After a short meeting (block lottery, birthdays, bee buzz) we will shop, have lunch, then Sew, Sew, Sew!
Bring your sewing machine, projects, supplies, lunch and a snack to share. 

There will be door prizes* every half hour, friendship, fun, and celebrations of every finish!

Oh, this is going to be SEW much fun!

*Must be present to win.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

June Swap - Mini-Quilt!

The June MQS will take us on a journey into the Modern Quilt Continuum (not to be confused with the Time/Space Continuum of science fiction fame!).  

Let us boldly go where few quilters have gone before and beam right into the middle(ish) of the Continuum to explore strange new worlds of high contrast and graphic areas of solid color.  Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to seek out new ideas, move away from your quilting comfort zone, try something that you haven’t done before, be challenged… be creative... and... explore!

The mini-size of the quilt, should allow you to experiment, investigate, and examine this stop on the Modern Quilt Continuum without a huge commitment of time or expense.

The following are some links to a few examples of “high contrast and graphic areas of solid color”: 


(photos used with permission of The Modern Quilt Guild)

 Mission Guidelines:
   * Try your best to represent high contrast and graphic areas of solid color

   * Social media photos (a minimum of one) and interaction are required.  You did not travel to a black hole.  You have other mission specialists who want to see your work.  Hashtag your photos with #ecmqgjunemqs on Facebook, Instagram, or Flickr.  The more progress photos the better, because these are great forums for instant feedback.  Sharing progress is motivating.

   *Lots of wiggle room here, but it can be no smaller than 16” x 16” and no larger than 24” x 24”.  It does not have to be square.

 *Use only quilt shop quality SOLID fabrics.  No prints.  No tonals.  No batiks. 

   *Label your quilt.  You must include your name, quilt name, and any other information you feel will be of interest to the new owner.

This is an unpartnered swap.  There is no sign-up requirement, and you will not be creating for someone else’s likes or style.  You are sewing as defined in the Mission Guidelines.  That’s it.  Once you’ve accepted the challenge and have sewn to the best of your ability, bring your mini to the June meeting where we will swap with other daring specialists who made the journey to the center(ish) of the Modern Quilting Continuum. 

I hope that you are as excited about this swap as I am!

Live long and prosper!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Of Bees and Blocks

This month, ECMQG started its own quilting bee.  Well, "bees" actually - we had enough willing participants to make up threebees!

First, a brief explanation

A virtual quilting bee is a group of quilters who come together through some form of social media to make each other blocks for a quilt.  Each group is called a "hive."   Hives are usually made up of 6 or 12 quilters, and the bee usually runs for the same number of months as there are participants.  Members of the hive agree that they will make blocks for each other for the entire duration of the bee.

In a 12 month bee with 12 members, each member makes one block per month (one block for each queen,) so each queen has 12 blocks when her month is finished; in a 6-month bee, members usually make 2 blocks each month so that the queen still ends up with 12 completed blocks. Twelve blocks is - as Cindy often reminds us - an "insta-quilt."

Each month, one quilter is the "queen."  During the queen's month, the members of the hive make blocks for her, to her taste and following her instructions.  The queen will decide what block she would like and let the members know the block, fabrics, and preferred colors by the first of the month.  Members then have a month to make the block(s) for that month's queen.


Queens should use easily accessible patterns or tutorials or provide the directions to the hive members.  (Please be aware of copyrights and intellectual property - remember that someone has put creative energy into designing the block.)  In general, members should be courteous and not make copies of directions from books or magazines without permission.  

If the queen wants a scrappy block, members sew from their stash or scrap basket in the queen's preferred colors.  If the queen wants a particular fabric or collection of fabrics, she provides those specific fabrics to her hive-mates. 

While it is true that "life happens," it is considered very rude to drop out of a bee before the agreed-upon term is up, particularly if you have already had your turn as queen and received your blocks - that means someone has made blocks for you, but won't receive any in return.

With that brief explanation,  let me introduce you to the members of our hives.

Hive #1 #sewbeeit

Hive #2 #sewnewbee
Ann Marie

Hive #3 (aka #beeimprov)

(When Hives 1 and 2 have names, let me know and I will add them here.)

The members' names in BOLD are our first queens.  Each of them has decided on a block and distributed directions and (possibly) fabrics.  Their members are busily stitching beautiful blocks for their queen to enjoy!

And our bees will run a bit differently than traditional bees - instead of running for a calendar month, our bees will run from guild meeting to guild meeting.

Next Steps

Each hive should take the following steps:

1.  Give your hive a name and a hashtag (#).  Members should mark all posts on social media with the hashtag your hive chooses.

2.  Decide the order of the queen's months.  Take into account your individual schedules.  Will you have time to plan?  To answer questions from your hive-mates?  Are you planning to be out of town or have work commitments in some months that would make being the queen (or planning to be the queen) difficult?  Take these factors into consideration when you assign the months to members.

3.  Decide how you will communicate.  Group text messages work well for iPhones, but not as well for a mix of iPhones and Android phones.  

Instagram (IG) is a great choice for instant communication and inspiration, but is not as good for storing and saving directions.  Facebook (FB) is terrific for storing information, but not as good for instant communication and inspiration.

Facebook is especially good for private communication if you start a special group for your hive.  You may want to send the initial instructions via email, then store them for reference on FB, while communicating instantly on IG.

However you choose to communicate, communication is ESSENTIAL and must be accessible to all members of the hive.

Note:  It may be that members will need to join a new social media forum in order to participate in the hive.  Part of the fun of a bee is the communication and the ability to get to know each other better than you can do just at monthly guild meetings.

4.  Insist that members post at least one photo each month to whatever social media forum you've chosen.  (If you choose IG, also tag with your hive name and #ecmqg so that other guild members can see how much fun you are having!)  

Social media is both the impetus and the strength of MODERN quilting.  Modern quilting was born online and lives through the social interaction of the online community.  It is the interaction on social media that keeps us growing, learning, and excited about quilting!

5.  Members should always use quilt shop quality fabrics (QSQ) and make blocks to the best of their ability.  

It's okay to make a practice block.  Especially when a technique is new to you or when the queen has provided only a limited amount of fabric.  

6.  Members should make it a priority to respond quickly to communication from other members of their hive, even if it's just to say "OK" to let people know they've receieved the information.

7.  Keep all communication positive.  It's okay to say, "I don't care for that color," but is in bad form to say, "Why did you choose such an ugly color?"  There is a difference.  Tactfulness counts.

8. Most of all, have fun!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Shop Hop Cancelled

Sorry everyone.  The Shop Hop has been cancelled.  We were unable to make it affordable for the 22 people who signed-up.  Even when we tried to find other transportation companies or smaller vehicles.  

Thanks for your interest and support!  

We'll be returning checks and funds received.

Fabric Education Modern Tone-on-Tone Fabric

One of the jobs we take seriously is educating our membership and our community about what modern quilting is.  Along with design elements, modern quilting is all about the fabric.  We don't use any old fabric.

We use (and are excited to talk about) the latest designer lines that can be found in our local quilt shops or online.  

Designer names roll of our tongues as easily as waves lap at our shores.  Names like Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Carolyn Friedlander, Tula Pink, Vanessa Christensen, Alison Glass, Lizzy House, Bonnie and Camille, Brigitte Heitland, Lotta Jansdotter, Heather Ross, Denyse Schmidt, Parson Gray, Elizabeth Hartman, Amy Sinibaldi, the ladies of Cotton + Steel, and the list goes on.  

The block lottery for May, Tidal Pool, is good jumping off point for a discussion of modern tone-on-tone prints because they are integral to your modern fabric collection.  

In preparation for this blog post, a quick Google search using that phrase "modern tone-on-tone fabric" was uninspiring and not at all representative of the beauty and variety of what is available.  Come on internet, you can do better!

With the increase in our membership, and the fact that many of our sewists are either just beginning their quilting journey, or are coming from the traditional quilting world, we knew we'd have to show examples of what modern tone-on-tone prints are.

Defining tone-on-tone is easy - blue on blue, purple on purple, yellow on yellow, etc.  Tone-on-tone prints are important to quilters because they are blenders, helping tie together some of the busier, multicolored prints in a fabric designer's collection or between several collections.  They add visual texture and depth.

Each designer approaches tone-on-tone prints differently.  Some are bolder than others.  Some are easily more subtle.  

Some are layered with several hues of the same color.  Some use simple graphic shapes.  Others use a motif that is easily identifiable and as unique as a fingerprint, meaning you know when you see it, whatever color or whichever line, you know immediately who the designer is.

Some use text prints.  Some use simple lines and repetitive shapes.  The one thing they have in common is they are meant to add depth to your projects.

Visit your LQS and ask them to show you what modern tone-on-tone prints they carry.  They should not take you to the Fairy Frost fabrics!  If they do, politely tell them "that's not modern", and ask to see something else.  Ask them to order a specific line, whether it's L's Modern Basics, or Pearl Bracelets, Sketch, Grunge, Oval Elements, etc.  Local quilt stores want your business.  

The next time you're out fabric shopping, add a piece or two of modern tone-on-tone prints to your stash.  You won't be sorry.     

Saturday, April 9, 2016

May 2016 Block Lottery - Tidal Pool and Variation

Thanks for stopping by to take a look at the block lottery for May.  We really hope you like what you see and will sew a block or two.

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

Tidal Pool is a free download from the sassy and talented Molli Sparkles.  When asked if we could link to his tutorial he responded in true Molli fashion with "It's a freebie out in the wild, so I'm more than happy for people to use it however they like."  He's also made it available on Craftsy.  

Unfinished, your blocks should measure 12.5" x 12.5"

Navy one of 304 colors of Kona Cotton Solids, is the choice for the background and is deep and rich and bottomless, like the heart of the ocean. (Quick, which movie is that referencing?)

The foreground fabrics are modern prints that read as a solid - tone on tone prints.  Those sample blocks Molli showed are very good examples.  

When making the variation block, use a solid that coordinates with your foreground fabric. 

Finally, Molli wants to see your/our blocks.  Wherever you use social media, use the #tidalpoolblock and #tidalpoolquilt hashtags.  Your blocks will be amazing!

Leave a comment or question if there's anything we've forgotten.  You can also reach us through the Facebook group.  Thanks.

ECMQG Block Lottery,
Elaine and Susan

Kona Navy is available at in Crestview at Margie's and A Quilter's Place, although it's a wideback width.  A&E in Pensacola has it ordered.  Support your local quilt stores whenever you can!

On another note, this block is not a good choice for our Project Honor blocks.  They will look like fireworks or explosions which are not appropriate.  Please make any block of choice. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

March 2016 Meeting Minutes

Natalie opened the meeting at 10:15 am on March 12, 2016 with a moment of silence.  Next, she welcomed several visitors and new members.  Three members celebrated birthdays in March and chose their fabric roll-up.

Natalie announced that the guild now has a storage space in the church.  Natalie's husband, Ted, and daughter, Tasha, were constructing the new storage unit even as our meeting progressed!  Thanks to Ted and Natalie.  This means that the guild now has space to store fabric, our projector, signs and other belongings.  It was suggested that we begin a guild library.  We discussed how a library might work and solicited suggestions from members and visitors who had experience with other guilds.

Natalie also announced that the guild, which had been borrowing projectors from guild members, had purchased a projector for our guild use.

Cindy's fabrics from the Texty Fabric Swap (via FB)
Natalie reminded all those who were participating that Laraine was busily swapping the text fabrics everyone had brought and swappers could pick them up after the meeting.  Laraine announced that there was an uneven number of swappers so some members might have duplicates.  She is open to swapping more after the meeting.

Wendi reminded members of the trunk show and sewing mini class with her daughter, Amanda Woodruff, (a/k/a ACraftyFox) on March 21, 2016 at 6:30 at Gulf Coast Community Bank in Pensacola. Amanda will be talking about her quilting/blogging journey and show her favorite quilts, along with some of her own patterns.

Cindy gave a recap of the Chautauqua Quilt Show, held on February 11-12.  She described it as "awesome" and "vibrant and colorful."  She mentioned that she enjoyed the comments visitors made about how different ECMQG quilts were from the quilts at the traditional show.  She also mentioned that as a guild, we only touched the tip of the iceberg as far as putting on a quilt show.

Forty-nine quilts were submitted by ECMQG members, of which 46 were hung.  We had visitor's choice winners in several categories, which are listed on the blog here.

Booth sales were less than expected.  Knowing what we know now, we would accept more donations of books, sewing items, and other quilting/sewing related things to improve sales/profit.

Mary McFarlane mentioned that at their quilt show in Canada, they have a lunchroom as a fundraiser and sell sandwiches, drinks, etc. 

Cindy thanked the Chautauqua Quilter's Guild for inviting us to be their guests.

Pam, Beverly, and Gina reported on QuiltCon, held February 18-21 in Pasadena, CA.  They had a wonderful time, and especially enjoyed the quilt show associated with the conference, describing the quilts as "artsy."

 ECMQG will be hosting a Shop Hop instead of  our regular May meeting.  We will take a bus and visit three quilt shops - one in Ozark, AL and two in Opp.  The fee will be $40.  We must have at least 30 participants to make the trip viable.  Details and reservations are up on the blog here.  Be sure to sign up by clicking the link and filling out the Google form.  Payment can be made via paypal or personal check.  We will leave First Baptist Church of Crestview at 8 am sharp and return at 5 pm.  See the link for additional details.  Reservations are transferable, but not refundable.  We must have enough paid reservations by the April 9 meeting.  If we do not have enough participants, the fee will be refunded.

The Hospice quilt top was designed by Wendi, printed by Nona, blocks were made by several members, and the quilt top was completed by Wendi.  It was quilted by Natalie, and needs to be bound.  Marsha volunteered to bind the quilt in time for the presentation.  This has been a true collaborative effort.  The presentation date is April 2. 

Elaine explained the block lottery and talked about the March block, "Making Tracks," which was a collaborative effort of Elaine and Cindy.  Elaine won this month's blocks.

Next month's block is "Checker" by Elven Garden quilts.

Wendi explained virtual quilting bees and round robin quilts.  One of our goals for 2016 was to start a bee.  Natalie asked everyone to be thinking about what they wanted to try next.  Our bee will need six members and run for 6 months, May to November.  Cindy mentioned that this is the perfect timeline for a collaborative quilt entry in the 2017 QuiltCon in Savannah, GA.

The meeting finished with several members sharing their recent "makes" in Show and Tell:

Lunch and Sew Day followed.

Respectfully submitted,

Riley Blake Fabric Challenge Spring 2016!

I think it's a safe bet to say everyone looks forward to the member's only fabric challenges sponsored by the MQG and various fabric companies.   They bring out so much creativity!

This year's fabric from Riley Blake arrived.  Yay!  We have nine packages for ECMQG'rs who signed-up.  Bobbi, we know you're one.  As for the the other eight, leave a comment so we don't mistakenly give your fabric away.

Details, or Rules & Guidelines

 - You must make something quilted
 - You must use prints from the Sashing Stash collection.  ANY colorway.
 - You may use corresponding Riley Blake C100 & C120 Solids.
 - Original designs or previously published patterns can be used.  Please make sure to list pattern and designer information (if applicable) when you submit your project.
- Use the #mqgfabricchallenge hashtag when sharing images on social media.
- The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2016.
- Entries must be submitted via the Community tab of the MQG site. 

Trying to find a local quilt shop that carries Riley Blake solids was challenging.  Several phone calls later, three bolts of gray were found at Martelli's in Pensacola.  Heather has them priced to sell at $6/yd.  If you want other colors, you're going to have to shop online.  

We want to make sure your fabric is in your hands with plenty of time to make something beautiful.  If you're not going to be at Saturday's meeting, let us know.  We'll need to mail fabric to you ASAP.

Good luck and show us your creativity!