In July, we discussed how we build our fabric stashes and how we store them. Most of us purchased fat quarters and half yard cuts with some larger pieces for quilt backs. The majority of the group keeps their fabric in bins, often organized by color and sometimes by fabric line. Some have their fabric stored on shelves and Jill uses comic book boards to store hers. We talked a lot about the types of prints we collect and if we buy whole lines or individual cuts – everyone does this differently. Some of us keep scraps, organized by color, and others toss small pieces that they won’t use. One member even sub cuts her scraps into useable squares (2.5” and 5”).
For show and tell, Erin and Jill brought in the quilts that they made for the St. Agnes Carnival. Casey had her Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller challenge quilt that she planned on giving as a gift.
We collected dues ($30) and discussed upcoming events including the August demo meeting and the September charity sew-in.
Erin opened the meeting with information about next month’s Charity Quilt Sew-In… Sunday, September 14 from 12 – 4 at the Cozy Quilter in Middletown.
We’ll be working together to make lap quilts using long strips of fabrics or 5 x 5 squares.This should be a lot of fun, so bring your sewing machine and supplies as well as any fabric you would like to donate to the cause! Erin will be bringing lots of fabric, so it is fine if you just bring your willing hands. Marie (a new member) asked if we could bring quilts or quilt tops to donate, and the answer is YES!
At the end of the day, we may ask for volunteers to finish up the quilts and or quilt them with a simple grid pattern. If you have ideas for who might need and enjoy our quilts, bring your ideas to the meeting!
Erin also reviewed the calendar through December and collected dues ($30) from the group.
September 14: Charity Quilt Sew-In
October 12: Supply Your Santa (Bring 3 Fat Quarter of your choice. Your Secret Santa will make something from the 3 fat quarters (plus solids if desired) and present it to you at our December meeting.)
November 9: Guest Speaker
December 14: Luncheon and Secret Santa Swap
Mark your calendars!!
The focus for our August meeting was short demonstrations. Hannah started us off with an excellent demonstration on how to quickly cut and sew curves, or quarter circles. She uses a template, a rotary cutter, and cuts four pieces of fabric at a time to save time.
Next, Hannah folds each piece of the pattern (above) in half to find the center point and pins the fabric, right sides together. She also places a pin at each end.
If you have a machine with the needle down option, it is helpful to use this setting to keep everything in place in case you have to stop in the middle of the process. Hannah starts at one end and sews completely around the curve, making sure the edges are aligned at the point where the needle enters the fabric. Some tips for curves that don’t pucker include the following: don’t handle the fabric too much, keep a light touch on the fabric, don’t pull or push the fabric through, use starch to keep the fabric from stretching, try fabric to fabric glue in the seam line, or try longer stitches to ease out the pucker.
Last, press the seam toward the belly of the curve unless there is a good reason (such as nesting seams) to press them away or to press them open (to avoid bulk).
We discussed whether or not to clip the seams and the general consensus was that if the fabric is puckering to the extent that you feel you need to clip the seam, perhaps it would be better to rip it out and start again. Or, to sum it up, “Rip it. Don’t clip it.”
Hannah added this advice: “Don’t be afraid, but fear the blade,” meaning don’t be afraid to use the rotary cutter with the template. It is much easier and quicker than tracing the pattern and cutting with scissors. However, do be careful of that blade! It is very sharp.
Here are two of Hannah’s incredible and creative quilts using this technique.
Four Flying Geese (and no wasted fabric)
Next up was Erin, with a very helpful demonstration on how to make the Flying Geese Pattern with no waste! (You can find all of the information and specific measurements for this technique right here on Erin’s blog post from House on Hill Road.)
Here are photos from the demonstration, but her tutorial is awesome, so go there for the details!
Our last demonstration was by Sandra, who showed us a very useful tool called The Angler 2 for sewing half square triangles and other angles.
Remember, it’s important to keep the key to help align your needle properly each time with the Angler 2 tool.
The Angler 2 comes with a key piece that you cut from the original sheet in the package. It has a hole where you place your needle; once that’s in place, you use the key to put the remaining portion of the template on your machine.
Once the remaining portion of the Angler 2 is taped to your machine, you can remove your template, and you’re ready to start sewing half-square triangles — without having to mark the fabric!
Start with a leader and once you’ve sewn that through, carefully align one corner of the square under your needle. The other corner’s tip should align perfectly with middle line on the Angler 2. Hold on to the leader piece a little firmly and go slowly for the first few stitches. This will help prevent your machine from eating the tip. Once you’re past the feed hole, just keep sewing, using the middle line as a guide and voila — a perfect diagonal line! If you need to sew 1/4 seams from the center, the Angler 2 has lines both on the right and left side that you can use as guides.
Terrific demonstrations! Thank you for helping the guild advance our skills.
Share the Work
It was only fitting that Cheryl shared her beautiful Texas quilt, since she will be leaving us to move back to Texas. We will miss her and her wonderful quilting! Happy sewing, Cheryl.
Cheryl also shared an intricate pillow based on separate fabric triangles folded and sewn into a pattern. Wow!
Vickie shared two Union Jack quilt tops she has been working on. The red one is for her two-year-old granddaughter who was born in England, but has just moved back to the United States. Hooray!
Color Wheel Challenge
Vickie took herself up on the color challenge, creating a series of wonky quilt blocks with her hand-dyed fabric. She used a tetrad: orange, red-violet, blue, and yellow-green.
She also has several works-in-progress: a series of birds using both the tetrad and the triad on the color wheel.
And last, but not least, a monochromatic landscape, using the concept of color value to create contrast.
Thanks to everyone for a great meeting! See you at the September meeting. Remember to bring your sewing machines and rotary cutters, along with fabric if you have some you’d like to donate.