Category Archives: guild activities

All the programs/activities run by our Amherst Museum Quilters Guild, and other guilds in our area.

…and another spring idea

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I have a bin into which I throw the selvedge trimmings as I’m sewing. It sits to the right of my sewing machine and is getting fuller and fuller. Seems kind of like the loaves and the fishes, if you get the drift. The more I use selvedges for projects, the more the bin fills up. Never seems to reduce in volume. In between the phases of projects I’m making for work, I’m working on a selvedge project which also uses the 60 degree triangle ruler-perhaps my favorite specialty ruler!

But I think I will be taking a break from that project because I ran across this one, which is too cute for words (play on the selvedge concept ladies!). I’ll now be looking for a pair of canvas slip on shoes so I can make myself a pair of these selvedge shoes. Yep, you heard me correctly, selvedge shoes. Also will be searching for fabric mod podge. I’m thinking that will be a perfect way to use a 40% off coupon!

Maybe a bunch of us from guild could start a new fashion trend in the quilter world. Have a look at these! click here

Does anyone know of a local store that sells those canvas shoes by Toms?

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Filed under 2015 gifting challenge, free patterns, garment sewing, guild activities

Getting to know you…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I hope that most of you know our guild has decided to offer our fall seminars in alternate years, instead of annually as had been the tradition for 40+ years. Costs of sponsoring a national teacher continue to climb, and it seems interest from our members continues to decline. To give us some breathing space to raise some funds to offset cost increases and to work with our membership to reformat seminar to better fit current wants and schedules, we’ve decided to hold seminar in the same years as our quilt show. We’ll use the show as a publicity opportunity to both our own members and non-member visitors to the show.

That all said, I want to start making you aware of all that our next national teacher, Nancy Mahoney, is doing in the quilting world. Nancy has two quilts in the March/April 2015 issue of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. Ruby Sunrise on page 66 is a challenging quilt for those who love a complex piecing project. Electric Blue (pg 74) is more intermediate. Still lots of wonderful piecing in a classic blue and white color palette. Nancy is not just known for her piecing–applique is often featured as well in her designs. She doesn’t just design for the more advanced quilter either. Many of her books feature designs easily achievable by the newbie quilter.

Here are a few links to visit to starting getting to know Nancy.

Nancy’s own website

Nancy’s books at amazon

 

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Filed under "modern" quilting, antique quilts, free patterns, guild activities, seminar, Uncategorized

how dedicated are you?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Do you consider yourself to be a dedicated quilter? Every 2 years or so the organization Quilts in America funds a survey of quilters across the US to find what a dedicated quilter is about. I’m sure that manufacturers and retailers find this information useful in planning their focus. The amount of money spent on quilting is comparable to, (and I’ve heard but can’t find the  citation for you) and has been at times more than, the money spent on golf!

Have a look at this summary of the survey results to see where you fit. In many aspects, but not all, I fit the profile. My one concern about this, if you can call it that, is the average age of dedicated quilters. I won’t go into the math of averaging data, but it does tell us that we are an aging group. The fact that the number of quilters in the US, according to this survey, has dropped so significantly since 2010 is surprising to me.  How can we get more young quilters hooked on this hobby? I suspect that this data is skewed a bit by the methods used for collecting it. I’m guessing that many of the new younger quilters were missed by the data collection and thereby aren’t included. But in a very informal way of analyzing this, think about the quilt guild meetings and quilt shows that you attend. Not very many young faces are seen there.

What part(s) of these survey results caught your attention? Click on summary link below to view.

QIA_summary  Share your thoughts in a comment!

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Filed under guild activities, quilt shows, Uncategorized

One man’s trash…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Last night we had our annual auction at our quilt guild meeting. Throughout the year member’s earn “quilt bucks” by getting involved in our guild’s activities. Basically it is monopoly money, but it has been a successful motivator for many of our members. For example, one might earn 5 bucks for making a block for our charity committee, or 10 bucks for sewing the binding onto a charity quilt. We have a few guidelines for amounts to be awarded, but each chairperson has some leeway as well. Bucks are then saved by the members throughout the year to be used to buy items at our annual January auction. Items for the auction are donated by members. It’s a good chance to clean out our sewing rooms of excess fabric, kits, patterns, UFO’s etc. This auction is certainly an example of the cliche that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Bidding was very spirited on some items, reaching  $300 on one. (Keep in mind–monopoly money!). This year we had a new wrinkle (pun intended) added. The board members added some mystery items. Wrapped securely in brown paper, only one member knew what was in each of the mystery packages. Some were gag gifts–scraps, pennies, selvages. Some were great–brand new good scissors, best press spray, a gift certificate to a local shop. Fun was had by all, I would say. I successfully sat on my hands and did not come home with any new fabric to add to my stash!! I did bid on one lot of purse supplies-handles, stabilizer, magnetic clasp, and a few good patterns. Paid $100 for it (again–monopoly money!). I also was given a treasure by a fellow member. She found a bag of selvages in the lot she won. To her they’re trash, to me it’s a treasure!! If you are not a member of our guild but think this would be a fun idea for your quilty group, I’d be glad to give you more details. We found out about this concept at a meeting of the NYS Quilters’ Consortium and have adapted it to suit our guild. Always glad to share good ideas! Just reply in the comment section and I’ll get back to you.

How is your gifting challenge coming along? (described a few blog entries back). I’ll admit I’ve not made much progress on my original idea for January (to make a Christmas quilt from a Jenny Doan tutorial). I have chosen the fabrics from my stash and have begun to cut them up. I think this is going to be my next leaders and enders project (Bonnie Hunter gets credit for that great concept). I have completed 2 runners though, that will be Christmas gifts. I needed samples for a class I will be teaching so chose the fabrics with gifting in mind. I think I’ll call that a success for this month’s challenge. I’m hoping to get all the fabric cutting for my original idea done this weekend, and to organize it for sewing. Next I’ll be choosing the February gift project for myself.

Does any one of you have a report for us on your progress on this challenge? Who is playing along with us?

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Filed under 2015 gifting challenge, guild activities, quilt bucks, Quilt-a-Long, selvage projects, stash reduction

seminar 2016

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

It’s now official. Nancy Mahoney will be our national teacher for the 2016 quilt seminar. She is in all the quilt publications, so I’m sure that even if you’re not familiar with her name you have certainly seen some of her work. Here’s  a link to her blog. Go explore and get to know a bit about her.

Please be thinking about what you’d like to see in the open years in between our seminars, instead of a seminar. I’ll be asking for ideas in the months ahead.

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Filed under scrap quilting, seminar

Wicked Quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

How do you find inspiration for your next quilt project? Here’s a link to quilts made for a challenge from Cherrywood hand dyed fabrics was to use 3 “wicked” greens from their 2014 line and make a quilt inspired by “Wicked”. It’s the 11th anniversary of the show “Wicked” in NYC, so many chose their inspiration from there, but other worked from the meaning of the word itself. Good theme for Halloween season, isn’t it?

click here (if you dare!)

How are your seminar projects coming? I hope you enjoyed yourself and learned a least one new thing. Those are the goals of seminar. We’re working on getting our national teacher lined up for 2016, and hope to announce the name at the next guild meeting. Bring those completed (tongue in cheek) projects for show and tell in October.

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Filed under eye candy, Meeting Show and Tell, seminar, Uncategorized

furoshiki wrapping and a nice surprise

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Got any spare fabric around? (LOL!) It could be used for gift wrapping instead of paper. In this video the demonstrator also suggests silk scarves. I don’t know about you, but I have many of those just sitting in a drawer from my working days. I often wore a basic T or light weight sweater and put a scarf on to jazz it up, or to make it match a particular skirt or slacks. Although scarves are coming back, they aren’t the same style as the ones in my drawer (of course not, that would be too easy). I think this fabric wrapping would be particularly nice on gifts for your fabric loving friends. Much better than paper that ends up discarded. See what you think. It looks quite easy to me. Click here.

Here’s another gift wrap idea for using up smaller pieces from your stash. This one would work well for small gifts, cash, and gift cards. Click here.

Okay, so what’s the surprise? Our first mention in Bonnie Hunter’s blog. Take a look at the photos from her last classes in Ketchikan. Keep going all the way to the end of the post and there’s our first mention! Our 5 seconds of fame for today! Click here.

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Filed under free patterns, scrap quilting, seminar, Uncategorized