December 17, 2014

November Meeting - Last meeting of 2014

Our November meeting was quite the party. Literally, because its the last meeting of the year for us (just a reminder: no December meeting folks) so we brought food and made a little Happy Holidays feast of it. But also because of the sheer number of us. There were LOTS of new people checking out the guild. More than twenty of us, all told! It was a lot of bodies to pack around The Workroom's big table, but we managed it. It was also an extra long event as our official host Jaqueline suggested we join in on the Quilt Sunday fun. Quilt Sunday is an event hosted by The Workroom on the last Sunday afternoon of each month, from 1-3. Quilters are invited to use the facilities at The Workroom to work on their projects, often working together to pin-baste a quilt sandwich or some other job like that, which is more easily accomplished on a big table with many hands, than at home on the kitchen floor!
So we all showed up with work to be done. Marilou did a little speed-piecing. 

And Rebecca was busy sewing hand-sewing on a binding. (see her lovely finished quilt wall-hanging at the end of this post)

The place was packed, but everyone found some little nook or cranny in which to work.

Various members of the TMQG, both old and new and Quilt Sunday enthusiasts worked together to pin-baste a quilt sandwich.

Rebecca was kind enough to put together all our various stars from last month to make the quilt top for our Charity Quilt. And she quilted it too! But there were a lot of thread ends that needed burying. So Doris, Debi and Lisa started in on it. 
But it was a big job and takes more people than you think, so Katherine joined them.

And then Emily got in on the action. And I still don't know if they got them all done!

Eventually we all gathered around the big table for show and tell. Our guild is participating in a zippered pouch swap with a guild in Victoria. Here are our various member's contributions. Aren't they sweet?
And how about this pretty thing? Part of a workshop available at the Workroom. And a work in progress by Jaqueline. 

Look at this kaleidoscopic stunner that Sheila brought in to show us.
I love her fabric choices. She always manages to combine playful and modern so well.

And Georgia is a new to our guild, but still had this sweet quilt to share. I love that it matches her shoes. 

Bereen is also new, recently arrived from the West Coast. Here she is showing us a bag that she patched and constructed for a charity auction... 
...and a stocking. One of a number that she will be making for her family, as Christmas is nigh.

Samarra made this amazing negative space wall hanging with a fairytale theme.

And Lisa brought in this baby quilt-in-progress.

Note the crazy skilled hand quilting. I know. Can you believe those are hand stitches? Amazing. 

Lisa was filling her time before the Holidays making lots of little coffee cup sleeves for all her co-workers and friends. A very nice little project for using up pretty scraps. 
And as promised, here is Rebecca's finished wall hanging. So cool and calm with the gorgeous chaos of pattern around it. 

Thanks so much to all who came out to the November meeting, both our "regulars" and all the visitors who came to check us out. We hope we'll see many of you again in the New Year. Our next meeting will be on January 25th. 

October 28, 2014

October Meeting - Charity Quilt layout fun

Our guild is participating in the Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge (wow, that's a lot of capitalization in the middle of a sentence). You can read more about it here, but basically all the Modern Quilt Guilds who want to participate are asked to make a quilt using a specific colour palette, and some guidelines about how to set it (alternate grid work, read more about that here) and then when its done we can donate it to a local charity. I love working collaboratively, and also, am always happy to do something that can benefit others in the end, so I think this is a great project.

Last month we were given fabric in the predetermined palette, and decided that we would go home and each piece at least one star. Any star. Ohio star, five pointed star, lone Star, paper pieced star - sky's the limit! But we decided that Kona Shadow would be our background fabric (love those neutrals!) and  we could use any fabric we had so long as it co-ordinated with our palette. The Stars would provide a thematic continuity, but would also give everyone the chance to make individual choices.

It was very exciting to see what everyone came up with:
Doris brought us this little beauty. I love how those light turquoise triangles really pop. 

Lisa J. one of our new members really knocked it out of the park with this star made of triangles

Debi did three different wonky stars (and incidentally wins for best hand modelling). 

Marilou brought us three of the same block, but in different colour combinations, illustrating perfectly how much of a difference colour choice makes in block construction.

Sabrina brought us this little loveliness. Which reminds me of how much I love blocks made with all solids. 

Adrienne made these crisp, clean paper pieced nautical inspired stars. You can find a tutorial and download the paper templates here.

Many of our members used took what they learned in the paper piecing tutorial last month and applied it to their block construction for this project. Katherine is fairly new to quilting, and yet went home and designed her own, crazy, paper pieced star. Very ambitious!

And Emily did this four pointed star. See, there a so many star options out there!

Zoriana could not make it to the meeting, but dropped off her block earlier in the week. So sweet. And also entirely hand sewn piecing!

And here's me (Andrea) with the Saw Blade Star I made. I got the pattern from the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters book. 

A little wonky star, also known as a Maverick Star (such a great, easy technique, here's the tutorial I used.)

And the good old traditional eight-pointed star made of half-square triangle blocks.
And that's not even all of them! I know at least one other member has a block that they will be mailing in and sneaky Rebecca managed to be too busy leading the meeting for me to take a picture of her blocks. 

And here's our preliminary layout. Thank goodness The Workroom has a big table. We worked at getting it put together, but didn't manage it all in the little time we had. But don't worry, we'll get it done eventually. 

We also did the usual show and tell portion of our meeting and there were some really beautiful things to be seen. Lisa R. made this gorgeous Marcelle's Medallion quilt from the Liberty Love book.

The back is completely different, but equally beautiful. 

 Also, note the really well done concentric circle quilting. I would love to do this one day.

And this is a table top piece made with the Sidekick ruler from Jaybird Quilts. You can find the pattern, called Rock Candy (also from Jaybird Quilts) here. Love the brights on the black background,

Emily K. brought in the centre portion of the same Marcelle's Medallion that she'd finished piecing. Isn't it incredible what a difference colour choices make? (for more variations check out the Marcelle's Medallion flickr pool. It boggles the mind.)

Emily B. had this little beauty to show us. A stunning wall-hanging featuring cathedral windows.

And on the back, some simple appliquéd circles.

Frankly, I am just blown away by this piece. The handwork on the Cathedral Window portion is crazy, and the dense quilting along with it makes this so wonderfully three dimensional. You should see it in real life. Its nearly impossible to keep your hands off it.

I've been so impressed with the beautiful work our guild members are doing. So inspiring. And that's such a great part of being a guild member - being exposed to new techniques and being urged on to improve in your own practice by the great work of others. 

October 26, 2014

September Meeting

I don't know about you but I LOVE September. It is when I really get that "fresh new year" feeling, much more so than in January. Sure, January has all the New Year Resolutions business, but those mostly just make me feel guilty because I know they are not going to last. And also, New Years is in January, which is cold and crappy and right at the height of winter, feeling like its never going to end. But September! Ah, September feels all full of potential. Full of fresh notebooks and sharpened pencils and the smell of erasers. Funny how I haven't been to school in yeeeeeaars, but still these associations persist. Anyhow, my point is, Fall is awesome.
And our first fall meeting of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild was no exception. It was full of new faces and old faces and new fabrics and good ideas. Potential at its best.

After the business and introductions were out of the way, we did some show and tell as usual. Kristen brought in a beautiful quilt that she has sandwiched and started to quilt. She's decided to do a pattern of simple diagonals, but is going to continue to quilt it more densely. 

Doris brought in a beautiful small quilt, and original pattern full of appliqué and piecing. 

Doris is my hero because she always includes a label. One day, quilt historians will love her.

Doris is also very prolific, and brought in this quilt top for us to admire. I believe it is a pattern from the Transparency Quilts book by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. 

Debi brought in the final quilted version of a top that she'd shown us a couple of months ago. 

She'd sent it out to be quilted by someone with a professional long arm setup. And boy, does it look amazing!

After show and tell we moved on to a little tutorial, led by Andrea. 

We talked about paper piecing, both the kind where you use the printed paper pattern as a foundation. 

And also traditional English Paper Piecing, well known for its use in making hexagons. 

This is a portion of my own personal hexagon collection. I have big dreams of completely a queen sized hexagon quilt, where no two hexes are alike. People have been very kind in sharing their scraps with me. This is a "lifelong" project, and I just hope to get it done someday, but for now I'm just having fun making hexies.

 Its such a simple, fun process. I love this kind of little handwork.
So perfect for throwing in your bag and having on hand for waits at the doctors office or unexpected bits of downtime.

During the meeting we also decided to make a charity quilt, and passed out some fabrics to use as a guide for the colour scheme as we worked on if over the moth. We also decided that we'd all make stars, of any type, so that we had a cohesive sort of visual theme, but also that would give people room to play. I'll be back next month with pictures of our individual star block, and the resulting top.