Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August Online Guild Activity

Hope you all are enjoying these last few days/weeks of summer!

Our August activity will be a "virtual meeting" instead of an actual gathering. We'll each take the month to create a quilt block (or more than one!) and at the end of the month we'll display them all online together.  Participants will be entered in a drawing to win the all blocks!

Introducing...the Improv Herringbone Block!

I fell in love with this block about 6 months ago online and have been excited to try it. I think it's a perfect guild block because I wouldn't want to make 16+ of these, but one or two is just perfect!


  • The block pattern is the the Improv Herringbone block featured in this tutorial by Amy from 13 Spools.
  • Make one or more blocks, 14-1/2" finished size (15" square). Yes, a slightly odd finished block size, but it made the math easier. I enlarged the blocks, figuring that since these were a little more work, people may be less likely to make multiples. Keep reading to see how this enlargement affects Amy's tutorial.
  • The specifics: Make your block using one main color (I chose turquoise). It's okay for the fabrics to have other colors in them, as long as they "read" your main color. 
  • Cut 1" white strips (I used 6-7 strips for my entire block, to give you an idea).
  • You'll make three herringbone "panels" that are each 5" wide and 15" long and join them with 1" wide white strips. 
Helpful Tips (aka how not do to what I did at first when making this block):
  • Make your life easier; do not try to be a fabric scrooge. Each colored piece you add should be wider than 5". You can work with less, but why wonder if you have enough? 
  • After you add each colored piece to a panel, trim the panel to measure 5-1/4" wide. That gives you some breathing room for when you go to trim at the end. Ditto on the length: Make a panel 15-1/4" long. Because this is improv piecing, you can easily square it up when you're finished. 
  • After all three panels are stitched, trim each to measure 5" wide. Join with 1" wide white strips and then trim the length to measure 15". 
  • I read recently that when you work with narrow strips, it's best to sew fabric to both sides before pressing. I used this technique and it's true! After you sew on a white strip, add the next colored strip before pressing. Your narrow white strips will have less distortion. 
  • The tutorial recommends pressing your seams open. I am not a pressing-the-seams-open person, so I didn't. She also used narrower white strips than we are, so that factors in as well. Press open or to one side, whatever you're more comfortable with.
  • If you start sewing this block and wonder what on earth I've gotten you into, hang in there! The first half of my first panel was slow and clumsy; then I got into a groove and the rest went must more smoothly. And, you can always contact me if you need help. (lequilter at gmail.com or leave a comment below or on Facebook)
  • Submit a photo of the completed block by September 19th.  We want this to be fun and easy, not stressful, so we have several options for submitting your photo.
    • If you have a Flickr account, please post the photo to Flickr, add it to the Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild group pool, and tag it GLMQG-Aug13
    • If you have a Facebook account, you may post the picture to the Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild facebook page. 
    • You may email your photo to glmodernquilter@gmail.com 
    • If you do not have access to a digital camera, contact me (Lisa) and I will arrange to photograph your block.
  • How to win all the blocks:
    • We are going to draw for a winner of all the blocks at our next live meeting, which is September 21.  You do not need to be present to win.
    • You get your name in the drawing each time you enter a block.  So, if you submit two blocks, your name goes in the drawing twice!
    • Please bring your completed block to the September meeting so all the blocks can be delivered to the winner.  If the winner is not at the meeting, we will mail them to him/her.
    • We'll post the name of the winner here on the blog.  So, if we don't have your email address, check the blog so you can see if you won and can send us your contact information.  (If you are at the meeting, you'll get your blocks on the spot!)
    • If you will not be at the meeting, either
      • Give the block to a friend to bring it for you, or
      • Mail it in.  E-mail us at glmodernquilter@gmail.com, and we'll send you the mailing address where you can send your blocks.
  • That winner must assemble the blocks into a finished quilt before being eligible to win again. Fair enough?
Happy quilting!
Any questions? Leave a comment below. Can't wait to see you all at our 
September meeting! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

July 2013 Meeting Summary

HI Everyone!

Jane and Stephanie here to share the meeting minutes from our July meeting--which was AWESOME!  We had a great time!

Want to hear some great news?!  We had 5 new paid members this week.  We now have 20 paid members in our guild!!! We are growing like a weed!  Yay!

 Old Business:
One of our new members, Judy, won 24 beautiful blocks.  We laid them all out on the floor so we could get a good look at them.  There was a lot of ooohing and aahhhing over these!  Great challenge for us, Lisa!

Pam decided to be a rebel and contributed a block that she put together differently.  Love that creativity! 
We all decided we should make it a signature block.  What an awesome idea.  From now on, we'll always do a signature block.  Very fun!  (We edited the photo to "rub out" last names...it's not really schmeared like that!)  Thanks to all who participated in the challenge!

New Business:
  1. Program--One of our members, Lisa, gave us an excellent presentation entitled, "Confessions of a Quilt Magazine Editor."  She gave us the ins and outs of what goes into magazine production and how to submit your quilts to magazines for potential publication.  Thanks so much, Lisa!
  2.  Modern Room at KLCQG Quilt Show? We discussed having a modern quilting demonstration at the upcoming Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilt Guild Show.  We decided to wait until the next show in 2015. 
  3. Introductory blog posts sign up--We decided to have monthly member introductions here on the blog (much like Lisa did a few blog posts ago.)  A sign up sheet was passed around for people to sign up to do an introductory post.  If you were absent, please make sure you let us know at the next meeting so we can get you signed up!
  4. Paypal for pre-sign ups for future sew-ins and membership dues--Carolyn has set up a Paypal account for the guild.  In the future, when we have sew-ins, people will be able to pre-register for them using Paypal.  In addition, members will be able to pay their dues online using Paypal.  We'll try to link the membership form to Paypal.
  5. Change in meeting date for September meeting--Due to several members of our guild being gone on retreat on the date of our next meeting, we have changed our next meeting date to September 21.  (Heads up!  This is the 3rd Saturday in stead of our usual meeting date of the 4th Saturday of the month.)  It is possible we will be doing a field trip for this meeting, so there may be a change in location.  Keep your eyes on the blog for more information!
  6. Nametag--please make a nametag for the next meeting.  No special requirements except that it should have a modern flair.  Express yourself!
  7. Next online activity--The next online activity will be announced on the blog in mid-August.  Stay tuned.  Hint:  Lots of little pieces.
  8. Donations for prizes--Stephanie and Carolyn brought in 7 items to be used as doorprizes.  Evelyn donated a handmade item as well.  Thank you!  Ideas will be welcomed for future door prizes or if you have a connection with a store/company that can donate items, that would be helpful!
We wrapped it up with Show and Tell.

 A member brought in this beautiful stitchery.  So fine and detailed!

 A member brought in this Bell Wave quilt, which was a free pattern she got from www.freshlemonsquilts.com.  So bright and cheerful!

Speaking of bright and cheerful, how about this adorable quilt made of all half-square triangles!  Just lovely!

And here is the back of that quilt.  Really adorable.  It's so fun to have a little surprise on the back!

 Another member brought in this bag she had made.  What a great shape and design to the bag.  Great fabric choices!

 A member brought in this really neat Double Fat Jack quilt top.  She was debating on how to finish it.  We shared some fun ideas.  She said she used this tutorial for making the blocks.  Another tutorial for Union Jack blocks can be found here.

 A member brought in this couch-sized quilt that she had finished for her daughter, who is getting married later this month.  It was just beautiful!  She used this tutorial here to design and execute the quilt.

 A member brought in this great little quilt designed from actual leaves she had found in her yard.  We all really enjoyed the ombré fabrics in the background.  Very pretty!

Another member brought some lovely gift items she had been working on...a little pouch, a hot pad, and a cute towel for strapping on the oven.  Very neat stuff.

Another member brought this ereader cover she made from a pattern designed by Amy at Amy Made That! blog. You can get the pattern in her Craftsy pattern shop here.

Show and Tell was wonderful!  We discussed lots of books, magazines, blogs, and patterns.  Here are some of them that were not mentioned above:

Modern Quilts Illustrated – Weeks Ringle (a magazine recommended by some members)
Blue Underground Studio (a sources of some fun, modern patterns)
Modern Patchwork magazine (a favorite magazine of a few members)
Cat & Vee (great sources for screenprinted panels printed on linen)
Art Gallery Fabrics--Pure Elements line (a new line of solids that are so silky soft; they have a really nice hand)

Well, as you can see, it was a busy meeting!  We had a wonderful time.  Thank you to everyone who made this such a delightful meeting.  Hope you can all come to our next meeting!

Respectfully Submitted,
Jane, substitute secretary
Stephanie, adequate photographer