For our second Zoom guild meeting of the 2020-2021 guild year we welcomed Bill Stearman as our very engaging guest speaker. Originally scheduled to visit our guild at our April 2019 meeting and to hold a workshop the next day, our Program team arranged for Bill to join us remotely from his home in Picton ON.
Bill started making quilts just 6 years ago in 2014. He has accomplished an amazing amount! Bill has made an impression in the wider quilting world with his quilts accepted in various quilt shows including Quilt Canada, some men-only quilt shows, and featured in publications. He also enjoys teaching his workshops and he is a member of his local Bay of Quinte Modern Quilt Guild.
Bill's quilts all signify an experience or emotion in his life, which has had many ups and downs, twists and turns, and a wide and rich range of life experiences. Bill started quilting to take his mind off the physical pain of a medical condition that he was experiencing, and it worked, and set him off on a new artistic path of quilt designer and quilt maker. Bill stressed that he is not a quilter because his involvement stops with the quilting design, and he then passes his quilts off to his trusted quilter.
Each of Bill's quilts has a story and Bill, a gifted storyteller shared these interesting and compelling stories with us through his "Backpack show" of 25 of his quilts. Why a backpack? Because Bill is too new to quilting to store his quilts in a trunk!
Here is a sampling of the quilts that Bill shared with us at our meeting. Thank you Bill for giving us permission to post your photos of your quilts on our Blog.
This is the quilt that Bill wants to remembered by. It features text from a speech and his own hand-dyed fabric on a Double Disappearing Nine Patch background, and raw edge applique.
"Dreamtime Walkabout" features Australian fabrics and hand painted fabric by Elaine Quehl. It and has been shown at Quilt Canada. It too is a Double Disappearing Nine Patch design which appears in many of Bill's quilts.
"Surviving January" which many of us saw displayed at Quilt Canada 2019 in Ottawa.
This quilt "30 Dead and Counting" addresses systemic racism. Another Double Disappearing Nine Patch design and 2 layers of batting - polyester on top and wool on the bottom
At the end of his presentation Bill shared the news that 2 of the quilts we saw will be featured in Quilt Canada 2021, but we'll have to wait and see which ones!
Visit Bill's web site for more information about him and his quilts, and an interesting video featuring these and more of the quilts in his Backpack show.
The meeting ended with draws for a $10 gift certificate at Sew Inspired and the lucky recipients were Sue S, Kathy F and Janet B. And the library gift package went to Eleanor L.
Our September 23rd guild meeting marked a first for out quilt guild - our first remote meeting. Held via Zoom, the meeting was attended by 34 guild members and our guest speaker for a total of 35 attendees. President Frank did an amazing job of getting himself up to speed with Zoom, setting up the meeting, and providing us with the little bit of information we needed to get ourselves going with Zoom.
And despite a few trial Zoom runs amongst the executive, when Frank encountered some technical problems mid-meeting he seamlessly transferred his meeting host role over to our Vice President Vickie. Well done!
And special thanks to our guild photographer Emma Russell who took photographs of her screen during the meeting.
Guest Speaker Debby Soll
We were delighted to welcome our guest speaker Debby Soll to share her sashiko techniques with us. Debby was originally scheduled to speak at our meeting last September 2019, when she unfortunately had to cancel, so we were very pleased that she could join us this time.
Originating in Japan, sashiko is a form of decorative running stitch used in quilting and embroidery. The Japanese word sashiko literally means "little stabs" or "little pierce". You can refer to Sashiko in Wikipedia for more general information on this technique.
A talented quilter, Debby enthusiastically incorporates sashiko into many of her projects, and she enjoys telling and teaching others about it.
Debby shared some tips and her preferences for pearl cotton thread, Clover's blunt edge tracing wheel, Clover needles, Clover tracing paper, and Kona fabrics. Debby likes to use Japanese and African fabric and she dyes her own fabrics too. And she's always interested in trying something new.
In her excellent and detailed PowerPoint presentation Debby showed us a number of stitches and patterns in stunning designs.
Sashiko designs are often derived from nature and include designs of flower and fish.
The next 2 photos illustrate the order in which the sashiko stitches are made - horizontal lines first, then the vertical lines, and finally the diagonals. When used for embellishment, the thread is pulled only through the top layer of fabric.
Sashiko is often combined with applique. It's quite versatile and can be used in traditional and modern quilt designs.
Debby takes inspiration from designs in books including The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook by Susan Briscoe of the UK, and Paradise Stitched by Sylvia Pippin of the US. Both of these authors offer other books on sashiko.
We were impressed by the high level of detail that we could see on our screens (especially compared to the big screen in our in person meeting hall), and Debby expertly zoomed in and used the mouse pointer to highlight very specific details as she described them.
And I enjoyed the international aspect of Debby's presentation with references to sashiko techniques from Japan, and China, the books by UK and US authors, and Debby's South African roots.
Debby's presentation was highly informative and provided an excellent kick off to our 2020-2021 guild season.
Despite the unique challenges that the curtailment of in-person meetings entails, Joyce Murray introduced some interesting activities that she and her Program team are offering for us to enjoy.
Due to the limitations of remote meetings, this year's Block of the Month will be a "Mystery Quilt" that you can make for yourself. Each month there will be instructions for a new block. Refer to the Block of the Month page for more information, including the material requirements and the instructions for the first block.
Joyce also mentioned a Covid-19 Stashbuster Challenge.
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications
Here we are 6 months into the Covid-19 pandemic that led to a lengthy suspension of last year's guild meetings, and we had been unable to see the results of the 2020 challenges. So we held an informal outdoor get together at Arnprior's riverside Robert Simpson Park on September 16th on a sunny, warm, and very windy late afternoon.
We arrived masked, with our lawn chairs, and most importantly the Challenge projects.
And we were all - approximately 40 of us - delighted to see our fellow guild members after such a long break, and to be greeted by Penny handing out our 2020-2021 membership cards.
Joyce and her Program team of Anne, Jacquie, and Sue were ready with clotheslines suspended in the gazebo for hanging the quilts. And our guild photographer Emma was ready with her camera to capture those beautiful quilts blowing in the wind.
Challenges are projects with a particular theme where guild members can showcase their creativity and imagination. Issued at the beginning of each quilt year, challenges are open to all members. Prizes are awarded based on "viewer's choice" voting results.
Black and White Challenge
Participating guild members signed up at the September 2019 meeting and were placed in groups. They made 9 1/2" unfinished blocks with black and white fabric, one for each member of their group. The blocks were then distributed to their group at the December meeting and each participant went home with 10-12 black and white blocks. From these blocks and one or two other colours/fabrics of their choice they made a quilt or other item.
1st: Anne Cruickshank
2nd: Joanna Vlaming and Mary DeVries
3rd: Sue Hodgins
Participating members brought one metre of a fabric of their choice to the October meeting, and then were given back a bag of assorted fabric pieces at the November meeting, to use with the addition of up to any two other solid colours to make a quilt or other item.
1st: Margaret Fisher
2nd: Susan Wimperis
3rd: Elizabeth Couture
Vickie and Jane had a table in the gazebo where they were handing out the white background fabric squares for the new Pick Up Sticks block for the Charity quilts, fabric for the Christmas gift bags, and bags of items to make fidget quilts for people with Alzheimer's. Marilyn collected 35 more premie quilts.
Guild member Debbie Cauvier quickly responded to an open invitation from the Halifax Chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild to quilters to make blue and white themed quilts for the families of the mid-April shooting victims in Nova Scotia.
Debbie quickly put together the top of this quilt using the blue and white Snowflake blocks she had won from the guild's January 2019 Block of the Month. What an interesting pattern these blocks make when pieced together!
We notified our guild members about this opportunity and Lucy Voss, who spends the summer and fall months on Cape Breton Island, responded by offering a metre of Nova Scotia tartan fabric to Debbie. And Brigid Whitnall offered to quilt it on her long arm.
It wasn't long before this quilt, which is actually a quillow, was completed and sent off to Nova Scotia.
What a wonderful combined effort of many of our guild members to create this beautiful quilt.
Mary deVries also responded to this invitation, and quickly made this beautiful blue and white pinwheel quilt from fabrics in her stash.
Mary wasn't finished! She also engaged fellow guild members Chris Gordon, Mary Moss, and (her sister) Joanna Vlaming to contribute blue and white blocks for this stunning sampler quilt. Mary then assembled the quilt top, quilted, and bound it.
We are very fortunate to count these very generous and talented quilters as members of our guild. Well done!
Saturday March 21 was International Quilting Day and to celebrate, a number of our guild members hung their quilts outside as part of a Facebook-led initiative by a fellow quilter in British Columbia. It was a beautiful, bright, and cool day here in the Ottawa Valley as evidenced by these stunning photos that our guild members provided.
Click or tap a photo in the gallery to enlarge it, and then click/tap to see the next enlarged photo.
One of the joys of handling Communications for our quilt guild is that I monitor the guild email account. I never know what I’m going to find there and I was very pleasantly surprised one day in the fall of 2016 to receive this message.
Let me first thank you for your work on premie quilts for the Civic Hospital. I have seen a few as I am a foster parent whose babes have come home with them. Often foster children receive so little at birth and for me this is seen as a treasured gift.
I’ve had a little guy since birth who adores his little quilt. He is almost three and we are in the process of fully adopting him. His quilt is really worn (he has chewed the corners) and we would love to replace it. He is medically fragile and the quilt you ladies made has brought him such comfort. I am wondering if there is a way to purchase a second one as close to the first one as possible.
We quickly determined that the mother of Brigid, our president at that time, had made this premie quilt. In the true giving spirit of quilters, Brigid’s mother, who lives in Cornwall and is not a member of our guild, was helping us out. Unfortunately she did not have any more of the cute blue spaceship print fabric, and there was no more in the Cornwall shop where she had purchased the fabric.
So after an unsuccessful online search for this fabric, we set out in search of a suitable replacement space-themed blue fabric, and some orange flannel. We soon had this new little quilt for Kory.
Fast forward to November 2019 when I was surprised to receive a new message from Gwen with the news that quilt number 2 was wearing out, and that in his medically fragile state, the little quilt was still bringing Kory great comfort.
We enthusiastically offered to make Kory a bigger quilt, and yes it would have orange flannel backing.
Brigid volunteered to make the new quilt, and on learning that Kory likes green, and trucks and trains, she very quickly pieced together the quilt top at our guild's January retreat using fabric from her extensive stash. On returning home Brigid quilted it on her longarm and then passed it to me to attach the binding and label. We soon had a new, much bigger quilt for Kory.
I still had some of the spaceship fabric we used in quilt number 2 so I incorporated that into the label which is affixed to the orange flannel back.
I was delighted to deliver the quilt to Kory and to finally meet him and his loving family. Gwen had kept my visit and the quilt a secret from Kory.
He was surprised, very happy, and very grateful for his new “big boy” quilt.
Kory showed me his little quilt #2 which was indeed well loved, and fraying at the edges.
And our latest note from Gwen?
We are so grateful you got to meet Kory. He carries the quilt in a ball from room to room. A friend of mine came to the door later that night and he insisted he had the best surprise to show her :) He took photos and facetimed his older sister so she can see too. He is so proud of it.
Kory, you've touched our hearts and we hope you will enjoy quilt #3 as much as the first two.
Thank you Gwen for inviting us to provide continued comfort to Kory as he so cheerfully faces his medical challenges.
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications, Arnprior & District Quilters' Guild
Our fourth Charity Sew Day was Saturday February 15 at Island View Retirement Residence in Arnprior. We had lots of visits from residents, including Jude and Elizabeth, former quilters, who visited and then returned to donate some of their cherished materials for our charity projects.
We made three additional tactile quilts which will be donated to local people challenged by Alzheimers, and sandwiched two star quilts.
-- Vickie MacNabb
Our January retreat at Providence Point near Lanark was once again a big success. We always seem to come away with more knowledge and a sense of having accomplished either some UFO’s or gotten a new project started. I was asked to teach some of the ladies how to make three dimensional Christmas trees with fairy lights in them. The technique is the same as the jelly roll rugs I make.
On the Saturday afternoon we had a massage therapist come in and give to those who wanted, a back massage. It fells so good that it makes you want to go and have a snooze afterwards.
It is such a treat to have our meals prepared for us and they are always delicious. We do enjoy getting together at the retreats. It is something I and others look forward to twice a year.
-- Joanna Vlaming
Click or tap a photo in the gallery to see it in full.
We started out the new year 2020 with a fun meeting on January 22 attended by 60 guild members and 7 guests.
Special thanks to our members in the Ohio Star group, led by Frank McCarron, for setting up the hall, providing the delicious snacks for break time, and assisting with the meeting. Well done!
We enjoyed seeing many lovely Show-and-Tell quilts.
Our meeting featured 3 local quilt shop owners: Nancy of Sew Inspired in Arnprior, Kelly of Textile Traditions in Almonte, and Jan of The Pickle Dish in Carleton Place. They demonstrated some of their latest gadgets and techniques and provided interesting shopping opportunities.
Thank you Jan, Kelly, and Nancy for coming to our meeting and sharing some fun techniques and tools with us.
Blue Block Party Challenge
What a great response to the Blue Block Party Challenge with about 45 beautiful and creative blocks contributed for upcoming Charity quilts. Thank you to all who took up this challenge to make a block from the blue and white fabrics provided by our Activities team. We look forward to seeing some stunning blue and white Charity quilts!
Several of our guild members have been busy making premie quilts for the little babies in the neonatal unit at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital.
A sample of the quilts donated at the meeting are pictured below.
The teal, red, and white premie feature the Aztec Star Block-of-the-Month (BOM). What a great way to incorporate the BOM block into a finished piece.
Our meeting wrapped up with the draws and as always, some very happy winners.
Guess the number of pages in the book: Brenda G
50-50: Doria H took home $63
Name tag: Lisa C
Gift Basket: Joyce T
Door Prizes: Jane E, Katrina K, Penny C, Pam R, Georgene B, Dona L, Louise V, Susan W, Irene L, Sandra P, Cathy R
We had so much fun sewing in the beautiful bright recreation room at Island View Retirement Residence on Saturday, January 11th.
We were a total of 5 volunteers and we accomplished so much. We completed the sashing on one quilt, made 4 touch quilts, labled an Island View's resident's special quilt, and cut over 40 blocks for the background of the new charity block.
We had lots of residence visitors... and they teased us and said we were loud with lots of laughter!!!!
Delicious coffee, tea, cookies and muffins were supplies by Island View.
Thank you for your welcoming hospitality.
-- Vickie MacNabb, Vice President and Charity