Despite some snow earlier in the day in this very snowy November, there was a good turnout for our meeting.
Our youngest guest speaker ever was Grace Noel, an aspiring and already accomplished surface pattern designer from Almonte. Grace is pictured here wearing a skirt she made from her own fabric design.
Grace started off by explaining that "surface pattern design" is art that is specifically created to be repeated across a surface of material. That material includes fabric or wallpaper, and the designs can be florals, geometrics and a host of other designs that we see in our fabrics. Her work involves colours, themes, scale and much more. The repeat factor was her initial challenge which she has now mastered.
Grace's designs are often inspired by nature and vintage items - she's particularly fond of calicos from the 1930's.
Grace draws her designs by hand using any medium at hand including markers, pencils, pastels, crayons or paint. She then scans and uploads the design to her computer and edits it using Adobe Photoshop.
Grace achieved an early success during her final year in her design program at Algonquin College. She secured a placement at Moda (Moda!!! we were really impressed by this!) and her project was to design a collection of fabrics to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday which was coming up in 2017. She described the iterative design process where she submitted designs to Moda, and then modified them based on their feedback. This process repeated through a few cycles. She showed us designs that both did and didn't make it into the set of final 5 designs that comprised the 21 piece fabric collection. She was understandably very excited to see her name on the fabric selvages!
Grace's current goal is to extend her designs to home decor items and to sell her designs to manufacturers. And she would also like to make a quilted item of Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks.
You can view and purchase Grace's over designs, currently numbering over 190, at her Spoonflower online store,
and follow her on her blog
And please do remember her request that if you ever make something with her fabric, to send her a photo of it to firstname.lastname@example.org
We were delighted to meet Grace. She was an interesting, entertaining and excellent presenter who clearly has a bright future ahead of her. We wish you much success and happiness Grace! And we'll be eagerly following your progress towards your current and future goals.
We had an excellent response to our late-ish request for placemats and Christmas gift bags. Thanks to everyone who contributed to these important Christmas outreach initiatives, and to Anne Cruickshank for coordinating this endeavour.
An amazing 85 fabric gift bags were also donated. These will be filled and distributed by the Arnprior and District Food Bank in their Christmas parcels.
And 14 beautiful little preemie quilts were donated, bringing our total to 46. These will be distributed to babies in the neo-natal unit at the Ottawa Hospital, Civic campus.
Check out our Charity page for more information about all of these outreach initiatives.
Show and Tell
Show and Tell featured an impressive large number of our members' quilts and other quilted items! Everyone must be gearing up for the holiday season with gifts and other decorative items. We also saw several lovely completed big bags from the recent Big Bag workshop whose participants were very excited that they completed the bag at the workshop! Click/tap to see Show and Tell photos and photos from the workshop.
Our meeting wrapped up with our draws and some happy winners!
Block of the month: Joyce Trafford
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Johanne Vjada
50-50 draw: Claudette Trail
Gift Basket: Nancy Hayley
The Big Bag workshop was held on Saturday November 10th. Seven quilters arrived at Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church, where Johanne Vajda instructed us on how to construct a "Big Bag". This bag is excellent to bring small or large quilts to "Show and Tell" or a large amount of stuff to a workshop or retreat.
Pockets for either side of the bag were constructed prior to the workshop. Whether you use orphan blocks or make one specifically for the pocket it is interesting to see the workmanship and dedication in the finished product. By the time everyone left, the bags were virtually complete. A good time was had by all and they left feeling accomplished. Johanne provided handles and bottoms for those of us that required them.
The variety of fabrics, colours and textures was very wide. Interesting how a bag can look so different depending on the fabric chosen. They all turned out beautifully. Hopefully members will be able to inspect them at our next Show and Tell.
-- Johanne Vajda
Our retreat held at Providence Point in Lanark on November 5-8 was once again enjoyed by all. The food was great—Jeannette goes out of her way to accommodate our needs. We all come away from the retreat having learned some new trick or something pertaining to quilting and we also get to know our fellow Quilters better.
We played a game called strip poker with 2 1/2” strips. The two persons at the end with strips are the winners of all the strips. Our winners were Joyce Murray and Marilyn Erskine. They each walked away with 40 plus strips—a great amount to make a quilt with.
We also had a demo on a small bag by Mary DeVries. Everyone who came went home with some of their projects completed. It is a great time to come and quilt to your hearts content with no interruptions. The food is prepared for you—you just have to go and eat it.
-- Joanna Vlaming, Retreat Coordinator
Taught by Michelle Gagne, this workshop was held Tuesday, October 30th at the Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church.
This workshop featured how to sew with precision featuring 4 different blocks, which could be made into a 24" square or a runner. Michelle Gagne had lots of techniques and tricks to share with the participants. I was really pleased to learn that my second try at this class involved an improved level of accuracy!!
- Chris Gordon
Our guild meeting on October 24th was attended by 63 guild members, and our guild now has 84 members.
This was the first meeting where one of our newly formed member groups assumed responsibility for many aspects of our meeting. This included setting up the hall for the meeting, bringing the snacks, assisting during the meeting with the guest speaker presentation, and show and tell, and completing the clean up. It was a resounding success and thanks and kudos to everyone in the Flying Geese group, led by Vickie MacNabb for a job very well done!
Members generously donated 20 new preemie quilts, when combined with the 12 collected at our September meeting, now bring our total for this season to 32.
Thank you! Preemie Quilt Photos
Our meeting kicked off with very a interesting trunk and slide show by Bridget O'Flaherty, a local award winning fibre artist from Perth, known for her stunning large landscapes created with thread.
With an environmental and sustainable focus, Bridget explores the use of local, organic and natural hand-dyed fabrics and materials in her works. Bridget’s fibre art is inspired by nature and biodiversity. She is passionate about our environment and creates intimate connections to the landscape. She conveys fragile aspects of eco-systems and advocates for awareness of species at risk, native and invasive species in nature and sustainable materials in textiles.
Bridget was initially inspired by her mother, a seamstress, costume maker, and quilt shop owner. It was on an epic 2 week family driving trip to Banff and back that Bridget fell in love with landscapes.
Her early quilts in the mid 1990's were leading edge modern quilts, and she had early success in getting her pieces into quilt shows. But it wasn't long until she pursued her interest in creating landscapes. She took courses by Joen Wolfrom and Ann Byrd and then she started creating her stunning large, typically 5 feet by 3 feet, landscapes. Using her sewing machine, Bridget builds up layers of multi-coloured thread 'drawing' to convey her landscape art.
Bridget's Web Site
Bridget enjoys incorporating traditional quilting components into her landscape and nature art as evidenced in photos below.
Due to various family issues Bridget took a 10 year complete break from her quilting focus and passion. After sharing details of this journey with us Bridget offered us the great advice that it's OK to spend time on your crafts when you find yourself in challenging life situations, so you are better able to give to those who need you.
Her passion and energy for her fibre art eventually returned and Bridget has since fully 9mmersed herself in her craft. With renewed energy she is further embracing natural fibres to the point of shearing sheep on her neighbour's farm, washing, carding and felting the wool herself.
For practical (time and financial) reasons Bridget now focuses more on smaller pieces which she sews with a 6 inch hoop on a domestic sewing machine.
Bridget has expanded her reach into the quilting community by teaching courses, she has her own YouTube channel, and she will be teaching courses at the upcoming Quilt Canada show in Ottawa in June 2019.
Bridget will be returning to Arnprior on Saturday December 1st to lead a workshop on "easy peasy" thread painting.
Response from our guild members to our invitation to provide financial support to our past president Brigid Whitnall and her husband Ken who lost their Dunrobin home in the September tornado was amazing. Mary deVries provided a very impressive money tree to which members secretly attached cash and gift cards in the far corner of the kitchen prior to the meeting. Brigid was surprised, pleased, and a bit overwhelmed when we presented it to her after she briefly spoke to us about their experience. Read Bridget's story in her own words in our October 2018 newsletter.
Thank you to our guild members for your generosity.!
Our meeting wrapped up with our usual draws and some happy winners!
Block of the month - 30 blocks: Julie Carroll
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Lori Bottriell
50-50 draw for $57: Chris Gordon
Gift Basket - Suzanne deJoode
Door Prizes - Brenda Greely, Mary DeVries, Sue Hodgins, Marilyn Erskine, Joanna Vlaming