We kicked off our new guild year on Wednesday September 22 with an exciting, information packed meeting full of inspirational ideas, and guild news. What a wonderful welcome back to returning guild members and a welcome for several new members!
Guest Speaker Lise Bélanger
Our guest speaker, Lise Bélanger, wowed us with her beautiful custom art quilts and her stories about their design and creation.
Lise certainly delivered on her promotion of her presentation:
'Everyone is creative; you just have to listen to your creativity. This lecture introduces you to my competition quilts, my creative process, and the techniques I use to create them. What is most important to me is to show you how it is possible to relax into the creative process, what I call making space, getting inspired and trusting yourself. You will see that I don't have all the answers when I start a project, and that's often best."
Lise's quilting journey began as a child (her grandmother had a fabric store), then she moved on to sewing costumes, designing a line of children's clothing, and then to learning the techniques to make textile art paintings. Two years later she won first prize in the CQA Trend-Tex Challenge. From there she has never looked back with many more awards, including the 2012 and 2013 Trend-Tex Challenges, and some truly beautiful works of art.
She included photos of many or her works, and some very interesting details of her creative process in designing and constructing them in her presentation to us. Her two key principles are that she always thinks she can do a project and that she can easily let go and wait for inspiration when she doesn't know what to do next.
Lise is a very engaging, funny, encouraging, and inspirational speaker, and a tremendously talented artist who has created some beautiful and unique pieces of fabric art.
There is much more information from Lise and an extensive photo gallery of her creations for you to check out on her web site. http://en.libexpression.com
Lise kindly brought along 2 packages of her art cards, which are going to lucky draw winners Annet and Betty.
To kick off the 20th anniversary year of our guild, current guild member Katrina Kahn shared her memories of the enthusiasm and excitement of that first ever guild meeting on September 26, 2001. What lovely stories about the tight knit group of quilters who got this guild started. Thank you Katrina!
Brigid and her Program team kicked off a number of programs for us.
Two workshops are planned (via Zoom):
This year's Block-of-the-Month will feature a revisiting of some blocks from the past 20 years. BOM co-ordinator Amanda chose several blocks and spun the wheel to choose the September block! It landed on the "Slice of Life" block from 2014-2015. Members are encouraged to make all of the blocks in the fabrics and colours of their choice and either keep them or hand them in at the end of the year for future guild Charity projects.
Refer to the Block-of-the-Month page for instructions and a photo of the September block.
Brigid also mentioned that the Summer Scrap Quilt Challenge projects will be on display at Sew Inspired in the near future.
Tina delivered 111 placemats to the new Grove Nursing Home in Arnprior the earlier in the day of the meeting. What an amazing contribution from our guild.
Tina also described the charity projects we'll be undertaking this year.
Vickie provided more details on her "Drunkard's Path" President's Challenge which you can read about on the web site Challenges page.
Thank you to all of the members who shared their latest projects with us - pictures are on the Show-and-Tell page.
Our meeting wrapped up with the prize draws. The Library prize was won by new member Shirley Coleman, and the $10 door prize gift certificates for Watergirl Quilt Co in Prescott were won by Rennie, Vickie and Katrina.
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications
At our March meeting we welcomed another very interesting guest speaker. This month we were treated to a presentation by the very talented Jackie White who joined us from her rural home on Manitoulin Island. Jackie describes herself as "a designer, quilter, pattern creator and lover of all things handmade".
Jackie's quilts are mainly modern quilts and they're fun! Lots of bright colours and often featuring circles in the design or polka dot fabrics. Many of her designs are simple yet stunning. For example, in her one block quilts simply rotating some of the blocks creates a very impressive effect.
A number of Jackie's designs have been published in magazines including Quilter's World and Canadian Quilter, the CQA magazine.
Several of Jackie's designs are featured in books published by Martingale, including this one in their I Love Log Cabins book.
Jackie enjoys creating fun and simple designs for youth to make.
And she likes incorporating different fabrics including denim, and embellishments such as felt, one half of a zipper for a flower stem or along the edge of the quilt, rick rack, and one quilt featured many flattened bottle caps with a button sewed in the middle of each one! She also enjoys 3D designs
Jackie showed us a number of her smaller works where she really showcases her creativity, something that she feels is important for all of us for our physical and mental health, especially in these pandemic times. And she showed us photos of her pieces that have been in national juried shows.
In conjunction with the CQA, Jackie has designed some very successful quilt alongs (QAL) to promote quilting across Canada.
52 Blocks in 52 Weeks was a very successful QALin 2019. Our guild member Elizabeth Couture participated in that one and she sent along a photo of one of her quilts for Show and Tell. From Elizabeth "We couldn’t wait for Tuesday mornings for the week’s design. Of course, by the time we got it, the East Coasters had already produced finished blocks! We quilted one of each block in our chosen colour scheme and one each using Christmas scraps. I made 3 lap quilts with the results."
And our guild member Sue Hodgins participated in Jackie's recent Cov-recome quilt along - here's Sue's finished quilt. Sue is on our Program committee and she's been lining up our guest speakers.
Jackie's latest quilt along, Just Breathe, started in February. Patterns for all of Jackie's quilt alongs and other designs can be purchased from her web site shop.
For more information about Jackie and photos of her quilts, see her:
Thank you to everyone who provided photos and interesting stories of their work for Show and Tell. This commissioned quilt made by Vickie and Emma.
Photos of all of the quilts are on the Show and Tell page.
As usual, our meeting finsihed up with prize draws. The Library prize was won by Allison K. And the $10 gift Sew Inspired certificates went to Jane W, Betty R, and Diane A. Congratulations to the lucky winners!
by Janet Brownlee, Communications
I feel that we're really getting into our Zoom guild meeting groove now with interesting speakers, familiar faces on our screens, and seeing our own work in Show-and-Tell.
This was our first ever "bring a friend" meeting! We were all given the opportunity to invite a friend (or 2) to this meeting and we were delighted to welcome about 15 invited guests. The meeting opened with an opportunity for all of our guests to introduce themselves and this got the evening off to a wonderful start.
Our guest speaker was Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilts. Many of our guild members were already familiar with Karen from her web site and her extensive library of excellent YouTube videos, and while I wasn't among those, the advance information that Sue provided in the newsletters certainly caught my interest.
Karen started out by telling us that she had grown up in Pakenham and that she was thrilled to be joining our Arnprior & District Quilters' Guild for the evening. And that she now identifies as a content resident of Toronto where she is a member of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild.
Karen then guided us through a cognitive exercise where we identified which aspects of quilting we particularly enjoy and are often more skilled at, and those that are less enjoyable and we're more likely to struggle with. This led us to recognizing which general quilting character category we each fit into: 1 Visionary, 2 Healer, 3 Warrior, or 4 Teacher. To be a better quilter, we need to value our strengths or as Karen calls them, our "superpowers" and to recognize that easy does not equate to effortless. It's important to recognize our weaknesses not just for what they are, but to determine what we can do to improve our skills on those areas. Karen, who identifies as a 3 Warrior, recommended tackling a challenging task for a short period by setting a timer for 30 minutes, and committing to working at it for that time. She also encouraged us to practise techniques such as free motion quilting, to improve our skill.
Karen mentioned a number of her videos that can help us improve our skills, including hacks for straight seams and mitred corners.
Karen shared her notion of an "afterquilt" to use up scraps from the quilt top to make blocks that go into the quilt back. And she recommended her very first video on her versatile Economy Block. She talked about her recent January Declutter Challenge.
Karen's web site Just Get It Done Quilts is packed with interesting information on her Blog, patterns and other downloads, links to her YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts, and a sign up for her regular newsletters.
We are grateful to Karen for sharing so many interesting ideas and philosophies with us and inspiring us to become better quilters.
During Show-and-Tell Gwen showed us her Christmas ornaments that she recently made from Karen's Christmas Ornament Tutorial video. Gwen plans to give one to each of her female guests at a future Christmas dinner.
You can see more photos of our guild members' inspiring work on the Show-and-Tell page, including a peek inside these cute travel iron cases that Amanda V showed us.
Joyce showed us the next block in the Block of the Month mystery project. You can find a photo of this modified Attic Window block and the instructions on the Block-of-the-Month page.
Our meeting wrapped up with prize draws. The Library prize was won by Karen M. And the $10 gift Sew Inspired certificates went to Gwen P, Liz G, and Lynne W. Congratulations to the lucky winners!
by Janet Brownlee, Communications
At our first guild meeting of the new year we got a fascinating look at some outstanding modern quilting from our guest presenter, Peter Byrne, who joined us via Zoom from Toronto. After various creative job experiences Peter made his first quilt in 2009 and has since risen to prominence in the modern quilting community with his amazing award winning designs and creations.
Peter's presentation provided a comprehensive look at several aspects of his quilting journey starting with QuiltCon 2020, then an in depth look at his award winning quilts, a tour of his awesome studio, a look at the first 2 quilts he made in 2009, his experience in the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, and his thoughts on making quilts specifically for juried shows.
Tip: Click/tap on the links and photos below for more information and higher resolution photos.
Peter's quilts earned 2 (of the 4) top prizes at QuiltCon 2020 in Austin TX and 2 firsts - first solo Canadian, and first male QuiltCon winners, giving him the title "King of Modern Quilting".
Peter's Starring You won Best in Show!
And his Cityscape won Best Machine Quilting, Frameless.
Pathways represents the diverse communities in Toronto. It includes 2,500 2.5" half square triangles and illustrates hover quilting, a unique new form of raw edge appliqué. Peter described hover quilting to us using photos of his work during construction.
Peter's Grandmother's Flower Garden String quilt features hexies, and was accepted into the Quilt Canada 2020 juried show, which will wrap up this spring virtually.
Watercolour also features hover quilting, in a star and hexie design. This quilt was also accepted into Quilt Canada 2020.
Shuttered Part 1 (pictured) and Part 2 reflect our lives before and during Covid-19.
Peter's quilts typically feature bright colours, and innovative construction techniques.
Some of the teachers who helped launch and inspire Peter's quilting journey included Craftsy courses by Christa Watson, and Stephanie (Steff) Rose, a fellow member of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild. And now Peter enjoys teaching others through his workshops, and inspiring many others through his presentations and his quilts.
We'll be watching for Peter's 5 quilts that will be featured in the upcoming Quilt Canada 2020-2021 combined juried show.
For more information about Peter, look to his web site peterbquilts.com and his Instagram account @petersquilts.
Show and Tell featured 25 of our members' projects and we enjoyed hearing the stories about these stunning creations. Here are a few that we saw and you can see all of the photos on the Show and Tell page.
The meeting ended with prize draws:
Congratulations to the lucky prize winners!
Our last guild meeting of this tumultuous year of 2020 was a much more subdued version of our usual festive Christmas pot luck get together but on the bright side for some of us, it featured a glass of wine! (or 2).
This meeting did feature our first Zoom Show-and-Tell. Guild members sent in their photographs of their quilts and other quilted creations and then told us about them. Seeing each others work, and hearing their stories and tips is a key element of our guild meetings and we were delighted to catch up on what our members have been creating.
Thank you to Brenda, Brigid, Elizabeth, Emma, Gwen, Joyce M, Joyce T, Louise V, Marilyn, Nancy H, Rennie, Sue H, Sue W, and Vickie for sharing their pieces with us.
You can see all 45+ photos of these projects on the Show-and-Tell page.
The lucky winners of the draw for $10 gift certificates for Watergirl Quilt Co (in Prescott and online) were Georgene B and Joyce T. And Kathy F won the Library gift package. Congratulations to our winners!
Special thanks to Vickie who hosted the meeting.
We all look forward to seeing the end of 2020 and welcoming the new year 2021. See you in January regardless of the winter weather on Zoom!
Now that we have settled in to our new Zoom meeting experience, we were very happy to welcome Bonnie Rankin as our guest speaker at our November 2020 guild meeting.
Bonnie is a past president of the Canadian Quilters' Association (CQA) and a very creative and accomplished quilter. The first part of her presentation was a trunk show. And once again we were thrilled to get an excellent close up look that Zoom provides, at Bonnie's beautiful quilts.
Bonnie comes from a family of quilters that included her quilting father. Bonnie loves trying new techniques and she enjoys working with a wide variety of fabrics including wool and flannel. Her show included applique, paper piecing, and curved piecing. And she's used needle punch felting to create landscapes.
A small sample of the quilts Bonnie showed us are pictured below.
The second portion of Bonnie's presentation was about the CQA. She gave us an interesting overview of the various activities and her experience as president. She encouraged us all to check out the CQA web site
Our quilt guild is a long time guild member of the CQA.
The meeting ended with draws for a $10 gift certificate at The PickleDish Quilt Shop in Carleton Place and the lucky winners were Diane A, Barb deV, and Gwen P. The Library gift package went to Eleanor K.
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!