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.
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
A Guild Sewing Machine
President Frank unveiled a newly acquired sewing machine for the guild. It's a basic Pfaff model and will be much appreciated by the members doing the break time demonstrations at our meetings, who will longer have to haul in their own machines in addition to the supplies for their demos. It will also be very handy at our hands-on sewing meetings. Thank you Mary deVries for the suggestion, Vickie for acquiring it, and to Nancy (Sew Inspired).
Black & White Block Exchange
After dinner the people participating in the Black and White Challenge distributed their blocks to the other people in their groups. The 43 participants in this challenge were divided into 4 groups, so each quilter made either 10 or 11 blocks to distribute among their group.
Anne Cruickshank led another round of the annual game featuring Anne's story about fictitious quilter Jenny Right. The fat quarter and lovely thread prizes were passed to the right, left, and across the table at a whirlwind speed as we heard those 3 words in the story. At the end the happy winners were holding their prizes. Thanks Anne!
And thank you Joyce for a funny story that rang true with many of us!
Our meeting wrapped up with the draws and as usual, some very happy winners!
Guess the number of pages in the book: Betty R
50-50: Marion M
Name tag: Joanne K
Gift Basket: Marilyn E
Door Prizes: Liz C, Vickie M, Barb D, Diane A, Joanna V, Barb H, Julie C, Mary D, Paulette M, Anne C, Georgene B, Jane E
What a treat we had at our November meeting. Kudos to our Activities team who calmly dealt with a late cancelling ill speaker and enlisted Bruce Young to entertain us with his fascinating 30 year quilting journey and his amazing quilts.
Some of the interesting information Bruce shared with us:
Bruce showed us more than 60 of his creations!
A selection of Bruce's pieces that reflect the diversity of his work are pictured below.and You can see photos of all of Bruce's creations in his trunk show in this photo gallery.
More photos - You can enjoy photos of the other pieces that Bruce showed us in this photo gallery.
The hard work of our members on our various charity projects was in evidence at this meeting from the holiday placemats for clients of Arnprior Meals on Wheels, the large stack of Christmas gift bags for the local food bank, and 20 premie quilts for the little babies in a neo-natal unit. Several of these premie quilts were Christmas themed.
Coffee Time Demo
Members enjoyed Shirley Fedoruk's demonstration of how to make bags for baking potatoes in a microwave oven.
Our meeting wrapped up with our draws and as usual, some happy winners!
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Joyce T
50-50 draw: Daria H won $51.50
Gift Basket: Barb D
Name tag draw: Eleanor K
Door Prizes: Julie C, Louise V, Margaret F, Penny C, Mary D, Tina M, Jane E
The excitement of a new guild year was still very much in evidence at our October 23rd meeting amongst the 62 attendees which included 6 guests. We have 84 members registered this year and we especially welcome our 13 new members.
Guest Melanie MacDonald
Click or tap on an image in this gallery of more of Melanie's quilts, to see the image in full.
The Block Party challenge was announced with fabric kits ready to go, and many were snatched up. See the Challenges page for details.
Coffee Time Demo
Mary DeVries was the break time demo lady and she attracted a crowd of interested observers.
Block of the Month
The new format Block of the Month program resulted in a variety of interesting Churn Dash block creations. Members constructed an item of their choice in their choice of colours, and showed them at the meeting.
Our meeting wrapped up with our draws and as usual, some happy winners!
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Liz G
50-50 draw: Betty R
Gift Basket: Marion M
Door Prizes: Penny C, Rennie, Cathy F, Debbie C, Eleanor, Marilyn R, Barb D, Marion M, Agathe, Jane E
We kicked off our 2019-2020 guild season on September 25 with a high energy, information packed initial meeting led by our incoming president Frank McCarron. We heard about this year's exciting challenges, charity projects, Sew Days, and Block-of-the Month, and we saw lots of amazing quilts during our guest Jen Swallow's trunk show, and at Show-and-Tell. We were delighted to welcome 11 new members and one guest to our meeting, for a total of 67 attendees.
Guest Jen Swallow
First up was our guest Jen Swallow, the enthusiastic owner and operator of Happy Wife Quilting, an online and retail store located in the front of her home just outside of Carleton Place.
Jen showed us many of her quilts that she has made, and illustrated some of her favourite tools that she used in making her quilts.
Jen's colour choices illustrated her recommendation to use colours that we love, and included a quilt that brought her to this conclusion. Her quilts highighted her patience for fussy-cutting, and hand work, including hand embroidery and hand appliqué. She also included several quilts that are the product of the various classes that she teaches. Jen showed us a quilt with 2 layers of batting - one wool, and one cotton. She likes to piece her quilt backs to use extra fat quarters and scraps. And she included a quilt with a digitally printed Santa Claus panel to highlight the advantage of getting more than the standard 16 colours in in a fabric, and a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process. And she included a feathered star quilt made by her great, great (great?) grandmother.
The many tools Jen showed us included a seam roller that can replace time at the ironing board, and a seam ripper that has made her a self-confessed expert seam ripper. And Jen recommended fabric manufacturer web sites such as Henry Glass & Co (and others) for free patterns for our projects.
Click or tap on an image in this gallery of Jen's quilts, to see it in full.
New!! Coffee Time Demo
Our new coffee-time demonstration were introduced during the break by guild member Ada Gawlik who showed us how to make microwave bowls. Thanks Ada! We look forward to seeing other guild members presenting during the break at each meeting.
BOM Prize Draw
Amanda Vajda drew the name of one of the 5 last year's Block-of-the-Month block winners who completed a quilt top or quilt from the blocks. The prize was won by Joyce Trafford for her quilt using the Festive Flocks blocks that she won at the March 2019 meeting. In Joyce's absence (due to her Carp Fair commitments), her friend Cathy Russell happily accepted Joyce's prizes.
Our meeting wrapped up with our draws and some happy winners!
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Liz C
50-50 draw: Geraldine L
Gift Basket: Paulette
Door Prizes: Diane A, Patti M, Lori B, Tina M, Nancy H, Claudette T, Bonnie M
After our exciting quilt show at the end of April we bounced back with lots of energy at our May meeting. And what a treat our Programs team had in store for us. Instead of one guest we had 4, all members of the Kanata Quilt Guild who each shared their quilts and their interesting and amusing quilting stories with us.
Kanata Guild Trunk Show
Our first inter-guild Show-and-Tell was a huge success.
The four visiting presenters from the Kanata Quilt Guild were introduced by our guild's Past President, Brigid Whitnall, who is the current president of the Kanata Quilt Guild.
First up was Beth who included 2 slab block quilts reminiscent of our past contributions to the Canadian Quilters' Association (CQA) for quilts for Ronald McDonald House Charities, in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday. Beth sells patterns and her lovely nature and geography themed quilts on her Etsy web site. She left us with the thought that "value is more important than colour."
The first quilt that Beth showed was the Kanata Guild group quilt for their concurrent show at Quilt Canada. It was made by many members of the guild specifically for Quilt Canada in Ottawa, and it's the first quilt in the gallery below.
Click/tap an image in the image gallery to see it in full.
Then Lynn showed us her lovely quilts which included a shop hop quilt, and a mystery quilt in "the ugliest fabric in the world" (her words!) Lynn's Duck quilt is a David Taylor appliqué pattern. She has taken many of his workshops and made many of his patterns.
Debbie was unable to attend our meeting but she generously sent along her stunning quilts for Lynn to show us - a row-by-row farm themed quilt, a round robin quilt with multiple borders, and a French General star block quilt.
Judy was up next and blew us away with her 19th century patterns with vintage and Civil War fabrics of beautiful needle turned hand applique and hand quilting. Her hexagon quilts were interesting too - many of us were reminded of the fun we had learning how to make hexie blocks at a guild activity several years ago.
This amazing trunk show was finished up by Leslie, the "colour lady". Leslie's travels, her work around the world with aboriginal peoples, and her interest in endangered species was in evidence in her quilts. Her animal sampler quilt was a President's Challenge.
Kanata Guild Trunk Show
DrawsAnd as usual our meeting wrapped up with our draws and some happy winners!
50-50 draw: Liz Carroll
Gift Basket: Katrina Kahn
Door Prizes: Dawn M, Geraldine L, Gwen P, Mary M, Lynn J, Amanda V, Betty R, Joan M, Nancy H, Rennie H, Pam R
With only a couple of days to go before our quilt show, there was a lot of excitement in the air at our April 2019 guild meeting.
Guest Speaker - Roslyn Hanes
Our guest speaker was Roslyn Hanes, a self-taught quilter who lives in Kingston Ontario. She is a member of the Kingston Heirloom Quilter's where she claims she learned to do things properly. Ros also belongs to Limestone Quilters and the Cataraqui Guild of Needle Art. Pictorial quilts and abstract quilts are among Roslyn's favourites. She excels at both piecing and appliqué, although she prefers the latter. Her quilts are often embellished with hand embroidery. In 1990, Ros designed a quilt for the 50th anniversary of Nursing at Queen's University. It is now part of the quilt collection at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Ros is a very community minded individual who coaches high school field hockey, plays soccer and is involved in bringing back prison farms amongst other things.
This was Ros' first ever publicaly presented trunk show and her quilting journey has been simply amazing. Read on to find out the significance of the magazines she's holding in this photo.
Ros started her fabric art projects in the mid 1970s while living in the university city of Cambridge, UK where her husband was studying. From a Cambridge banner to quilts often inspired by nursery rhymes or children's stories, she was very creative in finding fabrics at affordable prices, and self-taught from books. Her simplistic, primitive, whimsical style emerged in her quilts.
By 1980 Ros and her husband were living in Australia where Ros continued to be inspired by her environment and made this hand quilted piece that depicted local rock engravings. It was so popular that instructions were published in a magazine and a picture of the quilt was on the cover!
Ros' delightful baby block quilt also was pictured on a magazine cover,
By the mid 80s Ros and her husband had moved to Kingston and Ros had joined the Kingston Quilters where she made this treasure map challenge quilt.
Ros' preference for diamond shpaed pieces are often featured in her quilts.
Ros was very much leading edge with her quilting designs and techniques and we were entertained and inspired by her interesting story and her beautiful creative quilts.
Our meeting wrapped up with our draws and some very happy winners!
Block of the month: Patti Moore and Mary DeVries
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Liz Carroll
50-50 draw: Ann Hunter
Gift Basket: Dona Lamoureux
Door Prizes: Pam Ross, Anne Cruickshank, Kathy Foster, Betty Rehbein, Cathy Russell, Blanche Leclair, Liz Carroll, Rennie Hickey, Bonnie Parker, Emma Russell
What a lot of activity at this meeting!
Our annual challenges were due and the quilts in all 4 of the challenges were displayed in preparation for the "viewer's choice" voting for the prize winners.
Refer to the 2019 Challenges blog post for photos and results of the challenges.
Guest Speaker - Gary Devries
Gary Devries joined us to share his talents and passion with Quilt Inspired Wood Designs. Gary has been working as a cabinet-maker for 45 years. He began his career in London Ontario where he did his apprenticeship. In 1979 he moved to the Valley and was joint owner of Gary and Ron's Cabinet-Making. Since 2000 he has been working from home in a small business known as Gary's Wood Designs. He has enjoyed working with wood since early in his teens. He has made many interesting things from tables, beds, and cupboards to urns for ashes, gigantic chairs and event props.
Gary began his story by showing his fabric creations and sharing his entertaining stories about those projects. His first was a self taught, secretly made bed quilt to surprise his wife Mary, a long time quilter and very active member of our guild, as an anniversary gift.
Then Gary turned his attention and talents to his primary interest in working with wood to combine that with quilting. This is a very unique niche and his work is exacting and spectacular. He used familiar quilting terminology, including "on point" and "flying geese" in his descriptions of his work.
Gary uses many different colours and types of wood, mostly hardwood, including cherry, maple, ash, poplar, rosewood, walnut, ebony and teak. He reserves the most expensive woods for small accent pieces and he told us that quilting fabric is a bargain in comparison.
If he's driving down a road and sees a pallet from a foreign country, he's thinking about the exotic wood the pallet is constructed of. He's also been known to go "dumpster diving" for wood!
Gary gets ideas for his designs from quilting magazines and from architecture. He builds from the inside out and does not plan out his full pattern ahead of time.
Exacting carpentry skills and knowledge of geometry are required. Cuts are often made on an angle, for example to cut an oval from a circular piece of wood.
One of the many challenges in this work is clamping to ensure that he can glue the tiny pieces without them sliding all over the place. Gary uses a water based glue followed by a beeswax treatment, or heated vegetable oil.
He also has to consider the placement of adjacent pieces of wood due to properties of specific types of wood such as colour bleeding and changes in colour over time.
Because wood cleans itself these are ideal for use with food.
Smaller pieces of wood can be used for coasters and the smallest pieces in jewelry.
Our meeting wrapped up with our draws and some very happy winners!
Block of the month: Joyce Trafford
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Paulette McCarron
50-50 draw: Paulette McCarron
Gift Basket: Nicky Barham
Door Prizes: Geraldine Lynn, Donna Curtis, Suzanne deJoode, Anne Cruickshank, Margaret Fisher, Karen Maheral, Barb Devries, Nicky Barham, Katrina Kahn, Joyce Murray