We finished off 2018 with our annual Christmas potluck dinner meeting on December 12. Food was compliments of guild members with surnames M-Z and the assortment of main course items and desserts were delicious.
Special thanks to the members who brought along their festive seasonal quilts and wall hangings to decorate the hall.
The word puzzle games were challenging and fun for those who participated while others were too busy chatting and eating!
And the latest creations of our guild members were shared at Show and Tell.
Donna brought along a large assortment of door prizes and the lucky winners were: Claudette Traill, Elizabeth Couture, Louise Vandenberg, Mary DeVries, Betty Rehbein, Anne Cruickshank, Joanna Vlaming, Nicky Barham, Jan Smith, Pat Bell, Mary Cohan-Pekarchuk and Dawn Madson.
Other lucky winners -
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Jan Smith
50-50 draw: Paulette McCarron's mom Hazel who was visiting us
Gift Basket: Gwen Penninngs
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 email@example.com
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
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
What a delightful welcome back to our guild meetings we enjoyed in September after a summer long break. In addition to hearing about this year's challenges, workshops, and retreats, we were delighted to see our fellow members' quilt projects in Show-and-Tell, and the first Block-of-the-Month.
Guest Judi Miller
The meeting kicked off with our guest speaker, local textile artisit Judi Miller. An analytical organic chemist at the Canadian Conservation Institute, Judi specializes in natural landscape art pieces.
Inspired as a child by her mom's friend's leading edge embroidered tree picture, Judi exhibits her artistic expression in free motion machine embroidery.
Judi works often from her own photographs, often taken on her extensive travels including Great Britain and Italy. She finds inspiration wherever she travels, and in local landscapes.
Judi likes using Kona cotton, or other fabric background, sometimes painted, and a large stash of amazing Italian linen that she inherited. She uses EQ Printables to print a photo onto her fabric and then quilts over it. She uses 3 different weights of cotton thread, which can be pressed. Judi uses an 8 inch embroidery hoop, an embroidery needle. Her techniques can be used on a domestic sewing machine by dropping the feed dogs and using a darning foot. She uses a straight stitch on grasses which are frequently featured in her pieces, and she also uses a zig zag stitch. Her pieces are often 10 inch by 4 inch and are framed under glass so she doesn't have to cut off the thread ends!
Judi often produces a series of pieces, including a series of 12 from scenes in Old Chelsea. This is efficient since she uses the same colours.
Judi takes enjoyment from fostering many connections is local and international art communities, with photographers, painters, ceramic artists and other textile artists. She has particularly fond memories of a 3 week self-directed residency in Wales.
Judi enjoys meeting people and she participates in many shows which she advertises on Facebook. She connects to the wider community through Instagram and Pinterest.
Read and see more about Judi Miller's work and her upcoming shows on her web site.
Mary deVries and her team kicked off this year's activities, many of which are trageted for our upcoming quilt show in April 2019. Read more on the Activities page. All guild members are encouraged to show your work at our show, which is an important source of income to fund our charity work, and our other guild activities.
At Show and Tell we saw 6 pieces constructed from blocks won from last year's Block-of-the-Month program. To motivate the winners to complete a project using the blocks, a draw was held for a gift bag. The lucky winner was Barb deVries. Photos of the 6 quilts
Thank you to of the participants: Liz Gray, Betty Rehbein, Emma Russell, Mary deVries, Joanna Vlaming.
Our meeting wrapped up with our usual draws and some happy winners!
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Amanda Vajda
50-50 draw: Karen Maheral
Gift Basket - Suzanne deJoode
Door Prizes - Barb Hare, Joan Miller, Liz Carroll
We welcomed 4 new members to our guild, for a total of 76 registered members. Attendance was 52 guild members and one guest.
The challenges this year were:
Members voted for the winner of each challenge.
And the winners are....
Recycled Denim Challenge, from left
1st Mary DeVries
2nd Emma Russell
3rd Patti Moore
Container Challenge, from left
1st Chris Gordon
2nd Julie Carroll
3rd Vickie MacNabb
President's Challenge, from left
1st Rennie Hickey
2nd Vickie MacNabb
3rd Mary DeVries
It's been a great guild year - have a wonderful summer, happy quilting (hopefully on projects that will be on display at our April 2019 quilt show), and we look forward to seeing you in September.
A lot was jam packed into this meeting!
It started with the presentation of the quilt that we made for the Arnprior Regional Health Foundation’s auction at the imminent annual "Knight in the Maritimes" dinner to raise money for equipment purchases for the Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital.
Guild members Brigit Whitnall and Gwen Pennings are pictured with the quilt and the ARH Foundation's Christine Waite (right.)
For more information about the making of this quilt see this blog post.
We also saw the completed quilt that will be raffled off at our upcoming 2019 quilt show. Many of us worked on the whimsical town blocks at a Sew Day in November and another in January. The top was then completed by Mary DeVries and Rennie Hickey (who also designed it), and it was quilted by Shirley Cavanagh. It is stunning!
This was the target date for completing the tops of the mystery quilts that we've been working on since the fall and what a treat it was to see 17 beautiful tops of the All About Town row quilt. And at least one quilt was completed.
For more photos of these awesome quilts see the Mystery Quilt Tops blog post.
The library book and magazine sale was a huge hit. In addition to materials from our own library, there were a large number of books and magazines donated to us by local resident Joanne Mitchell from her late mother-in-law Isabel Johnston's extensive collections. Read more about Isabel, an accomplished quilter and founding member of the Ottawa Valley Quilt Guild in our May 2018 Newsletter.
,The main activity of the evening was the second of our hands on learning activity nights where we learned hand sewing techniques for embellishing our quilts. As at the February meeting, 4 techniques were offered - wool applique, 3D pinwheels, hand stitches for embellishing crazy patch quilts, and hexagons, and we learned the 2 that we didn't learn previously, providing ample time to learn each new technique.
Our April meeting was highlighted by guest Jan Kittle's presentation on using rulers when quilting and we also got a sneak peek at her latest pieces which she made for the Common Thread Quilt Show in Ottawa over Mother's Day weekend.
Jan is the owner of The Pickle Dish shop in Carleton Place and she says "it's wonderful to have a quilt shop under your bed"!
She offered a lot of great advice about quilting with rulers.
Here's Jan's beautiful quilt ruler sampler that she had whipped together for her visit to our guild to highlight ruler work.
And she brought many lovely quilts to show us.
Click or tap on an image in the gallery to see it in full.
A very well kept secret is the very talented Valerie Miller of nearby Renfrew, who combines distinctive fabrics with traditional artistry and contemporary style to create table. pillow, and wall covers, each individual and unique. She was our guest speaker at our March meeting and her trunk show highlighted her lovely and distinctive fabric creations.
Valerie's "Origin and Evolution" presentation highlighted how she evolves her designs from an initial idea to a final piece by making small incremental changes and never throwing anything away! She often starts out not knowing what the final design is going to look like and designs as she goes.
Valerie was inspired by her very creative and resourceful grandmother and her great-grandmother's quilts. Valerie creates dramatic pieces by very often using a dark coloured background to pop the colours on top. She uses a very thin and somewhat stiff compressed batting, and a cotton backing and very minimal quilting of the layers - just enough to hold it together. The batting is sewn to the top and then turned to produce a refined, tailored finish.
Guild members were delighted that Valerie offered her patterns, kits and batting for sale.
For more information see Valerie's Quilted Covers web site.
Our learning activity night was our chance to learn some new hand sewing techniques for embellishing our quilts. With 4 new techniques offered - wool applique, 3D pinwheels, hand stitches for embellishing crazy patch quilts, and hexagons, we had a chance to learn 2 at this meeting and we'll learn the other 2 at the May meeting, providing ample time to learn each new technique.
We wasted no time in getting down to work!
Half of us learned wool applique and hand stitches for crazy patch quilts.
And the other half learned 3D pinwheels and hexagons.
Instructors Mary DeVries, Brenda McLeod, Joanna Vlaming, along with Brigid Whitnall and Donna Sheaves (who stepped up at the last minute in place of an ailing Chris Gordon) did a great job teaching us.
It was a big month for preemie quilt donations - 17 beautiful new little quilts.
And we heard a touching thank you from a grateful mom whose premature daughter received a quilt in the fall of 2016. We enjoyed the photos of her daughter as a newborn covered by the quilt and another as a one year old sitting on her quilt!
We kicked off the new year with our annual hands on charity project night at our January meeting. It was a very busy evening with three activities to choose from:
Thanks to all of the members who took kits for blocks for the auction quilt at our December meeting and then brought in the completed blocks.
Our guild receives a lot of generously donated fabric so there was lots of fabric to cut up and assemble into kits for wheelchair lap quilts and preemie quilts. It was a whirlwind of activity with many hands (and cutters) at work!
Fabric for preemie quilts is coming together into kits for members to pick up and assemble.
And here are some completed kits for members to pick up to make wheelchair lap quilts
Click on an image in the gallery below to see it in full.
This lovely quilt stand was generously donated to us and won as a door prize by this lucky lady.
And 9 darling preemie quilts were donated bringing our total for the year to 33. Several of them are included in the gallery below. Thanks for your generous donations to this important initiative.
Click on an individual image to see it in full.