We kicked off our guild year with an exciting in person meeting! It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, some brand new ones, and some we were meeting in person for the first time (not just on Zoom.)
Paul Léger Trunk Show
Our meeting started with an informative and entertaining trunk show by our guest Paul Léger. He focused on the last six years, the period since his previous visit to our guild in September 2016.
Paul started by showing us his first ever quilt while he shared his story summarized by his promotional bio:
"Paul lives in Ottawa, where he retired after working for the federal government for over 16 years after spending 21 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. He began quilting in May 1990. His mother, a quilter and dressmaker, had encouraged him to buy a sewing machine “for sewing emergencies”. One day, he remembered in the "old days" people would use clothing to make bed quilts. 31 years later and over 250 quilts to his credit, Paul has never looked back. In retirement life, Paul’s quilting has taken on another life. He doesn’t quilt any more or any less but now he also teaches, make presentations as well as contribute to magazines and blogs."
This quilt was made from his work shirts.
The themes of learning new techniques, and challenging himself beyond his comfort zone, as well as his amazing creativity were evident throughout Paul's presentation. Great lessons for all of us!
Refer to Paul's web site for more information about him and his works, and for access to his Facebook page.
And to our blog for a recap of Paul's previous visit in September 2016.
Our Quilt Show
Our long awaited quilt show is scheduled for April 29-30 2023. Vickie updated us on the activities already undertaken by the quilt show committee, along with an invitation to join that planning group.
We also got a look at the stunning quilt that will be raffled off to a lucky winner at the show. Members were invited to pick up raffle tickets from Rennie at the meeting. All funds generated from the raffle quilt are used for future charity projects. It's a very important fund raiser for our guild and all members are encouraged to sell tickets.
The blocks were made in the fall of 2019 for our "Blue Block Party Challenge", and displayed at our January 2020 meeting. For this challenge we were provided with a kit of the white and 2 blue fabrics, to which we could optionally add other fabrics and make a 12 1/2" block. The quilt top was assembled in 2020 by former Programs chair Joyce and her team. There are many more blocks for another quilt or quilts.
We were introduced to the variety of interesting projects being offered to our members this year. All are scheduled to result in finished projects in time for our quilt show on April 29-30. We were encouraged to participate in as many of these projects as we'd like, and there's something for every level of experience and expertise, from beginner to expert. And they are great opportunities to try something new, and to contribute to our guild's charitable endeavours.
Click/taps the links for more information about each activity.
The meeting included a fun show-and-tell. Click/tap the link for photos of the quilts, taken by our guild photographer Emma.
Our meeting wrapped up with our draws and as usual, some happy winners!
50-50 draw: $55 for Nancy H
Gift Basket: Tina M
Guess the number of pages in the library book: Julie C
Door Prizes: Georgene and Frank both went home with $20 gift certificates for Sew Inspired
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications
Our second in person meeting since the looooong stretch of Covid Zoom meetings saw us back in Robert Simpson Park in Arnprior for a delightful outdoor meeting where we happily greeted each other face to face, and saw some amazing quilts. After postponing this meeting twice due to inclement weather our patience was rewarded on June 28th with a beautiful evening in the park along the shore of the Ottawa River.
This was a very casual and relaxed meeting with lots of social time to catch up with each other, and to see the lovely quilts - the challenge quilts, show and tell, and several preemie quilts and touch quilts for our Charity initiatives.
This was our last meeting of this guild year so that meant the challenges were wrapped up with viewer's choice voting for our favourites.
The winners of the 2 year long Covid challenge were Rennie Hickey with first place and Mary DeVries with second.
And the winners of this year's President's Drunkard's Path challenge were Allison Kubiseski with first place and Emma Russell with second.
Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all of the participants for completing your challenge projects and sharing your beautiful and creative work with us.
For more information about these challenges and photos of all of the entries, see the 2022 Challenges in the Park Blog post.
Show and Tell
A large portion of the evening was devoted to Show and Tell where we saw some of the amazing work of our guild members. Photos of all of the projects along with their makers are included in this photo gallery.
Click/tap on an image to see it in full.
You can see cropped and enlarged photos of the quilts on the Show and Tell page.
The first draw of the evening was for the 2 free guild memberships for 2022-2023. Everyone who had already renewed their membership was eligible for this draw and the lucky winners were Claudette T and Elaine E. Congratulations!
And the evening wrapped up with our regular prize draws.
The 50-50 draws are a welcome return to our in person meetings and this one for $24 was won by Penny C.
The charming basket of quilting goodies was won by Jane W. Thank you to Amanda and Johanne for putting together another delightful and much sought after basket.
The door prizes, $20 gift certificates for Sew Inspired, were won by Louise V and Mary D.
And this month's Library prize was won by Liz G. Thank you to Nancy for providing the Library prizes this evening and all year long.
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications
Finally we were able to submit, and see some challenge quilts again! The last time was in September 2020 and now, almost 2 Covid years later, we were back in the park in Arnprior for our June meeting which included the wrap up of the Covid Challenge and the President's Challenge.
Challenges are projects with a particular theme where guild members can showcase their creativity and imagination. Typically issued in September at the beginning of each guild year, challenges are open to all members. Prizes are awarded based on "viewer's choice" voting results.
The Covid challenge was issued by then Programs lead Joyce in September 2020 and with no opportunity to physically get together in our 2020-2021 guild year, the challenge was extended for another year by this year's Program lead Brigid.
The challenge was to:
"Make something completely from scraps. No shopping allowed. It doesn`t actually have to be scraps, as long as you used up material you had on hand."
1st: Rennie Hickey
2nd: Mary DeVries
Guild president Vickie's challenge this year was to:
Create a quilt using the Drunkard's Path units. The Drunkard's Path is a traditional block that features curved piecing. And for fun, add a bit of emerald green to commemorate our guild’s 20th anniversary.
The History of the Drunkard's Path Block
1st: Allison Kubiseski
2nd: Emma Russell
After many, many virtual guild meetings via Zoom, we finally got back together in person for our May 25th guild meeting. What a treat it was to see so many familiar faces and to meet newer members in person. It's been well over 2 years since we had a regular indoor meeting, and it's so fortunate that we were able to hold a fun meeting in the park in September 2020 between the early Covid-19 waves. Photos from September 2020
Our special, first "back together" program featured a big yard sale of our quilt related stuff, a short business update since this was our Annual General Meeting (AGM), updates from several of our executives, and even more.
Our Membership chair Martha greeted us and handled our "no touch" sign in.
There was a lot to see!
The Charity table, hosted by Sue and Joyce, was a busy spot where they had a sample walker/wheelchair bag on display, and pre-packaged kits ready to go out to volunteers.
They were also gratefully accepting many of our members' donations of their fine work.
There were two completed Pick Up Sticks quilts.
Perhaps inspired by our March meeting Charity night, a colourful completed twin sized quilt, and a quilt top were also donated.
There were well stocked garage sale tables with a variety of fabrics and other items!
Nancy, our librarian, happily welcomed back library books, and offered some magazines and other items for sale.
The raffle and 50-50 ticket sale table was, as always, a popular spot.
The formal meeting began with an introduction of the members of our executive team in attendance.
A discussion of our upcoming quilt show in spring 2023 started with a look at the quilt that will be raffled off at the show. This raffle is an important part of our quilt show as its proceeds will fund future guild Charity projects.
This beautiful raffle quilt top was assembled in 2020 by former Programs chair Joyce and her team, from blocks made by guild members for the 2019-2020 Blue Block Party Challenge.
This was the challenge presented to us.
There were many more blocks donated for the challenge and those remaining blocks will be used in future guild Charity projects.
You can see photos of all of the completed challenge blocks in the January 2020 Meeting Highlights.
The formal meeting included updates from the executive chairs, the AGM formalities, and Show and Tell.
There are larger, cropped photos of these quilts on the Show and Tell page.
The remaining 2 Blocks of the Month were drawn - for May and June, since we'll be meeting in the park in June. More info
The resumption of the full slate of prize draws was a welcome return.
The 2 door prize gift certificates were won by Tina M and Barb H, and Emma won $31.50 in the 50-50 draw. There were also lucky winners of the gift basket, and Library prize draws.
After the meeting formalities there was plenty of time to visit the garage sale and Charity tables, and for informal socializing.
It was great to see our guild photographer Emma back in action - thank you Emma for these awesome photos, and for splitting your time between your garage sale table and capturing these photos at the meeting.
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications
Note to readers: I had to leave the meeting early and I've been unable to determine who won the gift basket and library draws. If you won or recall who did please email me and I'll add that to this post.
The program for our March guild Zoom meeting was very unique as we welcomed multiple guest presenters who represented several of the charities that our guild supports with donations of our crafts. This was an extraordinarily touching and very informative evening as we heard first hand stories of how our donations are valued by their recipients, and by the people who work or volunteer at the charities.
Our guests included:
Josee Laplante, RN, BScN, Clinical Manager of The Ottawa Hospital, Special Care Nursery
recipients of many of our little preemie quilts
Nancy Peck of Arnprior-Braeside-McNab Seniors at Home, recipients of the placemats that we donate at Christmas time, which are delivered along with the Christmas meal to the Meals on Wheels clients
Pat Tait, volunteer team lead at the Arnprior & District Food Bank Inc. who fill and distribute the fabric drawstring bags that we donate.
Carole Beattie, Palliative Care Coordinator at the Arnprior and District Memorial Hospital, who have received several quilts from our guild for patients receiving palliative care.
Cathie McOrmond, Resource Development, at Lanark County Interval House and Community Support in Carleton Place who have been recipients of twin bed quilts
Nancy Arbogast, Regional Representative in Ottawa for Quilts of Valour, Ottawa. Our guild members have donated quilts of comfort for injured Canadian Armed Forces members past and present.
Gwen Pennings, Vice-President for the Pakenham group of Victoria’s Quilts who make and donate quilts to people living with cancer in Canada. Gwen is one of several of our guild members who are members of this Pakenham group.
We were in awe of the huge impact that our donations can have, and resolved to increase our efforts to support these charities.
What a treat to recently gather for our first guild workshop in a very long time! Held virtually via Zoom, Melissa Marginet, our speaker from our December 2021 guild meeting, led us through her excellent Intro to Walking Foot Quilting workshop, all from her home in Beausejour Manitoba. Melissa is an excellent teacher.
In just 3 hours we learned a lot about walking feet, thread, marking, useful tools and much more, AND we quilted our own 16" x 16" little quilt that we had prepared in advance.
"You will be guided through quilting a small quilt with your walking foot. You will learn the basic skills of walking foot quilting and plenty of tips and tricks to help you along the way to quilting all your own quilts on your home sewing machine."
Melissa encouraged us to leave our microphones unmuted to more closely create the feel of an in-person workshop and that worked very well as we could ask questions as we went, and Melissa continued to share interesting information and photos as we did our machine work. Her encouragement us to embrace "consistently inconsistent quilting" is memorable!
Look at all of the smiling faces at the group Show (without the Tell) at the end of the afternoon.
The Tell part was added when these quilts were shown at our January guild meeting!
Some of the makers' comments included:
"It was great learning and sharing and I loved seeing what others were creating. Melissa did a great job engaging us and making us feel comfortable to create what ever we want. My “a ha” moment and take away was when she explained that when using coordinating thread to quilt it creates texture and when we use bold or contrasting threads it emphasizes the design of the quilting. Brilliant!!!"
"I enjoyed the workshop"
"It was a wonderful and fun workshop."
"This was an excellent workshop. I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot. I'll be trying this design on a quilt very soon."
Melissa has written 2 books on walking foot quilting and she offered our guild members an opportunity to purchase them directly from her.
Melissa's web site is http://melissamarginet.ca
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications
We are all very pleased to report that we, as a guild, are very generous and have donated a total of 110 draw string gift bags to the Catholic Women's League (CWL)/Arnprior and District Food Bank, and 51 placemats to the Senior Support Group for Meals on Wheels.
The placemats feature Christmas or winter themed fabric on one side and are reversible for other times of the year, and were delivered with the Christmas meals.
The fabric gift bags were filled with toiletries and other small items and included with the food delivery.
Here are some pictures of the beautiful work we have accomplished. Well done everyone!!!!!
Another month and another great information and picture-packed guild meeting!
Guest Speaker Cheryl Arkison
Cheryl Arkison joined us from her home in Calgary to inform and inspire us to incorporate play into our quilting.
In Cheryl's words:
"Far too often we focus on the results, the product, the finish line in lieu of the process. A huge part of the process is simply playing. In quilting it is about matching the pattern and perfecting our points but where is the release, the relaxation, the revelation in that? Play is an important part of a child’s development but I don’t think it should stop when we become adults.
This presentation is all about adding a spirit of play back in to our creative pursuits."
Cheryl's presentation was excellent.
She began by emphasizing the importance of play in our lives: how it makes us human, builds our skills and contributes to learning, and relieves stress by providing an escape and thus enables us to cope better with stress.
Through photos and stories of her own quilts and her experiences creating them, Cheryl very effectively showed us how to introduce play into our own quilt making. Cheryl embraces Improv as a key technique for play with her quilts. She often gives herself a little direction for a project, for example low volume fabrics, and then proceeds to make the components. Cheryl does a lot of experimenting when designing and making her quilts to "Let's see what happens". She typically makes all of the components before figuring out how she'll put them together.
We saw photos of several of the quilts with some interesting and intriguing names including Smooch, U, Making Waves, Lilla, March On, Kawasaki's Theorum, Samsquanch, Antonio's Quilt, There is Peace in Pattern, Sewing Machine Quilt, Shiver (a group of whales is called a shiver). Photos of many of these quilts and many more are featured on Cheryl's web site Gallery page. Tip: Click on a photo to enlarge it, and hover (mouse) over it to see the name and description.
Cheryl's tip for easing into improv is to make a quilt of half square triangles using fabrics from a coordinating fabric bundle plus one neutral fabric, and then improvise with their layout. Her Network quilt is an example of a half square triangle quit.
Those of us who made the slab blocks for the quilt tops for the Canadian Quilters' Association's 2017 Big Quilt Bee were using Cheryl's design for the blocks. These quilts were donated to Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada as a Canada 150 project, See photos here. The leftover blocks were used to construct 4 quilts for Quilts of Valour.
Cheryl's own bio sums up a lot of what she expanded on in her presentation.
"Back when I started quilting it was practically unheard of for a 23 year old to do so, but there I was. Now, over 20 years later I haven’t stopped. In addition to my own creative work, I love to teach, write books, spread the gospel of improv, and design quilts. Every now and then I make a garment, my Grade 8 Home Ec Teacher would be proud.
When it comes to making I am happy to make what inspires. I am well known for my use of bold colour and the quiet whispers of low volume fabrics but I will use anything in between as well. Use what you love, make what makes you happy. Just get your butt in the seat and sew.
In the past decade I’ve published three books: Sunday Morning Quilts (coauthored with Amanda Jean Nyberg, A Month of Sunday, and You Inspire Me to Quilt. I’ve also travelled the world to teach quilting. In between I am raising 3 active kids and running a business with my husband. Sometimes, I sleep."
Keep up with Cheryl via her web site: www.cherylarkison.com and on Instagram and Twitter: @Cheryl_Arkison
Thank you Cheryl for a very informative and motivating evening.
Summer Scrap Challenge
Brigid gave her presentation of the Summer Scrap Challenge projects including the 3 prize winning quilts. The challenge participants saw this presentation during the challenge wrap up Zoom call in early September.
We saw some beautiful Show and Tell projects and enjoyed their stories.
The evening wrapped up with the prize draws.
The Library prize was her "You Inspire Me to Quilt" book donated by Cheryl Arkision (co-author) and it was won by Emma.
The $10 door prize gift certificates for Auntie Em's Scrapbooking & Quilting in Cornwall are going to lucky winners Tina, Joyce M, and Brenda G.
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications
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
For many, many years our guild members have generously donated little 24"x24" quilts to babies needing special care in the local (Ottawa) hospitals. This year, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our guild members dug into their fabric stashes and generously made and donated 146 of these little quilts for babies in the Rich Little Special Care Nursery at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, and the Special Care Nursery at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital.
A big thank you to Marilyn E. for coordinating this project - collecting these little quilts, adding our label to the backs, and delivering them to the hospitals. Marilyn reports that the hospitals were very happy to receive them.
Marilyn: "Isn't it lovely to make these quick tiny quilts, so use up your scraps and have fun making them."