March 2022 Meeting Highlights
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
Christmas 2021 Donations
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!!!!!
October 2021 Meeting Highlights
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
September 2021 Meeting Highlights
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
Premie Quilts for Babies in Special Care
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."
Quilts Donated to Arnprior Hospital
On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, Jane delivered quilts made by our guild members to Arnprior Regional Health, the broader organization that encompasses the Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital, and The Grove Nursing Home in Arnprior.
Michelle Johnston, Activities Director, and Carol Beatty, Palliative Coordinator, were very pleased to receive them from our guild.
Michelle mentioned that 4 touch quilts will be kept at the hospital, and 4 quilts will be given to The Grove. Touch (or fidget) quilts provide comfort to their Alzheimer patients, and they can always use more of them.
Carol said one of the lap quilts will be given to a current palliative patient, and the second one will be kept on hand for the next patient. Jane confirmed with her that the palliative quilts are a gift of comfort and warmth to the patient and to their family afterwards.
Jane: "They were so pleased and thanked me several times.... so consider the thanks passed on."
In the spring of 2021, Jane delivered, on our Guild's behalf, one palliative quilt to the Arnprior Hospital, and two fidget quilts. Here are pictures of Josh, the charge nurse, accepting our donations.
Thanks to all of our guild members who have generously donated their time and material to these important charitable initiatives.
Placemats for the New Grove Nursing Home
Throughout this year our guild members have been making colourful placemats for the brand new Grove Nursing Home in Arnprior which is expected to open in late summer of 2021. We have received 97 lovely placemats for the dining rooms in The Grove, just over our goal of 96. Many thanks to our guild members who are contributing to this gift for the residents.
March 2021 Meeting Highlights
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
February 2021 Meeting Highlights
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