Hints, tips and ideas galore!

October’s meeting was truly packed with good stuff. Right off the bat, as we signed in at the door, we each filled out a small form for December’s Secret Santa Mug Rug exchange, just names, favourite and least favourite colours were divulged. At the November meeting, those who have not yet drawn a recipient’s name will get the chance to do so, and instructions for the mug rugs will be disclosed… hope you’re all dreaming up designs already… my imagination’s running rampant!

Results of our first Block of the Month project were displayed for all to see. It’s always interesting to see the variety of fabrics picked by different quilters, and how the blocks come together. A name was picked out of the pumpkin and the “winner” gets to put the quilt together. BOM winner draw Oct17

As for the next one, well, Marilyn kept us guessing until later in the meeting to find out about it… read on to find out what it is! Let’s just say it’s a tad more complex than the envelope block!

Community Quilts had another wonderful month, giving away no less than six quilts. Many thanks to these ladies, who are making a difference one quilt at a time.

The Quilts of Valour team has a special request: they are asking for suggestions for their next project. Possibly something in bright colours? If you have any ideas, please contact Anne, Suzanne or Norine.

Linda passed along an invitation from Lions Gate Quilters’ Guild, who have space for our members to attend their COPS days (Creative Ongoing Process Session). These are social quilting days held from 9:30am to 4:00pm at Highlands United Church on Edgemont Boulevard in North Van. The next COPS days are on November 18th and December 9th. It costs $15, and please bring a plate of sweets or savouries to share. Contact the LGQG COPS Day co-ordinator to book your spot. Book sooner rather than later, because there is a cut-off time and the events will be cancelled if there is not enough interest.

If you’re like me, you like to see things demonstrated by a live person, not just a YouTube video. So how wonderful it was that this month we were treated to not one, but several “speakers” who shared some nifty tricks and ideas with us.

Glenna’s demo of how to make a Burrito pillowcase was a godsend! You’ll find an instruction sheet here.

Marilyn not only revealed our next Block of the Month, she also demonstrated the whole thing. This one’s called Migrating Geese.

Kory shared a great idea for those whose sewing machines have embroidery options for lettering.

The idea is to sew the “label” right into the binding, and the perfect example is one of the community quilts she had on hand. You can follow the online tutorial to which she refers.

A true labour of love is how I think of Linda’s Fidget Books, which are wonderful for patients with dementia, Alzheimers or other memory issues, or for kids. Using different textures, pockets, embellishments that can be opened, closed or simply moved, one creates a tactile experience that comforts. Some embellishments should be avoided, such as choking hazards (tiny objects and anything that can be broken off and swallowed), however, it’s a wonderful gift for a loved one… think: little secret pockets with rewards inside, fabric images, zippers, bangles, chenille, satin, velvet…

Cutting down on cutting is a good way to describe the Stripology “ruler” demonstrated by Les. As a bonus tip, she demonstrated a new-style rotary cutter with a horizontal handle and is easier on the wrist. Essentially, the ruler has slits in which to cut fabric in measured widths fairly quickly.

There are many ways to finish off one’s binding, and Sonia had another great method to share. This one uses the binding itself to measure where to cut.

Many thanks to Glenna, Marilyn, Kory, Les, Linda and Sonia for an inspiring gathering. Let’s do it again!

The New York Beauty Block and Tips for Quilters

Two of our members entertained us with presentations at our November meeting.

ivory-spring-ny-beauty-quilt
Ivory Spring free pattern

The New York Beauty Block   Marilyn talked about the variations and possibilities of the beautiful New York Beauty block and brought samples to show us.

The blocks are constructed with paper foundation piecing.  Marilyn suggested using freezer paper and a smaller stitch length for easier removal of the paper afterwards.

Patterns can be found online at sites such as Pinterest, Craftsy, and Etsy.  Some patterns are free, such as the quilt to the right.   Marilyn recommended a book by Karen Stone, who is well known for her intricate New York Beauty quilt designs.

New York Beauty
beginnings of a New York Beauty block

Tips for Quilters   Lorna talked to us about great quilting tips she has collected over the years from “Sew Many Tips” in Fons & Porter magazines, including how to store fabric strips, how to keep your foot pedal from slipping, how to keep track of your machine needles, and many others.  Here’s one of them from the handout she gave us.

“Centre Attraction – to align a quilt top and backing for a quilt sandwich, first fold the top into quarters, marking the centre and sides at the folds (with safety pins).  Do the same with the backing.  You can also sew a small shank button temporarily in the centre on the right side of the quilt top (I use a safety pin) so that you can easily feel the centre through the layers, which helps to match the centres.  Align the sides at the marks.”

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a tableful of quilting tips

Many thanks to Marilyn and Lorna for all their preparation and for sharing their quilting knowledge and enthusiasm with us.

Lorna and Marilyn
Lorna and Marilyn