Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September Meeting Recap

From Paper to Fabric

Armed with a gridded flip pad and a handful of dry-erase markers--but no calculator--Jean Larson walked us through several examples, showing us her process for converting a sketch to a reproducible quilt block.

Math was involved.

Amid cries of "Have you ever heard of Wonder Under!" and "I'd just make templates!" and "Do you know how to paper piece?" Jean persisted, demonstrating a geometrical way to resize triangles and other shapes accurately.

Jean is not one to take the easy way out.

Nor should you be. A brief foray into social media reveals thousands of quilt patterns for sale. You can make your own and you do not need a fancy program to do that (although we will talk about some of those options at our October meeting).

We also learned ways to make reproducible curves using a tool from the dressmaker's arsenal.

Give your brain a workout and see how far you can get with a little push from Jean!

Habitat Quilts

Camille Miller agreed to present a quilt to the new Habitat homeowners at the September 16th dedication ceremony. Our next quilt will be presented in October. And we have two volunteers to thank: new member Beverly Herron is tackling the result of the Cut It Up! Quilt Top Challenge, and Karen Sperry is working magic on the paper-pieced star quilt.

Here are two finished quilts that will be presented to new homeowners later this year:

This was assembled by Martha G., quilted by Beverly, and bound by Jean.

Patricia (left) pieced this top following an Alison Glass pattern; Denise (right) quilted it.

Show and Tell

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Quilt Design: From Paper to Fabric

Have you ever drawn a modern quilt design and wondered, “Now how in the world am I going to piece that?!” It’s a familiar feeling for many quilters, and one that can bring the creative process to a standstill.

Join us Saturday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. as Jean Larson walks us through steps to analyze and deconstruct a design and translate it into fabric. Armed with Jean’s tips and tricks, you’ll leave with confidence to tackle any project.

See ya Saturday!

Friday, August 25, 2017

August Meeting Recap

Program: Curved Piecing

Are you interested in slipping away from the straight and narrow? If you attended our August meeting you saw a handful of different ways to swerve in a new direction. Delores, Vista, Gerry, Julie and Kate teamed up to show us a variety of examples and methods to cut and piece curves into our quilts. We saw modern curves cut with templates or improvisationally, pieced in modern ways, combined with stripes, stretched out on the bias, recut and sewn into checks, hanging by slivers--the ideas were flowing and inspiring. Try out some of their methods and see what you can create!

Guild Survey

Members, you have a survey in your inbox. If you have not yet responded, please take some time to do so. This is your chance to let us know what you think is going well and what you might like to see changed. We want to hear your voice!

Group Quilt in Progress

We have a group quilt in the works. The blocks were improvisationally pieced and quilted individually by Kelly, Jean, Sandi, Mary, Denise, Stephanie, Toni, Theresa, Martha, Karen S., and Karen D. Check out the way the makers used scraps to create richly saturated fabric. We plan to enter the quilt into the 2018 QuiltCon show, so we're keeping the full reveal under wraps for a little while longer. Stay tuned!

Quilt Swap with Tucson

If you are participating in this cross-country swap be sure to post photos of your quilts--both in progress and finished--on the social media platforms of your choice. Be a detective and check out your partner's style. And go see what the members of Tucson MQG are making. The anticipation of wondering which mini will be yours is a huge part of the fun. The AZ guild will ship all their quilts to Chattanooga in a single package in October. When you get your swap quilt finished, bring it back to guild because we want to photo all our makers and their minis before they head west.

Welcome Back, Camille!

Camille Miller, organizer of our swap with Tucson, has returned from Navy boot camp and is now a trained Mass Communications specialist. We are all so proud of Camille, who joined the Navy last year. Guild member Karen Downer surprised Camille (and the rest of us) by presenting her with a Quilt of Valor made by area quilters. As Karen and Jackie Cory wrapped Camille in her quilt, guild members quickly rose to give Camille a standing ovation, and there were quite a few misty eyes around the room. Now that she's back and working in Chattanooga, Camille will be able to join us for most of our meetings. 

Thank you, Habitat Quilters

We have several guild members and friends working hastily to finish out our Habitat quilts to be donated this fall. Jan Webster, Cendi Adcock, Gerry Haywood, Martha Griffin, Beverly Herron and Karen Sperry all deserve our grateful thanks.

The next Habitat dedication is scheduled for 10:00AM on September 16, the day of our next guild meeting. Jean Larson always covers Habitat when she can't find a volunteer, but Jean will be busy presenting our program next month. If you know of someone who could do this for us, please contact Jean or Kelly and let them know.

Show and Tell

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sewing Curves with Confidence

The topic for our August meeting was one of the most-requested during last year's brainstorm session: curves!

Join us Saturday, August 12 at 10 a.m. to learn several techniques for sewing curves with confidence.

The curves team will demonstrate how to create gentle, flowing curves, along with ruler-free quarter circles; they'll also introduce you to some special tools that may become must-haves for your sewing room.

See you there!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sewing for Habitat

During our July meeting, the room was full and noisy as we worked diligently to put together two quilt tops for upcoming Habitat for Humanity home dedications this fall.

Now we're looking for volunteers to quilt them! Interested? Read on to learn more.

One of two quilt tops completed during the sew-in

Paper Pieced Stars

This group assembled blocks made by members after our foundation paper-piecing program. Between February and June, volunteers signed up for specific colorways and sewed star blocks at home using scraps from their stashes. These were pinned to a design wall by Delores at the start of the sew-in. We tried several arrangements until the color balance said "Yes!" and then came the easy part of fitting together blocks made by more than a dozen volunteers on at least that many machines with a wee bit of variation in that famous quarter inch seam. (Ha!) The end result (pictured above) features 29 twinkling stars and one improvised white block of negative space. 

New member Jessica presses a point
Carolyn P. assembles a row of stars

Cut It Up! Quilt Top

The workers on this team brought to life the winning design from last month's Cut It Up! Quilt Top Challenge.

Denise, Sara and Delores prepare the strips of solids

Vista Mahan's modernized remix called for the original quilt top to be cut into simple strips; we added a few strips of solids to her design to increase the overall size of the new quilt top. Check out the before and after shots!

Before: A Traditional Top
After: A Modernized Remix

Thanks to everyone's hard work, we now have six quilts on deck to donate to new Habitat for Humanity homeowners later this year.

If you want to volunteer to quilt either of the tops we completed during the sew-in, just comment on this post or send an email to Kelly at chattmqg@gmail.com. Your time and effort are greatly appreciated!

Mini Quilt Swap

Last year we participated in a swap with Tennessee MQG guilds from Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. Camille from our guild has organized a similar swap with the Tuscon MQG in Arizona. Members received a form via email, be sure to sign up by July 22! Swaps are a great way to make new friends.

Show and Tell

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Let's Sew Together!

Grab your sewing machine, cutting mat or ironing board, and join us Saturday, July 8 at 10 a.m. for a sew-in.

We'll tackle two quilt tops: Audrey's paper-pieced star block top, and the Cut It Up! Quilt Top Challenge top. Both will be donated to Habitat for Humanity homeowners later this year.

Members received an email with a survey to sign up for their preferred role of sewist, cutter, presser or runner.

If you're not a member and would like to participate, comment below or send an email to chattmqg@gmail.com and we'll get you set up.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

June Meeting Recap

Cut It Up! Quilt Top Challenge 

Scissors snipped, glue sticks swirled, and imagination ran wild at our June meeting as members fashioned new designs from an old quilt top that’s about to go under the knife. It’s all part of the Cut It Up! Quilt Top Challenge, an idea hatched by the steering committee to help reinforce design ideas presented by Mary Kerr in April.

The original quilt top donated by Veronica

Committee member and fabric sales rep Veronica Hofman Ortega offered to let us slice up the quilt top you see here; she made it several years ago to highlight the Mosaic Garden fabric line and had no plans to finish it herself. But like many of us, Veronica believes a finished quilt is always better than a top that languishes in a pile! So we got busy thinking of ways to make turn this traditional quilt into a modern one. 


Everyone at the meeting received two photocopies of the quilt top: one to cut up and redesign, and the second as a backup if their original idea didn’t pan out. Using paper, colored pencils, and glue or tape, members reimagined the quilt top during a 30-minute design session. They weren't required to use every part of the original quilt, which measures 40” x 56”, but the goal was to expand the top to roughly 60” x 72” — a generous size for a future Habitat for Humanity homeowner. 

As you can see, some designs used minimal amounts of the original quilt while others used the entire thing.

After 30 minutes of design, each member had one minute to explain her layout to the group and discuss possible construction methods. Then a blind vote was conducted, and each member placed a penny beside their favorite design. The winner? Vista Mahan’s simple strips!

Vista's design won with eight votes

Stay tuned for the next step in the process, as we construct the top during a sew-in at the July 8 guild meeting. Once quilted, it will be donated to a Habitat homeowner later this year.

Habitat for Humanity Dedications

Meanwhile, new homeowners Ashley and Fanetta each received a quilt during a dedication ceremony June 10. Several guild members made blocks for Fanetta's quilt; Joan Thornbury pieced the top and it was quilted by Sherry Meyer of Ooltewah. 

Fanetta (left) loves her colorful quilt
Ashley’s quilt was constructed by various guild members during an exercise on modern traditionalism; Jackie Cory pieced the top and it was also quilted by Sherry Meyer. You can see close-up pictures of Ashley and Fanetta's quilts in the show-and-tell section at the bottom of this blog post.

Sandi Suggs (behind podium) presents Ashley (center) with her quilt
And homeowner LaToya received a third quilt during a dedication ceremony May 13.

LaToya (left) and her bricks block quilt
 Thanks to everyone who has contributed to our Habitat quilts this year!

Modern Mini Quilt Challenge Winners!

Congratulations to Kelly Spell and Gerry Haywood on their wins in the 2017 Quilt Expo Modern Mini Quilt Challenge hosted by Quilt Expo and Nancy Zieman. Kelly took first place with her "American Alligator" mini, winning a Baby Lock sewing machine; Gerry won several spools of Madeira thread with her colorful improv mini. (You may recognize Gerry's quilt from our 2016 President's Mini Quilt Challenge.)

Bravo, ladies!

Kelly's winning mini quilt 

Gerry's winning mini quilt

Road Trip to Knoxville

Several members traveled to Knoxville last week to see Knoxville MQG’s 2017 quilt show! Kelly, Jean, Mary, Denise, Joan and Sara met up with three KnoxMQG members to see the quilts and enjoy lunch together. The show runs through the end of June; if you can't make it to see the quilts in person, there are plenty of pictures available on Facebook.

Mary, Melissa, Jean, Joan, Denise, Kelly, Sara and Michelle

Late Summer Swap with Tucson MQG

And finally, we’re going to participate in a mini quilt swap with the Tucson Modern Quilt Guild in Arizona! Signups begin July 9, and participants will have through the end of October to make and ship their quilts. More information will be sent to members early next month.

Show and Tell