Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting There : :

Yesterday, the scene at our dining table looked exactly as it at the beginning of last week-- Birthday Crowns! And, lots of them!! I didn't take the time to photograph them this time, and I didn't get anything else sewn up over the weekend with my husband away. So, rather than sharing another post on my plans for the week, I took the day to catch up on some computer work, do more crown making, including adding some of the newest ones to my etsy, and finally typed up my newest Design Team project for Riley Blake, using some of these wonderful RBD basics -- Small Cotton Dots!

For my next RBD Design Team Project!

Here's a little peek at tomorrow's new tutorial! I'm working on my boys bedroom now, which is going to be much more challenging than my girl's room. The boys are older and they have very specific ideas of what they each want. Which is wonderful! It's just going to take some time to bring it all together.


My husband helped me spray baste my QAYG quilt yesterday, as well. It was, just as you all said, so easy!! I was concerned about the chemicals, but it was totally fine, and now I'm excited to finish quilting it this week!!

Rolled up and ready to be finished!

After that, my selfish sewing goal is to dive into my bundle of Tsuru! I pulled out several, coordinating Pure Element solids from my stash and I'm planning out the design. I adore this collection so, SO much and really want to make sure I do them a justice!

Cloud9 Fabrics -- Tsuru

This is my very favorite print in the collection, Blossom Festival -- now hanging on what will eventually become my Inspiration Wall!

Beautiful Tsuru

Isn't it pretty?! I just love a good navy and this sweet floral pattern!

So pretty!!

Tomorrow morning I have a couple of friends coming over to sew -- I can't wait!! We only have about two hours to sew together, so we're making some quick and easy pillowcases.

I'm really hoping to start some type of sewing club here in my little town. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about this lately, and could really use some feedback from all you wonderful sewing friends!


Do you belong to a club or guild
How often do you meet and for how long
Is it more of a show and tell, do you choose a certain project for everyone to create, or both?
What do, or would, you enjoy most about a sewing club?

I'm just in the planning stage now. Personally and honestly, I don't really want to teach during the club. I would really like to sew at it. I did put out a little post on my personal facebook and received a pretty exciting response, from mostly ladies with no sewing knowledge -- to people who could hopefully teach me a few things!

Thank you for all the help, in advance and always! I'm definitely not the best at planning/being organized, but I'm ready to at least give it a shot!  , Maureen


  1. Love the dots! I am trying to find a material for curtains in my grandsons' bedroom. Must be red (*no* orange)...& it's hard to find that perfect red colourway.

  2. Love love your blog!! Just so you know! Im one of your silent lurkers.
    I belong to a guild, joined the front range modern quilt guild in 2010. We meet once a month, 3rd saturday for the whole day. we start out with a little social, some business, a little lecture/program/presenation, then we have show and tell. Usually that takes us to noon and we break for lunch. We then also open up the entire meeting room with tables and every one starts sewing, cutting, ironing... whatever their project is. Sometimes our program has a "make along" where you can use your sew time to give it a try and there the teacher/presenter is there to help you with any questions. I think most of all, i enjoy the time to sew and socialize and ooooh and ahhh over everyone's projects. I love the guild so much and the people! I think you will enjoy having a sew club (if i was closer id join)

    1. Thanks Angela!! Hmn, well, I'm not sure how to start a Guild (I need to research that), but I already have more questions! :) Do members take turns presenting/teaching? Where do you meet? Being that we live in such a small town, I'm not sure what local space would be the best place for our meeting. To host a monthly sewing club, I could have it here at my home, but I would have to limit it to only around 8 people at the max?

  3. I'm a member of my larger MQG, but I also have a smaller group of friends that I quilt and sew with. Mostly we have weekend retreats about once every season and the occasional sew-in at someone's house, usually when their significant other is out of town. We meet up for shows and go out after. At the sew-in's and retreats we mostly do our own projects. It's great to have other peoples' input on layout, colors, etc.

    I have a question for you: I tried spray basting a small project this weekend and wasn't happy with the results. I ended up putting in a few pins even though the fabric was 16" x 16". What adhesive did you use? Did you have to add any pins?

    1. Thanks for the info! The other issue I have with hosting it here at my home, is that I have three small children, which of course I'm use to and love having around, but I'm guessing some of the ladies interested in joining in are looking for a chance to leave the house and hang out with other woman without their (or anyone else) kiddos running around. I'll have to consider that, too. :)

      As for the spray, I used 505 -- no pins needed, and my quilt is (I think) a 60" square. What did you use?


  4. If you want fun have an informal quilt group that meets once a week or twice a month - everyone works on what they want to work on - yes have show and tell, yes if other people need help others help - no dues, no meeting, just fun sitting around sewing on what you want to sew on - put on the coffee pot and take turns bringing snacks if you want - chatting, sewing, show and tell, helping with answers is my idea of a great quilt group -- I do not like guilds - sorry I have rotten experience with them in my area although I know some like them - to me they are all business meetings and clicks

  5. I just went to my first Modern Quilt Guild sew day. It's a brand new group that has only met once or twice. Since it's such a small group, the plan for now is that we'll meet once a month for sew day. It's an all-day drop-in event from 10 to 5. We met at a local neighborhood community center. Two brought their sewing machines to work on projects, one was binding, another was working on a hand-sewn wall hanging, and I was basting. We had tea and goodies to share.

  6. I love that Tsuru fabric too, it's very pretty! Good for you for starting the group. I would join if I were closer to Coudersport! =D

    1. I like your pillowcase too =D I forgot to mention that!!

  7. I'm a member of a traditional guild. Our guild is fairly large (125+). We have small satellite groups that cover different interests -- Art Quilting, paper-piecing, scrap quilting, etc. The small group I'm in used to be applique, but now we all just get together and do our thing. Our small group meets every 2-3 wks at someone's home. I like the small group much better than the meetings. More intimate.

    When I lived in Ohio I was a member of a growing modern guild. The meetings were very informal -- no speakers. Just a bunch of quilters getting together and discussing quilting. Lots of hands-on education, and show and tell was more in-depth when compared to a more traditional guild. The focus was on learning and creative inspiration.

    Both guilds have group sewing events where we just got together to sew and do our thing.

    Start with an informal group, perhaps take turns mentoring each other. Show and tell is the best part. It encourages dialog. Also, just sew together. Makes the time fly. And there's nothing better than being with people doing what they love. Great way to soak up some creative energy.

  8. On a side note, I *love* that navy blue is back! And mixing it with brights. *triple love*

  9. I'm a member of a traditional guild and a couple of informal Bee's. Sounds like you want to form a Bee - just get together and sew, no dues, no real business, just the fun part of a guild meeting. Show & Tell is a must! We meet at our LQS or at a member's home once a month.

    One of my Bees in an art group. Our meetings vary. Some months we come prepared to try a particular technique. Usually one of our members tries to technique out before and acts as teacher for that meeting. Basically this just means they show what they tried, what worked and what didn't, then we all play. We often work on projects together and challenge each other to try new techniques.

    My other Bee has more of a social focus. Nothing is planned, other than when and where we will meet. Everyone brings whatever they want to work on (hand sewing, machine sewing, knitting or crochet, tracing applique pieces, anything goes), or nothing at all. We sit around, sew and talk. If someone has a question about a project they are working on or a technique they are struggling with, they ask. But mostly we just talk and have informal Show & Tell. It's lots of fun!

  10. I've been in two sewing groups - one was a modern quilt guild. I didn't re-join. The guild drew from a wide geographical area and meetings took a long time to drive to and I didn't find people who lived close enough to me to bond with anyone - also I'm a more inexperienced sewer and the other members were serious champs. The guild provided a lot of free sewing days and we even had a private class with Denyse Schmidt. The people in charge of the group did a great job and each month they featured a sewer in the group and showed their path through sewing - there are lots of quilters but people sewed plenty of other things. I never really felt I belonged there and at the last gift swap I participated in, the recipient of my gift looked clearly dissatisfied with what I had sewed and I felt awful. I understood tho. other people's gifts were amazing, mine was simple. Many of the members formed friendships and were the same age and had new babies or grandchildren but I was kinda between those categories so I never felt like I fit in. I am also in a very small American Sewing Guild group. Most of the members are much older than me and are garment sewers - I am NOT. But they are kind and patient and have a wealth of knowledge to share. Monthly meetings are brief, usually have a demo of some sort, show and tell and the group does lots of charity sewing. My favorite thing is the annual 4-day sewing retreat. Neither group is a perfect fit for me - if you have the right fit of people and the right fit of sewing activities, it will work... everyone has different needs. Make sure your group determines its needs and what feels right, change as needed. Best of luck.

  11. I sew with a small group of friends. We meet at the same location each week because she has a huge loft with plenty of room. We all work on our own projects. It's great because it's a dedicated time to just sew, chat and share our projects.

  12. I'm a member of my local quilt guild (just joined in October), and honestly, I'm the youngest one by somewhere between 10 and 50 years, and it's very cliquey. People show off their quilts, they have guest speakers and workshops, and they take themselves very seriously. I don't know that I'll continue membership after this year, but it depends if I can find another group. It's great that you're working on forming one near you!

  13. We've just started a modern guild in town here - our website is officially up and running as of Sunday. We're kinda playing it by ear but we meet for two hours, one Sunday a month. We do a quick greeting, a recap of last month's business, touch on on-going stuff, and introduce new. Then one of us teaches some sort of skill or discusses a topic, and we follow that up with show&tell. We're also introducing a once a month evening informal (no real guild business) sewing thing which we haven't solidified yet but it's also two hours and gives an opportunity for people to come out, participate and socialize who can't make Sundays. I'll know better after our first one next month (Feb 13th). The common interest in quilting has drawn most of us, though we all tend to sew other things, too. It's been nice to have that common language, too. We're between 20ish to 70ish in age, and a huge range of experience which is a lot of fun. We spent a chunk of the last meeting asking for and giving advice on projects where we were stuck; it was great to see and hear different perspectives! There's 15 officially signed-up but more are interested and I expect we'll grow. I'm one of the two co-chairs so I've learned a lot already - I'm glad to share any of it. Just let me know!

    There's also a more traditional guild in town but it's 169 members (I belong to it, too) and they run it quite formally, have their schedules and guest speakers booked for the year in advance, etc, and plan a massive show every two years. Totally different situation (and aesthetic!) but also valuable. Much harder to break into the "social" scene, which is why so many of our members like the smaller size of our group.

    Just joined my first bee, too. It's been fun but I'm not far enough into it to give a solid report.

    Good luck!

  14. I (51) belong two local groups. My only child is away at an out-of-state seminary and my husband works shift work so once I get home at night, I have the entire place to myself a good bit of the time. Plus, I'm an introvert. So I get ideas, etc. from reading blogs during my lunch hours. On the other hand -- My local guilde is very active. They have monthly meetings (you can make the project they suggest and then have sew and tell) and they have a speaker on a different topic. They have a few sew day every month if you make one block for charity while you are there. They organize trips to retreats and various other places. So if you enjoy getting to know others, I have access to a great group of ladies. Good luck!

  15. Yay for embracing the spray basting!

    I run our local modern quilt guild, although our meetings are quite hit and miss and often held in pubs, which leads to interesting show and tells ;o) We have fun though :o)

  16. Argh I love the tsuru!!!! And the polkas!!

  17. LOVE that print! It would make a fantastic skirt, wouldn't it?!!!

  18. Can't wait for your new tutorial tomorrow. It looks like it might be simple enough for even me to make!

  19. I belong to a guild and I love it. It did take me a few years in a few guilds that weren't to my taste to really help me appreciate the guild I'm in now.

    We formed as a new group of strangers; we were all on the waiting list for another guild and the waiting list was longer than the total membership of the established guild! We've been lucky, we have members with party rooms where we can meet for free so we don't have to fuss with dues and such. We're a smallish group (16 people) that meets twice a month.

    At our first meeting we introduced ourselves and shared what we were hoping to get out of this group. Then we went from there... We're now settled into a bit of a rhythm (have been meeting for 9 years now) and have 'planning meetings' roughly twice a year. At these meeting we all bring ideas and sort out what we want to do at the next few months of meetings and schedule that in. When we run out of planned items, we schedule our next 'planning meeting' and start again.

    We have sew days, coffee meetings (go to a coffee shop & visit), do your own thing nights, exchanges, work on charity quilts, work on guild projects, classes, demos, host speakers/outside guild teachers, swaps, challenges, show & share, shop hops, etc.

  20. Love the polka dot pillow sham!
    I belong to the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild. We meet the first Monday of the month at Sew Modern in LA. It's a fun and very creative group.

  21. I don't know how big your town is but I've lived in several towns between 1000 and 2000. In a town that size a local church might be a good place to meet. Just an idea.

  22. I am a member of my local Modern Quilt Guild. I love it. Since I'm not originally from here, it's nice to meet people with similar interests. We get together to sew once a month (4 hours) and have a monthly meeting (2 hours). We do (optional) sewing challenges (based on fabrics, or a theme, etc. We're doing the Madrona Road challenge now, but did a Tangerine challenge last year and a few others I forget. We've done swaps where we all pick a fat quarter, swap it, and create the same item - pillow, journal cover, mini, etc. We also just bring in tops or finished items to show off, which is always fun. Not everyone has the same style, but everyone can appreciate the work that went into it. We learn from each other, which being a newbie , works out for me. We've planned retreats and road trips (to quilt stores, of course), too. And it's all optional, so you don't have to participate in all of that if you don't feel like it. I would say totally start one in your area! If I lived out that way still, I would totally join!

    1. Oh, and just an idea after reading some comments, you could try seeing if your local quilt store will allow you to meet there to sew. No kids, no husbands, supplies at the ready. We typically meet at LQS and they are happy to have us! It's more potential customers coming in their store so on a day (like a Sunday) when their classroom is empty, they don't mind at all.

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  24. Love those dots! And the navy--I've been into sapphire/navy lately for some reason.... Just joined my first guild, right here in my county. They meet four times a year and the next one is this weekend, theme: crazy quilts :D

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  26. I'd come sew with you, but I live too far away. I don't have any sewing friends nearby, I used to have a coworker that sees. we would bring things to work to show each other

  27. Oooooo.... polka dots!! That's a classy combination you have there on the pillowcase!

  28. I wish there was a group near me. Or that I was near you! Good luck!

  29. Through a local guild I joined a bee probably 10 years ago. There are 7 to 9 of us depending on life. We used to meet weekly at someone's house and it moved around from house to house. Usually the members with out small children were willing to host. We have all become great friends. We do retreats twice a year or more. Everyone work on their own projects but sometimes we would do a swap or other group project. I definitely prefer the small group to the formal guilds with business meetings as speakers. Good luck!

  30. Love the Tsuru fabric. Rashida Coleman Hale is such a talent!

    I belong to a quilt guild ("big guild") with over 300 members. I like the monthly programs with national speakers, and the chance to team up on charity projects (pillowcases, cuddle quilts, backpacks for kids in foster care, etc.). I don't like the politics. They sponsor a show every 2 years, and have show and tell at each meeting.

    I also belong to a small quilt group ("little quilt group") which consists of only 5 members. We have no structure, except to meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month. We share projects, sometimes have sewing days, go on field trips to the quilt museum or fabric shops, and trust each other for advice on fabric choices, quilt designs, etc. The little group is so laid back and friendly.

  31. I belong to a quid with 110 members and we meet on the second Thursday of each month. We have a newsletter, a program, door prizes and show and tell. I enjoy it, but I also belong to a local group and w e have grown to about 20 people. We meet once a week and we work on our own projects, except for the 4th Thursday of the month when we work on pro bono projects together. We make quilts for Project Linus, pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer, quilts for a children's hospital, and lap quilts for a nursing home. There is a range of ages from 85 to 28 and I have learned so much from the older ladies. If anyone needs help or wants to learn a new technique, there is someone there who is able to help. I look forward to our meeting every week.

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  33. I belong to 2 sewing groups, a chapter of MQG, and a sewing group at Gilda's Club (a place for people who have/had cancer to hang out), and each has some good and bad points. MCMQG is hugely disappointing for me. There are only about 5 people who regularly show up to the monthly meetings. If I could change one thing about it, members of the group would actually teach a skill/technique each month, but as of now, even though we're doing a BOM tutorial to put up on a blog, we're doing the tutorial for the blog post and then showing what we made with a couple of words about it when we meet. I don't remember stuff when people tell me what they did. :-/ Because I don't cook, I also don't like feeling pressured to bring a dish. I'd rather pack my lunch and not have to worry about what everyone thinks of my food. Those are the negatives, but there are also positives. We do a show and tell when people bring items, and I like these ladies. Quilters can learn from each other through interaction. I don't like that I have to pay for the afternoon learning lesson just about each month (another reason why I'd like for us as members to step up and share). I already feel like it's a hassle driving out of the city and having to pack up all my stuff, plus bring a dish.

    My other group meets every Tuesday. Since Gilda's has snacks and such, there's none of that food business going on. Machines, thread, cutting mats, rotary cutters are all there, but there's no real leader and it really is just a time to get together and socialize. None of the ladies there do their own quilting - that's where this group falls short for me. I am an intermediate quilter (been at it for about 2-3 years) and I feel like I'm worlds ahead of most of them. Some of these ladies have only recently moved beyond making rag quilts, and they've been in this group for YEARS. I can't imagine how bored I'd be if that's all I did. But, we can take the initiative in that group and teach a technique. I just wish that there was at least one other person in the group that I could learn from. I also love that I can take my fabric and do all my cutting there. If I can make one recommendation for you if you want to start your own group it would be to buy some bed risers so you can lift a table for all the cutting.

    I know this is a long comment, but I also belonged to a group before moving here. It was through the County Extension Office, and you may want to see if they already have a group like this for people in your community, OR you might want to work with them. If you have a good extension, they would likely provide space and maybe even some of the basics. I believe we had rotary cutters and mats, as well as a couple of low end machines. That group has been my favorite so far, which is kind of surprising since I brought the average age down to the mid-60s. I felt like I learned a lot from those little old ladies, and that's partly because I got to see some of the more traditional methods and fabrics and how they put them together while looking at the more modern quilting world online. They met on a weekday from 10-2, which is why so many were older. Once a month there was a lesson, sometimes led by members, sometimes by someone from a quilt shop or DAR to talk about their quilts, that sort of thing. And I don't remember ever paying for that, beyond my member dues once a year. I know I probably didn't answer your questions specifically, but I hope that at least gives you some useful information. :)

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  44. In the Houston MQG, we meet once a month (with an occasional extra sew-in). There is a show and tell, and people bring handwork or their machines to sew. We will sometimes have a quick tutorial if there is a member with something to share. That's it! Mostly, it's social!

  45. I loved your post! I live in a small town, and I really wish we could find enough people to have a sewing group. I've asked on FB before, but no takers.
    I travel once a month for an hr. to my sewing dealer for Babylock Club. We don't sew that day. They show us new things and project ideas, and then feed us lunch all for free!
    They also have embroidery club, but then I have to pack up everything to go and embroider things I've usually done. If I go to all of that trouble, I want to learn something new.

  46. Hi Maureen....oooh, if you had a sewing club and I lived nearby, I would be there...LOL. I started a sewing group and we were meeting the 2nd Thursday evening of each month. We didn't meet in January though. Too much illness. We were able to rent a room at the local school for $10 an evening. Now that's a bargain! I think it is best to be able to meet outside the home. There can be distractions in the home and after all...it should be a mommy break, right! I usually had an idea project for each meet but left it up to the participants as to whether they would make it or do something they were already working on. It became very much a social outlet for us and sometimes more chatting went on then production, but that is therapeutic to a woman's soul so it's a win-win! I hope you can find a nice small group to meet with and form bonds. That's what happened to our group of women who really didn't know each other in the beginning and now we're chums! Best wishes....Linda C

  47. So glad the spray basting worked well for you! It is hard to do anything else after trying it! And I'm LOVING that navy print - Rashida is a genius!


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