Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lessons Learned from Our Sister Guilds...

Lessons Learned... by Deb Hathaway Hunter

    In the spirit of friendship… and just being curious, I thought it would be fun to visit our sister modern quilt guilds and see what they were up to. Bonny and Kat decided to join me on my adventure.

First off… when I originally thought of this I didn’t check the calendar. I had no clue that the 3rd week of each month was so popular for quilters! Philly Guild meets on the 3rd Tuesday, we meet on the 3rd Wednesday, and North Jersey is the 3rd Thursday. So yes… that meant 3 nights in a row we attended a guild meeting. I don’t know about you all… but I’m getting to an age where one outing at night a week does me in! Three in a row was a bit much. However… I enjoyed every minute!

Philly Modern Quilt Guild was first on the hit list. I attended a meeting of theirs about 6 years ago when they were meeting in a youth group recreation hall. Jan (owner of Pennington Quilt Works) and I were considering the idea of forming a Modern Quilt Guild based out of her shop and went to see what all the hoopla was about. That trip was the seed that started the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild.

Anticipating the drive to be about an hour and a half, we left early enough to allow stopping for dinner along the way. Bonny spotted an Italian place along the route which ended up being pretty good.

Wow! The Philly Guild has certainly GROWN in the past 6 years!!! There were over 40 members in attendance and now meet in a spacious classroom on the Salus University Campus in Elkins Park, PA.

There were quilters of all levels and styles. They run 2 Bees… one for beginning quilters, who showed off their positive/negative churn dash blocks, and the other for more advanced sewers sharing their Snail Trail blocks which were either paper pieced or patched depending on the choice of the maker. The most important lessons we took from this were the ‘rules’ to joining the Bee. Only 12 members per Bee were allowed… and each member was committed to participating in all 12 months by making 2 blocks each month. It’s a solid commitment… with a completion check off list to hold everyone accountable.

This guild has a Block of the (every other) Month Lottery. This month’s selection was “Be Good to Your Heart” by Amy Smart (www.diaryofaquilter.com). Our travel group was told of this before hand in case we wanted to participate. You write your name on a slip of paper, one for each block you made. A name is drawn and the winner gets them all! This month’s winner received 13 blocks to make into an adorable Valentine quilt. Both Kat and I donated our blocks… Bonny finished hers into a mini quilt and donated it to Rebecca’s Reel Quilters as an auction item for their upcoming Quilt Show in May. The rest of the year is already planned out… here is the link if you want to see what they are: http://www.phillymodernquiltguild.com/p/bi-monthly-block-raffle.html

Their governing style is the same as most guilds… President, Vice President, etc… However they have added one more little tweak, for the sake of continuity (and smooth transition) only 2 executive board positions are on the ballot each year. Food for thought.

After a 10 minute snack break the meeting resumes with their scheduled program. Usually they divide up into 2 demo groups for instruction on some exciting technique or program, and switch after 20 minutes. Both groups get the full value of each program. The night we attended however was not ‘usual’. Instead, they swapped their Holiday gifts.

It was explained to me that November and December are super crazy months, so they decided to swap their holiday gifts each January instead. Using an online App named Elfster, whoever chooses to participate goes online and fills in the questionnaire. Elfster assigns each participant with a receiver’s name and preferred ‘likes’. You may then ask your receiver specific questions anonymously. The parameters the guild set up were… 1. Do not spend more than $35 and 2. One item must be handmade. Each gift was absolutely AMAZING… and received with such gratitude and appreciation. The entire process was heart warming! Personally I drooled over a Kaffe Fassett scarf that was handmade from Rayon. I have been searching the Internet for a source, but so far have come up empty handed.

Show and Tell ended the night… and OH what a sight! Speak about inspiration!!!! Everything from adorable baby quilts to magnificent masterpieces, held up for all to see. Our little brains were reeling with future quilt ideas!

The drive home was un-eventful… until Kat realized she was locked out of her house!!! Uh-oh! Her trusty police department sent a cute officer to the rescue. All in all in was an adventure.

Next up, The North Jersey Quilt Guild whose meetings are held in Cedar Grove, NJ. Kat was familiar with the area, so volunteered to drive this time.  Originally this group met in a local store, Rock, Paper, Scissors… and have since outgrown the space and recently re-located.  Welllllll…. Once I heard there was a cute quilt shop to visit, I just HAD to add that to our itinerary. Yes, of course I found some yardage I couldn’t live without… AND at 40% off!!! Kat joined me in the thrill of the hunt, while Bonny showed masterful restraint.

What’s New Jersey without a diner??? Kat remembered eating at Park West Diner for lunch many times, so for old memory’s sake we agreed to go there for dinner. Yum!!! There’s nothing like diner food!!! It was difficult to select from the vast menu… but Bonny and I made quick decisions and put the menu aside. Kat however wanted something specific, which apparently is only on the lunch menu. A quick call to a friend of hers… who happened by coincidence to be eating at the same diner that exact moment, got her what she wanted.
Needless to say… we were a little late getting to the meeting.

I was warned by their President, Daniela to expect a bit of confusion as they were meeting for the very first time in their new location. Following the phone GPS directions we drove ‘in’ the ‘out’ driveway of the parking lot, then we walked through the back door instead of the front door to the church. Eventually we made it to our seats and were warmly welcomed. So in the end, we seemed to be the ones who were confused.

The meeting began with Old Business, New Business, Membership, and announcements. The mention of the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club a few members had joined interested me, so I did some research when I got home. For $5 a month you get an in-depth quilting technique taught by top instructors. There’s an option of paying $50 for the entire year in addition to picking and choosing your months. It’s kind of awesome and I think I might try it. Check it out… http://luckyspool.com/products/mighty-lucky-quilting-club

I was impressed with the Charity Committee. A local man had contacted the guild explaining his wife, Myra had passed away and he would like to donate her fabric (4 carloads full!) to be used for Charity work. The Committee created bundles of co-ordinating fabrics as best they could for guild members to take and make into quilt tops. If you didn’t want to quilt it, or bind it, you were encouraged to return it for someone else to do the next step. As long as a finished quilt resulted, they didn’t care how many people worked on it. During Show and Tell a few members talked about how they ‘channeled’ Myra while using her fabric. Very cool!

During break you could take a look at the FREE table. The rules here were… place on the table anything you no longer wanted/needed. Any member was invited to give it a new home. At the end of the night, if it was still there, you needed to take it back. Kat picked up some yardage of heavyweight burgundy felt (which the previous owner was so thrilled she was taking that she went out to her car in the freezing cold parking lot to retrieve more to give her)… and I scored a quilt book with TWO quilts that inspired me.

The program for the evening was a trunk show… of a guild member! It’s something new this guild is trying. There are so many wonderfully talented quilters they thought it would be nice if each did a truck show of their own things. Andrea was the very first presentation. She was originally from Austria and began quilting here in the US in 2005. Her stuff was AWESOME!!! She began her truck show with the very first project she ever made… a paper pieced pillow… with instructions to the group NOT to tug on the top aggressively, as she didn’t know anything about ¼” seams… and believed hers were 1/8if she was lucky. Her creativity and talent were awe inspiring, but it was her humor that stole the show.

A tough act to follow… was Show and Tell. Four guild members stood together and shared their own Holiday Swap. Each were instructed to use the same reversible tote bag pattern, and fill it with 3 to 4 gifts. Ahem… one member we learned never follows the rules, and put in 6 items. Again, just as the Philly Guild proved, these gifts were just as special and amazing. One recipient even received 2 pair of hand knit socks. Show and Tell continued with not only the display of many beautiful quilts… but the heart-warming stories behind them. Ohs and ahs could be heard throughout the room.

During our own meeting, sandwiched between these two, we discussed the issue of whether our Facebook page should be public or private. This guild solved the problem by having two pages… one of each! What a simple solution to a new generation problem.

I personally enjoyed these trips immensely. Not only for meeting and sharing with like minded quilters and experiencing sister guilds, but also to get to know two of our very own guild members a little bit better. The time shared in the car gabbing about our lives and views, and taking the time to eat together is so rewarding.  I have learned that Kat could use some help setting up her Grace Frame and putting together an IKEA unit to get her sewing space in order (I’ll make an all points bulletin for these tasks in the near future) and that Bonny loves to count down the distance before you have to make a turn (600 feet, 500 feet, 50, 10, 5, NOW!). I wouldn’t know these things any other way.

The next road trip is planned for Saturday, February 6th to the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA. Please join us if you can.

I’m hoping to plan more ‘road trips’ in the future. Perhaps a ‘Shop with Me’ to Pennington Quilt Works, or a longer trip to the Amish Country in Lancaster to spend the day fabric shopping will be announced. Is there some place YOU want to go?? Let me know, and we will get a group together! We take turns driving so not any one person bares the expense… however, if too many want to come along I am not opposed to hiring a bus.


Woo! Hoo! Quilters on the go!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Breaking News!!!!

Breaking News!!!

Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild has a NEW email address!!!

Attention all members... please swap this new address with the old one in your contacts:

jsmodernqg@gmail.com

Thank you!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Upcoming Meeting!

Are you all excited to begin another fun filled year with the Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild???

Woo! Hoo! Let's get this party started!

Our next meeting:

THIS Wednesday, January 20, 2016 from 7pm to 9pm in the Jersey Shore Arts Center Building. If you are new to us... it is located at 66 Main St in Ocean Grove, NJ 07756.

As of this posting the Agenda has not been made public as yet, but I'm sure Carolyn has something wonderful in mind for us!

Don't forget to bring along a 'Show and Tell'! That's the most fun of each meeting, and why we take time out of our busy lives to gather... and get our 'quilt fix'!

Road Trip:

There's still room for anyone who would like to join in on the car ride to the Michener Art Museum in  Doylestown, PA to view Blanket Statements... a display of new quilts by Kaffe Fassett, as well as Historical quilts from the collection provided be The Quilt Museum and Gallery in York, UK. The date has been set for Saturday February 6, 2016... no exact time has been decided upon as yet, but rumor has it there's an awesome quilt shop near by. Plan on an all day excursion!

If you prefer to 'go it alone'... then do your best to visit this Thursday, Jan 21st.  Meg Cox, Liza Lucy, and Mark Lipinski will be there doing hand stitching demos from 1pm to 3pm.

Last Meeting:

AND... if you were unable to make it to December's meeting, here's what you missed!

JSMQG December 16 2015
MINUTES:
In attendance:
Debbie L Bonny C Lara G Phyllis G Sherre M Carolyn B June P Brandy B Helen F Rose B Michelle L Kat Q Debbie H Eilen D Joani B
  1. Dues were voted on to be $40 a month, and a number of people turned in checks to Sherre as our new Treasurer Shannon Silver was not in attendance. Make checks out to JSMQG and bring to the January meeting. We had enough in our treasure to pay for our membership in the National Guild at the 16-25 member level
  2. Nominations for offices were voted on and the suggested slate was elected: President Sherre MacClellan
    Vice President Brandy Borden
    Secretary Bonny Collins

    Treasurer Shannon Silver
3. Confirmed offices/appointments:
Charity Eileen DiPietro, Natalie Syracuse, Helen Foster
Program Carolyn Braun (who will work off the surveys we completed of our

interests and skills)
4. Location: We have discussed changing our venue several ties. Tonight we voted to meet as follows:
Monthly business meetings will be held at the Ocean Grove Arts Center, with possible changes of venue in the hottest months of the summer when there is no AC.Cost is $25
Sew-ins will be held monthly at the Reform Church in Colts Neck, which Sherre belongs to. We can probably move there for the hot months. They will guarantee availability of space for the sew-ins. Those attending sew-ins should be prepared to pay $5 for the time—any additional funds will be supplied by JSMQG. Sherre will check into whether we can keep some items there, like an ironing board and iron, table risers
Looking at a map with all our homes marked on it, the locations are both accessible as easily by most of the members.
An advantage of remaining connected to the Arts Center is its focus on the ARTS, the potential for quilt shows to be held there, and the beneficial outreach in connection with the town —such as “quilt-ins” on the boardwalk to help publicize our existence.
JSMQG December 16 2015
5. Our Improv with Intent blocks were sewn into a quilt top at the last meeting, and Sherre took it home to sandwich and long-arm quilt, It looks good, and each person’s contribution melds in well with all the others.Sherre put two extra blocks on the back, and the quilting looks great. Carolyn will make binding form the scraps and bind it. Then it is to be used for charity, so Eileen is on the alert for an appropriate recipient.
6. We declared an intermission while everyone helped themselves to the holiday feats—a combination of fresh fruit, dips and veggies, dips and corn chips, whiskey cake made with rum, cookies, fudge, and banana blueberry cake. And more!
7. Kat surprised us all with earrings she had purchased on eBay. Nice ones!
8. We exchanged pin cushions and Bonny took pictures of each person with the pin cushion she received. Should we create a directory of pictures to identify the members? Several attend- ing were at a loss as to many names and felt this would be helpful. Along with name tags written LARGE.
9. Queen Bee—Carolyn collected several of the striped triangles she asked for at the last meet- ing. Brady is Queen Been for January.
10 Sharing:
Phyllis showed a dramatic red, white, and black quilt for charity about 5’ square
Phyllis showed several mini quilts made form orphans donated to RRQ which will be put in the Small Quilt Raffle for their spring show May 13-14 at Poricy Park. One had tiny pinwheels, and another had sixteen-square blocks about one inch each.
Helen showed a wonky midsize quilt about 5’ square in orange, and shades of blue for charity.
Helen showed us a 2’ x 2’ rug she knit from strips of leftover fabric scraps. Thick and cozy. We need a class in this!
Kat showed a black velvet purse she made with Christmas themes embroidered on the back and the flap, The gold shoulder chain set it off as a formal bag.
Brandy showed a light and dark blue and white seafaring quilt top about 6x6’ with ap- pliqued anchors on white squares.
Carolyn showed a Winnie the Pooh charity quilt about 4x4’ square; a red, pink, and white mini quilt in log cabin pattern; a mini quilt with orange balls in random sizes and patterns on a yellow background; a black and white, silver and gold with swirls and dots about 3 x 3’ for charity; several pillow cases for pillow forms, each with a central Christmas motif, sf s 5 x 5’ coverlet in a large V patterns using pinks, greens and blues. This one would be good for a class!
Sherre showed a black and white with squares and rectangles she donated for charity; a closely quilted mini quilt with vintage sampler patterns; A while background with mini-pinwheels and squares on the front, and the back used clocks of the supplied fabrics in a grid; and a dis- appearing 9-patch with charity fabric in dark blue and wild colors.
11. Phyllis mentioned an online challenge that comes up weekly with Moda fabrics, “Little Shop” whose patterns can be downloaded
12. Eileen mentioned a Riley Blake fabric challenge for a modern quilt which cones available at 10AM Saturdays. The fabric is shipped to the quilt, not the individuals
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JSMQG December 16 2015
13. Sherre closed the meeting with a discussion of us needing some substance at our meet- ings. Business, sharing, and then a learning segment each month. We have many talents and skills among us which if we had a focused session, we could learn from. Many of the sharing projects are teachable!
Our next meeting will be January 20. Queen Bee Brandy?
Do we have a line-up of Queen Bees or is it time to set one up?
We need to come up with a list of programs scheduled for the next several months so the mem- bership can be prepared.

Bonny Collins, Secretary 

FaceBook:

Don't forget to check out our Facebook Group... Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild. Lot's of fun sharing is going on there.