Inland Empire Quilters Quild

EPP Workshop.jpgInland Empire Workshop Group

The classroom behind me was abuzz as I set up my Shine quilt on its frame.  I turned around to see that the room had filled up with women from the Inland Empire Quilters Guild, who had come to take my class on English Paper-Piecing (EPP).  I have many Guild visits coming in the next year, but only one group has chosen EPP.  So I challenged myself to come up with something unusual and interesting that would provide a chance for them to learn a variety of skills.

EPP Picture 2

IQSC Collection: Clyde E. and Joan B. Shorey Collection IQSC Object Number: 2006.056.0012

First I gave them a brief history of EPP, showing them quilt pictures from the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, NE.

EPP Picture 1

International Quilt Study Center, 2006.043.0143, Ardis and Robert James Collection

The International Quilt Museum calls these types of quilts “mosaic” patchwork quilts, and they write: “The earliest examples of mosaic patchwork, from 1700s England, were typically made from lighter-colored silks. Later, during the third quarter of the 1800s, dark-colored silks predominated. Their availability, and the paper-piecing technique, spread widely throughout the United States.”

The three tasks I designed for the Inland Empire Quilters were:

  • baste fabric to hexies and then sew them together
  • learn how to work with paper EPP patterns (batch-cutting, glueing and sewing)
  • work with color and value in creating Spectrum, a circular mini quilt

EPP Workshop_0 hexies

Sue worked diligently on her hexie flower, finishing it up.  Most others shifted off to the mini-mini quilt: a Kansas Sunflower variation, shown at the top of this post.

I was impressed with their designs and the variety of colors they used.

EPP Workshop_5

After lunch, we shifted full gear into working on Spectrum, with collections of Kaffe Fasset fabrics being displayed on tables everywhere.  I was most impressed with the generosity of these women, who shared different colors with each other, helping their fellow quilters get all the hues they needed.

At the end of class, Carol went down to the car and brought up this old EPP quilt, with the papers still in it.  We pulled out a few stitches, removed a few papers and decided it was from the 1930s as the papers were really postcards from a Chicago hotel.  What tales this quilt could tell!

Inland Empire Quilt Guild Meeting_2Monday night, I returned to present a program for them, and at the beginning, those who had made progress on their projects held them up for everyone to see.

I snapped photos of some who came up to show me (including Vicki and Terri).  That’s Cynna’s Spectrum color wheel taking shape, above left, and Paula’s Kansas Sunflower (variation) and small hexie quilt below left.  I was very impressed with everyone’s work.

Susan, the Program Chair, was busy at her table, but she and others had worked hard to show their projects for the meeting.  She has arranged a visit by Edyta Sitar next year and was busy taking sign-ups for that workshop to be held in March.  Program Chairs are critical to a Guild’s success, and this Guild has a wide array of interesting presentations for their members.  They also have engaged chairs for Charity, Outreach, and other, but most of those are discussed at their other meeting (they have two per month).  This month was also the kick-off for their Block of the Month, which looks really fun.

Inland Empire Quilt Guild Meeting_1

One of the best sounds ever is the cheery voice of quilters greeting each other, which you can hear in this video.  I had a wonderful time visiting the Inland Empire Quilters Guild.  Thank you for inviting me!

Pass Patchers Quilt Guild

PP Workshop Group

I’m leading off this post about my visit to the Pass Patchers Quilt Guild, with a look at the friendly faces and bright smiles of the talented quilters who were at the workshop today.  I arrived early, but Pam, the Workshop coordinator had beat me there, bringing in irons, cords, lunch, treats, fruit trays, vegetable trays and drinks to keep us supplied while we worked.  But first, let me back up to yesterday morning:PassPatchers_2

Because their regular place in Beaumont was under some renovation, we met in the neighboring town of Yucaipa, but really it was almost to Calimesa, out in the foothills.  After setting up, the stage looked like the photo above.

PassPatchers_3

I turned the camera outward to show the room where all the Guild Chairmen had set up tables for Workshops, Grab-n-Go, Charity, Membership, among other things.  This is a busy guild, drawing members from the San Gorgonio Pass area, about ninety miles east of Los Angeles.  I was honored to come and speak with them on Wednesday morning.

PassPatchers_4

I usually bring some stitching when I go to my own Guild meetings, so I was happy to see that Harriet brought her knitting–a woman after my own heart.

PassPatchers_5

One interesting feature of the meetings is the Historian, who looks up details from history.  This month was Mr. Lincoln and his wife, and the quilts and blocks inspired by this couple.  The Historian, Vivian, even made up a block called Lincoln’s Hat, shown here in red, cream and navy on top of the quilt.

PassPatchers_6

I took one of the Guild members home after the meeting, and near her house was this colorful fence.  I don’t know how she felt about it, but it was fun seeing these cool colors — a reminder to look for quilt inspiration wherever you are.

PassPatchers_7

The next morning (Thursday) was the Merrion Square Workshop.  Susan cut out 96 different doors and 96 different houses, and we had a great conversation about recognizing about when fabrics have a conversation with each other, or when it’s time to let them clash a bit, to bring up a strong contrast.

PassPatchers_8

Amyre took the pattern and designed her own version, just begining (above). I’m impressed how she is making the Merrion Square pattern her own.

PassPatchers_9

We laid out houses and doors and centers whenever a quilter would get to this stage (this is Sandie’s, but there were others).

PassPatchers_10

I thought this was clever how Lynette tacked up her first sample on the padded chair across from her, like a mini-design wall.  She also took the pattern and made some changes; it’s fun when a design can inspire others to create.

I made the all workshop members promise to send me photos of their finished quilts; I look forward to seeing them come together.  It was a great day and great fun to spend time with these women of Pass Patchers Guild.  Thank you for inviting me!

Happy August 2019 • This and That

When I looked outside in my garden today, the zucchini plant had wilted from the heat, mirroring how I felt inside.  However, unlike my spectacularly unproductive zucchini plant [we’ve only had ONE], I’ve been pretty productive.  Just not on quilts.

I’ve been working on prepping my upcoming Guild Workshops, getting the kits together (in wax paper bags instead of plastic, given my attempt to cut down on plastic where I can), and cute touches like place cards, so I know whose spot is whose once the class gets going.

Spectrum Pattern Revise

The pattern cover with thumbnails showing the pattern pages and revisions. Now it’s a pretty good guide to EPP.

I also revised a couple of patterns, the first one being Spectrum.  Inland Empire Quilters Guild contacted me for a program for their evening meeting, then they got together a group of women for a workshop who wanted to learn English Paper Piecing.  So I changed some things up in the pattern, added more content, and put it back up for sale up on PayHip.

EPP Spectrum Bag

One thing I made for a sample was this tote bag, splitting the main pattern in half and placing it on either side of the bag.  I wanted to show that a person can do more with a pattern than simply make a quilt.  That version of Spectrum is one of the variations in the pattern (bag pattern not included; I used the one in the October 2019 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting by Kristyne Czepuryk).

Kansas Sunflower Minimini

I also made a mini-mini to show them how to do the basics.  I’ll be passing out this pattern for a Kansas Sunflower block in class, show how to “batch-cut” pieces, glue and prep them.  They can then move on to Spectrum, or stay sewing up their mini-mini.  We’ll also do one hexie flower, because what’s a class in EPP without a hexie flower?

Hexie Flowers July 2018

(We’ll only do one; these are from my Field Flowers quilt.)

Merrion Square Pattern Revise

Another class I have coming up is Merrion Square and Far Away Doors, teaching it for the Pass Patchers Quilt Guild nearby.  For ages, I’d hand out the instruction sheet to Far Away Doors when the class was taught, but adding it to the original Merrion Square pattern was one of the revisions I wanted to make, in order to get all the variations in one place.  I took it offline, revised it, and now it’s back up for sale on PayHip, if you want all three versions in one pattern. [Note:  If you’ve purchased Merrion Square and haven’t received Far Away Doors from me in a workshop, please contact me and I’ll get it out to you.  Proof of purchase is required.]

Of course, all this is made easier by the fact that I’m getting the hang of the three pieces of Affinity Serif software that I purchased last fall: Affinity Photo (replacing Adobe’s Photoshop), Affinity Designer (replacing Illustrator) and Affinity Publisher (instead of InDesign).  I’m getting quicker at each one, knowing where the tools are and how to use them.

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

I also made three batches of low-sugar strawberry jam, after I tasted Laurel’s.  Laurel and her husband grow their own strawberries, but the ones from the market in our neighboring town worked well for us.  To go with it, I made a batch of zucchini bread with cranberries and left out half the flour (!).

My saintly husband declared it just fine, and takes chunks of this incredibly dense bread in his lunch every day.  He makes me look good, even on my very bad days (of fighting asthma), wilting in the heat (like the zucchini plants outside), and trying to get all the guild workshop stuff lined up from here to eternity.  I have to remind myself to take it one Guild and a time, and enjoy the process, which I genuinely do.

I finished The Night Tiger (I can recommend highly) and have started Little Fires Everywhere (so far enjoying it, but don’t give a recommendation until I finish).

I decided I was done waiting to start on this Halloween Banner project.  I layered the panel (if your store doesn’t carry it, it’s available here), quilted it, and cut out the flags.  I cut 1-1/4″ strips of stripey fabric from this line (called Costumer’s Ball by J. Wecker Frisch) cutting it across the stripe and bound the edges of the flags, sewing the strips first to one side of the flag, then the other.  After trimming the bottom edge, I folded it up and glued it all down with my trusty friend, a regular old gluestick.  Then I pressed and folded in the binding on the sides, again using my gluestick to keep it in place.  (Be sure to press after gluing in order to distribute the glue).

gluesticks

Hit those back-to-school sales, people!

I top-stitched down the striped binding, and am now waiting for the fabric to arrive to make the top part so I can get the banners all ready for October 1st.

August Gridsters_2019 trees

Lastly, I finished up August’s bee blocks for the Gridster Bee, using an original pattern designed by my talented beemate Kelley.  She’s getting ready for Christmas early!

I think my holidays are all mixed up, because I’m working on Christmas blocks, Halloween Banners, and my Fourth of July quilt just came back from the longarmer, needing binding.  I hope you are able to keep your days and events and sewing projects straight.  Happy Quilting!

Valley of the Mist Quilters Guild

ValleyMist_Workshoppers

I’m leading off with my workshop participants, all brilliant conversationalists and quilters.

ValleyMist_WorkshopIG

This past week, I gave a lecture and taught my Merrion Square Workshop to the Valley of the Mist Quilters Guild, a top-notch guild that taught me plenty about how a successful guild functions.

At my workshop, Lupe, an excellent chef and the Workshop Coordinator, brought me a home-made lunch.  We gathered around a table for a break, and I enjoyed hearing stories about how people came to Temecula, California, for there are very few natives here.

Frequent Quilters Card

Here’s an idea for Guilds: a Frequent Quilter Card.  Every time a Guild Member takes a class, the Workshop Coordinator initials their card; when they have taken five classes, they get the sixth one free.  One line I heard over and over at Meet the Teachers was that guilds couldn’t fill their workshop classes.  This would be a great motivator to get people to a workshop, another good idea from this Guld.

 

As with any Guild, finding space to meet for programs and workshops is a challenge, and we met today in a clubhouse, with beautiful roses outside.

ValleyMistActivities_11

Several days before, on Tuesday, I drove to the Temecula Recreation Center, where the Guild has their monthly meetings.  Above is the Guild President, calling the meeting to order.  After a few announcements, it was my turn. ValleyMistActivities_12

I had the two tables at the back of the stage lined up with my quilts, which– after they were showed–were then draped over the structure at the front of the stage (hard to explain, but no, my quilts weren’t on the floor).

ValleyMistActivities_13

The Guild Members could come up front to see the quilts for a closer look; very satisfying that they enjoyed my work.  The quilter in the front, Annette, has followed my blog for several years, and came up and introduced herself to me at Road to California a couple of years ago.  (I wrote about that lovely experience up in my journal.) After the break was finished, members scattered to do business at the following tables:

ValleyMistActivities_10

Workshops.  All the tables have signs, and this one is patch-worky!  Lupe is there (you recognize her from the top of the post), with my quilts, signing up people for my Saturday Workshop.

ValleyMistActivities_9

Sweets and Treats table.

ValleyMistActivities_7

Ida is in charge of the Charity Quilts.  Behind her a bags of completed quilts, and in front of her are quilt kits, so people can grab and go and make and return, along with kits for pillowcases (in the bin).  She is very organized!

ValleyMistActivities_8

These tables are where members lay their Show and Tell.  I noticed that they didn’t include small quilted items such as bags, purses or hot pad holders, which I’ve seen in other guilds.  I enjoyed their Show and Tell Show immensely, loving this plaid quilt.  She said she had a bin of plaid from a few years back (um, I have one of those too) and decided to do something with it.  The people who brought these items would scoop them up and line up on one side of the stage.  When it was their turn to speak, the two ladies on the stage would take the quilt and hand the quilter a microphone, so she could talk about her quilt without having to show it.  A nice piece of choreography.ValleyMistActivities_6

Gloria ran the quilt raffle.  I was tempted by those cookbooks and their newly designed Guild pin.

ValleyMistActivities_5

Adriene and Shelly (they are sisters) run the block of the month and this year they are doing Improv Blocks.  They call themselves the Blockheads, but trust me, they are witty and fun to talk to (they were also at the Workshop).

ValleyMistActivities_4

Janice’s Charming Strip Exchange was popular.  This month was Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

ValleyMistActivities_3

What to do with leftovers?  Make Pet Beds.

ValleyMistActivities_2

Check out that mini quilt.  Every month they have a Monthly Mini raffle, and I’m sure this month’s quilt — that of the sewing machine — must have been hugely popular!

ValleyMistActivities_1

Here’s another table that has monthly baskets of sewing supplies, fabrics, magazines–all donated–which the organizers make into cute baskets.  When you buy your tickets, you can grab a candy, plus they give you a small gift:

ValleyMistActivities_1b

ValleyMistActivities_1a

While I picked a ticket for one of their door prizes that night (did I mention they had three?), the highly efficient chairmen do the drawings themselves, and present the name to the President for the announcement.

As might have noticed, this post is pretty detailed.  Many of my readers are on the Boards of their local Guilds, and I though I would present these good ideas for them, as well as for those who simply go to Guild meetings.  I love our community, and celebrate the work of Guilds, impressed as always.  Thanks to the Valley of the Mist Quilters Guild for inviting me!

Utah Valley Quilt Guild • National Teacher

Utah VlyQG_13

This is the Utah Valley, where the Utah Valley Quilt Guild lives, meets and has way too much fun (check their website to see what I’m talking about).  In April, I was invited as their National Teacher, an annual honor, to present and to give a workshop.  As I was born and raised in this valley, it stands to reason that I would know some people here…

Utah VlyQG_9

…like Lisa, my “minder” and a sweet friend who recently moved here from SoCal.  I was actually invited by Brenda S., who is serving an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and have looked forward to coming to speak to this guild for over a year.  Thank you, Brenda!

Utah VlyQG_1

First up: teach a Workshop for their Guild.  They actually wanted two combined into one, and I loved seeing all the different houses-on-a-square that resulted from this class:

Scenes from class that day.

Utah VlyQG_5

I knew that Leslie (L) was a total geneology expert, so we figured out (via an app that we are both registered on) that not only was she my 9th cousin, I was also ninth cousin with another quilter (R), too!

Lisa took me to The Quilter’s Lodge, where I indulged, and where we saw Simone’s fabric.  Truth: I went back two days later.  Actually, you should all go!

Utah VlyQG_7

Next up: the Trunk Show, where I was to give my Abecedary of Quilts lecture.

Utah VlyQG_8

Because they have their lecture after their workshop, all those class ladies when home and sewed their brains out, and came up with the beginnings of their Home, Sweet, Home and Merrion Square mini quilts. Impressive!

Utah VlyQG_8a

Lisa, as Quilt Minder, had too much on her mind and left hers at home–she later sent me a photo of how cute her quilt had turned out.  I love this version!

Utah VlyQG_10

The guild was really responsive, and we laughed together–I was so appreciative of their keen interest.  I was also impressed with all the good projects this guild is doing, so much that I joined the guild before I left!

Utah VlyQG_12Utah VlyQG_12a

While I was at the Workshop, my husband went to an art museum in Salt Lake City, that because he is also a well-trained quilter’s husband, zeroed in on these two pieces that were there.  It’s nice to know that others see our art in cloth and thread, and want to include it in their exhibits.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this quild; they are incredibly friendly and welcoming.  Thank you, Utah Valley!

Meet the Teacher • Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds

MTTeacherBooths_37

I participated in a new experience this month, when I signed up for a booth at the Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds‘ Meet the Teacher meeting. I had been encouraged to do this by a fellow quilter, and she was really helpful in sending me tips of what to do.  In my more fretful moments, I searched the internet for more information, so I write this post to document my experience, to show what kinds of booths were there, to help others who may choose to do this.  This post is picture heavy, but full of wonderful quilts.

MTT Hall

It was held in Carson, California at the community center.  The area we had of this center was one large room, with “wings” of rooms, open to the main room.  You could hear all that was going on, and it was a busy, fun feeling.  We entered the area at the top of this paper, checked in (we received a cookie!) and went to our booth areas, which consisted of two chairs, a cloth-draped 8-foot table that was about 24″ wide.  I was on the left side of the above diagram, next to a really lovely woman who did embroidery.  The people on the other side didn’t show, so we used that table for eating lunch, as did others.

Meet the Teacher Booths_0

My booth at Meet the Teachers• April 2019

What to bring?  Here’s a listing of what I would suggest (you can get more ideas from the pictures that follow this list:

• 1 or 2 quilt stands.  We strung a pole (one of my HangIt Dangits) between the two so I could show three quilts.
• A sign for your booth.  They did provide a sign, but mine had migrated and was two tables over (I found it later).
• Quilts that you want for background atmosphere and backdrop. You can see I draped the table in my basket quilt.
• A book showing classes you’ll teach.  Keep it simple.  The Guild Board Members always seemed to be in rush, so they don’t spend a long time at your booth.
• Quilts that are samples of classes you will teach.  These were invaluable, as people want to see the class samples.  Many took photos of the quilts to show to their Guild.
• Bowl of wrapped chocolates. I went to the store and bought two bags of foil-wrapped chocolates (Dove Mixture and a Reese’s peanut butter candy).  These were a hit.
• Fliers showing a brief bio, a photo, one of your quilts (if possible) and contact information. I did 100 half-sheet fliers which yielded 200.  I put some out on the Flier Table in the front hallway, and offered up chocolate and a flier to everyone that came by. Because I had too many fliers, I wasn’t worried about running out.
• Decorative items for your table.  I brought my Tiny Quilts, showing what was available on my blog for free.  (I am not a pro on this one, but you’ll see other booths who had more.)
• Lunch will be a rush.  While I did buy the offered lunch, I only ate about 1/2 of it.  For us, it might have been better to have brought small grazing items, for when we were hungry, I think.  We brought a small cooler that we tucked under the table, filled with three bottles of water (could have used four), a soft drink and some snacks and grapes. They had iced tea and water with lemons in it in the main welcoming area, it that interests you.
• I also brought a cushion to sit on, not knowing what kind of chairs they had.  They were fine, but it was helpful to be a bit higher in my chair when I was doing business.
• Pen(s).
• Put an app on your phone so you can take a photo that will scan the contracts you sign.  They carry away the copy, and you’ll probably want to know what you signed.
• Printed out calendars, with the dates you aren’t available blocked out.  Most of these Guilds are working two years out, so bring three years’ worth of calendars.
• A helper.  I brought my husband, and he was invaluable.  They do have booth sitters that come around and can give you a break.

Here’s my Instagram post, with videos, showing bits of this day.  We arrived about 8:15, and set up; we were ready to go in 30 minutes.  At 2 p.m. it was all over with, and we packed up and left.

You’ll also be asked to give a 3 minute talk, and they are serious about 3 minutes.  I wrote mine out, using one of my blog posts as the basis, and showed only two samples of things I could teach.  Others brought oodles of samples to show and talked mainly about their classes.  They have two helpers onstage to hold up your items while you talk.  I’d suggest timing your talk so you know how long it will take, but they do have a woman at the front with signs, telling you when to get off the stage (they run a tight ship). I’m guessing the Guild board members basically want to see what kind of person you are, and if you are coherent.  It can be a mind-rattling experience, so be prepared.  Because I was, I thought it was fun.  The talks go on throughout the day, with breaks in between every so often so the guild members can get to the booths.

Here come the photos.  They are meant to be helpful, if you are planning to do this, so draw from them what might work.  For the rest of my readers, have fun looking at the quilts!

Meet the Teacher Booths_1

She obviously was a pro–with lights! They do ask you if you need electricity in your registration form.

Meet the Teacher Booths_2

In case your booth shows the backside, I thought this banner was clever in showing her quilt and her name.

Meet the Teacher Booths_3Meet the Teacher Booths_4Meet the Teacher Booths_5Meet the Teacher Booths_6Meet the Teacher Booths_7Meet the Teacher Booths_8Meet the Teacher Booths_9

Meet the Teacher Booths_10

I want to take a class to make that bag!

MTTeacherBooths_11MTTeacherBooths_12

MTTeacherBooths_13

Looks like she brought a skinny table to put behind her.

MTTeacherBooths_14MTTeacherBooths_15

MTTeacherBooths_16

She wore bunny ears. I saw another woman with a tiara.

MTTeacherBooths_17

Many brought things to sell, as you can see by her box of patterns.

MTTeacherBooths_18MTTeacherBooths_19

MTTeacherBooths_20

Becky is the one who told me I should do this, and is my hero. You can see how fun her booth is with her banners (I want to make one!). I met her while taking her cushion class (in front, right).

MTTeacherBooths_21MTTeacherBooths_22MTTeacherBooths_23

MTTeacherBooths_24

One of the guilds was selling rolls of donated fabric, so you are actually looking through a couple of booths to the row behind.

MTTeacherBooths_25

MTTeacherBooths_26

Courtyard outside. Beautiful location!

MTTeacherBooths_27

MTTeacherBooths_29

This is Sheila Collins’ Fabric Art booth, and she came down from Sunnyvale (Northern California). I loved her work!

MTTeacherBooths_30MTTeacherBooths_31

MTTeacherBooths_33

I thought this might be a good excuse to get one of those cute little red wagons, but we brought everything in one giant suitcase instead.

MTTeacherBooths_34MTTeacherBooths_35

MTTeacherBooths_36

Posting with our local Modern Quilt Guild gals, who’ve chosen this quilt for a half-day guild workshop, along with my lecture.

MTTeacherBooths_39

Out for Dinner

Two vermicelli bowls at our local Vietnamese place.

We drove home through intermittent LA traffic (part of life, here), arriving home tired, but happy.  I put this photo here to let you know you won’t be cooking–go out and enjoy a meal after all your hard work!