Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Our August Meeting Will Be a Potluck AND We'll Be Hosting a Scrap-a-palooza!


Join us on Sunday, August, 20, from 2-5pm for our annual summer potluck. If you plan to attend, please bring a sweet or savory dish to share, and a serving utensil, if needed. Feel free to include a label saying what you've made or brought - and please clearly label any nut dishes as some of our members have serious allergies. 

If you'd like to help with set-up or clean-up, please let us know by emailing the board. In addition, don't forget to bring your finished projects for show 'n tell and, if you wish, a hand sewing project to work on while we socialize.


Our potluck will likely be slightly less fancy, but just as wonderful.

Our August potluck gives us all a chance to mix and mingle with friends old and new. And who doesn't love a party...especially when we all have at least one thing in common to talk about: FABRIC! For extra added excitement, this time we're adding a new activity: a scrap swap, organized by member Debbie Pine. It gives us all a chance to take a mini glimpse into someone else’s stash, and this time we're tying it together with a charity quilt-building activity. We'll have paper foundation pieces pre-cut to 12.5", and strips of white/off-white fabric to use as a center strip so that you can create at least one (or more if you’d like) string blocks. The white will give it cohesiveness, and the pre-cut foundation squares will make it easy to sew together when we're ready.

Guidelines for the scrap swap and string blocks:

  1. Everyone is welcome to participate, but there is NO obligation to do so. This is for fun, and for future charity quilts.
  2. Please don’t bring your entire scrap stash (unless it's small)! Be reasonable, and be prepared to take a few pieces home with you. Whatever is left on the table will be bagged and sent home with Laura McDowell Hopper to be used in her dog-bed project.
  3. You may take scraps even if you choose not to make a charity block... especially if you bring scraps to swap.
  4. If you do take a block base and fabric to make a block, please follow through. We need enough participation to generate at least 24 blocks to make a small lap quilt. Someone will be collecting the blocks at future meetings. 
  5. When you are ready to sew your block, you can choose to do a completely scrappy design, or to make a monochromatic block. There will be samples at the meeting to view.
We have no specific timeline on piecing the charity quilts, but Debbie will host a sew-day at her house on a date to be announced in the future. Questions? Email the board or reach out to Debbie. We look forward to celebrating summer, fabric, and charity efforts together!

All meetings are 2-5 pm on the third Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted.

Meeting location:

Rush Oak Park Hospital 
Centennial Room 
520 S. Maple Ave Oak Park, IL 60304 

A list of our meetings can be found here.

Not a member, but would like to be? Click the button below to join our Guild!

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

July's Meeting Recap and Announcements

Our July meeting was all about “EPP: Techniques and Alternate Shapes." Members Lynn Bailey, Holly Harper, and Sarah Shulman took us all beyond the hexagon to introduce us to different shapes and techniques used in english paper piecing (EPP). We split into three groups and rotated between stations learning fussy cutting, glue basting, and sewing the pieces together.

Lynn Bailey

Lynn Bailey is a fussy cutter extraordinaire and she showed us how to fussy cut fabrics for EPP to obtain various effects. Lynn starts by creating a template using transparent template plastic, tracing the shape and then adding a ¼” to each side (this is the seam allowance). She then cuts out the center, creating a window. She positions the template over the fabric to get a visual of what she is fussy cutting. 

Once she is satisfied, she traces along the edges of the template and cuts with a rotary cutter. To create a kaleidoscope effect, you will need multiple identical cuts (how many depends on your pattern). To do this, she tries to remember where the corners of the template match to the fabric. Because fabric repeats, she is able to locate the next cut  This approach does create some waste, but the results are so worth it! Lynn also discussed fabrics and how they impact your design.


Holly Harper

Holly Harper showed us how to glue baste our paper pieces. She starts by cutting her fabric ¼” larger on each sides (this is the seam allowance). She puts a thin line of glue down one side of the star piece away from the edge of the paper, folds the fabric over, and finger presses. She continues until all sides are done. 

Holly recommends you glue baste in the same direction on each of your pieces as it will make sewing them together easier. Once the pieces are sewn together, she said the paper pieces can easily be removed and even reused. Holly recommends using Sewline Fabric Glue Pen, the Fons and Porter Fabric Glue Marker, or the Elmer’s Glue Stick. The Elmer’s Glue Stick is much more cost effective than the other products, but she does find them to get a little goobie (yep, that’s a technical term). To help eliminate this problem, member Carole Wool recommends putting the Elmer’s Glue Stick in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.

Sarah Shulman

Sarah Shulman showed us how to sew the pieces together. She started with a discussion on needle and thread. She recommends a nice thin needle such as a straw or milliners needle. For thread, Sarah recommends 50 weight Aurifil thread in a color that blends nicely with the background of your fabric or a nice neutral. Use a thread conditioner, if you like. If you have any issues threading your needle, a desktop needle threader comes in handy.  

For stitching your pieces together, Sarah discussed the whip stitch, ladder stitch, and flat back stitch. She gave a demo of the flat back stitch because she likes that the stitch is not visible from the front. If you would like a refresher on how to do this stitch, the DIY Addict has an excellent video tutorial.



We would also like to give a BIG THANK YOU to the folks at Paper Pieces for providing us with paper templates to give our members a chance to give EPP a try. They also gave each member who attended a special packet of templates to make an eight point star. We are so thankful!

We ended our meeting with a little show-and-tell, and as usual, we're blown away by our members' skill and creativity.

Announcements: 

We have a newsletter: The Full Bobbin.  The first issue was sent via email to all members on Thursday, July 13. If you don’t see it in your inbox, please check your Promotions or Spam folders.  If you have any questions, contact our social media and communications chair Jenni Grover. We don’t want you to miss this monthly publication.

One of the purposes of our newsletter is to promote the AWESOME stuff our members are doing. If you have a quilt in a show or a magazine, or a teaching gig, or are hosting an event... we want to know about it. Please submit your items to Jenni Grover to make sure they are included. 

The MQG has announced the Charity Challenge for QuiltCon 2018. The topic is “Exploring Modern Traditionalism.” The colors chosen are a warm palette of gold, hot pink, magenta, and purple. Vice president Heather Kinion is seeking a couple of volunteers to design and lead this effort. If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Heather

We will be hosting a field trip to see the exhibit “Quilts and Human Rights” at the Pick Museum of Anthropology at NIU on Saturday, September 23. The day will begin with brunch and then a guided tour of the exhibit. Afterwards, we will be treated to a special behind-the-scenes tour of the museum. We will be sharing this day with members from the Bloomington-Normal MQG. Here are all the details and a link to the sign-up form; you must register by September 1 to attend.

Our August 20 meeting will be a summer potluck and social...with a fun scrap-a-palooza for charity. More info to come.

Member Mary Fons will be our special guest at the September 17 meeting. She'll present her lecture, “Standing On the Shoulders of Giants: A Brief History of the American Quilt.” She gave this lecture at QuiltCon 2017 and it was AMAZING! More info to come, including a change in location and time.

Our next retreat is October 20-22 with an optional day on Monday, October 23. Registration will begin in August, with a lottery occurring at the September 17 meeting. Here's how our lottery process works.

Our October 15 meeting will be all about bags.

Our November 19 meeting will be focused on UFOs.

Our December 10 meeting will be our holiday potluck and social. There will also be a handmade gift swap exchange. More info to come.

Our special events chairperson Laura McDowell Hopper is looking for locations to hold guild workshops, sew-ins, and lectures  For workshops, she is looking for space to accommodate 24 people with ample electrical outlets for their sewing machines and to set up several ironing stations throughout the room. Must also be reasonably priced. If you know of any places in your area, please contact Laura.

Charity Update:

Member Iris Johnson is leading the guild’s Charity endeavors and she is seeking a co-chairperson. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Iris.

Member Sarah Shulman is leading an effort to make quilts for local Veterans through the Road Home Program. To date, we have received enough 12-inch star blocks to make three quilts! Over the next month, Sarah and guild secretary Dianne Bienick will be working on some designs. The next step will be to sew the quilts together. We are planning on hosting a sew-in to get this accomplished; if you want to help but are unable to attend, you can still assist by quilting or binding these quilts. There are plenty of ways to get involved.

To quickly find information regarding our current charity endeavors click “Charity Projects” button in the right sidebar.


All meetings are 2-5 pm on the third Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted.

This month's meeting is on Sunday, August 20,

Meeting location:

Rush Oak Park Hospital 
Centennial Room 
520 S. Maple Ave Oak Park, IL 60304 

A list of our meetings can be found here.

Not a member, but would like to be? Click the button below to join our Guild!

We hope to see you there!

CMQG/BNMQG Meet-Up: "Quilts and Human Rights" Exhibit at Pick Museum of Anthropology

If you like meeting new quilters and learning about quilts from around the world, then the Chicago MQG/Bloomington Normal MQG meet-up is for you! 

The Pick Museum's 2016 exhibit "Storytelling: Hmong American Voices"

On Saturday, September 23, from 9:30am to 1:30pm, our guild will meet in DeKalb, halfway between Chicago and Bloomington Normal, to have brunch and view the Pick Museum of Anthropology’s upcoming exhibit “Quilts and Human Rights.”

“Quilts and Human Rights” features 45 quilts from around the world that honor champions of human rights and document human rights abuses, and also examines how quilts can be used as a means to raise awareness of social issues. The exhibit showcases the work of underrepresented quiltmakers as well as some you may know including Chawne Kimber, Denyse Schmidt, Jacquie Gering, Eric Suszynski, Carole Harris, and the Social Justice Sewing Academy. Also included in the exhibit is the Chicago MQG’s own Jennifer Benoit-Bryan!

The textiles collection at the Pick Museum of Anthropology


The day will begin with plenty of social time and brunch at a local restaurant and continue with a tour of “Quilts and Human Rights” as well as a special behind the scenes tour of the Pick Museum’s collection of over 1,200 textiles from around the world. You won’t want to miss this!




All meetings are 2-5 pm on the third Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted.

This month's meeting is on Sunday, August 20 from 2-5pm

Meeting location:

Rush Oak Park Hospital 
Centennial Room 
520 S. Maple Ave Oak Park, IL 60304 

A list of our meetings can be found here.

Not a member, but would like to be? Click the button below to join our Guild!

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

June Weekend with Jacquie Gering

In June, we were very fortunate to host the very talented and amazing Jacquie Gering for a workshop and lecture/trunk show. 



For Jacquie, it was a little like coming home; she once lived in Chicago and is a former member of our guild. 

The weekend started with an all-day workshop on Saturday, June 24. The class she taught was “Creative Quilting with the Walking Foot.” Jacquie first discussed the importance of constructing a proper “quilt sandwich” and how doing so can reduce puckers in your quilt. She then had us do some exercises to get acquainted with our various walking feet, as they vary by manufacturer. 




Then, we were ready for some quilting! Jacquie is such an amazing instructor; she took us all beyond straight line quilting and had us all doing curves and spirals all with our walking foot. She discussed how you can use the decorative stitches on your machine for quilting, and she even had design ideas for those who had straight stitch-only sewing machines.  

To learn more about Jacquie’s approach take a look at her new book WALK: Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot.


On Sunday, June 25, Jacquie returned to the guild for a lecture: “Modern Quilting: You'll Know It When You See It." In this lecture, she discussed what modern quilting means to her. She showed us her quilts...she had a lot of them to share! With each quilt, she told us the story behind it. It was great seeing her work in person after admiring her work online. 



All meetings are 2-5 pm on the third Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted.

This month's meeting is on Sunday, July 16 at 2pm

Meeting location:

Rush Oak Park Hospital 
Centennial Room 
520 S. Maple Ave Oak Park, Il 60304 

A list of our meetings can be found here.

Not a member, but would like to be? Click the button below to join our Guild!

We hope to see you there!


Monday, July 10, 2017

July Meeting: English Paper Piecing (EPP) - Techniques and Alternate Shapes

Are you looking for a handwork project to carry along on your summer travels? Or thinking ahead to winter hibernation with some handwork and binge? Whether you’re new to EPP or have experience, this meeting will help you expand your handwork repertoire.

Join us July 16, when we cover EPP beginner basics through intermediate and advanced techniques. First, you’ll learn through demonstrations about basting, joining pieces, and fussy cutting. Then you’ll take those skills and apply them in a hands-on session using alternate shapes. EPP isn’t just about hexagons! We’ll also show how to use your practice pieces on small projects.


Please bring a small hand sewing kit with a few basics:

Small scissors
Thread (we’ll also have several threads that we like best for EPP for you to try)
Needles (we’ll also have a sample of needles for you to try out)

Optional items (bring if you have them, no need to purchase just for this meeting):

Small rotary cutter: 28mm or 18mm
Wonder Clips
Sewline or Fons and Porter glue pen
Fabric scraps, minimum size 3” x 4”, larger pieces for fussy cutting

Stick around until the end for some fun giveaways! And there will be some awesome Show-and-Tell as always!

A note about the Road Home charity quilt project:

July will be the last month to bring in blocks for the Road Home charity quilt. Sarah S and Dianne B will be coordinating the quilt assembly and will have information on how you can help at the meeting.



All meetings are 2-5 pm on the third Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted.

This month's meeting is on Sunday, July 16 at 2pm

Meeting location:

Rush Oak Park Hospital 
Centennial Room 
520 S. Maple Ave Oak Park, Il 60304 

A list of our meetings can be found here.

Not a member, but would like to be? Click the button below to join our Guild!

We hope to see you there!