Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May 5 Workshop Supply List

Improvisational Piecing Workshop Supply List

Fabric: Strips at least 2”-5” wide work best, with some additional small pieces. Bring as many as you can; it's better to have variety! Use the following list as a guideline to help in your fabric selection:
  • Patterned, solids, or a mix of the two.
  • Color – be daring, think outside of the box (or at least outside the box you are usually in!)
  • Pick a colorful busy patterned fabric you like, place on a table, and then throw scraps at it, continue to add/delete fabric to create a color way
  • Variety – bring your scrap bins or fabric bundles you have lying around, think ROYGBIV (Red/Orange/Yellow/Green/Blue/Indigo/Violet)
  • Bring extras if you can - it will be fun to share with other people! And the piece that you might think is awful could be the perfect thing for your neighbor's block :)
  • If you're in doubt about whether to bring a certain fabric, yes - bring it :)

Sewing Items:
  • Rotary cutter & Ruler 12”-16”
  • Small cutting mat or plan to share large one with table mates (so you can cut at your machine)
  • Thread & scissors/thread snips
  • Sewing machine
  • Extension Cord
  • Iron & Ironing board/mat (see volunteer note below)

We need volunteers to bring the following items to share.  Please send an email if you can bring one or both.
  • Irons
  • Ironing boards/pads

It's going to be great fun to throw out all the "rules" and try something new!  We're looking forward to seeing YOU there.

Sunday, May 5, 2013 from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Home State Bank Commercial Banking Center
(see map on right sidebar)

We still have open spots for this workshop, but registration and membership are required. See this post for registration details.  Membership forms and details will be posted later this week.

Monday, April 29, 2013

What is Improvisational Piecing?

We've received a couple of requests for more information on improvisational piecing.  The following was written by Paige, who will be leading our workshop on May 5.  Included are several links to posts containing photos and further descriptions of the improv piecing process.  We hope this helps...

Improvisational piecing basically has no rules - it is widely interpreted in different ways by each modern quilter. Basically, you start without a pattern, maybe have a focus fabric to start with or a color way you've been dying to try.  Some people sketch out a block or have a loose plan in mind before starting, and you don't worry too much about angles or measurements. 

For our workshop, since many of you are new to modern quilt piecing techniques, we’ll start with a basic log cabin block concept. Most of us are familiar with how the block comes together so I think it is the best block to start with for your first exposure.

Here are some links to examples to help you start planning your blocks and prepare you to let go of the traditional rules and have fun with modern piecing.
Click HERE for a post by Faith over at Fresh Lemons Quilts where she describes an improvisational piecing class she did with Malka Dubrawsky of A Stitch in Dye. This is a great example of the log cabin block we will be creating.

If you want more of a challenge, check out blogger OhFransson who created the first of four total blocks in this example.  Click here for block 2, here for block 3, and here for block 4 to see her process for the remaining blocks.  As you scroll through the post for block 4 you can see all four of the completed blocks together at the end.  She made a very large quilt with many blocks in this style that you can see here.

 For further examples of improvisational quilting, see the Modern Quilt Guild's 100 days of Modern QuiltingWithin this section you can find the MQG week of Improvisational Piecing.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Register for May 5 Workshop

Our next meeting and "Introduction to Improvisational Piecing"
workshop is scheduled for:

Sunday, May 5 from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Home State Bank Commercial Banking Center
(see map on right sidebar)

At 11:00am there will be a short meeting to update everyone on guild business and news.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting portion even if you can't stay for the workshop.

Membership in the CLMQG is required for this workshop if you have attended one of our meetings in the past.  First time attendees to the CLMQG may participate in the workshop for a $5 fee.

You may register for the workshop at this time, and then bring your completed membership form and payment ($30 cash or check) to the May 5 meeting.  Our membership form and details will be posted here soon! 

Please follow these instructions to reserve your workshop spot:
  • Send an email to crystallakemqg (at) gmail (dot) com with the words "Register May 5 Workshop" in the subject line
  • Registration deadline is Friday, May 3
  • We will send a response email confirming your registration.
  • This is a sewing machine workshop, so please plan to bring a machine.  Further supply list details will be posted here soon.
  • This is not an open sew-in, but a structured workshop.
We sincerely hope we've got enough seats for everyone that wishes to attend, but if there are more sign-up requests than seats available we will start a waiting list.

If you reserve a spot and later find you need to cancel, please let us know ASAP so we can give the spot to someone on the waiting list.

We're looking forward to seeing you May 5!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 14, 2013 meeting recap

We had 42 people in attendance at our meeting on Sunday, April 14, 2013.

I.  Other Modern Quilt Guilds in the area (Naperville, Chicago, North East Illinois) are interested in scheduling a "meet-up" during the International Quilt Festival at Rosemont June 21-23, 2013.  The meet-up would take place in the evening after the show closes one day at a local restaurant or bar near the convention center.  More details will be coming, but volunteers will be needed to make this happen.

II.  Crystal Lake MQG memberships will begin in May, 2013.  Details include:
  • annual fee of $30
  • membership is effective May, 2013 - April, 2014
  • members may attend all meetings free of charge (additional nominal fees may apply for special workshops/classes/speakers)
  • first time attendees may come to one meeting for free (unless a special workshop or speaker is scheduled, then a fee may apply), any subsequent meetings will require membership
  • membership is open to anyone 18 years old and up
  • Paige and Shelley are working on CLMQG documentation of By-Laws and Rules and Regulations
III.  Survey Results Review - each attendee was asked to state the top 2 things they were most hoping to get from this guild.  The answers coincided very well with the tabulated results from our online survey.  Highlights from the survey results include:
  • The overwhelming majority of respondents indicated they are interested in learning new techniques through workshops and sew-ins, gaining inspiration and motivation from other members and guest speakers, spending time with old and new friends with similar interests, and learning about "what is modern quilting" from our new guild.
  • The top 5 project ideas/areas of focus indicated were: technique/skill building workshops (90%), guest speakers/instructors (80%), monthly sew-ins (70%), community outreach/charity projects (55%), and quilt/block challenges (52%).
  • Free-motion quilting, paper piecing, applique, and designing your own modern quilt were the top 4 responses to "what techniques/skills or you interested in exploring?"
  • 84% of the respondents use Facebook, so we will continue to provide all communication via this website and Facebook.
Paige and Shelley indicated that they have their hands full with scheduling speakers and workshops, maintaining guild communications, and organizing meetings.  We will need at least one and preferably two volunteers to serve as board members once we begin collecting membership dues.  Ideally we would have a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.  We can probably combine the vice-president and secretary duties for a while longer, but we definitely need a treasurer.

Several attendees verbally indicated an interest in swaps and challenges, and these are opportunities that we would love to provide, but we need additional volunteers to make them happen.  We want to make this guild everything you are hoping for, but we can't do it alone.  Please contact me or Paige via Facebook, by leaving a comment here (be sure to include your name), or by emailing us to volunteer :)   Thank you!

IV.  Fundraising Quilt Basket Chinese Auction - Two baskets were presented containing quilting goodies donated by the following local shops:
  • Material Girl
  • Quilt in Joy
  • Pieceful Gatherings
  • Stitching on State
  • Acorn Quilts
  • A Touch of Amish
  • Prairie Shop Quilts
  • Sew Generously
  • SewMod Designs (online)
The purpose of this auction is to raise funds for the guild to pay for workshops and speakers - some of which have already been contracted and scheduled.  You may purchase chances again at the May and June meetings - $5 for 5 chances.  You may purchase as many increments of 5 chances as you wish.  After filling in your name and phone number on the back of each chance, you place each chance ticket into the appropriate bucket for the basket you'd like to win.  You may place any combination of chance tickets into either or both buckets.  The winner for each basket will be drawn on Sunday, June 9 at the CLMQG meeting, and you need not be present to win.

At this April meeting we sold $110 in tickets which will be used to open a CLMQG bank account.

V.  Fat quarter swap - this month's theme was "dots and spots".  The theme for our May meeting is "tropical colors".  If you'd like to participate in May, please bring a quilt-shop quality fat quarter that features tropical colors.

VI.  Preview of future meetings:
  • May 5 meeting (11:00-4:00) will be a workshop on improvisational piecing techniques led by Paige.  Registration is required.  Please check back here and on the Facebook page for registration details.
  • July 14 meeting (1:00-4:00) will feature a lecture and trunk show by Faith Jones from Fresh Lemons Quilts.
  • October meeting (date and time TBD) will feature a workshop on free-motion quilting led by Paige.
  • November meeting (probably the 10th - date will be confirmed in August) will feature a lecture and trunk show by Jacquie Gering from Tallgrass Prairie Studio.
VII.  Guest Speakers - Tom and Tammy Rice, fabric reps from Windham and Robert Kaufman fabrics wowed us with news of how the quilting fabric industry is responding to the Modern Quilt movement by introducing more solids and graphic prints in their lines.  We were treated to first time views of new lines that are forthcoming from both companies, as well as many, many free fabric samples!  A special "thank you" to Tom and Tammy for being our first guest speakers at the CLMQG, and for providing us with such an entertaining and insightful presentation.  Photos will be posted here and on the Facebook page very soon.

VIII.  Several people brought lovely and inspirational items for show and tell.  Photos will be posted here and on the Facebook page very soon :)

IX.  Vending was provided by SewMod Designs, who brought a beautiful selection of fabrics and patterns for purchase.  Thank you, SewMod!

The next meeting will be Sunday, May 5, 2013 from 11:00am - 4:00pm.  A short regular business meeting will be followed by the workshop "Introduction to Improvisational Piecing" presented by Paige Prescott.  Registration is required.  Membership is also required for all previous meeting attendees.  First time attendees may register and participate in the workshop for a fee of $5.  Registration details will be posted here and on the Facebook page soon.

Thank you to all who attended the meeting.  Paige and I are just thrilled at the positive, encouraging response and comments we've received regarding this new guild.  We hope to see you again in May!

Recorded and filed by Shelley Nielsen.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 14, 2013 meeting photos

Lots of photos from our first guest speaker meeting featuring Tom and Tammy Rice, fabric sales reps from Windham Fabrics and Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Check the Facebook page for captions.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April 14 Guest Speakers Announced!

Sunday, April 14
1:00 - 4:00pm

Tammy and Tom Rice
from Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Highlights of their presentation include:
  • Discussion of the Modern Quilting Movement and how fabric companies are evolving to accommodate these exciting changes.
  • A sneak peek at the newest Robert Kaufman line coming out.
  • Stories about the life of a fabric rep on the road.
  • Amazing quilts to show (if the shipping services are running on time!)
  • And...fabric sample giveaways for all who attend!
We'll also begin our "Chinese Auction" of the Quilting Goodies Baskets!  Many of our wonderful local shops have donated fabulous merchandise for these baskets.  The purpose of our "Chinese Auction" is to raise money for the guild to continue booking speakers and planning workshops for our members.  A "Chinese Auction" is a combination of a raffle and a silent auction where participants buy a specified number of chances and "vote" for which basket they'd like to win by placing their auction tickets into the corresponding "hat" for that basket.  You can throw all your chances to one basket or spread them out evenly between all the baskets!
The auction will take place at both the April and May meetings with the winners drawn at our June, 2013 meeting.  So bring your fun money to buy your "chances" to win one of our fabulous baskets!!  There is no limit to the number of chances you may purchase.
This month's fat quarter swap theme is "Dots and Circles"  If you'd like to participate this month please bring a quilt shop quality fat quarter with dots and/or circles.
We hope to see you there this Sunday.  Same location - see the map on the right sidebar for directions.  Enjoy the week!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Craftsy Modern Quilt Class 50% off today only!

Have you heard of Craftsy? It's a website featuring video workshops, patterns, projects and shopping for all types of crafting, including quilting! For the next few days, Craftsy will have a select grouping of their video classes on sale for up to 75% off - a different grouping each day.

This particular class in today's grouping caught my eye and immediately went into my cart. Designing Modern Quilts with Weeks Ringle. The class includes 10 lessons with topics such as Color Theory Basics, Printed Fabrics, Designing with Solids, and Composition. All for only $19.99! And once you've purchased a class on Craftsy, you can view it over and over as many times as you like with no expiration date!

Weeks Ringle and her husband, Bill Kerr are the founders of Modern Quilt Studio (previously FunQuilts), a contemporary quilt design studio in Oak Park, Illinois. They have written several books about modern quilting...

As well as additional titles about color theory in quilting...

I've also met Weeks Ringle vending at the Madison, Wisconsin quilt show held in September, and the Rosemont IQF show. For those of you interested in learning more about what makes quilts "modern" and some personal instruction on how to incorparate those techniques and standards into your own quilt projects, maybe this is the class for you. But act fast - this class is on sale for $19.99 today only (Saturday, April 6). Click here for the specific link to the Weeks Ringle class where you can get more details on the lesson plans, materials needed, and read reviews by other quilters who have taken the class.

I have taken other sewing classes via Craftsy, and I can vouch for the quality of their videos and instructors, as well as the class lesson topics. Let me know if you decide to take this class or another one. And check back at Craftsy on Sunday and Monday for new groupings of classes on sale.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Member Feature - Shelley Nielsen

Welcome to the first installment of what we hope becomes a regular part of our website - the Member Feature Column. Each month we plan to spotlight one of our CLMQG members by showing photos of their work and sharing a short interview in order to learn more about them personally. Sound fun? We think it does!

So this month's featured member is... me. Very weird to be pretending to interview yourself as you write, but since I do frequently talk to myself (both out loud and in my head), I think I can make it work. So here goes!

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Shelley Nielsen, and I'm a wife, mom of two lovely daughters, and a fabri-holic. When I'm not performing my household CEO and CLMQG duties, I'm either cutting, sewing, pressing, shopping for, admiring, or planning projects with fabrics. I also write about my adventures in sewing on my elsie's girl blog.

How and when did you start sewing?
My maternal grandmother, Elsie, taught me to sew when I was in middle school. She was a seamstress and tailor, and she could (and did!) sew everything - clothing, draperies, home decor items. Her entire basement was filled with sewing machines, tools and fabric, and I loved spending time with her there.

What about quilting?  How did you become interested in it?
After college and marriage my sewing consisted of primarily home decor items. But when my youngest was a tiny baby (1997), I wandered into Prairie Patchwork Mercantile in Woodstock one day and fell in love with the fabric selection and quilts. I started out by taking a hand-pieced sampler class and some needle-turn applique classes. And thus began my love affair with fabrics!  I thought I was a pretty smart cookie, and I didn't see any reason why I couldn't teach myself to create tons of machine-pieced beautiful quilts, so I bought some books and just dove in. Looking back, I think that my early naivete about how easy it must be to teach yourself machine quilting was a great asset (even though it was mostly incorrect) because it made me just start. So except for the handwork skills I learned at PPM, I was largely a self-taught quilter for many years.

What are your most and least favorite parts of the quilting process?
Choosing the fabrics is the best part! I can spend hours or even days mulling over fabric selections. Cutting is a close second though - I really enjoy the precision and math skills required in cutting.

Quilting is the worst part for me. I can do a decent job of it, but it seems agonizing to spend time deciding on a quilting pattern or design, let alone performing the actual quilting. By the time the top is finished, I just want it to be over. I'm quite ADD when it comes to sewing, so when the fun part is done, I want to be done too. Because of this I'm not quite as focused on completing quilts as I am on starting new ones.

Where do you get quilting inspiration?
I read a LOT of quilting magazines and books.  Blogs too. Pinterest and Flickr are also great resources for inspiration, but I tend to lose all sense of time when I'm trolling on those sites, so I've been trying to limit my time there. Quilt shows, shops, and of course this new guild (!) feed my need for new ideas and motivation too.

Any favorite fabric or pattern designers?
I'm a huge Kaffe Fassett nut! I collect his fabrics the way some people collect stamps or baseball cards. I love the quilt designs of Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke.  Oh, and stars, I LOVE almost any quilt with stars!

What's your favorite quilting/sewing project?
Whatever I'm working on at the moment is almost always my favorite! There are so many fabrics and projects to sew that I tend to jump around between projects so I don't get bored or bogged down with one.

What quilt patterns/styles are on your sewing "bucket list"?
1. Feathered Star
2. Giant Lone Star
3. Blazing Star
4. All of the applique patterns by Piece O'Cake

Tell us three things about yourself that other CLMQG members probably don't know.
1. I am exceptionally skilled in worrying and perfectionism.
2. I love the smell of Crayola crayons.
3. I speak fluently in movie quotes.

And now for the wild card question... If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?
Needing only two hours of sleep each night. I've got big plans, a big fabric stash, and lots of things I want to see and do during my lifetime!