Saturday, June 27, 2015

Eye Candy

Color cards and threads are a quilters eye candy. We can never get enough. So when I asked Aurifil if they would like to make a donation to the guild to support our new program, they didn’t miss a beat and quickly sent each of our 40 members a 6-pack sample set. Let me tell ya, I was like a kid in a candy store when that box arrived at the house. Today I want to give a BIG thank you to Aurifil Threads for their generous donation to the CLMQG.

And providing the guild with a our 2nd UFO prize!


Judy O. was the lucky winner.

 Our next drawing is in September. You’ve still got time to register quilts…and most importantly, finish them. YOU could be the next winner!

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 14, 2015 Meeting Minutes

** Photos from this meeting have been posted here on Facebook. You do not need to be a Facebook user to view these photos. **

1. We had 25 people in attendance at our meeting on Sunday, June 14, 2015. We currently have 40 members.

2. Treasurer’s Report: Bank balance information is provided at each meeting but will no longer be documented here due to the public nature of this website.

3. Upcoming Meetings:

  • July 19, 2015 Guest Speaker Kelly Litton. Our originally scheduled workshop leader (Nicole D from Modern Handcraft) has cancelled.
  • August 9, 2015 – We discussed if we want to skip this meeting, host an off-site social on a different day of the week, or make it a charity sewing only date. The majority of people want to make this a sewing only day.
  • Please see the Meeting Calendar tab at the top of our webpage to view the meeting dates for the remainder of 2015.

4. Committee Update:

  • Bees: Email Anuschka if you would like to join the Lake Zurich bee or start a new bee: anuschkamatthews (at) hotmail (dot) com.
  • Sewcial Committee:

  1. Cathy thanked everyone for bringing the food for our picnic. She also thanked her committee for all of their help putting together the picnic.
  2. We are in need of more people to sign up to bring treats for our monthly meetings in July, August, and September.

  • Charity Committee: Kelly received a letter from Gavers thanking us for our donation to the Mad Hatters fundraiser luncheon. To donate quilts to our charity, they should be a minimum of 45” X 60”. Although there are no color parameters, it is preferred NOT to have all-pink quilts. Please use 100% cotton, quilt-shop quality fabric.

5. Upcoming Quilt Shows and Shop Hops:

  • June – August: Northern IL Quilt Fest Shop Hop
  • June 21 – September 8: Row by Row Experience (there are participating shops in all 50 states plus some in Canada)
  • September 10 – 12: Quilt Expo in Madison, WI
  • September 25 – 26: Country Quilters of McHenry Show at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Crystal Lake, IL

6. New Business:

  • UFO Challenge: you can still register for this challenge any month between now and September. You pay $2 for each quilt that you register; all money raised goes to prizes for the challenge.
  • We proposed a fabric postcard swap for the swap with the Canberra, Australia MQG, but we are still waiting to hear back from them. More details to come.
  • Kara is overseeing a new charity quilt project. She has enough fabric to make 16 – 20 lap quilts. She is looking for volunteers to cut kits, sew tops, donate batting, and quilt these quilts. The quilts will be donated to our guild’s charity, Centegra Gavers Breast Cancer Center.
  • We will be having another block lottery at our July 19 meeting. The theme is Halloween, and specific colors must be used in your block. Please see this post for all the details and rules.

7. Several members brought quilts for show and tell. First, members showed UFO Challenge quilts they have finished and then members showed other projects.

8. Swap: Several ladies brought fabric containers to swap today.

9. UFO Quarterly Challenge Prize Drawing

10. Door Prize Drawing

11. Picnic!

Recorded by Jill Smalley, Secretary

July Meeting Date and Program Change

New meeting date: Sunday, July 19, 1:00-4:00pm

New program: Guest Speaker Kelly Litton will give a presentation on the Principles of Design and how they relate to quilting.

Same meeting location:
Home State Bank Commercial Banking Center
611 South Main Street
Crystal Lake, IL (see map on the right sidebar)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Member Feature - Kelly Litton

Meet Kelly Litton - our current Charity Chief...

Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Wisconsin as a Bears fan (that was tough) and have lived in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and even London for a stint before moving to Chicago in 1988. I am an interior designer by trade but now work for Delta Faucet Company selling faucets to interior designers. Never ever thought I'd know this much about plumbing! Before I started working full time in 1997, I stayed home with my 5 kids and worked part time at Prairie Patchwork Mercantile on the Woodstock square.

How and when did you start quilting/sewing?
My father was an interior designer and my mother a seamstress who made all the drapery for his business, so I kind of learned these things by osmosis. I never had any formal sewing education but remember in my 7th grade home ec class I made a cute little dress with set-in sleeves, collar and invisible zipper when everyone else made a square pillow. Ha! Quilting actually started on my own but when I hooked up with PPM, it became a passion!

What are you most and least favorite parts of quilting?
My most favorite part of quilting is the design process. Least favorite by far, is the quilting part!

Favorite fabrics/designers/color palette?
I don't really get into the fabric designers, blogs or "celebrity" quilters. I believe anyone who creates is a celebrity :)

What quilt/s are you working on now?
I think I have 117 quilts either in progress or in my head (not really!) I have a couple quilts for my grandkids on the table, a couple really old hand applique quilts, a crazy steampunk that may never get finished, and my English paper piecing which I am loving!

What is on your quilting "bucket list"?
I want to make a T-Shirt quilt in the shape of the Stanley Cup using all my Blackhawks shirts from the last 20 years!

Where do you sew? How often/how long each week?
Having just moved into an artist's loft, I haven't done ANY sewing for about 6 weeks. Ugh. I've been having fun integrating the sewing room (messy) into the living space (neat) because there are NO WALLS in this apartment. Eeek.

Do you tend to follow patterns or make your own designs?
I have only followed a pattern once. It was from a Kaffe book and Shelley coerced me into doing it. I hated the process but really love the quilt. This steampunk might just put me over the edge, however.

What kind of machine do you use?
Ooooo, love this question! Until last April, I sewed exclusively on a Featherweight after my high school Singer pooped out on me in the mid-90's. However, I bought a Juki F600 in Paducah last year which is like going from a horse and buggy to an Indy race car. It scares me a lot but I am enjoying getting to know it.

Tell us three things about yourself that other CLMQG members probably don't know.
  1. I'm probably going to buy a retirement home in Scottsdale within the next 12 months.
  2. My other passion is alternative music and I can keep up with every 20-something at a concert--love being as close to the stage as possible.
  3. I only dislike 4 foods: mushrooms, coconut, pears and milk chocolate.
What is your most treasured/sentimental possession?
My most treasured possession is my dad.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tips For Successful Quilt Block Swaps

Good morning everyone and welcome to our second block lottery at the CLMQG. We had an amazing level of participation for our last one. 47 blocks were entered and we had enough to choose 4 winners!

It really makes me happy to see everyone joining in and having a great time because that’s really the goal here at the CLMQG. We get together for the inspiration, community and opportunities to learn and grow as quilters.

Our next lottery is Halloween…and it’s sure to be Spooktacular!! This lottery has specific guidelines and rules to ensure a cohesive block assortment. Please read all of the guidelines before playing along.

The Halloween lottery is as follows:
  • Lottery participation is completely voluntary.
  • Always use quilt store quality fabrics.
  • It’s your choice of block. Size MUST measure 12.5″ unfinished.
  • Use Halloween themed or Halloween inspired fabrics, see block examples below...
  • Stay within your pre-selected color palette found on your paint chips along with black and/or white.
  • Please limit your entries to no more than 3 blocks.
  • If you were lucky enough to win a previous lottery, you must show a completed project using all or some of those ‘winnings‘ to be eligible for this DRAWING during our July meeting.
  • Label each of your blocks with your name.
  • Bring your pressed block to the July meeting. A volunteer will be set up to ensure every one of us have followed all the rules and award us with our lotto tickets!
I, in no way, want to discourage participation. In fact, I’d like MORE participation in the swaps, but with that being said, there are certain criteria that need to be met before receiving your ticket for this block entry.
Here are some block lottery rules and helpful tips for making our swap successful for everyone involved.

Use quilt store quality fabrics in your guild swaps.

Use precise cutting. This is where it all starts. Accurate cutting will help ensure the desired block size. Here’s a quick refresher on Craftsy for tips on using your rotary cutter and mat.

Double check your seam allowance. A 1/4″ seam allowance is typically required for quilting. If your 1/4″ is off, your block will not finish the correct size. Invest in a 1/4″ foot for your machine. The 1/4” foot has a guide designed to help you achieve perfect 1/4” seams when piecing. The distance between the needle and the right guide is a true 1/4”. Or, stack painters tape as a reference along the plate to guide you.

Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. Slow down your pace, it’s not a race! Take your time with each block. Don’t rush to make lots of blocks. One good block is better than 3 blocks that don’t “measure up”.

Measure your block before entering it. Be respectful and only bring blocks in that are the correct size. They will be measured. Blocks that are not within 1/8″ of the correct size will not be eligible for entry. That means your block CAN be a smidgen off…about 1/8″ on each side.

For example, if your block is 1/8″ short on each side, the total off is 1/4″. A good Sewista is most likely to be able to work with this and after all, we are not perfect.

1/8 + 1/8 = 1/4″ total.
If your block is 1/4″ off on each side…
1/4 + 1/4 = 1/2″ *this is not workable. No amount of “stretching” can resolve this problem y’all!

My block is slightly off. Mostly, because I can’t seem to sew a straight line to save my life even while using my fancy pants 1/4″ foot but it is still well within the allowance…within the 1/8″ allowance to be accepted! …eek**This is the determination we will use on the blocks for ALL entries.**

Press your work well after each addition. Press your seams flat, whether it be open seams or pressed to one side. Do not “iron”. This will cause stretching. Use Best Press or other solutions to “starch” your finished project. Nothing makes me smile more than a well pressed block. It’s my finishing touch. If your block is pressed, you will be able to make an accurate determination of whether it is the correct size to be entered.

Trish S. was kind enough to share her recipe for a homemade pressing spray if you'd like to make your own.

 Mix a ratio of 4 parts water with 1 part POTATO vodka.
 Add to a spray bottle. It’s important that it be POTATO vodka.
 Ask your local wine &  liqueur store if they carry it.

Follow the design elements required for the block swap. For example, this lottery is Halloween. Your block must incorporate the paint chip color selections, using one or all of them. You may also add a black and/or white fabric along with your colors.  Your blocks will be disqualified if you have not followed the specified outlines.

Don’t hesitate to ask for guidance. Like I mentioned, we are all here to learn from each other. I literally need Paige to explain paper piecing every. single. time. I do it! It’s ok to ask for help. Everyone has their own level of experience and what they are skilled in.

Use good judgement. Ask yourself…”Is this something I would want to receive“? Make something you don’t want to give away. Because if you love it, so will someone else.

Now that we all have a clear understanding of what is expected of each of us, please go forth and sew! No tricks, just treats. Help us make this block lottery a frightening success for all of our members. And remember…I have a ruler!

**If you missed our last meeting and would like to participate, the paint sample numbers are as follows…

BEHR Decorators Collection at Home Depot
Dynamic Magenta HDC-MD-07 (purple)
Yellow Groove HDC-MD-02A (yellow)
Citronette HDC-MD-03 (green)
Tart Orange HDC-MD-27 (Orange)

Here are a few howling good examples made by Shelley..

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 14, 2015 Meeting

Due to the rainy weather, we will meet at the bank today.

Noon until 4:00pm.

See you there!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 14, 2015 Picnic/Meeting Reminder

Our next monthly meeting and sew-in will be held Sunday, June 14 from 12:00pm-4:00pm at Oakwood Hills Park, near the intersection of Oakwood Drive and North Park Drive in Cary (the bank room has been reserved as a backup in case of bad weather).  

We will make a decision on the event location by 8:00am Sunday morning, so please check your email inbox on Sunday morning to verify the location.

Agenda Highlights:
  • Picnic
  • Meeting
  • Show and Tell - UFO Challenge finishes and other quilted items
  • Second quarterly UFO Challenge Prize Drawing
  • Fabric Container Swap
  • July Block Lottery Guidelines and Samples
  • Games and Fun!

What you need to bring:
  • Food item that you signed up to contribute
  • Finished quilts for donation to Gavers Breast Center
  • Show and tell items
  • Swap item (if you are participating.  Details can be found here.)
  • Bagged/camp chair if you have one handy
  • $$ to register any new UFO Challenge projects

Thanks for supporting the CLMQG!  We hope to see you this Sunday!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 2015 Swap Guidelines

Marge and Terri have provided the guidelines for the upcoming June 14 CLMQG swap.  This is a voluntary swap, and you are not required to sign up to participate.  Just bring your completed swap item to the meeting/picnic on Sunday, June 14.

Details and rules for this swap can be found here.

If you are a Facebook and/or Instagram user, please post sneak peek photos of your work on our Facebook page or on Instagram using the hashtag "crystallakemqg"

We hope that everyone will participate!  Please use quilt shop quality materials.  Make something so fabulous you don't want to give it away!!