Monday, February 20, 2017

February 2017 Recap

Business Review

Modern Quilt Guild membership cards arrived, if you are a member make sure to pick up your card. There are also enamel pins for new members! They are pretty sweet!

The swap for next month's meeting is a boxy pouch from Kelby Sews.

Presentation Review

Connie Barkley from Pacific Rim Quilts came to the meeting to discuss a four day class taught by Nancy Lee Chong called "Design Your Personal Hawaiian Quilt." It is a three day class from April 18-20 at the Silverton Senior Center in Silverton, OR. Nancy is also giving a presentation on April 17th titled "Hawaiian Quilting: Its History, Traditions & Superstitions." She will show her quilts and discuss what she has learned about Hawaiian quilts over the years. 

Connie brought her own quilts that she created to show us. Hawaiian quilts are done using large scale, turned edge applique, usually one piece of fabric, and then echo quilted. Her first quilt that she created in the Design Your Personal Hawaiian Quilt class:

She also showed us two more quilts she did using Hawaiian style applique and quilting, one more traditional:

and one more personal:

her family tree, with relatives names embroidered on the leaves. The quilts are truly lovely, and more information on the class and the method can be found on Pacific Rim Quilt's website.

Embroidery Review:

February is national embroidery month, so our very own Stephanie Douglas gave a very informative lecture on embroidery. She discussed the basic tools and supplies; scissors, hoop or frame, needles, different types of thread and fabric. 

A good quality hoop is very helpful, Stephanie recommends bamboo. Brass fittings are a further indication of a quality hoop. The hoops with a groove provide extra hold for your projects. Below are some mini wooden frames that can be used for mounting and a bamboo frame in the middle.

Size 5 embroidery needles are her needles of choice. That size needle can hold two to four threads easily, and six threads if you are good at threading. A size seven needle is smaller, which might be needed when using a more tightly woven fabric. For quilting with pearl cotton, which is often thicker than floss, she uses a bigger needle. She also recommends using a Sashiko needle for quilting, which is strong and sharp and longer than the usual handquilting needle. Below are some examples of Sashiko embroidery, a traditional embroidery style from Japan, often done on blue fabric with thick white thread.

Thread choice depends on stitch choice and pattern choice. For standard, decorative embroidery, DMC brand embroidery floss is regularly available, inexpensive and comes in a wide variety of colors. Embroidery floss comes as six twisted strands, so individual strands can be separated out, mixed with other colors, or used fully with all six strands. Pearl cotton is a single inseparable strand of twisted thread. It can be found from size 12 (fine) to size 3 (thick). Mindy's Needlepoint Factory at the Fifth Street Market in Eugene has a good selection of pearl cotton, as does Acorns & Threads in Portland. Stephanie uses pearl cotton for her big stitch quilting as well, shown below.

Any fabric can be used for embroidery, as long as you have some patience with it and with yourself. A good fabric to start out with would be a regular quilter's cotton. Quilters' cotton is sturdy and easy to stitch through. Muslin is good for practicing a delicate design. Linens can also be nice to embroider with. Below are three different projects Stephanie has made; first, a bird embroidered on some thin fabric curtains, second, a doily embellished with embroidery and third, a little lamb embroidered on a knit cotton shirt.

There are several ways to transfer patterns. Stephanie finds pencils easy to use, they are washable and erasable, although it's always advisable to test a small piece first. Water erasable pens are widely available. Iron transfer paper and pens can be used, but remember that they are permanent. Stephanie uses a light tablet to trace patterns onto fabric. Another way to practice embroidering is to use rubber stamps to make a design and then embroider over it.

Finally, some resources, Stephanie provided our members with a great handout full of pictures and websites and information. Her favorites include; Sublime Stitching, which has tutorials, patterns, kits for sale and other resources, and Needlen Thread, also full of patterns, tutorials and videos for getting started or advancing your embroidery education.

Show and Tell Review:

Linda completed her projects using the fabric from the rip and pass swap last month. She made a jelly roll race style tote bag, pyramid pouch and boxy pouches.

Janet finished her paper-pieced teapot mini quilt.

Christina showed us her bubble log cabin block.


Ann also used fabric from the rip and pass swap; she made a small wall hanging and practiced her free motion quilting skills on it.


Erin made a baby quilt for a friend using the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s paper piecing squares.

Amber did a jelly roll race quilt. She learned that quilt math matters and she ended up with 2 tops that were the same width. She used a jelly roll along with some coordinating fabrics from both her stash and the rip and pass swap last month.

And then it was Girl Scout Cookie Time!!!

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