Thursday, December 10, 2015

Long-arm quilters

As we have had a few inquiries about how to find a long-arm quilter to do a quilt, Francine was kind enough to put together a list of the long-arm quilters in the area that she knows of who are available 'for hire' :) If you know of any who aren't listed, feel free to add them in the comments!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Mug Bag Exchange

Since we're supposed to be bringing our own mugs to meetings of breaktime, this exchange will be following the suggestion from the September meeting - a mug bag. It will be for the January meeting, which will give us an excuse to escape the holiday madness.

Since there are mugs in all kinds of sizes, what with travel mugs, ceramic mugs with handles, etc., so there will be minimum dimensions:
- 5" diameter (if round) or 4.5" on a side (if square)
- 10" high
Since we are a quilt guild, please piece and quilt your project, at least a little. :-D

If you have any questions, or suggestions, feel free to respond here. We also have pics up on Pinterest:

Happy holidays, and see you all in the new year!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

The Board Basting method for basting a quilt

Following some discussion today at the sew-in regarding basting methods for quilts, I thought I would share this video that Cinzia shared with us a while back on Sharon Schamber's Board Basting method.

Personally, I have a small workspace and two cats so spreading a quilt out on a large table or the floor to baste it really isn't an option. I finally tried the board method and was so happy with the results, it is the only way I will do my basting now... it is very simple and especially good for someone with limited table/floor space.

The videos aren't great quality, but are worth a watch all the same. If anyone would like a demo of the method done at one of our meetings, just let us know and we can arrange it!

Part one

Part two

Friday, December 04, 2015

Meeting reminders!

Just a quick reminder, our December Sew-In takes place tomorrow, Saturday December 5th from 10am to 4pm at the CRCS St-Zotique.

This will be the last sew-in of 2015 (obviously) and the last one before the showcase quilts are due, so if you need to put those finishing touches (like a presentation sleeve or quilt label) on your quilt, bring it along and get it finished up! Also, make sure you give it a once-over for lint and stray threads before turning it in at the Tuesday meeting.

Likewise, our last regular meeting of 2015 will be on Tuesday December 8th at 7pm. All showcase quilts are due at this meeting, so please remember to bring yours along if you are participating. We will be having M. Kamel as a guest speaker to discuss the cleaning and maintenance of your sewing machine. There will also be discussion of challenges and swaps and some other exciting news, so make sure you're there!

If you'd like to bring along a festive treat to share (even if you're not on snack duty this month), please feel free to do so! Look forward to seeing you all!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wall to wall color and inspiration

I really should be working on the back of my showcase quilt, but it's fighting me at the moment so I've put it in the "time out" pile for a bit. So, I thought I'd take a moment to post a few photos from last night's visit to the Fondation Guido Molinari

For those of you who braved the rainy weather to join us, thank you! And for those of you who couldn't make it, please try to find some time to visit the gallery on your own, it is *well* worth the trip! We were welcomed very warmly by Gilles, the executive director, and Lisa, his assistant... they gave us a great little introduction to Molinari's life and work before guiding us through both the main gallery space on the main floor and the rooms upstairs, as well as even allowing us a sneak peek into the basement storage space! They were both very enthusiastic about sharing and discussing Molinari's work and it was a really lovely visit. 

 M. Daigneault in front of a few of the works on display

Stacy and Tamara listening intently to our guides

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

REMINDER: Fondation Molinari field trip

Just a quick reminder, tomorrow night we have the Fondation Molinari field trip! We will be meeting at the gallery space at 6:30pm, please make sure you are on time so we can have as much time exploring the works as possible.

If you find you are in need of transportation, a few of us who work downtown will be driving to the gallery and have room in our cars... send an email to and we will get you sorted out.

Otherwise, look forward to seeing you all there tomorrow night!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fondation Guido Molinari field trip - Thurs Nov 19th

As promised, here are the details for our upcoming Fondation Molinari field trip. It will take place on Thursday November 19th... we will be meeting at 6:30pm at the Fondation Molinari which is located at 3290 rue Sainte-Catherine Est.

Guido Molinari Equilibrium 1959 / photo Guy l’Heureux
Admission to the exhibition is free and the foundation has kindly agreed to give us a guided tour which will take approximately one hour. Please make sure you are on time so we can start promptly. While you can get there by metro (Station Prefontaine), it seems to be a significant walk from the metro to the gallery. A number of us will be driving so if you find yourself without means of transport, send us an email no later than the night before the visit and we can arrange a carpool.

If you cannot make it on Thursday, the foundation is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays from 1pm to 5pm so you are always welcome to visit the gallery on your own. We also have a small Pinterest board featuring some of Molinari's works you may want to browse, and both the MAC and the MFA have pieces of his in their permanent collections. Joanna will be presenting a Molinari-inspired challenge for us at the January meeting, so however you choose to do it, we highly encourage you to spend some time with his works. :) Hope to see you on Thursday!

Monday, November 09, 2015

November meeting reminder

Just a quick reminder, our November meeting is tomorrow night!

All of the pick-up sticks blocks for the charity challenge are due, so make sure you've got your seams pressed and your blocks cut down to size tonight! Please bring along any fabric scraps you didn't use so we can incorporate them into the finished quilt.

Cinzia will be giving a demonstration on how to attach a sleeve to your quilt for hanging (handy for the showcase quilts, QuiltCon entries or just a favorite piece you want to display at home). If you aren't able to make it tomorrow (or just want to go over the steps later), her step by step instructions will be posted in the Member's Only Area.

We will also be finalizing the details of our Molinari Foundation field trip, and Joanna has some interesting details to share with us... *cue suspenseful music* ;)

We are in need of a volunteer for this month's meeting secretary... no experience needed! You just need to jot down the details of what we discuss so that the minutes can be updated for anyone who is unable to attend the meeting. If you are able to give us a hand with it this time around, please let us know at the start of the meeting.

This month's meeting snuck up on me so I don't yet have the agenda typed up, but I will get it done and posted this evening, should you want a copy. See you all tomorrow!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Meeting reminder!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Hope you are all enjoying the fabulous weather and getting your fill of pumpkin pie and other goodies! Just a friendly reminder that our next monthly meeting is tomorrow night, October 13 at 7pm at the CRCS St-Zotique, as per usual.

To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, please log in to the Members Only Area on the blog. There you will also find the sign-up sheets for the set-up and snack volunteers (just in case you can't remember what week you signed up for ;) as well as the PDF presentation that Agnes will be presenting at the meeting regarding use of the MQG community website. Please take a moment to look it over and make sure you have created your MQG account so that if you have any questions or problems, we can go over them at the meeting tomorrow night. See you at the meeting!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Pick-up Sticks blocks

Our first Sew-In was on Saturday and we spent the day working on the Pick-Up Sticks blocks for the QuiltCon Charity Challenge. A big thank you to Jessica for putting together a great demonstration on constructing and modifying the block! These blocks are fun and extremely quick to put together... a great choice for this "Improv with Intent" challenge. 

For those who could not make it to the Sew-In to pick up their fabric, we will have some available at the upcoming meeting on Tuesday October 13th. Everyone who signed up to be part of the challenge should plan on making at least two blocks, though if we have extra and you'd like to do more, you are welcome to do so! Also, please keep your scraps and turn them in with the finished blocks as we will make use of them in the final construction of the quilt as well. 

We have pre-cut squares and rectangles for the background of the block, as well as 1", 1 1/2" and 2" pre-cut "sticks" for you to choose from, so really all you have to do is decide which colors you like and where to put them! The finished blocks should be one of three sizes: 
  • 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" square
  • 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" square
  • 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangle

You can use as many or as few "sticks" as you like in any color(s) and alignment(s) that may tickle your fancy... it can be colorful or monochrome, it can be chaotic or orderly, it's improv and it's up to you. :) If you need some help getting started, you can refer to the Pick Up Sticks Tutorial over at Happy Sew Lucky, the Pick Up Sticks board put together by Jessica on Pinterest, or feel free to ask for some help at the meeting and we will be happy to talk you through it!

Here are a few example of ones that were finished on Saturday: 

The finished blocks will need to be turned in at the November meeting so that we have time to piece it, quilt it and finish it by the deadline, so make sure you remember to bring them with you!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Meeting reminder(s)!

This coming Saturday October 3rd will be our first day-long sew-in. We will be at the CRCS St-Zotique from 10am to 4pm, and thankfully the weather is about a zillion degrees cooler than at our September meeting. In fact, it will be a bit chilly so you may want to bring along something warm to drink while you work! Also, bring your project of choice to work on and any tools you need to work on it (including your sewing machine), as well as a lunch and/or snack for yourself.

For those participating in the charity challenge and/or the modern quilt showcase, we will be discussing/doing some important things relating to both projects, so please try to attend! For more details on either of these, check your email for the newsletter (or you can view the web version of it here).

Also mark your calendar for our next regular monthly meeting which will take place on Tuesday October 13th at 7pm at the CRCS St-Zotique, as per usual. Agnes will be giving a presentation on how to use (and get the most out of) the MQG website... if you have any questions on it, that will be the time to ask! If you have not yet paid your dues for the year, make sure you check in with Josee at the meeting and get them paid. We will have a few other points of business to go over and then plenty of time for discussion and show and tell of all of those modern quilting projects you've been working on! Show and tell projects do not have to be finished to be shared, we love seeing works in progress as much as finished pieces, just please make sure they are on topic for modern quilting! :)

See you at the meeting(s)!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

MQG Charity Challenge

As discussed at last night's meeting, we will be participating in the Modern Quilt Guild Member Charity Challenge for QuiltCon West 2016.

Jessica and Tamara are our project managers for this challenge and as the theme for this challenge is "Improv with Intent", they have chosen a 'Pick-Up Sticks' quilt block as the pattern we will be using for our entry. If you are not familiar with this block, or would like some inspiration, check out the Pinterest board they have set up for the challenge: Pick Up Sticks Quilts 

Everyone participating in the challenge will receive a bundle of fabric (generously donated by Michael Miller Fabrics) that uses the colour palette set out in the challenge guidelines. We will be handing out the fabric at the October 3rd Sew-In as well as going over how to make a improvisational Pick Up Sticks quilt block. While we encourage everyone participating to attend the Sew-In, if you are not able to be there, we will have your fabric bundles available at the October 13th meeting as well.

Our timeline for this project is somewhat tight, but luckily Jessica and Tamara have chosen a block that is incredibly easy to make while still offering almost limitless improvisational potential! Whether you complete your block at the October Sew-In or at home, you will need to have it ready to turn in at the November 10th meeting. We will need time to get the quilt top pieced, quilted and bound in time for it to be sent off to QuiltCon at the end of January.

The finished quilt will be submitted to QuiltCon as part of the challenge, after which it will be returned to us and we will be donating it to Auberge Shalom, a Montreal shelter for women and children dealing with domestic violence. If anyone would like to make an extra quilt (child, lap or bed sized) to donate along with the challenge quilt, you are most welcome to do so! Just let Jessica and/or Tamara know so we can coordinate all of the items to be donated when the time comes. 

We have a volunteer to do the binding on the finished quilt, but are still looking for someone interested in doing the piecing and/or quilting (the finished quilt will be a twin size)... if you are interested, please let us know! :) 

Monday, September 07, 2015

Meeting reminder!

Just a friendly reminder... our September meeting will be taking place tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 7pm at the CRCS St-Zotique. We will have lots of important news updates and plenty of yummy snacks, so make sure to join us! :) 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Have you cleaned your machine lately?

Today I realized it had been a while since I'd cleaned my sewing machine, so I opened it up and... oh my god. It looked like a flock of tiny little wooly sheep had taken up residence in the inside of it. Clearly I hadn't cleaned it in a while, so I dug out my little brush and machine oil and got to work. It didn't take long to do and I'm sure my machine is much happier for it.

Whether you work at your machine only occasionally, or like me you're at it every week, it's important to give it a good clean out every so often. How often really depends on how much you use your machine and what you're using it for... some fabrics, quilt battings and even threads will leave more fluff and dust behind than others. There are plenty on-line tutorials (such as Craftsy's Dos and Don'ts and Colette's Machine Maintenance) to walk you through the basics, and of course always check the manual for your particular sewing machine for any important safety/maintenance information.

Another important thing to remember is to put in a fresh sewing needle. I have heard a lot of different theories as to how often you should change your needle ranging from every 4 hours of sewing time to after completing each project. Again, it depends on what sort of work you're doing... personally, I usually change out my needle at the start of a new project.

So just a friendly reminder... keeping your machine fuzz-free and well-oiled with a sharp, straight needle will keep it running smoothly and help to avoid costly repairs; so if you haven't done a little maintenance on it lately, now might be a good time to do it. Happy sewing!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Do you do handwork?

I'll admit, I'm pretty attached to my sewing machine. I never really learned to sew by hand, I learned on a machine and use it for pretty much everything. The one thing I was never 100% happy with, however, was the result I got from doing quilt binding on a machine... no matter how careful I was with my pinning and aligning, it always ended up looking sloppy.

Then, we had a demo done at one of our monthly meetings by fellow member Cinzia on how she does binding on her quilts and it was like someone flipped a switch for me. She combines machine sewing (using it to attach one side of the binding to the front of the quilt) with hand sewing (using it to secure the binding invisibly to the back of the quilt) that gives an impeccable end result and is well within the grasp of even those who are hopeless at hand-sewing, such as myself. Yes, it takes time, but it is the only way I will do a quilt binding now, plus it is a wonderfully relaxing and meditative thing to do at the end of a quilt project.

So in May when the Modern Quilt Guild announced the webinar "Handwork is Fun" by Carolyn Friedlander I knew I wanted to watch it, but as happens life got in the way and I couldn't watch it live. Finally the other day I was able to watch it and I really enjoyed it. She discusses at some length her introduction to and philosophy on handwork and goes over the tools that she recommends. I'll admit, I have not tried any other handwork other than my quilt bindings, but I've come to enjoy the hand binding so much and after listening to her talk on the subject, I think I may just try my hand at something new. Maybe it's time to tackle hexies or some quilting by hand!

What about you... do you enjoy handwork?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Moderniser la courtepointe

In February this year, our members Cinzia Allocca, Josée Carrier and Tamara Serrao were interviewed by La Presse about the modern quilting movement. Check out the article (in French)!