Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 2017 Meeting Minutes

February 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes
Tuesday February 14, 2017 at 7pm at CRCS St-Zotique

  • Welcome - reminder to be careful where you park because of snow removal
  • Feb sew-in this coming weekend: Sat Feb 18th, 10-4 at Maplewood Presbyterian Church, 215 McLeod, in Chateauguay, carpools can be arranged if needed
    • Work on any project you like, but will be demoing the slab block for the Canadian Quilt Bee if you want to participate.  We also may start some working on some of the house quilts.
    • Please bring scraps in any colour but red, turquoise, white/off-white or grey will match the required Canada pieces for the Quilt Bee blocks
    • Normal sew-in rules apply: Bring sewing machine, all tools needed to do your work, plus bring a lunch and a coffee mug (coffee will be available)
    • Lots going on. Email if you need help with transportation.
  • Metro challenge due dates is being pushed back to April meeting because there is a lot going on with the Quilts for Quebec Project.
  • Any interest in VQF submission? Need 18-20 quilts, deadline March 1st for submitting a letter of intent. Stephanie will contact to see if we can display our Molinari challenge quilts even though the size is not the sizes asked for. Bigger might be difficult to get 18-20 together quickly. Email if you are interested though.
  • Quilts for Quebec (#quiltsforqc)
    • The response has been amazing all of Canada, many states even Italy. The goal is for 12-25 quilts we think. But as many as we can. 
    • We need 12.5” house blocks, any style; no humans or animals in prints please. The ones we have received are exquisite. Amazing work.
    • We are also accepting donations of batting and backing fabrics, we have some from Fabricville.  Some people have donated money to help buy supplies.  Stacy will be able to get some things at cost. 
    • Anyone wishing to help with construction or quilting please let us know.  The Ottawa guild is interested in quilting.  Michelle B is interested in helping with her longarm.  So amazing what people are willing to do
    • There is a Sew-in on Sunday Feb 26th from 12-5pm in Verdun to start putting the blocks together.

  • Show and Tell
    • Izzy – Bed runner in black and white with a little red. 12” x 12” blocks 3 x 8 blocks.
    • Marlise - Silk men's tie star quilt – would back it maybe as the silk was difficult sometimes.
    • Snezana Quilted picture frame, challenge because of the size
    • Tamara whatever the weather the quilt along can be seen on the janome life site and some secret projects…Shhhh
    • Melanie – cars with a play mat back using green squares with black sashing so the owner can drive on the sashing. Also, a home quilt for the Quilts for Quebec project that a was quilted on a longarm solidifying the need for one. (thank you!!!)
    • Michelle B. Animal made with made Tamara Kate Fabric, elephants, giraffes and peacocks all with Tamara’s fabulous fabric
    • See the photos by Stacy on Instagram or the blog.
  • Ugly Fat Quarter swap
    • Wow some of the pieces are interesting.
  • Discussion: Hari-Kuyo celebration
    • See the history below
  • Demo: handwork by Cinzia
    • Important take away points:
      • Quilting hoop is needed.
      • Quilt towards you for ergonomic reasons.
      • Use pearl cotton, size 8 and embroidery needles size 6-8.
      • Advantages of handwork are that it is portable, you have greater control over the stitches, it creates a bright effect and it is very relaxing, almost meditative.
      • It is important to use even stitches, using an almost rocking motion.
      • Please see the members section on the blog for more specific notes and pictures.
Next meeting: March 14th 19:00, CRCS St-Zotique - walking foot demo by Debby, social meet-up in March maybe?


Hari-Kuyo is the Buddhist and Shinto Festival of Broken Needles which is celebrated in parts of Japan on February 8th. For the past 400 years, kimono makers, seamstresses and homemakers have gathered at shrines to thank their bent pins and broken needles for the hard work and faithful service they have provided over the past year. They express their thanks by holding a small memorial service and putting the pins and needles to rest in a block of soft tofu or jelly. It is also an opportunity to pray for improved sewing skills in the year to come.

Why hold a memorial for pins and needles? In animist cultures it is believed that objects have souls, so this ceremony was a way for those whose livelihood relied on the humble needle to pay homage to that soul. After a year of rough treatment, the pins and needles are given a soft, luxurious resting place at the end of their 'lives'. It is also, on the most basic level, a way to simply acknowledge the importance of these tools that so often get overlooked.

Also central to the festival is the concept of 'Mottainai', which roughly means a sense of regret concerning waste. (The philosophical concept behind it is of course more complex, if you'd like to learn more about it, Wikipedia has an excellent entry on it) Being a quilter who tries to make use of every last scrap, and a sewist who tries to live by the "Make do and mend" motto, this strikes a particularly strong chord with me.

Lastly, there is an intensely personal layer of meaning to the festival. Historically, it was women who worked with pins and needles, and when those women carried painful secrets that they could not share with others, they would instead share them with their needles while they worked. Then at the end of the year, they would put those needles, and the secrets they carried, to rest in the hopes of being free to move forward. I think all of us have experienced that meditative connection with our work at some point; it can be a wonderfully therapeutic practice for anyone who picks up a needle.

No comments:

Post a Comment