Community Outreach

Not long ago, Brandy told us about a family in Jackson who had lost their home and pets in a fire. She asked us if we’d like to help her make them a quilt. JSMQG members are always at the ready to help so when Brandy asked for a couple of Wonky Cross blocks to construct a quilt for this family it will come as no surprise that she received so many she was able to assemble two quilts! Sherre donated her longarming services and quilted these up.

Fast forward to tonight, when Brandy and I headed over to meet Michelle and Warren for the first time at their rental home. What a nice couple! Michelle was excited to tell us that her grandmother was a quilter and of course they had many quilts from her and she clearly could relate to the power of quilts. So just in time for quilt weather and while they’re waiting for their home to be rebuilt, Michelle and Warren were overjoyed to receive their new quilts from us. Just look at those happy faces, doesn’t that say it all!!

Once again the JSMQG comes to the aid of our community! Thank you ladies!


We had a full house this September and they had no clue what they were about to learn! Our hostess extraordinaire, Julia, taught this month’s program. I like to call it “Everything you Wanted to Know About Fabric But We’re Afraid to Ask”!! She really outdid herself with the slideshow presentation. Afterwards everything got heated as we burned fabric to determine fiber content. It was enlightening. Patrick made sure we had bowls of water and a fire extinguisher on hand just in case, safety first!! Everyone enjoyed it. Thanks Julia

Linda Duffy took home the block lotto this month. Lucky Linda! These are going to make one fantastic quilt !

Helen assembled the blocks we made for the Ocean Waves quilt and added a small navy border. It looks amazing. It then went to Sherre to work her quilting magic!

There was no shortage of show and tell either. So many beautiful quilts. Mary Jane had a few and she also brought in her prize winning button art!

Sherre did GE Designs Ukrainian quilt

And a few others

These were Sherre’s block lotto winnings from the previous month.
Two finishes from MaryEllen
Two from Elizabeth!
Carol showed us this super cute baby quilt!
And this one from Linda!
Rosemary’s completed Star Wars quilt
A baby quilt and two other finishes from Eileen
What Brooke made with her “ugly” fabric from the swap!
June shared this stunner with us that her son scored and talked about the importance of labeling your quilts. This one is from 1900, what a find!!

Looking forward to October, Kathy Cunningham founder of Team Shamrock, who has raised over $1.5 million dollars for Tunnel to Towers, will be stopping by to speak to us.

Happy Fall and happy sewing!

August and Ocean Waves

Not to sound like a broken record but gosh there is so much happening for our little guild!!! We are adding new members almost monthly and last night was no exception as we welcomed Denise to our guild. And, we had a surprise visit from our favorite Coast Star reporter, Brigit Carlson, whose interest is both personal and professional. She brought a photographer along who was trying to capture the chaos of a group of women assembling an ambitious quilt. Speaking of which, we had a very brief meeting, mainly about our upcoming quilt exhibit at the Belmar Arts Council, which now has an official name, Quilts For Today and Tomorrow!! Post meeting our goal for the night was to assemble our Ocean Waves quilt which will be showcased at the exhibit and raffled off, the proceeds of which the will be used to fund our community outreach work. Call me corny but it was super heartwarming to see all hands on deck, including Brigit who jumped right in and did the pressing, and to witness Helen’s hard work and vision come together by, and I quote our hostess and cheerleader Julia, the “magical members of the JSMQG” it is going to be a beautiful quilt.

So here’s a few shots of the Ocean Waves quilt coming together

See you in September when we return to our regular meeting.

Community Outreach

The Jersey Shore MQG has a strong emphasis on community outreach, including the worldwide community. Recently I learned of a German quilt shop owner who is collecting quilt blocks to assemble and distribute to Ukrainian children who’ve been displaced and now living in her country. I asked our members if anyone would like to join me in making a block. True to form, the response was fantastic and as a result I was able to put together the first quilt and a member, MaryJane donated the second one. Both are now enroute to Germany and will sure to brighten the day of a child. This is why we quilt!!

The Jersey Shore MQG gives!

Team Shamrock

Team Shamrock, headed by Kathy Cunningham in honor of her brother who lost his life on 9/11, is a top fundraiser for Tunnel to Towers. The Jersey Shore MQG supports Team Shamrock by providing quilts for local smart home recipients and for their fundraising events. Their most recent fundraiser was held on July 14th at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como NJ. That event raised $40,000 for Tunnel To Towers and we were proud to have created this quilt as part of the fundraiser. Our members were asked to contribute a “one for me one for charity” as part of our monthly block lotto project. We were able to assemble the blocks we received into this phenomenal modern quilt with its “nod” to Team Shamrock ☘️ in the lower right corner. Kathy is always wowed by our work and never misses an opportunity to shout us out whether it’s to a class she’s teaching at the Atlantic Club or to everyone gathered at a fundraiser and we are just as grateful to her for that, as she is to us for the support we give her.

July Meeting

What a fabulous meeting we had this past Thursday, so many good things on the horizon for the Jersey Shore MQG including our first ever quilt show in February 2023 at the Belmar Arts Council!!

Our member led, monthly program just keeps getting better and the feedback I’m getting is fantastic. Our newer members especially love it and are learning so much. I’ve always been a proponent of utilizing our individual talent to teach one another and it has been very well received. This month member, Brandy Borden showed us examples of some fresh, modern takes on reverse appliqué. More than one of us has since ordered the books she shared and it looks like they’ll be some reverse appliqué projects in future show and tells. Thank you, Brandy!! This month was a double feature and MaryEllen Crumlish showed us some examples of her art quilts and talked about how she gets her inspiration and turns them into small quilts. Honestly, I was blown away and the buzz amongst the members right now is all about their upcoming challenge to create an art quilt and the inspiration she has given us. Can’t thank you enough MaryEllen!! Check out some of her work.

This particular piece incorporates thread sketching and I’m sure the picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s incredible!

As always, Show and Tell is a highlight of every meeting and there’s was lots to see.

Up first was Carol. She had two finishes this month, a jelly roll race quilt and this fun quilt!
One our resident Tula troop, Elizabeth, shared this beautiful quilt with us.
Always fun to see what MaryJane was up to, but more so to hear the stories that go with the quilt. This one was no different. A 4 1/2” bow tie block swap that all participants would come away with 80 blocks. But our friend MaryJane, took it next level and produced 196 blocks to make this stunner. Here it’s all about the layout and it did not disappoint!!
Eileen completed her Ruby Star Society, Perfect Picnic quilt, Jersey Tomato edition, with the majority of fabrics purchased from Old Spool Sewing and some stash additions.
Two finished from Debbie.
Shockingly, Sherre had no new finishes so she brought in some older quilts to show off for our newer members.
A finished quilt from Brandy!!
A beautiful finish from MaryEllen.

Block Lotto continues to be a favorite at meetings. Here’s what we made for July.

And Sherre was the lucky winner!

and some samples for next months block lotto, I love this one the design possibilities are endless.

Sherre repurposed her “ugly” fabric from last months swap into a cute tote bag to house a quilt for charity. Nice!!
And Eileen took her “ugly” fabric and created a basket which she gifted back to Virginia, the original owner of the “ugly” fabric, who was very happy to get it back!!
Helen has so graciously taken on the task of organizing our submission for the MQG Community Outreach Quilt challenge for QuiltCon. She has come up with a design for the quilt, shopped for all the fabrics, and created packets to pass out to members so blocks can be made and assembled. This has been a tremendous amount of work and her attention to detail is amazing. Thank you so much for doing this Helen, I am so excited to see this quilt come together!!

Our guest this month, Christine, also made the Ruby Star Society Picnic quilt. I met Christine for the first time when she and I ran into each other shopping at Old Spool for fabric for this quilt. She also wowed us with her Looper quilt


June is just whizzing by but earlier this month we had the best outdoor meeting/get together at Brandys home. The weather turned out to be perfect, she was worried, I wasn’t, and it was just a beautiful night! I always say the business portion will be quick but to be honest our guild has almost doubled in size post pandemic and our group is so eager to participate in new challenges and projects that all the business seems to go on forever. But that is a good thing!

Business aside, we had a really fun game of “Pass the Presents”, the ugly fabric version and everyone went home with someone else’s “ugly” fabric and the challenge to make something out of it for our July meeting! I’m super excited to see what everyone comes up with. Newbie, Brooke completed hers the next day practically, can’t wait to see what she did. Julia had a game of sewing room bingo we all played and lucky June went home with a gift certificate to Julia’s shop, Old Spool Sewing! There was also a Mug Rug Swap for anyone who wanted to participate and that was fun too!

Helen had volunteered to take on the Quilt Con Community Outreach challenge quilt and she was able to tell us all her plan for the quilt and will be passing out fabric packages at our July meeting. It’s gonna be a beauty! Thanks Helen!

Deb Hunter gave us a little trunk show of her art quilt pieces to give us some inspiration for our own upcoming challenge. Interesting to see how she was inspired by things on trips she’s taken across the country and also right here on the Jersey Shore and used fabric bits to recreate them. Newer member, Mary Ellen, is going to give us some insight into how she creates those fantastic art pieces of hers at a meeting as well. So much talent in our little group!

Lots of show and tell and good food! A lot of food!! And the chance to relax outdoors and get to know our newer members better. Many, many thanks to Brandy for hosting us in her huge, gorgeous backyard, so huge we almost lost Brooke but that’s a story we’ll save for July!

A few of Deb’s art and landscape inspired quilts, including the one directly above entitled “Badlands”
Brooke showing us our Block Lotto assignment for next month. Mary Jane took home the June Block Lotto blocks!!
A few finished pieces from Sherre!
Love this table runner that Helen made!
June had a few finishes as well!
Eileen’s finished Beads quilt, which was donated to a local fundraiser the following day! She heard through the grapevine that they raised quite a bit of money with it!!
Elizabeth had a finish ready to get quilted too!

And a finished beauty from Mary Jane!

And how about that Brooke?! She claims she’s only been quilting for a short time but look at these three beauties she knocked out!! Impressive!
And last but certainly not least this beautiful piece by Mary Jane!

See you all in July, happy summer sewing!!

May 2022

Block lottos, donations, swaps, ideas oh my!! Another jam packed meeting full of great content and ideas for the future. Plans are currently in the works for a group picnic and swap, a new block lotto with a bonus block for a community outreach quilt, an art quilt mini challenge, and a committee formed for the Quilt Con community outreach project. Phew! I need a nap!!

June’s Around the Block in Lancaster quilt is finished!! She did some fabulous walking foot quilting on it.
One of our resident Tula Troops, Linda completed this amazing quilt
And Modern Handcraft’s Snowflake quilt made by Linda as well. What a beautiful back she made with all of the “bonus” cutoffs from the snowflake blocks 👏
Look at this beauty Elizabeth put together and that backing fabric she picked up right here at Old Spool Sewing!!
Another great quilt from Elizabeth!
Julia made Noodlehead’s Cresent Tote at our most recent sew-in and it looks great!
Expect to see more of the back of this jacket as Julia has been bitten by the Sashiko bug! And keep your eye open for more Sashiko classes at Old Spool Sewing Studio.
Sherre had three finished quilts to show us!
Brandy finished up the second of the wonky cross quilts that the group helped her make blocks for. She will be giving them to a family in Jackson who lost their home and pets in a fire.
Another one of Tulas Troop is Helen and she finished this most amazing quilt!!!
Just a few of Mary Janes creations including a block she made for a Canadian guild she’s a member of and that lovely blue and yellow quilt she threw together to include with our donation to a shop in Germany who’s collecting for displaced children from the Ukraine. Thank you for your generosity Mary Jane!
Laura put together yet another Looper quilt, fantastic!
Eileen finished her Beads quilt a pattern by Modern Handcraft.

Eileen made this Noodlehead Range Backpack, with fabrics she picked up at Old Spool as well as the pattern. It’s on display at the shop in case you’d like to make one too!

Last but certainly not least, our multi talented member, Pam, taught us fabric weaving as our monthly program. How cute is the fold over clutch she created with her weaved panel? Thank you Pam!


Just a few short months ago I asked the group if they’d be interested in either a Queen Bee or a Block Lotto. The consensus was for a block lotto. New, and very enthusiastic, member Brooke has taken on this challenge of coming up with a block every month and she’s doing a fabulous job! She is taking full advantage of the MQG website Block Study feature, as well as researching and coming up with some more traditional blocks. In April we made some scrappy double plus blocks and this month a traditional sailboat!

This has quickly become a really fun part of our monthly meetings. Congratulations to Mary Ellen on winning this bevy of boats and the JSMQG for our newest member Brooke, a most welcome addition to our group!!!

And That’s A Quilt Wrap!

At long last our Maker’s Day quilt is in its forever home, wrapping its owner in the best kind of hug, a Quilty hug!

The quilt that began its journey as our guild participating in the Makers Day festivities of 2019 in the Monmouth County Library Headquarters where 86 children designed “quilt” blocks with construction paper pieces and our members subsequently took those blocks and recreated them in fabric, is finally home! I had the pleasure of presenting it to Brian Sullivan at a Boy Scout event honoring him. Brian served in the Army from 1987-1990 and was called back in 1991 for Operation Desert Storm, where his unit became stranded in the desert outside Kuwait and was not rescued until after the ground war was over. Brian continued serving back at home in a leadership role in the Boy Scouts of Monmouth County and currently volunteers at a local hospital as part of a Veterans organization. A fitting recipient for a quilt crafted by youth in his home county, Brian was very grateful and moved. He was eager to get home and look at the binder filled with information about how the entire process came about.

This was a long time in the making and the gifting. No one would have predicted that a global pandemic would literally shut the world down when this idea we had was formulated. We went into Makers Day looking to garner interest in quilting from both the youth and the community, as membership in our own guild was waning. While we didn’t exactly accomplish that at Makers Day, the pandemic, in an odd way, managed to increase our membership as the community was locked down and an interest in sewing and quilting was born out of mask making! Go figure!

Many thanks to each and every member who participated in this project. Special thanks to Deb Hunter, whose brainchild this was and who worked out every minute detail right down to the chronicle she created to accompany the quilt.

And that’s a quilt wrap!

On a side note, after I gave my little speech about the guild, our community involvement and this quilt, the quilt was presented to Brian. He unfolded it and held it up for everyone to see and my six year old great nephew, who is part of the Boy Scout troop, shouted out “I give that an A+!!!” Thanks for the affirmation Jackson!

Team Shamrock

This morning June and Eileen brought our latest quilt to Kathy Cunningham. Kathy heads up Team Shamrock as a part of Tunnel to Towers. This year’s Smart Home recipient is Staff Sergeant Ben Webb. In just a few months Ben’s new home will be delivered and this comforting quilt made by our members will be gracing the back of his couch. Kathy took one look at the quilt and thought it looked so comforting and we agreed! Without any planning, Eileen and I selected this fabric as we shopped at Old Spool Sewing Studio and now, we could see the camouflage feeling of these fabrics as they worked together in this quilt. The quilt pattern was found on The Modern Quilt Guild web site, and it is entitled Intersection Block by Margo Yang. The quilt was presented during an Active Fit class that Kathy teaches at Team Shamrock, over 50 attendees got to hear about our efforts and the recipient.

Meet Brooke Cerbone

Where were you born? Toms River, but I was raised in Sayreville for the vast majority of my life

How long have you been quilting? Just over a year! I started in early 2021

Who/what inspired you to start quilting? Melanie Ham. I used to crochet a lot and used a lot of Melanie’s crochet tutorials on YouTube. I kept seeing suggested videos of her sewing and quilting content and one night I realized I had stayed up until 3:00am watching her videos on quilting. I was fascinated, but I didn’t have a sewing machine. It took a few years, like 4 years I think, to actually find and buy a Singer Start off Facebook Marketplace. It then took another year for me to actually learn how to use it. Covid hit and my sister asked me if I could figure out how to make masks. That’s where my sewing journey started and I began my first quilt layout just after Christmas in 2020.

Who/what inspires you now? Still Melanie Ham, though she has passed away, her family has left up all of her content both on YouTube and on her personal website. I also really like Christen from ISeeStarsQuilting. I have followed a few of her tutorials. I just recently purchased my first quilt pattern and am excited to try and follow an actual written pattern as opposed to the tutorials I normally watch. Sometimes I get inspired by a person in my life I want to make something for. Sometimes I get inspired by photos I see online. I am part of the Young & Millennial Quilters Facebook group and have hundreds of screenshots from that group, whether it was for the pattern or for the fabric. I am an art teacher and have always loved art so I find inspiration everywhere.

When talking about quilts – what is MODERN in YOUR view? Patterns or fabric that is not traditional. I love the look of non traditional patterns mostly, but sometimes I see a traditional block and think it would look awesome with a modern fabric. Bright, fresh, clean, those words all come to mind when I think of modern quilting.

Do you follow any specific quilter or designer?  If so, who? Yes! Up in the inspiration question I named a few. Melanie Ham is my number one creator that I continually follow even though she has passed away. She inspired so many people, and taught me that there are no quilt police and that we need to have fun while we are quilting. If we are stressing out about getting it perfect, it’s not enjoyable. She taught me that I would rather have a finished quilt with a few imperfections than an unfinished quilt that I keep seam ripping on because I’m a millimeter off. Christen from ISeeStarsQuilting is really great, and I’ve also recently started watching Donna Jordan from Jordan Fabrics. In terms of designers I wouldn’t say I specifically follow anyone but I have found myself buying an awful lot of Robert Kaufman fabric.

What type of quilting do you prefer – piecing, paper piecing, appliqué, hand stitching?  Do you longarm? I’ve only ever machine pieced. I have never tried paper piecing or applique. I tried to hand stitch a label on a quilt one time and it was a disaster. I bought a machine because I don’t want to sew by hand.

Is there a type of quilt/project that you like to do?  Wall hanging, bed quilt, pocketbooks, totes, table runners? I like to make good throw size quilts. I have only ever finished 5 quilts so I would definitely want to make something bigger in the future, but I kept it to what I thought was manageable for now. I have also made a handful of tote bags which I do enjoy. Small projects often frustrate me because they are sometimes difficult to get right, however, when I don’t have a lot of issues it is extremely satisfying to finish something in one day! 

Do you participate in any challenges, Quilt-a-longs, charity sewing?    If so, which? I have never participated in any kind of quilt-a-long but I am open to doing so! The only challenges I’ve done were the UFO challenge that Eileen came up with for us and making blocks that are either sewn together to donate, or our block lotto! The extent of my charity sewing so far has all been through JSMQG.

Have you taken any classes in the last two years?  If so, which ones?  Did you find them useful? I have not taken any quilting classes. I bought a few online quilting classes but have not finished any of them yet. I did take one sewing class here at Old Spool to make a clutch!

Is there something that you would like JSMQG to develop a workshop on? Not specifically. I am so new to quilting that I don’t know what I don’t know!

Are there any speakers would you like to see visit JSMQG? None that I can think of.

What are your favorite colors? Green and purple!

What other interests do you have? I crocheted for a loooooooong time. I still do but rarely now. I even started an Etsy shop and go to vendor fairs with my crochet items. Sadly that business has not been very successful and it became more of a chore than fun so I will be putting an end to that soon. I love crafting in general. I’m an art teacher so I pretty much like any kind of creating!

Anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked? Not that I can think of!

Do you have access to email?  Do you check it periodically? Yes, everyday!