January

Another jam packed meeting at Old Spool Sewing Studio, where we once again added two new members! Warm welcome to Camille and Laura, we’re happy to have you on board!!

We are just weeks away from our first ever quilt exhibit and knee deep in planning, organizing and advertising. We have a gorgeous quilt to raffle, with all proceeds to fund supplies we need to continue to support the community with quilts and handmade items for donation and fundraisers.

Jersey Shore Waves, made by the members of the JSMQG

If you are reading this blog, we surely hope to see you at the Belmar Arts Center between February 13th and March 11th 2023 to see our work! There will be an Opening Reception with entertainment on February 18th from 3-5pm, come and join us and say hi! Information about the show and the Arts Center can be found here https://www.belmararts.org/

Our resident bag maker and entrepreneur Pam H, gave a wonderful presentation on everything zippers! She went through every possible zipper choice and their applications.

Here Pam is talking about her first sewing book from grade school!
And her first sewing project from 3rd grade!

Our monthly Block Lotto program is always wildly poplar. Brooke introduces a block to us every month and gives us instructions and design parameters and we all make one block. The blocks are collected and one winner takes them home to make a quilt for themselves. Here’s Januarys blocks on display, a poinsettia

And June M, was our lucky winner! Stay tuned for February and some scrappy hearts

As always our members have been busy creating

Denise R had this gorgeous quilt to show, what a great color combination!
MaryJane is participating in a mystery quilt with Bonnie Hunter, again that color combination is beautiful!
New member Camille showed us her puppy, pillow that is! How cute is he??
And a really clever embroidery case that Camille created as a gift for a friend!!
MaryEllen’s brother brought her back these amazing fabrics from a trip to Africa and here’s what she did with a few of them. The black background really makes these pop. Just gorgeous!
And an improv art quilt MaryEllen created, she’s incredibly talented!
Elizabeth had this dragonfly quilt to show, she has this thing for dragonflies!
And another great one from Elizabeth.
Linda D made this for her husband but apparently it’s too short for him and so back to the machine she goes!
Eileen D finally got this quilted from an improvisational curves class she took earlier this year at Old Spool Sewing. She tried some freehand quilting on her longarm.
June showed us this tablecloth she had created.
And a runner that June created with leftovers from another project and she embellished it with machine embroidery
Linda D showed us a project she took on this past summer. She had a beautiful, 50 year old, full length wool coat that the lining had become worn and shredded in some places. She removed it, made waxed paper patterns and replaced the entire lining with this fun fabric she picked up at Old Spool. Bravo Linda!
And we had a sneak peek of Brandy’s art quilt for our exhibit. Can’t wait to see this one finished!

That’s it for January, if you’re looking for us we’ll be at our machines getting ready for our exhibit.

Making a Difference

In our own quiet way, the Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild has been supporting our community through quilts for raffle, quilts for comfort to individuals, and other handmade items for ten years. Most recently, we presented twenty quilts, made and donated by our members to Mary’s Place by the Sea in Ocean Grove NJ. Mary’s Place is a respite for women battling cancer, a place where they can take a pause and relax in the most beautiful, serene setting one block from the ocean. While there, the guests are treated to a plant based diet, oncology massage, Reiki, counseling, yoga and so much more and it is all available at no cost. Mary’s Place is funded through local and corporate donations, grants and volunteers.

On the last day before the world shut down for the pandemic, we delivered a sizable batch of quilts to Mary’s Place. Two years later when they opened back up for guests, we received a beautiful, heartfelt letter of thanks from a woman who spent the first weekend they were back open there. Reading that letter was so heartwarming. We rarely get feedback directly from a recipient of our work and it got us all excited to continue doing this. It’s the collective thing that we all love to do and it’s truly making a difference. A win win!

From left to right. Clare Freda (Mary’s Place) Linda Duffy (JSMQG) June Mellinger ( Treasurer JSMQG) Eileen DiPietro (President/Community Outreach Chair JSMQG)

Wrapping Up 2022 – December

2022 has been a whirlwind of a year for this guild. We are wrapping up the year with 28 paid members and a few more promised, that is more than double where we were when the world shut down. That is crazy! We had a full house in December, literally, with members, a half dozen guests, the local press and their photographer. And our long awaited guest speaker Kathy Cunningham, board member and top fundraiser for Tunnel To Towers. We have been partnering with Kathy and her Team Shamrock for quite some time, providing a quilt for her big fundraiser every summer at Bar Anticipation, as well as making quilts for the catastrophically injured service members for whom Tunnel to Towers and Team Shamrock build smart homes. Most of our members hadn’t previously met Kathy so we invited her to come speak. Kathy told us about how her brother perished on 9/11 and she made it her mission to do good and never forget. She gave us so much insight into what the organization does and it’s plans for the future. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and now there’s a face to the name.

A picture of her team, Team Shamrock (Kathy’s brother Donald Robertson had a shamrock tattoo)
A giveaway!
The quilt our members made for Staff Sergeant, Ben Webb, the next smart home recipient, scheduled to be ready in March in Union Beach NJ

Laura was our Block Lotto winner this month. She literally won a forest full of trees!

Here’s next month’s

These are so pretty, I can’t wait to see them all!

This year, we challenged our members to take a step outside of their comfort zone and make a mini art quilt. Shortly after that challenge went out, an opportunity arose for us to have our first ever public quilt exhibit. So, as part of our exhibit there will be a special display of our shore themed art mini quilts, each of which will have a reference to the number ten in honor of our tenth anniversary and as a challenge to our guests to find the number 10. Here’s a peak at a few that have been

November’s block lotto winner, Katie, brought in her assembled quilt already and she was kind enough to offer it as a donation. We will be gifting this to Mary’s Place by the Sea for their Spring gala fundraising event!!

It was also our holiday party. There were lots of treats to eat and a pincushion swap. A fun time was had by all!

2023 is already shaping up to be another fun filled year. Stay tuned for lots of details about our upcoming exhibit in February at the Belmar Arts Council, so exciting!!

Happy holidays!!

November

November in New Jersey is typically all about crisp weather and an explosion of Fall colors, we’ve had the colors but not much chill in the air. It’s coming though! Members made chevron blocks in Fall themed colors for our block lotto drawing and wowza they looked awesome. Congratulations to new member, Katie who won these. We cannot wait to see this as an awesome quilt!

On to trees for the December block, these are cute!

Brooke is really outdoing herself in choosing blocks every month. Thank you!

We are knee deep in preparing for our first ever Quilt Exhibit to be held at the Belmar Arts Council in February 2023. All of us are working on a mini art quilt, inspired by the Jersey Shore and with a nod to the number 10 somewhere to commemorate our 10 year anniversary. I’m excited to see museum goers trying to spot the “10” in our art!

This amazing collaborative quilt, spearheaded by one of our newer members, Helen, and pieced, quilted, and bound by members will be up for raffle the entire month of our exhibit and beyond. Whatever proceeds from the raffle will go towards purchasing supplies for our work in the community.

Ocean Waves

Speaking of Community, we will be making a donation of approximately 18 quilts to Mary’s Place by the Sea in Ocean Grove in early December. Mary’s Place is a retreat for women battling cancer where guests stay free of charge thanks to the generosity of their supporters. Women stay for a weekend and are treated to nutritious meals, counseling, therapy and their spa, all in the beautiful Victorian building with multiple porches lined with rocking chairs, just steps from the sea. Stay tuned to see the amazing work of our guild members when we make this donation.

Part of every meeting is our Program segment. These are member led and have proven to be both educational and very well received. This month Linda Duffy demonstrated several methods for making multiple half square triangles. Whether you’re new to this craft or have been at it for years, there is always something to learn Sewing strips together to produce half square triangles was new to me! Linda is also a firm believer in starching fabric prior to cutting for precision cutting and piecing and she touched on that in her tutorial, but has promised to devote an entire Program to starching, different types and even mixing your own next year. Thanks Linda

Last month our Program was about unusual machine feet led by June Mellinger. At that time June, who had a 25 year career at Brother Sewing Machine, offered a foot of the month for us. So this month she schooled us about the benefits of a binding foot. Very interesting. While she was demonstrating that someone noticed the embroidery on the back of her jacket. According to Junes husband, no surface is untouched by June’s machine embroidery. All of her quilts are quilted using her Brother machine embroidery function.

More show and tell!

Eileen participated in Kaitlyn of Knot and Thread’s Patchwork Duffle sew along. She used all fabrics from the original Cotton and Steel, now Ruby Star Society’s collections. Simple in design, Eileen used her longarm to quilt up the panel of patchwork before cutting the bag pieces which produced a fantastic looking quilted bag.
Our guest, Ann, showed us this lovely, non traditional tshirt quilt she made for her son.
MaryJane has been at it again, using the same fabric she managed to make three quilts and a pieced back, so really four quilts. And always with a story!! That’s what we love about her!!!
Gotta love Brandy, this has been a work in progress since the Queen Bee days of when we used to meet in Ocean Grove. This quilt is 120” square, anyone want to hand bind this baby?!?!
Julia’s husband Patrick made this beauty!! It reminds me of a take on an Irish chain. We can’t get Patrick to join us at a meeting 🤔 but we’d sure love to have him!!!
Brooke had some extra blocks from her Block Lotto spoils and whipped up a few pillow, how cute!!
Brooke made a jelly roll quilt
and, she tried her hand at some spider web quilting. Great job!

And a whole cloth baby quilt backed with minky!

Debbie Loeb finished two quilts she’ll be donating to our Community Outreach efforts, a super cute take on a modern bear paw and a baby quilt using leftover half square triangles from another project. Thanks Deb!!
Lastly, in preparation for the upcoming exhibit, Eileen prepared two different methods for hanging a quilt. A hanging sleeve for the back of a larger quilt and corner pockets to hang minis along with a handout of instructions.

That’s a wrap for November. Next month we’ll be celebrating the holiday together with a little party and a pincushion swap. Looking forward to that and winding down the year. Plans are being made for 2023 with lots of new and fresh ideas. Our little guild had gone from a handful of members to 30 and counting and I could not be happier about that. The more the merrier!!

Happy holidays to all!

October

Nothing says Fall like some pumpkins and it was a pumpkin party at our monthly meeting last night. Brooke gave us this awesome block for the Block Lotto and finally….she won them herself! Don’t you just love a good fall quilt!

Next month we’ll be completing a chevron looking block in fall colors, that’s going to be a fun one too!

There was much to talk about regarding our Quilts For Today and Tomorrow exhibit coming in February 2023 at the Belmar Arts Council. Everything is moving ahead and coming along quite nicely. Lucky for us that Virginia took the lead on all of the designing and printing of pamphlets and raffle tickets and our hostess, Julia is getting all the technical stuff organized. Thank you ladies June and I were able to participate in the intake of the BACs new show opening this Saturday night. It gave us the chance to see the inner workings and answered a ton of questions for us.

We had a fabulous program about machine feet. June, our foot specialist talked about some unusual machine feet. Isn’t it just the best when you learn something new. More than one of us was going home to make samples of different stitches using different feet. This will be a regular feature in our meeting now.

Something else that’s been happening regularly is guests. We’ve been having guests at almost every meeting lately and a majority of them end up joining! Last night we had two local ladies join us!

And now for your viewing pleasure, a little show and tell

Mary Ellen just continues to wow us with these art quilts of hers!
Linda got a jump start on her holiday sewing making three Christmas quilts for her kids.
Elizabeth took one of her UFOs and completed it and it looks beautiful.
Sherre finished her quilt that was Old Spool’s Shop Hop kit, before the Shop Hop was over. No surprise there!

Also from Sherre, she used this photo from her daughters room to create the quilt above. Nice work!

Brandy is on a roll, look at this huge quilt she finished!!
Also Brandy, she channeled her inner Sherre and already finished her Block Lotto win. Tremendous!!
Julia had a costumer come into the shop looking to sell this absolutely stunning, vintage variation of a double wedding ring quilt. She’s busy researching and trying to determine the age because there is no label on it. PSA This is the reason it is so important to label your work!!
MaryJane finished this little beauty and decided to hand embroider that center block to tie in the colors of the quilt. looks beautiful!

MaryJane also brought in this mini to show and so that we could see her method for hanging minis. Thank you.

June has a finished top from a retreat she went to recently in Pennsylvania. It’s so pretty.
And least but certainly not least our Ocean Waves quilt I’m finished and bound and ready to be photographed for entry in the MQG challenger. This quilt will be raffled off coinciding with our Exhibit at the Belmar arts Council, in an effort to raise funds for our continued work in the community

Members were also reminded that MQG Mini Swap is still open for sign ups if you’re interested. June talked a little about the process and showed us the quilt she received in the last swap.

Happy sewing!

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!

September

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.