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!

April 2022

Another fun meeting for the Jersey Shore MQG. Brooke was kind enough to volunteer to put together our blocks for the quilt we are donating to the latest smart home recipient of Team Shamrock/Tunnel to Towers. Eileen quilted it on her longarm using an edge to edge design called “bayside”. We were striving for a low key beachy/serene vibe and I think we’ve nailed it but you decide.

It will be on its way to its new home next week!

Last month, I suggested we have a monthly block lotto and it was well received. Our first one was this month. We all made ‘double plus’ blocks, scrappy version and the winner, Rosemary C took home 32 blocks!!! Just fabulous! Stick around for next months sailboat version

Sherre gave us some good advice about squaring your quilt, the proper way to add borders, and assembling a backing. She also gave us some insight into how to prepare your quilts for a longarmer There were some very enlightening moments for us in this monthly program.

Eileen inquired if anyone would care to join her in making some quilt blocks to send off to a shop owner in Germany who is assembling quilts for displaced children from Ukraine. Also very well received and she will be collecting them at the May meeting. Any 12 1/2” block in blue and yellow, the Ukrainian flag colors.

We have a sew-in on the 23rd which will be a free sew, work on whatever you like! This is a good opportunity to just come and hang out and get to spend some quality time with your fellow members. And shop, of course!!

Here’s a little show and tell for your viewing pleasure. Happy sewing!

Sherre had a few finishes from a virtual retreat she attended with GE Designs!

Carol made this awesome tree skirt for her daughter!
Elizabeth has been busy!! Look at all of these finishes she had to show us this month!!
Laura attended Mandy’s Looper class at Old Spool Sewing and isn’t that just great!!
Look at June finishing that UFO from our February UFO challenge, way to go!!!
Inspired by a window she sees every day while working out at the Atlantic Club, June created this wall hanging and quilted it using some tips from Jacquie Guering’s walking foot quilting book. Stunning!
Two quilts in one, a finish from Mary Jane, this double sided quilt! Great job!!
First of two quilts that the group make blocks for Brandy to assemble and donate to a local family who lost their home and pets in a fire. Quilted by Sherre. #teamwork
Brooke showing us some samples she whipped up for our next block lotto.
Admiring all of our double plus block submissions for the monthly block lotto.

Take note of our mini quilts hanging in the studio, which were gifts for our lovely host Julia, a token of our appreciation for sharing her welcoming space with us, we are so grateful.

Back to our regularly scheduled sewing, see you next month!!

Block Lotto

The response to our first group Block Lotto was fantastic!! Last night Rosemary won these 31 (and another one coming from Nadine who couldn’t be with us) double plus 12 1/2” blocks. What an excellent, modern quilt this will be!! Brooke has chosen a sailboat block for this months and instructions were passed out. I’ll be sending them in an email, as well for those who couldn’t make the meeting.

Generally speaking I think we should establish a few things about the monthly Block Lotto. I’ve been looking at what other guilds do and here’s what I’ve come up with.

– monthly instructions will be for a 12 1/2” unfinished block. Exceptions will be for smaller blocks that when sewn together will finish at 12” I.e. (4) 6 1/2” or (2) 6 1/2” x 12 1/2”. (My reason behind the large block is that when you win you will have something substantial to create a top)

– one block = one entry except in the case where you need multiples to make a 12 1/2” block I.e. (2) 6 1/2” x 12 1/2” or (4) 6 1/2” and then (2) 6 1/2” x 12 1/2” = one entry and (4) 6 1/2” = one entry.

– you are encouraged to make as many as you like every month but at least one.

-if you are unable to attend the meeting when blocks are due, please make arrangements to get them to someone or to bring them the following month.

– once you win, we should expect to see your completed quilt top or quilt within 6 months to a year.

– in fairness to all of the participants, once you win you will be expected to continue participating; however, you won’t be eligible to win again until the following year.

Have fun and enjoy the process!! Brooke and I will be alternating months to come up with blocks. If you have an idea for us by all means email me or Brooke and we’ll be sure to include it. My goal is to present you with fun blocks with a modern aesthetic and maybe some new or alternative techniques for us to try. I have been scouring the MQG website and their “block study” segments and you can expect to see me taking full advantage of these freebies. I strongly encourage everyone to get on the MQG website and take advantage of the resources and webinars, these are free to you with your membership and there is a wealth of information on there. If you’re having difficulty navigating their website, reach out to Brandy for guidance.

Happy sewing!!


The Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild is always looking for ways to serve our community and in keeping with that we collaborated with member Julia, owner of Old Spool Sewing Studio, in a day of sewing for others this past Saturday, March 26th. Julia recruited young sewists and together with our members we made over forty zipper pouches for The Village NJ, a closet for foster families to “shop” for all of their needs located in Point Pleasant NJ. We also collected travel size toiletries to fill the pouches from members, the young students and the community and in the end were able to donate a huge tub to Jackie from The Village along with a monetary donation from Julia. It was a wonderful day of sewing, we were so impressed with the skills of the young people and I’m not sure who had more fun, them or us! Thank you to everyone who participated!!

Preparing for the arrival of our young counterparts!
Mary Jane and Brooke taking a break before our students arrive.
Seasoned sewists working on their own!
The concentration!!
A sewing superstar!
Brandy giving instructions on pouch construction.
Natalie and Elizabeth helping some students.

A few finished pouches, we were so impressed with these kids!!

More scenes from a fabulous day of giving!

Sew For Others Day at Old Spool

The Jersey Shore MQG in collaboration with Julia of Old Spool Sewing Studio will be holding a sew for others day on March 26th. We will be assisting Julia’s young sewing enthusiasts in constructing zipper pouches which will be filled with trial size toiletries and donated to the Village NJ in Point Pleasant, a closet for foster families.

February Meeting

A quick virtual hiatus and we were back in person in February, yay! It was a fabulous meeting, so much fun!! Seeing everyone’s UFOs and their stories and reasons why they’re not finished was really entertaining. But we’re gonna get them done, after all there’s some $$ on the line.

We’ve got some fun new things happening in the coming months. Block lottos, fabric challenges, sew-ins and bag making. I’m particularly excited for the sew-in with Julia’s students, making toiletry bags for a local organization. That will be a fun day and for a good cause. We’ve also got everyone making blocks for our donation quilt for the next “smart home” recipient of Team Shamrock/Tunnel to Towers. And Brandy received quite a few blocks for the donation quilt she’s making for a family who lost their home and pets in a fire.

Now that Pam and Julia schooled us in using a serger maybe we can all get together and take a garment making class. That would be fun!

And now the parade of projects.

Pam is vowing to get this finished and it will be her first quilt!!
June’s One Block Wonder that she got stumped on!
Linda’s UFO for her son, she’s definitely going to finish this one!
Brooke got stuck on the quilting on this one for her aunt but she’s all set to finish now
Virginia thought this looked a little wonky so she never finished it. Looked perfect to the rest of us!!b
Another UFO that Virginia is going to finish up!
Mary Jane has a few to finish but she’s motivated to get them done!!
This looks like a finish, and it is, except Sherre has taken each of these blocks and made an entire quilt from the one block. She has one left and that’s what she is calling her UFO
Two completed tops from Brandy, that’s quite an accomplishment!
Pam showing us the bag she created for Sew It Yourself, where it was recently announced that she is one of their Experts 👏👏
Julia made this bag for an upcoming class she’s teaching at Old Spool and another recent finish are those slacks she’s wearing!!
Linda’s heart quilt, a gift for a friends baby, from a pattern in American Patchwork and Quilting. Gorgeous.
Newest member Nadine wowed is with her ‘hearts and pinwheels’ table topper. Love the red and teal combination.
Brooke also finished this cute tote, made with Tula Pink’s ‘Handmade’ fabric!!
June completed her Around the Block in Lancaster quilt along piece. Several of us participated in this with the Lancaster MQG, virtually. And then she went on to put together Modern Handcraft’s snowflake quilt, a gift for her granddaughter’s Sweet Sixteen. She’s been busy!!
Eileen’s Haulin Stash quilt top, ready to get quilted.
Eileen also finished this one from a quilt along that went on virtually during lockdown.
And lastly Pam and Julia gave us a tutorial on Sergers!