Meet Your Fellow Members

Name: June Mellinger

Where were you born? Massapequa N,Y.  I am the oldest of 4 children.  I was the only girl and then next two boys are my identical twin brothers, followed by my baby brother who as an adult tells me all the time that he loves to watch Sewing With Nancy.

How long have you been quilting? Since 1970.  The first quilt I made was from seersucker sample squares.  My MIL had a friend whose husband was a sales rep for Burlington Fabrics, and she would give me Mike’s samples.  The batting for the quilt was made from old, quilted bathrobes that I had cut up. The squares were stitched together with my $50 Singer machine and after that I used a hand sewn feather stitch as decorative stitching on the seams and I then sandwiched the quilt and tacked the corners.  I had no one to tell me what to do or how to do it.  The quilt was twin sized and was used on our son’s bed until he got his first real comforter (which I still have).    

Who/what inspired you to start quilting? In 1970 Steve’s aunt was taking Stitch ‘N Sew classes at her Singer dealer and I figured that if she could sew, so could I.  My mom, grandmother and aunts all sewed as well but for some reason my husband’s aunt inspired me.  I do have a quilt that my mom made in the early ‘70s as well.  After she passed in November 2020, I took that quilt home.  It frustrates me that I recall a hallway conversation that I had with my mother-in-law in the 1980’s about the beautiful quilt that laid upon her bed.  She told me how my father-in-law had asked their landlady to make the quilt for her so he could give it to her for their first Christmas…that was September.  She delivered.  I have asked my sister in laws about that quilt and they look at me like I am crazy.  It just disappeared. 

Who/what inspires you now? I worked for Brother Sewing machines for 25 years and when I retired in 2016, I knew that I finally was going to have the time to make more things and they would be things that I wanted to make.  I attended the International Quilt Festival in Houston every year for those 25 years and if that does not inspire you, nothing will.

When talking about quilts – what is MODERN in YOUR view? I am still trying to figure that out.  One thing is that the back of the quilt can be as important as the front.  I have a few quilts that I have added left over quilt squares to the back but that took real nerve for me to do.  I am a traditionalist I suppose.  I get the positive/negative thing and I get the reasoning to be wonky.  I suppose it just takes time.  I recall hiring a younger woman around 2014 and she told me a lot about the newer gals that were interested in Modern Quilting.  I met her friends and realized that I had to learn more about this style. 

Do you follow any specific quilter or designer?  If so, who?  I follow Victoria Findlay Wolf and I suppose that is more because I know her.  I watch Tula Pink and I am not sure what I think about her and her style but she is interesting.   Keep in mind that I worked in the industry forever and the question in the early 2000’s was, “what are we going to do to get the next generation’s interest?”  Now that generation is here and I have to figure it out.  I give them a lot of credit but honestly technology and social media have given this group a real leg up when it comes to being that next superstar.

What type of quilting do you prefer – piecing, paper piecing, appliqué, hand stitching?  Do you longarm?  Right now, I prefer paper piecing.  I did make a quilt entirely by hand during the Covid 19 using 6” diameter hexagons.  Have not done something like that for a long time.  I have used a mid-arm in the past, but I do not own one as I do not want to have to commit to the space. Recently I have begun to use my Brother Luminaire to quilt with the embroidery feature.  I like the result of edge-to-edge quilting in an embroidery hoop. 

Is there a type of quilt/project that you like to do?  Wall hanging, bed quilt, pocketbooks, totes, table runners.  I go in spurts.  For a while it was all wall hangings, then it was totes.  Lately it has been all about the bed quilt. 

Do you participate in any challenges, Quilt-a-longs (what is this?), charity sewing?    If so, which? I just finished a 14-month BOM challenge with Stitchin Heaven.  I think because I was paying for it I made sure that I finished the quilt.  I did start a Pat Sloan sew along but I never finished it.  Partly because I had not gathered all the fabrics needed before I began the Sew Along.  If asked, I do charity sewing for the guild.  This year I also made 2 Quilts of Valor for 2 very close friends who served in Vietnam after college.  They were shocked that I did this for them.  It was my pleasure that I could do that much. 

Have you taken any classes in the last two years?  If so, which ones?  Did you find them useful?  I like to go on weekend retreats where you make a specific project and during the process the hostesses usually find a way to teach you something new.  I say “usually” because that is not always true, so you really have to “shop” around to find the right retreat weekend for you.  I like the ones held at the Mercersburg Inn.  The setting is nice, the food is great and there is plenty for my husband to do as well.  I also took a class on line this year from Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill and it was most enjoyable.

Is there something that you would like JSMQG to develop a workshop on? During these times when we are forced to meet differently, I feel that my gain would be to be “forced” to be more engaged with quilting and learning.  It is difficult for me to make a “schedule” and stick with it.  Like using a Quilter’s Planner, I am terrible at that. 

Are there any speakers would you like to see visit JSMQG?  We were fortunate to host Krishma Patel in 2019 and I would like to do that again.  Perhaps for starters we could see if there is a modern quilter who would do an “online” speaker session.  I am sure that there are.  The other thing is that The Modern Guild” does have presentations online and we should make a greater effort to take advantage of these opportunities.  Eileen and I have “bought” tickets to the online version of the upcoming QuiltCon so that should be of benefit. 

What are your favorite colors? I used to say “Pale pink and pale green” but in this group that would not work.  I suppose I could say that I love the contrast of black to sharp color.  I am finishing a quilt that has a lot of black, purples, chartreuse and blues.

What other interests do you have? I like to travel and during a trip I like to stop at places that I have heard about.  For example, I read about the Panguitch Quilt Walk and during a trip to Utah we were able to travel through this Western town and learn why quilting has a historical impact on this town. I also play golf. 

Anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?  I would like to know about our member’s machine archives.  I began with a used machine and within 2 months I began watching a neighbor’s child so that I could buy a new White Zig Zag machine for $178…. what I didn’t know then was that I should have taken lessons on how to use the machine.  I did own that machine for many years.  I now have 6 Brother machines and one Bernina.  I worked for Brother for 25 years, so I bleed “Brother blue” I use my Bernina from time to time, but I always go back to Brother.  By the way Brother is the manufacturer of all of their products and they have made machines for Bernina, Viking and Babylock.

Do you have access to emailDo you check it periodically?  I check my email all day long as well as Facebook.  I don’t feel like I know Instagram at all.  I always say that I am going to get better at it, but I do not. 

Spring is Here!

Spring is here and its time to get your studio and supplies in order.  Your Jersey Shore MQG will be having its first ever Garage Sale/ Ugly Fabric Auction.  Get excited!!!  During a recent conversation with a fellow member, who shall remain nameless, she confessed to having six travel irons. What?!?  You may ask yourself, how can this happen, but the truth is we probably all have similar situations where we’ve misplaced something and bought new, or were out shopping at a show and we just couldn’t remember if we already had one of these tools.  I’ll admit I have more than one Dresden ruler to name one.  So here’s your chance to lighten your load, pick some things up at rock bottom prices and help us raise some funds for the guild.  Bring your tools you no longer want or need, books, patterns, you name it.  When I discussed this at our meeting last Saturday, someone asked what about ugly fabric and orphan blocks?  Bring It!!  I had sent out a group text to see who’s in and I am so happy with the response, so let’s do this!!

When:  Saturday, June 12th, 2021 11AM

Where:  This event will take place at Michelle’s house, outdoors, and I will send the address in an email.  (I need to set a rain date  with Michelle first)

Bring:  Whatever you want, just know that whatever doesn’t move you will have to bring home with you, but seriously “one man’s trash,,,”

We will have a very informal meeting first.  BRING A BAG LUNCH for yourself and a treat for the group in you want.  I have also approved with Michelle, INVITE LOCAL FRIENDS TO STOP BY AND BROWSE

More than anything, I am so excited to see all of you in person after such a long time,

Eileen 

March

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since we last met in person. All things considered and despite the challenges we’ve faced I’m pretty proud of how our small guild has carried on.

We had our regularly scheduled meeting virtually this past Saturday, there were six of us in attendance. I always worry that I don’t have a formal agenda like the old days, how will I fill the time. In true quilter fashion, once we get to chatting, somehow over two hours passed. June gave us a rundown of our finances which pretty much remain unchanged and our status with the MQG. Those of us who attended QuiltCon, had all positive feedback, kudos to the MQG for pulling off such an epic event virtually. Other matters discussed were the workshop we held for the Mini Maker Case and how great that went. The majority of us who attended either have a finished product or are well on the way to a finish. The next one is set for March 27th where we’ll be adding something new to our tool belt making Sew Sweetness’ Suffolk Coin Purse. Grab your pattern and supplies and get ready to join us. I’ll send out an email with some tips I learned while making my samples. I’ll also be sending a separate email with instructions for blocks, that Brandy wrote up, for our next charity quilt.

It came up in conversation that I had signed up for the Lancaster MQG virtual BOM which includes a monthly Zoom workshop. I had sent out the information a while ago. Well one thing led to another and I believe four of us are now attending. It starts tonight but I do believe you can join at any time. I’m interested not only in the quilt but also in the opportunity to meet and chat with their guild members and hopefully visit with them in person at some point. That’ll be fun.

Well that’s it for now, I will see you on the 27th. Until then happy sewing!

Eileen

February

Hi friends, I have no idea what happened to January and here we are two weeks in to February! I’ve been inundated with things to get the new year started, appointments, a couple of commissioned quilts and you know the drill. Sorry I’ve taken so long to get something on here but here we go,

Our meeting in January was a success in every sense. We had nearly our full membership in attendance and before we knew it more than two hours had passed. It was really great to see and talk with everyone. I had the second date scheduled for the third Wednesday and three of us showed up, which again was great. I’m going to continue that this month; however, I’m going to plan to be sewing that night and maybe demonstrating a quick make at that time if I determine there’s an interest. I will post on Facebook what to bring for anyone who is. Sound good? Sometimes the meetings get away from us and we don’t get to all the things I have planned, you know we quilters have the gift of gab! I will continue to schedule both time slots, unless we get to a point where I’m there alone.

There was, like I said, so much to catch up with last month and tons of show and tell to talk about, we completely forgot about that conversation starter ( like we actually need one!) your most coveted/hoarded fabric. Let’s try that again on Saturday. Show us what you’ve got, talk about why it’s so special and just what you’re waiting for, if anything, to use it.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again. June will be with us this month and can update us on her portion. Bring your show and tell, see you Saturday morning.

Eileen

New Year – Fresh Start

Happy New Year friends!!! I am so glad to be writing this post today in good health and hoping you are all reading this the same way. It is a new year, we have a fresh start, and hope for what lies ahead of us this year. We’ve made it through a most difficult and challenging time in our lives and also in terms of our guild and although we are certainly not out of the woods yet, there is hope on the horizon. If you missed me saying it earlier, I am so pleased to welcome back each and every one of our existing members as well as our new member, Rosemary. Things are looking up for sure!

Our first official meeting is scheduled for this coming Saturday 1/9/21 at 10:30 am. If you haven’t joined us yet in this fashion, go to our member page, look for Eileen’s Room for this day, click on it and you will be redirected I’m always there early and you can text me if you’re having trouble getting in. It does help to have the Facebook Messenger App on your device. I’m trying to accommodate everyone so I also have another meeting set up for Wednesday evening 1/20/21 at 7 pm. Come to one or both, whatever works for you!! Whichever meeting you come to please bring:

1. Your absolute favorite fabric that you are hoarding/ saving for that one special project and tell us how you acquired it and why it is so dear to you.

2. Three (3) 3 1/2 inch squares of fabric, (2) of the same and (1) coordinating. I’m going to show you a super quick make.

3. Show and Tell if you have any.

And all your enthusiasm, ideas, and suggestions for this new year!

I’ve mentioned in the past about sewing the Mini Maker Case together as a group. I’ve not had much feedback but I am still open to that so let’s talk about it at the meeting and either plan a day or scrap the idea. Im working on a sample of another bag of sorts, that is born out of the fact that I do not know how to do anything on a small scale, buy, cook, you name it. When you grow up in a house with ten children everything is bought in exact measure of what you will need for the week etc. No such thing as stockpiling. So when I needed to make something for my house I bought way too much of a certain “material” and I was trying to brainstorm what I could do to get rid of it. If it works out I will get that key ingredient to all of you and we can have a group project for February. I actually thought it would be a fun swap project; however, that may not be feasible right now. Tell me how you feel about swaps right now, I always like to be on the receiving end of a handmade item, you? And who doesn’t like when something that’s not a bill shows up in your mailbox? Let’s chat!

Lastly, I am going to join in on a Block of the Month this year with Kim Lapacek of Persimmon Dreams. Early on in my journey, when Craftsy was free I participated in two block of the month. I would guesstimate that a solid 70% of my quilting skills were learned there. It is a unique opportunity to learn new skills or hone the ones you may already have and haven’t used in a while. You have nothing to lose, it is free, she has some wonderful quilters scheduled in the lineup, and you end up with a decent size quilt, as the bocks are 12 1/2”. I should probably mention that the finished quilt is a mystery. It starts on the 12th, so go take a look. Kim’s theme this year is the Old School Block of the Month, new takes on old quilt blocks. I would love for you to join me, who’s in?

I’m making a personal commitment to keep this blog up to date this year, so be on the lookout. I’m also hoping to keep the social media outlets more engaged so please post your projects and tell me about anything new and exciting so I can repost.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone this month, whether it be on Saturday or on Wednesday, or both. Eileen

Catching Up

Greetings Friends!  I hope you all are well and remain healthy throughout this unprecedented time in our county and world right now   I have no idea when we will be able to see one another again so i will do my best to keep in touch with you here and on social media.  If you’re like me I’m sure you have fabric and projects to occupy you for another good three years easily, am I right!?  If not or if you’re quilters adhd has kicked in there are plenty of Quilt Alongs going on on social media and I’ll try to keep you abreast of those.  You can always follow @letsquiltalong on Instagram, she does a great job of posting everything she knows about.  There’s a few happening on Facebook as well  GE Designs has a one day project happening this Sunday and The Sewing Shed in Ireland is doing an instructional medallion Quilt which started today.

Unrelated, and on a more cheerful note, last Thursday myself, June Mellinger (and her son Chris), and Deb Hunter had the pleasure of  meeting one of the founders of Mary’s Place By The Sea, Michele Gannon, to whom we delivered the twelve “jelly roll race” quilts that you all so generously made!  Mary’s Place is a Place for women with cancer to take a break from their challenges  in a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere and where she can enjoy Oncology Massage, Nutritional Education, Reiki and Healing Touch Therapy, Yoga, Guided Meditation, Expressive Writing, Art Therapy, Prayer, and the list goes on.  There are nine private bedrooms with queen size beds and each has a private bath.  A house manager is always there ready to support the guests.  Complimentary organic, plant based breakfast and lunch is prepared in the gorgeous kitchen and served in their dining room.  I can not accurately describe how beautiful and clean, warm and inviting this house is.  Since it’s inception, Mary’s Place has served over 10,000 women, absolutely free of change!  Not one dollar has ever been taken from any woman for their stay here.  This is all funded by grant-writing, fundraising, and the 200+ volunteers who give of themselves to make this work and now we can consider ourselves one of them!

Our quilts were most graciously received by Michele who was extremely grateful.  I envision them in baskets in the living room waiting for the guests to curl up in front of the fireplace with or on one of the many classics white rockers outside on one of the porches that span the front of the house on each of the three levels of this beautiful home.

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This was another wonderful thing we did, ladies, here’s to more in 2020.

Stay well and keep in touch, Eileen

 

 

Welcome to March!

Hi everyone, hope you all are well and getting ready for Spring!  March is here and our next Saturday meeting/sew-in is right around the corner. Once again I will open the doors at 10 and the meeting will commence at 10:30 or sooner if we have everyone there. June and I did a fairly good job at keeping the meeting well within the one and a half hour goal ( I believe we were just slightly over an hour). Hope to see all of you there again. Our turnout last month was phenomenal. This month I’m encouraging you to bring a friend to our meeting.  Guests can stay and sew-in with us for the small fee of $10.00

Just a few reminders:

Michelle will be teaching us needle turn appliqué as part of our programming this month. Bring your own charm square if you like but Michelle will be providing some as well.  Regarding future programming, please let Deb Hunter know what skill of yours you’d like to share with us and any ideas you have for something you’d like to learn.

April is our fundraising event in lieu of our monthly meeting. Brandy will provide more details.

For our May sew-in I will be guiding us through the construction of the Noodlehead 241 Tote. It’s more of a bag than a tote and I think you’ll love it. Purchase your pattern and supplies if you haven’t already done so. You’ll need to do all your cutting and apply the interfacing beforehand to speed up the process. As always you can call or text me any questions you may have.

Hope to see you all on th 14th!!  Eileen

Quiltcon and News from the MQG

Have you checked your email?  The MQG sent out their February  News and Happenings email today and it is full of information about Quiltcon and how you can participate virtually and through live streaming.  In addition, the Board is asking for input from you, the members,  on the 2022 Community Quilt Challenge (formerly the Charity Quilt Challenge). We were just talking about this at last Saturdays’ meeting/sew-in!  There’s lots of other information and past webinars are there for your viewing and reference. Take advantage, this is part of your membership.

Happy sewing, Eileen

Friendly Reminder

Just a friendly reminder, our first combined Meeting & Sew-In will be this Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at the Colts Neck Reformed Church.  Doors will open at 10 am, meeting will commence at 10:30 or sooner if everyone is there and ready to go.  We will aim to be finished with the meeting portion of the day between 11:30 and 12:00 in order to leave ample time for everyone who is sewing-in.  Please plan to attend, there are things to discuss, lessons to be learned, and quilting to show off.  We will be having a visitor in attendance from the Beachplum Quilters, to talk about their upcoming show and who is very interested in our show and tell, so make sure you have some.

If you have not already done so, please read and respond to Brandy’s email about the meeting and again if you haven’t already paid your dues be prepared to pay them at the meeting.

Looking forward to seeing all of you on Saturday.          Eileen