April Sew In!

We had a great sew-in this month! Nat whipped up two gorgeous matching Easter outfits for her twins…

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This is the Clara Dress pattern from Violette Field Threads – beautiful!

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And this adorable Classic Oxford is from Peekaboo Pattern Shop – so cute!

Brandy worked on her blue and green quilt, and got some binding assistance from Deb L

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And Deb L was busy on a blue and green quilt of her own!

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Who doesn’t love a baby quilt?

We love making baby quilts here at JSMQG! Here’s a round-up of a few of our favorites!

In 2015 I made this clamshell quilt for a little guy who is turning two soon…

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And last week presented this one to his mama for his new little sister! – Shannon

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From Eileen – “Here’s one I made in 2014, for a new great nephew. His mom told me she liked woodland animals and when I saw Jaybird Quilts make this using her Chopsticks pattern and a new fabric line for Dear Stella, I decided to totally copy it 🙂. Funny thing is I got an early start because baby was due in September. He decided to make his debut late July and I had to literally channel my inner Eleanor Burns and make this “Quilt in a Day”!! Young Alonzo Carter had to stay in the NICU for quite some time and although I could not see him the nurses swaddled him in this quilt every single day and mom regularly sent me updates and pics. Lonzie will be three this year and is thriving and that quilt is his constant companion. He has a sister now too and the same goes for her and her quilt too. This past January, their family was awoken in the middle of a bone chilling cold night by the fire department as their building was on fire. Everyone got out safely and as Alonzo and Elise were sleeping under their quilts, they were saved. Sadly everything else was lost.  Thankfully all is well for this family and they are in a new home…

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From Brandy: “My most recent baby quilt finish was the Appliquéd Anchor Quilt for my nephew Cullen which was presented at the baby shower held in his honor last January 2016. It included a custom label from Aunt B (me) to enter his birth information. He uses it as a play mat and it makes me happy to see him use it daily! I only wish I could be with him in Ohio to play there together more often!!!”

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From Deb L.: “These 2 quilts were for the grandchildren of the woman’s blog I write for. (Brother and sister) The dad was from Kentucky horse country and the baby’s name was Wyatt. The sister, Juniper’s quilt colors were requested by the mom as the color for the nursery and mom loves birds! The cowboy quilt was from a book and the mom saw it before I made it to make sure she liked it. The other one I just made up after I had gather the fabrics in the colors I needed. I also showed her the fabrics to make sure they worked for what she wanted in the nursery.”

From Deb H: Here are the 2 I’ve made for my grandsons. First… The Periodic Table for my grandson whose daddy is a chemistry teacher. Please note that each of the element ‘families’ have matching backgrounds. Each letter was cut out by hand and then machine appliquéd to the square before being sewn randomly together and quilted. A labor of love!!!

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Second… Hunter’s Star was made for my 2nd grandson. I followed the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s tutorial. I chose the pattern because my last name is Hunter. The backing fabric was called Patriotic Star… because his daddy is in the Navy. Next up!!! I’m working on a Clamshell Baby Quilt as my son and daughter-in-law are expecting a little girl in August!!! WooHoo!
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From June M!: This a baby quilt set that I made for our first grandson. I wanted to duplicate one that was my baby quilt using decorative stitches and machine embroidery. I was so proud of the results. It was used in several advertisements during my career at Brother Int’l. I also showed how to make several parts of it on the PBS show Sew Beautiful with Martha Pullen.
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March 2017 Show and Tell

Lots of gorgeous work this month – everything from simple and beautful quilts using the rail fence pattern we developed for our “42 Quilts for OG” charity drive to an ornately pieced “Dear Jane” quilt!

Brandy’s star quilt for OG with Bella helping with the basting.
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Eileen’s Split Rail for OG

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Michelle also made a beautiful Fence Rail Quilt for OG

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June finished up the Split Rail quilt for OG she was working on at our sew-in, using fabric she got from her mother.

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Deb L made a quilt for OG with antique style fabrics, inspired by the Victorian homes that line the streets in Ocean Grove.

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Sherre used some of the fabric donated by Timeless Treasures Fabrics to make her “Roses” quilt, and quilted it in an all-over rose pattern. She is hoping it can be given to someone named Rose!

Phyllis used some more of the fabric donated by Timeless Treasures to make not just one, but two beautiful donation quilts!

Our visitor Patti showed her Dear Jane quilt which was from a class at Mouse Creek Quilts where she met Michelle! It is all hand sewn and the borders (pictured on the right) still need to be attached.

Sherre brought a recent finish – a custom designed quilt using all Tula Pink fabrics – the entire back is pieced from Tula scraps too!

Sherre also shared another recent finsih – a quilt inspired by Ricky Tim’s “Harmonic Convergence” quilts.

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Another great meeting! See you in April!

Valerie Fund Initiative

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Maria Dolan, Eileen, Michelle, and a bucket of quilty goodness! 

In the words of our own, amazing charity chair, Eileen DiPietro: “Michelle Lewis and I made our much anticipated trip today to the Valerie Center at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch with 13 quilts in hand to donate. The Valerie Center is a comprehensive health care center for children with cancer and blood disorders. Their mission is to treat the whole child, socially, emotionally and medically and to do this close to home. The Valerie Fund was founded in 1976 in memory of Valerie Goldstein by her parents who had to travel with her to receive treatment. Today it is the largest network of facilities for children, seeing over 25,000 children per year with seven centers in NJ, NY and PA.

Our meeting today was with Maria Dolan, LCSW, who coordinates the care of these children. Maria gave us a tour of the facility. The atmosphere is cheerful and upbeat.  Depending on what the children come in for they could be there for the entire day. There is a waiting room with a huge comfy couch and the walls are lined with bookshelves. Another room is geared toward teens with gaming chairs, video games and iPads. The walls are painted with images of musical instruments. The  television room or “Cinema” room has thick, rich, red velvet curtains with gold fringe lining the doorway and televisions with theatre like seating. Even the examination rooms are pleasant and inviting, decorated in beach themes with a surfboards as an exam table!

We had such a pleasant visit with Maria and her staff and they were beyond thrilled to receive the quilts.  Maria truly “gets” the whole power of the quilt “thing”. She showed a genuine interest in the process of quilt making and the proper care of the finished quilt. I invited them to come and visit with us at a meeting or sew-in.

The quilts we donated today will be given to children who have to be at the Valerie Center for an extended period of treatment. I asked Maria to let us know when they were running low so we could try and maintain a supply for them. Quilts for kids are such a quick make with a long lasting effect and you ladies are so awesome and generous, and I am always in awe of you. Thank you all!!”

Come Weave with Me!

img_4699.jpgHey all, as promised, here is a primer on incorporating fabric weaving into your quilting, as demonstrated at Quiltfest by yours truly. I discovered fabric weaving, also known as triaxial weaving, mad weave, hex weave, and Japanese meshwork, several years ago and love teaching others how to use this clever and often time-saving technique to create a variety of designs.  The technique originates from traditional Japanese fabric manipulation and traditional basket weaving, and while more commonly taught in areas closer to Asia – Australia, New Zealand, and the West Coast of the US, it began to pick up in popularity again here on the East coast in early 2012. As with all things quilting, what was old is always new again- this technique was popular in the US among quilters and sewists in the 1970’s. Note: Most of the samples in this tutorial use grosgrain ribbon – an excellent way to become familiar with the process before you cut into your much-loved fabrics. This technique can be used to make individual quilt blocks, panels for purses and clothing, or entire quilts.

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What you’ll need: Prepared strips (see details on prep below), Foamcore/thick cardboard as large as your finished piece, Straight pins or thumbtacks, and a large safety pin or other make-do device for pulling fabric strips into place – early on in my weaving journey, my friend Tara started 3-D printing a tool specially designed to weave fabric strips, the amazing Wefty needle. She makes them in several different sizes and they make this whole process a dream! I highly recommend picking a few up if you find yourself intrigued with fabric weaving.

 Strip Preparation: Prep your strips – it’s important to remember that you will need approximately 3 times as much fabric as you would for a traditional quilt since there are three layers to any woven design. For the tumbling blocks weave, you will need 1.25 times as much fabric as your final quilted area in EACH of your three weave colors. This is assuming you are cutting 2.5″ strips and running them through a 2.5″ bias tape maker, resulting in 2″ finished strips. I usually cut 2.5 strips on the grain of the fabric (jelly rolls work wonderfully for this), WOF, and starch and press on high heat as I run them through my bias tape maker, then starch and press on high heat. I cut my prepared strips to the right lenght, and piece the “leftovers” together – if you don’t want to fuss with this, you could cut all strips to the right length before preparing. Actually cutting strips on the bias is not recommended – you don’t want your strips to be too stretchy, as this can distort your weave. There are several other ways to make and finish strips, depending on the time you want to invest on the “front end” of your project and its ultimate use. We’ll save that for another tutorial though 🙂

1. For your first layer, you will be cutting strips the finished height of your piece, plus an extra inch to allow for adjustments. You will need enough strips to cover your entire base – how many strips you will use depend on the width of your strips and the width you want your finished piece to be.

2. Prepare your surface. You will need a surface large enough for your finished piece or block – my favorite easily accesible material is foam core board from craft stores. If you buy two trifold boards and connect them with duct tape you can create quite a large surface. For even bigger pieces, sheets of lightweight drywall from a home improvement store works wonderfully. You can adhere your strips with thumb tacks or straight pins, inserted into the foamcore at a 45 degree angle.

IMG_46963. Lay down your first layer. The sequence of colors you use in this first layer will dictate your final design – for this example, which creates a tumbling block design, you are going to use color 1 (solid blue) as your base. Make sure your strips are stretched tight and are lined up as straight and close together as possible. For any other fellow weavers out there, this is, in essence, your warp.

IMG_46972. Next, use a ruler to mark a 45 degree angle across your entire piece from the upper left to the lower right side – I like to use painters tape for this, as you will only need it as a guide for the first few strips – after you have pinned your first couple in place, remove the tape and simply use the beginning of your second layer as a guide. Use your 45 degree line to place your first strip of color #2 (white in this example). Your pattern here is basically “two under one over” – that is, strip 1 will go under your first two blue strips, over your third, then under the next two. The next strip will use the same pattern, but shift over one space, so over the first blue strip, then under the next two. The third will be similarly shifted, this time under one, over one, under two. I know this can sound overwhelming, but zoom in on the example above, and remember, nothing is sewn down yet! My mantra when I do this weave is “under two, over one, under one” – the first step every strip in the sequence takes.

As you weave in each strip,  make sure to anchor your starting end with a pin or thumbtack so you don’t just pull it out the other side. When you have completed your second layer, step back and look at your piece – you should have rows of diamonds in color 2 running from the top left corner to the bottom right. At this point,  unpin and reweave any strips that were placed incorrectly. Once this is done, make sure all of your second layer strips are securely pinned down. At this point you may need to tighten up and straighten your first layer as well.

IMG_46993. Just as in step 2, mark a 45 degree angle with painters tape, this time from upper right to lower left. You are going to repeat the same pattern, taking strips of color 3 (blue and white patterned ribbon) and running them over one, under two of your previous two layers, staggering your sequence as you did in step 2. Think about it in terms of just your first layer – you are still using an over one, under two pattern, but are also going under any overlaying strips from layer 2. A picture is worth well more then 1000 words in this case, zoom in and take it one strip at a time. This may take a few tries to do correctly – I still lose track of my pattern sometimes. Look for a pattern of color 1 diamonds emerging, moving from the top right corner to the bottom left this time. Once you have finished this layer, adjust and tighten as before. You may need to tighten and adjust color 1 or 2 strips as well – look for any slack and adjust as neccessary.

4. The last step – stabilizing – is a little nerve wracking, especially with a large weave, but just take your time and you’ll be fine. I like to put painters tape down over my whole weave as a precaution first. Then, I remove my pins, and gently slide my piece off the foam board. For extra security, you can take white school glue such as Elmers or Roxanne’s and place a dot at each intersection of the weave, then press to dry the glue. After securing my strips in place, I use my domestic machine to zigzap all four sides of my weave. At this point, if you are not going to baste the piece to batting and backing immediately, it can be stored taped or pinned against a hard flat surface such as cardboard or foamboard – I like to tape mine down to rigid cardboard and hang them on pants hangers till I am ready to use them, but they can certainly be stored flat as well (I have a few hidden under my bed) .

If your strips were simply ironed after running them through a bias tape maker, your quilt will need to be thoroughly quilted in the ditch of each “diamond” shape so that it does not distort or unravel in the washing machine. Other strip preparation methods will allow you to do less dense quilting – watch this site for more info on that.

Please leave any questions or comments below, and feel free to contact me with any weaving specific questions at my personal email, silverforgefarm (at) gmail (dot) com with any inquiries.

Resources – Many of the books on fabric weaving are out of print, but readily available used on Amazon. Also don’t be afraid to buy books that are not translated – the diagrams are really what matters in triaxial weaving designs, and most of them are quite easy to understand, even if the text is only in Japanese.

 

43 Quilts for OG Sew-In is TODAY! Join Us!

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We welcome all helping hands – even if you don’t sew, we can use help with cutting, ironing, and pinning during the quilting process. Irons, Cutting Table, and Ironing Board provided. We have also designed a simple rail quilt pattern and will have the supplies available to create it today at the sew in!

42 Quilts for OG Sew-In – You’re Invited!

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The Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild and VFW Post 1333 in Asbury Park are hosting a sew in to complete quilts to give to the 42 families who lost their homes in Ocean Grove last week. We will sew this Wednesday (3/8/2017) from 1-9pm at the VFW on Lake Ave in Asbury Park. All sewists are welcome. Please fill out the following form to RSVP!  42 Quilts for OG RSVP