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Welcome to the Modern Quilt Group February 2018 Newsletter
Plunging into the cold as the weather takes a turn for the icy. Definitely time to be thinking about cosy quilts and warmer times to come.
A word (or two) from the Editor
It's not too late! Here at Modern we feel a really important part of our remit lies in teaching and passing on what knowledge we have to the younger generation and, in fact, anyone else who is willing to listen. One of the events we run annually is for International Quilt Day (IQD) which always occurs on the third Saturday in March: 17th this year. We gather as many as forty quilters, and indeed non-quilters, of all ages for a day of fun, sewing and good food. Plenty of time to chat, try something new, do a bit of show and tell and eat cake; what would a quilting event be without cake? This year our theme is IMAGINARY MENAGERIE and we will be teaching some new blocks based on last year's popular kittenopolis cats including dogs, rabbits, hamsters, mice, fish and birds. Admittedly these last two start life rather differently than the cat blocks, but I think you get the idea.
Rainbow Tigers in production
QUILT STORIES: Headline NewsRainbow Tiger for Siblings Together
by Helen Howes
I have always liked to make by sewing, and I do it for a living. Sometimes you just have to make to give, as the things you want to make are not sellable. And I have given a good few quilts away as gifts. Sometimes they seem unappreciated. Sometimes they seem almost overwhelming for people - I have to explain that the making is what I wanted, the giving is more a sort of not-drowning-in-stuff thing. Sometimes I want to make a traditional quilt or one from a pattern that is not allowable as stock. And few people will pay enough for a big quilt - I would rather make a gift than a cheapo, as this devalues my work. And I do have rather a lot of fabric, of course.
FREE TUTORIAL: No-fail HALF SQUARE TRIANGLESCLICK HERE to visit the patterns page
SEWING MACHINES FOR BEGINNERS (and more advanced students!)by Helen Howes NEW SERIES: PART 5 - Thread Stands
Modern threads are presented in many ways - the old Sylko reels that you grew up with were always wound in parallel layers and designed to sit nicely on top of the machine on an upright spool pin. This is fine as long as you remember to put them on the right way up, so that the little notch does not catch the thread as the reel revolves. (As an aside, the invention of the sewing machine made a huge difference to the quality of thread - you can hand-sew with almost anything, but machines like fine, consistent, strong threads..)
Nowadays, many threads are sold on narrow spools or card tubes, cross-wound, and they don't always sit well on the top pin. They can wobble and rattle and catch. Very irritating and not condusive to nice stitches. So, for almost all my sewing, I use a Thread Stand, of one sort or another. The simple ones, like the one shown below, are available all over - buy a heavy one if you can. Mine has a metal base. Sit this behind the machine and a tad to the right
Small spools sit nicely, and unwind smoothly upwards, reducing tangles and catches. And of course, you can buy big spools - I use a lot of these and they are extremely economical.
The more sophisticated modern machines may have built-in stands of the overlocker type - this is my Juki, it has two pins so you can wind a bobbin without unthreading the other spool..
And, if you have woodwork skills, or live with someone who does, these are easy to make...
MODERN QUILT on the road: THE COTTON CLUBSome time ago Modern were invited by The Cotton Club to do our thing (demo, chat and give-aways) at their annual, three day, quilt show at Woodbridge, Suffolk. So, having chipped the van out of what appeared to be a solid block of ice early one Saturday morning in February, the two Helen's set off with quilts, patterns and sewing machines. It was a glorius day for a drive through the countryside, with frosty hedgerows and the lingering mist low over the ground making the naked trees appear to float.
The ladies of The Cotton Club where highly organised and our introduction into this (the second day of the show) was quick and painless, from a dedicated parking spot by the back door to a constant and very welcome stream of hot tea. We spent a brief but happy couple of hours demonstrating tigers - a perennial favourite - and flange binding; making lots of new friends for Modern by giving away patterns and information sheets. We packed away at lunchtime, relinquishing the demo area for the afternoon's entertainment and spent a further hour looking at the fantastic display of quilts and chatting with the traders. Just chatting? Of course not!
We arrived home late afternoon tired but happy, having stopped in the town to mend a recalcitrant sewing machine and also calling into our local quilt shop on the way (OK, a little bit out of the way) to buy some of the fabric we had seen on their stand at the show, but someone else had beaten us to. Plus, of course, one or two other things that caught our eye. All in all, a successful day getting Modern on the road again for 2018.
We were extremely pleased to hear from the organiser of this event, Val of DaisyMay Quilts, who wrote to thank us for our efforts and let us know that they look like raising around £5,000 for their local charities. We hope our efforts contributed in a small way towards this truly remarkable total. Well done to all the organisers and helpers!
Wedding Present by Kate Hutson at The Cotton Club Show
Up, Up and Uway by Sue Challener at The Cotton Club Show
ABINGDON QUILT EXHIBITION: 14th & 15th April 2018The Manor Prep School, Shippon, Abingdon. OX13 6LN
Lots of Quilts, competitions, tombola and fantastic raffle prizes
Contact JUDY HARRIS on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
CONTEMPORARY QUILTERS WEST: Unfolding Stories IIIApril 27th - May 3rd 2018
Harbour House Centre for Arts & Yoga
Kingsbridge, Devon. TQ7 1JD
CLICK HERE to visit the CONTEMPORARY QUILTERS WEST webpage
TUTOR BOX: Greetingsby Margaret Smith of Broomstick Quilters
Many thanks for sharing this wonderful picture with us Margaret, it is always great to see how people have got on with our Tutor Box programme. HB
CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOMEIt is quite hard to generate enough copy to produce a newsletter every month, and I am sure you will be getting bored with seeing the same few names cropping up over and over, but the truth of it is that unless we have contributions from other readers it comes down to the sames old few!
I would welcome input from fellow group members – photos, words, ideas or questions – a big part of ModQ is sharing and teaching. Please send anything you would like to share to
Anything you want to share with the MOD-Q group? Contact me on email@example.com
Impossible Grid by Helen Butcher
Pillary by Helen Howes
Treasure Boxes by Helen Butcher
CHALLENGE 2018 - FOOLING THE EYELooking forward to May so we can start seeing your entries for this year's challenge for all things that fool the eye. Here, as promised, are my two offerings.
After 1st May, please send yours to:
4, The Raveningham Centre,
Beccles Road, Raveningham, Norfolk
NOTE: Please remember the follow challenge rules
Size: 20 x 20 inches including the finished edge (binding or facing)
Sleeve: 4 inch hanging sleeve is essential
Labelling: Please include on the back - Your name, the quilt's title, date, contact email address.
CLICK HERE to see the latest crop of pictures and to read all about it
UNCLAIMED!Do you recognise these? From the 2015 and 2016 Challenges, and still eating at my table. if you don't want them back, please discuss, I'm sure the cat would like them (grin). HH