Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tips and Reminders for Choosing Bee Blocks

Dear Miss Quilty,

I have joined a quilting bee! I am so excited, what is the proper etiquette for choosing a pattern, providing fabric and all other things bee related?

-Modern Quilter

Dear Modern Quilter,

How exciting that you have joined a bee! You will enjoy making friends and building new skills, learning new techniques, making different color combos than you are used to and trying out new things.
To be in a quilting bee means that you are confident in your basic skills, but not everybody in your bee may be and advanced quilter. Let's break it down and see how to make this the best experience ever!

Choosing a Pattern:
Patterns used in bee blocks should be open source, meaning you want to look for FREE patterns or tutorials to use for your block. Why you may ask? Keep in mind that purchased patterns are copyrighted. While it is perfectly okay to give a pattern to your friend when you are finished using it, it is not okay to make copies of a copyrighted pattern to give away. There are some great resources for finding free bee block to use. Patterns that are copyrighted include: books, paper patterns, craftsy patterns, magazine patterns (get the idea- basically, if you pay for it, you shouldn't copy it).

Lots of free resources online can be used to find a pattern. Here are some great starting points:

It is best practice to test your directions before giving it out. This serves two purposes:

  1.  It helps you realize the complexity of the design and any issues in directions. 
  2. It gives a gauge for how long it will take to make the block. 

It's polite to consider the time commitment you are requesting, including fabric selection, cutting and pattern preparation. Bee members don't mind a block that takes a little more time, but they might mind if you expect them to make 2 of them :)

If you want specific fabrics or lines, you should provide the fabric.
It is perfectly acceptable to ask bee members to work in a specific color range, provide examples for best results.
If you want a scrappy look you might want to provide more fabric to get that look (not everyone has the same stash size.)
Provide enough fabric for any small cutting errors that might happen.
It is expected that guild members will use high quality fabric in your blocks.

Before the guild meeting prepare a copy of the pattern and fabric you are providing for each bee member. It is general practice in our guild to package them with the name of the individual on it.  (zip-lock bags, envelopes, folders etc.). You'll pass your blocks out to members during the guild meeting. It's okay to leave kits for anyone not present at the shop for them to pick up later in the month.

Making the Block:
Past experience has taught Miss Quilty that it is better to start earlier than later on the bee block of the month.
Look at the pattern early on and don't hesitate to let your Queen Bee know if you have questions about fabric or directions.
Keep in mind the standard seam allowance in piecing is 1/4 inch.
If there is a new technique that you are unfamiliar with, ask the Queen Bee or go to your LQS to get help.
Don't hesitate to ask questions: Do they still want the paper in a paper pieced pattern? Can I mark with a frixion pen? Is it okay if the fabric has some glitter on it? - these would all be okay!
Do your best to complete by the deadline. (It's no fun for anyone to be missing bee blocks.)

Most importantly HAVE FUN!
Enjoy your bee!
-Miss Quilty

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Moda Mini Charm Challenge

Thanks to the generosity of our January speaker, Lissa Alexander, we have an exciting guild challenge!

During our January meeting, Lissa explained that before each market release, she often pulls out charm packs of each line and in the office they look through each print, guess which line fabrics are from, and see trends in colors and designs. After the most recent market, Carrie Nelson took the charms and made this quilt with fabrics from all the lines mixed and mingled. Isn't this a great idea?

It can be so easy for us to get stuck in a rut with only this fabric goes with other fabrics that the designer made...or the exact same colors. This looks super scrappy and just cute!
Then came a suprise! Cute paper bags were passed out to each member. Each bag contained 4 charm packs and 3 spools of aurifil thread. Wow! What a treat!

Here's the challenge Lissa issued:

Mix and mingle fabric from all four charm packs to make something. You must add 1 yard of grunge or a solid (of course, you can add more!). 

Bring your completed projects to the April meeting! We can't wait to see what you make with this challenge.

Some of our members have already started! Be sure to share what you're making for the challenge. Tag your pictures on instagram with the guild hashtag #mckmqg and share with moda: #ShowMeTheModa

Huge thanks to ModaLissa and Aurifil thread for this challenge.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

January Meeting Minutes 2016

Call to Order

Our January meeting was called to order on time by our new President, Stephanie Schroer.
We had 5 new members join, 11 visitors, and a "whole lot of people" in attendance.  

We started a new "icebreaker" poll that will run during our "mingle" time before the meetings start.  A question of the month will be posted and you can text your reply.  Our question this month was "What is the most prominent/favorite color in your stash?"  Aqua led for most of our mingling time, but at 6:30 the final winner was a 3 way tie between Blue, Turquoise, & Aqua (which Lissa Alexander pointed out during our program, are all somewhat the same).  Tied for second were pink, purple, and teal.  

Membership Renewal & Directory

Martha Wolf (Membership) and Chris Simon (Treasurer) oversaw collection of dues as this is a new year!  Annual dues are $50 and not only give you the benefit of membership in our local guild, but also the benefits of membership in The Modern Quilt Guild.  If you forgot this month, please bring your dues to the next meeting - pay with cash (correct change) or check (made out to the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild).

As requested, Martha is also developing a directory of guild members with contact information, including name, email, and Instagram "handle".  Members are given a choice whether to opt out of publication in the directory.

2016 Board Member Introduction

President - Stephanie Schroer
VP Programs - Ellyn Zinsmeister
VP Events - Alice Dutton
VP of Communications - Catherine Dutton
VP Membership - Martha Wolf
Treasurer - Chris Simon
Secretary - Rachel Reid

Committee Reports

Secretary - Our membership chair Martha posted minutes from December 2015 to the website.
Treasurer - Chris presented our current treasury report.  National dues will be paid this month, so expect expenses to be higher next meeting.
Community service - Dusty Allendorf is our community service committee chair.  Chris Simon donated the 1st quilt top of the year.  Joellen Brill donated her completed quilt from the paint chip challenge.  Susan Cooksey donated blocks she made after taking Chris' class on Improv at Stitched with Love.


#NotGoingtoQuiltConRetreat - last call for signups for this retreat at Sunset Retreat Center February 11-14.  Over 30 of your fellow members and friends have signed up already!  Find more information here.

Alice Dutton ran our FQ Lottery of modern, high quality quilting cotton.  The theme for this month was text prints.  Stephanie Schroer, Julia Lewis, & Lisa Lake each won a bundle of 12 FQ's.  February's theme will be Red, Pink & White.

Our two quilting bee's collected blocks.  There is currently room in Allyson Talbot's group if you are interested in joining.  Ellyn's group constructed for Bee Queen Joy Hinkleman, who chose a scrappy spiderweb block.

If you signed up for the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake challenge online, the fabric will be shipped to the guild.  More information will follow.

The UFO challenge is due in February!  Get your 3 projects completed & bring them in for show & tell.  You'll get a ticket for completions & we will have multiple prizes to raffle.


Lissa Alexander from Moda gave a wonderful presentation about the company and fabric printing processes.  She is a 19 yr Moda veteran & has been quilting for 35 years.  She is found on Instagram @modalissa.  Moda is a 3rd generation family company with ~50 designers that prints high quality fabrics & sells only to independent quilt shops.  They use two plants in Japan & Korea to produce all their fabric.  Almost all fabrics are screen-printed with engraved 24" x 45" screens.  The dots on your selvage show the number of screens & the order of printing.  After about 3000 yards are printed, the screens have to be re-engraved.  Moda fabrics are a consistent 60 x 60 thread count.  She showed several fabric samples to demonstrate the printing process & matching repeats and passed around unfinished fabrics for us to feel.  At the end, she handed out goodie bags!  Moda & Aurifil generously provided us 4 mini charm packs and a thread pack from Aurifil.  With the swag came a challenge - add 1 yard of Moda solids or grunge to the mini charm packs & make something.  You can add more than 1 yard if you wish.  Bring your item to the April meeting and prize winners will be chosen!  

Business Continued

We had a nice long "show & tell" at the end.  The Paint Chip Challenge completions were shown first - at the December meeting we all drew 3 random colors from a bag.  The challenge was to add a neutral color and "make something" with your 3 colors.  Members also showed recent projects/completions/swap items.  4 birthday certificates were handed out.  Door prizes were drawn.  Chris Simon won the charity drawing - a Villa Rosa pattern.  Marsala also showed up on the icebreaker poll as a favorite color at the end of the meeting. 

Next Meeting: February 2

Monday, January 4, 2016

January Meeting Packing List

Just a reminder of the following things to put in your bags for tomorrow night's meeting:
  • $50 Check or cash for dues renewal (checks made out to McKinney Modern Quilt Guild)
  • Paint Chip Challenge Item (bring your paint chips too)
  • Fat Quarter Lotto - Theme this month is Text Prints
  • Bee Blocks (or packets if you're the queen bee this month!)
  • Show & Tell Items
  • Check for retreat payment (Made out to Sunset Retreat Center)
Mingle time begins at 6:00pm and the meeting will begin promptly at 6:30pm!

See you there!