Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Retreat Door Prizes

I received the most wonderful box of books in the mail from Potter Craft! Sadly they're not for me to keep, but we'll be giving them away as door prizes this weekend at our second ever PMQG retreat this weekend. If you're an attendee you'll have a chance to win one of the following books or many other lovely prizes donated by PMQG sponsors.

Quilting on the Go by Jessica Alexandrakis is full of "English paper piecing projects you can take anywhere." Since English Paper Piecing (EPP) can make use of such small pieces, I appreciated the section on "Making the most of scraps." Other tips I found useful were the pages dedicated to creating a travel tool kit, since having a dedicated set of tools to grab sounds much smarter than my current flurry of racing around the house, desperately trying to find needles, templates, and everything else needed for EPP.

Although it seems like many people I know (myself included) utilize EPP for hexies, I feel like I know fewer people that use other shapes such as triangles, diamonds, half hexies, squares, rectangles, and more shown in this book. Seeing templates in these less common shapes along with projects made from them is inspiring and opened my eyes to some new possibilities with EPP

I felt that the resource section at the back of the book was especially good, with several pages of black and white quilt patterns that could be copied and used for color placement practice, and a plethora of actual size templates. 

Several projects caught my eye, especially the Tanuki Striped Throw. This throw is made from a puzzle piece combo of two diamonds and two squares stitched together to make a larger unit. I love the creativity of combining these different shapes together!

Glorious Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett is full of the vibrant colors and  patterns that we expect from Kaffe, set in fun quilt layouts that enhance the beauty of the fabrics used. 

Glorious Patchwork is arranged by color schemes, and although I usually think brights when I think Kaffe, it was fun to see a variety of color palettes represented here. The book starts with a section on pastels, and even though I wouldn't normally consider myself a pastel fan, I really enjoyed these quilts.  One of my favorites from this chapter, the Herringbone Baby Quilt, actually uses leftover pieces from one of the quilts earlier in the book, and I really love that "use it up" philosophy. 

Following chapters are Circus, Leafy Gardens, Antique Stone, and Renaissance. Of course I was drawn to the brighter colors of the Circus palettes, but it was also fun to check out all the color schemes and the different patterns represented. This book also contains many templates in the back as well as patterns for foundation paper piecing and other quilting resources.

Dare to be Square Quilting by Bob Davis has the perfect combination of whimsical design and tips for efficient piecing. The quilts are designed for beginners and every pattern in the book is made up of squares and rectangles. I love the owl on the cover as well as the skull pattern (called Basket Case), but I also really enjoyed the more abstract pattern Two Left Feet, which consists of lines that seem to double back on themselves to form open squares and rectangles. Moving through the book, there are also patterns for a whimsical stag and a giant alarm clock.

After the section on quilts there are smaller projects which, due to their construction of squares and rectangles, have a great modern, clean look to them.  Pillows, table runners, placemats, and aprons are represented, as well as one of my favorite projects in the book--the Gridlock Grocery Getter shopping bag. This would be a great book for anyone starting out or who likes to make fun, pictorial quilts, or anyone who likes the clean lines and negative spaces of modern quilting.

Modern Log Cabin Quilting by our very own Susan Beal is definitely a guild favorite and a great one for every quilter's library. This book celebrates a basic block and so many wonderful, creative layouts and alternate ways to use it.

Even though I've had the chance to review this book before, it was fun to read through it again to see what I've missed. The Modern Cross pattern that graces the cover is a beautiful classic for full sized or baby quilts that is a great pick whenever you need a simple, beautiful quilt. One thing I was excited to find was a pattern for a t-shirt quilt. Several people have been asking me lately about them, and besides a vague idea about the need for interfacing, I really had no idea where to start!  

Another quilt that jumped out at me was the Northwest Modern Quilt. It does look very modern with its large expanses of negative space, but after examining how it was put together (starting with a rectangle rather than a center square) it surprised me what a different look it was from a "typical" log cabin block. Besides a great variety of quilts, Modern Log Cabin Quilting also contains patterns for napkins, coasters, pot holders, pillows, and more.

While not solely a quilting book, Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts has a wealth of information that any fabric lover would enjoy, in a large, beautiful, coffee table worthy book. 

At almost 400 pages, this book contains so many tips and patterns on a range of sewing related topics such as fabric, setting up a sewing area, applique, embroidery, quilting, dyeing, and fabric printing. The books is organized with chapters on Basic Techniques followed by projects arranged alphabetically (to name just a few--animals, bags, clothing curtains, flowers, pets, pot holders, slippers, wall decor). As you might imagine, the back of the book is full of tips and techniques. There is even a cd included that contains templates and patterns.

It's pretty difficult to pick a favorite out of so many patterns, but two projects that I really like are the Cross Stitch Silhouette tote and the Bird Embroidered Pillows. I like that the needlework techniques are shown incorporated into finished projects (tote bag and pillow for these two). Sometimes when finishing a needlework project I can't think of anything to do but frame it and put it on the wall, so I enjoy these kinds of useful patterns and ideas.


Thank you so much to Potter Craft for providing these great retreat door prizes, and good luck to all of our attendees!

Monday, February 23, 2015

February Mini Quilt: Paper Piecing

If you haven't tried paper piecing yet, now is the perfect time! You can find lots of paper piecing tutorials and patterns online with these quilters/designers:

Penny Layman:

Charise Creates:

Amy Friend:



Sam Hunter:

Teresa Coates:

Remember to keep your quilt under 36" wide/long to participate in the 2015 PMQG Mini Quilt Challenge.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

February Meeting Recap

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our meeting last Thursday! If you missed out or want to look back at the things we talked about, here's the PDF version of Elsa's presentation:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 2015 Meeting Reminder

AnnMarie Cowley 
Don't miss out on this month's fabulous meeting with special guests: Cris Pera, Virginia Hammon, AnnMarie Cowley and Christina Lane and their mini trunk shows! 
February 19, 2015
7:00 p.m.
St Andrews Church
806 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211
The meeting will be in the community center, which is behind the main church building. There are two parking lots.
What’s in store:
  • Mini trunk shows and presentations
  • March's mini quilt challenge
  • Retreat updates 
  • Small group sign-ups
  • Excellent giveaways
  • Post-meeting socializing at the Radio Room
Don’t forget to bring:
  • Your name badge 
  • Your improv mini quilt
  • A mug for coffee or tea
  • Your quilts for show and tell, of course! 
Guests and non-members are welcome at the guild meeting. Guests are free for the first visit; $5 for each visit after that.

Modern Domestic Discount
Modern Domestic will offer PMQG members 20% off their purchase on Thursday. They'll also be open until 7 p.m., so stop by before the meeting! 1408 NE Alberta St.

We hope to see you on Thursday!

Upcoming Events

Charity Sew
Thursday, February 26, 2015
10 a.m. to 4 p.m

Modern Domestic 

Open Sew
Saturday, March 7, 2015
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fabric Depot

Bring you machine, tools, and projects for a fun day of sewing. Free for members, $10 for guests. 

Scott Hansen Painted Forest Workshop
Friday, March 20, 2015
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

St. Andrews Church 
$72 plus you will need to purchase and print PDF pattern with discount code before workshop

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Review: Handmade for Baby

As crafters, we normally have a list of projects in progress as well as a list of ones we would like to start. I know for me that the excitement of a new baby, whether it's in my family or a friend's family, can definitely skyrocket a project to the top of my to-do list!

Handmade for Baby: 25 Keepsakes to Create with Love, by Charlotte Rivers and Emily Gregory, is full of fun projects to inspire you to create something for a baby in your life or your next charity project. Many of the projects include techniques or patterns that would work well for a child of any age or even an adult, such as the Hand Painted Storage Buckets or the Decorative Garland that would be great for a Baby Shower, as suggested, or for any party or room decoration.

The Hand Sewn Cushion shown on the cover is another project that would be a fun gift for anyone but would definitely be adorable in a baby's room. The addition of piping lends a sophisticated touch and the applique lends a bit of personality to the pillow.

Overall I would say that Handmade for Baby has a great combination of the whimsical and decorative, balanced with items that are not only beautiful but also useful. There are clothes for babies (hats, pants, booties, and a skirt) as well as wall decorations and bunting, cushions, a blanket and a quilt, toys, a soft book and quite a bit more.

While this book doesn't firmly fall into the quilting category, there is one quilt in it (a darling chevron quilt) as well as other quilter friendly projects such as an Applique Welcome Banner, the aforementioned cushion and storage buckets, and sewn Fabric Blocks. Beyond quilting, there are projects in many other mediums such as clothing construction, knit, crochet, painting, block printing, paper crafts, sewing with felt, and more. With cute projects and clear instructions, I think this is a great book to have in any crafting library.

The end of the book has a few great resources like sections on crochet and knitting basics. Following each chapter is an "inspiration gallery" which shows projects from that chapter with slight tweaks, such as changing the materials used or changing the finished size of a project to take it in a new direction.

Thank you to Interweave/F+W for donating copies of this title. Lucky winners will go home with this book at our February Retreat!