Nov 2018: Prepping for the longarmer

Prepping your quilt and backing for longarm quilting

For tonight’s program, we welcomed member Gail Von Hoene of Stitch Meisters who shared tips on how to prepare a quilt top and backing for longarm quilting. Topics included the pros and cons of prewashing, how to square purchased fabric, taming borders, backing and best practices when piecing it, different types of batting, and tools useful for squaring. Gail provided a demo of squaring a quilted quilt prior to binding. You can learn more and see detailed tips in Gail’s handout, Longarm Quilting & Squaring up your Quilt. If you missed the meeting and would like a copy of the handout, Barbara has some extra printed copies. Thanks Gail for a great presentation and for the patriotic cupcakes too!

Tom the veteranGail also introduced two guests – her husband Mike and their uncle Tom, a Vietnam war veteran who was in town for the presentation of quilts to veterans by members of Alamance Piecemakers. Tom shared his experience as a participant in Honor Flight a program that flies veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit war memorials. Tom shared with the group how meaningful it was to visit the Vietnam memorial and to receive a hero’s welcome on his return to his home in Columbus.

Mystery Quilt proposal

Miranda shared her idea that we participate in a mystery quilt for 2019 as a way to educate and inspire us and help us expand our quilting skills and techniques. She has chosen a mystery quilt (Case #130) from Merry Mayhem that includes some appliqué and paper piecing along with more traditional pieced blocks.

  • A majority of members present voted to participate in the mystery quilt project and to set aside for 2019 the monthly challenge blocks we have been doing.
  • In December, Miranda will share fabric requirements for the project and members will be able to choose what size quilt they want to make and purchase fabric prior to the first “clue” being available in January. Depending on which size project you choose to make, you will need to make a certain number of blocks each month for the first ten months; the eleventh and twelfth months will involve assembling the blocks into your quilt top and adding your border(s).
  • Miranda hopes to coordinate guild program and workshop topics with skills needed for monthly blocks. She also hopes we can have sew days and that those with expertise in particular areas can serve as quilting mentors or “quentors.”


Enola thanked everyone who brought items to the meeting that were sewn for boutique sales. If you still have items, please get them to Enola no later than November 27 so that she can organize and price them before our next event, the Secondhand Santa Sale and Craft Fair at Elon Community Church. You can give items to a board member who can give them to Enola at the board meeting or contact Enola directly to give her items. Setup for that event begins Friday night at 8:30 if you’d like to help. Also please turn out on Saturday between 10 and 4 to shop!

Raffle quilt and holiday party

  • Lisa R. estimates we are halfway towards reaching our fundraising goal with the 2018 raffle quilt, and she encouraged members to take packets of tickets to sell, suggesting numerous ways to get creative with selling – buy them yourself, put them in with another item at gift exchanges, put them in stockings. Each packet contains 15 tickets, $2 each or 3 tickets for $5, so $25 would buy an entire packet. See Lisa if you need tickets to sell – less than five months left until the drawing.
  • Lisa discussed the rip-it game that will happen at the December holiday party. Everyone should buy ONE yard of red or pink fabric – PREWASHED and ironed. Please also bring a pair of scissors to start your snip for each round of fold, snip, rip, drop, pass. See how Fold It-Snip It-Rip It-Drop It-Pass It is played and come prepared for fun. Sheila recommended the best way to avoid confusion is to take it slow and wait until everyone is ready before going to next round. The fabric each person takes home will be used to make blocks for January. Lisa will provide each person with a fat quarter of white fabric to use as a background.
  • As for other holiday party preparations, Lisa J. has agreed to decorate and Barbara will provide music. Everyone else should bring food to share. The sign-up sheet (link in newsletters) will let you know what others are bringing, and you can sign up for your own contribution.

Charity Updates

  • Amy reported there was a “last chance” table in the back of the room with books that will be donated if not taken. Teresa also contributed paper-piecing patterns free for the taking.
  • The storage room is looking awesome, and hopefully the church has addressed moisture problems because the room is no longer damp or smelly. Amy asked if you bring donations and have time, that you sort them into labeled bins. If you don’t have time to sort, please place donations in the bin labeled “unsorted.”
  • Amy was so impressed with the 46 quilts we made for NALES and that so many of them used fabrics from Midstate, that she printed photos and delivered a photo album to them so they could see how we put their fabric to good use.
  • Amy reported that she is on the board of CrossRoads that provides assistance to victims of sexual assault and also human trafficking. They serve 30 new victims each month and 70% of their clients are children. CrossRoads has traditionally had an annual fundraiser where an admission ticket purchased a handmade pottery bowl as well as a serving of soup or ice cream. The source of the majority of their bowls in past years is unable to provide them this year, so she is proposing we make and contribute rope bowls as an alternative. The fundraiser is in two weeks and they need 50-60 medium sized bowls. We have tons of fabric strips that can be used. Here is a coiled bowl tutorial (pdf) from Nanette S. Zeller. Contact Amy if you can make and contribute bowls.
  • Sheila reported that she had received a nice thank-you note from Crystal with NALES who said she and her son were overwhelmed by the number and variety of quilts we donated last month.

Other business

  • Elections were held for the 2019 board of directors. Congratulations to newly elected officers and committee chairs, all or whom will serve on the board of directors.
  • Pam won the name tag drawing on the first night she remembered to wear her name tag!

Show and tell

Mike and Tom were put to work holding large quilts shown by members during show and tell.

Ann A. shared her nearly completed Vintage Rose paper-pieced quilt. She shared her experience of not washing fabrics beforehand and having the red bleed onto the white when she washed the completed top. Most of the pink is gone after several rounds of washing with color catchers, and all agreed it was not noticeable and that the quilt is gorgeous. Ann expanded it to be king-sized to accommodate her new mattress.

Sylvia shared her barn quilt made at an Alamance Arts Council workshop taught by Beth Ball. She reported that sewing a straight line was easier than painting one. Sheila had fun with adorable pet-themed stockings including Merry Kitty and Merry Canine designs – she sandwiched the front and back with batting.

Enola invented a pattern for a casserole carrier and also shared a UFO made from Moda fabrics.

Lisa R. shared a UFO baby quilt from a Piecemakers kit, and amazing Amy finished another colorful quilt and after borrowing a square from the backing fabric to complete the front, realized she had to get creative piecing the back.

Pam shared two quilts – one made for her sister and another made for Alamance Piecemakers’ veterans project. The veteran one was quilted by Gail with an eagle design.

Kathy shared her nearly completed Dresden fan quilt that she worked on at our recent Fall 2018 retreat. It was made using a 15-degree ruler and was also quilted by Gail.

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