Sunday, September 16, 2018

Tips for Quilters

  1. Use the application Layout on a smartphone to view possible quilt designs and block layouts - you can see secondary block patterns and your ideas will emerge.
2. When making single fold biding, leave a gap in the center when folding the sides inward (rather than having each raw edge meet as is more usual). This leaves some stretching space when pulling the binding over the quilt sandwich edge and prevents having to struggle to cover the binding seam.

3. Use a dental floss container to hold thread in a bobbin when traveling by air. There is a thread cutter already on the floss holder so you won’t need scissors.

4. When making small circles for applique, use liquid starch to wet the fabric then gather  tightly with a rubber band around your template (a coin, washer, plastic shape, etc). Allow to dry. The shape will be stiff and ready to trim and sewn down easily by hand or machine.

5. Use disposable mascara brushes (available at beauty supply stores) to clean the bobbin area of your sewing machine. 

6. Use picnic tablecloth clips to secure your backing and batting to a table edge for basting.

7. Use a glue stick to hold your binding strip in place on a quilt edge before stitching it down to finish.

8. Use an oak wooden half round molding strip from the hardware store as a platform on which to press patchwork seams open.

9. Put transparent tape on the bottom of your presser foot when sewing vinyl - this allows the foot to slide along without sticking.

10. Organize your fabric scraps by color near your machine when making a scrap quilt.

11. Use a clear jewelry case for organizing your notions - you can see and easily find the items.

12. Use a toolbox for carrying sewing supplies to a retreat or to travel.

13. Use a wallpaper seam roller to ‘finger press’ patchwork seams.

14. Use non-stick drawer liner plastic under your machine’s pedal to reduce slippage on the floor.

15. When using a seam ripper, cut only every 3 to 5 stitches then use the reverse side’s intact thread to rip out the seam.

16. Pin your borders in place and then sew them - this reduces rippling at the edges of your quilt.

17. Before you trim your quilted sandwich, use a stay stitch or zigzag stitch with a walking foot around the raw edge of your sandwich to hold the three layers together for binding.

18. Shanon Brinkley ( has a free video class on fusible applique with good instructions.

19. When cutting long lengths of fabric, use as barbell or weight (can of food) to hold your ruler in place to prevent slippage.

20. Use small dots of glue (Elmers, Roxanne’s) to hold your design together for piecing or applique instead of pins.

21. Use repositionable  tape to hold down the first fabric of a foundation pieced project instead of pins (they distort the foundation).

22. Use fusible wonder tape between zipper tape fabric and the raw edge of your desired print to hold a zipper in place for stitching.

Tips collected from focus groups of modern 
quilters during the September meeting of the guild.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild 

General Meeting

September, 2018

Rose Daley, president, led the meeting. 

We had four guests/new members attend the meeting. Welcome!

As usual, Rose rewarded the members with September birthday with a fat quarter. She also introduced the board members who were present.

The guild needs member volunteers for the following committees/jobs:
The Nominating committee needs two to three members to volunteer to find officers for the coming year. Elizabeth Timmons agreed to chair this committee.
Maria announced a charity quilt needs to be finished now; Maria O’Haver volunteered.
We are still looking for a coordinator for the creation of a charity quilt for the national Modern Guild effort; the palette of fabrics has been chosen, the focus technique is ‘small piecing’.
We still need volunteers to work during our guild’s bingo night - you can still play while working.

Rose led a discussion about the level of our dues for chapter membership at the meeting. Currently our annual dues are $40; the dues have remained at that level for several years. National is raising the cost of member dues by 20% beginning in 2019. This will require the guild to at least raise dues to cover that expense. After discussion about alternatives, the guild voted to raise dues to $50 annually, effective January 1st, 2019.

Near the end of the meeting, Heather Kojan (founder of our chapter) announced that the midAtlantic Modern Retreat will be held in May (2nd - 5th), 2019, at the Doubletree Convention Center, Lancaster, PA. Pencil the date on your calendar and sign up for the mailing list on the retreat website ( for future news.

Show and Share

Two members participated in the UFO Challenge - they traded unfinished projects with each one completing the other's design. Here are the results:

Many members made quilts for the 
East Baltimore Head Start Early Reading Program:

Andee shared a quilt she made in a Melanie Tuazon workshop with the Lancaster modern guild; Melanie will be teaching for our guild in October:

Elizabeth Timmons made two notebooks 
with her original design pen pouches for bingo prizes.

Linda Schiffer shared the mini quilt she made 
for the online Teal Mini Swap.

Pat Simrell made three tote bags for bingo prizes.

Kathy Schwabeland shared several projects she finished over the summer.

Sue Till finished a complex medallion quilt and 
made a table runner with placemats for a bingo prize.

Daria Phair won a set of X blocks at a guild block drawing and created this quilt; notice the exquisite quilting (Daria is a commercial long arm quilter).

Susan Brightman made wall quilts for family and friends.

Guest Sarah Lefebvre made a very modern V quilt.

Judy Dunlap made a large retreat ditty bag and two tuffet pincushions.

Amy Verne made a pillow, two stuffed toys and a
 large patchwork tote bag for bingo prizes.

Heather Kojan made two quilts from her scrap bins 
and showed an article she has in the new 50 Little Gifts magazine.

MJ Snyder made two tote bags and a small quilt for bingo prizes.

Rose Daley made Woodland Creatures quilts for her niece and nephew.

Sarah Kachur sewed a patchwork design featuring prints for little boys.

Lauren Stephens made a masculine ditty bag for a 
bingo prize and shared her applique map of the Chesapeake Bay.

Phyllis Cook also made a masculine ditty bag for bingo and 
finished two quilts for her grand daughters.

Sarah Strouse made another cute zipper pouch for bingo.

Rebecca Ruch completed her mystery quilt using 
a different alternate patchwork block.

Two of the large quilts for bingo prizes were completed this month.
Jane Schiemer quilted the autumn colored quilt at bottom.

Photos and notes taken by Linda Schiffer

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Notes from the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild’s general meeting on August 12th, 2018 at the Arbutus Public Library. 

Meeting led by President, Rose Daley. 

Two guests attended (were referred to us by the staff at Glory Bee Sewing Center in Fallston, MD. 

There were two members who had birthdays in August and each chose a fat quarter from the birthday prize bag. Rose introduced the board members present.

Rose announced that our librarian will not be able to bring books to the meeting and asked for a volunteer - Kate very kindly spoke up. :)

We presented our 2017 charity quilt (Birds in Air) to a representative from House of Ruth in Baltimore. They will be using our donation on a bed in the house itself.

Star Challenge quilts were collected to be donated to the East Baltimore Early Head Start program. Quilts will be taken next month, too. There are currently 80 kids in the pre-3 program - these are infants/toddlers up to 3yrs. of age. Our quilts are given to their families to make a cosy corner for the kids to read at home. At the age of  3, they go on to Head Start and most of them take our donated quilts along to use for nap time. 

The Michael Miller company challenge fabrics have been received and were distributed to the members attending who signed up.


Drawing special interest baskets: We are collecting 'stuff' to fill the four special drawing baskets we've chosen. The themes are Tea/Coffee (Ann Hussein is in charge), Sewing (Diana Bear), Gardening (Valerie McNeese) and In the Kitchen (Sarah Kachler). 

Tickets to attend the bingo are now available to purchase. $10 per seat now, $12 at the door. Please contact a board member for more info.

Volunteers: We need members to volunteer to help out on the day of bingo. Please follow this link to see what jobs need doing and to sign up.

Special Prize Quilts: Here are the four special prize* quilts made by members (the fourth one is going out to be quilted now):

Pointless Stars

from Sunday Morning quilt book

X Block 

from pattern on MQG website

(*These quilts will be prizes for special games of bingo that require extra money to buy game cards.)


Our next chapter sewing retreat will be held at the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, MD from November 15 - 18. Please follow this link to register (there are only a couple of rooms remaining).


Marcia Schwartz from the education committee announced that our next 'outside teacher' workshop will feature Melanie Tuazon and will be held on Saturday, October 13th at Springwater Designs Quilt Shop in Columbia, MD. Details for the workshop will go out via email shortly. Sign up will open next Saturday. The class, Using Curves in Modern Quilts, will cost $60. Marcia will host a potluck dinner at her house in Catonsville on Saturday evening to which the entire membership is invited. Melanie will also be speaking at the general meeting on Sunday, Oct. 14th.

Our 2019 workshops will include one with Jackie Gehring in March (topic to be determined) and with Shawn Kimber on Small Piecing in June. A third workshop is still being planned.

August (Today's) Program

Today's meeting features three demonstrations, given by Rose Daley, Bobbi Pippin and Daniella Syed, on making zipper pouches. Rose showed the Bendy Bag and the Sweetpea Pod by Lazy Girl Designs. Bobbi shared how to insert a zipper in a pillow, with and without a flange. Daniella showed how to make snap pouches.

DUES for 2019

Dues to the national organization are scheduled to increase by 20% for this coming year (about $15 - 18 per member). In September, Rose will present a proposal to increase our chapter dues as well as explaining what exactly our membership dues cover. We currently have 96 members. The dues level must be voted on at the September meeting according to our By-Laws.

Show and Share

I (Linda Schiffer) shared two pillows I made for bingo prizes. 
Also a 'plus' design mini quilt top made for a swap on Instagram.

Phyllis Cook brought bingo prizes made by Lauren Stevens.

Phyllis also made two patchwork backpacks to donate for bingo prizes.

Diana Bear (new quilter and new member) shared a slash-and-insert Birch Tree project.

Marcia Schwartz shared two bingo prizes - wineglass coasters and a button basket.

Bobbi Pippin shared fabrics that she hand painted at the recent MAQ Seminar.

Kate Lane shared a quilt she made years ago and is in the process of re-binding (correctly:). She also showed a T-Shirt quilt she was commissioned to make for an Israeli dance master.

Sarah Kachler shared her On Ringo Lake top, made from a mystery series by Bonnie Hunter.

Judy Dunlap showed a small round quilt she and a friend made from the last 
Michael Miller challenge fabrics. Also a flamingo themed baby quilt.

Pat Simrell showed her string pieced 8 pointed star from the recent workshop. 
She also made an assortment of lined drawstring bags for bingo prizes.

Becca Ruch shared a quilt she free motion finished on her quilting frame.

Mary Concannon made a zipper pouch for bingo.

Stephanie Strunge made a raw-edge applique piece (from a class at MAQ?).

Laura Rieben donated a small  wall hanging for bingo.

Monica Richardson shared the projects from two classes she took at MAQ - 
one on free motion linear embroidery and the other on machine quilting whole cloth.

Jenn Paulson showed a quilt she made for her second son's 'big boy bed' and a Sew Together Bag she finished.

Minutes and photos taken and posted by Linda Schiffer.