February 2018 Recap

This month we shared our favorite notions for cutting, sewing and quilting. Plus, two ChattMQG members traveled to QuiltCon in Pasadena, and we learned about two upcoming regional quilt shows.

Go-To Gadgets & Tools

"I can't believe you brought drug paraphernalia to our guild meeting!" someone exclaimed in jest. To say our meeting on our favorite quilting gadgets took an unexpected turn is an understatement. And no, we don't condone illicit activities, but a couple of unconventional tools gave us a good chuckle.

For Hand Quilting

Better known as a surgical tool, a hemostat can be a hand quilter's best friend. It pivots like scissors but does not cut. Instead, a set of interlocking teeth below the handles lets you control the gripping force of the tip.

 This surgical tool known as a hemostat can be very useful for hand stitching.

This surgical tool known as a hemostat can be very useful for hand stitching.

Catherine Price recommends clamping it onto your needle to pull it through thick quilt layers with ease. Following her informative show-and-tell, another quilter, who shall remain anonymous to protect her identity, proclaimed, "That's a roach clip!" To each her own.

Other tools recommend for hand quilters include:

At Your Machine

Rhonda Fulghum shared a very handy tip: convert your favorite paperback quilting books to spiral-bound! This makes it easier to open them to specific pages while you’re learning a new technique.

 You can turn any paperback book into a spiral-bound book, just visit your local print shop.

You can turn any paperback book into a spiral-bound book, just visit your local print shop.

Rhonda also praised the handmade stiletto she received from Jean Larson, who used a large darning needle and Fimo Polymer Clay to make it.

 Jean made this stiletto with a darning needle and Fimo clay.

Jean made this stiletto with a darning needle and Fimo clay.

Other handy tools to keep by your machine include:

For Cutting and Trimming

A somewhat unconventional idea came from Sherry Leary: use a Quick-Grip clamp from the hardware store to lock your fabric into place when cutting long strips. Sherry stacks her cutting mat, fabric, and ruler along the edge of a table and clamps all three into place to prevent any shifting.

 Sherry uses clamps like this to hold fabric in place for cutting.

Sherry uses clamps like this to hold fabric in place for cutting.

Other useful cutting tools include:

To Make Free-Motion Quilting Easier

If you tend to shy away from quilting without a walking foot, several items can make free-motion more fun and less stressful. Denise Ohlman uses a Quilt Halo for support and control when she does FMQ; Catherine recommends a similar tool called Martelli Gripper RingsBatt Scooters by Paula Reid can also help you keep a good grip on your quilt sandwich while it's under the needle.

Miscellaneous

Blue Ribbon Winner

Congratulations to Mary Keasler, who won two first-place ribbons at this year's QuiltCon in Pasadena, California. She took the top prize in the American Patchwork & Quilting Flying Geese category for her quilt titled "Free Motion", and her "Mountain Town" quilt won the Small Quilts category. Click here to see all of this year's winning quilts. 

 Mary Keasler and her award-winning quilt "Free Motion"

Mary Keasler and her award-winning quilt "Free Motion"

Kelly Spell also had a quilt juried into the show. Her "Humuhumunukunukuapua'a" quilt was exhibited in the Small Quilts category.

 Kelly Spell and her quilt "Humuhumunukunukuapua'a"

Kelly Spell and her quilt "Humuhumunukunukuapua'a"

Upcoming Quilt Shows

Speaking of quilt shows, there are two shows scheduled in the coming weeks that are an easy drive from the Chattanooga area.

  • Fiber Arts & Art Quilts at Cleveland Workspace: Friday, March 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cleveland Workspace is located at 445 Church Street in Cleveland, TN. Contact Karen Downer for more information. This exhibition coincides with "Stitches in Time" at the Museum Center at Five Points.

  • Original Sewing & Quilt Expo: Thursday, March 8 through Saturday, March 10 at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, GA. Exhibit hall hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Recognition for Charity Work

We want to take a moment to recognize the work of Sara Bradshaw, a retired police officer and guild member who is working on quilts for Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). The organization rescues victims of sex trafficking, and Sara committed to send 10 quilts to O.U.R. this year. The first group recently arrived at O.U.R. and the organization wrote a blog post about the donation. Sara's enthusiasm for the cause encouraged several guild mates to join her effort, and comments on the O.U.R. blog post indicate interest among quilters around the country. Bravo!

Habitat for Humanity

In addition, Sara sits on our newly formed Community Service Project Committee. She, Beverly Herron and Camille Miller will oversee the guild's work with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area this year. Last month, Sara completed a quilt top using brick blocks made by members for several 2017 Habitat quilts. It is in the queue to be quilted and will be donated to a homeowner later this year.

 Sara (left) and Karen (right) hold the quilt top Sara completed for a 2018 Habitat homeowner.

Sara (left) and Karen (right) hold the quilt top Sara completed for a 2018 Habitat homeowner.

And Beverly volunteered to quilt a top she made; it was bound and labeled by Denise, who presented it to a homeowner during Habitat's first dedication ceremony of 2018. Stay tuned for more pictures!

 Beverly made this top and quilted it for a Habitat homeowner.

Beverly made this top and quilted it for a Habitat homeowner.

Show and Tell