July’s Meeting Recap and Announcements

August 3, 2017
Our July meeting was all about “EPP: Techniques and Alternate Shapes.” Members Lynn Bailey, Holly Harper, and Sarah Shulman took us all beyond the hexagon to introduce us to different shapes and techniques used in english paper piecing (EPP). We split into three groups and rotated between stations learning fussy cutting, glue basting, and sewing the pieces together.
Lynn Bailey
Lynn Bailey is a fussy cutter extraordinaire and she showed us how to fussy cut fabrics for EPP to obtain various effects. Lynn starts by creating a template using transparent template plastic, tracing the shape and then adding a ¼” to each side (this is the seam allowance). She then cuts out the center, creating a window. She positions the template over the fabric to get a visual of what she is fussy cutting. 

Once she is satisfied, she traces along the edges of the template and cuts with a rotary cutter. To create a kaleidoscope effect, you will need multiple identical cuts (how many depends on your pattern). To do this, she tries to remember where the corners of the template match to the fabric. Because fabric repeats, she is able to locate the next cut  This approach does create some waste, but the results are so worth it! Lynn also discussed fabrics and how they impact your design.

Holly Harper
Holly Harper showed us how to glue baste our paper pieces. She starts by cutting her fabric ¼” larger on each sides (this is the seam allowance). She puts a thin line of glue down one side of the star piece away from the edge of the paper, folds the fabric over, and finger presses. She continues until all sides are done. 

Holly recommends you glue baste in the same direction on each of your pieces as it will make sewing them together easier. Once the pieces are sewn together, she said the paper pieces can easily be removed and even reused. Holly recommends using Sewline Fabric Glue Pen, the Fons and Porter Fabric Glue Marker, or the Elmer’s Glue Stick. The Elmer’s Glue Stick is much more cost effective than the other products, but she does find them to get a little goobie (yep, that’s a technical term). To help eliminate this problem, member Carole Wool recommends putting the Elmer’s Glue Stick in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.
Sarah Shulman

Sarah Shulman showed us how to sew the pieces together. She started with a discussion on needle and thread. She recommends a nice thin needle such as a straw or milliners needle. For thread, Sarah recommends 50 weight Aurifil thread in a color that blends nicely with the background of your fabric or a nice neutral. Use a thread conditioner, if you like. If you have any issues threading your needle, a desktop needle threader comes in handy.  

For stitching your pieces together, Sarah discussed the whip stitch, ladder stitch, and flat back stitch. She gave a demo of the flat back stitch because she likes that the stitch is not visible from the front. If you would like a refresher on how to do this stitch, the DIY Addict has an excellent video tutorial.

We would also like to give a BIG THANK YOU to the folks at Paper Pieces for providing us with paper templates to give our members a chance to give EPP a try. They also gave each member who attended a special packet of templates to make an eight point star. We are so thankful!
We ended our meeting with a little show-and-tell, and as usual, we’re blown away by our members’ skill and creativity.


We have a newsletter: The Full Bobbin.  The first issue was sent via email to all members on Thursday, July 13. If you don’t see it in your inbox, please check your Promotions or Spam folders.  If you have any questions, contact our social media and communications chair Jenni Grover. We don’t want you to miss this monthly publication.
One of the purposes of our newsletter is to promote the AWESOME stuff our members are doing. If you have a quilt in a show or a magazine, or a teaching gig, or are hosting an event… we want to know about it. Please submit your items to Jenni Grover to make sure they are included. 
The MQG has announced the Charity Challenge for QuiltCon 2018. The topic is “Exploring Modern Traditionalism.” The colors chosen are a warm palette of gold, hot pink, magenta, and purple. Vice president Heather Kinion is seeking a couple of volunteers to design and lead this effort. If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Heather
We will be hosting a field trip to see the exhibit “Quilts and Human Rights” at the Pick Museum of Anthropology at NIU on Saturday, September 23. The day will begin with brunch and then a guided tour of the exhibit. Afterwards, we will be treated to a special behind-the-scenes tour of the museum. We will be sharing this day with members from the Bloomington-Normal MQG. Here are all the details and a link to the sign-up form; you must register by September 1 to attend.
Our August 20 meeting will be a summer potluck and social…with a fun scrap-a-palooza for charity. More info to come.
Member Mary Fons will be our special guest at the September 17 meeting. She’ll present her lecture, “Standing On the Shoulders of Giants: A Brief History of the American Quilt.” She gave this lecture at QuiltCon 2017 and it was AMAZING! More info to come, including a change in location and time.
Our next retreat is October 20-22 with an optional day on Monday, October 23. Registration will begin in August, with a lottery occurring at the September 17 meeting. Here’s how our lottery process works.
Our October 15 meeting will be all about bags.
Our November 19 meeting will be focused on UFOs.
Our December 10 meeting will be our holiday potluck and social. There will also be a handmade gift swap exchange. More info to come.
Our special events chairperson Laura McDowell Hopper is looking for locations to hold guild workshops, sew-ins, and lectures  For workshops, she is looking for space to accommodate 24 people with ample electrical outlets for their sewing machines and to set up several ironing stations throughout the room. Must also be reasonably priced. If you know of any places in your area, please contact Laura.

Charity Update:

Member Iris Johnson is leading the guild’s Charity endeavors and she is seeking a co-chairperson. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Iris.
Member Sarah Shulman is leading an effort to make quilts for local Veterans through the Road Home Program. To date, we have received enough 12-inch star blocks to make three quilts! Over the next month, Sarah and guild secretary Dianne Bienick will be working on some designs. The next step will be to sew the quilts together. We are planning on hosting a sew-in to get this accomplished; if you want to help but are unable to attend, you can still assist by quilting or binding these quilts. There are plenty of ways to get involved.
To quickly find information regarding our current charity endeavors click “Charity Projects” button in the right sidebar.

All meetings are 2-5 pm on the third Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted.

This month’s meeting is on Sunday, August 20,

Meeting location:

Rush Oak Park Hospital 
Centennial Room 
520 S. Maple Ave Oak Park, IL 60304 

A list of our meetings can be found here.

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We hope to see you there!

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Photo: Triangles quilt by Erika Mulvenna