March Meeting Recap

April 10, 2021
During our March meeting, we welcomed guest speaker Tara Faughnan for a lecture about her process, inspiration, and the many ways she uses color in quilts. Tara spoke about the importance of play, especially when in a creative rut. Making “bad” quilts (or at least ones that you don’t love) is a part of the creative process that she has accepted and even embraces. She talked about how color (or a combination of colors) can evoke a mood, and how changing the proportion or placement of color (or even the shapes in a design) can change that overall mood. 
Tara suggested a few different approaches for starting and working on a design:
  1. Start small and let the design evolve: Start with a block (or a few), then create relationships from one block to the next. 
  2. Commit as you sew: Make decisions about color and value on the fly.
  3. Think about breaking it down into parts (background and bits): What is the overall story? What are the details?
  4. Create an overall story first, and then define the shapes and refine the spaces.
For inspiration, Tara pays attention to shapes she sees in the world and how they go together.

To see some of the fabulous creations shared in our Show and Tell at the end of the meeting, check out the March Show and Tell album found in our member Facebook group. Please continue to upload your show and tell pictures to each month’s Facebook album (especially big quilts and other items that are hard to show off on the Zoom platform), and we’ll create a slide show to present during our meeting’s “show and tell” time. You’re always welcome to share in real time during the meeting as well.


New CMQG Board: The following 2021-22 CMQG board members were elected by acclamation during the meeting:
President: Julia Bryant
Vice President: Kathy DeVries
Secretary: Ellen Pomes
Treasurer: Natalie Holz
Programming Chair: Bill Keller
Special Events Chair: Emily Bruzzini
Retreats Chair: Katie Cooper
Social Media and Communications Chair: Amy Struckmeyer
Membership Chair: Angie Wright
We welcome new board members Kathy and Angie, and thank the others for returning for another term.

Half Square Helper of 2021: We announced a very special surprise award to longtime guild member Andrea DiOrio! She was the second to receive this recognition (and a custom made ribbon) since the Half Square Helper annual award was conceived last year. Andrea has consistently offered her time and energy to provide a space to hang out every week online. Andrea’s Crafty Divas has taken place at 7:30 on Wednesdays and Sundays since mid-March of 2020, and is open to anyone who wants to participate. She is always warm and welcoming, and genuinely interested in everyone’s endeavors (crafty or otherwise!). We are so appreciative of her generous spirit.

Thank you to Julia Bryant for once again creating the beautiful Half Square Helper award ribbon for our annual tribute to a member who has given their time and talents to our guild.

Treasurer’s Report: Natalie Holz presented the Spring Treasurer’s Report. The guild has expenses for national guild membership, Paypal fees, materials for charity and community quilts, our anniversary book, speaker fees, meeting room fees, and workshop/sew-in space rental fees. These are the many things your dues pay for. This year we had a surplus because of the pandemic, which enabled us to make a charitable donation to the Sienna center, the usual location of guild retreats. We’re holding onto the rest of the surplus because we’ll likely need it for space rental when we’re able (hopefully soon!) to meet in person again.

Weekly Sewcials! Can you help host?: We’d love to continue our weekly Zooms for chatting and sewing, and a way to connect more personally, but we need new hosts! Sewcials previously took place every other Tuesday at 6pm, and every other Wednesday at 1pm. These unstructured sew-ins are for guild members who want to hang out, catch up, sew a little (or do any craft, really) and meet other members. We’re putting the sewcials on pause while we look for new hosts — please let us know if you’d be willing to host one time, or on an ongoing basis. If there’s a different day of the week or time that works better for you, we’re open to that too!

More great programming!: We have added two new teachers to this year’s schedule. In June we’re co-hosting Maria Shell with the Bloomington/Normal MQG. The lecture will be on a Tuesday night, June 22nd @ 6pm, and is free to members of both guilds. Guests are welcome for a $10 fee. Maria will teach a workshop “Blow it up!” on June 26th. The workshop is currently sold out, but you can join the waiting list in case a spot opens up.

In July we will welcome Sara Trail from the Social Justice Sewing Academy. She’ll give a lecture during our regular July 18 meeting, and run a 2-day workshop July 10 & 17 (two Saturdays in a row for three hours each) on Zoom. Signups will start in May.

CMQG Tenth Anniversary book: It’s happening! Final edits are done, and preorders will begin later this month.

Guild-wide sew along: Month Seven block instructions for the Big Fun Mystery Sew-Along are up on the blog. Don’t forget to tag your progress photos on Instagram and Facebook with #BFMSAL and #chicagomqgsewalong so we can see your progress. If you’ve been wanting to start, but just haven’t yet – you are not alone! It’s totally ok to start this month with whatever block you want. Note: we’re running behind with the April (Month Eight) blocks and blog post, but the info should be on the website by mid-month!

Star Stitches: We hope you’re enjoying this way of recognizing members for achievements and triumphs both large and small — not just quilting related. Each month you can submit your friends’ achievements (or your own) for announcement and celebration at the upcoming meeting. Look for a link in each month’s member newsletter.


Sunday, April 18, 2:00-5:00, virtual meeting via Zoom: Quilt Olympics III. A version of our popular Quilt Olympics trivia and quilting competition. The tradition continues… with modifications for a virtual format.
Sunday April 23, 10:00-5:00: Virtual Retreat. Join us for a day of sewing and community via Zoom. You can pop in and out, sew with us, chat, and share your recent finishes. All crafts are welcome!
Sunday, May 16, 2:00-5:00, virtual meeting via Zoom: Tote-a-Palooza Part I. The first of a two-part program on tote bag construction, tips, tricks and resources. (Part II will take place in August).
Saturday, June 19, 10:00-4:00, virtual Sew-In and meeting via Zoom. Join us for a casual day of sewing with fellow guildmates. Work on your own hand- or machine-sewing project, or just join in for conversation. Meeting announcements and Show and Tell included.
The guild’s complete list of programs and events through December 2021 is now available, so take a look at the rest of our programming and mark your calendars.
Use and follow our guild hashtags!
All meetings are 2-5 pm on the third Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted.
This month’s meeting is on APRIL 18, via Zoom. (Look for a link in our member newsletter, the Full Bobbin.)
Meeting location: Online, via Zoom.

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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Photo: Triangles quilt by Erika Mulvenna