Red Cross Quilts with Joanna Dermenjian

Joanna Dermenjian will present some of her findings about the quilts made by Canadian women and children during WWII at our next meeting on Monday, November 14.

A photos of a label on the back of a quilt that reads Gift of Canadian Red Cross Society

As an independent researcher and life-long maker, Joanna is investigating women’s domestic and charitable making in cloth and fibres. She is interested in how women have used stitching, both historically and in the present day, to nurture and restore themselves and to create a community with other women for individual and collective well-being. She also explores how women’s everyday domestic textiles and tools reveal stories about their lives, particularly in the 20th century.

Joanna’s research has led her to rediscover a poorly documented quilt-making operation by Canadian women during the Second World War – hundreds of thousands of quilts made by women and children and donated to the British Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) and the Canadian Red Cross to distribute to soldiers, civilians and hospitals in Britain and Europe.

New AccuQuilt Dies at the Library

There are new AccuQuilt dies and mats at the Maker Space at the Simcoe Branch of the Norfolk County Public Library! The complete list is below and you can download it here!

The library has the 12” Qube which cuts all the components for 6” and 12” finished blocks. All the HSTs and Quarter Squares making up all the traditional blocks. And companion blocks like the chisel (think stitch and flip corner on a rectangle) and the very popular Drunkard’s Path! The newest shapes are at the bottom and include “hard to cut accurately shapes” like clamshells, small hexagons and equilateral triangles for EPP, an apple core and the orange peel, Peter to Pay Paul.

At the Simcoe Branch of the library, you must ask at the main desk to use the AccuQuilt cutter in the Maker Space. You’ll need a library card. The cutter is on the counter, and the dies and mats are in the cupboard. There is room to use a cutting mat and your rotary cutter, but it is easier to pre-cut your fabric strips at home. This second file, The NCPL AccuQuilt Cutting Reference Guide, will help you decide how wide to cut your strips for most efficient and least wasteful cutting. It’s essential to have the crosswise or lengthwise grain aligned properly. If you are making a big quilt, test a few blocks first! 

You can cut 6 layers of quilting cotton at a time and if lots of sections are not cutting, look for a cutting mat that isn’t so used. The dies don’t get dull but the mats do wear out! Take a small pair of scissors to trim your cut pieces. 

If you’d like to make a speedy 6” HST quilt, you can find a tutorial here! If you want to find all this AccuQuilt information in a few months, use the search bar on the right side of the website. Search “AccuQuilt”!

If you would like an easy way to find out the pre-cutting directions for one of the dies you have at home, find the die on the Accuquilt website and click the “Details” section, underneath the photos. You may also take one of your dies to the library to use the electric cutter. Just bring a mat if it is a non-standard size. 

Start off the Year with an All Day Virtual Sit and Sew

Our faithful “Sit and Sewers” have requested more Sit and Sew times! And Saturday, September 17th is “National Sew a Jelly Roll Day!” Now this is a completely made up promotion by Moda, the “inventors of the jelly roll”. But it is a perfect excuse to sew something! Any brand of roll or one you make yourself! Or just work on a UFO, enjoying the conversations with some quilty friends!

Here is a great new compilation of free jelly roll quilts with instructions to make your own roll, if needed. And some (most?) of those patterns can easily be split and you can get 2 smaller lap or baby quilts from one! Do the unexpected and use a different for you background fabric. The idea is to have fun!

We will use our usual Sit and Sew Zoom link and that will be emailed out to you after our kickoff September 12th meeting. And it is the same one as last year, so you may already have it saved somewhere! We will go from 9am to 3 pm! Pop in for a few hours or plan on making a day of it!

Saturday, September 17, 9:00 am to 3 pm!

Vanessa Genier Kicks Off Our New Year

Quilts for Survivors founder, Vanessa Genier, will join TQG at our first meeting of the 2022-23 year! Join us on Zoom on Monday, September 12th at 7pm to hear about Vanessa’s start on Facebook to the nation-wide effort that it is today.

Vanessa has built a great group of stitchers and encouragers on Facebook but it’s easiest to find information about how to send your blocks, tops or quilts on the Quilts for Survivors website.

Quilts for Suvivors

Please renew or purchase your membership before the meeting!

Norfolk County Fair Quilting Competitions!

It’s almost time for The Fair! Have you ever thought of entering a quilt? Now is the time!
Here is the “Rule Book”, just for the Quilts. You can find the whole booklet, with the baking and knitting etc. there.

You need to have your entry in by September 24 and be able to deliver your items on the Sunday or Monday, October 2nd & 3rd. With pickup on Tuesday, the 11th.

It can be hard to know if you are entering in the correct category but feel free to phone one of the 2 chairpersons on the 4th page if you have questions.

The Twilight Quilters’ Guild has prizes for Quilt, Exhibitors Choice and the Norfolk County Quilters’ Guild sponsors Quilt, Pieced. Our sponsor Quilt Junction in Waterford, has the My First Quilt class. And Nancy Racz of Kernal Peanuts sponsors Quilt, Pieced, Long Arm (done by quilter or a professional).

There are some great prizes awards so maybe this is your year!

New Library Books

Here is some news from Karen Johnstone, our librarian.


“The Guild has purchased two new books for the library. The 3-Yard books by Donna Robertson can be seen front and centre in the quilt shops. We have  “Modern Views” and “Quick as a Wink”. Between the two books are 16 patterns for quilts using only 3 one yard cuts of fabric. 

We’ve recently had some great books donated by some generous members.  

“Quilting on the Go” by Jessica Alexandrakis has 10 step-by-step English Paper Piecing projects and covers topics such as sewing kit essentials, colour theory and stash organization.

“The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters” by Sherri Lynn Good is a beautifully photographed book in which she “provides a sensible approach to quilt making that breaks free of old rules and expectations in a fun, accessible way” .

“Zen Chic Inspired” is a Guide to Modern Quilt Design by Brigitte Heitland. She provides instruction for 12 quilts using unique colours and decor elements in your favourite rooms.

“Quilting Wide Open Spaces” by Judi Madsen gives “down to earth advice about enhancing large open areas with machine quilting”.

“Quilting Back to Front” by Larraine Scouler shows clever methods for using the fabric on the back of your quilt for quilting designs. 

I will be setting up a mini library at the Retreat in October where you’ll be able to sign out books.

You can borrow books anytime. Email me at twilightsimcoelibrary@gmail.com An updated list of our books will be sent in September but you can always find them on our LibraryThing page!”

It’s Time for a New Year to Begin!

A Renewal letter went out to all members on Tuesday. Thanks to the 20+ members who e-transferred their $35 right away! Please take the time for this task this weekend! Your email also had the mailing address for cheques. Payment details can also be found under “Fees” above!

We have one new member and we are expecting a few more! Welcome everyone!

Below is a screenshot of our calendar for the year. You can find the printable PDF here! And you can click on the links!

All our monthly meetings, except our June Wrap-up Social, will be on Zoom! Our guild has embraced this virtual format, and we don’t really have a meeting place. The pandemic has demonstrated that we are happy staying home at night! Last year we had members from Newfoundland to British Columbia! And we are planning more in-person events this year, including several workshops and 2-day retreats in both October and January!

We have a loyal group of quilters who come to our weekly Monday afternoon virtual Sit and Sews. And we can add other sessions if we know when you and your friends want to sew together. Just ask! We have found that we like sewing a quilt at the same time as others, so we are planning 3 Quilt Alongs this year!

June 13, 2022: TQG Closing Get Together

We are having our June Social meeting at the Port Dover Community Centre. All members and guests are welcome between noon and 9 p.m. Tables and chairs will be set up for socializing. Please bring:

The TQG Fundraiser table of donated stash items will raise funds for our guild. Anyone “shopping” from that table will be expected to donate an appropriate amount for their chosen items.

Items for the TQG Fundraiser table and the I-Spy Swap will be collected at all times but open for shopping and swapping at set times so that a good range of choices can accumulate and everyone gets a chance to take part in the fun!

We’ll also be taking donations. Anyone donating $5 will get a chance for the free edge-to-edge longarm quilting of a twin-size quilt by Spooled Rotten Quilts. Multiple donations will give you multiple chances.

Tables and tent cards will be available for our quilt display. We encourage you to bring a few quilts so others can see them up close and find you to ask about what you’ve made (or tell you how fantastic your quilt is). 


Noon

  • Tables reserved for stitching or selling will be available at noon. 
  • We’ll begin accepting donations for the TQG Fundraiser table and fabric squares for the I-Spy swap.

2 to 2:30 p.m. || 4 to 4:30 p.m.  || 6 to 6:30 p.m. || 8 p.m.

  • Shopping from the TQG donation table and I-Spy swaps will be open at set times to accumulate an excellent selection of choices.

3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

  • K &A Studios from Ingersoll will be ready to sell from their pop-up shop inside our event.

7:30

  • TQG President, Jill Jackson, will speak briefly.

8:30 p.m. 

  • Stitchers will start packing up machines and materials.

9 p.m.

  • See you in September!

We expect everyone coming to our closing to be vaccinated and boosted. Masks are optional. If you have any symptoms, please stay home. A negative test does not mean you are negative, if you have symptoms. Rapid tests might take days to convert to positive. No one has colds these days – it is often COVID-19 with not enough antibodies to register positive. 

Thanks Karen and Ben!

Karen and Ben Zandstra in Port Dover provide 2 very valuable services to the quilters in our area. And they so very generously donated long arm quilting on a quilt and a machine maintenance session as door prizes for our meeting last night. Kathryn G and Jeanne K were the lucky winners.

Here is Ben’s story:

“Hi everyone, For those that don’t know me, my name is Ben Zandstra, owner of Sewtech Services here in Port Dover. I was approached by my oldest daughter, Amy, a few years ago to do the training to become a technician for the BabyLock dealership at Kindred Spirits, in St Catherines. I spent a week in June of 2019 at BabyLock headquarters in the States to get my initial training. Shortly after that I began taking in machines locally as well as being the technician for Kindred Spirits. My background is in the farming and transportation industry so this was the perfect fit. In my first few years I have taken on lots of different makes and models of domestic machines as well as sergers , featherweights and recently large embroidery machines. I have continued my training through zoom classes through the pandemic and I am presently attending training for Handi Quilter longarm machines in Toronto.

When you bring me your machine, a full service includes removing all the covers as you see in the pictures in order to give it a full cleaning. I also check belts, timing, needle clearance, upper and lower tension and lube, whatever needs to be done. I do a test swatch of straight stitching and decorative stitches to double check the working of the machine as well as the tension.
I have recently retired from my day job so now I can focus totally on this small business. Thank you everyone who had supported me thus far in this business.”

Here is Karen’s story:

Hi everyone,
“For those that don’t know me, I am Karen Zandstra the owner of Dream Big Quilting here in Port Dover. My longarm business began the fall of 2019 and has had a few great start up years. I do computerised edge-to-edge (E2E) designs for the most part. I am just venturing into the computerised custom work and hope to gain enough confidence to offer ruler work and free motion work down the road. I also offer services like basting, machine binding and piecing the backs for my clients. I carry the Hobbs 80/20 batting as an option for my clients or you are free to bring your own.
I have been involved in the quilting world for over 30 years, including running a small home based shop from the spring of ‘04 to the end of 2010. I have taught many classes for Quilt Junction, a zoom class for Kindred Spirits and have been involved in local guilds over the years.
My jump into longarming happened shortly after the loss of my younger sister who showed many how to live each day to the fullest throughout her cancer journey. Life is too short not to follow your dreams- hence the name “Dream Big”.

Thank you those who have supported me in this first few years. Very much appreciated!”

We would also like to thank Karen for leading us this year on our Scrap Sewciety BOM. She simplified the directions for us every month! And we look forward to seeing everyone’s completed quilts next September!

Fabric Swap at June 13 Closing

For our year-end meeting, TQG will be meeting in person (as long as the current COVID situation doesn’t get worse) at the Port Dover Community Centre. One of our activities will be a swap of 5” squares suitable for I-Spy and memory quilts. In this case, we use the term memory quilt to describe a quilt that prompts memories and conversation, not a quilt made to remember a person’s life.

In either swap, the idea is that you needn’t purchase multiple fabrics to get a good variety. You can buy a few, cut them to meet the swap guidelines and by swapping your repeats, you end up with a much wider choice of feature fabrics.

Members who want to participate should cut or fussy cut 5” squares of the fabrics they have and bring duplicates that they want to swap to our get-together on June 13. To help everyone get a good assortment, keep all blocks with the same images together. We’ll be swapping the fabrics one-for-one.

Choosing Suitable Fabrics

Many I-Spy quilts feature fabrics with small repeating images that appeal to children. The memory quilts we are planning are a bit different in that the feature fabrics are usually pictorial, appealing to adults, and fill a larger space. Of course, many fabrics work in either type of quilt.

This excerpt from the Nova Scotia Alzheimer Society’s website refers to a combination quilt with fidget, touch and memory-stimulating blocks. You can read the full article by Cindy Dobbelsteyn on the Nova Scotia Alzheimer Society’s website. https://alzheimer.ca/ns/en/whats-happening/news/1000-fidget-quilts-labour-love.

“While nine of the 20 squares of each lap quilt share common aspects such as pockets, zippers, Velcro, “blue fuzzies,” and a heart-themed fabric square with “Somebody Cares” labelled on it, each quilt is individualized by careful selection of colourfully patterned fabrics and additional attachments. Cathy and Beth put loving consideration of the recipient’s likes, former occupation and pastimes into the quilt’s design. For example, the inclusion of fabrics depicting various pets for a retired veterinarian or animal lover. Beyond occupations, additional themes include nature, travel, music, dogs, cats and sports, all which can bring back memories and provide topics for conversation. All the quilts contain a key in one pocket, which the recipients often delight in discovering.”

How to Use Your New blocks

So, what will we do with these new-to-us blocks? This tutorial by MarlenaT on Instructables provides a lot of great information about I-Spy quilts and activities to do with them (scroll to Step 13). https://www.instructables.com/Injeaneous-I-Spy-Quilt/

This disappearing nine-patch tutorial from Caroline Sanchez on her blog Obsessively Stitching gives a resulting quilt with borders and cornerstones. http://obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com/2010/05/disappearing-nine.html

Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter has a couple of options you might want to consider. https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/two-i-spy-quilts

Robert Kaufman offers an economy block I-Spy pattern found through I Love Quilting Forever. https://ilovequiltingforever.com/free-quilt-pattern-i-spy-economy-block/

In addition to the excerpt above about quilts for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the Manitoba Alzheimer Society has a PDF with more information about “touch” quilts. https://www.alzheimer.mb.ca/touchquiltproject/