Sunday, August 20, 2017

New record! 45 spray basted Cuddle Quilts in 1 day

Yep, we did it! 
We broke our previous Cuddle Quilt record of 27 from 2011 with an astounding 45 spray basted quilt tops at a Cuddle Quilt workshop! Are the Choo Choo Quilters amazing or what?!?
Group spray baste session—a real team effort!
The Choo Choo Quilters hit the ground running on Saturday, August 19 for the annual Cuddle Quilt workshop. Cuddle Quilt coordinators extraordinaire, Sherry and Ginny, were organized and well-prepared and we thank them for their amazing job! The day started with an assortment of packaged, pre-cut quilt kits...
An assortment of pre-cut quilt kits were available at the workshop. 
a variety of backing fabrics, binding strips, extra scraps...
Backing fabrics, scraps and blocks for quilt top assembly.
piles of "Making Do" blocks...
Scrappy "Make Do" patchwork blocks.
assembled quilt tops and pre-cut batting ready for the spray basting session...
Pieced quilt tops and pre-cut batting await basting.
and sustenance for the day.
Guild members bring dishes to share for the workshop.
Layout of the kit quilts began.
Marti (left) and Nancy at the cutting station.
It was nice to have past Choo Choo members, Marti and Cheryel, at the workshop. We appreciate their contribution.
Laying out the blocks from the kit.
A lovely floral surrounded with colorful small print blocks.
Blocks from previous workshops resurfaced and were assembled into quilt tops.
Cristy (left) counts out blocks for 3 quilts. Martha (right) begins chain piecing.
 New quilt tops emerged.
Linda works on one of the kits.
Marti (left) and Teresa show their completed quilt tops.
Garie shows a Snuggle Up top (left) and a Wonky Star quilt top.
Group spray basting session—always a winner!
The highlight and probably the most productive aspect of the workshop is the group spray basting session. We've got this down to a science, folks—like a fine-tuned, production basting machine! 
Ginny (left), Kaye (center) and Garie roll out batting for quilt basting.
Ginny headed up the spray basting process this year and indoctrinated several of the newer guild members to the procedure.
Measuring the batting and trimming to the right size for the quilt.
Ginny and Linda (right) smooth out the basted top.
Spray basted cuddle quilt top.
Various members helped with the spray basting efforts and cranked out 45 basted cuddle quilt tops! Guild members took the basted quilt sandwiches home for quilting and binding.
The spray basted quilt top pile grew and grew.
Here are two examples of quilt tops made with "Making Do" patchwork.
Two tops made from fabric samples and scraps from the February "Making Do" program.
Two completed quilts and three crocheted throws were donated at the beginning of the day. Five cuddle quilts were free-motion quilted by Veronica during the workshop. We're well on our way to making a great donation to the Chambliss Center for Children in February.
Veronica free-motion quilted 5 cuddle quilts during the workshop.
So, if all the quilts from this Cuddle Quilt workshop are completed and returned, the total from this workshop will be 47. 

NOTE: In 2010, the Choo Choo Quilters initiated and participated in the Great Cuddle Quilt Quest that resulted in 73 quilts donated to the Chambliss Center for Children
Can the Choo Choo Quilters surpass this record, too??

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 21 - Solar Eclipse AND Martha Steele

Sure, next Monday, August 21, will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the United States in the past 38 years, but it will also mark the return of Martha Steele to the Choo Choo Guild!  Martha has been quilting for years, worked at the beloved Sew Bee It, and teaches quilting classes at multiple places all over the Chattanooga/North Georgia area.  She will be showing us some of her favorite projects using multiple innovative techniques.  She will also be demonstrating a method of quilt-as-you-go that she has found useful for all kinds of quilts.  

Members will not need to bring anything for the meeting except your show and tell.  You can just come relax and take a break from the hot muggy summer weather.

As a special treat, we also will be meeting Martha for dinner before the quilt meeting. Everyone is welcome to come to Choo Choo Barbeque Restaurant just north of Valleybrook Presbyterian on Hixson Pike.  We will be meeting her at 5:00, and if you are interested in joining with us, please RSVP to Ginny Minninger. (On the other hand, should you find yourself able to go at the last minute, come on anyway!)

Our Cuddle Quilt Workshop is this Saturday August 19

Come join us all at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church at 3204 Hixson Pike from 9:00 to 2:00. We'll be making quilt tops, spray basting completed tops with batting and backing, and enjoying a day with friends.  All this will benefit the Chambliss Center for Children, our local foster care and extended child care facility who has been helping local children for 140 years!  So bring your sewing machine, cutting supplies, completed tops, and we'll provide fabric, batting and backing for your cuddle quilts.   

We hope to see you both Saturday for the Cuddle Quilt Workshop and Monday for the Choo Choo Quilters Meeting!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Ins and Outs of T-Shirt Quilts

Our program this coming Monday, June 19, will be presented by Joanna Lienti and the Team Blue.  Joanna will share her learned wisdom about making t-shirt quilts.  Someone you know would love to have a quilt made of their favorite racing t-shirts, high school t-shirts, or travel t-shirts, and you will know the tricks about stabilizing the shirts, arranging the blocks, and quilting difference types of fabrics.

We will also be handing out our final border design for the Challenge quilt.  If you haven't started, it's not too late to join in the fun.  The finished projects are not due until November 20, which is YEARS away!

So come join us this Monday, June 19, 6:30 at Valleybrook Presbyterian Church.   See you there!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Using Vintage Fabric in Modern-Style Quilts

Need ideas for using old or vintage fabrics in new quilts? 
After hearing Mary Kerr's "Twisted: Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist" lecture last month, or seeing the wonderful pieces resulting from Mary's "A Wonky Star" workshop that our guild members presented at Show and Tell, have you finally decided to take the plunge and cut into your coveted vintage/old fabrics?

But, do you feel the only way to show off those vintage textiles or do justice to them is to use a traditional quilt block or pattern? Well, have no fear, the Quilt Police are on vacation and we'll show you how to take advantage of their absence!

At the next Choo Choo Quilters guild meeting, our hope is to help you see fabric in different ways. You don't need to use "modern prints" or "modern colors" to make a modern quilt. If anyone wants to bring some "old" or vintage fabrics to the meeting, we can play around with building a palette for a modern pattern.

Join us on Monday, May 15 at 6:30 pm. Let's get those old fabrics out of the closet and elevate them by making something new.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Techniques for enhancing your quilts

Beads, synthetic fibers and other embellishments
can enhance the surface of a quilt.
Our next meeting will be this coming Monday, April 17, at Valleybrook Presbyterian Church at 6:30. Team Yellow will be presenting the program on "Enhancing Your Quilts."

You have admired those quilt enhanced with beads, embroidery, paint, crystals, photography, buttons, charms and such. We want to explore those embellishments to add that extra sparkle to our quilts. Please bring your quilts for a guild-wide trunk show and discussion of all the options for enhancing your quilts.

We'll also have another border pattern to add to your Medallion Challenge Quilt. And if you attended the "Wonky Star" workshop with Mary Kerr, bring your project for Show and Tell. We'd love to see what you did in class.

We hope to see everyone on Monday!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Mary Kerr presents "Improv with a Vintage Twist" workshop and lecture, April 7

Have you signed up for our "A Wonky Star: Improv with a Vintage Twist" workshop with author, award-winning quilter, curator, and quilt appraiser, Mary KerrWe have a few openings in the workshop and are now opening it up to everyone. 
Mary Kerr, award-winning quilter and author will present a workshop
and lecture on April 7, 2017.
About the workshop
This half-day workshop—held on Friday, April 7 from 9 am. to 1 pm.—will be packed with tips for working with vintage fragments and ways to showcase these treasured pieces in new quilts. Following Mary’s unique approach, workshop attendees will use vintage textiles to create a wonky star with plenty of space to incorporate favorite quilting designs. This workshop is about embracing the magic of combining the love of vintage with a 21st century aesthetic. Attendees will also enjoy quilts from Mary’s latest book and exhibit, Twisted: Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist

The cost of the workshop is $40 for guild members or $55 for non-members. Guild members should contact Choo Choo Guild treasurer, Sherry Baldwin for payment. Non-guild members can e-mail Cristy at: clarkadams at aol dot com or Veronica at: veronicaquilts at gmail dot com for payment information.

Come to Mary's "Twisted" lecture
Following the quilting workshop, the Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild will be sponsoring Mary's "Twisted" lecture at 7 pm. Advanced tickets are $15 or $20 at the door. Follow the Paypal link at this post for lecture tickets.

Where it's happening
The location for the workshop and lecture is Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 E. Brainerd Road, Chattanooga. Note: the lecture will be held in the Youth Center at the church.

Don't miss out! If you love vintage quilts, have vintage quilt blocks or vintage textile fragments in your collection, this workshop and lecture will surely inspire you!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

35 Cuddle Quilts delivered to Chambliss Center

Choo Choo Quilters, Sherry Reed (left) and Ginny Minniger, dropped off
35 cuddle quilts to the Chambliss Center for Children in early February.
Right in time for Valentine's Day, Sherry Reed and Ginny Minninger, representatives from the Choo Choo Quilters, shared "Cuddle Quilt Love" with the children and staff of the Chambliss Center for Children. Thirty-five quilts—in an assortment of child, lap and bed sizes—were dropped off at the Center and received with open arms by Center's staff.

35 Cuddle Quilts.
Each year, the Choo Choo Quilters adopt the Chambliss Center for Children as the recipient of the guild's community service project. Throughout the year, bright and fun cotton fabrics and flannels are sewn together and quilted by the members of the guild to create child and lap-sized quilts. The guild's annual Cuddle Quilt workshop—usually held on a Saturday in August—is set up for group sewing, quilt top assembly and quilt basting as well as day of camaraderie for the guild members. The sandwiched quilt tops and backings are then quilted and bound by the members and turned in by the end of the year.

Ideas for block and quilt patterns were presented at the recent February guild meeting for this year's Cuddle Quilt workshop. Ginny Minninger, one of the team members that presented the February program on "Making Do," cited that about 15 of the 35 quilts that were recently delivered to the Center were from a quilt design presented at the 2016 Cuddle Quilt workshop.

"Let's see if we can surpass the 35 number this year," said Ginny. "One year, we made and donated over 70 [quilts]," she added. In 2010, the guild received a unique request for bed-size quilts and members generously responded with a donation of 9 bed-size quilts. Game On, Choo Choo Quilters! Let's make an impact.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Making Do: Ideas for using fabrics you have on hand

Easy patchwork units made from fabric swatches.
If February finds you taking up an old UFO with strong intentions of finally "getting 'er dun" using what you have on hand, some "Making Do" tips might be just what you need. If you are one of those rare quilters who doesn't keep scraps or build a stash, the content of the Choo Choo Quilters February guild program, "Making Do," will also be helpful with brand new fabric.

Brought to you by the Orange Team, this month's Choo Choo program will include some hands-on teamwork as we sort fabric sample swatches generously contributed by Veronica Hofman Ortega. Intended to inspire you for our visit in April from author and fabric fragment enthusiast, Mary Kerr, and to jumpstart our efforts for the Cuddle Quilt workshop in August, suggestions and instructions will be given for getting creative with what may look like useless, random scraps.

Quilters, let's make our grandmothers proud as we learn ways to make do, lighten up our stashes and produce beautiful little quilts for the children at Chambliss Center for Children. No need to bring anything except your Show and Tell beauties to the meeting. Brave the cold to enjoy an evening with friends.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Back to the Future in 2017

Vintage Dresden fragments combined
with new fabrics.
Stash busting, repurposing, upcycling and UFO redemption… the Choo Choo Quilters will get creative in 2017 by delving into the theme “Back to the Future.”

Whether they are ours, something we’ve inherited, something that was gifted to us or something that we’ve rescued from a yard sale, most quilters have a medley of patchwork leftovers, UFOs (unfinished objects), orphaned blocks, and vintage quilt pieces that didn’t make it into the “Finished” column. The plan is to take these unfinished pieces—ours and/or someone else's—and mix them with today's fabrics and threads to give them a second life and a new purpose.

With a focus on blending the old with the new, the “Back to the Future” theme invites investigation into topics such as:
  • how to redeem and reinvigorate UFOs
  • working with vintage textiles and salvaging usable parts from old quilts
  • creating new quilts inspired by antique quilts
  • creating time-span and memory quilts
  • repurposing old linens
  • dating fabrics
  • documenting and preserving antique patchwork during its metamorphosis into a new quilt
  • reconciling variations and limitations that arise with non-uniform patchwork pieces
  • working improvisationally to combine new and antique fabrics, and
  • how to combine old and new fabrics into a cohesive new quilt design.
Dig through your stash and scraps and let’s renew, repurpose and elevate those once-forgotten patchwork bits into wonderful new quilts.

Coming in April 2017
Corresponding with the "Back to the Future" theme, the Choo Choo Quilters are excited to host author, award-winning quilter, curator, and quilt appraiser, Mary Kerr, for a quilting workshop on Friday, April 7 called A Wonky Star: Improv with a Vintage Twist.
Mary W. Kerr (left) and the cover of her latest book, Twisted: Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist.
This half-day workshop will be packed with tips for working with vintage fragments and ways to showcase these treasured pieces in new quilts. Following Mary’s unique approach, workshop attendees will use vintage textiles to create a wonky star with plenty of space to incorporate favorite quilting designs. This workshop is about embracing the magic of combining the love of vintage with a 21st century aesthetic. Attendees will also enjoy quilts from Mary’s latest book and exhibit, Twisted: Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist.