Monday, March 5, 2018

The British are coming... to the Choo Choo Quilters!

...well, Ben Taphouse, the Sales Director from UK fabric company, Lewis & Irene is coming to Chattanooga, anyway... and he will be making a special appearance at the Choo Choo Quilters guild meeting on Monday, March 19. You don't want to miss this unique opportunity!
Lewis & Irene logo

Ben Taphouse, from Lewis & Irene, a fresh, new fabric company in the United Kingdom, will be visiting the US—and Chattanooga—later this month. Ben is a second generation member of the Lewis & Irene family fabric business that was founded in 2013 by parents, Jackie and Bryan Taphouse. The company is named after two special people—parents and grandparents, Lewis and Irene—who threaded love through three generations of their family.

Lewis and Irene
The Lewis & Irene brand is making a huge splash in Europe and the fabric designs have quickly become fan favourites to quilting and sewing enthusiasts. Ben Taphouse leads the sales efforts for the company in the UK and his sister, Hannah, is the company's Creative Director and member of the in-house design team. In October of 2017, the company proudly expanded and launched Lewis & Irene USA, LLC to make their fabric collections available to US quilt shops and introduce their fabrics to American quilters and sewers.

In a presentation to the Choo Choo Quilters guild, Ben will be sharing the story of his family's fabric business and provide insight on the inspiration behind several of the fabric collections. "We are a small, devoted team, made up of extremely passionate individuals," says Ben, "and love nothing more than seeing our designs come to life!"

Are you curious about new quilting fabrics? Want to learn more about Lewis & Irene, a young, exciting fabric company making its way into the US markets? Want to hear about what inspires the designs of new Lewis & Irene fabric collections? Bring your curiosity, your passion for quilting fabrics and any questions to the March 19 guild meeting.

Let's give a warm, Choo Choo Quilters welcome to our visitor from across the ocean.

Monday, February 12, 2018

"From Field to Fabric" presentation

Ever wonder about the manufacturing process behind the lovely quilting cotton fabrics we find at our local quilt shops?
"From Field to Fabric" presentation by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
At the February guild meeting, our resident fabric representative, Veronica Hofman-Ortega [follow her on her blog at], will give a presentation, "From Field to Fabric," which tells the story of how the cotton growing in the fields gets transformed into those colorful bolts of fabrics we fondle and drool over at our local quilt shops. Can you tell the difference between "quilt shop quality" fabrics and the other grades you may see at the big box stores? Veronica will touch on the points to look for and why there is a difference. 

Also at this meeting, the who/what/where/why of the 2018 Choo Choo Guild Challenge will be presented. Come join us on Monday, February 19 at 6:30 pm.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Cool tools solve construction conundrums

Got some cool tools?
Each year at the Choo Choo Quilters Guild Challenge Reveal, participants present and tell the story behind their Challenge quilts. Quite often, these discussions reveal creative ways in which the Challenge participants navigate and overcome construction conundrums that pop up along the way. Sometimes, we have to get quite inventive to meet those Challenge guidelines!

The 2017 Medallion Challenge was no different and seemed to have prompted the use of several tools, templates and rulers that helped participants make and fit pieced borders around a center motif. Let's all learn from each other's experiences, shall we?

Show and Share
For the January guild meeting, we'll have a Show and Share session. Please bring a favorite tool or a go-to gadget that motivates you or helps with the quiltmaking process—or something that's just too cool and too fun for words! For participants in last year's Challenge, bring a tool or share the technique that helped get your quilt across the finish line. If you please, a short demo is also appreciated.

A few other reminders:
  • Dues of $20 for 2018 are now due.
  • Photos will be taken at the January meeting for the membership directory (another reason you want your dues paid up).
  • Program teams for 2018: Time will be allotted for planning and discussion with your teammates. Come with ideas!
  • Last Call for completed Cuddle Quilts! We'll distribute them to Chambliss Center for Children in early February.

See you on January 15 at 6:30 pm.