Sunday, March 8, 2020

Charity Quilt Exhibit and Presentation

3/15/20 update: The March guild meeting is cancelled. The Quilt Exhibit and Presentation has been postponed. Thank you for your understanding.

The fruits of the "2019 Monthly Quilt Blocks for Charity Collaboration" for our guild's community service project will be exhibited at the Choo Choo Quilters March Guild meeting on Monday, March 16, at 7pm. Bed quilts made to support the Chambliss Center for Children will be on display and then presented to representatives from Chambliss.
Ginny (left) and Sherry show one of the finished bed quilts, "Woven."

2019 Monthly Quilt Block program
Lead by Cuddle Quilt Co-Chairs, Sherry Reed and Ginny Minninger, the Monthly Quilt Block Collaboration program kicked off in January 2019. Quilt block patterns were distributed to guild members monthly with prescribed color schemes.
Town Square blocks.

Blocks were returned the following month.

Black/white strip blocks.

An assortment of plaids made up these quilt blocks.

At the July Cuddle Quilt workshop, another block pattern and fabric kits were distributed. Guild members worked at piecing quilt blocks and assembling several quilt tops during the workshop.

Quilt block layout at the July Cuddle Quilt workshop.

As the year progressed, quilt tops were completed, turned in, quilted and bound by various guild members and local long arm quilters.

One of the completed Tea Cup quilt tops. This was a popular block pattern.

Come and see the final results of this year-long endeavor in an exhibit at the March meeting when the quilts will be presented to representatives of the Chambliss Center. The representatives will also speak about the Transitional Living Program, a new program that offers assistance to young people when they age out of foster care at the tender age of 18. The bed quilts will go to the young adults in this program.

Friends and guests are welcome to attend the quilt exhibit and presentation. The event starts at 7pm. Refreshments will be served.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

2019 Cuddle Quilt goal surpassed

At the January guild meeting, Cuddle Quilt Co-chairs, Ginny (left) and Sherry, showed several of the large bed quilts that were finished in 2019 for the Choo Choo Quilters community service project. The ambitious goal set in January 2019 was 20 bed-size quilts—8 for the boys group home and 12 for the Transitional Living program at Chambliss Center. At the time of this posting, 25 large quilts are in various stages of completion.

Town Square


Tennessee Crossroads

Tea Cup

Crazy Patch

Deep Stash (scrap quilt)

Summer Camp

Courthouse Steps Log Cabin (unquilted top)

In progress quilt top using the August quilt block.

Smaller cuddle quilts were also turned in.
Cuddle quilt made with the Greek Cross block,
from the 2010 Great Cuddle Quilt Quest.

Cheryel shows a half-square triangle cuddle quilt.

3-yard quilt

The Cuddle Quilt Committee Co-Chairs enlisted the help of several long-arm quilters in the area to quilt these big quilts. We appreciate these long-arm quilters—especially those who have donated their time and equipment to help us reach our goal.
Shopping bags filled with quilted bed quilts.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

2019 Guild Challenge: highest response ever!

The Choo Choo Quilters annual Guild Challenge is always a popular event for our guild. Participation has increased over the past several years and this year hit an all-time high—15 entries!
2019 Choo Choo Challenge Reveal at the November guild meeting.

What makes a popular Challenge?
The guidelines this year were similar to past Challenges, so what made the 2019 Batik Guild Challenge so enticing and popular? Was it:
  • the use of batik fabrics?
  • the color palette?
  • that fabrics were provided at the Challenge's commencement?
  • no size limitation?
  • a broad ranging project category?
... or maybe the planets aligned, the fabric goddesses were smiling, and our quilting muses were working overtime. Who knows! Take a look at the 15 creative entries from our guild's talented members and tell us what you think made this year's Challenge so popular.

2019 Challenge entries
Deb decided HST [half square triangles] would be perfect for the multi-sized collection of batiks she received. She paired the blue/green color palette with a white background for her table runner. The geometric zigzag design is striking.
Table runner by Deb.
Kim was inspired by an American Quilter magazine article about making and using fabric strips. She made a pillow with an Amish-inspired color scheme.
Strip technique pillow by Kim.
Joanna used a slice-and-weave technique for her quilt. The woven pieces were fused in a random layout on the background fabric.
Woven and fused quilt by Joanna.
She took the Challenge as an opportunity to practice free-motion quilting.
Detail of weaving and quilting.
Betty combined the Challenge fabrics she received with a bundle of Alaskan-themed batiks from her stash. This runner was hand quilted and a lovely remembrance of a trip to Alaska.
Left: Betty's runner. Right: detail of hand quilting.
Martha found a pattern for making a graduated bargello-style pieced quilt. She added fish appliques to complete her composition (and because she likes fish).
An underwater scene by Martha.
The curved piping strips provide a beautiful contrast and movement to the wedge shaped patchwork on Sherry's bag entry. Sherry included additional fabrics, a zipper closure and a label that also served as the inside pocket for this shoulder bag.
Zippered shoulder bag by Sherry.
Cheryel found a Cathedral Window pattern in a Block quilting magazine as her inspiration for this piece. As the often-used "white fabric" for traditional Cathedral Windows did not appeal to Cheryel, the colorful batiks were a welcome option. 
Batik Cathedral Window by Cheryel.
Check out the decorative machine stitching with colorful variegated thread that she added to the strippy window inserts.
Detail: Cheryel's decorative stitches.
"Batik Divided" is Delores's response to the guild Challenge. She took the classic Bull's Eye block and cut and rearranged the pieces to make this barn raising layout. This piece is raw edge appliqued and also has a dimensional flange inner border.
"Batik Divided" by Delores.
Garie took another path and made an apron with her Challenge batiks. The five star motifs were foundation paper pieced.
Paper-pieced apron by Garie. 3rd Place.
The apron includes a functional front pocket.
Apron pocket detail.
Linda found a black/white drawing of macaws on the internet for the basis for her wall piece. She used fusible applique to create the birds and overcame a few obstacles (a melted piece of netting, for one) during the process. The finished piece was stitch-mounted to a heavy-weight mat board for a professional presentation.
Fused applique quilt by Linda. 1st Place.
Some quilts seem to "light up" when you see them. This one did—literally. Veronica stitched soft circuits into her woven and quilted piece, called "A Light Touch." She added LEDs and electronic "soft switches" to the appliqued circle motifs.
"A Light Touch" by Veronica.
A "Do you push buttons?" sign prompted interaction between the viewer and this quilt. As the buttons were pushed, the stitched electrical circuit was completed and the LEDs lit up. See Veronica's blog post if you're curious about the creation process of this piece.
LEDs were activated with the push of a button.
Cristy ventured into free-motion thread play for her floral-inspired wall hanging. She started with black thread over the colored appliques and then incorporated colored and variegated threads.
A study in thread sketching by Cristy. 2nd place.
A curved piecing technique was used for the sashing pieces that frame each of the thread sketched drawings.
Thread sketching detail.
Another HST table runner was made by Vista. Colored strips in warm colors accent the cool blue and turquoise color palette.
Table runner by Vista.
Theresa added a creamy white fabric to complement the blue and green batiks (a favorite color scheme of hers) for her quilt. Theresa used nearly all of the provided fabrics and the quarter log cabin block makes quite a graphic statement. 
Log Cabin variation by Theresa.
The last quilt entry is this strippy quilt made by Ginny. Additional fabrics were incorporated into this lap-sized quilt. She strip pieced the blocks as well as the appliqued circles.
Fun with circles and stripes by Ginny
Decorative stitching with variegated threads add a colorful detail to the circle motifs.
Decorative stitching detail.

Congratulations to all the 2019 Challenge winners and participants! Thanks to Team 4 for organizing this year's event. It was a huge success!