Thursday, August 22, 2013

A new season is about to begin

How can it be that the summer is almost over? Lamenting this is not such a worthwhile pastime, so I would rather focus on the fact that our guild will start meeting again next week! Monday, August 26, at our new time of 7:00 P.M., Loose Threads Quilt Guild will begin a new season.  And what a busy one it looks like it will be.
Here is what we will be doing at the next couple of meetings:

Aug 26                        Opening meeting

- Challenge will be introduced (Gloria)

Sept. 16                       Program

- Mystery project (Carolyn)

Sept 30                        Program

- Kippot

Gloria will give a brief workshop on Kippot, part of our Community project
As of today we have our very own Facebook page....I hope people will share info and ideas on it for all quilters to enjoy.
We have a few spots for new members - anyone who has a knowledge of quilting is welcome to join. Leave a message here or on Facebook and we will be glad to get in touch with you.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sashiko Workshop

On June 3, our guild enjoyed a workshop led by member Debby Soll, who has been learning and experimenting with various techniques in quilting and fabric art. Debby taught us some basics about Sashiko, a traditional Japanese style of quilting.

First, Debby explained what Sashiko is and she showed us some samples of the technique:

This beautiful wall hanging also has buttons for added interest.

Sashiko is a symmetrical repeated pattern, done with a thicker thread than one might use in usual quilting. Traditionally, it's done on a dark fabric (blue) with a light (white) thread.

After explaining the technique and what is involved in working on a Sashiko piece, we received a kit to learn for ourselves.

While not difficult if you are an experienced hand quilter, the technique does need a bit of learning because of how it stops and starts, and how the stitching travels around corners and across intersections. Here is one finished piece:

Thanks to Debby for the lessons and maybe we'll see more of our members working on this old craft.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Touching Base

Happy almost summer!
As our guild season draws to another close, there are a few things I would like to share with our quilting community....

On May 6th we welcomed a former Loose Threads guild member, Pam Chasen, to our meeting. Pam gave a very informative presentation and beautiful trunk show entitled Appliqué and Collage.  Pam is an accomplished quilt artist who draws inspiration from her background as an émigré from South Africa and her Jewish faith. Pam shared some of her techniques and thrilled us with several of her incredible art quilts done in the technique of appliqué and collage.  Many of her descriptions of how a quilt came to be were very moving, while others were quite amusing.  We hope Pam will come back to the guild and share more of her quilting expertise and beautiful quilts with us.  In the meantime, check out her website,, to be inspired and to enjoy learning more about her.

We have two meetings left in this season and it is hard to believe how quickly time has gone by.  The dates and programmes are:

-           May 27th -  Debby Soll will give a short presentation on Shashiko and each guild member will receive a kit with a piece of printed fabric, needle and thread to complete as they desire.

-           June 10th - closing dinner.  Joyce Ireman continues her great job of organizing the hostess list and special dinners with another fun theme for this closing dinner - Summer Picnic.  Joyce will be supplying the fixings for a fabulous dessert –make your own ice cream sundaes!! We will have the sign up list at the May 27th meeting for appetizers, salads, and main dishes......I am sure it will be another delicious dinner.  The special programme that evening will be our “10 challenge”.  I am excited to see who participated and what they did within the guidelines, which were nothing more than celebrating Loose Threads 10th year in a 10” X 10” quilted piece J
As always, we are looking for ideas for programming (not necessarily quilting related but of general interest to ALL members), and volunteers to help our guild continue to be active and vibrant.  We gladly welcome new members, but do want to stress that although we have demos and workshops, we are not a teaching guild.

Over the summer you will be receiving an email with a file attached that will contain the original by-laws of Loose Threads.  It is time to review these, and we hope people will take the time to read them and send any comments to me.  We will update the by-laws, renamed Guild Guidelines, in the early fall.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on May 27th.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

International Quilting Day 2013

Loose Threads Quilt Guild recently hosted our annual IQD.  Here is a report of the day, written by Anna Marrett.

International Quilt Day, March 16, 2013

Sharing Our Love of Quilting
A warm welcome from Randi Lenet, Ruth Rosenblum and Roz Agulnik, a cleverly designed quilter’s survival kit and a pocketful of raffle tickets are sure signs that it’s International Quilt Day (IQD). This festival, celebrated annually by Loose Threads Quilt Guild, with any remaining spaces joyfully filled by members from West End Quilters and Cuilte Montreal, is a highlight of early spring. Among the special guests was Francine Beauchamp of Courtepointe Quebec Quilts (CQQ) who urged us to join the newly launched CQQ Facebook page. With 183 friends already, her goal of 200 by the end of the day should easily be surpassed.

Guest speaker Karen Desparois treated us to a trunk show which spanned 21 years, starting when she was pregnant with her first child. Leaving the world of finance and commodities trading for free Saturday mornings when she could watch and learn to quilt through TV programs, she started with traditional scrap quilts using memory fabrics like her great-grandmother’s nightgown and her husband’s shirts. Soon she began designing quilts where her minimalist style showcased her quilting patterns and special fabrics could be featured. Her experience in materials and techniques and willingness to share her knowledge led to a lively discussion about batting, patterns, flannel, silk, bamboo, sheets, colour catchers, rust dying and more. We learned about what’s available both in the quilting and the drapery departments at Fabricville.  Karen’s quilts proudly sported the signs of use: nail polish, tea and coffee stains, and even a paint smudge when painters mistook a quilt for a drop cloth.

After Karen’s presentation we visited each other’s tables for a chance to catch up on life’s adventures and exchange information on our latest projects, speakers, and workshops. IQD is always very productive. Quilts in every stage, from the first fabric cuts to the last stitches of the binding, were on display. People were piecing scraps, doing appliqué, beadwork, Sashiko. Such fun! So many good ideas!

And nothing goes better with the warmth and camaraderie of a quilt day than fine food, so IQD organizers host a food drive allowing us to share our good fortune with others. Luckily this leaves us with empty canvas bags, ready for prizes, parting gifts and the sale table, another highlight of the day. Though the organizers expressed some apprehension, we were all invited to view and choose the items for sale en masse.  It was all very civilized! We made selections and filled those empty bags with new treasures and gently used magazines.

In addition to bringing food for the drive and homemade lunches we all contributed to the snack table which, along with tea and coffee, was available all day long. Tempting and delicious, it’s best to get started early. After all, who says you can’t have a chocolate chip cookie, a banana muffin and some chips at 9:15 am?  And what better way to console our self for not winning the grand prize of a lovely cutting mat and a bag of fabrics than a quick trip to the snack bar?

After an exhilarating day, it was time to pack up and go home. There was just enough room to cram the parting gifts into the bag of new found fabrics. These gifts included rulers, pins, thread, quilting tools and gadgets generously supplied by Fabricville, H.A. Kidd, and Symak Sales. Thank you so much to all. They’ll be well used.

Once at home, it was time to spread out the new fabrics and look more carefully through the new magazines. One of the Fons and Porter magazines has directions for a guild activity: fabric bingo. The cards are made of fabrics which are grouped into colour columns. The rows have a variety of design needs –florals, novelty fabrics, stripes, retro. I’m ready to make a few cards because my new fabrics fit categories. I’ve got some great prizes, too. Anybody want to play?
Thanks to Anna for this most detailed account of a wonderful day.
I hope everyone enjoyed the recent Spring holidays.  Come back for updates next week, as I will report on guild activities and upcoming events.
Happy quilting.
Sharon Gates



Monday, February 4, 2013

Brrrrrr....................hope everyone is staying warm.

Yesterday several of our members participated in a workshop led by Isabel Bernier on how to make a drawstring bag. It was a wonderful day - I think everyone managed to make 2 bags! Isabel was a great instructor, and had a couple of surprises for us, which was an added treat. She brought gifts and Valentine loot bags - thanks, Isabel, for a fun day. Looking forward to Show& Tell.

Here is a photo of the day:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Loose Threads Guild - Winter Newsletter

Loose Threads has been very busy since we began meeting again in the fall – we had Bee Nights and demos, as well as full day workshops given by guild members.

Carolyn Nassi demonstrated how to make leaves – she supplied each participant with a “kit” and showed how to make a leaf with a vein down the middle.

Gloria Stermer gave a demo on Pillow Pals – you can read more about these fabulous items below. And check out the photos of the Box Bags, made during a fantastic demo by given by Randi Lenet.

“Quilts of Valor” is an ongoing project for us. Loose Threads has already donated a few and we have one still in progress.

We have the “10” Challenge due at the end of our season – this is to commemorate our 10th year since we became a formal guild. The only rule for this challenge is to have a completed, quilted, and bound piece that measures 10 inches!!!!!!! This is proving to be quite a challenge and it should be a fabulous evening of show and tell when we present our pieces.

Box Bag Fun

On a recent Sunday, many members of the guild gathered for a workshop to learn how to make box bags. Under the very patient guidance of the guild's own Randi Lenet, we each managed to complete at least one bag; many of us left with two.

As we began to construct the bags, we heard many calls for seam rippers and a few choice words every now and then, but we also heard many exclamations of pride as the bags started to come together and when the final product was produced. A few of us even put in our first zipper!!!!

Part of the fun of gatherings such as these is seeing the different fabrics that everyone uses for their projects. Some were learning how to make the bags just to learn a new skill, while others had specific gift recipients in mind.

A few of the completed bags

Many thanks go to Randi for teaching the workshop, to the executive for arranging it, and to all the members who participated in this fun day. The best part of these workshops, aside from learning a new technique or skill, is getting together with others and having fun. A wonderful side benefit of this great day was the collection of several bags of non perishable food items for a local mobile food kitchen.

Pillow Pals - Community Service Project

While we enjoy making quilted items for our community service (big surprise there, huh?), we also create in other ways, using these projects to brighten up the lives of others. This year our community service project didn't involve quilting, but it did involve something that all quilters have: fabric!

We were introduced to Pillow Pals by Gloria Stermer, who thought that these would make a quick and easy project. And it was quick and easy. It really only takes about a half hour to put one together and then maybe another half hour to put the pillow in the fabric "pal," and sew it up.

They're so easy to make. You need two 14 inch squares for the body, scraps for the eyes, nose, mouth, arms and legs, a few bits of fibrefill for the limbs, and a 14-inch square pillow form for the body.



Thank you to everyone who helped to make these delightful stuffed toys for children who will love them.

At a recent December meeting, we had a representative from Yaldei, a pediatric development centre providing therapies for children with autism and other special needs. The children who are a part of this program were the recipients of these special holiday gifts.

Rag Quilts – Thanks to James and Terrence

Our guild is extremely lucky to be in the City of Cote St. Luc, where we have a wonderful meeting space and incredible city workers who look after our needs so well and are genuinely interested in the work we do. Two of our “regulars” are James and Terrence, and in appreciation for all they do for us, we made each of them a rag quilt. We invited them to our annual Holiday Dinner and presented our gift of a quilt to them- they were so thrilled and we were so happy to show them how much we appreciate all they do for us.

Holiday Dinner

Another fabulous “theme” dinner for our Holiday Celebration – this time it was Italian!! Many thanks go to Joyce Ireman for doing such a wonderful job of organizing and setting up. The food was plentiful and absolutely delicious, as always. As we do at all “special” meetings, we collected non perishable food items for MADA, a local food bank. Over the past several years our members have decided to take the money we would spend on each other for a small gift exchange within the guild and donate it to a local community organization that could benefit from this gift. Our recipient is Maison Shalom, a residence for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities in our community.

Upcoming Events 

Movie Night – we invited 3 other guilds to join is for a screening of Superior Threads new DVD

Pizza Night
Drawstring pouch workshop by Isabel Bernier

Strip Paper Piecing demo by Marijke Vroomen Durning
International Quilting Day, an annual event for our members and invited guests to spend together sewing, sharing, laughing, learning

How to finish a Pillow (zipper/envelope) by Gloria Stermer
Petal Play Rose Brooch demo by Sharon Gates

Victoriana Quilt Design Bonus

Many of you are familiar with Benita Skinner of Victoriana Quilt Designs. Benita has generously given us 10 quilting designs to include in our newsletters. We included three in our last newsletter and here are three more for you, including one you may want to use for any Valentine's quilting. We hope you enjoy them.