Taking the Atlantic by Storm!

If you’re a quilter you may have been aware that the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival took place last week in Hampton, VA. Their website states it’s “the largest quilt festival on the Eastern Seaboard”.

Two of our guild members, Lori Crawley and Holly Santangelo, attended. Holly had entered two of her quilts into the competition and just like her son Joey who won on the Pacific coast (see October post), Holly has won on the Atlantic coast! (click photos to enlarge) Congratulations to Holly on this amazing and well-deserved accomplishment! We are all so happy and proud of you!

One of the best things about Holly is she remains extremely humble, even though it is obvious her talent for design, color, and execution is so superior to a good number of us!

Holly’s “Married to the the Sea” quilt won Best Hand Workmanship in the Traditional category. Her description explains, “I designed this using a computer-aided drafting program with traditional block manipulation. It is hand pieced (except for the Mariner’s Compass and sailboats), hand appliquéd, and hand quilted. It took 5 years to complete.” If you attended our quilt show this past October you would have had the pleasure of seeing this incredible work of art.

Holly describes her “Veggies” wallhanging, which won an Honorable Mention in the Innovative category, as beginning with a free screensaver she found on her computer and traced. She enlarged it to fill four large sheets. The pieces are raw edge machine appliqué held in place with a tulle overlay. It is machine quilted. You may also have spotted this piece at our fall quilt show.

Again, our sincere congratulations to Holly!! We’re hoping she’ll still remember us now that she’s a “Nationally Recognized Quilter”! LOL

Thank you to Lori for sharing lots of pictures from the show. As you enjoy seeing some of the competition Holly was up against, you’ll understand even more what an impressive accomplishment this was.

Remember to click on the pictures to enlarge.

Bringing Comfort to Others

This month’s meeting was devoted to a Sew-In to make some comfort quilts that will restock our stash. Approximately 30 members were present to sort and iron fabric, cut strips, sew units, and assemble into lap-sized quilts.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of all our busy bees but thank you to all who donated their supplies and time to this worthy endeavor!

Prior to the Sew-In, we held a brief meeting to discuss some future program options and share this month’s (#5) UFO and Show & Tell projects.

UFOs (Unfinished Objects aka Quilts, etc.)

Susan B. showed off her beautiful quilt that began with a heart block swap from February 2022. Susan N-C showed off her machine embroidery skills on a sewing machine cover she made.

Nancy R. shared a woven table runner she had completed and Nancy D. showed us another adorable wallet pattern she had completed.

Sue M. was catching up and brought in her projects 2 and 5 to share – a comfort quilt and a table runner to match placemats she had made some time ago.

Ruth W. gave us a quick overview of how she creates, or should I say recreates, a photo by tracing the main image of her desired picture onto a plastic notebook sleeve and photocopying the line drawing. She then brings the photocopy to the print shop to have them enlarge it and creates place markers of the main images in white on the fabric while she fills in the background. She then will work on her main images. Lots of pieces and layers go into Ruth’s art quilts before they are complete.

Show & Tell

Barbara F. was busy creating small comfort quilts from donated pieces she had picked up from church groups and elsewhere to create an array of golden quilts.

The Nancys, who do happen go to a lot of workshops together but didn’t this time, discovered they had both picked up the same kit at a show. Great minds do think alike! Joan Kurker sewed this cute little penguin door hanging, which she’s going to have to keep an eye on because her neighbor is coveting it. LOL

Until next time, keep your bobbin full and your rotary cutter sharp!

Only 50 Days Until Spring!

The seasons on Cape Cod have certainly changed since I was a child and the weather is a bit confusing right now. If you’ve been here this winter, you might think spring has already arrived. Temperatures have been hovering around the high 30s to upper 40s, sometimes reaching 50 or more, and the rain has been constant. We must have already made up for the severe drought we had last summer. I think we may have only had one or two actual frosts.

This may all be a tease because the past 20 or so years it’s no surprise to get our most severe snowstorms in February and March. We even had an April Fools Day snowstorm in 1997. However, as long as a quilter has electricity, they’ll find something to keep them busy while the weather rages outside like working on UFO projects (Unfinished Objects aka Quilts), which is the perfect segue into this next piece.

Crazy Quilters participating in the six month UFO Challenge brought in their #2 Project to share at our January meeting. Projects this month included creating a calendar wallet from a kit that had been purchased some time ago, finishing up several quilts for family, friends, self, utilizing a “found” star that needed some TLC, incorporating a heart block share into a quilt, completing a project that was a UFO pick from our December Yankee Swap, and seeing how many bags can be made from fabric sitting at the back of a closet purchased years ago. What an accomplished month and group!

If that wasn’t enough, we were treated by Penny and Denise to a trunk show of their mother’s gorgeous quilts. Their mom, Eleanor Mueller, is no longer with them but she has certainly left her family an amazing legacy of enough quilts (I believe they figured over 200) to fill their own museum. Unfortunately, I don’t take shorthand so I was not able to write down all the interesting stories of the hows and whys these quilts were made but let’s leave it to say it would make a wonderful book for any quilter’s coffee table or sewing room! These photographs don’t do them justice! And did I say, all but a few are hand quilted? Amazing!! (click on photo to enlarge)

Eleanor began her quilting journey as many of us have, by making a fence rail quilt. She was hooked! After that, there was no stopping her!

And if an applique quilt in blue wasn’t enough, she made another one in red. Even though Eleanor made lots of pieced quilts, most were given away as gifts. Hand applique was her true passion.

Eleanor did not have an opportunity to finish this next quilt. Denise plans to finish it and give a go at her mother’s tradition of hand quilting.

This last masterpiece might be consider a typical Dear Jane quilt. However, the original Jane A. Blakely Stickle quilt had 169 blocks making up the center. Eleanor wanted a king-sized quilt so she took some liberty and added twenty six additional blocks such as Sun Bonnet Sue, Overall Bill, and the little bird at the top, to point out a few. She also added inside borders and I’m sure adjustments were made to the triangle border to work with the added blocks. Brenda Manges Papadakis was the first to formally draft and publish the patterns for all 169 blocks and 52 border triangles, which can be found in her 25th Anniversary Dear Jane book. At the time Eleanor made her quilt, there were no patterns. So she and several of her friends would meet regularly and work out each block as they made their way through the quilt. Another amazing accomplishment and heirloom for her family.

Thank you Penny and Denise for sharing your mother’s quilts and stories with us! It was an enjoyable evening!

Lastly, I’ve got a couple of photos of Show & Tell projects that were shared. Lori has completed another quilt to gift and Susan has finished her Dresden Neighborhood wall hanging. Nice work ladies!

Until next time, keep your bobbin full and your rotary cutter sharp!

Winter Solstice

The winter solstice occurs on December 21. It is the day when the North Pole reaches its farthest tilt away from the sun, resulting in the shortest period of daylight of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, followed by the longest night. What that means is that over the next 30 days, you will begin to slowly see the days getting longer. Around January 18, we will have gained about an extra hour of daylight.

In the meantime, take advantage of the time you don’t have to work in the yard, plant new flowers or tend to vegetables, or even mow the lawn. Start a new quilting project or better yet, finish at least one UFO (unfinished object) you’ve had sitting in the pile! It’s also a good time to plan out your quilting year – what annual quilt shows you might want to attend and will you need hotel reservations, are there retreats or classes you’d like to go to, is there a shop hop that might give you new inspiration. Whatever it is, don’t let the shorter days of winter bring you down. Stay busy with your needle and thread!

Annual Winter Potluck Dinner

At this month’s Crazy Quilters meeting we had our Annual Winter Potluck, which was enhanced by a good old fashioned Yankee Swap. However this time, it wasn’t a purchased gift. The swaps were UFOs and there were some pretty nice projects among the mix. Some had been partially started and others were brand new kits in a package. As with all Yankee Swaps, there were a few favorites that were passed around a few times.

The food was varied and delicious and a cute tray of mice made from half an Oreo cookie, a Hershey’s kiss, a cherry dipped in chocolate and some almonds were a big hit.

The Next Generation

Members of the Crazy Quilters, along with some friends, have been teaching youngsters to sew. The five classes, which have been offered three separate times, were organized by Kellie Crawley, Program Coordinator for the Barnstable Recreation Program and Lori Crawley, President of Crazy Quilters of Cape Cod. With donated and borrowed sewing machines children ranging from fourth to fifth grade, with little to no experience in sewing, are gaining confidence as they create a new project each week. First they made a pincushion, the second week was a stocking and you can see by the smiles how proud they are of their accomplishment! Each week a new skill is introduced.

And lastly, Jacob Stapledon of Children’s Cove shared some photos of our Santa Sacks being filled for distribution to families. We’re hoping our small contribution will help to make a child’s Christmas a little merrier.

We wish everyone a very happy holiday season no matter what or how you celebrate. It is the one time of year that we hopefully can think of others more than we think of ourselves!

November Rushing By

This time of year it always feels like the clock has sped up. You blink and half the month is over, Thanksgiving is around the corner and all of the December preparations and holidays will be crashing into us.

Well, the Crazy Quilters decided to do some looking back during our November meeting. Members brought in the first quilt they made and we heard some great stories about why they decided to try making a quilt.

Members also participating in a UFO (Unfinished Objects) Challenge dug into their closets and bags of stuff to pull out projects that had never been completed, and in some cases never even started. They are challenging themselves over the next months to bring the past into the present.

Go to our Events page to view photos of the quilts and projects that were brought in.

We were also pleased this month to once again donate Santa sacks to Children’s Cove, the Cape & Islands Advocacy Center. Children’s Cove does an extremely important job coordinating services for some of our most vulnerable children; those who have been subjected to sexual abuse. Jacob Stapledon, Community Engagement & Education Coordinator informed us that they served 230 families last year. It made us realize we needed to make a lot more sacks!

UPDATE 11.21.22 In an article in today’s Cape Cod Times, Mr. Stapledon stated the number of children’s abuse cases referred have increased by 55% since last and therefore they are planning an expansion.

At this time of year particularly, we should reflect and appreciate how lucky we are and think about those that don’t have the ability to help themselves. Children are our greatest investment and the time spent now helping them grow up to be productive adults is really everyone’s responsibility. It does take a village.

Now’s the time to JOIN or RENEW Memberships

It’s that time again when the guild begins to look forward to another fun year of activities and friendships. If you haven’t received your renewal form at a meeting, you can download a new form HERE. We ask that all members, current or new, complete a 2023 form so we can be sure to have all your current information.

We have attempted to contact several people who expressed interest in joining as a result of attending our Open House and/or a recent meeting. Unfortunately, the emails came back undeliverable or some other error. If you might be one of those people and have not received a membership form in the mail, you can download one from the link above. We’d love to welcome you to our group!

If you’re new to the area and are just looking to meet with people of like interests, we’d love to see you! We are an easy going friendly group. We’re doing our best to make sure everyone can participate and at this time we are able to offer meetings in-person and via Zoom. We’re doing our best to make sure everyone can participate and at this time we are able to offer meetings simultaneously in-person and via Zoom.

Hope to see you soon!