June meetings

So its the end of another rich year of quilting…or is it?

Of course not. We still have our show on June 15th and 16th. Its going to be Great!!

The meetings this month were held as usual but with different focuses. After welcoming Julie, a member visiting from the UK, this month’s evening meeting focused on a Zoom presentation by Brandy Maslowski, “The Quilter on Fire podcaster and a quilt judge and juror. Originally a firefighter, Brandy is now an art quilter and teacher, traveling the world to “educate, speak and ignite creativity with the tag line More Joy, Less Overwhelm“.

Her presentation, “The Gentle Judge”, led us through the differences between being a juror and being a judge, what each are looking for when they make decisions and the processes they employ. Basically the juror whittles down the 1000s of entries to a show using the criteria of entry, often using photos of the entries. The aim is to weed out entries which don’t completely match the brief.

Once the final selection is made the judges will examine each item individually and make a decision using the criteria of the show. Brandy recommended that a guild holding a judged show needs to compile a judging binder beforehand, something she has helped guilds compile. The judge will start with the general appearance of the quilt, is it clean and cat hair free? Following this she will assess the visual impact such as the use of colour, the design elements etc. and finally the workmanship. If an award is to be made then two further evaluations are made on Degree of Difficulty (DOD) and complexity of Design (COD). Brandy finished her presentation with a chance for us all to look at two examples and see if we could identify any issues. However as she stressed, the judgement is not a personal one. The judge does not know who created the quilt or the story behind it and the judgement is not negative but rather a positive suggestion for improvement. For more on quilt judging go to the National Association of Certified Quilt Judges (nacqj.com)

Following our snack break Melanie presented the program for next year. There will not be any challenges but there will be a Quilting Bee. This sounds like a lot of fun and sign up sheets will be going out soon. The idea is to form hives of 9 people who will spend the 9 months of the quilting year creating a series of monthly blocks for the Queen bee. Each member of the hive will have one month as the queen and will receive all the blocks made in that month. She will be able to choose her block and must supply her worker bees with instructions and recommendations for her block. Sounds like a lot of fun and maybe quite a challenge for some of us.

Show and tell wound up the meeting with a brief reminder from Fay about the St Jean stall at Centennial Park on June 24th. Volunteers welcome.

The guild AGM formed the first part of the day meeting. This was followed by coffee and snacks and then Pat presented the information about the Quilting Bee. It was also mentioned that Summer sew -in days will continue and a new zoom link will be added to the website. Some members then enjoyed a picnic lunch in the park

Have a great summer and see you at the show..

May Meetings

The quilting year is nearing its end but there is still a lot going on. The business part of the meetings carried news of the two shows. The library show, where the “Reach for the sky” entries were on display, has been taken down after being very well received and will be on show again at the June show as will the quilts entered in the “Tulips & spring flowers” challenge.

During the business review, the President mentioned that there are several vacancies coming up on the executive so don’t hold back if you want to be more involved. New blood brings new ideas and skills and the “old hands” are there to help and welcome you to the group. Also mentioned were the April retreat, the last of the year, which was well attended on Zoom and included 3 workshops. The outreach team asked for completed projects to be handed in at the June meetings and mentioned that new projects are available for work over the summer. For the June show, Julie asked that the signup sheets, which were sent with the newsletter, should be completed and submitted by mid May so that they can do the planning. Noreen also mentioned that volunteers will also be needed for the stall we usually have at the Beaconsfield St Jean celebrations. Beaconsfield should have installed the panels with pictures of selected quilts around the park by then so that will add to the fun. Nicole drew the winners for the Shop Hop Scavenger prize. Congratulations to Laynie and Claire. Show and Tell finished this first half of the meeting when, amongst other items, some of the finished challenge quilts were shown. Pictures will be available on the website.

During the break we could look though the amazing selection of about 40 art quilt pieces from SAQA – Studio Art Quilt Associates brought along by our 3 members who are also members of SAQA.

Queen of the Night by Helena Scheffer

Our three speakers were Julie P, Mary M and Helena. They have been members of SAQA for various lengths of time and are at different stages of their journey. Mary joined about 4 years ago and although she has been to shows she has not submitted any pieces yet. She describes herself as in the “lurker” phase. Julie has been a member for about 15 years and although she started as a lurker she has now submitted some pieces for display. Helena has been a member for about the same amount of time but 10 years ago she became a Juried Artist Member (JAM) meaning that she submitted a CV and portfolio for review and was accepted.

Our speakers gave a brief overview of the SAQA and how it functions. Its main focus is on exhibitions, education and resources for members. It also holds a fundraising auction each year. The exhibitions are held regionally and globally and members can submit works which are then juried to see if they fit in with the theme of the exhibitions. Submitting a work takes courage as few are selected but rejection is not a judgement of the work itself more a reflection of the juries vision. The association also has special interest groups and a YouTube channel as well as holding conferences and Zoom seminars.

Finally the speakers were asked what they like most about SAQA and the consensus seemed to be that the shows, conferences, educational resources, and the breadth of coverage is a draw. SAQA is global with over 4000 members worldwide and although there are at present only 15 members in Quebec, there is an Ontario and Quebec regional group with the possibility of interaction closer to home.

With almost a full week between shows this month, our Tuesday evening meeting featured a trunk show by our own Anne Kaufman. Anne has been a member of the guild sine 1997 and has been quilting for many years. Having been introduced to sewing by her grandmother she started to take a more serious interest in quilting in the 1970s in Pointe Claire and carried on into the 80s and 90s. Anne showed us around 20 of her quilts whilst answering questions. Thank you Anne, for sharing your process and inspirations with us.

Now its time to look forward to next months show. Don’t forget to send in the volunteer sheets by mid May and finish those quilts for display. That’s something I’m working on at present. Fingers crossed!

April Meeting and Shop Hop

Group photo from the shop hop (unfortunately some people had already gone home)
Karen’s selfie with friends

Its been a busy start to the month of April at BQG. Our evening meeting took place in person on Tuesday 2nd April at Centennial Hall closely followed by the morning meeting the next day. I attended the morning meeting on Wednesday at it was a very lively affair. First off, we dealt with some business, the president’s report, a plea for outstanding penguin blocks to be delivered to outreach and news of the library show (now up and running) and the imminent June show. Then it was time for coffee and pickle jar prizes as no one had brought any show and tell – a first in my experience.

After moving the chairs aside to divide the room into 4 stations we started the next part of the meeting where some of our fellow members shared their expertise with the rest of us. The timing was strictly controlled by Nicole, as otherwise, I’m sure we would have spent too long at each table.

The four stations on Wednesday were:

  • Andrea -presenting 6 ways to make flying geese
  • Richard and Lorraine – showing us how to use the 60 Degree ruler and the Stripology ruler
  • Christine – Introducing us to no-mark quilting design
  • Pat – showing us her method of creating labels on her computer using word, muslin, masking tape and fabric pens

A similar activity took place on Tuesday evening with different presenters. This was a really interesting and useful exercise as we have so much knowledge and expertise amongst our members. How lucky we are! Thank you to everyone for an excellent activity and I believe that some information sheets on the demonstrations will be available on the website under Program.

After the meeting, some members stayed to have lunch together and then to work on an initial mug rug using a 1 inch grid with Pat. She is also going to present this as a workshop at the May retreat.

To finish off our week of fun, a group of us set off to the north shore for a Saturday shop hop. We were a group of about 25 including a couple of guests, Karen Brown of justgetitdonequilts.com and a former guild member, Gillian Lee. We visited 3 quilt shops Tissus Roger, Elégante Virgule and Styliste & Complice and had a delicious lunch. It was really great to get to know some of our fellow members outside of the usual meeting places. I’m sure we all spent some money and came home with a delicious collection of sewing treats. Now we wait to see who will snag the prizes (?) in the scavenger hunt. Thank you program team for another wonderful activity.

Finally, keep working on your Tulips and Spring Flowers Challenge due at the May meetings.

The Sky’s the Limit

BQG Challenge Show at the Beaconsfield Library

Please note: The library is open to the public from Monday-Friday: 10am-8pm, and Saturday, Sunday: 10am-5pm.
Do give the library a quick call before your visit, just to make sure there is not a board meeting or lecture scheduled for your desired time!