Ten Reasons to Join a Quilting Guild

Have you been on the fence about joining a guild? You searched for reasons to join a guild and cannot decide? Here, we give you our top ten reasons to join a quilting guild.

Ten Reasons to Join a Quilting Guild

ten reasons to join a quilting guild

Guild Name Tags and Postcards Pattern

1. Gain friendships from like-minded quilters. The first reason to join a quilting guild is that doing so will offer you the opportunity to meet quilters and sewers who are just like you. Do you sometimes feel that nobody else “gets” you? Being around people who would rather quilt than do almost anything else will be a rewarding experience.

2. Get opportunities to participate in swaps. Do you wish you could join in on the fun going on in fabric, supplies and project swaps? Quilting guilds have them all the time.  Get rid of your unwanted supplies or that fabric you never used by signing up for a swap. Want to create something such as a unique block using the latest quilting technique you learned and swap it out with others who did the same? Swaps are fun and inspiring.

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Collecting Memories Bag Pattern

3. Gather inspiration. What better way to stay on top of the latest trends in quilting than participating in a quilting guild. By being exposed to what your fellow guild members are doing, you will have a constant flow of inspiration.

4. Gain education. Quilting Guilds typically have frequent sessions that include a speaker who will talk about a certain technique or design. This may be followed by a hands-on workshop that will allow you to try your hand at that technique. Joining a guild will offer you the opportunity to try out new techniques that will keep your skills growing and improving.

ten reasons to join a quilting guild

Little Charmer Quilt Pattern

5. Opportunities to participate in contests and challenges. A contest or challenge that puts your creativity to use is often a great way to give yourself a creative jump-start. Challenges often center around a central theme. For example, you might be challenged to create a paper pieced block using blenders and one novelty print. Or you might be challenged to create a quilted pillow cover. This is one of the cool things about being a part of a Quilting Guild.

6. Special deals for Guild members. Quilting Guild members often receive special offers from savvy quilting supply companies. By joining the QuiltWoman.com guild email list, you receive discount coupons for your guild members and the opportunity to receive free patterns for your special events. Additionally, Guild members often receive discounts to the best shows and events.

ten reasons to join a quilting guild

Kansas Sunflower Welcome Banner Pattern

7. Get feedback and advice. Imagine that you are creating your first baby quilt and need to make decisions regarding the prints and colors you should choose. Chances are one of your Guild members has created dozens of baby quilts and knows exactly what designs Moms go crazy over. By joining a Quilt Guild, you will have access to the best feedback and advice you can get.

8. Get prizes and other free stuff. Quilt Guilds often get sneak peeks of the newest products from quilt supply companies who are eager to get them into the hands of their target audience and get feedback. Additionally, there are often prizes given out for those who join contests and challenges donated by quilt supply companies. Quilt Guilds have access to the best and newest products on the market.

9. Access to quilting retreats. Quilting Guild members often have special access to quilting retreats. By attending a retreat together, members get better rates on lodging, food and materials included in retreat fees.

ten reasons to join a quilting guild

Sweet Spots Quilt Pattern

10. Show off your latest quilted project. Finally, rounding out our ten reasons to join a Quilting Guild list is the opportunity to show off your work to fellow quilters. We work hard on our projects, we want to share our work with others. Joining a Quilting Guild gives us the opportunity to do so!

Are you a member of a Quilting Guild? What do you like about your Guild?

NancySignature

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How to Make a No Applique Quilt

no applique quilt

Lisa Mullenburg creates adorable quilts that feature dogs, dinosaurs and owls among many other characters. Her story is interesting. She started designing quilts for her Mother to make, so that Mom could make quilts for each of her grandchildren. She quilts with a method she calls “counted quilts” which is a no applique quilt method, and also is the name of her quilt business.

strips

The technique is simple, yet brilliant. First, you cut your fabric into strips.

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Next, you cut the strips into pieces following the instructions in the pattern.

mapFinally, you assemble the pieces using 1/4″ straight seams following a map included in the pattern.  These quilts are a quick and easy way to make an adorable character without using applique. The patterns only use straight seams.

no applique quilt

Lisa demonstrates her method in this YouTube video.  This video shows, step by step by to make the Dog quilt top from a Counted Quilts pattern. It gives you sewing hints, answers you questions about charts and cutting, etc. You will see just how quick and easy these patterns are to assemble.

Lisa’s 6 year old daughter, now a pin puller and string cutter, recently asked her when they were making their next “Quilt that Counts.”  Lisa says “I told her my shop was called Counted Quilts, but I think she had it right.  I love being part of making a gift that really counts.  A Counted Quilt is a thoughtful gift that will be treasured for a life time.”

no applique quilt

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to create a character quilt for a child, you should consider Lisa’s line of Counted Quilts Patterns. We love the adorable pattern that showcases a friendly pair of Dolphins. It is a surprisingly simple pattern inspired from the designer’s trip to Hawaii where she saw some Dolphins right next to the boat as they went out to snorkel.

no applique quilt

Thanks for joining us today on our blog! We hope you will enjoy making a no applique quilt using the “counted quilts” method.

NancySignature

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Quilting for Health

quilting for health

Shake up Five Placemats Pattern

Hobbies like sewing and crafting have long been recognized for their health benefits. Engaging in arts is relaxing, engaging and can have significant health benefits. But quilting, a study by Glasgow University found, is “uniquely” good for you. Read on to discover this unique study on quilting for health.

Quilting for Health

quilting for health

Rose Moss Quilt Pattern

Students interviewed a small group of  30 quilters and found that quilting improved their cognitive, creative and emotional well-being. 

The study concluded that the use of bright colors was ‘uplifting’, the activity distracted  from the stress of work, and quilting offered challenges such as maths and geometry. It also increased confidence and had an important social side.

quilting for health

Rainbow Nine Patch Pattern

Participants experienced ‘flow’ while quilting. A strong social network fostered the formation of strong friendships. Sharing with others and receiving positive feedback from others boosted self-esteem and increased motivation to improve quilting skills. Quilters in the study often donated quilts to charities and this gave quilting added purpose.

quilting for health

Color Explosion Quilt Pattern

Three ways Quilting Improves Health

1. Quilting for Mental Health. We know that quilting is great for mental health in particular. First you have to have a visual of the project and and decide on colors, textures and types of fabrics. If you make any changes to the patterns this often takes a lot of planning. Decisions like what dimensions to use and what size to cut the pieces are all “left brain” activities help keep your mind sharp.

2. Quilting for Relaxation. There is something peaceful about going through the motions of a quilting. I love pressing the fabric for a new project. The cutting, piecing and eventually the quilting are all familiar and repetitive tasks can lull me into a peaceful state. The gentle whir of the sewing machine instantly relaxes me.

3. Quilting to Improve Confidence. Another way quilting can improve our mental health and lead to physical health benefits is by improving our self-esteem. Developing a improving quilting skills through quilting projects can lead to a significant boost of self confidence. We demonstrate the use of skills through our projects and show them to others, receive positive feedback and are motivated to improve skills further. Also offering positive feedback to others can improve our well- being.

Do you have a personal “healing through quilting” story to share? We want to hear from you.

NancySignature

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What we Love about Barb Sackel’s New Garland Patterns

new garland patterns

Happy Easter Garland Pattern

Designer Barb Sackel of Rose Cottage Quilting has introduced her fun, new line of garland patterns that are easy fast and fun! Here is what we love about Barb’s new garland patterns. 

1. They are no-sew patterns. We all love to sew. But sometimes creating something that doesn’t require a machine, needle and thread is just downright fun. It’s refreshing that these new garland patterns require few supplies and can be created fast.

new garland patterns

Merry Christmas Garland Pattern

2. They are great for novelty fabrics. OK, so you bought a yard of sports themed fabrics for that cool man-quilt you just finished and ended up using only a small amount of. These new garland patterns are perfect for using up novelty fabrics. Bust that fabric stash and make a cute, colorful banner.

new garland patterns

I Love Sports Pattern

3. There is one for (almost) every occasion and theme. Who doesn’t love adding a decorative touch to special holiday gatherings and other occasions? These new garland patterns gives us the perfect opportunity to make something that will add to our occasions. Do you have an occasion in mind that you don’t see here? We want to hear from you. Suggest a theme and if Barb ends up using it, she will send the pattern to you and we will promote on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and here on our blog. Imagine the bragging rights and freebie!

new garland patterns

Happy Birthday Pattern

4. They are super trendy. I like it that I can create one of these colorful garlands quickly and decorate with them in a trendy way. Not having to spend a ton on new supplies and still be able to stay on top of the garland trend is great!

new garland patterns

Happy Halloween Pattern

5. They are super affordable! For a low download price under $7.00, you can afford to stock up on all your favorite styles. Barb delightful designs include balloon shapes in wine glasses, holly leaves, hearts and other holiday themed styles.

So what do you love about creating and decorating with garland? What can our next garland design be? We would love to hear your comments.

NancySignature

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Quilting for Charity

quilting for charity

FREE Wheelchair Tote Pattern

Quilting for charity can be a wonderful way to give back while putting your skills to use at the same time. While we enjoy quilting, we enjoy the act of presenting our creations to charitable causes that much more. Take a look at three charities we love.

Project Linus

Since 1998, Project Linus has donated over 5 million blankets to children in hospitals, shelters and social service agencies. National President Carol Babbitt and Vice President Mary Balagna direct and orchestrate the activities of Project Linus chapters located across the United States. Both have been involved with the organization since late 1998, as chapter coordinators and now as directors and officers. Project Linus has chapters in all 50 states and continues to grow. Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children. The Project Linus website has crochet, sewing and quilting patterns for blankets available in case of needed inspiration.

quilting for charity

Quilts of Valor

Catherine Roberts began the Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF) from her sewing room in Seaford, Delaware.  Her son Nathanael’s year-long deployment to Iraq provided the initial inspiration, and her desire to see that returning warriors were welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved, provided the rest.

She hit upon the idea that linking quilt-toppers with machine quilters in a national effort could achieve her goal of covering all returning service men and women touched by war.  These wartime quilts, called Quilts of Valor (QOV’s), would be a tangible reminder of an American’s appreciation and gratitude.  Since 2003, QOVF has become a national grassroots community service effort, connecting the home-front with our wounded combat warriors and veterans.

A Quilt of Valor is a generous lap-sized quilt (minimum of 55 X 65) made by a quilt-topper (the “piecer”) of quality fabrics and beautifully quilted by a longarmer.   After it has been bound, washed, labeled and wrapped in a presentation case, it is ready to be awarded.  As of January 2014, there have been over 95,000 quilts awarded to service members/veterans.

quilting for charity

Friendship Parade Quilt Pattern

Your Local Animal Shelter

Every city and town has an animal shelter. Why not use your quilting and sewing skills to make much needed pet beds for the four legged residents? It’s hard to imagine an animal having to lay on a cold, hard floor in a strange place twenty four hours a day. Making a pet bed is easy and also a great idea for using up your fabric stash. or cats and dogs who find themselves in animal shelters.  Your local animal shelter would be very grateful to receive them.  You can contact your local animal shelter, ask them how many they would want and make it a project for your quilting group.

quilting for charity

Do you sew, quilt or craft for charity?

NancySignature

 

 

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How Pinteresting- Great Ways to Use Pinterest

946c80ab3188ff009f0f0282bff8e433Do you use Pinterest to gather and share ideas? We love this highly visual and inspiring site. Here are some Great Ways to use Pinterest.

Great Ways to Use Pinterest

For those of you who don’t know, Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as recipes, DIY projects and fashion ideas. Pinterest makes it easy to keep track of all the great inspiration you find on the web. No more printing things out emailing them to yourself or even bookmarking. Anything you find across the web can be easily pinned onto “boards” you create and name yourself.

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How to get started

Once you set up your Pinterest account, you will be able to find and follow friends easily. When your friends or those you follow add pins, they will show up in your Pinterest feed. We like to use Pinterest to find and gather inspiration. Some examples of our boards include Paper Piecing, Food and Recipe Ideas and Quilting Places and Spaces. We chose the names of these boards and add pins that fit these categories frequently.

Share Pinteresting Ideas with Others

Did you cook the most amazing Italian sausage last night? Do you want to share your latest quilt project? Did you recently reorganize your quilting supplies in an interesting way and want to share this with your Pinterest followers? The most important aspect of sharing an original pin is the photography. Taking photos of your latest creation in natural lighting on a solid contrasting background is the simplest way to produce a great pin. If you can take a photo of your work in a “staged” setting that is all the better. Pinterest will walk you through pinning your photographs onto your boards. If you wish to pin ideas you come across on blogs, online catalogs and other places onto your boards, you can do that as well.

cupcakes

Want to learn something new- Use Pinterest!

So let’s say you want to learn machine applique to use in your quilting projects. You can search for “machine applique” and be directed to hundreds of pins that go to blogs, tutorials and instructions using this technique. Want to get ideas for healthy lunches for  next weeks office lunch menu? Search for “healthy lunch ideas.” We like using Pinterest as a quick one-stop shop for inspiration.

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Avoid the Pinterest Pit-falls

Be warned that Pinterest is very addictive. You log in, start pinning and before you know it, hours can gone by. I like to use Pinterest while waiting on appointments to start or when I have a 10-15 minutes to kill. It’s the new way to leaf through a magazine. There is a mobile application available for smart phones that make it easy to take Pinterest with you. Pinterest will flag pins that lead to inappropriate or suspicious sources for you. And you can report pins that you find to Pinterest as well. Join us on Pinterest. We would love to see what your pinning! NancySignature

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How to Be More Creative

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I think we have all experienced this at one time or the other. It seems like our creative juices and motivation to create simply quit flowing. We have seven exercises to share with you to kick-start your creativity and get you back in the swing of things again. Follow along as we introduce these exercises designed to teach you how to be more creative.

How to Be More Creative

1. Keep an inspiration journal. As you come across inspiring quotes, colors, fabric swatches, project ideas and other items that inspire you on a daily basis, keep these handy in a journal. I know people that say their most creative time is while showering. If this sounds like you, keep a journal nearby to help you capture those creative moments. Then, when its time to make choices deciding on colors, etc., you can use your inspiration journal to help you.

journal covers

2. Use your favorite quotation. If you had to put images, colors and patterns to your favorite quotation, what would it look like. Most of us have lots of quotes that conjure up emotional feelings that we can use to our creative advantage. Try this exercise. Use a black pen or marker to jot down your favorite quote in the center of a page. Then, take colored pencils and draw designs around your quote.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”  
―     Margaret Atwood,     Bluebeard’s Egg    

3. Listen To Music. What is your favorite music to create to? What gets your juices flowing? Try listening to it while sewing, quilting and creating. Change it up by listening to a completely different genre. If you normally listen to classical, try an ethic genre such as salsa to see what happens.

memphis ribbons and blues

Memphis Ribbon and Blues Quilt Pattern

4. Share ideas with a Friend. Invite a creative friend or even a group of friends over for a brainstorming session. Provide light refreshments and soothing music. Ask friends to bring fabrics to swap and even supplies they are not currently using. Write some topics for brainstorming on small pieces of paper. Tear them up and drop them in a jar. Sample topics might be “unconventional ways to bind a quilt” or “unusual color combinations to use on a quilt.”

quiet moment between friends

A Quiet Moment Between Friends

5. Take time to Meditate. A simple act, such as taking a walk, can go a long way towards kick-starting your creativity. Engaging in distracting behavior and meditation can help us approach projects with a renewed sense of energy and creativity.

6. Doodle. Doodling is a simple process that is so effective because there are no rules. Use black markers and colored pencils to create unique designs. Letting your mind run free may be the key in unlocking creativity.

7. Exercise.  Physical exercise moves important chemicals to the brain that jump-start your creative and analytical thinking.  I am a morning person so exercise in the morning gets me revved up for the whole day.  It’s my coffee substitute!

When you are stuck in a creative rut, how do you overcome it? We would love to hear ideas on how to be more creative.

NancySignature

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Best Gifts for Quilters

bargello trivet

Bargello Style Trivet

We all love to give and receive gifts. Do you have some quilters in your life that you would like to give unique gift items to? We searched sites like Etsy, Pinterest and various blogs to round up the best gifts for quilters.

Best Gifts for Quilters

We love the Bargello Style Trivet featured above from Etsy seller, RV James Designs. The graphic was computer generated and then transferred to a ceramic wall tile.

sewing themed bangle

We also found this resin bangle bracelet on Etsy from seller, RubyBijou. Any quilter or sewer would enjoy getting one of these. The seller, from Ireland, warns that this gift may not be suitable for some since there is only one size available and the bracelets is not adjustable. It is available in several different colors and the seller welcomes requests for custom colors.

utilimate power tool

 We think the sewing machine is the Ultimate Power Tool and this t-shirt says so! It comes in white, pink, blue or grey.  It features a patchwork sewing machine and is 99% cotton, 1% polyester.

tool mug

If you want something a little more standard without having to worry about size, a mug may fit the bill. Buy one for yourself and for a quilty friend.

labels

Sewing and/or quilting labels are always appreciated. We like these humorous labels from Sublime Stitching. If you don’t want to order custom labels, try creating your own. This tutorial from Patchwork Pottery will show you how. She uses t-shirt iron on transfer paper found at craft and home improvement stores to make labels on an inkjet printer.

label tutorial

Humor is always one of the best gifts for quilters. This adorable pillow from Etsy seller, PDQdesigns, was created using machine embroidery and would be the perfect gift for the quilter in your life. fat quarter sign

 Finally, rounding out our list of the best gifts for quilters are these adorable earrings from Mesamew. The buttons at the bottom are from the turn of the century and the book page wrapping is from an antique book of poems and songs. So adorable?

thread earrings

Do you have a link or an idea of a gift that would be perfect for a quilter or sewer? We would to see/hear about it.

NancySignature

 

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Why We Love Aprons

apron 1

Mom and Me Aprons Pattern

I continue to be inspired by all the cute, fun apron patterns I am seeing everywhere. I mean, there is an entire magazine devoted to creating aprons. Apronology, by Stampington and Company, contains instructions for creating dozens of artful aprons. From the very simple to the ornate, apron patterns are everywhere. So, I started to think, what is it that we love so much about aprons? Well what’s not to love? Here is why we love aprons.

Why We Love Aprons

  1. They are simple and quick to make. Sometimes I suffer from commitment issues when I choose to take on a new sewing project. I find that apron patterns satisfy my need to sew something quickly and easily. Almost any beginner can breeze through an apron pattern. If you are a beginner level sewer an apron pattern is a perfect place to start. For the more advanced, there are more complex patterns to chose from. How about mixing sewing with other techniques to personalize a pattern to fit your tastes. Stamped images, fabric paints, beading techniques, embroidery and more can be added to any design created from a pattern.  Patterns like the Mom and Me Pattern can be easily customized. Choose fabrics in solids and add hand painted elements to the panels. Include your little one in on the fun!
retro clothespin apron

Retro Clothespin Apron Pattern

2. Aprons conjure up feelings of nostalgia. We remember the aprons worn by our Moms with warm thoughts. Some of us even have the aprons worn by our elder family members. Aprons are vintage and retro. We love Dawn M. Stewart’s Retro Clothespin Apron Pattern. She even included a full, step-by-step tutorial for constructing the apron.

to the point apron pattern

To the Point Apron Pattern

3. Aprons are as practical as they are adorable. This is one of the main reasons why we love aprons. Aprons make it easy to protect clothes from spills created by cooking and creating. Mother’s are young kids know that aprons can also protect them from the little messes of everyday motherhood. One of my friends recently got in the habit of wearing an apron everyday. She puts automatically puts in on after she dresses for the day. Now, her wardrobe is saved from paint spills and cooking grease! And she looks cute all the time.

4. Put on an apron and automatically feel creative, productive and domestic. Aprons tap into our creative spirit. I met one of my good friends at a trade show for craft professionals. She stood out because she wore an apron for the entire show.

adjustable aprons pattern

Adjustable Aprons P:attern

5. There is no shortage of adorable patterns when it comes to aprons. We love aprons because of the vast array of inspiring patterns. From the simple to the artful, it will be easy to find something that appeals to your taste.

Why do you like aprons?

NancySignature

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Why I Love to Sew (and you should too!)

sassy dahlias

Sassy Dahlias Quilt Pattern

Sewing is a huge passion of mine. I love sewing for so many reasons. If I had to narrow it down, these are the top five reasons why I love to sew.

1. I’ve learned to spot quality. Since I have sewn for a long time, I can spot quality when shopping for ready made clothing, bedding and more. I can quickly assess whether or not I will be able to alter clothing for a  better fit. I also look for details that cheapen the quality of sewn items such as poorly matched seams and sloppy button holes. If a clothing item costs big bucks but was made poorly, I will pass on it.

2. I gain a great sense of satisfaction from sewing. Nothing can replace the simple personal satisfaction of completing a garment or project that I am proud of. From selecting my patterns and fabric to completing the final details of sewing project, sewing fills me with pride and satisfaction. I love saying “I made it” when someone comments on something I have sewn. The idea of being self-sufficient and more sustainable is also very important in my life.

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Emperor’s Snuggler Jacket Pattern

3. Sewing taps into my creativity. As a retired CPA, I know that people often choose career paths that are very different from highly tactile ones. When I was an accountant, I found that being more tactile by sewing balanced me out. We all need outlets for our creative side which all of us have. Sewing relieves stress and helps me to be more meditative, which results in a more happy me!

4. Sewing is a family tradition. It is probable that, for most of us that sew, our mothers and grandmothers taught us. They knew their sewing well and desired to pass it on to daughters and granddaughters. We, in turn, pass it onto ours. Sewing tradition often had strong, deep roots within our families.

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Jezebelle Reversible Apron Pattern

5. Sewing is a great way to spend time with my quilting family.  These are my friends and some relatives who have become the dearest friends I could ever ask for.  We love to gather together in small groups at each others homes or larger groups at our retreats.  Sharing your passion with others who have the same passion brings me joy for which there are no words.

So… why do you sew?

NancySignature

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