April meeting recap

These notes come to you courtesy of Hedda. Thanks again, Hedda!

Jean (President) welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Membership Update – Sherri

2 new members tonight and 7 guests (!) in attendance.


Jean introduced the executive committee members who were in attendance.

Jean – President

Helen – Vice-President

Peg – Treasurer

Sherri – Membership

Laura – Programs and Workshops

Creative Stitches Prize Winners – Jean

Challenge Quilts – Viewer’s Choice – was a tie with over 600 votes. Marilyn and Courtney .

Challenge Quilts – Member’s Choice – Kate

Prize Draws for: General Display – Hedda ; Challenge Quilts – Christine ; Volunteers – Brenda ; Trunk Show Quilts – Vera.

Prizes were donated and we particularly need to thank Alex Veronelli and Aurifil, Dinkydoo Fabrics (online) and Overseas Fabric in Abbotsford. They spoiled us with goodies!

Community Quilt – Laura

We have over 30 refugee quilts needing to finished on the back table. Please take one home if you can help out.  We have just received a big donation of batting which we will distribute later, once it’s cut up. Some people had asked about making a cash donation – there was a donation box on the back table for anyone who wished (one-time donation box).  Bring finished quilts to the  May meeting or the upcoming sew-in.

Sew-In – Laura

There will be a sew-in to make more refugee quilts on April 30 at University of the Fraser Valley. Details will be posted on the private Facebook Group.

Workshops and Programs – Laura

The guild’s own Cynthia Frenette will teach an improv workshop June 18 at the University of the Fraser Valley. The registration fee is $35. We have 20 seats and if more register we will do a random draw to choose seats.  The registration deadline is the end of May. Speak to Helen tonight to register.

Modern Mini Swap with Maritime Modern Guild – Laura

We will collect the finished minis after show-and-tell tonight. Laura needs these no later than April 30 for mailing.

May Show & Tell – Laura

Bring your favourite quilting tool for next month and tell us all about it.

Coffee Klatch Update – Jean

We are looking for someone to take over organizing coffee klatches. This involves setting a date and finding a coffee shop willing to accommodate the group. Preferably near a good quilt shop. If you are interested, please speak to Jean to find out more.

Latifah Saafir Trunk Show – Jean

Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild is bringing Latifah Saafir, www.latifahsaafirstudios.com, into town. She is doing a trunk show May 27 and Jean has tickets if anyone is interested. The cost is $15.00.

Show & Tell – What makes it modern?

Show and tell this month featured a completed 3-year hexi project, a refugee quilt that was completed by pure teamwork, and a quilt called “Good Friends and Glitter” which Cynthia made for the Northcott booth at Quiltcon. Thanks to everyone who shared their work – this is always a particularly inspirational part of the guild meetings.

Tension Demystified – Bernie Tobisch, [email protected]

Bernie and Shelley demonstrated how tension works. Every sewing machine has two tension discs. When the presser foot goes down the discs come together to put tension on the sewing thread. When you adjust your tension, tighter (higher number) or looser (lower number), you are adjusting these discs.

  • Always thread your machine with the presser foot up so that the tension discs are open and your thread can follow the right path.
  • If you get threads stuck between the discs there can be tension issues because the discs can’t close properly. You can often use a long pin to clear them if there are issues.
  • Default tension setting is typically 4.5 for most machines.

Bottom tension is adjusted by a screw in the bobbin area – this tends to loosen due to vibration when you are sewing, so may need adjustment more often. If you are having tension issues and the top tension is ok, it is likely that your bottom tension has loosened off. This makes the bottom thread pull closer to the top surface.

  • Using a heavier thread in your needle usually requires the top tension to be loosened off. Otherwise the heavier thread can pull the lighter bottom thread towards the top.
  • Technicians usually calibrate machines to a 50 wt thread such as Aurifil.

Other things that can look like tension issues are nicks in your needle plate or irregularities on your bobbin case. Even tarnish on the bobbin case can do it. These can often be polished off using 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

Choose your needles based on the size of your thread. Thicker thread always requires a bigger needle to form the most even stitches.

  • Bernie recommends Organ HLx5 needles, especially for free-motion quilting (FMQ). They last longer than Schmetz Microtex needles and their shape makes them stiffer and it reduces deflection during FMQ.
  • Choose the needle size depending on your thread. 70 or 80 needles are perfect for a 50-weight thread.
  • Quilting needles today are actually ballpoint and their shape makes them more flexible, therefore more prone to bending and skipped stitches.
  • Denim or jeans needles, which used to be the sharpest, are now ballpoint.

Thread spools always need to be positioned vertically so that the thread doesn’t twist when it comes off the spool. Horizontal spools introduce twists to the thread which can cause irregular stitches or cause thread to catch and break, especially with metallic threads. With regular threads, you’ll notice a straighter, cleaner stitch line without the extra twist in the thread.

Bernie and Shelley took questions after the talk. (Editor: OH EM GEE that presentation BLEW MY MIND!)

Door prizes

We handed out the door prizes. Thanks to everyone who brought something as a gift for another guild member!



March meeting recap


Jean welcomed everyone and opened the meeting.

Membership Update (Sherri)

Four guests at the meeting tonight. The new Modern Quilt Guild (aka “the mothership” ) membership cards are here. Please pick yours up on the break.

Upcoming Events (Darlene)

There are no coffee klatches or sew-ins scheduled currently. These will resume after the Creative Stitches show.

Refugee Quilts Update (Laura and Judy)

We are collecting quilts for Syrian refugees. There is a link to a Google document posted on the private Facebook page for finished quilts anyone wants to donate. We still need lots of help to put quilts together. We will plan a sew-in after Creative Stitches.

Creative Stitches Show Update (Jean)

We still needed volunteers to staff the display and help with takedown on Saturday after the show. (the show is over now, so thanks everyone!)

Photography Update (Jean)

Carol has been doing an amazing job with our photography for the last six years. Thank you to Carol for sharing her talents so generously! She is stepping down. If anyone is interested in becoming the guild photographer, please speak to Jean about what’s involved.

Programs Update (Laura)

For the April meeting, Bernie Tobisch will speak to us about thread issues and maintaining your machine properly. We will also have the prizes from the Creative Stitches show. If you signed up for the ‘Modern Mini Swap’ with the Maritime Modern Guild, bring your mini to the April meeting. We will distribute the minis from the Maritime Guild at the May meeting.

For the May meeting we are asking everyone to do show & tell on your favourite tool. Bring it along to show everyone and tell us why you love it. We are also planning workshops for May and June.

Show & Tell

Some notable items at show & tell this month included Cynthia’s new fabric line (available in June). Sherri displayed a bag made with Lysa’s cassette tape pattern. We also saw many beautiful refugee quilts – kudos to everyone who has contributed time and materials for these!

Introduction to Flickr & Instagram for Quilters – Carol

Flickr is a web site that allows you to share and comment on photos. You upload your photos and ‘tag’ them with descriptive terms. The tag allows you to organize them and lets other people find them by searching. Flickr members can start groups with specific topics and themes. It is often used to organize bees, quilt-alongs and swaps. We actually have a guild group on Flickr.

Instagram is another web site. This one requires you to download their app on any device with a camera. You post photos online and can post to other sites like Facebook and Flickr at the same time. Anyone ‘following’ you can see your photos. You tag your photos with a ‘hashtag’ (using the #) when you post them like with Flickr. If you see something you like you can ‘follow’ the maker which allows you to see whatever they post. You can search for what you are interested in. Quilters use Instagram for quiltalongs.

The hashtags are used to create community and label your images so people can find them. The hashtags can also be used to sell and trade fabric. For example, there is an ongoing sale group called #thegreatcanadianfabricdestash.

These website are a great way to share work and create community. It’s well worth checking them out.

Creative Stitches Trunk Show (Peg)

Peg ran through the trunk show that she will be giving at Creative Stitches. The discussion focussed on defining modern quilting with examples of each of the attributes discussed:

  • Negative space
  • Modern fabrics
  • Use of colour
  • Improvisational quilting
  • Alternate gridwork
  • Assymetrical design
  • Minimalism
  • Exaggerated scale
  • Lack of borders

Door Prizes

The meeting wrapped up with door prizes, which included some goodies from QuiltCon. Thanks to everyone who brought something to share. Sharing with each other through these gifts is always a fun part of each meeting.



January meeting recap

WOW! Hedda got me these notes lightning fast! Jean called the meeting to order with the traditional cowbell. Membership Update – Sherri Membership is holding steady at 67 members. There was one guest attending tonight. Needlebook Workshop – Peg Amy Dame of Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild is teaching a workshop on making a needlebook with a paper-pieced […]

Read more →