May meeting recap

As the meeting started, many heads were bent over sewing labels on 35-plus quilts destined for Syrian refugee families who’ve recently arrived in the Fraser Valley.

Membership Update – Sherri
1 guest tonight and now 74 full members. The door prize draw is now being done by poker chips marked with the membership numbers. When you sign in, make sure you put your number in the draw can or no door prize for you!

Latifah Saafir Workshops – Jean
Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild is bringing Latifah Saafir in for workshops. There are still spots in the workshops left as well as tickets to her trunk show. Speak to Jean for tickets.

Community Quilts – Jean
The Syrian refugee quilt project has shown us that there will always be supplies needed to top up the donations. Next month we are starting a 50/50 draw to support our community quilts. We’ll be looking for volunteers to set it up properly with BC Lotteries and run it every month. (Volunteers have now stepped up)

Membership Survey – Jean
We will be sending out a membership survey in the next few weeks. We have lots to ask you about – please take a few minutes to fill it out!

Election Dates
We are  considering a by-law change to hold the elections in June. This will allow incoming people to learn the ropes with the existing officers until they step down in September. We encourage everyone to think about what role they’d like to take. All of the executive committee is stepping down. We always need volunteers to help organize our events and keep things running.  Here are some of the (not voted) things we need help with:

  • Maintaining an equipment list
  • Updating the guild web page and Facebook
  • Publicist to write articles for different publications
  • 50/50 draws and gaming license
  • Door prize and snack coordinator
  • Coffee klatch coordinator
  • Taking meeting minutes
  • Anniversary party planning

Coming Events – Laura

  • We are taking the refugee quilts to Abbotsford Community Services to distribute next week.
  • Cynthia’s improv workshop June 18 – space still available, registration closes tonight.
  • June meeting will be a car trunk sale – bring things to sell or swap. This will be the whole meeting.
  • July meeting – potluck picnic in Mission Heritage Park. We’ve invited Bellingham Modern Quilt Guild to come up and visit. We’ll do a mug rug swap at this meeting.
  • August – working on a pop-up shop to be announced.
  • September – anniversary meeting.
  • October – pop-up shop and a demo of making batik baskets
  • Maritime mini quilts are here – so much fun to hand them out. Lots of admiration and checking out the amazing variety!

Show & Tell
Some highlights this month: Canuck Place quilts, jelly-roll hexis, and several Quiltcon inspired finishes.

Quote of the evening: “Now the pickle is upside down.”

Favourite Tool Show & Tell
This was a particularly interesting part of the evening as members talked about their favourite tools. A great way to share knowledge and there was something new to almost everyone! Some of the goodies:

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Fine tweezers
  • Glow-line tape to mark rulers for repetitive cutting
  • Machine quilting gloves
  • Magnetic pin collector
  • Blunt-tip scissors (cut the thread, never the fabric)
  • Bloc loc ruler for squaring up HSTs
  • The 5 pound sewing machine
  • The Magic Tape case that makes a great finger presser!



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,, 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 […]

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