A very well kept secret is the very talented Valerie Miller of nearby Renfrew, who combines distinctive fabrics with traditional artistry and contemporary style to create table. pillow, and wall covers, each individual and unique. She was our guest speaker at our March meeting and her trunk show highlighted her lovely and distinctive fabric creations.
Valerie's "Origin and Evolution" presentation highlighted how she evolves her designs from an initial idea to a final piece by making small incremental changes and never throwing anything away! She often starts out not knowing what the final design is going to look like and designs as she goes.
Valerie was inspired by her very creative and resourceful grandmother and her great-grandmother's quilts. Valerie creates dramatic pieces by very often using a dark coloured background to pop the colours on top. She uses a very thin and somewhat stiff compressed batting, and a cotton backing and very minimal quilting of the layers - just enough to hold it together. The batting is sewn to the top and then turned to produce a refined, tailored finish.
Guild members were delighted that Valerie offered her patterns, kits and batting for sale.
For more information see Valerie's Quilted Covers web site.
On Tuesday March 6th 10 eager quilters arrived at Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church, where Johanne Vajda instructed us on how to construct a "Big Bag". This bag will be excellent to convey large quilts to "Show and Tell", or a large amount of stuff to a workshop or retreat.
Pockets for either side of the bag were constructed prior to Tuesday. By the time most of us left our bags were virtually complete. That is MY kind of workshop. Johanne provided handles and bottoms for those of us that required them.
The variety of fabrics, colours and textures was very wide. Hopefully members will be able to inspect them at our next Show and Tell.
-- Chris Gordon
Click/tap an image in the gallery below to see it in full.
Our learning activity night was our chance to learn some new hand sewing techniques for embellishing our quilts. With 4 new techniques offered - wool applique, 3D pinwheels, hand stitches for embellishing crazy patch quilts, and hexagons, we had a chance to learn 2 at this meeting and we'll learn the other 2 at the May meeting, providing ample time to learn each new technique.
We wasted no time in getting down to work!
Half of us learned wool applique and hand stitches for crazy patch quilts.
And the other half learned 3D pinwheels and hexagons.
Instructors Mary DeVries, Brenda McLeod, Joanna Vlaming, along with Brigid Whitnall and Donna Sheaves (who stepped up at the last minute in place of an ailing Chris Gordon) did a great job teaching us.
It was a big month for preemie quilt donations - 17 beautiful new little quilts.
And we heard a touching thank you from a grateful mom whose premature daughter received a quilt in the fall of 2016. We enjoyed the photos of her daughter as a newborn covered by the quilt and another as a one year old sitting on her quilt!
On Saturday February 10th 11 keen quilters met with Mary DeVries to learn different ways to paper piece. We produced trees by the traditional paper method, sew-through-the-paper-on-the-line. Then we stepped up to more complex 8 part stars. Eventually we tried a freezer paper method which allows a pattern to be reused and we made strips of Flying Geese.
Lots of detailed work, great fellowship at the Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church, where there are no stairs to have to lug machines up or down. Thanks Mary for a job well done with endless patience.
-- Chris Gordon
Click or tap on an image in the gallery below to see it in full.
Three of our charity quilts were recently donated to First Step Options, a pregnancy resource centre in Pembroke ON dedicated to supporting women and couples with unplanned pregnancies.
One quilt will be offered in a silent auction to raise funds for this charity, and the other two will be given to clients.
It was a pleasure for me to recently deliver 4 beautiful Canada-themed quilts from our guild to Quilts of Valour Canada to honour our veterans and Canadian Forces Military Services and to say that we appreciate their service for our country and that we are thankful for our freedom.
These quilts include leftover "slab" blocks from quilt tops assembled for the Canadian Quilters' Association's 2017 Big Quilt Bee that delivered quilts to Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada. Our members completed the tops, added batting and backing, quilted them, and finished them off with binding.
The quilts were gratefully received by the Ottawa Area Region, Quilts of Valour, Canada.
"Your quilted hugs of comfort are given to injured members of our Canadian Forces – male or female; Army, Navy or Air Force; commissioned or non-commissioned – all ranks."
-- Gwen Pennings, VP and Charity Projects
We kicked off the new year with our annual hands on charity project night at our January meeting. It was a very busy evening with three activities to choose from:
Thanks to all of the members who took kits for blocks for the auction quilt at our December meeting and then brought in the completed blocks.
Our guild receives a lot of generously donated fabric so there was lots of fabric to cut up and assemble into kits for wheelchair lap quilts and preemie quilts. It was a whirlwind of activity with many hands (and cutters) at work!
Fabric for preemie quilts is coming together into kits for members to pick up and assemble.
And here are some completed kits for members to pick up to make wheelchair lap quilts
Click on an image in the gallery below to see it in full.
This lovely quilt stand was generously donated to us and won as a door prize by this lucky lady.
And 9 darling preemie quilts were donated bringing our total for the year to 33. Several of them are included in the gallery below. Thanks for your generous donations to this important initiative.
Click on an individual image to see it in full.
On Thursday January 10, 2018, 18 ladies arrived at Providence Point to begin their time of quilting and fellowship. We arrived with the weather fairly mild and left with ice on our cars and cold. We did not let the cold affect our time quilting. The food was delicious and a good time was had by all.
We worked on our individual projects, and we also made some blocks for the quilt that our guild is donating for auction to benefit the Arnprior & DistrictMemorial Hospital.
-- Joanna Vlaming, Program - Retreats
On Thursday January 18th, twelve eager quilters gathered at Island View Suites retirement residence in Arnprior for our second Sew Day to make blocks for the quilt we'll be raffling off at our 2019 quilt show.
Mary deVries and Rennie Hickey are the genii behind this project and its stunning paper pieced wedge shaped blocks. 12 wedges will be joined to make a circle of buildings in the "community" this quilt represents. The quilt will be a real eye-catcher.
While working in the activity room our group of quilters were visited by residents interested to see our work. We enjoyed pizza from Mama Rosa's for lunch.
Thanks to Island View for inviting us to meet without charge. We appreciate the generosity shown to our Guild.
Click/tap on a photo in the gallery below to see it in full.
Sadly our guild has lost a longtime quilter and guild member Edna Snyder who passed away in December at the age of 90. Obituary
Edna and her daughter Marilyn Erskine have been members of our guild since the guild's founding, with her daughter Joyce Murray (our guild treasurer) joining later. Her daughter Jackie has been quilting for many years, and her youngest daughter Lori has just started quilting.
Edna was recognized as our Quilter of Distinction at our 2017 quilt show, and she participated in our recent Sew Day in November along with her daughters Joyce Murray and Marilyn Erskine, both members of our guild.
Joyce and Marilyn have kindly shared some memories of their mom and her passion for quilting.
I remember when Mum started quilting. We didn’t call it quilting then, but just sewing, as she made blankets from old wool coats to keep us warm. Wish I had some of those now. She was always a sewer and would enter shirts, PJs, and dresses in the local (Carberry) fair, and usually win the prizes. My brothers always had matching shirts and PJs, which would be passed on to younger siblings. They never seemed to wear out.
It was much later when times became easier and time more available that she started quilting. She was very proud of her hand quilting and for many years it wasn’t a quilt if it wasn’t hand quilted. No wonder it took me so long to take up quilting myself. I knew I would never hand quilt.
My daughter Kelly is also a quilter with amazing talent for colour choice and fine work. Mother was proud to have a granddaughter involved in the ‘cult’.
-- Joyce Murray
For as long as I can remember Mom was a sewer and a quilter, starting out more from necessity than anything else. Cutting out squares from old wool suits, sewing them together, backing this with flannel was the beginning of her love to sew.
She grew up during the war years where everything had a use. Clothes were repurposed into our new clothes. I remember a blue pinafore dress made for me which won first prize at the local fair. This was a big deal in the 50's.
Mom's Singer Featherweight was always running. Clothes for seven children, home accessories and Christmas gifts. One gift for Christmas that I still have is a reversible red corduroy/black felt skating outfit. (Wish I could still fit that.)
So more formal quilting was a natural progression to her love of sewing. After our father died in 1983, she moved back to Arnprior, joined Emmanuel Anglican Church to sing and the Arnprior Quilt Guild to sew. The quilts began to come, fast and furious. In the following years she made no less than sixty full size quilts, many wall hangings and dozens of baby quilts. Her favourites were the most colourful. Every child (7), grandchild (20), and great-grandchild (16), received a piece of her work. Many more quilts for “Quilts of Valour”, women’s shelter, and little preemie quilts for the babies in the neo-natal unit at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital were sewn.
Always busy, criticizing herself if she didn’t have a project on the go. Like all quilters her home was full of material, unfinished patterns and accessories. She used that Singer Featherweight as her main machine until she died. The more modern Husqvarna never did work properly!
The greatest gift our mother gave me was this love of sewing. At ten years of age I received my first sewing machine. She taught me how to copy a pattern and we would sew together at the large kitchen table, she with her Singer and I with my manual machine. By twelve I was allowed to use her Singer.
So with Mom's passing, there’s many unfinished projects for us to finish for her. All that material was split up between four daughters and charities. Have we got our work cut out for us!
Mom was a true Worker Bee, quietly doing what needed to be done, never expecting anything in return. She loved going out, anywhere, but certainly mostly to material shops.
Mom surprised a daughter of mine with her own Singer Featherweight and was quite anxious to know how she liked it. Now there’s another sewer/future quilter in our midst and so the tradition continues.
-- Marilyn Erskine
Edna's four daughters surprised her with this beautiful family memory quilt for her 90th birthday in April 2017. This gift of love was pieced by Marilyn and Joyce, quilted by Jackie, and Lori helped with the binding.
Grandson David Snyder's quilt always hangs in his living room in Australia to remember his grandmother Edna.