10 weeks and Lori, Tracy and Ginger are still sheltering at home! In this episode, they all share an update on their current projects and Ginger and Tracy share some news from the Golden Peak Media filming studio. Also, Tracy gets a special birthday surprise from her co-podcasters, quilter Aby Dolinger and the quilting community that loves and adores her! Aby also joins us to share some tips for planning your own group quilts. Have some tissues handy, this episode is a tear-jerker, tears of joy!
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Welcome | Tracy, Lori, and Ginger Project Updates & Filming Studio News, Tracy Birthday Surprise.
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Tips for Organizing and Making Group Quilts
Compiled by Abigail Dolinger, May 2020
Participating in a group quilt project fosters sharing and a sense of community among the participants. The memories of friends collaborating together are added to the fabric medium. Exchanging blocks and handwritten notes through the mail is a great way to keep in touch with quilting friends who live at a distance. Social interaction among the participants is one of the greatest benefits in making a group quilt.
Occasions for multiple makers –
A shared experience between friends, often resulting in a wider variety of fabrics
*Try a different technique, learn a new skill
*Make a quilt you might not tackle on your own
*Meet the challenge of designing a creative setting for the blocks
A quilt guild or bee activity
Organizing signature blocks for a guild or bee member who is moving away
A gift for someone facing a serious medical situation
Signature squares collected from wedding guests
Signatures and written memories collected at a funeral or memorial service
Signatures or blocks made as a retirement gift
Blocks made by quilt guild members to raffle for operating expenses or for a charity
Birthday blocks exchanged among friends
Celebrating a baby’s birth or young person’s graduation
Who should you invite to participate?
Quilting bee members
Family members, Examples: mothers/daughters, family reunion activity
Special friends of the quilt’s recipient
Characteristics of group quilt participants: Competent sew-ers with similar sewing skills, Enthusiastic about the project, Agreeable with group and coordinator decisions, Willing to schedule time to make the blocks, Conscientious to give their best work, Faithful to the commitment of exchanging blocks on time, Honest about skill or time limitations
Group Quilt Coordinator
Can solicit input from the group and then propose the following:
The pattern or design of the blocks
*On one hand, the block design should be commensurate with the skill level of participants, on the other hand, the selected block could challenge the group to learn a new technique.
*Choose a block that is not overly time consuming
*Choose a block that can be trimmed to a common size without compromising triangle points on the block’s perimeter. Examples: Rail Fence, Nine Patch, Bowtie, “Scrappity-Do-Dah”
*Choose a block or quilt design you personally are inspired to make. Sources: Quilting magazines, published patterns, quilt shows, Pinterest and social media
The size of the blocks (give the finished and unfinished size to avoid confusion)
*Recommend a specialty ruler or specify a ruler manufacturer
The fabrics to be used: colors, style
*A common background can be stipulated such as a specific solid by a specific fabric company
*A swatch card can be distributed to each participant
*A multi-colored fabric can be the spring-board for choosing coordinating tone-on-tones
The pace and duration of the exchange
Once the group agrees on the basics, the coordinator should:
Write and distribute clear and detailed instructions that include diagrams and pictures Delineate rules and expectations for the exchange
*Make a sample block to show participants
*Ask another participant to make a sample block following the written instructions
*Demo cutting and making a sample block for the group
Set a beginning and an end date for the exchange
Monthly at a guild or bee meeting
Monthly – blocks mailed to participants
Yearly – blocks exchanged at a group retreat
Throughout the duration of the exchange, the coordinator inspires enthusiasm and motivation
Encourages participants as they make blocks
Answers questions about construction
Reminds participants of due dates
Fields complaints and kindly educates participants with lesser sewing skills
Offers sympathetic understanding if a participant drops out – life happens
Despite carefully written instructions, you will receive blocks of various sizes. The most common culprit of this malady is an inconsistent ¼” seam allowance. It is preferable, in the spirit of friendship, to use all the blocks you receive. Methods for making the blocks fit together are as follows: Ease the blocks when sewing them together by using pins or hand basting; take an over-size or under-size block apart and re-stitch; sew a fabric frame around all the blocks and then trim all to the same size; sew sashing between the blocks; use some of the rogue blocks on the back of the quilt as backing art; use aberrant blocks in a separate quilt project.
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