April Guild Meeting Follow-Up


Howdy folks!
Did ya’ll enjoy our hoedown? What a great way to celebrate our 10th anniversary!

Thanks again to the ladies who made the vittles and set up the chuckwagon – Margie Hays, Jill Hubbard, Ruth Prest, Chris Grubbs, and Jennifer Shorts. Everything looked and tasted great. I’d like to welcome our two newest members, Shirley Foulk and Jean Lippert, to the guild. How do you like us so far? And thank you to everyone who participated in the Tins & Boxes contest. There are some creative ladies in our guild! Strip Poker was a big success – for me, at least. I came home with a great mix of batiks. And 12 lucky ladies walked away with a cactus in a margarita glass for being the best dressed cowgirls. Even Lucy the Dog got in on the act. What a great accessory, Tracy!

Raffle tickets were distributed on Tuesday. If you were absent, you can pick up your 12 tickets next month. They cost $2 each or 3 for $5. You are asked to return $20 – $24 within the next couple of months. This raffle benefits St. Bernadette Church. They are very kind to allow us to meet in the social hall every month free of charge. It is a terrific venue, don’t you think? By the way, if you want more, Joanie O’Donnell has them. Or if you have a venue where you can exhibit the raffle quilt and sell tickets, just let me know and we can set you up.

If you are working on the Block of the Month, please see the information at the bottom of the email. If you’re out shopping for fabric – and I hear there’s a Renegade Shop Hop this weekend – why not pick up your secondary colors for the fat-quarter lottery for the next 3 months – purple, orange and green. Also, keep your eyes peeled for old silk ties so you can make a flower brooch at the July picnic.

And of course, get busy on your Mug Rugs that will be due in June. If you’re looking for ideas, just google “Mug Rug Images” and enjoy the plethora of samples, many with free tutorials and patterns. What a great excuse to make a mini art quilt, eh? There is no size limit, but normally mug rugs are about 5″ to 8″ or so. How about stuffing yours with potpourri so that a hot cup of tea makes the whole kitchen smell good? Or put a couple of pockets to hold a tea bag and a spoon. You can enter as many mug rugs as you wish, any technique, any fabric. So what are you waiting for? It’s Mug Rug Madness time!

The big news for the month of March is the date change! The church will be having their annual card party in May, so we are going to move our guild meeting up one week to May 21. We will learn about different types of edge treatments including two-color bindings, machine fancy-stitched bindings, and prairie points. If you have any quilts that feature any of these (or other edge treatments), please bring them to Sew & Tell in May. If you know of another method and would like to show it to us, that would be awesome. Just let me know.

Last, but not least, here are a couple of events you may be interested in. New Beginnings Church near Northgate is having a very large rummage sale this Friday and Saturday. I’m not sure about the hours, but it’s most of the day Friday and until noon on Saturday. I know for a fact that there is fabric there, so run, don’t walk, to this giant sale. Quilter’s Escape is next Wednesday, May 8, at the Radisson in West Middlesex. This year’s speakers are a husband and wife team that have an extensive antique quilt collection that they will be exhibiting and talking about. Both Lauren and Gail have tickets. Also “Sisters Running with Scissors” will be having their annual Purse Party on Friday, May 17 from 2-8 and Saturday, May 18 from 10-8. Marilyn Boyd and Cheryl Weiderspahn have whipped up lots of stuff – not just purses – so head over to Marilyn’s house at 13355 Dean Ave (off of Rogers Ferry Road) and pick out a gift for that special graduate, or bride, or yourself! You can call Marilyn at 333-3136 if you need directions to her house. Tricia Maloney has tickets for the Cochranton Library Art & Textile Auction to be held at the Elks Club on May 18th from 6-10 pm. Tickets are $15. A live auction, silent auction, and Chinese auction are on the agenda and beverages will be available. You can contact Tricia at littlequilts@windstream.net.

Until our paths cross again…Happy Trails to You (I’ve had that tune stuck in my head for 2 days now!)











March Guild Meeting Follow-up

ImageHello my wooly friends!

Wasn’t Tuesday night special? Thanks to everyone who brought their wool Sew & Tell projects. The place looked amazing. Special thanks to the following ladies who shared their expertise with us…Cheryl Weiderspahn, Marilyn Boyd, Pat Pitetti, Nancy Leech, Marsha Waite, Laurie Wellington, Margie Hays, Bev Rappa and Nancy Mayfield. I hope the demonstrations were inspiring and informative. As with most of our programs, they are meant to give you a taste of what’s possible. There are many resources available in books, magazines, and on the web if you want to delve deeper into any particular technique. 

There are a plethora of quilt shows, lectures, and shop hops coming up soon. I have listed many of them at the end of this email. Please consider showing your quilts at the Country Charms Quilt Show to be held at Cochranton High School on Saturday, April 27 (9 am – 4 pm) and Sunday, April 28 (noon – 4 pm.) This year you can drop off your quilts at Homespun Treasures on Wednesday, April 24 from 5-8 and Thursday, April 25 from 10 – 4. You can also drop them off at Fox’s on Wed, April 24 from 2 – 5. For more information, call Gail at Homespun Treasures at 425-2889. If you would like your doll quilts exhibited (but not judged), please let me know. Most likely, I will be the one setting up a special table with entries from our guild’s Doll Quilt Challenge. I can make arrangements to get the doll quilts from you along with any additional decorative items for the display. This will be a great way to support the Country Charmers and also advertise our guild’s good works, especially since we don’t hold our own quilt shows.

The Block of the Month is going swimmingly. Block #1 is complete and Block #2 has been assigned. For the complete list of directions, go to http://www.crazyladyquiltdesigns.com/boms/fourblockwonder/ 

Our next meeting will be held on April 30. (This is not the usual 4th Tuesday of the month, by the way.) We will celebrate our 10th anniversary in western style, so dig out your cowboy hat, bola tie, and chaps and get ready to have some rootin’ tootin’ fun. We will be serving a western-style dinner for those of you who’d like to partake – free of charge, of course. I will give you the details in an upcoming email. 

I forgot to tell you about a game that we will be playing called “Strip Poker”. (No, you won’t have to disrobe;-) It is a simple card game where the highest card wins the pot. The ante for each hand of cards is a 2-1/2″ strip of batik fabric. If you want to play, bring up to 10 strips. They must be quality batiks or hand-dyed fabrics cut 2-1/2″ wide from selvage to selvage. These are the size of strips found in Jelly Rolls. They can be different fabrics or all be the same. If you plan to buy a piece of fabric and cut it into strips, get 3/4 of a yard. That will give you 10 strips cut at 2.5″wide with an inch or two left over.

 Speaking of upcoming meetings, in May we will learn about Edge Treatments. If you can demonstrate a way to finish quilts with something other than the usual binding, please let me know. We are looking for people with knowledge about prairie points, piping, two-fabric bindings, and wrapped bindings (like Laura Wasilowski and Ricky Tims use.)

 Also, we will have an Applique Workshop in June. I need ladies to demo the following techniques: turned-edge applique, the starch method, back basting, and raw-edge machine blanket stitch applique. Let me know if you are willing and able.

 Have you noticed that I’m trying to get more of you to demonstrate? Many of you have skills but are kind of shy. I know just how you feel. I am very reserved and timid myself. (Quit laughing.) Seriously though, it makes for a much better guild program if we “share the wealth”. Our guild is such a positive environment and it will only get better the more people get involved. Please email me if you can volunteer with the aforementioned projects or have a good idea for an upcoming meeting.

 Your bashful president,



Fox’s Fabric Rummage Sale – April 5-6 ($5 or $10 for a table)

Civil War Quilt Lecture – Megan Bell at Baldwin Reynolds – April 20

Country Charms Quilt Show – April 27 – 28 – drop off quilts 24 – 25 at Gail’s and Fox’s

Renegade Shop Hop- May 2, 3, 4 (bus available – call Gail at 425-2889)

Quilter’s Escape in West Middlesex, Pa – May 8 (tickets available from Gail at 425-2889) http://www.villagequiltscanfield.com/quilters_escape.html

Quilt Historian Merikay Waldvogel – Quilt Study Group – May 15 – Cambridge Church

Quilt Discovery Day with Merikay – ­ Quilt Study Group – May 16 – Cambridge Church

Pat Knoechel Show (Sister of Quilt In A Day’s Eleanor Burns) at Bethel Church – May 28

Genesee Valley Quilt Show – Rochester, NY – May 31 – June 2  http://www.geneseequiltfest.com/

Hands All Around Erie Quilt Show June 1-2 featuring War of 1812 Cots to Coffins Exhibit

Northeast Quilt Show June 8-9 

Northeast Shop Hop June 10 – 13 (bus available – call Gail at 425-2889)

March 26 Guild Meeting

Hello Free Spirits,

The March Quilt Guild meeting is this Tuesday, March 26. This month’s program is “Wonderful Wool”. We will have mini-workshops where you can learn about needle felting by hand and by machine, appliqueing wool by hand, braiding wool rugs, and recycling wool garments into useable wool fabric. The guild will supply everything you need, but as always when we’re doing hands-on projects, it is good to have your basic sewing kit with you. You may need a little pair of scissors. In addition to the learning stations, there will be a large wool show-and-tell area. Please bring any projects you have made from wool to share (even if we’ve seen them before;-)

If anyone is planning to start the second Block of the Month block (Dutchman’s Puzzle), I have inserted a correction and clarification for the cutting instructions at the bottom of this email. At the guild meeting, we will show you how to make the flying geese units. It is a pretty neat technique. If you finished Block #1, bring one of your blocks. We’ll put everybody’s up on one panel and see how they are coming along.

Do you have any old tins that you want to donate to the cause? Bring them to the guild meeting for people who are participating in the Tins & Boxes mini-challenge. The exhibit is in April, so you only have one more month to get them done. For those of you who are new to the guild, let me tell you about the “Free Table”. Members bring sewing items (and other crafty stuff) that they no longer want, all free for the taking. It’s right beside the Fat Quarter Lottery table. By the way, this month’s FQL color is RED.

Anne Dolecki lost a good pair of black, light-weight dress maker scissors at the last guild meeting. Did anybody happen upon them either inside the social hall or in the parking lot? If so, please bring them Tuesday. Also, bring any receiving blankets you want to donate to Project Linus. Tricia Maloney is accepting fiber art donations to benefit the new Cochranton Library. And if you didn’t renew your membership last month, please bring $16 for dues.

One more thing, the guild’s website can be found at https://fsqg.wordpress.com/. It has our calendar, contact information, and posts about our meetings.

What to bring:


-Sew & Tell – especially wool items!!!

-Items for the “Free Table” – including tins

-Fiber Art donations for Cochranton Library Auction

-Fat Quarter Lottery – Shades of Red

-$16 for membership dues

-BOM Block #1 (if you’re done)

-Completed Receiving Blankets to donate to Project Linus

-Little Scissors

Hope to see you Tuesday…



BOM Block #2 Dutchman’s Puzzle

Cutting Instructions to make 8 blocks

(W.O.F. = width of fabric from selvage to selvage)

Background Fabric:

  Cut (7) 3-7/8” x W.O.F. strips

  Subcut into (64) 3-7/8” squares

(The directions  incorrectly say to cut 8 strips into 72 squares.)

Fabric 2 (Medium Geese):

  Cut (2) 7-1/4” x W.O.F. strips

  Subcut into (8) 7-1/4” squares

Fabric 3 (Dark Geese):

  Cut (2) 7-1/4” x W.O.F. strips

  Subcut into (8) 7-1/4” squares

February Guild Meeting Follow-Up


Wow, did you guys have a hard time getting home Tuesday night? That slush was deep! The guild meeting was worth the trouble though. What a great program. Thank you, Margie Hays, for showing us how to make self-binding receiving blankets. By the end of the night, we had a huge pile to donate to Project Linus plus promises of more to come next month from people who didn’t finish. We did a good deed and had fun doing it, didn’t we? If you’re still confused about how to make the mitered corner, check out this YouTube video…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqwdNqMZ8Ro

For those of you who were absent, I announced the “Tins & Boxes” mini-challenge and gave a few ideas about what can be made. If you want to see some brilliant ideas, google “altered altoid tin images” and prepare to have your mind blown by the creativity of online crafters. Our embellished containers are due at April’s meeting. There is no limit to how many you can enter. The only rule is that it should be no larger than a cigar box. Why not plan a Embellishment Party with a few of your friends?

We welcomed 5 new members this month: Cindy McGowan, Gwen Shank, Judy Shank Clark, Karen Lippert, and Marty DuPont. Welcome aboard ladies! You all fit in so well.

In March we will mess around with wool. I’ll let you know if you need to bring anything. It’ll probably just be your basic hand sewing kit. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for used silk ties to make rose brooches this summer. Especially green ones for the leaves. The next two months’ fat quarter lottery colors are RED and YELLOW. You may want to look for your favorite cowboy hat when you start your spring cleaning, too. You’ll need it for April’s Wild West Party. Sounds like we’ll be having SEW much fun the next couple of months!


January 2013 Guild Meeting Follow-Up

If you missed last Tuesday’s guild meeting, you missed a terrific program by Andrea Kessler, the wonderful physical therapist from Titusville Hospital who spoke to us about ergonomics in the sewing room. She had a lot of very good information about body positions, work zones, and muscle stretches! Plus, many ladies added tips about what works for them. All in all, it was a very informative and enjoyable evening.

Lauren Baker told us about an award-winning hand embroiderer who will be at The Needleworks Friday, February 15 named Karen Phillips-Shwallon. If you are interested in her program, call Lauren at 783-0040 for more information. Cheryl Weiderspahn will also be teaching classes on Braided Wool Rugs at Lauren’s shop and her own shop near Cochranton. Cheryl also teaches other sewing classes, so give her a call at 425-1183 or email her at cheryl@homesteadspecialties.com if you want to learn more.


Nancy Leech reported that the Alzheimer’s Quilt Initiative is coming to an end. Ami Simms has earned a million dollars for Alzheimer research so she is retiring. We are proud to report that our guild has earned about $1000 toward that end. If you have a small art quilt finished, Nancy will accept it through the end of March. Thank you to everybody who participated in this very worthwhile project. And thank you Nancy for being our chairperson/liaison! You’re wonderful.

The Block of the Month for 2013 will begin next month. This year, we will be making the Four Block Wonder by Crazy Lady Quilt Designs. The free patterns are downloadable at http://www.crazyladyquiltdesigns.com/boms/fourblockwonder/. Gail Baker printed out several patterns and they will be available at the next meeting if you don’t have access to them online. We will give you tips and advice on constructing each block when it’s assigned.


I handed out the 2013 Calendar along with a list of the 2013 Challenges (yes, that’s plural.) We will discuss the challenges again next month, so don’t worry if you don’t understand all the parameters. I will have copies of the Calendar & Challenges available at the next guild meeting.

We are looking for a couple of good women for the following positions beginning in April: Sunshine Lady (sending greeting cards), Set-Up (before meetings), Clean-Up (after meetings), Hospitality Coordinator (organizing hostesses), and Program Co-Chairpersons (adopt a month for a program.) Let me know if you are able to help in any of those positions. I would greatly appreciate the assistance.

Get ready for the February Guild Meeting! We will be making Self-binding Receiving Blankets for Project Linus. You will need a 30″ square for the front, and a 40″ square for the back (that’s 1-1/4 yd if you go shopping.) The front square can be a “cheater panel” or a pieced square. These will be given to kids, so keep that in mind. Flannels, cottons and textured fabrics work great. Please bring your sewing machine to sew blankets. If you cannot do that, be prepared to cut and pin! I’ll send you a list of items to bring on the February Reminder Email, but I thought I’d give you a heads up in case you want to get busy getting your fabric or top square together. I can hardly wait for Margie Hays to show us how to make the self-binding blankets!

Next month begins our Membership Renewal, so bring your $16 cash or check payable to Free Spirit Quilt Guild to one of the next 3 meetings. The fat quarter lottery color for February is Shades of Blue.

Keep on quilting…

Pat’s Sewing Boxes


Pat sent photos of two treadle sewing machine top covers to Bonnie K Hunter of Quiltville fame. Pat’s dad made the covers which are often referred to as “coffin boxes” into chests with feet and side handles. They are so beautiful and functional. Thanks for sharing, Pati from PA!