October Guild Meeting – Iron Boards


Left:  Ironing board, some supplies needed  || Right: Folding Table (Link is listed below)

Our October meeting will be 9am-3pm, Saturday, October 22nd, at First United Methodist Church of West Monroe, 1411 Glenwood Dr, West Monroe, LA 71291 .  We will meet in the Gym.  Pull into the 3rd and last drive and park in the back side parking lot.

Project:  Traveling Ironing Boards

If you have another project you would like to work on instead, feel free to join us anyway.  Also these boards should only take 40 – 45 minutes, so there will be plenty of time to work on other projects.

We will be making traveling ironing boards Saturday.   A few of us have made these in the past and have used different materials, so you can choose your favorite method.

The folding table shown above may be found at http://www.american-quilting.com/blog/?p=1908).  With this type of table or a board that cannot take heat or moisture, you want to use something like InsulBrite Insulated Batting to protect your board from warping.

The board shown on the left was made with OSB board, which resists warping.  It has been used for more than two years with a lot of heat and steam with no sign of affecting its shape.

** ADDENDUM **  With the OSB Board, I used 2 layers of natural batting with no thermal barrier (such as InsulBrite).

You will need approximately 2 layers of natural batting.  I like dense thick cotton batting.  If you are using InsulBrite, that will be one of your layers.  Just add a layer of natural batting on top.

I have seen many ironing boards covered in quilting cotton fabric, so that is an option.  I prefer a heavy tight canvas.  Shown above on left, the board is covered in natural canvas, the blue and white stripe is heavy ticking canvas that I may use, the blue and white chevron is an upholstery weight canvas.  Whatever you use, make sure it is a natural fiber that can take the heat.

There was some discussion on washing your fabrics ahead of time.  You certainly can.  There is one benefit of skipping that step when working with a natural fabric.  Once you have the fabric stretched and stapled on your board, you can steam the board and it will cause the fabric to shrink on the board for a tight fit.

Tools needed are staple gun and heavy duty staples, hammer and needle nose pliers (for staples that don’t sink or staples that have to be removed).  If you have any of these, please bring them.  Do not feel you have to buy these.  We can share what we have.

If you want to use a flat board, Kathy Huff has indicated she has a board she is cutting for this project, and I will have an OSB board cut for the project.  Mine should be approximately 16″ x 16″.  I haven’t gotten Kathy’s dimensions yet.  Cost should be minimum.  Probably $1 or $2 per board depending on total cost.  You do need to post on Facebook if you want us to reserve a board for you.  I feel we will have board left over, but you never know.

Summary Supplies Needed:

  • Board or Folding Table
  • Batting (dense thick cotton / InsulBrite .. see paragraph above) (approx 6″ wider than board)
  • Canvas (approx 6-8″ wider than board)
  • Sissors / Cutting Mat / Rotary Cutter / Ruler (whatever you will use to cut fabric and batting.

If you have these, bring them:

  • Staple Gun
  • Staples (Needs to go through canvas, batting and board)
  • Hammer
  • Needle nose pliers or staple remover


I can’t remember if we have someone signed up for lunch, so watch the Facebook page.  We may set this one as “everyone bring their own” or “Pizza day”.

If you have any questions, please post them on the Facebook Event page.  I will answer as soon as possible.  Looking forward to seeing you on the 22nd!




April Meeting & Free Motion Quilting

We will be having a Sit n Sew for our April meeting and the focus is on Free Motion Quilting (FMQ).  Of course, if you’re not interested in FMQ, you can actually sew on whatever you want.  Any time we get to quilt with friends is a good time!

When & Where:

Saturday, April 23rd / 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
First United Methodist Church, West Monroe, LA
1411 Glenwood Dr, West Monroe, LA 71291
Please call Ramona at (318)366-6792, with any questions.
(We will bring sandwich fixings for lunch.  If you would like to bring something, please let Ramona know.)

GrafittiQuiltingQuite a few of us in the guild play with free motion quilting and have quilted for ourselves.  A few of us have also talked about trying “graffiti quilting”.  I’ve always assumed Karlee Porter created this type of quilting, but if she didn’t, she has really made it popular.  She even has a “Graffiti Quilting Crash Course” tutorial on her blog.   Her book to the left is available on her website (click the photo to be taken to her site) as well as on Amazon.

So whether you want to try basic free motion quilting (think Angela Walters, Christa Watson, etc.) or graffiti quilting, the materials needed will be the same.

So what will we cover?

While this isn’t a workshop, we will still give a very brief talk about the basics of free motion quilting.  I will talk about things like…

  • Tools and Resources
  • Drawing Designs
  • Setting up Sewing Machine
  • Setting up Workspace

Other members who have been FMQ will be offered the chance to talk about what works best for them and their favorite tools and materials.

What to bring:

  • 18” x 22” quilt sandwiches.  If you are practicing, you might consider using fabric and thread that contrast so your quilting will show.  This works great when you are just trying to perfect skills.  Also, use solid fabrics.  Quilting doesn’t show as well on patterned fabric.  (A quilt sandwich consists of two pieces of fabric with batting between.  Batting might be cotton, polyester, wool or a blend.)
  • Thread..consider bringing different types/brands if you have them.  Some favorites are So Fine and Aurifil.  Isocord or an embroidery thread also works.
  • Notebook or drawing paper, pens or pencils for practicing quilting designs. 8.5 x 11 is a good size.
  • Fabric pens, chalks or whatever you prefer to mark designs on your fabric.
  • Sewing machine
  • Extension table for your machine if you have one.  Quilting on a flat surface makes a world of difference.
  • Darning foot or quilting foot
  • Needles (Quilting, Universal, Microtex, or Jean, size 80 or 90)   Be sure to have new, sharp needles available.
  • Bobbins filled with thread.  (Again, use a color that contrasts with your fabric.)
  • Snips / Thread Scissors
  • Supreme Slider (Optional)*
  • Machinger Gloves or similar (Optional)*

*The Supreme Slider is wonderful for allowing the quilt to move smoothly as you quilt. I don’t quilt without one. If you are buying, buy as large as appropriate for your machine. If you can cover crevices caused by table joints, that is a good thing.  (Link to the right shows the Queen Size at $46.  Good price.)

*Machinger Gloves are a specific glove brand, but there are many others. I recently heard someone mention buying cheap gardening gloves instead. Rubber tips on fingers, think surgical gloves, are an option. I find Machinger gloves to be very comfortable to work with and do not cause my hands to get warm.  (Amazon has good prices on these as well.)

Be sure to check with your local quilt stores for any supplies you may need.


Foundation Paper Piecing with Nancy

LoneStarburstPaperPiecingTemplates_2We will be learning or improving our foundation paper piecing skills in March.  More about that in a minute.

New Location

I just wanted to let you know we have recently changed our meeting location.  We are now meeting at 1925 Hwy 80 E, Calhoun, La.  This is more like the out, out, OUT-skirts or West Monroe, but the mail comes out of Calhoun, so there you go.  Best directions is come I-20 and take Camp Road exit to Hwy 80, and turn left on Hwy 80 towards Calhoun.  Our location is approximately 1/4 mile and at the top of the hill on the right.  I will have a sign with our logo at the turn in.  This is JABAR corporation, a construction company, and we will be using their meeting room.


Northeast Louisiana Quilt Show

We just participated in the Northeast Louisiana Quilt Guild quilt show by having a table representing Modern quilting.  It was a two day event and it went really well.  Our area is a very strong traditional quilting population so I was really pleased with the amount of traffic and the interaction with other quilters.

Okay, so back to our March meeting.  First is when and where?

Saturday, March 12, 2016, 9:00 am – 3: pm @ 1925 Hwy 80 E, Calhoun, LA 71225


We are so pleased that Nancy Wallace agreed to demo foundation paper piecing.  While I don’t have the patterns she will be using, I have displayed some options that are out in the quilt world.  This has become a very popular method of creating blocks and patterns.  But you’re almost working in reverse, so it can get a bit tricky at times.  Nancy is going to see if she can clear up some of the confusion!

So what do you need to bring?

  • Sewing Machine, needles, thread, etc
  • You are welcome to bring a table light if you would like.  We did not find we needed them when we sewed last month, but you are more than welcome to do that.
  • Small rotary cutter and mat (Small mats are good for this.  I have one 8×6.  Or the 18 x 24.  Just small enough to sit by your machine.)
  • Add-A-Quarter rulers are very helpful, but a normal ruler with a clear 1/4″ grid will work.  Again, smaller rulers work well for this.
  • A post card or thin stiff cardboard.  (These will be used to fold the pattern on the lines and do not need to be very large.)
  • Fabric scraps.  This is a practice session, so don’t stress over the fabrics.  Bring rough cut scraps, 2.5″ strips, 5″ squares, fat quarters, just whatever you have on hand.  With foundation paper piecing you often use more fabric than when precision piecing, so bringing only 2.5″ strips would not work.
  • Nancy will be providing a choice of patterns.

Please RSVP on Facebook, so we will know how many quilters to provide for.  If this class grows too large, we will switch venue.  So if you have RSVP’d, you will be notified of the change through Facebook.

If you have any questions, please email us at nelamqg@outlook.com.  I look forward to seeing you there!


What’s happening in 2016…

For our January meeting, we met in a new location.  I’ll admit, it wasn’t the easiest to locate, so I will be working on that.  A huge apology to any who didn’t find us!  I will be sending an email to all those on my member/visitor list so that you have my phone number.  If that happens again, please call and I will talk you through the directions.

We now have what I call two levels of membership.  We will continue to have non-paying ‘members’.  These are those who like to visit and sew with us but do not want to also be a part of the Modern Quilt Guild.  For those wanting to take advantage of the benefits, our paying members are included in the Modern Quilt Guild membership.  Dues are $25 annually and our year runs January through December.  Memberships are being taken now, so if you are interested, let me know.

We will have an informational booth at the Northeast Louisiana Quilt Guild Quilt Show February 26 and 27.  If you would like to volunteer an hour or two, let me know and I can add you to the schedule.  Duties will be light as we are just sharing with other quilters what Modern Quilting is about.  We will have brochures and information from the Modern Quilt Guild and have some examples of the Modern Quilt style to display.

What’s happening…

For the next three meetings, we will have a paper piecing demo, ‘graffiti’ quilting, and a scrap session.




We will start with a Scrap Session in February.  As we start the new year many of us are purging and cleaning.  As you look through your fabrics, pull those you may not want or no longer plan to use.  Cut them in strips or squares.  We will pool our fabric cuts at the meeting and have some fun sewing.

Just to give you an idea of possibilities, check out Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville page showcasing some of her scrap blocks published in Quiltmaker.  Or you may just want to wing it and try some improve piecing.

In another post, Bonnie talks about the most usable cut sizes:

“I sort my strips in sizes of 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″, 3″ and 3.5″. I’ve pretty much STOPPED doing the 3″ strips because they don’t seem to work with other strips in any combination. (They don’t play nicely with others! :cD) The 1.5″ and 2″ and 2.5″ can combine with each other in different combinations and then go with the 3.5″, but there are not a lot of combinations that work with the 3″ strips! (not a lot adds up to 2.5″ finished) ….”

So based on Bonnie’s tips, I would suggest we cut a combination of 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″, and 3.5″ strips.  This is only a suggestion!   But it will make it a little easier for us to mix and match our stash.

So join us February, bring your machines and plan to spend a few hours sewing with friends.  We will set up at 9:00 am (an hour earlier than our normal time) and sew through the afternoon.

Saturday, February 13, 9:00 – 3:00 (approximately), 1925 Hwy 80 E, Calhoun, LA

Future meetings

Once the other programs are set, I will let you know which programs are on which months.  Programs planned so far will be sewing programs.  We will have a quick meeting and then set up to sew through the afternoon.  If you do not want to sew or have other obligations, you are welcome to join only for the meeting and leave when you need.

Next meetings will be:

Saturday, March 12th, and Saturday, April 23rd

(April is not our normal weekend.  Please let me know if this is a conflict.)




September Meeting and Pineapple Blocks

Hello everyone,


Anita Grossman Solomon, included in Rotary Cutting Revolution

I hope you have had a wonderful summer and are gearing up for a great fall.  Our next meeting will be
Saturday, September 12th,
10:00 – 12:00 at Quilt n Stitch,
6049 Cypress St,
West Monroe, LA 71291.

I will be demonstrating some of the tips from Anita Grossman Solomon on creating Pineapple Blocks.  If you haven’t taken a look at her Craftsy class, now is the time to do it!  Today is the last day to get the class on sale for a fantastic price of $14.99.

I debated for months on buying this class because most of these blocks are classics and are available for free.  Let me tell you, some of her tips are SO WORTH the price of this class.  On top of that, Anita’s book Rotary Cutting Revolution is included as an e-book.  If I remember correctly, that’s just over 80 pages of goodness.

We have talked in the past about creating name tags for ourselves, so if you’ve done that be sure to wear them.  I can’t wait to see some of the fun ideas everyone has.

I have half a mind to stick around and sew after the meeting.  If anyone else would like to, let me know and we may make it a ‘sew what you want’ sit and sew.

I hope to see you Saturday!


SewTogether Bag – Cutting the Pieces

SewTogetherBag.Pieces2Cutting and interfacing your pattern pieces is the last thing to do in preparation for our meeting next week (August 15th).  See this post for meeting and pattern details.   Interfacing fabrics There are two methods of interfacing your fabric pieces.  Often I will calculate the size of fabric needed to cut all pieces.  I will then interface first and cut the fused fabric.  I find it very convenient and fast.  The downside is the interface extends to the edge of cut pieces and the bulk may build up in the seam allowance. In this bag, I know I don’t want to fight with bulk in the seam allowance and choose option two.  Option two is cutting the interfacing smaller than the pattern pieces, but just large enough to get caught in the seam.  I cut all of my interfacing almost 1/2″ smaller so that when centered the edges are on the 1/4″ seam line.  When ironing the interfacing, I don’t meticulously measure the placement, but just eyeball and center the interfacing. Side Piece Pattern There have been questions regarding the side piece pattern.  Be sure you print that page at 100% or ‘no scaling’ depending how your printer is set up.  The bottom edge (on the fold line) should measure 4″.  Double check your measurement to be sure that is cut to size. SewTogetherBag.PiecesZippersBinding andZippers Iron your binding and have it ready to apply to bag.  I don’t cut my binding to size at this point just so that I have some wriggle room.  But I’m sure you will be good if you choose to cut as indicated on pattern. Be sure you have the appropriate zippers for this project. Notions You will need the typical sewing notions for this bag:  Thread scissors, pins, binder clips, thread, and needles (90/14 or denim needle would be good).  Be sure to bring your zipper foot!  If you secure your binding by hand, you will need hand needle. If you have any questions, let me know.  See you Saturday! Ramona

More on the SewTogether Bag and August Meeting


Patern: SewTogether Bag by Sew Demented Constructed by: Ramona Putnam

If you’re joining us for our August 15th meeting and sewing with us , I wanted to share some of my prep stages with you.  You can see original post here.  I’ll write at least one more post this week regarding cutting fabrics and notions.

If you are piecing and/or quilting the exterior of the bag, you will definitely want to get an early start on your preparations.  I have taken my scrap box and pieced a couple together as shown here.  Just to clarify, these are exteriors for two separate bags.  You will only need one exterior for Saturday.

SewtogetherBag.Exterior1.1I made sure my scrappy ‘fabric’ was at least 10.5 x 14 to allow for ‘shrinkage’ caused during quilting.   For these I am using Quilter’s Dream Deluxe Cotton, which is an high loft, almost stiff, cotton.

My intention is to create an exterior with more shape and structure than my original make of this pattern (shown above.)


Here are the exteriors cut down to size according to pattern.

The pattern calls for lightweight interfacing for the lining.  I’m going to step that up a little and use mid-weight interfacing.  As I said in my previous post, in the past I’ve used shape flex which is also a good, but slightly more expensive, option.  It feels and acts more like fabric.

So that’s it today.  Hopefully you have decided on your fabrics, made sure you have the pattern and notions, and are ready to cut fabric.  If we come to the meeting with everything ready to sew, I believe we will be able to get this bag constructed before we leave.   If you have any questions, please let me know.

I’m looking forward to sewing with you!  See you Saturday.