Tuesday, March 27, 2018

2018 Quilt Challenge - Stash Buster

Louise, the current chairperson for the challenge committee, made this sample top of the pattern we will be using. It makes a cute quilt, doesn't it? (feet not included) 

The Stash Buster pattern the committee selected this year consists of 5" squares surrounded by 2.5" strips. 30 squares surrounded by a couple borders and you have a lovely quilt. 

The 2018 Quilt Challenge fits right in with our ongoing commitment to community service.  We will be making these quilts to donate to the Sage Cancer Center.  

We've done this a couple times in the past. Here's several from the 2013 group of Sage quilts.

It was so gratifying that we're doing it again!

Surely many different themes will show up in these quilts.  (I can't wait to see them)  They are all due in October, but of course, early is fine, too!  Here's a top that Kathy Hughes (the co-chair of the challenge committee) made.  

So start stash busting! Show us what you've got!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Start Spreading The News!

Country Quilters of McHenry has been a guild for a long time... 35 years!  While some founding members are still attending, many of the guild members have not been members quite that long.  And some members are fairly new.  And we're just a wee bit smaller than we used to be. We'd love to welcome even more members to our guild so we're going to....

Start Spreading the News!

We'd love for more local quilters to join us so we can see what awesome quilts they are making and so they can share their knowledge, tips, and tricks with us.

We'd love for more local quilters to join us so we can share with them what awesome quilts we are making, and we can share our knowledge, tips, and tricks with them.

We'd love to see new members who are new to quilting so we can delight in watching their delight as they discover the awesomeness of quilting!

More members means more participation in helping the local community.

More members means more quilts for a quilt show.

More members means more helping hands for a quilt show.

So with all that in mind we will have a table at the Woodstock's Mixin Mingle Mother's Day Market. Mixin Mingle is on the Woodstock square at 124 Cass Street, right next to Yofresh Yogurt.  The Woodstock Farmers Market will be going on at the same time.  We'll be there Saturday, May 12th from 10am to 2pm.

Our table will be filled with information about Country Quilters.  We'll be there to "brag" about how wonderful the guild is and to answer any questions.  And we'll be selling little sewn items: zipper bags, coffee cozies, mug rugs...  

We'll have a spectacular quilt on display behind our table, with smaller samples of our guild members' work scattered about our space.

So if you are a member maybe you could make a thing or two.
If you're not a member (why not?!) but are reading this, stop by that day and learn all about us.
If you're not a member and just can't wait until May to check us out, join us at our next meeting. Guests are always welcome for $5, or you can join by paying a yearly membership fee of $25. We meet the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 (but we start gathering and chatting at 6:30) at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 404 N Green St, in McHenry.

Keep spreading the news!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Mug Rug Tutorials

Is there anything better in the middle of the afternoon than a cuppa and a few cookies?  Or a cuppa and a sweet roll in the morning?  Or a cuppa and a brownie after dinner?  Having a pretty mug rug to set the scene just takes it up a notch.

 Here's three quick-to-make mug rugs.  Easy-peasy!

 For this patchy stripe between 2 solid strips you will need:
1 piece of batting 6.5" x 10.5"
1 piece of backing 6.5" x 10.5"
5 scrappy squares 2.5" x 2.5"
2 strips 2.5" x 10.5"
Sew the five 2.5" squares into a strip.  Press seams to the side.
Sew the 2.5" x 10.5" strips to the top and the bottom of the scrappy strip.  Press to the strips.

Lay the completed mug rug top on the batting.  Stitch a straight line about 1/4" from one side of the scrappy strip down the entire length of the top.  Stitch another straight line about 1/4" from the other side of the scrappy strip down the entire length of the top.
Lay the backing on top of the quilted top, right sides together.
Stitch 1/4" (not scant, but generous) from the edge, almost all the way around, leaving about 3" - 4" for turning. Back stitching a little at each end of the opening will keep the stitches from unraveling when you turn it out. Clip the corners before you turn the mug rug rights sides out.
Top stitch all the way around the mug rug, stitching the turning opening closed.


 This simple design can showcase a pretty bit of fabric in the middle.
You will need:
Focus Fabric 1  2.5" x 6.5"
Light fabric  2  1.5" x 6.5"  &  2  1.5" x 4.5"
Dark fabric  2  1.5" x 8.5"  & 2  1.5" x 6.5"
Batting  1  6.5" x 10.5"
Backing 1  6.5" x 10.5"
Stitch the 2 long light pieces to the top and bottom of the focus fabric.
Stitch the 2 short light pieces to the sides of the focus fabric.
Stitch the 2 long dark pieces to the top and bottom of the new rectangle.
Stitch the 2 short dark pieces to the sides of the new rectangle.
Place the completed mug rug top on the batting and stitch in the ditch around the center piece of fabric.  Then stitch in the ditch between the light and the dark fabric.
Lay the backing on the quilted mug rug, right sides together.
Stitch 1/4" (not scant but generous) almost all the way around, leaving 3" - 4" for turning. Back stitching a little at each end of the opening will keep the stitches from unraveling when you turn it out. Clip the corners before turning right sides out.
Press the mug rug paying attention the opening.  Stitch very near the edges all the way around, closing the turning opening.

This angled stripe-y mug rug is great for those extra bits of binding that always seem to accumulate.

You will need:
Batting:  about 8.5" x 12.5"
Backing  1  6.5" x 10.5"
Light colored fabric  1  6.5" x 10.5"
2.5" x WOF  1 each of 2 different fabrics
This part is just a bit tricky.  Use the 45 degree mark on your ruler to line up the light colored piece and draw a line with a pencil.  You want to be in about 2" from the corner. ( Mine was three inches so I measured 1" from the first line and drew another.  That became my working line and I x'd out the first line so I didn't use it by mistake.)  Then mark a line 2" from the first guide line, continue until you are to the other side of the rectangle.
Layer the batting and the marked light rectangle. Lay two strips right sides together along the first line and stitch through all layers. Open fabrics and press.  Trim excess.
Add another strip.  Stitch through all layers.  Open. Press. Trim.
Repeat until the entire rectangle is covered.

Turn the piece over and the 6.5" x 10.5" piece should be visible through the batting.
It's so cute already, isn't it?!  Stitched and quilted all in one step!
Lay the backing on the quilted mug rug, right sides together.
Stitch 1/4" (not scant but generous) almost all the way around, leaving 3" - 4" for turning. Back stitching a little at each end of the opening will keep the stitches from unraveling when you turn it out. Clip the corners before turning right sides out.
Press the mug rug paying attention the opening. Stitch very near the edges all the way around, closing the turning opening.

Three mug rugs completed! 

I'm pretty sure you deserve a cuppa and a yummy snack.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

LQS - Sewing Concepts

If you are a quilter and you live in McHenry County, you've probably been to Sewing Concepts (often?!) or at least heard about them.  Maggie, who is responsible for the Sewing Concepts blog (check it out!) is guest blogging for us today, telling us almost everything there is to know about them just in case you missed something.  Welcome, Maggie!

"Hello Country Quilters of McHenry!

My name is Maggie and I am going to share with you some information about the store where I work. I work at Sewing Concepts, and we have 2 locations, one in Woodstock, Illinois and one in Carpentersville, Illinois. All of our contact information is at both the top and at the end of the article, including addresses, social media, website and phone numbers.

A little history, Lynda and Duane Remmers established Sewing Concepts in May of 1989.  Lynda – who first learned to sew at the age of 8, was initially interested in owning a fabric store – but, became more interested in the Sewing machines, especially when the embroidery machines became more accessible and popular.   Sewing Concepts does more in the way of using computers, and the embroidery machines than many other sewing stores.

The interest in the embroidery machines sparked a little something else for Lynda – a company that she and her sister started called HoopSistersThey create wonderful quilts and accessories that all can be made on the embroidery machines.

Let’s talk about all the things Sewing Concepts carries…..   

It is hard to know where to begin!  OK, we can begin with the main event – Sewing machines!!  

Sewing Concepts is an Authorized Janome Dealer, and carry a full line of Janome sewing machines and accessories.   We also have Sergers! 

We also have the Janome Quilt Maker Pro Long-arm Sewing Machine, AND the Pro-Stitcher Robotics. This little computer and long arm team work wonderfully together to make even the most detailed quilting fun and easy!

Sewing Concepts services, tunes up and cleans all makes and models of sewing machines, we have our own workshop in our Carpentersville location, but, you can drop off your machine at either of our locations.

When you purchase any sewing machine at Sewing Concepts – we will give you a full lesson to show you how to use all the features on your new machine.   If you purchase a long arm from us – we will come and set up the table, the machine and the robotics, where you want it in your home, and do the lesson there!
As you can see from the photo of the long arm in the shop – not only is that fun machine for sale, but we also use it – for the quilting services we have available!  You can bring in your quilt and we will talk with you about the best way to go about quilting the quilt top you have put so much time into.

As far as Threads go – we carry Mettler – Robison Anton – Aurifil  - King Tut ––  Maxi Lock threads for Sergers, we also have invisible treads and water soluble thread.

We have an ever changing variety of CLASSES…  Retreats… Events…

PLEASE see our class list on line – it is the best way to see WHAT we are making – WHEN we are making it – and get all the details about the class, including supply lists, and what experience you need for the class.
If we are having a class in something – we will have all the patterns and notions and materials available right in the store -and if you are getting these materials for a class – there is a 20% discount!

We are also – once again – doing our Block of the Month, and this year is it a quilt called Sisterhood. By HoopSisters.  In this monthly class – you come in, and learn any techniques that will be needed to make that months blocks, and you go home with the digital files for your embroidery machine, and at then of the year – you have THIS~  Like all HoopSisters patterns – this is exclusive to our customers who take the class, you can’t purchase the pattern for 2 years otherwise. 

Another exciting Retreat Event we are offering is the Sisterhood Retreats!
Here is a preview of our NEXT retreat!

If you join us for one of these retreats – The Sisterhood Retreats are done quarterly – and are at a cost of $99.00 for the quarter.  The class price includes ALL above pictured designs, and materials for one of the projects that we do in class.   It should also be noted – that the only way you can get these designs is to take the class.   These designs are not available to the general public for 2 years!  That way our customers and shops have these exclusive designs all to themselves for a little bit

No surprise here – but – Patterns – we carry a full line of the available HoopSister patterns – and
Battilizer, which is a combination of stabilizer and batting, and also – HoopShape, which is a soft foam stabilizer that fits perfectly with many of the Hoopsisters projects for the Sisterhood Retreats and HoopClub projects, but we also have a variety of patterns for quilts, and bags, Aprons and baskets, tuffetts, and many other things!!

We also offer Kimberbell exclusives classes and kits!

We also carry stabilizers, Interfacings, Steam a Seam, Pillow Forms, Batting and all kinds of notions, and Olfa rulers, and rotary cutters, zippers, and Velcro, and magnetic snaps, and regular snaps, measuring gizmo’s and all manner of other doo dads to make your sewing more accurate and fun!  Let’s face it – who does not like a new tool!!??

We  carry Daylight brand lighting – and have many different lights, because sewing aficionado’s have many different lighting needs!  So we have table top – floor lamp – and clamp on styles in a variety of sizes. 

We carry a full line of Horn Sewing furniture – and Janome has wonderful custom tables that we also carry – and just look at the ADORABLE little Arrow brand Chairs!  The little black one actually has hydraulics!  And they all have storage in the seat!

FABRICS!!!  Fabric is so much fun…   We carry lines from Hoffman, Michael Miller, Free Spirit and Moda Solids – Moda Grunge – Holiday Fabrics and we have an entire section of Batiks from both Hoffman and Moda –
We also have a very large section of Sale Fabrics – that – are $4.50 a yard right now!

We have classrooms for all those ever changing patterns and designs we teach – and we also sell the Tutto and Blue Fig cases to help get your machine and all your gear to classes!"

Phew! That's a whole lot of quilty stuff going on in one place, right?!  Thanks for sharing, Maggie!
Here are addresses, hours, and contact information for both the Carpentersville and the Woodstock locations. 

 And you can connect with Sewing Concepts in lots of ways....