Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • April Meeting--Apr 19 from 12:00-4:30 at Quilter's Studio in Fairfax--open sew
  • May meeting--May 2nd from 11:00-5:00 at Capital Quilts
  • May 30th--Outdoor Hand Sewing Day at the United States Botanic Gardens
  • June 7th--Denyse Schmidt workshop from 11am to 4pm on the NVCC Alexandria campus
  • June 7th--Denyse Schmidt lecture from 5:30pm to 7pm on the NVCC Alexandria campus, open to the public
  • Retreat 1: August 14th-16th at the Blue Mountain Retreat Center near Harper's Ferry
  • Retreat 2: Nov 20th-22nd at the Blue Mountain Retreat Center near Harper's Ferry

Friday, March 27, 2015

Retreat Space

Liz, Anjeanette and I went to tour the retreat space at Blue Mountain Retreat Center last Sunday.  The consensus is that the retreat center is incredible!  We are so excited by the possibilities.  I thought I'd post a few of the pictures I took to get you all excited, too.

This is the outside of the Great Room building
outside the great room

Inside the Great Room--this is where the tables will be set up for sewing.
Check out all of the natural light from the skylights.
the great room or our sewing room

Here is the main building.
outside the main building

This is the living room looking into the front room.  Lots of couch space for hand sewing.
living room looking toward the front room

Here is the living room looking into the dining area.  
The fireplace has a wood stove insert which should be cozy in November!
livingroom looking into the dining area

Here is part of the dining area located in a sun room.  
This could make a great apparel cutting space in between mealtimes.
sunroom/part of the dining area

Here is one of the three decks available.  
We'll see if our August days are a comfortable temperature for sewing outside.
upper deck

This is the kitchen. The proprietor cooks organic food from her farm 
and is able to accommodate different dietary restrictions.

I don't have pictures of the rooms because they weren't made up yet after a previous retreat.  The space sleeps 24 to 25 and has three and a half baths.  The bedrooms sleep two to four each with all single beds.  The proprietor is a massage therapist and offers a sign up for massages during retreats for $70/hr.  She also has a fire pit down the hill at her house so we could have a campfire and s'mores night!  I think this will be the perfect homey, comfortable escape to sew with friends and recharge.  I hope a lot of our members are as excited as I am.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

DCMQG Bag Linky Party!

At our sew-in day on the 21st, DCMQG focused on bag making. You can read more about the idea behind this here and here. Our members were working on all kinds of different bags from totes, to project bags, to baskets, and among the members in the group there was a wealth of knowledge about interfacing, zippers, pattern companies and more!

How can you NOT adore this picture of Phylis from our bag sewing meeting? Bag making linky party up on the blog today. Deadline is April 12th and there is a prize!

I'm not certain whether anyone finished a bag at the meeting, and of course many of our wonderful members weren't able to make it, so we wanted to do a virtual show and tell of the bags here on the blog. Added bonus - one DCMQG member who links up will be randomly chosen for a prize!

Here are the guidelines for the link-up:

1. The link up is open for two weeks, until April 12th, at which point it will close, but all the wonderful pictures will still be up for you to come back and drool over.

2. You don't need to have worked on/finished the bag at the March meeting, but in general it should be a bag you recently finished (March 14-April 12).

3. You can use the linky tool to post a picture from your blog, Flickr, Facebook, or Threadbias account by using the URL of the page or photo. There is an option to enter your Instagram account and select a photo that way as well (look for the tab with the Instagram icon). You can also just upload a photo from your computer if you aren't connected with other social media outlets (see the "Upload" tab).

4. Either in the "Link Title" on the linky tool or in the original blog/Instagram photo/etc. that you are linking from, please note the pattern name and designer of the bag you made (especially if it's an original design!). I know many of us were interested to find new sources for patterns and this will be a great resource.

I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone's wonderful creations!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March Meeting Recap

Today's meeting went really well.  We gained 3 members, had 3 guests and 29 total people at the meeting.  For those that are keeping track at home, we are up to 73 members!  Thanks to Carissa's brilliant idea to have machines on the outside of the tables and hand sewing on the inside, we fit just fine and did a lot of chatting with friends. 

This was taken before we filled to capacity.
We had a pretty full house for today's bag sewing meeting at the Westover Library. This picture was even taken before everyone showed up ��. Thank you all for contributing to a great meeting.

For those that couldn't be at the meeting, your board is working on a few new things:
  • We are having a logo contest so get out your sketchpads and put your thinking caps on.  We are looking for a design in black and white, sewing/quilt block/DC themed, and with DCMQG featured more prominently.  The plan is to use this logo to print t-shirts and tote bags for our members.  The designs will be offered up to the members to vote on and the design contest winner will win fabulous prizes--still to be decided on.  The due date for designs is still to be decided on as well.  Updates will happen here on the blog.
  • The guild will start a quilting bee later this year.  It will be on a volunteer basis, the queen or king bee for the month gets to choose the block design, colors and probably the fabric.  It will be either monthly or bimonthly.  I think this is a great opportunity to build a quilt with blocks made by your fellow guild members.  If you are interested, consider if you can truly commit to following through on making blocks.  Update: since the meeting, I've thought more about the idea and am now thinking that we should do multiple mini bees of 4-6 people.  Then once the first round is done, we can reshuffle the groups and people can sign up for another round with 4-6 people.  That way it is a smaller commitment and it will be easier to drop out for a round if things get busy and then you can rejoin.  Further thoughts or comments are appreciated and I'd love to get some volunteers to keep track of each group of beemates.
  • Anjeanette and I (Melinda) are working on a plan for a guild quilt along to start later this year.  We'll be making blocks and writing up blog posts with a tutorial or link to a tutorial complete with the size of block components that we used.  The plan is to keep a little less structured and more fun so it will be the Choose Your Own Adventure Sampler.  Blocks will vary in size and difficulty.  If you would like to join in leading the group in a block and blogging about it, let me know.
  •  Anjeanette, Liz and I will tour the retreat site tomorrow!  FYI, the retreat is only open to members.  When we start sign ups for the retreat weekends, be aware that you will need to be a member next year (our renewal date is the end of June/beginning of July) in order to attend. 
  • Three board members had the chance to take a workshop with Carolyn Friedlander this week.  It was incredible and your board will work on getting Carolyn Friedlander out to work with our guild next year, likely in January. 
Okay, that seems like enough new things to keep us busy.  We are always looking for volunteers for committees and other fun board tasks, so don't forget to lend your skills!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March Meeting--Bag Sewing, Space, Free fabric

This Saturday is our first full sewing meeting of 2015.  We will be meeting from 10:00-4:00 at Westover Library and the focus of the meeting will be bag sewing.  In the past, we've tried a group project picking one pattern for everyone to sew.  This time I thought that we could go with a theme rather than a single pattern.  We have a lot of members that have sewn bags and are willing to share their knowledge about sewing with zippers, piping, closures, bag hardware, etc.  Get to know your neighbors at the meeting or ask someone for help.  If your bag pattern has a technique that we can't find help for, then that would be a great topic for a future guild tutorial.  I'm looking forward to seeing what we can make together.

This is my Noodlehead Poolside Tote
I love my poolside tote. Thanks for a great pattern noodlehead!!

The Westover Library space is limited.  We had incredible attendance at our January planning meeting and look forward to seeing how many people can attend our bag sewing meeting.  We have three suggestions to help with the space limitations.
  • Sew with a buddy--bag sewing requires more pressing breaks and pinning breaks than chain piecing.  Some of us tend to socialize more than sew at these meetings anyway.  So why not pick a friend to take turns sewing with?
  • Come prepared--table space will be dedicated to sewing machines, so picking out a pattern, cutting your fabric and pressing interfacing before Saturday would be best.
  • Bring some handwork--if you have a knitting project, some hexies to sew or a binding to stitch down, bring it along in case there isn't sewing space immediately open.  Most members can't stay for the entire meeting so space will open up.
Please still come to the meeting.  We all want to see your lovely faces and your show and tell projects.  This will also be an excellent test to see if we can continue to keep the Westover Library on our list of venues.

The business meeting will start at 1pm.  Please get your lunch by then so we can start on time.  Show and tell will follow the business meeting.  I ask for no sewing machines during show and tell so all members can be heard.  Handwork projects are perfect for this.

There are a few other new things that will start this Saturday.
  • Suggestion/volunteer box--we didn't get to discuss charity sewing ideas during the January meeting, so suggestions regarding charity projects would be appreciated.  Concrete suggestions for affordable meeting venues for 35-40 people will also be greatly appreciated. 
  • Free fabric box--If you have fabric that you won't use, please consider bringing it to a meeting for other members.  I'll be cleaning out my stash and putting a lot of fabric in the box for this Saturday.  I will also test out bringing the box to every meeting for all members to add to and choose from as the year goes on. 
Lastly,  fabric stamping supplies will be available on Saturday in case you want to make a label for your bag or for a quilt. 

Please sign up below (or send an email to dcmodquilts@gmail.com) to bring irons, ironing boards, a sewing machine to share and/or snacks.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


I am thinking ahead to the DCMQG meeting next Saturday.  Bag making!  I love bags…can you ever have too many?  And, when I think of bags…I think of bags and pouches…and do fabric bins also count?
Some people think of bags as being purses or tote bags.  I have made several, of varying degrees of difficulty.  On the easy end is the Lickety Split Bag by Made by Rae.  I added a button and a pony tail holder fastener so that it can roll up in my purse and then be used as a shopping bag.

The first bag that I made was the Diana Hobo Bag which is a free pattern.  The only challenge on this one was learning to insert a magnetic snap.

A few years ago, at the frat house retreat, several of us made the Supertote.  It involved lots of fusing, elastic pockets and zippers as well as piping.  I added a key fob so that my keys would still be findable.  Here is mine…can you tell that I really like Echino fabric?

Do I really need another bag?  I made this lovely one last summer – Carol’s Convertible PurseThere were many pieces and many steps but I learned how to make an inset zipper.  I loved that this pattern had a sheet of premade labels so that you could attach the labels to pieces as you cut them so not to get them all confused.  This purse is designed to be used as either a shoulder bag or as a backpack which is very handy.

But what I might like to make is the 241 tote, which I have been eyeing for some time…or a newer bag of Noodlehead’s, the Caravan tote.

And then there is the pouch category... of course there is Noodlehead's open wide pouch that so many of us have made.  I have made a few...but Linda has made a lot!  Great for yourself...great for gifts!

And, if you are not into zippers, there is Jeni Baker's Drawstring Bag that we made for a swap a few years ago.  Here is the lovely one that Jessie made.

Recently I have eyed some of the small bags that are designed for your sewing  kit.  I really would like to make one.  Should it be the Sewtogether Bag such as Melinda's?

Or perhaps the Bionic Bag?  Have you made either one of these?  Could you steer me in one direction or the other?  I would love some guidance in making a choice. 
Do you have a favorite bag pattern that you would recommend?  Or one that you will be making for the first time on Saturday?  Suggestions for novice bag makers as well as experience sewists are all welcome.  Please, share what you want to make!