April and May Meetings

Martha Ginn, Ellen Hall, Dianne McLendon

APRIL: Our April meeting was a forum of four experienced quilters fielding questions which had been submitted at the previous meeting. Tina Dickens moderated and posed the questions to Martha Ginn, Ellen Cox, Ella Lucas, and Jo-Ann Evans. Questions such as “Do you prewash your fabric?” “Where do you get your inspiration?” “What size should children’s quilts be?” “Which kind of fusible do you use?” were asked. The prewash question had the most variety of opinions, from “always” to “never” to “depends on how it is to be used.” All in all, much information was tossed about, with additional input from the audience.

Susie Jackson and Dianne McLendon led the workshop on Donuts & Coffee, demonstrating a clever little block made from lots of scraps. The block appears to be round with a hole in it, but all the seams are straight. It was a fun day making these pesky little blocks–accuracy was essential to make the pattern fit. Good practice even for experienced stitchers.

MAY: Our May meeting brought a long-awaited special treat. Kathy McNeil from Tulalip, WA, was our guest speaker with “Tips, Tricks and Stories” from her award-winning quilts. She had won two major awards at the AQS show in Paducah the previous month and was able to display these quilts along with many others. We had seen pictures of many of her works in magazines, but seeing them in person was an exciting pleasure. We had a large crowd in the room, and you could have heard a pin drop as Kathy spoke and showed slides of her quilt journey and described some of the techniques she uses on her masterpieces. Most of her quilts are based on her photographs, and she explained how to determine what is a good picture and how to crop and adapt to get the best design for your quilts. 

The Best of the Northwest

Celtic Fox

The following day after the meeting, 22 eager quilters met for an all-day workshop with Kathy. We had pre-ordered her patterns in order to bring our supplies and fabrics needed to create our quilts. We had six patterns from which to choose, and the Blue Heron was the most popular, with several seascapes, winter scenes, lighthouses and waterfalls also being made. Kathy described fusible applique as well as hand-stitched applique using Rosa Rojas’ Apliquick tools. For an intricate scene, Kathy works in units rather than trying to stitch each small piece onto the large background.  She also uses a plastic laminate sheet overlay to help with placement of the units onto the background.

Kathy’s husband Bruce was with her and took care of the pattern/tools table so she could spend all her time with students. As you can see, there was a lot of interest. We hope to see lots of Kathy’s patterns made into quilts soon. Visit her website for more information, pictures, and patterns: www.kathymcneilquilts.com.        

Our guild is fortunate to be able to bring in guest speakers and workshop teachers of this calibre. Thanks to our program chairs Susie Jackson and Dianne McLendon! And we have more to look forward to. In June Carolyn Kimble, Viewers’ Choice winner in our 2016 show, will be our guest. Get ready for more beautiful applique.

Kathy and Bruce McNeil