Much Ado About Something Fabulous


Those of us fortunate enough to take Tina Michalik’s “improv with a plan” class, based on her quilt “Much Ado About Nothing,” think she needs to change the name. The quilt is based on 16 blocks regardless of finished size, and uses two log cabin blocks to make improv quilts that have us asking, “How did she do that?” Tina is a fun and attentive teacher and we all had a blast. Pam, Carolyn, Barb, Carole, Donna, Lori, Lynne, Laurel, Karen, Laurie (who came all the way from Minnesota!!!), Chelsea, Emily, Louise, Tiffany, and Brenda all made progress on their blocks, and we can’t wait to see the finished quilts and pillow covers.

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Summer 2015 Charity Quilt

The SBAMQG charity quilt committee spent most of their summer working on the planning and execution of charity quilts. The first quilt has been finished and delivered and we are proud to share the news here on the blog.

We are so fortunate to have the talented SBAMQG member, Pam Rocco, as our charity committee leader this year. Pam suggested the use of wedges in the design for this year’s charity quilts. After a collaboration of ideas, the committee came up with parameters for the quilt and ultimately decided on an very unique and modern original design by member, Karen Foster:


Naturally, the concept was well received, so Pam and Karen got started. The girls worked tirelessly at sew days both at home and at our guild’s favorite spot for group sewing: The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, in Aptos.

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The wedge units were cut, sewn, and assembled into strips.

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Here are Pam and Karen, hard at work.


The strips were sewn together.

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And the quilt top was built.

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Looks pretty great, right?

Castles in the Sand 2 X 3

It was quilted by Linda Barbin, and bound and labeled by Lynne Nostrant.

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Pam showed the quilt at SBAMQG Sew and Tell this month. The cheery backing fabric really enhances the quilt!

The name, “Castles in the Sand,” was suggested by member, Laura Ryle, and chosen by the committee as a perfect moniker for this lovely, beachy quilt.

Pam delivered the quilt to Caroline’s Non-Profit Thrift Shop, a wonderful organization that will use it to raise money for Santa Cruz County non-profits that have programs and/or services for children with special medical, developmental, or psychological needs.

(photo credit Karen Foster)

Tina Michalik Improv Class, Saturday, October 3, 2015


On Saturday, 10/3/15, Tina Michalik will teach her “improv with a plan” pattern that uses 16 blocks to make any size quilt. Tina designed this quilt out of her desire to piece something with abandon – but within a structure.  Her solution is to break down an improv quilt into blocks, so the project never feels overwhelming.  Furthermore, this quilt design is based on the most familiar and approachable of blocks – the log cabin.  Anyone can make this quilt, even if you feel intimidated by improvisational piecing. ‘Much Ado’ comes together quickly and easily because of the simplicity of the block.  Whether you’re an experienced or a beginning quilter, you’ll enjoy making this quilt.  Let’s do this!

This quilt is made with 16 blocks, regardless of the final size.
Baby: 9.5″ blocks make a 36″ quilt
Throw 15″ blocks make a 58″ quilt
Full/Queen 19.5″ blocks make a 76″ quilt
King  27.5″ blocks make a 108″ quilt

Cost of the class is $36 for non-SBAMQG-members. To register for the class, sign into your PayPal account and send $36 to Note your email in the Comments section. You will receive confirmation and a supply list within a couple days. Class fees are nonrefundable.

September 2015 Meeting Recap

Today marks a very special milestone for the SBAMQG. It is our fourth birthday! Guild founder and original president, Tina Michalik, shared the story of how she started the group and how far we’ve come since those early days. We then celebrated with cupcakes and a group picture:


Today marks another important occasion: Day one of National Sewing Month. In honor of National Sewing Month, Hart’s Fabrics, home and favorite fabric shop of the SBAMQG, is doing their super fun annual event, called Sew Your Hart Out. Do you like sewing and winning great prizes? Then click here for information: Sew Your Hart Out

Guild news tonight included announcements on upcoming workshops by Maria Shell and Tina M., both of which still have spots open. We learned that charity quilt #1 (named Castles in the Sand by Laura R.) is finished and ready to be donated, and charity quilt #2 for QuiltCon West (naming contest currently underway) is coming along wonderfully. Lynne had two big announcements: 1. Bring your scraps to the October meeting for another scrap swap and 2. We are having a birthday quilting challenge. We took turns choosing a color and a design principle and our small quilts will be due at the November meeting.

Our member spotlight artist this evening was Mickey Beebe, a talented and prolific quilter who has had her work featured in numerous books, magazines, and major international quilt shows. Mickey talked tonight about her use of selvage edges in quilting. Here are a few samples:

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And here is some of our Sew and Tell from tonight:

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Half-square triangles were represented.

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Annoying fabrics were also represented.

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We saw quilting, both quick and not so quick.

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And these beauties were not to miss!

See you in October.

(photo credit Karen Foster)



Maria Shell Class Now Open to Sister Guilds – Santa Cruz, California, Nov 7, 2015

The South Bay Area MQG is excited to announce the opening of registration to our sister guilds for the Maria Shell workshop, Making Prints Out of Solids. If you haven’t yet heard of Maria Shell of Alaska, you will soon. She is phenomenally talented and has a unique perspective. Check out her website to see her work.


This is what Maria says about this workshop, “Through years of exploring pattern and repetition, I have created an assortment of ‘prints’ made out of solid fabrics. Students will learn how to make improvisation-ally cut and pieced stripes, curves, polka dots, tartans, zigzags and more in this fun sampler class.” Her quilt “Boulevard” (above) is an example of her use of this technique.

To register, send $72 via Paypal to Supply list to be sent with confirmation. Maria Shell’s “Making Prints Out of Solids” workshop. Saturday, November 7, 2015, 9-4:30 at the Congregational Church of Soquel.