• March 2018 Meeting Recap

    HI all,

    We had a fantastic March meeting with lots of exciting discussion surrounding those of us who attended Quiltcon as well as the PVQA quilt show.

    We had many of our guild attend Quiltcon and talked about how we had represented our guild. We had made a fabulous improv Orange Peel quilt which was there amongst many other guilds who had designed and constructed a quiltj that would be donated to their own community in charity. Here it is:

    This gorgeous quilt will make its way to a family who was directly affected by the Napa/Sonoma wildfire. We are thrilled to be able to give directly in this way and reminds us of the importance of service to others and how what we make can truly offer comfort and warmth.

    We announced our newest swap! We are excited to host a tote bag/zipper pouch swap. It’s not too late to join – next month’s meeting there will still be an opportunity to join in on the fun. If you’ve never made a tote bag or a zipper pouch don’t fret or dispair! Next month there will be a separate blog post with LOTS of links to the many free tutorials and free patterns for making a tote. We promise – it’s fun and simple. Your desire to make something that your swap partner may enjoy is the only requirement. It’s going to be fun so please join in! We know you can do it! Wouldn’t you like to receive something like this?

    Tamlin was the winner of our “Block of the Every Other Month

    Renee designed a quilt block that is featured in the Modern Quilt Guild ‘s Block Study in February. It’s a gorgeous block and makes up into a fabulous quilt. Here is hers:

    We’re so proud of you Renee!

    And, as always, we had a great Sew ‘n Tell with lots of fabulous quilts:

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    An original quilt pattern from Alicea! #sbamqg

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    Another quilt at tonight’s meeting #sbamqg

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    And please remember, we are still taking sign-ups for our Mel Beach workshop!

    We hope to see you at our next meeting which is April 3rd at 6:30.


  • January 2018 Meeting Recap

    Our January meeting started with a new board, new visitors and lots of happenings!

    First, we discussed our Make it Modern challenge for the PVQA show.

    If you want to enter your Make it Modern Challenge Quilt into the PVQA show, please visit the PVQA Website and submit your entry by Monday, January 8.
    Please make sure that if you enter the Make it Modern Quilts that you select the following options to ensure all quilts hang together:
    • 2018 Quilt Division – Group Display Quilts
    • Group or Workshop Name – SBAMQG Make it Modern
    If you are a non PQVA member please do not pay the non-member entry fee (the system will allow you to submit without payment), as SBAMQG will be handling payment for our group exhibit.
    Jeannie Land will be coordinating pick-up of quilts at the February 6th meeting, so please make sure your quilt is ready to go with a Quilt Show Label affixed and that your quilt also meets all of submission guidelines (including a 4 inch hanging sleeve). Jeannie will also pick-up the quilts from the show and return them to you at the March meeting.
    Quiltcon is quickly approaching! Hope to see you there! We are collecting names of all of us who are going and hopefully we can meetup and find roomies and connect as a guild while we are there. This beauty, which Karen contributed to, will be on display at the show!
    The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles will feature an exhibit titled Loaded Conversations and will display work based on concerns and commentary regarding guns and violence and safety over guns. “Gun violence has taken its toll all over the world, in many different ways. An enormous divide exists between people who cherish their heritage of gun ownership and others who are concerned that guns contribute to the rising tide of gun violence.” Our very own Pam Rocco will have her work “Without Gun Control” on display as part of this exhibit and we could not be more proud of her.

    San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose, California: April 22, 2018 – July 15, 2018

    Opening reception on Sunday, April 22, 2018

    The Road to California quilt show in Ontario started yesterday and Mickey Beebe will have her “Eichler Houses” quilt on display there. She’ll be going to the show and we  look forward to hearing from about her adventures at the February 6th meeting.

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    #mickeybeebe quilted by #tamylevin EICHLER HOMES

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    FABMO has an upcoming sale on January 25th. Click on link for more details.

    Harts Fabric has two events worth getting excited about – First, Alex Veronelli will be stopping by with free samples and lots of info on why Aurifil is the best choice in thread for quilters. The talk is free and all are encouraged to come! Date is Feb. 16th at both 11 am and 3 pm. Also, as always, Harts will be having its Super Bowl Sunday sale and the entire store will be 20-40% off. Show up early for best selection. Date is February 4th from 10-5.

    As always, our Sew ‘n Tell showed off our many talented members.




  • Results of our Starch Off!


    Do you press your seams open?  Do you use starch when you are piecing? I have been using starch for a few years and wanted to talk a little about why.

    Recently, our guild made blocks for me as I changed from being president to member.  Three years was plenty long and it was time for new change and energy in leadership.  I was inspired by a mini quilt by Sajuta Shah and I brought my own fabrics for the guild members to take and come up with a free-form and improv block for me based on Sajuta’s quilt.  Here are just a few of what was made


    I’m so excited to put these together soon.  But, in my directions to put the blocks together, I asked that all seams be pressed open, and to finish with starch which is my preference and practice.  Lynn, our new president, then asked me to talk about why I starch and to give a starch demo which she called “The Great Starch Off”.  She then presented me with a box of commercial starch, sizing, as well as two homemade starches.

    I went home and tried out all the starches and had surprising results which I’ll get to in a minute.  The reason I starch is really an extension of pressing open my seams when I’m piecing.  The debate goes on and likely will continue as to wether or not it’s best to press your seams to the side, or open, but I’m firmly in the open camp.  At our last guild meeting, I talked about how whatever it is you’re piecing lies very flat when you press your seams open, which means that your block will likely end up the measurement it was meant to be.  Open seams mean that there will be no dominant or recessive areas in the pieced block, and will wear evenly over time.  One of my favorite things to achieve aesthetically in a quilt is to make the blocks appear to float on a large ground, or all that negative space us modern quilters love.  I believe that pressing seams open helps achieve that look, as the seam lines seem to fade away after quilting.


    new why I press open

    Take for instance this beautifully quilted piece.  If you look closely, you can see that the seams were pressed to one side.  I think that those seam lines distract from the quilting and would have been nearly invisible had the seams been pressed open.  In the end, this is just one quilter’s opinion, and I know that there are reasons for pressing to one side that works for others.

    Pressing seams open is what led me to using starch.  I reasoned that if I was going to spend time pressing, that starch would help keep those seams open and flatten the block even further.  The way I make a block, or when I’m piecing, I sew a seam, quickly press the stitches, then run the tip of the iron up the seam which opens them.  I give a quick press along the seam, then turn it over to the right side and quickly press once again.  Weeks Ringle talks about this process in her own blog post on pressing open seams HERE.  And after all that pressing is over, I give a quick and small spritz of sizing or light starch on the back, press, and then the same treatment on the front.  Then, and only then, is my seam or block done.

    Now for the results of our Starch off – the contenders were:  Niagra brand starch, heavy starch, sizing, and starch in a non-aerosol can, Mary Ellen’s best press, and the two homemade forulas; one a cornstarch base, the other a potato vodka base.  My favorite and most often-used product, spray sizing, was one of the best at keeping the seam allowances flat against the back of the block.  For a little discussion on the differences between starch and sizing, you can find that HERE.  Most of the other spray starches gave the fabric I used a nice body, with the heavy spray starch giving a bit more body which was no surprise.  The biggest surprise of the experiment was how the homemade corn starch formula performed.  It did a fantastic job of keeping the seam allowances down and flat and gave the fabric nice body.

    The recipe Lynn used to make the cornstarch spray is:

    16 oz filtered or distilled water, 1 tablespoon
    cornstarch, optional 1-2 drops essential oil such as lavender – don’t use
    citrus as it can scorch when ironed. Mix together in spray bottle with mist
    setting. (some posts state that this blend can spoil – so either only mix as
    much as you will use right away or store in refrigerator.) Always shake the spray bottle before using.


    The other homemade starch spray Lynn made uses potato vodka:


    Drunken Starch (Potato Vodka): 8 oz filtered or distilled water, 1 oz potato
    vodka (one shot). Mix together in spray bottle with mist setting.


    So, there you have it!  I personally will most likely stick with my usual sizing spray as it has always given me very consistent results.  But, in a pinch, I would definitely make the corn starch spray.  Thanks for visiting our blog and we’ll see you at our next meeting!




  • Charity Quilt for Quiltcon 2015

    QuiltCon Charity Quilt copy
    Our collaborative quilt will be shown at Quiltcon 2015 in Austin Texas Feb. 19-22

    Back in August, the Modern Quilt Guild announced that it would sponsor a charity quilt drive that would be displayed at Quiltcon, and then returned to the community and guild it came from, and then donated to that community’s local children’s shelter.  Without hesitation, our guild knew we would enjoy putting a quilt together.

    There were a couple of parameters given for the challenge.  A palette was given; along with the directive to use alternate-grid in planning your overall design.


    Tami, Tina, Gabrielle, Heidi, Mary convened at Pam’s house and scoured Pinterest to locate a design that we could use as a jumping off point, hoping to take a kernel of an idea, and then making the quilt design our own.  This was the quilt that really  jumped out to us as something that would be great for making by a group.  Here it is in all its glory:

    Photo by: Ara Jane Olufson; a quilt made by the Do.Good.Stitches bee


    We loved the idea of different sized strips and squares and the alternating horizontal and vertical strips.  Armed with our fabrics and a design idea, many of us constructed strip sets and then brought them together at a sew day.  Pam and Tina started cutting up the strips in varying sizes and sewing them together and then sometimes cutting once again to add more white background in to balance out the negative space.  Pam took home larger pieces of what we constructed and finished the assembly of the quilt top.  Then, it was time to hand it off to Tami of The Quilted Lemon.  She selected an interlocking squares and rectangles quilting pattern for our quilt.

    quiltcon charity closeup

    It was the perfect choice for our quilt design and we’re so thankful to Tami for donating her time, thread, effort and talent which provided just the right quilting for this quilt.  Pam then did the binding and put on the sleeve.  Our quilt is now in Austin and waiting to be in the big show, Quiltcon at the Austin Convention Center Feb. 19-22.

    When the quilt is retuned to our guild, the quilt will be happily donated to a local children’s shelter and we will be honored to do just that.

    And as an aside, three of our guild members will have quilts shown at Quiltcon this year and we’re proud to announce that Anne Sullivan, Pam Rocco and Tina Michalik will have work hanging in the show.  SBAMQG represent 🙂





  • April Meeting Highlights

    Hi there quilting fans – this meeting really highlighted how incredibly talented our members are.  There were lots of quilts brought in for show and tell and we want to share pictures of them here.

    13574475414_f51d6083e8_zAnne from Playcrafts has started an online Facebook page for those interested in quilt design called Quilt Design A Day.    This is one of her designs titled “Macaron”  Anne loves the look of low-volume prints paired with bright solids.  Here, she uses gorgeous Oak Shott cottons for punches of color.  We can’t wait to see this quilted and bound!


    Here is another one she did based on a design she made in the same Facebook group.

    13574457794_4d65d48f41_zHere is Adrianne’s incredible quilt that she submitted to the Radiant Orchid Pantone Quilt Challenge.   Congratulations Adrianne!  To learn more about Pantone and the color of the year, click HERE.

    13574117335_0eceed6083_zHere’s another entry to the Pantone Quilt Challenge, pattern is a free download from Anna Maria Horner’s website and can be found HERE.   Awesome quilting is done by Melanie Meadows in San Jose.

    13574157933_5a7802145c_zThis is Anne’s own radiant orchid quilt top – even though she was one of the hosts of the challenge, she still made a quilt top using this color.

    13574106793_4718f3ab66_zThere were other incredible quilts that our members brought – here is Amoreena’s quilt which has a great use of negative space and color.

    13574068005_09cf0ecc70_zAnother great one from Amoreena.

    13574361294_6df02294d5_z Renee brought in this amazing quilt with black and white prints paired with sunset colors making a graphic and high-impact quilt.

    13574022015_f0ecb33d35_bCarole made this all-solids beauty using a pattern from the book “City Quilts” by Cherri House.  Her daughter will be the lucky recipient of this stunning quilt.

    13574005433_3738e87a58_bMicky made this beauty with green solids and prints.  The white sashing makes for a really lively contrast and it’s more gorgeous than you can imagine!


    If you like what you see here and want to know more about us, come to one of our guild meetings!  We meet on the first Tuesday of the month at Hart’s 6:30.  We’d love to see you and have you become one of our guild.  Just bring your curiosity (and a folding chair if you have one 😉