April 2008 Newsletter

April 2008 Newsletter Cover
Get the latest newsletter on PDF by clicking the image above.(If you don’t have Acrobat Reader installed, you can download it here.)


DOOR PRIZES: If your last name begins with O, R or S please bring a door prize to the April meeting and give it to Elisabeth McMahon. This is a voluntary effort, but most of us like to receive a door prize and we hope everyone will participate. Please bring only quilting related items such as: Quilting Notions, fat quarters, triangle paper, magnetic pin holders, scissors, Pigma pens, etc.


Happy Spring! March brings us the beginnings of spring blooms and the aroma of freshly mown grass… and daylight savings time.

I did get to attend the Dallas Quilt Celebration this past weekend and as usual I bought fabric. I resolve every year not to buy another book, pattern, fabric, gadget or join another block of the month until I get caught up with my projects/UFO’s. Doesn’t work though. Don’t know why I even try. I do get inspired to get busy as I walk the aisles and aisles of beautiful entries and see all the goodies the vendors have brought. Maybe, just maybe I can get a few things finished before this new inspiration starts to fade. Happy Easter everyone!

Debi Cypert

SPOTLIGHT ON…: Since we have several new faces in the group, we’ve been doing a spotlight on feature in the newsletter to help everyone get better acquainted. We started with the officers, and soon will run out of “spotlights”. Please take a few minutes and send me a little bio about yourself. Just a couple of paragraphs — how long you’ve been in the Quilter’s Guild of Grand Prairie, how long you’ve been sewing/quilting and which quilt shop is your favorite. Any other information you want to send in about yourself or your fabric stash is welcome. If you don’t want to write anything about yourself, Paco has volunteered to interview you for up to 10 minutes. He would then write your bio. You may email your information to michelle@paco.org or you may give it to me at the April 7th meeting. If you want Paco to interview you, please let me know.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM! SEMINOLE PIECING: A method of cutting joined strips of fabric into sections and re-piecing them with either plain contrasting fabric strips in between, or in staggered rows similar to checkerboarding. Adapted from the bright patchwork of the Seminole Indians in Florida, this technique is often used in borders and quilted clothing.

Upcoming programs: May: Ugly Fabric, June: Schoolhouse demos

Starting balance : Unknown
Ending balance :Unknown
(Subject to final 2007 audit of the books.)

PROFILE This year to help everyone get a little bit better acquainted with the members of the guild, we’ll spotlight a different member each month. We’ll start with the new officers.

Spotlight on Shirley Lewis

I am a charter member of the Quilter’s Guild of Grand Prairie. My mom, Marie Weeks, and I joined together and enjoyed the opportunity to attend meetings and workshops that we were both interested in. A few years ago my daughter, Michelle Rodriguez, became interested in quilting and now we have the opportunity to share a common interest.

I have always loved quilts. As a child we had quilts on every bed, but they were utilitarian quilts instead of the pretty ones we make today. When I got married I turned to blankets and comforters for several years before deciding to try my hand at making pretty quilts. My mother-in-law probably should get the credit for encouraging me. However, her quilts are all completely hand stitched and mine are made on the sewing machine. I often gave her a picture and she made the patterns herself.

My favorite quilt shop is Quilt Country in Lewisville. However, I am always interested in locating quilt shops wherever we travel. My husband has resigned himself to stopping at all the shops I see. Of course I always buy too much, but fabric collecting is my favorite hobby!



Pinwheel blocks are comprised of triangles. There is more than one way to make this block. The most accurate way is with triangle paper. This is available in 1 1/2″, 2″, 2 1/2″, 3″, etc. However, if you are not in possession of triangle paper, and have need of half-square triangles, here are directions for making 3″ half-square triangles.

• When making a triangle, always add 7/8″ to the finished size of the square that you will cut first. If your ruler does not have that measurement, simply add 1″.


Cut 1 strip of light fabric 3 7/8″ – cut the same of a dark fabric. Place these two fabrics right sides together, and iron. The ironing adheres the fabrics together a little more so that they will not shift during the cutting process.

Cut eight 3 7/8″ squares. Cut these squares in half diagonally. Now you will have 16 halves. Feed them through the sewing machine on the diagonal line one after the other without cutting thread. This saves on motion and thread. Make sure that the same color is on the top. I recommend that you always use your walking foot when sewing together bias edges. You will have 16 half-square triangles. Cut threads and press toward the darker fabric. Use your 6 1/2″ square up ruler to make sure that they are 3 1/2″ square. If excess fabric sticks out, trim it off. Lay each half-square triangle out so that the dark and light are always touching. We want it to make the pinwheel, so we don’t want any two darks touching or any 2 lights touching. After we sew them together, we will have a 6 1/2″ square; we will sew 4 of those together to form a 12 1/2″ square. Square up at each phase.


Instead of cutting through the square diagonally, make a pencil line on the wrong side of the lighter fabric on the diagonal. Draw a 1/4″ line on each side of this center line, then stitch on the 2 outer lines. Cut on the center line after both sides are stitched.

You will have your half-square triangles without having to deal with bias edges. If you have a 1/4″ foot, then you will not need to draw the extra two lines, only the center line. Square up.


  • The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 3, 2008 by president Debi Cypert. There was a correction to the February minutes — there were only 19 members present at the February meeting instead of the reported 21. Two guests signed in as members. No treasurer’s report — audit still pending.
  • Newsletter: Paco was at the meeting to take pictures of show and tell for the website. We received three months worth of advertising from English Street Quilters and if reminded, she will probably do three more months. Members were reminded that each member receives one free ad for one month per year.
  • Membership: There were 19 members present and three guests. The three guests were Suzie Harris and Alisa Orr from Just Stitchin’ in Cedar Hill and Jean Villaneuva who came with Lillie Martinez. Welcome back to Lillie Martinez and Sue Heard — former members who re-joined this year.
  • Publicity: Carol brought the Dallas Morning News with the information about the meeting.
  • Block of the Month/Row Quilt: Grace had everyone who is participating in this show their finished Star row. Everyone’s row looks different. Grace also reprted that she has completed her next row and that it is longer than the first row and that she had to make an adjusment. Her advice to everyone is to be extremely careful as you sew.
  • Workshops: Shirley reminded everyone of the Stack-N-Whack workshop on March 15 with Maria Holmes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. She went over the supply list and asked everyone participating to bring a salad to share. The second workshop for the year will be on May 17 at First Presbyterian Church also from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Michelle will lead it on the Jelly Braids jelly roll pattern. She has the quilt top here and more details will follow. Sign-up sheet is available.
  • Programs: April will be Seminole Piecing Techniques. May will be the Ugly Fabric Challenge. There was a list of items in the last newsletter that everyone should be collecting for either a sweatshirt or Christmas stocking. The patterns in the newsletter are the patterns that she is using at the end of the program for the beginner’s class. This month the end of program beginner’s class will be on half square triangles.
  • Door prizes were won by Wanda, Pat, Sue and Judy.
  • Show & Tell: Joyce, Shirley, Sandy, Wanda. Dallas Quilt Show is March 14-16.
  • The program was presented by Suzie Harris and Alisa Orr from Just Stitchin’ in Cedar Hill. They talked about jelly rolls, jelly roll patterns and rulers you can use for the jelly roll.

­Michelle Rodriguez

STACK-N-WHACK WORKSHOP: The Stack N Whack workshop led by Maria Holmes was great! Eleven people signed up for the workshop and nine attended. Maria had assured me that this quilt was easy and she was right. We all had a great time and were very pleased with the resulting blocks. Everyone was amazed at the many different blocks that could be created from a single piece of fabric. I would like for all of you to bring your finished quilt top or your blocks if you have not had time to finish the quilt top so everyone can see what you did. We had a lot of fun and wonderful food too.

MAY 17 WORKSHOP: Saturday, May 17 is the date set for the Jelly Braids quilt workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. Michelle Rodriguez will lead the workshop. Michelle showed her quilt at the last meeting and will bring it again for the April meeting. Some of you bought jelly rolls at the last meeting. If you prefer, you can use yardage or fat quarters instead of buying the jelly rolls. Michelle will have more information at the April meeting and a sign-up sheet. It is a beautiful pattern and will be fun to make, so plan to join us.

Shirley Lewis

ROW QUILT: If you are participating in the Christmas Row Quilt, don’t forget to be working on your house and tree row. There are lots of small pieces and some templates to cut out, so be sure to pace yourself to have the row ready to bring to the May 5th meeting. Most of the people participating in this row quilt brought their stars row to the March meeting. How inspiring to see everyone’s different color combinations. Be sure to be careful and accurate when piecing your rows, it was reported that the second row may end up being a little longer than the first row–even with being careful and being accurate.

Creative Commons License