May 2008 Newsletter

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DOOR PRIZES: If your last name begins with B or C please bring a door prize to the May 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.

Where has the time gone! I start the year off with grand plans to complete all of my old projects and blocks of the month that have accumulated over several years, but find that I really haven’t made a dent. Then comes the show-and-tell during the April meeting with all of the wonderful examples from the “Stack-N-Whack” workshop that was held and I find myself thinking of what fabric I want to use to make that quilt. Every one of the examples were so different and I could not tell you which was my favorite. All the participants did a great job! Thank you, Shirley, for a great workshop!

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 or you may give it to me at the May 5 meeting. If you want Paco to interview you, please let me know.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM! The May program is going to be sew simple. The ultimate goal for this nonsense is to have an ugly fabric challenge. The results of the ugly fabric challenge will be in a big reveal in the November meeting. At the April meeting, we discussed a style show, and a sweatshirt jacket or a Christmas stocking was mentioned. By no means, are these the only two options – your imagination is your only limitation! You could make a purse, a tote, a vest, pillows, drapery tiebacks, wine gift bags, jewelry holder pouches, potholders, baby bibs, valances, table runners, placemats, tea cozy, scarf, Xmas ornaments, a robe collar, or a mantle scarf, or anything else your mind dreams up. No limits!

Sew far, we have mentioned using strip piecing and crazy quilt blocks to add to your foundation, which could be a used dryer sheet, commercial stabilizer, or freezer paper. I just thought this would hold the patches together as you work with the placement of your patterns – on whatever option you choose to make. I plan to cover a sweatshirt with multiple methods, not just one.

You’ll need 1.25 yards of fabric. It is your choice how you wish to cut it up for the fabric swap. You can cut all of it up into 6-inch charm squares, or you can cut all of it into 2.5″ strips. Or you can do a little of both, or something completely different. This is completely optional. It is not a “You have to do it this way” type of adventure. It is a “Use your imagination” option. We had such a wide assortment of Round Robin quilts turn out from the same type of border predetermined at each stage, it will be exciting to see what comes out of everyone’s brain for the November program. So, get creative!

During the course of the year, the programs will build upon each other to foster skills that some of us may or may not have. In June, we will have a “schoolhouse” put on by the officers, where we will rotate from station to station and learn a different technique at each station.

In August, we will bring a dryer sheet size crazy quilt patch, which we will try our hand at embellishing. It is my goal to make this year a teaching year, and I’ve never seen anyone bring in a crazy quilt, so I thought we could all learn this technique together.

If any of you have any questions, or concerns, please let me know. I’m open to re-adjusting our programs to suit you ladies. This is supposed to be a fun adventure, so get ready, get set, SEW!

Susan Cantrell

Upcoming programs: 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 Michelle Rodriguez

I joined the Quilt Guild about 10 years ago. I had grown up around quilts and quilting, but I was never really interested in it until then. When I joined, my mother and grandmother were both members of the Guild, so it gave us all a common interest. I enjoy piecing the tops, but send them out to be quilted. My 99-year-old grandmother used to hand quilt for me, but she stopped hand quilting a few years ago — she still crochets, though!

My favorite quilt shops are The Quilt Asylum in McKinney, Quilt Country in Lewisville, and the online quilt shop, When we travel, my husband knows I’m going to find a quilt shop somewhere, and I think he’s got a pretty good idea that I’ll be adding to my ever-growing stash of fabric.


Background Fabric:
• Cut a strip of fabric 21/8″ wide x 9″ long on the lengthwise grain. Cut four squares from this — so cut four cuts 21/8″. These will go into the corners.
• Cut 2 strips 23/4″ wide x 40″ long on either lengthwise or crosswise grain (from selvedge to selvedge). From this cut four 53/8″ cuts. These will separate the paws.
• Cut 1 strip 21/2″ x 40. Layer with contrasting fabric and iron. Make your secondary cut into 21/2″ squares. These will make the claws when combined with contrasting fabric.

  • Layer the strip of background fabric with the strip of contrasting fabric, and draw a line every 21/2″. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on back of the background fabric between the lines that you previously drew, then sew 1/4″ from the drawn diagonal lines on each side of the drawn line. *
  • Cut on the drawn line from corner to corner.
  • Lay on ironing board, dark side up. Set seams, then press to the dark.
  • After sewing & pressing, half-square triangles should square up to 21/8″.

*Layer and draw grid of background gabric and contrasting fabric

Contrasting Fabric:
• Cut a 23/4″ square for the center square.
• Cut a strip 33/4″ x 16″. From this cut four squares – so cut four cuts of 33/4″.
• Cut 1 strip 2 1/2″ x 40. Layer with background fabric and iron. Follow the directions mentioned in the first “dot” bullet above. These will make the claws when combined with background fabric.

  • Lay on ironing board, dark side up. Set seams, then press to the dark.
  • After sewing, half-square triangles should square up to 21/8″


  • The April 7, 2008 meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. by president Debi Cypert.  There were no corrections to the minutes and the treasurer’s report was unavailable.
  • There were 20 members present, including two new members.  Juanita Green is a returning former member and Lisa Boyce is a new member who found us via our new website.  There were two visitors, Maria Holmes and her mother, Pam Lowe.
  • Publicity:  Carol had the newspaper announcements of the guild meeting with her tonight.
  • Block of the month:  Grace reminded everyone participating in the Christmas Row Quilt that everyone should bring the House and Tree Row to the May meeting.  She also reminded everyone to be very careful in their seam allowances and piecing as there seem to be some problems with the sizes of row 1 and row 2.
  • Workshops:  Shirley has a sign up sheet for the May 17 Jelly Braids workshop.  She also gave a report on the March 15 Stack-N-Whack workshop.  Maria Holmes led the workshop and there were nine attendees.  Those who participated showed their finished products. Paco was also at the meeting to take pictures of the show and tell to put on the website.  Be sure to look at the website for the latest information.
  • Door prizes were won by Sue Heard, Pat Johnson, and Susan Cantrell.
  • The May 5 program will be part one of the Ugly Fabric Challenge.  Everyone should bring 1.25 yards of their ugliest fabric either cut into 21/2 inch strips or 6 inch charm squares or a combination of both.  We will “shop” each other’s fabric at the meeting and discuss more about what we’ll do with the fabric.  Tonight’s program was led by Susan.  She talked about Seminole patchwork.  After the program, she had her beginner’s class on the Bear’s Paw.

­Michelle Rodriguez

JELLY BRAIDS WORKSHOP: Michelle Rodriguez will lead this workshop on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Michelle showed her quilt at the last two meetings and will bring it again to the May meeting.  She had a supply list at the last meeting.  If you didn’t get a list, you will need:  jelly roll (or other fabrics cut 2 1/2 inches by 45 inches OR if you use fat quarters, you will need two strips of each to equal that amount), fabrics for borders, pins, sewing machine, thread, seam ripper (just in case), scissors, rotary cutter and cutting mat, extension cord, irons or mini irons and pressing mats or ironing board.

Michelle says this quilt will be great for all skill levels and we can finish a good part of the quilt if we precut.  She will go into that more at the May meeting.   Michelle is leading the workshop for free, so I am asking each of you to bring two or three fat quarters to show your appreciation for her time and effort.  I will bring a container for all the fat quarters.  Eight people signed up for the workshop, but you can still sign up at the May meeting.

Please bring a salad to share for lunch and whatever snacks and drinks you may want for the day.
Hope to see you there!  Workshops are always a lot of fun and great fellowship.

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 5 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.

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