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June 4 2017 Agenda and Meeting

This Sunday, June 4 2017, is our next NMQG meeting at the Common House of the Rocky Hill Co-housing Community, Northampton, MA.This meeting is from noon until 2 pm (regular time).

The agenda for this meeting:


o   Start of registration/payment by NMQG members for Amy Friend all day workshop on improvisational modern paper piecing on 21Oct2017.

§  Members cost is $35 pp, lunch is included

§  Amy’s book, “Improv Modern Paper Piecing” is required for the workshop, and she will have books available at a 20% discount on that day.

§  Workshop will be held at Chesterfield MA Senior Center


o   Audrey’s quilt acceptance to Threads of Resistance

o   Date of NMQG visit to Threads of Resistance Exhibit in Lowell MA


June Meeting Notes June 4,2017

We began our meeting with Jeff Rutherford giving an informative, interactive demonstration of foundation paper piecing by sewing a New York Beauty Block. Jeff said there is a wonderful Craftsy class on foundation paper piecing. There were many questions and some great  suggestions as many members have done foundation paper piecing. One critical point that I took away from Jeff’s lesson was to make certain that your cut pieces of fabric will cover the area you are sewing and then some-it’s difficult, once sewing is done, to fix this! Jeff and Elaine Huffman shared with us their New York Beauty quilts that they had previously made.

Diane Wespiser began registration for the Amy Friend workshop on 21October2017 at the Chesterfield Senior Center.  The cost for the workshop is $35, and this cost covers the class and lunch. As a separate cost, you must have Amy’s improv paper piecing book for the class, and  Amy will have copies for purchase at 20% off the retail price. Participation is limited to 20 people, and will be eventually open to the ”quilting public” so members, if interested, should register ASAP.

Audrey Bromberg Hyvonen has received word that her quilt was accepted to the national, travelling “Quilts of Resistance Show”, which opens on 14July2017 at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA. As a summer field trip, NMQG members will going to see this exhibit either 22July2017 or 19August2017, followed by lunch. Please check your calendars, then respond to the voting email to select one of these dates. After the fact note: Our field trip to Lowell will be on 22July2017!

As many members submitted quilts which were not accepted to the national show because competition was so fierce, Jeff Rutherford has volunteered to organize a local “Threads of Resistance Show”. Please speak with Jeff directly for details if you are interested in submitting a quilt.

We will be having NMQG quilts showing for the month of September, 2017 at the Common Table, a restaurant on Main Street in Chester, MA.  The quilts should be wall quilts with a food or kitchen inspired theme, no larger than 36 inches by 36 inches, and having a 4 inch hanging sleeve attached. These quilts could be for sale by the quilter, if desired. The quilts will be hung on Monday or Tuesday the first or second week in September and stay up until Monday or Tuesday the first or second week of October. For members creating quilts, plan on having them completed by the last week in August. Robin will contact you about getting your quilt to her.  Erin Patrick, one of the proprietors, says that we can have a reception out on the patio (weather permitting), or in the back room with drinks and appetizers in September once the quilts are up. Stay tuned for further details.

Elaine Huffman was looking for members interested in a private or group class(es) or sessions with the RV Quilter, Nicole Wilde the last few days of June 2017, when Nicole plans to be in the area. Contact Elaine directly for more information.

Charlotte Davenport shared the many prayer rugs she has made. She prepared a handout with guidelines and information on making prayer rugs, and she shared information that she is working with Naz Mohamed of South Hadley to coordinate getting prayer rugs to recipients.

Jeff Rutherford gave a short report on the NMQG first retreat from 18May-22May2017 in Chester, VT. Folks who attended chimed in as to what a fun time it was, and showed what they had worked on. The plan is to do this again the third week in May in 2018 so stay tuned for details!

Show and Tell…


May 7 2017 Agenda and Meeting Notes

As discussed at our last meeting, our May program will be a Sherri Lynn Wood style Improv Round Robin.
We will meet on 7May2017 at Rocky Hill Common House from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM (NOTE THAT THIS IS A ONE HOUR EARLIER START TIME THAN USUAL!!).

Robin has sent out a list of “materials” that you need. Please see her email of April 18th for complete details or email, Ellen ( and I will forward them to you.



At our meeting ,we will also be discussing the arrangements for our Amy Friend workshop.


Minutes from May 7 Meeting

Sherri Lynn Wood Style Improv Round Robin

Sewing intervals are 20 minutes long

After first 20 minutes, stop for show and tell

Pass to your right

Pictures taken at end of session


APRIL 9, 2017 Meeting

April 9 Meeting of NMQG

Noon- 2 pm, at the Common House of the Rocky Hill Co-housing Community, Northampton, MA


John Powers- John will give a lecture/demonstration on the topic, “The Quilter’s Body.”       John is the founder/owner of Integrated Muscular Therapy with a studio in Northampton, MA, whose work integrates  massage, exercise, strength training, and movement awareness.  He has worked successfully with two members of our guild who recommended him for a guild presentation.

HAVQG- wrap up —-favorite quilts or new ideas

Threads of Resistance —short discussion

Program for May—-Some thoughts or ideas

Sherri Lynne Wood style improve round robin

Programs for the Fall

Diane Wespiser will discuss the possibility of an Amy Friend

(  ) speaker/workshop in the fall.

Show and Tell

Date of April Meeting has been Changed

Our meeting scheduled for April 2,2017 has been changed due to the Hands Across the Valley Quilt show ( April 1 -2). Our next meeting will be on Sunday April 9, 12-2 Common House of the Rocky Hill Co-housing Community. Agenda will follow.

February 5, 2017 meeting – Quilt photos

Here are photos of quilts shown at the February 5, 2017 meeting. Many of these quilts are mini-quilts donated for the upcoming Hands Across The Valley Quilt Guild Show on April 1st – 2nd at the Umass Amherst Campus Center.




Next NMQG Meeting Agenda: 12:00 pm, Sunday February 5, 2017

Brighten up these gray days by coming to our next meeting! It will be 12:00 – 2:00 pm on  February 5 at the Common House of the Rocky Hill Co-housing Community.

The Agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1. Announcements

2. Program

The Riley Blake/Simple Simon Company is having monthly challenges in 2017. The February challenge is to make a modern interpretation of a traditional block.

Carson will give a short lecture on “How We Look at Things, Traditional vs. Modern”. Each member should identify a favorite traditional block or a traditional block that seems to move him/her. ***If you wish, please bring in a picture or photo of this traditional block to share with the group on Feb.5 2017***

The challenge will be to create your own modern interpretation of the chosen traditional block. Any size from mini-quilt to whatever size you desire; incorporate it into a pillow, a bag, a mug rug ( for Rachel??) anything goes! Please  bring in your WIP or completed creations to share at our March 5, 2017 meeting, and then again when you complete it

 3. Business
         The board’s proposals on committees for 2017
         Discussion on what it will take to get an outside speaker.
4. Sharing

Sol LeWitt exhibit gets recognition!


Aimée Allen, a writer and quilt-creative based out of Nevada, came across news of our guilds recent Sol LeWitt inspired exhibition. She has written a post on her blog – BLOCK –  which includes several images from the feature article via iBershires, regarding the exhibit inspired by the Sol LeWitt retrospective @ MOCA.

Sol Lewitt Quilt Show Entry Form

Northampton Modern Quilt Guild QUILT SHOW ENTRY FORM Show dates: September 23 – October 22, Opening reception 9/24/16 Questions? Contact: Michelle Jensen 978-870-3893, ENTRY RULES Any NMQG member may enter the show. A maximum of three (3) entry ite read more

Northampton Modern Quilting Guild April 3, 2016

Minutes by Rachel Peterson, Photo’s by Betsey Wolfson

Surface Design with Lee Thomson

Timna Tarr introduced Lee Thomson, an artist, quilter, geologist, horsewoman, set designer, and surface designer.

Lee opened with a story. In 2006, the barn where she rode was sold; the horses were sold. Lee told her husband she would trade her entire sewing room for a pony, happily, he said no, you need that — we’ll figure out the pony!

Lee decided that if she wasn’t allowed to give up her sewing room, she’d better make good use of it. So 2007 became the year of the fabric postcard. Every day of every month Lee made a 4″x6″ fabric postcard — something on the front (fabric, thread, notions, other random items), double sided — fusible interfacing in the middle to keep it firm, and plain muslin on the back (numbered and dated). She kept them, and presented them from a huge cigar box!

The beauty of fabric postcards is that they never get laundered, never see light (fade), and you can do all manner of things to them! In fact, when she started with “blue circles” as the theme, she even used hardware (a potato masher)! Each month had its own theme. March was “water” (pic), April was money, May was leaves. (And it was also a turning point, because she was at a moment when she wasn’t sure what to do next). Initially the backs were straight fabric (and just the front was embellished), but then she started thinking about the backs. June’s theme was holes (she had hole punches), July was a vacation (a break!), August was sunflowers, September explored ‘faces’ — which she didn’t enjoy, but she believed on sticking to the rules she had established. She didn’t bring any of the October, November, or December postcards, but talked about November’s theme being “brown”.

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She pointed out that with some thought you can do a little bit of rework, precut interfacing, gather colors, etc. You can do so much with 4″x6″! As each month wears on, you come up with all the great ideas in the first week… The thing to do is to keep moving! The advantage to having a theme and size you have constraints so you have something to push against!

thomson lots of cards 4095

After the year was over, her pieces became bigger — as she said “it was like — autodidact art school.” And really started showing up in her exploration of leaves. (Pic of the maple leaves 1”x2.5′) After a year of free motion quilting, different weigh threads, found objects, it was just total exploring. She shared her blue piece with the orange Tang Horse (pic) — something she designed and painted after the year of postcards. It is two layers of silk to keep the paint from bleeding through.

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Lee’s advice: There was a lot she learned during and after 2007, the key is to really lean in find the stuff that pleases you, tickles your fancy (leaves, shells, landscapes, etc.), know what those things are for you (Colors? Contrasts? Shapes? Words?). Lean into curiosity, keep doing it again and again and again until it comes out the way you want it. (Timna said, “Lee (Sproul) said something once I’ll never forget, “Either give up or try harder.”)

Lee said, “If you love it, do it again. And if you hate it, do it again!”

Lee handed out a number of amazing pieces, including a book of beaded pages, also six dollars she had some dollars stitched together. She also showed us a little round felted box and said that while felting can be fun it’s not for her. Lee loved indigo and showed a piece she had dyed. She had some in the backyard so she could use that. She said it was really stinky but it was fascinating to watch the dyeing. At one point she got curious about gelatin plates – she used a cookie sheet and using a strong mix of Knox gelatin, prep it and then treat it as if it was a plate, put paint or ink on the “plate” and press fabric into it. Lee said the gelatin doesn’t really absorb the paint; she uses “PBO Seta color paints”.

She showed a piece of ‘contact printing’ class… Largely natural colors — she describes how to pull pieces of nature (mushrooms, leaves, etc.), tight up to a piece of fabric, fold it, bind it, boil it. Diane W said we can do that here in our area, but it’s better not to boil it.

After 2007, Lee’s daughter said, “Mom, you know you just had a year long tantrum!” Lee subscribes to “Cloth, Paper, Scissors,” and also gets, “Fiber Art Now”, which she says she both loves and hates.

In 2012, five years after the year of fabric postcards she started the circle a day year. Using the double sided fusible (same principle) she used up stuff she had in the house (and is now officially sick of “gold leaf”). The circle pieces were not constrained by the 4″x6″ size. January was red, in February she ‘had’ to use the felting machine, March it was black and white (landscapes), April was color landscapes (and she showed one like lace) After January of 2012, she realized she would have 300+ circles in the house so she decided that part of the process would be to give them all away — people overseas, friends, dentist office, in fact Donna has a wild turkey that her son chose at an event!

2012 was also the year she went to Haystack, a summer craft school on the coast of Maine. She was asked to speak more about Haystack. She said, “You get from it almost what you put into it. If you go interested and enthused and ready to stay up late and do crazy assed stuff and push your comfort level way out there, something will happen. If you go ‘knowing’ things, it won’t. It is about stretching, reaching, going to ‘those’ places. It is insanely beautiful and they feed you amazing food. When you can’t think about the stuff that’s in front of you any more you can wander through the studios and you can be inspired, connect with others (she connected with a print maker, they inspired each other, swapped pieces, experimented working with each other’s pieces). Do it once and dream about going back.””

The year of circles was a year of marketing — a gallery owner said, “If you makes more of these I will sell them, bring me what you have.” Lee realized she would never have to do another craft fair in her life. They realized that 9×12 was a perfect size for the gallery owner, the price point is right and they sell well. Lee showed a piece designed for a challenge with a required “minimum size” — she was so focused on the smaller size, she found it easier to stitch a bunch together to make it! Her gallery friend loved landscapes and so that’s what she is doing now, and has been from 2008. She showed us, “View of the Marshes in Ipswich,” from 2015, all the others she’s done have been sold.

thomson blue dots 4084 thomson turquoise dots 4077

One of Lee’s current obsessions — she calls them “rivers” — is circles on strips of background One of the rivers was quite large, long (light blue circle River on brown background), with what Lee called, “Timna’s row of orange bubbles”. The river series are curved lines of geometric shapes on strips of colors, threaded. Often sewn/quilted on the reverse with a thicker thread on the bobbin so the stitching is denser on the front. (Perle (crochet) cotton thread or even yarn). It’s always good to use the metallic or thick threads on the bobbin because it doesn’t have to go through the needle.


Finally, Lee’s current project came to be last summer while she was visiting her brother in Maine. She had brought knitting and painting but NO sewing. She painted, and painted, and painted (straight up ‘stupid acrylics’) and when she brought back the painting, she stitched right into them. Right into the canvas.

She does have a relatively deep artistic background. That is she has a feel for perspective and layers of things. Fabric landscapes are all about layers. Showed up a piece of many layered painted landscape (done in a tantrum).


Guild Business

Robin — Philanthropy survey results: in less than a month 21 respondents out of 48 (She’ll send out a couple of more reminders to be heard on the subject), the committee wants to make sure the members are happy with “how” this philanthropic activity would take place in order to increase participation. Once the survey is closed Robin will have all the final numbers and percentages and a clearer picture of how the guild feels about the philanthropic activities..

Initial responses suggest a majority of the guild is eager to engage in philanthropic activities with the guild (rather than at home) to spur getting to know (and learn from) others, and for the camaraderie. A majority feel philanthropic activities should not be done primarily at home. At this point, most people would prefer to have a “sew in”. People seem to prefer 1 2 “off campus” all day events a year, with a mixture of tasks, 25% preferred summer events, 50% winter events.



Sherry: brought in an article about a quilt maker in Chattanooga, TN, who makes quilts for Habitat for Humanity house recipients.

From Communications (Lynne) — please remember at Guild meetings to mark the attendance sheet with information about upcoming sharing opportunities — this helps with planning.

Lee S: The Forbes Library in Northampton has a fabulous color quilt exhibit currently. (Anne Goodale is the exhibitor of, “Chakra Quilts,” from April 2 29. for more info)

Michelle J, updated dates for the Sol Lewitt exhibit 23 Sept 23 Oct (so we have an extra week to finish our quilts) — we in the guild need to man the gallery, more about that as we get closer.

Lee Sproul: Lee is having a show at the Eclipse Mill Gallery, in North Adams, June 3 26, “Art in Black and White” (with her housemate who is a photographer). Suggestion: take your Sol Lewitt submission with you when you visit Lee’s exhibit!




Diane W.: did a workshop (NYC) last fall with a friend of Jeff’s (an artist out of Buffalo), Jack Edson, who is really into color, so she did a portrait quilt. It’s the first quilt she has ever done with big stitch quilting. She used Perle cotton number 10 (crochet thickness), thick. She designed her piece from a Diane Arbus photograph. The big stitch quilting was really fun for Diane (with the wool batting). She said this is not “fine work”, no frame, she spray basted, just quilted it on her lap.

Ellen: demonstrated a “fidget quilt” for autistic kids (a philanthropy project). She’s asking us to save any textile, stuff, junk, zippers, and tactile stuff (shoelaces, spools, etc.). at the workshop she went to. They were making up kits. She’s always looking for old pillowcases — she makes dog and cat beds and takes them to Springfield Animal Shelter. Robin will also send out reminders for fabric, notions, etc… To bring to our meetings for things like this philanthropic activity.



Jeff: Brought in his 3″ blocks (completed so far) of his “365 Challenge” — a block a day challenge that a woman from Australia has posited… None of these are paper pieced, but so small! She gave the “values” and all challengers then chose their colors. He chose the green orange colors. He is up to February 10th.

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