Northampton MQG meeting, Sunday February 7th, 2016

Feb 2016 Noho MQG-

Leaf Quilt based on Ruth McDowell's Method designed and assembled by the NMQG, under the leadership of Diane Wespier. Donated to our gracious hosts at the Rocky Hill Co-Housing Community, December 2015.

Leaf Quilt based on Ruth McDowell’s Method designed and assembled by the NMQG, under the leadership of Diane Wespier. Donated to our gracious hosts at the Rocky Hill Co-Housing Community, December 2015.


Guild Business

  • Introduction and Sign in Sheet
  • Handout of 2016 MQG Membership cards and pins
  • Photograph of the NMQG with the leaf quilt newly hung in the guest room of the Common House in the Rocky Hill Co-Housing Community.
  • Discussion of September Meeting date which falls on Labor Day Weekend. We voted to move the meeting to the Second weekend of the month.  (Correction – since the 2/7/16 meeting, we have scheduled our September meeting in conjunction with the Boston Modern Quilt guild.  It will be held on Saturday Sept 17th from 1-3 pm in the Fabric Place Basement in Natick MA).
  • Sol Lewitt challenge proposed by Michelle Jensen and agreed upon by the Guild: The quilts will due by September meeting. Finished quilts should be:
    1. 36 inches by 36 inches a
    2. INSPIRED By Sol Lewitt.

Finished quilts will be displayed in a gallery in Michelle’s building in North Adams MA which is around the corner from the Mass MoCA and we will connect with them around advertising.


 Elaine Huffman “Five Generations of Quilting”

Feb 2016 Noho MQG-20072

Elaine’s Bio:   Elaine started out with a career in the insurance industry, and she considered herself a “pan” craft hobbyist. She lost her job, and threw herself into quilting as a business, being one of the first people in New England to possess a longarm in 1997. She quilted other’s quilts, but she “tired of looking at Thimbleberry fabrics” and as her daughter grew into a teenager, life became more hectic, so she stopped her quilting business. Currently, she is getting back into the swing of a business, predominantly around teaching Zentangle.


Big Mama's quilt

Big Mama’s quilt

Quilting Generation 1:  Elaine began her generational story with her great-grandmother Big Mama in west Texas. Elaine showed us a patchwork quilt assembled by Big Mama circa 1920s-1930s and quilted later. She also showed us a Wedding Ring quilt created by Big Mama that was quilted with big stitch quilting.

Quilting Generation 2: Elaine spoke about Granny (paternal grandmother) and Granny Fay (maternal grandmother). Elaine showed us a children’s quilt top where Granny had drawn characters onto the fabric, colored them in with crayons, and then ironed the color into the fabric.



A quilt by Granny Fay

A traditional quilt by Granny Fay

A modern quilt by Granny Fay

A modern quilt by Granny Fay




Another quilt by Granny Fay

Another quilt by Granny Fay

There were many quilts shown that were made by Granny Fay, a renaissance woman who loved the color red. A star pattern quilt made in the 1930s-1950’s with bark fabric (the fabric has texture) backing. Also shown were a 6 pt star inside a hexagon pattern (see photo above left), a quilt with schnauzers, and a modern quilt Granny Fay created in 1973 which had some wonderful, lively colors and a pieced back (see photo above right). Elaine told us a great story about how one year for Christmas, 13 grandchildren each received a decorated, used 5 gallon ice cream drum which contained inside a rolled up quilt from Granny Fay.





Quilting Generation 3: Elaine then introduced her mother, also a renaissance woman, but her main crafts were crewel and making clothing. In 1969, the family moved to Sudbury, MA, an area rich in American Revolution history. Elaine showed us photographs of the period and battle re-enactment costumes her mother made for the entire family.

Quilting Generation 4:  Elaine herself: she received her first showing machine in 1969 for Christmas. She showed us photographs of an early bag she made, and her junior prom dress she made for herself.  Going through about a dozen quilts, Elaine described the different methods used (dense quilting, tranpunto), she pointed out which quilts were made for her daughter Emma.   Elaine showed us framed, mini wall art quilts of beach scenes, made of batik strips, one of which she said she had cut it apart and re-assembled it to give it motion. She showed us a quilted vest and jacket she had made.  She finished up by passing around some Zentangle designs done in pen and ink or quilted.

Quilts that Elaine shared:

1)      a green and white quilt hand quilted using the rocker method

Two quilts made for her daughter Emma

Two quilts made for her daughter Emma

2)      red and blue quilt-looked like a combination of drunkards path and milky way patterns

3)      birdhouses

4)      “twist and turn” flying geese pattern

5)      Emma’s first baby quilt, a star pattern

6)      Emma’s first birthday quilt, a hexie quilt, circa 2000

7)       Vest

8)      Jacket

Examples of Elaine's amazing tranpunto quilts

Examples of Elaine’s amazing tranpunto quilts

9)      The quilt on her bed-all blue, Japanese indigo

10)  Another quilt for Emma

11)  A strip quilt for Emma using batik strips

12)  A round robin quilt in oranges, purples and yellows

Quilting Generation 5:  Elaine showed a quilt Emma herself had made, quilted standing on a box and entered into the BigE.


Thank you so much to Elaine for showing us her family’s quilting legacy and your own modern quilting journey!  We have amazing members and it’s always fun to learn about


Feb 2016 Noho MQG-20104

Zentagle quilt sampler!

Zentagle quilt sampler!












Notes: Robin Heller-Harrison

Photos: Caro Sheridan

Web Page posting:  Lynne McLandsborough

  Feb 2016 Noho MQG-20110             


  1. It was a splendid meeting, Elaine has quilting in her DNA and it showed – such wonderful pieces she shared with us! Excellent write-up (Thanks Lynnne) and professional photos (Thanks Caro). What an awesome group!

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