August 12 Guild Meeting: Diane Harris, the Stash Bandit! Register now + Join Diane's Workshop on August 21.
Each month of this year I will be introducing a new block as well as the history behind the block. You may take this as an opportunity to build your own skills. Additionally, I encourage you to post your block creations either on our ACQ Community Facebook page or on Instagram using #ACQPresidentBlock2021. Each block you post will be entered into a monthly drawing for a fat quarter bundle. If you aren’t on social media – no problem, just send me an email with your photo (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will draw the winner at the next guild meeting, and you don’t need to be present to win (although we hope you will because we have a great line-up this year!). The winner of February’s block will be announced at the March meeting, and the March block at the April meeting.
This month’s block is Aunt Dinah. It can be made in both a 12 inch and 6 inch version. I am using the color green for my inspiration this month. And now, a little history about the block.
Quilt patterns reflected our country's agricultural society and the family's dependence on the crops they harvested, the fruit and vegetables they grew, and the foods they preserved. Up until 1920, most people lived on farms. Only 2% of the population resided in towns or cities.
Quilting allowed women to escape from the hard work, rigors, and drabness of their everyday routine. With seven or eight women gathered around the quilt frame, a quilting bee, offered an excellent way to socialize.
It was such a popular event that Stephen Foster, one of America's beloved songwriters, wrote a song about it:
“In the sky the bright stars glittered
On the banks, the pale moon shone,
And 'twas from Aunt Dinah's quilting party
I was seeing Nellie home.”
Originally published in 1940, the Aunt Dinah block is a take-off of the traditional corn and beans block.
Instructions for both a 12 inch and 6 inch versions of the block may be found at https://abyquilts.wordpress.com/sisters-bom-qal/ under the Sisters BOM – April link.
Don McLean, First Plymouth’s Facility Manager
is retiring after 30 YEARS!
Please join us for a
Saturday, February 6
1:30 – 3:00pm
At the south entrance to the Church
Drive by and make some noise!
Wish Don well!
Bring Don a card!
Don will soon be heading to a golf vacation in Phoenix
to celebrate with his son Tony.
We hope to have an in-person reception for Don when the church re-opens.
ONE BIG EXHALE
During the past year, I have found a lot of solace in yoga. The body and mind connection is awesome, and definitely helps with stress relief and resilience. One of the things that you learn in yoga is the importance of breath. With all the heaviness over the last year (COVID-19, social unrest, altered plans and cancelled of events) I didn’t realize that I was, in essence, holding my breath. That was, until I took one big exhale.
I’m not sure what exactly precipitated the exhale – maybe the hope of a new year or the fact that vaccines are flowing and we may (fingers-crossed) be getting back to normal. All I know is that I now feel a lightness which is allowing me to be more creative, take risks, and drop the baggage of heaviness weighing me down.
If you too are feeling heaviness – may I recommend a breathing exercise? This is great for general stress and anxiety relief, as well as more practically rebalancing yourself after many hours in front of your sewing machine. Close your eyes, place one hand on your belly and one hand over your heart. Take a deep breath (1, 2, 3, 4) and hold it for 4 counts. Then exhale (1, 2, 3, 4) and hold for 4 counts. Do it a couple times in a row. This helps to calm the parasympathetic nervous system and rebalance your brain and take you from fight-or-flight to freedom of thought and reasoning.
And the best part of this mind-body connection is that it helps to get your creative juices flowing. As quilters this is always important, as quilting is our creative expression and fabric our medium. This month there will be lots of opportunities to flex those creative muscles, whether it be through our guild meeting and following workshop, participating in the panel challenge, creating president’s blocks, or finishing a charity quilt. So, breath deep – take one big exhale – and get crafting!
Each month of this year I will be introducing a new block as well as the history behind the block. You may take this as an opportunity to build your own skills. Additionally, I encourage you to post your block creations either on our ACQ Community Facebook page or on Instagram using #ACQPresidentBlock2021. Each block you post will be entered into a monthly drawing for a fat quarter bundle. If you aren’t on social media – no problem, just send me an email with your photo (email@example.com). We will draw the winner at the next guild meeting, and you don’t need to be present to win (although we hope you will because we have a great line-up this year!). The winner of January’s block will be announced at the February meeting, February’s block at the March meeting, and so on.
February’s block is a series of hearts. I am using up a variety of pink and red scraps to create a scrappy love quilt. The patterns I chose create 6 inch and 12 inch hearts, so I am going to mix them all together and hopefully end up with something beautiful.
The heart has come to be the universal symbol of romantic love, which is why it is often associated with St. Valentine’s Day. Though widely recognized, there is no clear evidence of how the symbol originated. One theory suggests that the origin of the heart symbol can be traced back to an ancient plan called silphium, a now extinct species of giant fennel grown in North Africa. The seed of this plan supposedly resembled the heart symbol we use today.
The first known depiction of a heart shape as a symbol of love was produced in the 1250s in a French manuscript, the Roman de la Poire. The heart symbol may have also been influenced by the writings of Galen and Aristotle, describing the human heart as an organ with three chambers and a dent in the middle, and connecting the human heart with emotion and pleasure, transforming it into a symbol of medieval love.
Up until the late 14th century, the heart was typically shown upside down. During this time, the dent on the base started to expand and, by the late 15th century, the dented red heart symbol was a common sight, even used on playing cards. As it was already established as a symbol of love, the heart began to appear on St. Valentine’s Day card, candy boxes and other objects in the 19th century, securing the heart as a symbol of love and affection.
A free pattern for the heart blocks I am making may be found at https://cluckclucksew.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Heart-Blocks-Pattern.pdf and https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2012/10/be-good-to-your-heart-quilt-block.html
How I wish I could ask my great-grandmother Maxfield about her quilting bee! She left behind lovely quilts. Grandmother probably attended lots of bees, spelling bees, husking bees, barn bees. Such events were all about community and friendship as well as getting the job done. Today our bees still foster deep friendships.
This month I would like to tell you about my bee, Stitch and Chatter. Founded in 2003 by ACQ member Joanie Rupert, our name honors her mother, Carolyn, who stitched with her friends in Ohio. From the beginning we have made Friendship quilts for one another. When one of our members is grieving or ill, we make her a comforting quilt. Usually each of us works on her own projects, but we can’t seem resist charity work as well. Some of us are able to attend annual retreats, and all of us learn from one another. In 2016 several of our members made the ACQ Raffle Quilt.
We are a large group so can’t welcome more ACQ members. Soon we will be meeting in homes again and space is an issue. Nevertheless, we so appreciate the inspiration ACQ gives us. What about your bee? Even if you are “closed” I would love to feature your bee here. Just let me know.
We may not know all the bees that are represented in our guild. Please check your profile on the website and place a check next to your bee or bees. If your bee is not listed let me know.
I look forward to learning about the history and activities of other bees.
I recently picked up a donation of fabric and brought it into my dining room. Yes, there is some organization here but not much. With a little juggling and much cutting I see improvement. I attached two photos for your amusement. Please stay tuned as I will get these squares turn into kits by our next “Drive-Thru” scheduled for Saturday February 6, 2021.
Where I started with donation:
Where I ended up:
If you are unable to meet for the Drive Thru please contact me by email so we can arrange a pick up for blocks, kits, tops, fabric or completed quilts.
Our next Charitable Community Sew Day is February 28th. I look forward to quilting and sewing with you!
Charitable Quilts Committee
Using any fabric panel for your main theme, create a quilt, some placemats, a table runner, tote bag . . . basically anything you want with your panel.
You must use the majority of the panel.
You must include a picture of the original panel with your entry.
We suggest the photo be attached to the back.
Finished entry must be smaller than 60” x 80”.
Deadline to sign-up is May 1, 2021.
Picture of your entry is due June 15, 2021
Challenge entry fee is $6. Sign-up by registering here.
ACQ has a limited numbers panels you can purchase for $5 or you can use your panel. Check them out and reserve yours today! (password required)
First, Second and Third prize ribbons will be awarded.
Winners will be selected by viewers choice votes.
We hope that we can display the entries at the July Pot Luck. If that is not possible, we will ask you to send us a picture of your entry by June 15, 2021. We will have the pictures and voting through the webpage. More details on this will be announced when get closer to the deadline.
Need ideas? Visit our Pinterest board: Panel Quilt Challenge.
2021 Focus Word: OPPORTUNITY
Each January brings a sense of anticipation and hope. This year even more so, as we celebrate the close of a particularly strange year. I know that many of us are happy to see the end of 2020, with all of the shutdowns, social distancing and disruption to our routines. And yet, like in years past, this January and entry into the new year brings the same feelings of anticipation and hope for new beginnings. 2021 is the beginning of a new year and a new decade, new opportunities to challenge ourselves, and engage with our friends and our community with a hopeful return to normal following the COVID19 pandemic.
Each year I choose one word as my focus for the year. In the past I have chosen focus words of joy, light, and perseverance. The words typically come to me in December as I anticipate the coming year and the goals I want to accomplish. This year I have struggled with a focus word for 2021 – partially because I was focused so much on just getting through the challenges of 2020. Yet, when I think about the new year and the new decade, I am excited for the opportunities that it brings and the quiet anticipation that everything is going to be fine. So, I have chosen OPPORTUNITY as the word for 2021.
In 2020, we were forced to change our status quo and be creative to keep our guild going. This brought new opportunities to connect through Zoom on community sew days and quilting bees. It provided opportunities to bring speakers from all across the country into the comfort of our own home. In 2021, I challenge you to embrace change and see it not as a difficult thing, but as an OPPORTUNITY to grow and thrive.
We have many opportunities in 2021 for you to engage with your fellow quilters and expand your own skills. In February we are kicking off a Free Motion Quilt Club. We are also planning several challenges – including the panel challenge starting this month. We are also looking for new ideas and opportunities to connect on a deeper level and realize ACQ’s mission to teach, share and grow the art of quilting.
I hope you take 2021 as a new beginning and an OPPORTUNITY, not only as part of our guild but as part of your own personal journey.
January’s block is the Log Cabin. I am making this month’s block in neutrals, as a great addition to offset my other, busier blocks.
The Log Cabin is one of the most well-known and popular of all patchwork patterns. To the pioneers, it symbolized home, warmth, love and security. The center square was done in red to represent the hearth, the focal point of life in a cabin or home.
The name, Log Cabin, comes from the narrow strips of fabric, or “logs” arranged around the center square. Each fabric strip or log was added to the pattern in much the same way logs were stacked to build a cabin; and because the straight lines and small pieces of the pattern could utilize almost any fabric scrap available, it often became the final step in the recycling of fabric.
Many Log Cabin patterns were worked in two color schemes, lights and darks, divided diagonally in the middle. This represented the sun’s east to west movement in the sky. As the sun rose, its light shown on the cabin, creating the light side of the block. As the sun traveled west, part of the cabin was left in the shadow, creating the dark side of the block. This is often called the Sunshine and Shadow pattern.
I thoroughly enjoy the ACQ Drive-Thru Events. We receive completed quilts, tops, and donated fabric. Several kits, sandwiches and quilts to bind were picked up and I await their return at the next event. Since we have had a few of these events, I am now getting specific requests from ACQ members for specific types of quilting projects. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your request.
Please see my updates to the Charity Quilts page. I have picked 2 new patterns for our efforts next year and the links are included on the page.
Our next Charitable Community Sew Day is January 24th. I look forward to quilting and sewing with you.
MONTHLY GUILD MEETINGS
2nd Thursdays: currently online
When we can be in person:First Plymouth Congregational Church3501 S. Colorado Blvd.Englewood, CO
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Arapahoe County QuiltersPO Box 5357Englewood, CO 80155
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