Thursday, February 16, 2023

Nanette's Brinton Hall Quilt + Charlotte Quilters Guild Happenings

Hello, Happy February, and Happy Belated Valentine's Day!  The quilt I'm sharing today was meticulously pieced by my client Nanette of Do It Right Quilter and you can read about her journey making Brinton Hall on her quilting blog here.  Check out the fabulous English paper pieced central portion of the quilt, featuring larger scale Asian floral print fabrics framed by hand stitched hexagons in glowing batik fabrics:

Detail of Baptist Fan Quilting on Nanette's Brinton Hall Quilt

The Brinton Hall Quilt is a pattern by Leigh Latimore that is based on an historic antique quilt made by Anna Brereton between 1803-1805.  Patterns for making the quilt were published in Quiltmania magazine issues #107 and #108 in 2015, and you can still purchase those back issues (either digital or print versions) from Quiltmania's web site here if you're interested in making your own version of Brinton Hall.  This is one of those quilts that can take on radically different personalities depending on the fabric prints and color palette selections.  Doesn't this look like a FUN project?  This is one of the chief dangers of professional long arm quilting -- I keep getting all of these gorgeous quilts from my clients and I think I wanna make THIS one and THIS one and THIS one..  ðŸ˜

Nanette's 77 x 77 Brinton Hall Quilt with Baptist Fan Quilting

So, let's talk about the quilting!  

Yes, this quilt would be a great candidate for custom quilting, but I don't offer custom quilting services and my clients come to me knowing that we're going to do an edge-to-edge design.  We chose this Baptist Fan design for its timeless, traditional appeal and the way it complements Nanette's Asian floral prints.  In scaling the design for this quilt, my primary consideration was how far apart the quilting lines would be spaced in relation to the size of the hexagons (or "hexies") in the center of the quilt.  I love the way the Baptist Fan quilting unifies the center of the quilt with the pieced diamond and star border blocks.

Quilting In Progress on my Bernina Q24 Long Arm Machine

The Baptist Fan design is one of the trickier ones to realign from row to row.  The goal is for the "V" of the previously stitched row of the design to just kiss the long curved line below it that gets stitched out in the next pass, after advancing the quilt on the frame and realigning (telling the computer where the machine's needle is now in relation to the already-stitched design).  It's very common for new long arm quilters to struggle with having those points floating above the line instead of touching it due to the way that quilts contract or "draw up" as more and more stitches are sewn, and then if you overcorrect for that, the point of the "V" will cross through the long curved line below and that looks messy, too.  Patience, measuring, and fiddling and double-checking after each advance of the quilt takes extra time but it's totally worth it when I can get the design to stitch out nice and clean like this:

Detail, So Fine Thread in Pearl

Also noteworthy -- there is a fair amount of backtracking in this design, places where the machine has to travel along a previously stitched line of quilting.  That's why I almost always reach for a skinny, matte 50 weight So Fine thread for this design, because the double-stitched areas in the quilting are much less conspicuous in a lightweight blending thread than they would be in a heavier weight thread.  Also, I love how skinny threads have a chameleon ability to take on the colors of the fabrics they are stitched into.  I used So Fine Pearl for this quilt, an off white, but see how the thread seems to suddenly change from white to pink when it crosses onto that fuchsia hexagon on the right side of the photo?  When you step back and view the entire quilt at a distance, that "disappearing thread" characteristic helps to ensure that the piecing design and the fabrics in this quilt remain center stage and the quilting design is playing a supporting role:

77 x 77 Brinton Hall Quilt with Baptist Fan E2E Quilting

OH MY GOSH, I love this quilt SO MUCH!!  I can imagine so many spectacular versions -- using Tula Pink prints in the center of the hexie frames, or the large scale Inked print fabric that has been in my stash for 15 years, or substituting appliquéd blocks inside the frames instead of a large print...  And yes, I also have a number of Asian floral prints in my stash similar to what Nanette used in her gorgeous Brinton Hall quilt.  If only I could fit an additional 30 hours of sewing into every day!  

Here's what Nanette's Brinton Hall quilt top looked like before I quilted it for her.  Truly a masterpiece:

Nanette's Brinton Hall Quilt Top, Before Quilting

In Other News: The Charlotte Quilters Guild is BACK!

Okay, it's not like the guild actually went anywhere -- we were just majorly disrupted and prevented from gathering in person for a few years by the COVID Plague like every other organization on the planet.  Our monthly guild meetings that had been Zoom only during the worst of the pandemic are now in-person/Zoom hybrid, so members have the option of driving to attend meetings in person at the Tyvola Senior Center to visit with friends (and see the show and tell quilts and the guest lecturer's quilts up close!), but those who aren't feeling well, are out of town, or just want to avoid driving at night in the winter months still have the option to join us via Zoom.

My Friend Jean and Me at Sit and Sew, IN PERSON!

I'm really excited that Sit & Sew is back, though, and we're in a much nicer and more convenient, central location than the one we had pre-Pandemic.  We're meeting at the beautiful Southminster Retirement Community at 8919 Park Road, across the street from South Mecklenburg High School just minutes from Southpark or Ballantyne.  

Great Lighting, Comfy Chairs and Lots of Space at Southminster Sit and Sew

Sit & Sew is a totally unstructured event that the Charlotte Quilters Guild hosts on the third Saturday of every month from 10 AM to 3 PM.  There's no business meeting, no workshop or lecture -- you just bring whatever project you are working on and your snacks or bagged lunch, and it's a great opportunity to make some serious progress while visiting with quilting friends, making new friends, seeing what others are working on, and getting help/suggestions/feedback from other quilters if you hit a road block in your project.  There's no obligation to show up right at 10 AM and stay the entire day, either -- some quilters will drift in and out throughout the day or only stay an hour or two as their schedules permit, but others will camp out for the day to really take advantage of the opportunity to sew in community with other quilters, without the distractions they have at home.  The guild provides a couple of irons and ironing boards for the group to use, and Southminster sets the tables up in a big U shape with plenty of room for everyone to spread out and plug in sewing machines, portable lights, rotary cutting mats and whatever else they might need.  I like to bring hand sewing to these events for two reasons: Less to pack up and schlep around with me, but it's also a great opportunity for me to make progress on hand stitching projects that tend to drag on forever (only TWO more of those $#&*%#!! tulips left on my FrankenWhiggish Rose needle turn appliqué blocks now!).  

Carolina Lily Quilt Show is Coming March 3rd & 4th!

However, there's not going to be any Sit & Sew for February because this coming Saturday is Drop Off Day for the Charlotte Quilters Guild's first quilt show since before the pandemic lockdowns.  Woo-hoo!  There will be over 200 quilts in this judged show and we'll have a full vendor hall with sewing machines, fabrics and threads etc.  Even if you're not a quilter yourself, the Boutique at the quilt show will have lots of handmade gift items for sale, and I cannot wait to see what the talented quilters throughout the Charlotte metro area have been busily making over the last three years since our last show.  Mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, March 3rd and 4th.  You can find more information about the quilt show on the guild's web site here.  And, just to whet your appetite, check out the gorgeous ribbon-winning quilts from our last show in 2020 here.  

Questions for YOU!:

  1. Do YOU belong to a quilt guild now, or have you in the past?  Why or why not?
  2. Are you friends with other quilters "in real life" (not just online quilter BFFs like you and me)?  Where do you meet other quilters?
  3. What do you think are the most important features/functions of a quilt guild?

That's it from me for today, folks.  There's a quilt on my frame that isn't quilting itself while I'm typing (NO, I don't run the computerized machine unattended!) and I still have to get my own quilts ready for quilt show dropoff with their labels covered and all of the puppy fur cleaned off with the tape rollers!  I'm linking up today's post with my favorite linky parties, listed on the left sidebar of my blog.  Happy quilting, everyone, and if you're local I hope to see you at our quilt show the first weekend in March!


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

1- in the past I tried the guild two times - disliked it - very business oriented, was made to feel like I was strange because I was about the only one that did hand work and hand quilting, no friendships made outside of guild meetings and was barely friends with anyone while there- I tried is 6 months the first time, tried it 10 years later for about 2 years and gave up - way too many clicks like high school of which I had despised at that time and still did many years later. this was very much like a machine work only club or you were not like them. Also I was the only Catholic out of a lot of Baptist and they let me know in subtle ways I was "different"

2- I am not friends with other quilters in real life although I know a few to exchange pleasantries with.

3- I think the most important thing in a quilt group or any group for that matter is to be welcome to all and not to stick your nose up in the air if your religion is different, your skin color, or your politics

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to say that my experience was much like Karen's. The statement "there are no quilt police" is a lie. They belong to my local guild. In addition to what Karen said, I'd add that there isn't enough emphasis on charitable giving. One difference from Karen is that I have quilting friends in real life. said...

1. I belong to three guilds. I like hearing the guest speakers, attending retreats and other activities that the guilds hold. Since COVID, I've embraced the zoom function and LOVE not spending eight hours attending a two hour meeting! Yes, there are "groups." I prefer to view these folks as catching up with one another so they don't have "time" to fit in a newbie. I've also taken on some committee jobs and held an office so I've had an opportunity to get know people that way.

2. Many of my friends are quilters in real life. I've met them in small groups, at work, at kids' sporting events, at lunch, in the waiting room. . .pretty much everywhere!

3. Fun and open

Love that Briton Hall quilt. It is a WOW!!!

JustGail said...

That's a very pretty hexie quilt. Love the centers that kept those floral fabrics larger.

1. I'm not a guild member. I was working and unable to attend daytime meetings and then too tired from work to attend evening meetings. Then I retired 2 1/2 years ago, covid hit and shut everything down meeting-wise. I still haven't joined any since things started opening back up last summer.
2. No real-life friends that quilt. I occasionally text fabric or pattern bait to my niece. Even so, she lives an hour away do we'd probably not get together that often if she does take up quilting.
3. Keep personal differences out of it, and focus on the quilts. While I'd expect there are established friend groups, I'd hope they wouldn't exclude new-comers simply because they are new. Bring in some good presenters on a variety of subjects - piecing, applique, hand & machine work, history, fabric dating, organizing, etc.

Gale Bulkley said...

That hexie quilt is a beauty.

1. I have JUST joined my first quilt guild, and am excited to get into the swing of things.
2. The only other quilter I knew was my sister. We used to use facetime to sew together and discuss all things quilty.
3. I am with the other commenters - quilty content please. Personally, Im hoping for some charity work to do. And hopefully welcoming group of individuals.

abelian said...

1. I belong to three guilds. Two of them are guilds I moved far away from, but I’d been a long-time member, and still attend their meetings via Zoom. I moved across the country four years ago, and joined a new guild, but Covid, and my age, have kept me from attending most of their evening meetings. I belong to guilds because like the speakers and workshops, and seeing what everyone’s working on. I also like the charitable work they do. In the first guild, I served on the board many times. When I joined the second guild, at the first meeting I attended I noticed that the guild librarian was very busy and working alone. I asked if she needed help, and by the next meeting I was co-librarian, and got to meet many other members. Pitching in to help is the best way to get acquainted. I agree with Terry that the groups aren’t intentionally excluding new people. Perhaps I’ve been lucky, but my guilds don’t have any prejudices about what kind of quilts people should make, OR what kinds of people should quilt. They welcome all techniques and styles, all colors and religions, and never talk politics.
2. Outside of the guilds, having been restricted by Covid for most of my time in my new home, I haven’t made any new friends who are serious quiltmakers. I belong to a neighborhood craft group, whose members do various things including simple quilting, knitting, smocking and such.
3. The most important function of a quilt guild is education; helping its members, and the community, learn more about all aspects of quilting. The second function is charity; making things to donate, or giving financial support to local charities.

Suzanne said...

1. I’ve tried three different quilting guilds. One was extremely concerned with snacks and rules. Oh, and no one noticed me until the 3rd time I showed up. Very nice, wasn’t that? I kept going for several more meetings, but it was not for me. I twice went to a very, very nice quilt guild in the next town over, but their meetings were 3- to 3.5-hours long and in the middle of the day. I just could not make that work on a monthly basis. They were delightful people though! Friendly, informative, involved in two local charities — everything I’d like to join in on! But that time was not manageable for me. I’ve since moved across the country and once went to a nice guild meeting in my new state. They seemed like a great group, but it was ~90 mins away. I went to hear a guest lecture and truck show by a quilter I admire, and they were happy to have my friend and me as guests. Unfortunately, it’s too far to travel for regular meetings. Haven’t found one closer to where I live that seems like a good fit, based on what they’ve posted online.

2. Yes! I know two, one of whom is on the other side of the country (old friend from our old home) and we are still in touch. One is two hours away, so we see each other a few times a year.

3. Friendly friendly friendly! It’s hard to go somewhere new. I want to be greeted, told what to expect, and invited back. The two guilds I’ve liked both did that, and it was lovely. Also — meetings that take 2 hrs or less.

Sandy said...

Gorgeous quilt, gorgeous quilting (as usual!), Rebecca Grace!
1. I moved here just over 20 years ago and immediately joined the local guild and a subsidiary quilt circle (our guild has hundreds of members, so the circles allow for smaller groups with similar interests). I was lucky that "my" circle is friendly and welcomed me, but I also volunteered to do some jobs for them and for the guild, which made membership much more fun and let me meet the others more easily.
2. I used to have some quilter friends, but most have either died or moved away. Many people move here for retirement, but so many of those end up moving back to where their family still remains. Understandable, but sad.
3. Speaking about the "business" aspects of a guild, it helps to remember that those business aspects are necessary in order to keep the guild running. It may be more fun to talk quilting, but finances and 503-whatever status must be maintained, or the guild will falter and fold.

RSLoyd said...

I belong to two guilds, one I attend in person, and the other I now attend via Zoom, as it meets at night. Both guilds host guest speakers and workshops, and have a quilt show every other year which are coordinated so they don’t conflict with each other. I am a self starter and found that by volunteering to help, I’m the Historian for the Chisholm Trail Quilt Guild, I have met more people. I take the photos of the Show ‘n Tell and post them on our web page. I also belong to a Bee through the daytime guild. Both guilds have excellent Outreach programs in support of kids in need. My day guild has an excellent mix of quilting styles and I feel all mediums are honored. I have new quilting friends through the guild!

Gregg said...

So glad I found your blog online and signed up for your email!. Love the hexie quilt though I would never attempt it myself - mainly a FPP quilter. The quilting is beautiful!, As a new Longarm quilter with a Q24, I love that you share your tips about the quilting. I am in Hickory and work at BofA in Uptown Charlotte and hope to attend your show in March. Perhaps I’ll be able to meet you in person!

I belong to 2 guilds and love them both. I joined Hickory’s guild (Catawba Valley Quilters Guild) 8 yrs ago, have been on the board, and now just enjoy the friendly and supportive atmosphere of the meetings. I am a sometimes presenter, sometimes teacher, and quilt show layout designer for the guild. They have a big QOV program and I recently volunteered to quilt QOV quilts to practice QMatic as well as give back to our veterans. I’m also member in a smaller guild in Lexington,VA and love that one too for the same reasons.

I’ve made new friends through the guild but because I work full-time in another city I don’t get to see them outside guild meetings.

I think a high performing and healthy guild builds support and community for quilters, providing us with a ready and interested audience for our art. It can give back to the larger community through volunteer programs (like QOV). Most importantly, it perpetuates the art of quilting and keeps us connected to things handmade in an increasingly manufactured world. I’m a big proponent of guilds as long as they don’t devolve into groups that aim to become only for “the privileged.” Obviously, any guild that embraces a male quilter like myself is the kind of guild we should see more of!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Love that Brinton quilt! What a unique idea--take a large scale print and surround it with EPP--love it! Nanette's version is awesome! Love the Japanese flowers! I don't leave my machine unattended either, but it is in the same room as my laptop and the kitchen, which is handy. I'm just in one quilt guild at this time. But I do have many quilt friends IRL, and I work at a quilt shop, which gives me a good weekly dose of quilt talk!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

The Brinton quilt is so pretty, no wonder you're in love! The choice of Baptist Fan is perfect. Interesting to learn how difficult it can be to get clean lines throughout. Makes me appreciate it even more. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

Chantal said...

Excellent quilting job there! Bravo to Nanette too for this wonderful version of Brinton Hall.
I don't belong to a guild as there's only one close by and they don't accept new members. Whatever! I do belong to a club of artists called St-Trinity Artisanat. We gather once a month to discuss what we can do to help the community. In March, our fundraiser is the Card Game Night. People pay a fee to come and play cards, board games, anything really, with their family or friends. We have lots of door prizes and a lunch at the end of the evening. It's all for fun. Some of the members are quilters, weavers, some knit, or do flower arrangements or paint. I love it. Through this club, I've met a lot of quilters in my region and others too that aren't members in the club. As a matter of fact, I am leaving next week for a four days quilting retreat. I'll meet more quilters there. I'm so excited.
Now that I found this club of artists, I am not interesting in a guild anymore because the club offers more than just quilting stuff. I'm learning how to weave and scrapbooking. It's perfect for me as it feeds my other interests needs. ;^)

Anne-Marie said...

These comments are making me sad. I do agree that there often is a good amount of clique-iness at more established guilds.

I belong to two. One is large and has the cliques and doesn't always seem welcoming, but has speakers and workshops. I found it helpful to volunteer in a leadership position in order to be more accepted. Though middle-aged, I'm quite a bit younger than most members. I have pointed out that we are not very diverse in age or anything else, but most seem content with continuing on as-is. My other guild is much smaller and more diverse age-wise. Both guilds do charity work, which seems important to most of the commenters so far. Most of my friends are quilters.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Wow, lovely quilting here! This quilt is wonderful and your quilting choice is just perfect.
I belong to a kind of guild, a French version, and it's nice, friendly and supportive. It's mainly hand sewing work because the gathering doesn't allow the place and sound for sewing machines.
My quilting friends in real life are not from this guild, and I first met some of them via my blog ;)
Thank you for sharing and linking up today!

Anonymous said...

I too belonged to a small group of 7, one by one they left or moved to another state until there were only four of us. One pretty much set the rules, where we went to eat, which quiltshow or class to attend, which the rest of us didn’t mind, we just wanted to be together. Until Covid hit. The remaining three all ran as fast as they could to get the vax. I chose not too, as God gave us an amazing immune system. And I just “felt” something wrong about the whole situation. Well the bossy one demanded I leave our group,because she no longer felt safe around me.Needless to say I was shocked and in disbelief that a supposed friend could do that to another friend. The sad part tho, was the other two neither agreed or disagreed with her. I figured if they were friends I certainly didn’t need enemies. So I left, I don’t have much use for people anymore, I quilt by myself and at this point I’m ok with it .

Anonymous said...

Last year I left the guild I belonged to. It was a social evening for the ladies. No one was donating charity quilts or taking made up kits to sew for charity. At a board meeting I asked if we could ask that the ladies donate 2 children's quilts a year and was told no, that some people don't have the money.
I now sew for Quilts for Kids at a monthly Saturday sew-along with a group of like minded ladies.

sherry carrigan said...

Beautiful quilting, as always, Rebecca.

I do not belong to a guild for a lot of the very reasons pointed out above. I've reached out to the CQG on several occasions and was ignored. I tried to donate to the guild, approx. $9K of quality cotton fabric after my mother passed and it was refused. These actions pretty much put a bad taste in my mouth for that particular group.

I do have many quilty friends in which I spend quality time and the bonus for me is getting to see my quilty customers with their beautiful creations.