Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Blankets for Babies

Back in November Kate, the Stanford NICU nurse in charge of the quilt project, came and spoke to us about her Blankets for Babies project. This is the name of the project under the umbrella of which we donate quilts to the NICU at Stanford. She was able to dispel many of the myths that have been perpetuated about this project. Your editor got the impression that the whole group was more fired up about making charity quilts for Stanford after she spoke.

Kate is a self taught quiltmaker. She started about 15 years ago when she bought her first machine. She started Blankets for Babies around the same time.

She told us about the services the NICU provides, which was very helpful as many members do not have experience of the NICU.

The babies come to the NICU and stay for 1 day to 6 months and longer because of infections, birth trauma or because they are premature. She follows the NICU babies through their entire hospitalization. The NICU is frightening sterile environment. The blankets and quilts enrich this stressful, sterile place. The quilts:
  • can be the first gift the baby receives
  • can help soften the technology and help families overlook it
  • bring families comfort, love and warmth
  • act as a beacon for families - they are drawn to the quilts
  • cover Isolettes to block out the light and act to dampen sound
Generally, each baby gets more than one quilt because they grow out of them. Parents are often thrilled to receive such a gift. Families are very proud of  the quilts they receive. Kate never has enough and values and hoards them.

The whole department gets excited when a new batch of quilts arrive. They are excited to see the new colors and patterns. If they were to receive a load of 100 quilts on Sunday, all the quilts would be gone on Tuesday. They get a lot of quilts at Christmas and summer months are lean.

Suggestions when making NICU quilts:
  • 30 inches - 45 inches max
  • quilts should be super soft - avoid scratchy fabrics*
  • stay away from religious themes (Christmas quilts are not always appropriate)
  • stay away from political themes
  • try to be culturally sensitive - e.g. no cows (Indian), no pigs (Jewish)
  • quilts should be light and fluffy
  • quilt should be cheerful
  • No buttons or embellishments
  • quilts do not have to be pastels, but stay away from all beige/depressing fabrics
  • prewash all fabrics (Nota bene: Karen washes all quilts before she takes them to Stanford! Thanks, Karen!)
  • Check for pins!!!
  • OK to label quilts. In fact she likes it as families often ask who whom they can show gratitude

 Thanks to Karen M. for setting up this lecture. Go make some quilts!!!





*they take knitted and crocheted blankets/afghans as well, but find that some yarns can be scratchy as well.

Monday, February 13, 2017

February Meeting Minutes

Thanks to Rhonda for taking notes and to Catherine for acting as backup.

Gerre - News from our President
President Gerre started off the meeting with a question to the audience:
What is your favorite time to sew?
Answers were varied, informative, and entertaining as always.

Next, Gerre gave a special "thank you" to all the members who did voluteer work for the quild last year, and to those who have accepted volunteer positions for this year.  Each volunteer received a custom vinyl pouch, made by Gerre, and a beautiful Volunteer Merit Hexie to put in it.  Thanks, Gerre!  Tip:  When sewing with vinyl, do not prewash the vinyl. Use parchment paper when pressing to avoid mishaps.

Gerre asked for volunteers who would like to do a "trunk show" of their quilts at a meeting later in the year.  If you would like to do this, see Gerre.  We would love to see your work, past and present.

We will also be doing segments call "Meet your Neighbors" where guest members will be interviewed so we can learn more about our fellow quilters.  If there is someone in the guild that you would like to know more about, submit their name to Gerre, and submit questions as well.

The March meeting of our guild will be held on Saturday March 18, from 1pm to 5pm, at Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto.  3149 Waverly Street, Palo Alto CA 94306

Next we heard from all the various coordinators regarding guild activities.

Karen - Color My Quilt group activity
Last month, Karen gave out an inspiration photo for her color pallete and people brought back "chunks" in that pallette.  (A "chunk" is like a block, but can be more random and any size).
During the break, Karen laid out all the chunks she received and the outcome was a very impressive assortment of different shapes and sizes in her pallette.  Karen has a lot to work with.
Next up:  Cheryl gave out an inspiration photo and fabric swatches for her pallette.  
More info:  http://bamodernquiltguild.ning.com/forum/topics/color-my-world-new-group-activity


Cheryl - Swap Coordinator
Cheryl is planning to have three swaps this year, including the ever-popular Holiday Swap at the end of the year.

Our first swap is a UFO swap.  Bring in an UnFinished Object that you do not intend to finish. Wrap it up in a pretty, enticing way so that someone will adopt it. The adopter will take it home and make it their own.  (You will not be getting it back!).  If you leave a UFO, take a UFO to finish.  Bring in your UFO at the March meeting.  Bring back a finished project at the May meeting.  For full details, see the Forum discussion.

More info on the forum

Peggy and Michelle B - Charity Coordinators
Charity Sew Day was held on Saturday Feb 4 at Grace Lutheran Church.
There were more than 20 sewists in attendance and they made 31 quilt tops!  Many of the quilts were finished, too.

The next charity project will benefit veterans at the Palo Alto Veteran's hospital.  Veterans are very much on our minds with Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day coming up.  Ideas for veteran projects:  things that are bright and cozy, bags to hang on walkers, wheelchair quilts, throws or twin sized quilts. 

Be sure to stop by the Charity table at every meeting to pick up projects to work on.  You can work on any aspect of a quilt -- blocks, quilting, binding, or all three.  See the charity committee for more details.

Angela - Cat Bed Coordinator
Angela is looking for volunteers to drop off finished cat beds at a shelter or rescue group.  You will receive a special Cat Bed Merit Hexie when you complete this activity! Angela demonstrated that a cat bed should be filled no more than two thirds full.  And she went over the do's (small scraps of fabric, thread, batting) and dont's (paper, trash, clothing, long strips) of stuffing cat beds.  "When in doubt, leave it out!"

Bonnie - Retreat Committee Chair
There will be a retreat this year, probably near the end of September.  Stay tuned!

Claire - Challenge Coordinator
Claire did an interesting and informative talk on our theme for the year, "Scrap Attack".  She announced our first challenge:  Create a quilt, 18 x 24 or larger using scraps or fabric from your stash.  Your design should use colors and pattern that please you, and use primarily rectangles and squares.  The challenge quilt is due at the April meeting.  Claire recommends a book called "Patchwork City" by Elizabeth Hartman for ideas and inspiration.  After her presentation, we sorted scraps by hue and had an opportunity to grab scraps to take home and use in the challenge.  Thanks, Claire!


Quilty Happenings

Victoria Findlay Wolfe has put out a call for quilts of a political nature.  See more information on threadsofresistance.blogspot.com

QuiltCon East in Savannah Georgia is happening, Feb 23-26, 2017.  See www.quiltconeast.com or follow along at #quiltcon2017 or #quiltconeast on IG.

San Francisco Quilters Guild, quilt show, March 24-25, 2017.  See http://www.sfquiltersguild.org

Santa Clara Valley Quilters Association, quilt show, April 1-2, 2017.  See  http://scvqaquiltshow.org/

Black Squirrel - A new fabric and yarn shop in Berkeley.  See http://www.blacksquirrelfabric.com/

MQG - Registration is now open for Modern Quilt Masters for MQG members. Members check your email for the registration link and the discount code.

San Mateo County Fair - Quilt competition rules are now available. Remember that if you enter something into the show (and pay a minimal entry fee), you get free tickets to the fair and free parking!  It's a great deal, and so much fun to see your quilt hanging in a real show for the public.  Fair Dates:  Saturday June 10 through Sunday June 18, 2017. Let's fill that hall with great stuff!


Of course, we ended the meeting with Show and Tell and sewcializing.  You had to be there!  See you next time!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Meeting tomorrow!

BAMers! We look forward to seeing you tomorrow, Saturday February 11, 2017, for our second monthly guild meeting of the year! Join us at 1:00, at the Redwood City Library, in the upstairs community room.

Reminder about our BAM Merit Hexies challenge! Participation is the key to winning your hexies!

We will be announcing our first SWAP of the Year.

The first Color My Quilt challenge is due. The use of Text Fabric Challenge is due.

Things to bring:
  • Color my Quilt piece
  • Text fabric challenge project/piece
  • Scraps for the Challenge Coordinators' new challenge
  • Show and Tell - this is a great way to get to know people
  • Your name tag 
  • Charity blocks and quilts 
  • Small Group projects (and ideas for new Small Groups!) 
  • Information about local/national quilty happenings 
  • Non-messy snacks 
  • Sewing projects for after the meeting 
Check out the last meeting's minutes.

If you have any questions or want a space on the agenda, please leave a comment, or contact an officer before the meeting.

Members can visit the BA Modern forum.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

vol·un·teer


vol·un·teer
ˌvälənˈtir/
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.
    synonyms:subjectparticipantcasepatient;
    informalguinea pig
    "each volunteer was tested three times"
verb
  1. 1.
    freely offer to do something.

    "he volunteered for the job"


Gift bag for outgoing VP Gerre, made by Kelly. Photo by Gerre Davis.


According to the Corporation for National and Community Services, volunteering provides health benefits in addition to social ones.

“Perhaps the first and biggest benefit people get from volunteering is the satisfaction of incorporating service into their lives and making a difference in their community and country.

The intangible benefits alone—such as pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment—are worthwhile reasons to serve. In addition, when we share our time and talents we:
• Solve Problems
• Strengthen Communities
• Improve Lives
• Connect to Others
• Transform Our Own Lives”


Research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer (full report here: https://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/07_0506_hbr.pdf).

In BAMaQG, we know the importance of volunteering to support our guild! Whether it’s chairing the BAM meetings as President, heading up the Charity Committee in making quilts for the NICU and wheelchair bound seniors, or piecing those 2.5 inch squares, we appreciate and need you!


Charity quilts sewn in the Cobalt Room, 2016 retreat. Photo by Anna Lapid.


Volunteering can have other benefits as well. For example, BAM members recently showed their appreciation of 2016 guild officers by making and then filling up some very nice goody bags (if I do say so myself).


Gift bag for outgoing VP Lynette, by Jaime. Photo by Lynette Bartel.

BAMaQG is run ENTIRELY by volunteers! volunteering is fun, improves your health, and can have additional benefits like free candy and fabric! Sign up to assist in any way you can and help make out guild a better place for everyone!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Charity Sew Day Success

The Charity Sew Day was a great success.

First, we had a great turn out. The Charity Girls counted 21 people there. Of course, people were in constant motion and came and went so there could have been a few more.

We finished 31 tops,which was everything the Charity Girls had prepared for the group to work on. WOW!! Several of those tops were quilted and one was completely finished. This is a great start to surpassing last year's total. Some people brought tops they had worked on at home, so those will be offered for finishing and added to the total. 

Michelle will bring 13 tops to the meeting on Saturday for people to take home and quilt.

Great work, everyone! Keep it up.

Monday, February 6, 2017

February Meeting Saturday

We look forward to seeing you Saturday February 11, 2017, for our second monthly guild meeting of the year! Join us at 1:00, at the Redwood City Library, in the upstairs community room.

Reminder about our BAM Merit Hexies challenge! Participation is the key to winning your hexies!

We will be announcing our first SWAP of the Year.

The first Color My Quilt challenge is due. The use of Text Fabric Challenge is due.

Things to bring:
  • Color my Quilt piece
  • Text fabric challenge project/piece
  • Show and Tell - this is a great way to get to know people
  • Your name tag 
  • Charity blocks and quilts 
  • Small Group projects (and ideas for new Small Groups!) 
  • Information about local/national quilty happenings 
  • Non-messy snacks 
  • Sewing projects for after the meeting 
Check out the last meeting's minutes.

If you have any questions or want a space on the agenda, please leave a comment, or contact an officer before the meeting.

Members can visit the BA Modern forum.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Charity Sew Day Tomorrow

The next Charity Sew Day is on tomorrow, Saturday February 4 from 10-4, at Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto.

Grace Lutheran Church
3149 Waverley St
Palo Alto, CA 94306

As you know, the guild was the recipient of a large amount of modern fabric last Fall. This fabric was designated for our charity efforts. At tomorrow's Charity Sew Day we will be making NICU quilts from the fat quarters that were part of the donation. We will be working with a line of florals and two Riley Blake fabrics: Fly Aweigh,* a nautical line, and Oh Boy, which is all about transportation.  The latter two will make great boy quilts.

There are 64 fat quarters and we have fabric to make 32 NICU tops.  Each top should take about half an hour to complete.

Peggy spotted a quilt on the Quiltmaker site quilt, which will make a great and easy donation quilt. It is a variation on a Rail Fence. Michelle changed the size of the pieces to use up as much of the fat quarters as possible.

We have a few mats, rulers, and cutters, but bring your own favorite tools so we have enough to accommodate everyone.
 
Things to bring (in general):
  • Your name tag
  • Charity blocks and quilts 
  • Non-messy snacks
  • Sewing gear (machine, mats, irons, etc) 
Thanks to Michelle and Peggy for chairing Charity again and working hard to set up this Charity Sew Day and to Mary C for securing the place.








*The Fly Aweigh link above provides a free quilt pattern project sheet.