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FEBRUARY 2013 Quilts N’ Stuff

The Newsletter of the Helena Quilters Guild

P.O. Box 429    Helena, Montana 59624


Next meeting: February 14, 2013

Helena Quilters Guild meetings and events, unless otherwise stated, are held at the Life Covenant Church at 800 North Hoback. Entry is through the front door of the church. Guild meetings are on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the upstairs Sunday school area.

Seamers and Dreamers is an open cluster that meets upstairs at the Life Covenant Church on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, from 10:30 to 4:00. Everyone is invited to attend. Work on your own projects, be they hand or machine projects or use Guild material to work on “Quilts for Comfort”.

Hospitality: *February treats** (includes set up & clean up)* *February greeters:*
  • Donna Bateman
  • Rabecca Lindal
  • Patty Hoksberger
  • Marie Haywood
*March treats (includes set up & clean up)* *March greeters:*
  • Tamara Rosenleaf
  • Marie Haywood
  • Kathy Gessaman
  • Cindy Steinmetz


I would like to apologize for the quality of the January Newsletter and the many typos and spelling errors.

As many of you know, I had spinal surgery in December. I am feeling good, but it left me with pain in my right arm and sharp pins & needles feeling in my right hand. During that month I was only allowed to work a few minutes each day on at the computer. Not to mention I was on some really good drugs, so I didn’t even notice the silly mistakes I had made.

Recovery is very slow. At four weeks after surgery they give you exercises to do. I get to do 4 shoulder shrugs, and 4 head tilts four times a day. Sounds soooo simple, but I am totally exhausted afterward! I tried to sew three 36" seams and then next day my shoulders felt like I had quilted a king sized quilt! It is frustrating to have so much time on your hands and no hands, lol!

On the up side, because I can’t type fast with one hand, I learned that my computer has voice recognition and had time to do the tutorials. That has been fun. In the beginning, as the computer was learning my voice, it was even quite humorous. I emailed, my daughter Charla in Bozeman, and the computer wrote, “Hi Char Law.” Then I said, “It is starting to snow here.” The computer wrote, “It is starting to smell here.”

My arm is getting stronger and I am off my pain meds now, so hopefully the newsletter will improve this month. Sorry again, and thanks for your understanding.
-Andrea Atwood


January was quick response phone calling to inform members the January Meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather and slippery roads.
- Respectfully Submitted by Nancy Gillespie


A quilter’s husband was helping her pin the layers of her quilt in preparation for quilting. After awhile, she looked over and said, "You haven't gotten very much pinned." His reply was, "I've been spending all my time straightening these safety pins!" Priceless! Got a great joke, share it in the newsletter!


We will be meeting on Saturday February 9th from 10 to 3 at the Life Covenant Church Room 204. Diane Haun will give a talk on the Alzheimer Art Quilt Initiative. As always this is open sew time. You can bring whatever you want to work on and come and stay for whatever works for your schedule. I do collect $2 donation for the church for use of the room. If you have any questions, contact Kerri at KMyles3434@aol.com or call 439-2165. See you the 9th.
- Kerri Myles Dates: March 9, April 13, No meeting in May


Guild members! This is YOUR newsletter. It is a GREAT way to share, communicate, request help, exchange ideas, entertain, inform, and enhance your guild! I would love to see more members use this great resource to help inform members of dates and events, classes and quilt shows, to teach each other and to keep us all informed of what is happening in your lives. I know each of you has information, knowledge and even humor to share. I hear great stories and antidotes at Seamers and Dreamers all the time. Please help me make this newsletter enjoyable and the absolute best it can be, by submitting articles, stories, tips or anything helpful or interesting to our members. It is your newsletter. Let’s make it more than just a few reports.

Please do not be intimidated by the printed page. If you feel uncomfortable with your writing skills, just submit your article and I will grammar & spell check it for you. If you require help writing up any information, call me and tell me the information and I would be glad to write the article for you.

Please help me turn this newsletter into something everyone really looks forward to getting each month.

If you can’t get the information to me by 4th Monday of the month, it can be put into the next month’s newsletter. If you email me, please put HQG (Helena Quilt Guild) in the subject area, because for safety sake, I do not open just any emails. Please send e-mails to: andrea@atwoodarts.com OR mail info to 4230 Wolverine, Helena, MT 59602 Or call me at 443-4907 -Andrea Atwood


Mark your calendars for the Mini Retreats held at Studio A on Friday, Saturday and Sunday: Studio A is a space Andrea Atwood created for quilting classes and retreats. It is located in the basement of Atwood Accounting Services on 110 E. Lyndale (two doors west of the Sewing Palace and one block east of The Donut Hole).

Studio A has a kitchen/break-room for meals, bathroom, coat room and large classroom for sewing. The classroom is equipped with large sturdy desks, comfortable adjustable computer chairs, great lighting, surge protectors, large ironing table with new iron, large cutting table, 2 large design walls, and plenty of parking in the front. The only thing you need to bring is your sewing machine, project, rulers/cutters and treats. Studio A can accommodate up to 8 quilters.

The cost is just $5.00 per person per day, and it is opened from 9:00 to 9:00 Monday-Saturday and 10:00 to 5:00 on Sunday. Please call 442-1947 (studio) or 443-4907 (home), or email me at andrea@atwoodarts.com to reserve your spot at the retreat. Studio A is also available to rent, for your own event or gathering of friends any day of the week.
-Andrea Atwood


Diana Simkins is having Judy's Beauties Retreat in Deer Lodge and there are still a couple of openings. It will be Feb 7-10. Bring any Judy Niemeyer project, any stage of completion and sew, eat, and laugh for 4 days and 3 nights. Contact Paulette Miller at 406-544-2040.
- Diana Simkins


I hope we have nicer weather for the February meeting than we had in January. If not I will call for a separate quilt show meeting. The raffle quilt is finished and just waiting for a label. Diana and Rene’ Simkins have graciously agreed to be our featured quilters.

I still have a few chair positions left to fill. Please volunteer or grab a friend and volunteer to co-chair one of the committees. We will be meeting at 6:00 (or as soon as someone with a key shows up to unlock the door) at the church before the regular meeting. If available we'll meet in one of the class rooms across the hall from our regular guild meeting room. Hope to see everyone there!

*Change in plans-- I’ve decided to take advantage of the nice weather and the fact that the next guild meeting is Valentine’s Day and have a Quilt Show Planning Meeting before the 14th.  It will be this Tuesday, Feb 5th at 5:30 in the Creative Stitches classroom, 3710 N. Montana. I’d love to hear your ideas so please come share your thoughts.  If you would like to bring your dinner, feel free to do so.  This meeting will replace the meeting that was planned for 6:00 on the 14th. Hope to see you there!   Thanks, Diane

The committees that still need chairs are: Currently the following positions have been filled by these wonderful, awesome and kind volunteers: Thanks, -Diane Haun


I thought I would go over how the Boutique works at the Quilt Show since we have a lot of new members who may not know about it. It is basically a store set up at the Quilt Show for Guild members to sell their quilt related items.

You must be a Guild Member to sell your items at the Boutique. You also must be a Guild Member to sell your quilts at the Show. If you sell a quilt at the Show, it is dealt with through the Boutique. The fee for selling through the Boutique is 10% of the gross sales price. If you would like to sell anything through the Boutique you will need to sign up for an account prior to the Quilt Show. Items for sale are dropped off on Friday during Show set up. You can sell any items as long as they are quilt related.

Quilt related items may also be donated to the Guild to be sold to raise funds for the Guild. Example: Some members donate their old Quilt magazines. So start sorting through your quilt stuff and think about turning it into cash to go buy more quilt stuff. Isn’t that how it works? If you have any questions or to sign up for a Boutique account contacts are Kerri Myles (KMyles3434@aol.com or 439-2165) and Bryl Newman(quiltlady@skidmore.org) as we are the Boutique Co-Chairs.
- Kerri Myles


The weather…… After the November meeting, I remember thinking that I should have cancelled the meeting because it was dangerous driving. So in January on Guild day, I couldn’t believe it when the weather went from bad to worse. I called Jill Larson to see if there was a protocol for canceling meetings due to weather (or whatever). She couldn’t remember a meeting ever being cancelled. So, we need to come up with a process for notifying members when meetings need to be cancelled—an agenda item for February’s meeting. Thanks to Juanita, Nancy and Andrea and others who called members letting them know the meeting had been cancelled.

The Quilt Show is fast approaching. Diane Haun is organizing and getting things done, but she still needs to fill some chair positions as you can see from her article in this Newsletter. The show is a lot of work. I think it has always been successful because of the great Guild members. So please, sign up to help….. Diane told me that several folks have expressed interest in helping but haven’t signed up as of yet. So, please let her know ASAP.

The next item is the Annual Retreat. It is such fun. Patty always does such a great job. We need to discuss the retreat protocol as well (speaking of protocols). There are questions/concerns related to music and television, irons, etc. These items will be on the agenda. We need input so please be thinking about questions, concerns and solutions!! See you in February…..
-Char Maharg


JoAnne Moore has made many kitty pillows cases (which she will have available at the Guild meeting) free for you to take. Please fill them with batting and fabric scraps, sew them shut and then take them to the Humane Society.

Thanks go out to JoAnne Moore and Connie Forbs, who went on a Guild straightening closet spree and found HQG cloth labels to be used on your Quilts for Comfort. These will also be available at the Guild meeting for you to pick up to attach to any Quilts for Comfort you create.

JoAnne and Connie also found in the closet two rotary cutters: one is a Fiskars colored orange and gray; the other is blue and black with manufacturer's trademark worn off. Also found was a tan and brown floral fabric bag which was in the "Bag Lady Exchange." The bag is labeled "Two and Seven Eighths." There were 10 Guild members that created blocks which were in the bag. Those members where: Rene, Char, Carolyn, Diana Simkins, Jill, Joyce, Linda Peterson, Loretta, Nancy Gillespie. There were two blanks not filled out - so these two someones owe the "Two and Seven Eighths" bag lady exchange a block and one of the someones should have received this bag in the last exchange drawing. It will be available to be picked up at the Guild meeting.
-Juanita Padden


We are all indebted to Juanita Padden for starting our website. Thank you so much for all your classes and study hours and the hundreds of computer hours it took to build the site.

Juanita sat next to Cheryl, in the U of M website course. Juanita claims that she wouldn't have been able to build the Guild website in the first place, without Cheryl’s kind assistance. We have all benefited from Cheryl’s help. Now Juanita’s webmaster friend, Cheryl Bryant, has volunteered to taking over the Guild website job.

Cheryl, is not a quilter, but does oil paintings, knits proficiently, builds websites, and has several other non-profit websites that she addresses. Cheryl owns at least five horses and belongs to the Helena Trail Riders.

She's added a link for the newsletter and will be adding the newsletter every month after it has flown to members, so Cheryl can take out anything to do with our budget. Cheryl will up date our website Quilt Show information. If anyone has any website information, please send them to Juanita or Andrea, and together we’ll help her with the updates. Cheryl has also put the new Quilt Show Application Form, Claim Form, and Membership Form on the Guild website.

Juanita was happy to launch the website, and now turn it over to Cheryl’s capable hands. Cheryl will continue to make it a great website. Many thanks go out to both of you!
-Andrea Atwood


Juanita Padden will share her knowledge of the history and highlights of the Helena Quilters Guild at the next meeting.
-Loreen Smith


A Request for Recycling: I was given one of those lovely Sulky thread holding cases. I put all my tall thin Sulky threads in it, but the fat King Tut types of spools won’t fit in it. So I wound a few of those on to some empty thin tall spools I had, but I could need some more. If you have any empty tall thin (about 3" tall and 1" wide at the top) spools (any brand) that your are going to toss, I would love to recycle them. I would also like to recycle cutting mats, they can be old, beat up, and even slightly warped. Please bring them to the guild meeting or call me for pick up.

Is anyone else in need of anything that others may have and no longer want? Place your requests in our classified newsletter ads by email or by calling me at work - 442-1947 and I would be happy to help place the add. Thanks so much.
-Andrea Atwood


Use a garden kneeling pad when arranging blocks or layering backing, batting, and quilt top on a floor. It's more comfortable for your knees.

Use plastic folders to make patterns for English Paper Piecing. Instead of making piles of patterns out of card stock, you only need to make a few of these and use them over and over again. Trace the pattern, cut it out, and punch a hole in the center. Then fold the fabric over the plastic template, and take a stitch at each corner. To remove the template, insert an orange stick or small dowel into the hole, and pull up until the plastic piece comes loose.

To make a template, such as a hexagon, easier to trace, cut the hexagon out of a square of template plastic. Use the negative “hole” to trace the hex shape on to fabric. It's easier to trace inside the shape than around the outside.

For hand piecing, to accurately judge a ¼" seam, place a piece of art tape along the edge of the piece and stitch along the tape.

If you have more sewing hints and tips share, please send an email to Andrea@AtwoodArts.com or by calling me at work - 442-1947 so I can put them in the newsletter.
-Andrea Atwood

AAQI Guild Challenge

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) is the brain child of quilter Ami Simms. Ami’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and AAQI was her response to the sorrow and frustration to the disease. Since 2006 AAQI has raised over $883,000 for research, from more than 13,000 donated quilts. I would like to challenge all guild members to make a quilt to send to AAQI to help them meet their $1,000,000 goal. This will be the last year for their fund-raising.

I would like to display the quilts at the quilt show, possibly generating additional cash donations thru voting for your favorite AAQI donation quilt. You can find out more about AAQI at their website: www.alzquilts.org.

I will act as the guild’s contact (a.k.a. Goddess) with AAQI. Each donator will need to fill out a form for their donation available here: http://www.alzquilts.org/register.html

Saturday, February 9th, during Kerri’s Scrappy Saturday I will be working on my donation quilt and going over the preferred hanging method for the quilts so please join us and make a quilt to donate. What better use for those scraps!
-Diane Haun

Go to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt form.

THANK YOU! -Diane Haun


Kathleen Ely is attending the Billings Quilt Show on March 6 - 9th, and would like to invite two others to join her on the trip. She has accommodations at to stay at her mother’s home as well. The Billings Quilt show will have many classes with National Teachers such as Jan Krantz. She plans to leave Wednesday and return on Saturday. If you are interested, please call Kathleen at 449-2115.


Our newsletter is a great place to inform others about new concerns. Because many of us have dogs or other animals, I would like to share some information I got at a class at Apex Animal Hospital, on how to get your dog out of traps. It was very nice of Dr. Lucas Thomi to host this.

The traps were far worse than I imagined. It was a hands on class, so we were encouraged to try releasing the traps, I never dreamed that leg holds are the easy ones. Very frightening!! Snares and conibears are lethal and often you only have seconds to get your dog out before they suffocate. I found out last week that they are trapping at the Helena Ridge Trailhead by our home in Grizzly Gulch!!! I always assumed it was in remote areas. Wrong!! Traps have to be 50 feet off the trail - period!! Fifty feet is nothing when the traps are baited!!

I'm going to get involved with Footloose Montana, an organization that is working to get a no trapping on public lands initiative on the ballot. If you are interested, please go to www.footloosemontana.org. Their brochure is downloadable. It's home base is in Missoula. I spoke with the director, Filip, a very nice, sharp guy. His dog was killed in a conibear trap. They are I desperate need of volunteers and contributors so that they can educate the public. He told me that there is no season for trapping non fur bearing animals such as coyotes, foxes, raccoons and many more that could be considered a nuisance. AND traps can be used all year and they can be placed ON trails - no 50 feet set back required for those!!! I'm going to try to spread the word as much as I can by talking to people. Every person counts in a situation like this.
- Ann Lauer

Great Websites:

To find great EASY recipes and have more time to sew, go to: http://allrecipes.com

To get free quilt patterns, go to: http://www.fonsandporter.com/free_designs.html

Know of any great websites? Please email them to Andrea@AtwoodArts.com
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