2007 - 2008 Events Archive

Welcome to the archives of Empire Quilters. All guild members are welcomed — and encouraged — to contribute to this page. We all have different experiences at guild activities, and we'd love to hear from you. Send information (and pictures!) to be included here to info@empirequilters.net.

For information on upcoming guild events, see the Calendar Page, and to see the projects that members shared at meetings, visit to the Show & Tell page.

June 2008

Our final meeting of the 2007–2008 season took place on June 7, 2008. The day got off to a festive start with a Members' Flea Market. There were piles of fabric, books, hand made children's clothing and toys, jewelry, bags of all shapes and sizes and more! Both sellers and buyers had a great time.

Speaker Leora Raikin took us to South Africa with her fascinating talk about African Folklore Embroidery. We loved the colors and themes of the decorative embroidery. Several members won some beautiful hand dyed thread by answering questions about Africa. Leora talked about the traditions of the Ndebele tribal traditions and customs. It was a great program! Leora brought along many of her kits, and members were able to go home with projects.

For more information about Leora Raikin, and her company African Folklore Embroidery, visit her website: www.aflembroidery.com.

The business portion of our meeting covered the following topics:

Paula Cruz was the lucky winner of some bright Flag Day Star Blocks of the Month (pictured left).

The Show & Tell session at the meeting was wonderfully varied. We saw movie stars, fans, flowers, Christmas trees, mudcloth, baby quilts, batiks, hats, bags, pinwheels, cyclones, masks, jackets with attitude, scrap quilts, cats… it was great! Be sure to take a look.

Karen Griska's Quilter of the Month presentation was beautiful. We admired her crazy quilts and embellished pieces, and her personal take on some traditional patterns. We also got to see the quilt that appears on the cover of her new book Quilts from the Selvage Edge. We were able to purchase copies of Karen's book at the meeting (Thanks, Karen!). See Karen's Quilter of the Month page for more information.

Several people turned in Charity Quilts at the meeting. You can veiw many of the quilts turned in over the year on the Charity Quilts page. We hope people will spend some time over the summer doing some work to help the charities that the guild supports. Bring those items to the September 13, 2008 meeting.

On Sunday June 8, 2008 several people spent the day learning African Folklore Embroidery with Leora Raikin.

Guild activities continued this month with a bus trip to the Vermont Quilt Festival. Here is a report of that (very successful!) trip, thanks to our on-the-scene reporter Sylvia Hughes:

About thirty of us left early in the morning of Saturday, June 28, 2008 on the way to our over night trip to the Vermont Quilt Festival. Empire Quilters members were joined by friends and a very special guest, Shirley Lodington. Shirley is a quilt maker from Melbourne Australia who was vacationing in the States with her husband and kids. She heard about our trip and went along with us before joining her family in Washington, DC on Sunday night.

It was a long trip, but there were enough empty seats that we could move around. Our efficient tour leader Aleeda Crawley, brought along quilt books and magazines to borrow and Shirley brought Australian magazines for us to see. She actually donated one of the books to our Library and gave each member on the trip a needle holder made with Australian fabric. We each gave Shirley a fat quarter.

When we arrived at our hotel, our rooms were not ready so we just went right on to the Quilt Festival. It's their 32nd annual show, actually the oldest and largest quilt event in New England. There were about 250 quilts exhibited and over 220 invitationals including antique quilts, teacher's showcase quilts, and what I enjoyed the most a retrospective of Ann Bird's work, a Canadian who has been quilting for 40 years. Her work included many beautiful six- or eight-pointed stars. Of course there were vendors, and the day was full. Kitty Squire, Anna Krassy and I had dinner with Shirley, choosing to eat at Friendly's so we were able to plan dessert first.

After breakfast on Sunday, we got on the bus and headed for the Shelburne Museum where we spent the rest of the day. Among the many exhibits at the Shelburne (the grounds include 29 buildings, of which 20 are historic), were many magnificent 19th century American quilts and a small but incredible contemporary quilt exhibit, Quilts in Bloom: A Bouquet of Textile Art — that included a Velda Newman piece. Kitty and I also loved the Mary Cassatt exhibition and saw some wonderful European and American Dolls. What was best was that everyone on the trip was able to zero in on whatever part of the Shelburne interested them. So soon we were on our way to New York, in time for Shirley to catch her train at Penn Station. By the way, I have Shirley's email address, if anyone wants to keep in touch with her. And even if you weren't on the trip, Shirley is always looking for new chocolate chip cookie recipes.

Finally thanks Aleeda for making these trips possible.

Sylvia Hughes

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May 2008

Barbara BarberBarbara Barber was the featured speaker at our monthly guild meeting which took place on May 10, 2008. Barbara is internationally known for her machine skills and workmanship, and has the distinction of being named “One of the 30 Most Distinguished Quilt Artists of the World.” Barbara produces quilts with thousands of perfect flowers and points, and life-like animals — all requiring thousands of pieces of fabric. Although she has received numerous awards and accolades, Barbara graciously and generously shares her ideas, tips, techniques and how-to's with quilters all over the world. In addition to breathtaking quilts, Barbara has created several videos and books to share her secrets with other quilters.

Barbara Barber and her quilt CatsAt our meeting Barbara spoke about how she creates her stunning pieces — each one filled with incredible details. We were privileged to be able to see her famous Cats quilt in person and hear how it came together. Barbara's approach and her techniques for both appliquéing and quilting are unique. If some of her ideas sound a bit unorthodox — "starch, starch, starch" and "bind before finishing" for example — any doubts you have about those ideas will be completely erased once you look closely at her work. "It's perfect!" was heard more than once during the meeting.

Barbara BarberYou can learn from Barbara via one of her many workshops, or by watching her videos including Really Sharp Piecing, Completely Quilted: A step-by-step guide to machine quilting, Really Quick Quilts and Picture This. Her books include Foolproof Curves and Flower Power. And she has designed a series of foundation piecing patterns based on her Foolproof Curves book.

We are so glad she visited New York — her 49th state! — and we hope she will return soon.

For more information about Barbara Barber, her quilts, videos, books and family pets, visit her website: www.barbarabarberbritishquilts.com.

The business portion of our guild meeting covered the following topics:

We had several focus groups happening today, and many members took advantage of the opportunity to learn a new skill, or improve on a skill that was a bit rusty. Anna Foss worked with a group on the topic of Embellishments and Ligaya Siachongco worked with a large group on the topic of Embroidery. Below are a few pictures of the embroidery focus group hard at work.

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Veronique Milliez was the lucky winner of this month's Block of the Month. She took home several beautiful May Flower blocks. A sampling of the blocks received is pictured here.

You don't want to miss this month's Show & Tell pictures. We had an incredible variety of items shown this month — including a whole group showing the results of a focus group given by Janet Randolph.

Sandra Samaniego's Quilter of the Month presentation was fascinating! Sandra is adventurous, creative, and uses all sorts of "found" items in her work. If you ever get into a creative slump, visit Sandra's page. Her pieces are lively, thought-provoking, fun and sometimes serious.

We had a surprise special event at the meeting — an auction of 76 ties! We should encourage more people to clear out their closets, because not only did we have a great time and raise some nice money for the guild, but one person went home with a great collection of ties (or quilting fabric?). Below you can see guild member Emily Klainberg as auctioneer, Joanne Downes (whose husband is now without 76 ties), and hiding behind the ties are helpers Shirley Clark and Jennifer Bigelow.

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Once again our Service Committee Table was busy collecting and distributing quilts for the various charities that our guild supports. Watch the 2007–2008 Charity Quilts page for new additions each month, and please keep bringing in those quilts.

Barbara Barber Aloha! blocksOn Sunday, May 11, 2008 a day-long workshop was held with Barbara Barber, the featured speaker at our May monthly guild meeting. This multi-technique class encompassed several aspects of machine work. Workshop participants learned how to manipulate a circle in many different ways — all fun and ingenious.

Participants also learned a whole new approach to appliqué that guarantees smooth curves in simple shapes. The appliqué is simple but effective and can be done before quilting or later using the “appli-quilt” technique. Sewn in any color scheme it's lots of fun because it somehow feels like a bit of a cheat but it's not — you are simply creating a really fun quilt in super quick time!

For more information about Barbara Barber, her quilts, videos, books and family pets, visit her website: www.barbarabarberbritishquilts.com.

The month got off to a beautiful start on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum where the public was invited to the formal introduction of the Dyckman Quilt Reproduction made by Empire Quilters guild members. Visitors were also able to get a view of the historic quilt that members replaced. Over 100 visitors stopped by to talk and look at the sample block appliquéd by Diane Rode Schneck and quilted by Mary Butler — with a corner left unquilted to demonstrate how a quilt is assembled.

The early morning weather was cold and clammy so the quilters stayed in the front parlor until the sun broke out at noon when they moved to the porch and sat in the sun to quilt and chat. In addition to the quilting demonstrations, there was an exhibition of other old quilts in the Dyckman collection, and, for children, quilt story telling and making some quilt patterns with paper. The Farmhouse is the last remaining Dutch colonial style farmhouse in Manhattan and a treasure to enjoy.

The guild has been asked to return to the museum for Uptown Treasures Day next fall, October 19, 2008. Our delightful partnership with this beautiful museum is becoming a treasured tradition!

For more information about the museum, visit their website: www.dyckmanfarmhouse.org.




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April 2008

Our April 12, 2008 guild meeting day was packed with fun and learning. The day started with two popular focus groups. One was led by Anna Faustino (pictured left) and the topic was making mask quilts. Anna once again made the experience fun and easy, as well as very informative. We always learn something new and interesting from Anna!

Several focus group attendees were able to take home terrific creations made in just one morning. Sandra Samaniego (pictured below) is one of those lucky focus group participants.

And in another part of the meeting space, Janet Randolph (pictured right) was busy showing a large group how to make a baby quilt / bag. Janet's incredibly clever technique drew lots of attention and isn't limited to baby blankets. Some members were busy making bags that they could take to the beach!

Watch for some of these finished bags to appear at future Show & Tells.

We hope that both of these focus groups will be presented again at future meetings.

The (busy!) business portion of our guild meeting covered the following items:

Sharon PedersonIt was finally time for our anxiously-awaited speaker's presentation. Sharon Pederson is the author of Reversible Quilts: Two at a Time — which has been re-printed six times! — More Reversible Quilts, and Color for the Terrified Quilter which she co-authored with Ionne McCauley. Sharon's book Sensational Sashiko: Japanese Applique and Quilting by Machine was released in late 2005. Included in the 96 page book are instructions on how to choose machine friendly sashiko patterns, draw them the size you want, transfer the image to your fabric, and using your sewing machine with heavy weight thread, stitch out the designs easily and efficiently.

We were delighted and fortunate to hear Sharon talk about her work and to see examples from several of these books — as well as her yet-to-be-released newest work.

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Sharon was very encouraging to those of us who aren't sure if (or how!) something can be done on a machine. Sharon's motto is "If you can do it by hand, you can do it by machine!" All it takes is the right thread, the right needle, pens, stencils and designs.

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For more information about Sharon Pederson, her books and teaching, visit her website: www.sharonquilts.com. And if you ever get a chance to hear her speak — you won't want to miss it! Sharon is always welcome at Empire Quilters and we hope she'll return!

Immediately following Sharon's talk it was time to draw the winning ticket for our colorful 2008 Big Apple Raffle Quilt. Congratulations to Debra Levin (on the right in this picture) for winning the colorful quilt. You can still see a big Picture of the Quilt and pictures of all of the Individual Blocks.

Congratulations and thank you to all the guild members who participated in the creation of this very colorful and memorable quilt, and to all who sold tickets.





And that wasn't the end of the day's exciting activities! One of our very own guild celebrities — the busy Anna Faustino — graciously brought copies of her newly published book Simply Stunning Woven Quilts for us to purchase. Many of us took advantage of this opportunity to be one of the first people to purchase her book and to have it autographed by the author. If you missed the meeting, be sure to read about Anna's book on her website: www.newtechquilts.com. This book is a must-have for every quilter's library.



Many people were interested in the April Block of the Month and the room was brightened up by so many colorful Basket for your May Flowers. Marian Webber was the lucky winner of the fun blocks. Congratulations, Marian! The pattern is still available on the Block of the Month page if you want to make your own. Here are just a few of the many color blocks that were collected.

The Show & Tell portion of the meeting was filled with beautiful creations! There were BIG quilts and memory quilts, and tote bags, and embroidery samplers and jackets and more! Be sure to view the pictures.

Diane Harris (pictured left) was our Quilter of the Month. Diane's presentation simply sparkled! She isn't afraid to "step it up a notch" and she favors colorful, sparkly fabric. She believes that quilting should be fun and that attitude shows in her work. Her pieces are light and innovative and gave all of us a jolt to our creativity.

A very special treat was a visit by former guild president Sylvia Zeveloff. Sylvia hasn't been able to attend recent meetings due to some health issues, and it was great to welcome her back to our meeting day festivities.

The Service Corner was busy accepting quilts from members for the various charities that we support. One of the many quilts collected is pictured here. As the quilts come in we add their pictures to our ever-growing 2007–2008 Charity Quilts page. Take a look! You'll get some ideas that will inspire you to contriubute.

Our other normal meeting day activities were also busy centers of activities. Many people went home with great prizes from the Monthly Raffle, and there were many great quilting magazines for sale at the Library table. Our Vendor of the Month was Linda Miller — one of our own guild members who was selling some amazing fabric from Japan! And of course, if you didn't have enough fabric (who does?) the monthly Scrap / Share table was overflowing with bargains.


The day wrapped up with yet another fascinating focus group led by Sandra Naval. Sandra's ongoing group is learning to make faces. Sandra is yet another one of our guild's treasures. She showed some amazing approaches to creating facial expressions an illustrated how even the background can elicit a happy mood, or a contemplative mood.

Some of the comments at the group included: "Look at that!" "What a great idea!" Group participants are experimenting with different backgrounds and face colors using solids and textures and prints. Sandra is showing how to use fused fabrics and embroidery, top stitching, ribbons, beads and any type of embellishment you can think of to attach to the face.


Sashiko Sampler, by Sharon PedersonOn Sunday, April 13, 2008 several lucky participants took a full-day workshop with Sharon Pederson. They were able to spend the whole day learning the Machine Sashiko Technique that Sharon spoke about at our monthly guild meeting. We're hoping to see more Sashiko techniques showing up in the guild Show & Tell.

For more information about Sharon Pederson, her books and teaching, visit her website: www.sharonquilts.com.


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March 2008

Our March 8, 2008 meeting was our annual Charity Work Day. And yes, we were making quilts, even though some of us thought it would be more appropriate to build an Ark — it rained and rained and rained!

We did not have a standard guild business meeting, but we did make close to 100 quilts during the day. Be sure to view the pictures of the Finished Quilts and our Members at Work.

Many many people participated in this incredibly successful day. Our service committee Chair Denise Walsh is truly amazing, and we hope everyone will be sure to thank her and her equally terrific committee members. Denise is calm, extremely capable, and dedicated, and she has an abundance of good humor. Her concerns for those in need and her leadership contributed greatly to the success of the day. The day ran smoothly and everyone had a great time. The City Quilter once again donated batting for the day, and we are grateful for their continued support of our important activities. And of course the day would not have been possible without the many people who participated by working or by donating fabric. So thank you to all of you.

Some of our members gave up their Charity Work Day activities to attend the Quilters' Guild of Brooklyn Quilt Show, where our guild's 2008 Big Apple Raffle Quilt was on display (the quilt is pictured here). The Brooklyn guild did a wonderful job with their show, and we congratulate them on their success. We're already looking forward to their next show!

We're grateful to the Brooklyn Guild for their kind invitation to display our quilt and sell raffle tickets, and also for their warm welcome and generous hospitality. We sold many raffle tickets! Thank you to Raffle Quilt Sales Chair Larry Gifford and to Anna Foss, Pat Yamin and Aleeda Crawley for their help selling tickets at the show.




This very busy month started with a bus trip to the Quilt Fest of New Jersey. A lucky group braved the snow to attend this annual trek to see many quilts and vendors. We'll try to get a more thorough report from a trip attendee, so stay tuned …


February 2008

Pat Yamin was the featured speaker at our February 9, 2008 guild meeting. Pat was a founding member of Empire Quilters and she was our very first speaker many years ago. Pat's knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, energy and extensive quilt collection have all continued to increase over the years. Her quilt business is still growing, and she has authored several books. What a delight to welcome her back to our guild meeting.

Pat's lecture (more of an incredible feast for our eyes!) was focused on One-Patch Scrap Quilts. Her book of the same name was recently published, and many members took advantage of Pat's presence to purchase a signed copy. Pat showed — in vivid color! — how so many of the classic quilt patterns are still as attractive and creative as ever. They don't "get old." We saw squares, and triangles, and pentagons, and hexagons, and ice cream cones, and spinning stars, and many more! These mathematical wonders are still fascinating and beautiful.


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We saw examples from her wonderful collection of antique quilts and quilt tops, as well as updated quilts using the very same patterns. We all went home inspired to look again at our stash of scraps. We now have plenty of ideas of ways to use them.

For more information about Pat Yamin, her quilting products and books, visit her website: www.comequiltwithme.com Pat will be back with the guild at the May 10, 2008 guild meeting as our vendor of the month. She will be selling her templates and other terrific supplies at that meeting. So if you weren't able to purchase her book this month, you'll have another opportunity in March.

The business portion of our guild meeting covered the following items:

At the end of the business meeting an impromptu auction was held to distribute some work-in-progress projects that had been donated to the guild. Two lucky members went home with some terrific projects, and the guild's treasury was increased, too!

Nancy Rabatin with EsmeraldaWe had a great Show & Tell session this month. Don't miss all the wonderful pieces. And Nancy Rabatin (pictured here with her peddler doll Esmeralda) was our very fun Quilter of the Month. In addition to some of her quilts, Nancy showed a portion of her fabulous collection of hand-made dolls. "Adorable" just doesn't do them justice. We are so fortunate to have so many talented members who are willing to share their work, their ideas and their tips. Thank you to Nancy, and to all the members who participated in this month's Show & Tell.

And there were several other events happening at the meeting. The guild Library was busy selling magazines, the Vendor of the Month Prints Charming kept busy selling their wares, and the monthly raffle held everyone's attention due to the terrific prizes purchased by raffle chairman Nancy Castel. Nancy is shown here with guild president Jennifer Bigelow as they call the winning numbers. This month we had twenty lucky winners.

The Service Committee was also busy accepting, labeling and distributing the quilts that were turned in this month thanks to our many generous and hard-working guild members. Here are just a few of the quilts that were received:

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Once again last — but not least! — the scrap table frenzy happend at the end of the day. This is the time and place to purchase fabric that has been donated by members and friends of the guild. We are always delighted to see the scraps (or maybe "valuable leftovers" is a better phrase) turned into quilts that are finished up on our annual Charity Work Day.

On Sunday February 10, 2008 Pat Yamin gave a day-long workshop on Quilter's Fan, one of the projects in her new book One Patch Scrap Quilts. Thank you, Pat! Part of the happy group is pictured here, and we're looking forward to seeing more results from the workshop at upcoming guild meetings.



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January 2008

Mark Lipinski was the featured speaker at our January 12, 2008 guild meeting. Mark is talented, funny, creative, energetic, enthusiastic, instructive and inspirational. What a great way to start 2008! Perhaps some pictures of Mark in action are better than words:

Mark Lipinski is the creator and founder of Quilters Home Magazine (www.QuiltersHomeMag.com), a fabric designer, and much more! Visit Mark's website for more information: www.MarkLipinski.com

Our day was already in full swing prior to Mark's presentation. Many members showed up bright and early for Anna Faustino's focus group about painting on fabric. Anna is a terrific teacher, and she had the group busy painting flowers and butterflies — just the thing for a bleak January day.


And across the room, the Charity Quilt focus group was concentrating on various ways to finish up a quilt.

We had a quick business meeting because we were all anxious to see the mountain of quilts that our speaker had piled at the front of the room. Highlights of the business covered include:

Other announcements and events included:

We had some beautiful snowflakes turned in for the Block of the Month!


At the end of the day several members participated in an Face Studies focus group led by Sandra Naval. Sandra showed many inspiring examples, and gave tips on how to get started. The attendees went home with the assignment to start their own project and bring it to the February focus group.

Our raffles were a big success — thanks to Chair Nancy Castel and her efforts on upgrading our raffle prizes — and the scrap tables were as busy as ever at the end of the day.

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December 2007

The December 8, 2007 guild meeting was packed with festive events! We had an auction with wonderful items for purchase, a fish-bowl where you could draw for a chance at a prize, a 50/50 raffle, and an overflowing goodies table to keep us happy during the activities.

Throughout the day people were busy finishing their Christmas stockings and stuffing toys for our holiday service project. We are pleased with the participation in the Service portion of the meeting. See the Christmas Service Project page for a report — complete with pictures of many of the beautiful items collected.

The auction was kept lively by guild president Jennifer Bigelow and her able assistants Barbara Feinstein, Joanne Downes, and Jane Rosenthal. The items auctioned included quilts, broadway show tickets, sewing notions, quilting software, quilt blocks, scarves, jackets, quilt kits and lots of fabric.


Nancy Spatafora (pictured above, left, with president Jennifer Bigelow) was the lucky winner of the 50/50 raffle. Congratulations, Nancy!

Here's a report from Larry Gifford, chairman of our guild Ways and Means Committee:

As you all know the December meeting was our annual fund raiser day. This was done in conjunction with a charity event. Both parts of the day were a tremendous success. I really did not forget the wonderful food brought by many of the members. These all made for a festive holiday celebration. This all means we helped others, made some money and ate well. What could be better? I want to thank the many members who donated to the auction and raffles and those who provided the food. We had a number of donations fro our vendors including, The City Quilter, The Quilt Basket, The Quilters Alley, The Quilt Shop, Batik Tambal, Woodstock Quilters Supply, Cultured Expressions, and Jigglestitch ( formerly Quilt Essentials ). The members and others donating various items were Betty Chen, Anna Foss, Jennifer Bigelow, Nancy Issacs, Jane Broaddus, Nancy Rabatin, Kitty Squire, Nancy Castell, Janet Randolph, Larry Gifford, Barbara Hull, Mary Butler, the producers of the "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee", Deborah Levin, Pam Wexler, and Anna Faustino.

Thanks to all of you who brought the overwhelming quantity of things to go with the large number of stockings and bears for our homeless and street citizens who need all we can give.

Larry Gifford
Chairman, Ways and Means Committee

During one of the breaks from spending money, we had a beautiful Show & Tell presentation. 

And we also were able to pick up raffle tickets for the 2008 Big Apple Raffle quilt.


On Sunday, December 9, 2007, Anna Faustino conducted one of her (always popular and exciting!) workshops. She taught her special curvy weaving methog to a group of eager quilters. We're looking forward to seeing the results at a future Show & Tell.

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November 2007

Everyone who found the November 10, 2007 meeting location deserves a golden needle treasure hunter award! First we told everyone to enter on 28th Street, but at that entrance there was a sign saying "go to 27th street and follow the signs." The hunt was worth the effort, because we had a great meeting in the Great Hall at FIT!

The day began with three busy and popular focus groups. Topics included embellishments, vests, and how to make a charity quilt. The Charity quilt focus group is pictured here (right).




By the time the main meeting started, the room was completely full, and we all agreed that we loved the big open space.






We had a lot to cover in our business meeting:

We had some beautiful quilts turned in this month to go to the various charities that the guild supports. A few are pictured here. And that's Jane Rosenthal with an armload of adorable stuffed bears.


Then it was time for the presentation from our featured speaker Marilyn Belford. Marilyn is one of the foremost experts in portrait quilts, and in her informative presentation she walked us through the steps she takes to make her fabulous quilts. She gave us tips on choosing appropriate photographs, using computer editing software, getting the image onto the fabric, the appliqué process and the final thread painting. Whew! We were all captivated.

Marilyn encouraged us to try out different computer editing programs to see which one(s) suit our individual tastes and needs. (Marilyn uses Corel programs). Some of her favorite tools and ingredients include Steam-A-Seam 2, 60wt cotton thread, and she prefers to use all cotton fabrics in her work. She makes her portraits close to life-size, and has multiple photo references available while working on her pieces. We heard lots of computer terminology — scanning, sharpening, smoothing edges, posterizing — and Marilyn made it all sound less intimidating than it sometimes can.

And — yes! — we saw many finished quilts! We saw several quilts from Marilyn's Biblical Series, her Artist Revisited Series and her family portraits. We all came away with much more know-how and confidence to try our own portrait quilts.

To learn more about Marilyn Belford and to order her wonderful book Portraits for Fabric Lovers: Mastering the Technique of Realism visit her website: www.marilynbelford.com

Following a break to stretch our legs, visit the Library, and to shop at the vendor booth, the meeting activities continued. We were given a lovely collection of gifts by our vendor of the month Fiber Notion (www.fibernotion.com) to auction off to raise some money for continued guild activities. A big THANK YOU to Fiber Notion! And guild member Betty Chen donated two adorable stuffed animals made from socks to auction. A few people went home with some great gifts. Thank you, Betty!

This month's Block of the Month (left) had several participants. Arlaine Furcht was the lucky winner of the blocks.

The Show & Tell segment of the meeting featured embellished sweatshirts, jackets, small quilts, large quilts, texture studies, knitted quilts, circles, squares and fish in trees! Don't miss a visit to the Show & Tell page.

Jane BroaddusJane Broaddus (right) was our featured Quilter of the Month — and what beautiful work! Jane started quilting using the English Paper Piecing method, and it took her years before she tried anything else. Jane is one of the most creative and adventurous quilters you'll meet, and she is also one of the guild's treasured volunteers. Together with Ligaya Siachongco Jane has organized guild challenges of postcard quilts, pin cushions, and fabric pins. Jane sits at the membership table and helps welcome people to our meetings and she is equally active in several other groups.

Following Jane's terrific presentation, it was time for the monthly raffles (always a fun time!) and the monthly dash to the scrap table.

The day came to a close with a popular focus group led by Betty Chen on English Paper Piecing. Betty's 2007 show quilt Hexagons or Diamonds received the Best Miniature and Viewers Choice awards, and and we're grateful that Betty shared tips and secrets on how to use this technique.


On Sunday, November 11, 2007 a group of lucky participants spent the day with Marilyn Belford learning more about her Portrait Quilts techniques. We hope we'll see more portraits in future Show & Tell segments of the guild meetings.

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October 2007

Our busy October started with quilting demonstrations on Saturday, October 6, 2007 at the American Folk Art Museum. This annual event was part of the museum's Quilt Weekend, and was once again a wonderful opportunity to showcase our beautiful art form. It was also a perfect occasion to meet fellow quilters and soon-to-be fellow quilters. Empire Quilters members were on hand finishing up the 2008 Big Apple Quilt and working on various quilt projects.

Several other quilting guilds also participated in the event, making it a great time to connect with fellow quilters from all over the greater New York City area. Thank you to all who participated. If you missed this fun day, mark your calendars for next year. The quilting weekends at the American Folk Art Museum are usually the first weekend in October. We'll post the exact dates on the guild calendar when they are announced. For more information about the American Folk Art Museum, see their website: www.folkartmuseum.org

Joan ShayThe highlight of the October 13, 2007 meeting was a fast-paced and colorful presentation by Appli-bond© developer and expert Joan Shay. We saw lilies, and cardinals, and wisteria, and lilacs, and roses, and daisies, and flamingos, and goldfinch, and — well, it was great to see so many of Joan's 3D pieces in 3D!

Joan shared her background with us, and described how she came to develop her Appli-bond© technique. We even got to see some of her early quilts. She is quite a dynamo. Joan answered our questions about fabric, needles, and how to use Heat-n-Bond.

You can browse Joan's extensive catalog of patterns, kits and books at her website: www.petalplay.com

The day following our main guild meeting, Joan gave a full-day workshop to a group of lucky attendees. They learned and practiced Joan's techniques while making a Monet's Water Lily quilt.

Earlier in the day the focus was on embellishments. We had two well-attended focus groups on the topic of embellishment led by Anna Foss and Constance Phillips. We're looking forward to seeing some of the results of these groups at upcoming meeting Show & Tell segments.

Our Library held a popular a book sale — we're certain many people found great bargains to help inspire them on their next projects.

We covered a number of important items in our business meeting. Here's just a list of the highlights:



Our Charity Committee has been busy collecting and distributing quilts this month. They are also preparing for our upcoming December meeting's special effort of making toys and stockings for children's holidays. Here's a sampling of the quilts turned in this month — keep working on those charity projects!


Quilters of the Month Emily Klainberg and Barbara Feinstein showed a terrific selection of their quilts. It was fascinating to see how they each interpreted the same patterns in various ways. Don't miss their Quilters of the Month page.

The meeting's Show & Tell portion was once again a complete palette of inspiration! Twelve quilters showed nineteen different pieces.

our 2008 Big Apple Raffle Quilt organizer Lee Ebs presented a beautiful apple block that was a bit too special to find it's way into the quilt. It was a hand painted apple on silk that was truly luminous! That block was auctioned off and is certain to find its way into a very special project.

A special event of the meeting was a Pin Challenge and Exchange organized by Jane Broaddus and Ligaya Siachongco. Every member who brought in a hand made fabric pin went home with a different pin. The pins were all great. One of the many pins is pictured here, but be sure to take a look at ››All of the Pins

Toward the end of the meeting, we had a wonderful raffle — many people went home with some lovely gifts. Thank you to the raffle committee, those of you who donated items, and all of you who purchased tickets! This is such a fun way to help support the ongoing activities of the guild!

Our vendor this month Batik Tambal (www.batiktambal.com) did a brisk business throughout the day. They have and amazing supply of beautiful fabrics! We're grateful to them for their donation that was auctioned off at the meeting. That auction was ably handled by guild president Jennifer Bigelow and Emily Klainberg.

And last (but never least!) was the traditional race to the scrap/share table. It's the place to find that one (or more!) pieces you've bee searching for.

On Sunday, October 21, 2007 the group of members who have been working on the recreation of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum quilt gathered at the museum in northern Manhattan to continue their work on the quilt. This exciting project will soon be completed and the guild is extremely proud of the efforts put in by all the members who contributed so much time and work.


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September 2007

Welcome back, everyone! Our first meeting of the season took place on September 8, 2007 at F.I.T. — and as usual there were many activities all going at top speed. Everyone was happy to be back among Empire Quilters friends and colleagues.

We had two focus groups happening in the morning. Anna Foss held the first of a series of focus group meetings on T-Shirt embellishments. Anna demonstrated ways to decorate, embellish and camouflage — while advancing our quilting and sewing skills to create a garment ready for a quilt show or meeting. And Constance Phillips was busy working with a group making vests. Group members who signed up at the June 2007 meeting started their projects over the summer. We can't wait to see results from both of these focus groups!

Meanwhile on the other side of the 8th floor at F.I.T. the Members' Flea Market was in full swing. The room was lined with tables piled high with bargains galore! There was fabric (of course!), and books, and magazines, and hand-made treasures. What a perfect way to start the new season — a true clean-out and make some extra money at the same time.


At 1:00 it was time for the guild business meeting. President Jennifer Bigelow welcomed everyone back and introduced several people who shared news for the guild:

Aleeda Crawley — our efficient trip planner reported that the trip committee is thinking about several possible trips for the upcoming season:

Members were asked to sign up for their preference — not commit to going, but to give the committee some idea of what kinds of trips are of interest.

There are definite plans in the making for a return trip to the Lowell Quilt Festival (festival dates: August 7–10, 2008). This year's outing was a great success, and next year's quilt festival promises to be bigger and better with more quilts and more vendors. The trip will again be an overnight trip, and will include a stop at Keepsake Quilting.

If you have preferences, or suggestions, let Aleeda know — she would love to hear from you. You can reach Aleeda via email: acquiltsy@yahoo.com.

Denise Walsh-Horowitz showed some of the quilts that were collected today for charity. We need more! Please allocate some of your quilting time to creating quilts for the charities we support. The need is so great, and there is nothing like a handmade quilt to express care and provide warmth. If you need information on sizes, or need some suggestions for simple patterns, visit the Service page of our website. You'll find great information there to help get you started.


Paula Kenney gave us an update about plans for our next guild quilt show — which is tentatively scheduled for March 2009. We don't have specific dates yet, but we hope to have dates by early in 2008. Our rental costs are going up (what isn't going up these days!?) so the guild is planning to hold an interim raffle quilt fund raiser in the spring of 2008. We will be raffling our new (colorful!) Big Apple Quilt. The quilt contains blocks made by many members of the guild. The quilt is a true two-sided quilt. There are apples everywhere! The block pictured here is the center of the front (prior to quilting). We'll be posting more pictures after the quilt is finished.

If all goes according to plan, the quilt will be quilted by the October meeting, and we should have raffle tickets and postcards available for members by the November meeting. Stay tuned for more news on this exciting topic…

Members were asked to complete a questionnaire about their interest in helping out at the next quilt show. The show committee is actively seeking chairpersons for several committees, and they also want to get some idea of members' preferences of duties. If you weren't at the meeting, you can still voice your preferences by completing the questionnaire and mailing it in to the guild address:

›› Volunteer Questionnaire (PDF format) ‹‹

Mary Butler spoke about the progress of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Quilt. Mary and a group of dedicated workers have been appliquéing and quilting the blocks. The group met after the guild meeting to discuss the next steps. The quilt is really coming together! The museum is participating in the Uptown Treasures Celebration on October 21, 2007 and the plan is to have the quilt there that day.

For our new members, here's a short summary of the project: The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum's quilt was too old and fragile to display to the public, so the museum requested that Empire Quilters help them re-produce the quilt, and we were happy to assist. Below is a picture of a block from the old quilt, and a sample block for the new quilt-in-progress.


To learn more about the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, visit their website: www.dyckmanfarmhouse.org or — better yet! — visit the museum, which is located on Broadway at 204th Street in Manhattan. It is a true gem of a museum.

Jo Coon was our guest speaker for the day. What marvelous work! Jo has two mottos: Dream and Do and Whatever you do, don't take the joy out of quilting. Her work simply sparkles with creativity and joy. We couldn't figure out how she accomplishes so much, but we're glad she does. Jo talked about the history of Jacobean appliqué. She confided that one of the reasons she likes it so much is that it is filled with fanciful, fictitious flowers. There's no one to tell her that she doesn't have the right number of petals on the flowers, or that the leaves "aren't right." She can let her creativity and desires dictate what she portrays.

We were all captivated by this talented and gracious quilter. She showed many pieces — each one more exquisite than the last.

Jo has designed many quilt patterns that are available to the public, so those of us who aren't quite as imaginative (or as good with a pencil!) can create some of Jo's beautiful pieces. Those patterns, along with more information about Jo, are available on Jo's website: www.potpourripieces.com

After Jo Coon's presentation, the visual feast continued with an amazing Show & Tell display. Our guild members were busy quilting this summer, and it was wonderful that so many of them shared their work with the group. We welcomed our new Show & Tell hostesses: Carole Hoffman and Claire Leffel (pictured here). They kept things moving, so we could see so many items. If you missed the meeting, be sure to view the works that were shown. They can be found on the September 2007 Show & Tell page. And there was even more! …

Janet Randolph (left) was our Quilter of the Month. Janet is one of the true treasures of our guild. She has conducted countless focus groups, and many of us learned our favorite quilting techniques from Janet. Janet has always contributed stunning hand-made items for our guild auctions and boutiques. She even had a table at today's Flea Market! We are grateful to Janet for bringing in so many samples of her work to share with us. Be sure to visit Janet's Quilter of the Month page.

Then it was on to our meeting raffle which was organized by our new raffle chair Nancy Castel. Twenty lucky members went home with beautifully packaged surprise gifts. As always, we thank our members for supplying the gifts and for purchasing the tickets. (What a generous group we have!)

The Scrap/Share table was open for business at the close of the meeting, and the Flea Market activities continued until everyone was exhausted (or broke).

The next day (Sunday, September 9, 2007), a group gathered for a day-long workshop led by our guest speaker Jo Coon. We're anxious to see the results from that workshop!


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August 2007

The guild doesn't hold regular meetings in July or August, but the quilting activities don't stop! This month there was an overnight trip to New England. Here's a report from Jane Rosenthal, one of the lucky trip participants:

At the crack of dawn on Friday August 3rd, a little over 40 of us set out on an adventure to Lowell, Massachusetts. The drive went quickly with the help of donuts and coffee. Our first stop was the Quilting Arts Magazine headquarters and store. We were greeted by the Editor-in- Chief of the Magazine, Patricia Chatham Bolton, who held a free raffle for prizes of their latest calendar and other cool gifts. The quilts that were the finalists for the calendar were on display and there was plenty of lemonade served by Patricia’s nieces and nephews.


Our next stop was the Keepsake Quilting store in Center Harbor, New Hampshire. Several of the shoppers felt overwhelmed by the amazing selection at the store, but everyone found the strength to buy fabric and supplies. It is truly an amazing store with friendly staff.

After the excitement of the Keepsake store, we needed rest. So we made it to the Radisson Inn just a few miles away from Lowell. We all got some rest and early on Saturday morning headed off to the Lowell Quilt Show. Lowell is a very quaint old town and it was a pleasure to visit the Quilt Museum and the Quilt Show. I found the journal quilts at the show of particular interest. They were wonderfully intricate and detailed. Artist’s stories accompanied the journal quilts, which added to the experience. And of course, there were amazing entries that were colorful and beautifully stitched. I felt so inspired that I couldn’t wait to head home and set to work! There was also a very large area of venders at a hotel in Lowell, so anything that wasn’t found at Keepsake was surely at the vender’s area.


An amazing trip led by our fearless leader Aleeda Crawley. I can’t wait to go again next year!

— Jane Rosenthal

Another special guild activity took place on Saturday, August 25, 2007 when a group of enthusiastic quilters got together on a hot day to assemble the top of the guild's next raffle quilt. What a wonderful harvest of apple blocks!

A big thank you to the following members who participated throughout the day: Jennifer Bigelow, Mary Butler, Tamra Chin, Lee Ebs, Paula Kenney, Ellen Knudsen, Debra Levin, Nancy Rabatin, Kitty Squire and Rossanna Wells. Special thanks to our special guest helper Jimmy Wells.


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