Issue 2: The Joyful and Merry Quilting Newsletter

Jun 07, 2024

Your go-to source for quilting camaraderie, tips, and insights, as well as upcoming Joyful and Merry Quilting events and courses!


1. Patchwork Puzzlers!

How much quilting trivia do you know? Today's questions are on famous quilters. I hope you'll search out the stories of those amazing artists mentioned. Answers at the end of the newsletter!

1. Which famous quilter is often referred to as the "Mother of African American Quilting"?

a) Bisa Butler
b) Rosie Lee Tompkins
c) Laura Wheeler Waring
d) Harriet Powers 

2. Who is known for her pioneering work in the art quilt movement and for founding the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA)?

a) Yvonne Porcella
b) Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry
c) Faith Ringgold
d) Laura Wheeler

3. Who is known for her meticulous and extensive research on quilt patterns, cataloging and documenting their historical significance and tracing their origins and variations throughout history?

a) Georgia Bonsteel
b) Barbara Brackman
c) Mary Ellen Hopkins
d) Alex Anderson

4. Who was an American quilter, teacher, lecturer, and author who championed a style of quilting called “Liberated Quiltmaking”, where modern quilt makers were encouraged to break away from commercial quilt patterns and learn to design their own unique pieces of art?

a) Nancy Crow
b) Gudrun Erla
c) Gwen Marston
d) Faith Ringgold

5. What internationally recognized and award winning artist, author, and teacher did NOT begin quilting until she was 60 years old and is known best for her sense of humor and use of color. She is famous for her phrase: “Red is neutral!”

a) Nancy Crow
b) Freddie Moran
c) Victoria Findlay Wolfe
d) Brigitte Giblin

: Merry Moment

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some online Zoom time with Katy, also known to us as the Greenland Quilter. In our conversation, I discovered that Katy is not only a talented quilter but also a passionate gardener, a skilled crocheter, a devoted wife and mother, and someone who is committed to sharing her quilting world with others!

As we talked about our shared love for quilting, it became evident that we had many other quilting-related commonalities. We both love our Janome sewing machines, we share a fondness for batik fabrics, we enjoy the camaraderie of sewing with friends, we find fascination in the art of hand sewing, and we also find immense satisfaction and peace from the creative process of quilt making.

During our exchange, Katy invited me to share my favorite quote. Although I have many quotes that I loved, this is one of my favorites, as quoted from the words of Sophia Loren:

"There IS a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."

This quote resonates deeply with me, as I firmly believe that quilting possesses the remarkable ability to tap into this youthful fountain of vitality and creativity.

It brings boundless joy, therapeutic benefits, skills, knowledge, and soulful fulfillment into our lives.

Through quilting and the connections forged with fellow enthusiasts like Katy, I continue to find solace, inspiration, and endless reasons to celebrate the beauty this amazing art form brings into my life! 

…I’m always trying to be joyful, but I will always be Mary!

3: Quilting Secrets, Fixes and Tips

A question often posed by quilters is about pressing seams – do we press open or to one side? From my research I have discovered that there really isn’t a right or wrong answer.

Pressing can truly make a significant difference in the overall appearance of the quilt block.

First of all, when pressing seams, spray the fabric with a pressing solution (Terial Magic, Mary Ellen’s Best Press, Magic Premium Quilting and Crafting Spray, etc) BEFORE cutting any pieces.

When piecing a quilt block, use a hot iron (I use the linen setting) and apply firm but gentle pressure to ensure that the seams lie flat and smooth.

Now, the dilemma – should we press the seams open or press them to one side? Pressing seams open can help distribute the fabric evenly which also helps to keep points sharp, while preventing distortion.

On the other hand, pressing seams to the side can provide stability and strength to the quilt block. This method will also help with the nesting of seams for perfect intersections.

Ultimately, experimenting with different pressing techniques will help you to find what works best for you and your quilting project.

4: Product Picks

Have you ever finished a quilt – I mean COMPLETELY finished it – I mean pieced, quilted, and bound it…AND THEN…you discovered a lone thread that frayed off a seam allowance and is trapped right under the quilt top, in plain view?!

If this lone thread is under a light or white background, it almost gives the appearance of a line created by a permanent marker, and it’s not pretty. How do we get it out??? I have tried using a pin to pull it out (doesn’t work) and shmushing (that’s a term to describe shoving + moving + pushing) it with my fingers as I try to work it over to the side of the block where it won’t show (also doesn’t work), and finally simply giving up.

Well, there’s a tool for that issue! It’s called the “Soft Touch Thread Pick." CLICK HERE for the link to the video demo!


5: Merry Musings Mailbag

This section of our newsletter is a comment to a YouTube video made by one of our subscribers. When asked for ideas when it comes to a simple “go to” project, @marinaabad4995 shared this great tip:

“I have an elderly friend in an assisted living facility who has about 80% of the residents using walker/wheelchair/mobility scooters. I make walker/wheelchair "aprons" to hang ontheir mobility devices with pockets to hold or carry things. I like to see my handiwork when I visit my friend.”

6: Ask the Quilter

This section of our newsletter is dedicated to the questions asked by our subscribers.  If you have any additional positive suggestions to add to the conversation, please comment!  We’d love to have your insight.

Question: Ironing and starching is a must! I love Best Press! However, I’ve become accustomed to a stiffer homemade starch blend I use with my Jr and Sr high school sewing students. Yes, I make them iron and starch, then measure twice - cut once.

We can’t afford the Best Press for them, but they don’t seem to mind the inexpensive home blend. Plus being a little stiffer might make it better for these younger novices. So far so good! Glad you begin with this one, it is essential.

My Response: That's a great tip! Thanks for sharing. I became acquainted with "Terial Magic" I bought it by the gallon on Amazon for $53.56 and you dilute it - equal parts Terial Magic and water. It is too stiff full strength but is PERFECT at half strength. That really cuts the price down as well, if you're interested in giving it a try.

Thanks for watching!

And the Response to My Response: All these years and I have not heard of it before! Thank you for the tip!!! That is WAY more affordable and less work on my part. I am going to give it a try this summer with my enrichment quilting students. I’ll bet we have plenty left over for the fall semester, too! Awesome!

: Night Owl and Daytime Quilting Hangouts

Changes for May Night Owl Quilting and Daytime Quilting due to the Memorial Day Holiday.

Night Owl Quilting Schedule: 
Monday, May 20 at 10pmCDT
Monday, June 10 at 10pmCDT
Monday, June 24 at 10pmCDT

Daytime Quilting Schedule: 

You can watch yesterday's Daytime Quilting recording HERE
Wednesday, June 5 at 11amCDT
Wednesday, June 19 at 11amCDT


8: Joyful and Merry Community Quilt Guild Corner

The Joyful and Merry Community Quilt Guild will open registration again soon - stay tuned! Here's what we're working on...


As you know, all live Zoom meetings will always be recorded in case you miss them. As soon as they're available (it may take a day or two), links to the recordings will be posted on the guild Resource Page under START HERE (found HERE). You will also find all available Zoom Meeting Registration Links for upcoming guild meetings on that page too. The Resource Page will always stay updated with things you may have missed - so be sure to check it out often!

Please take note of our upcoming Zoom Guild Meeting dates and times. All broadcasts will be from the US Central Time Zone. Due to recent incidents of members accidentally entering the room at the wrong time or date, resulting in unexpected recordings and exhausting our Zoom recording time, we're introducing a Waiting Room protocol.

Kindly double-check the meeting time (and your time zone) to avoid any confusion. Remember, our Zoom meetings will open 30 minutes early for casual chatting, which will allow for easy entry into the main meeting, once the Chat Session has ended. 

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we implement these changes to ensure smoother and more efficient meetings for everyone.

Join us half an hour early for our Guild's Community Chat sessions: 6:30pm CDT for evenings and 10:30am CDT for daytime meetings. Please note that entering before the designated time strains our recording time allotment, so we kindly ask everyone interested joining the Chat Session to join our Waiting Room at 6:30pm CDT to avoid any inconvenience. 

We will draw for the block at each guild meeting.  Our training session (on the second Thursday of the month) will be a pre-recorded video which will walk you through the construction of the two blocks previously revealed (for our May Training on May 9, there was only a training for our first block - you can watch that HERE).  Beginning June 13th the training will include two blocks. 


Congratulations to all of our members who have been exploring the Community Chat Room!  Here’s how you get there, if you haven’t given it a try yet:

  1. Go to the joyfulandmerryquilting.comwebsite
  2. Click on your “LIBRARY”
  4. Click on “FEED” and you will be taken to the Chat.  You can post pictures, questions, comments, etc.  It’s a great place to get to know our Founding Members and share our love of quilting!



*NEW COURSE!*  “Aim for the Stars” Skill Level:  Confident Beginner 

Join the Waiting List Here
Course Description: 
In this course we will explore the benefits of mastering the Half Square Triangle, the Split Quarter Square Triangle, color value, accuracy when cutting, pressing, and sewing seams, as well as sashing for beginners.  You will walk through the process of constructing the Aim for the Stars quilt with written and video instruction as well as LIVE Zoom Chats. You will finish the course with a beautiful throw-sized quilt.  If you would like to be added to the waiting list, CLICK HERE. The course will begin in June. 


The Ultimate Quilting Foundation  [From Novice to Confident Beginner] Group 3 Starts May 27th!
Join the Waiting List Here

Course Description:
This comprehensive online quilting course is designed for beginners who want to dive into the world of quilting with confidence.  After you’ve gathered your essential quilting tools, you will learn how to select the perfect fabrics, followed by a step-by-step course of instruction that will teach you the skills you will need to embark on your joyful and merry quilting journey, with 4 live Zoom chats with me along the way. By the end of the course, you will have the ability and the self-confidence to create beautiful quilts with a basic and solid understanding of quilting techniques, tools, fabrics, materials, and terminology.

 Our next group begins May 27th.  CLICK HERE and scroll down to add your name to the waiting list!

That's it for this week - I'll talk to you soon! Happy Quilting!









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