Issue 3: 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 explore the history of quilting bees. Answers at the end of the newsletter!

1. What social role did quilting bees play in rural communities during the 1800s?

a) They served as a way for men to discuss politics
b) They were a means for women to bond, share news, and support each others
c) They were organized to raise funds for public projects
d) They were held to teach children how to quilt

2. During which season were quilting bees most commonly held in the 19th century?

a) Spring
b) Summer
c) Fall
d) Winter

3. What factor contributed to the decline in popularity of quilting bees?

a) The rise of television
b) The advent of mass-produced quilts and modern quilting technology
c) Increased urbanization
d) Changes in agricultural practice 

4. Quilting bees helped reinforce what aspect of rural communities?

a) Individual Wealth
b) Community ties and collective accomplishment
c) Political power
d) Urban development 

5. Quilting bees were often held to prepare quilts for which special occasions?

a) Funerals
b) Political rallies
c) Weddings and births
d) Business conferences

: Merry Moment

Recently, I was working on a quilt that had twenty identical blocks. I loved the pattern, was thrilled with the fabrics I chose, and I was very eager to finish it. The blocks were easily made using a chain piecing technique, and I knew that using this method would help me speed up the process of assembling the quilt top.

I arranged all of the pieces in order and began to quickly chain piece the blocks. But, the more fabric pieces I sent under my sewing machine foot, the more unhappy I became with what was coming out on the other side of my needle. The blocks just didn’t seem to come together as I had hoped. My seam allowances were wavering, my fabric edges were no longer perfectly aligned, and my finished pieces were turning out lopsided. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong! 

Amidst my frustration, I came across a quote by quilter Pam Buda, referring to the “Slow Stitching Movement” as introduced by quilter Mark Lipinski. She said, “I feel we're all in too much of a hurry to quickly get one quilt done only to start another. And while there are definitely projects that are and need to be made that way, in my humble opinion, there are way more that should be enjoyed slowly, taking in the sheer pleasure of skill with hand, needle, thread, and fabric...all while you make something lovely and lasting.” 

Quilts are not only created with beautiful fabrics and careful creativity but also have a unique way of including cherished memories and lots of love as we are putting them together. When we rush through the process, the joyful and merry moments can be overlooked or even skipped altogether. Let’s enjoy the journey—the marking, the cutting, the piecing, the pressing, the quilting, the binding, and yes...even the labeling! Only then will we truly experience the joy and the merry moments along the way… 

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

3: Quilting Secrets, Fixes and Tips

I received several emails and youtube questions about fraying fabric. Why does it happen? Is one fabric worse than another? Whose fault is it…the manufacturer…the quilter…the fabric???

I did quite a bit of research on the subject and created a video on how to stop or avoid fraying fabric:
CLICK HERE to take a look

4: Product Picks

I have trouble passing up a new ruler…or at least a ruler that is new to me! 

Recently I came across the “Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer” and I was sold! I discovered that when trimming Quarter Square or Split Quarter Square Triangles, this was hands down my favorite!

Before you press the block open, you trim the sides and trim the corners. Everything lines up and the end result is a perfectly square, perfectly aligned block. I LOVE IT! Here’s the link to the video if you'd like to check it out:


5: Merry Musings Mailbag

This section of our newsletter is a comment to a YouTube video made by one of our subscribers. 

Following our Scrap Busting System LIVE, @gardencat4952 offered the following helpful tip when it comes to organizing scraps:

"To figure out what sizes to cut I put together a pile of scrappy patterns I want to make. I then figured out the most common shapes and sizes needed to make those quilts. This way I don't have to recut my scraps when I go to use them. I use these scrappy projects as leaders and enders so they get sewn up as I am working on other projects."

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.

Comment by Annette after watching How To Create the Perfect Quilt Block Every Time – Tip #4: Pins and Pinning:

"Pinning is essential and cross pinning at seam intersections even more so. Because not pinning is like leaving out an ingredient in recipe and expecting masterful results. I use pins and or clips depending on what I am sewing or piecing. When I am matching seams the cross pinning is the best! I would love for my students to to see this and hear someone else tell them how important it is."

My Response:

I agree! It is so important - and really does make the whole process more accurate and so much easier. I think pinning gets neglected when the "non-pinners" diminish its importance. You're right - it's so important!

: 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, June 10 at 10pmCDT
Monday, June 24 at 10pmCDT

Daytime Quilting Schedule:
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...

WARNING: We have had guild members email us concerning the emails they are NOT receiving. There have been occasions, after looking into their account, where we have discovered they either unsubscribed from our emails or they have labeled emails as “Spam." Please be VERY careful with the emails you receive from Joyful and Merry Quilting. If you are finished reading them or are not interested in particular messages, simply delete them.

Do not unsubscribe if that is not your intention. By law, we are unable to re-add you to our email list and you will not receive any further correspondence from us. In addition, if you label a email as SPAM, your email address will be removed from our correspondence list and you will no longer be able to register that particular email address with us again. It’s final and it’s permanent. Even if you are a paid member of the guild, if you remove yourself from our list by unsubscribing or labeling us as spammers, we cannot remedy that decision on our end.

In addition, if you forward emails from to a friend and THEY click Unsubscribe or Report that email as Spam, YOUR email address (not theirs) will be removed from our email list. So, please keep this in mind. We understand that mistakes are made, but there are some mistakes that cannot be corrected, so be very careful. Thank you!

TIME ZONES: Please keep in mind that our Guild Meeting Times are listed in CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME. If you live in another time zone, make sure you double check (and triple check) the guild time and then adjust it to accommodate for your time zone. We have had MANY members join our guild meeting hours early or hours late and in the process, miss the actual meeting. The meetings are recorded, but if you want to join the meeting LIVE, please make sure you have the guild time adjusted to YOUR particular time zone.

CHAT SESSIONS: 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.

WAITING ROOM: When you join a guild meeting, you will be sent to a Waiting Room. During Guild Meetings, we are constantly checking for and admitting new participants who are in the waiting room. If you still haven't been admitted into the guild meeting after a minute or two, you likely joined at the wrong time and you'll want to double check the time and date (depending on what we're doing, it may take a little extra time to admit late arrivals).

There have been questions as to when the Sample Block(s) of the month training videos will be available. I will show a card and a finished block at each guild meeting. The pdf with the block instructions will be available in your Library on the website and will also be emailed to you, the day it is revealed. 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, the Broken Dishes Training Video was introduced (you can watch that HERE). For our June training meeting on June 13th, the training will include two blocks – the “Churn Dash Block” revealed at the May 16th meeting as well as the block that will be introduced at the June 6th meeting.

You are welcome to make the block using the pdf, but if you would like step-by-step instruction, you will need to wait until the 2nd Thursday of the month when the training videos are available.


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!



1.  b) They were a means for women to bond, share news, and support each other
2. d) Winter
3. b) The advent of mass-produced quilts and modern quilting technology
4. b) Community ties and collective accomplishment
5. c) Weddings and births

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