Agave Quilt Guild

Mary La Tourelle

Show and Tell is a favorite part of our Agave Quilt Guild’s meetings when members show off the items they have made. At our March meeting Ginger Mays showed her “monster” wall hangings, Vicki Reed showed her placemat totes, and Mary Shelton showed a quilt of aboriginal fabrics she will be gifting to hosts during an upcoming New Zealand trip.

Also in March, nationally known speaker Helen Young Frost from Tucson shared a “magic show” that highlighted at least 30 tricks of the trade, i.e., techniques for better quilting. Here are a few:

• The most important factor in choosing fabric is value: Color gets all the credit, but value does all the work.

• Buying 3/8 of a yard is a better deal than a fat quarter, unless you need a square.

• Make final design decisions while putting the quilt together, not while in the store. Start with the selection of border fabric.

• Dull rotary cutters will damage the mat. They should be sharp enough to cut pushing with two fingers. If you have to push down hard, the rotary blade may be screwed down too tightly.

• When cutting strips, fold fabric only once, except for batiks, which cut better with four layers.

• Use your thumb to hold the ruler steady while cutting instead of fingers, as it’s much stronger.

• Match thread color on borders and bindings so stitches don’t show.

• Strip pieces will stay together better if you press using a towel on the ironing board.

• Press strip sets face up, not down, but cut them face down, because they will lie flatter.

• When cutting borders, measure across the middle—both length and width. Pin to mark the center and both edges of the border, but don’t cut until you’re ready to sew them in place. This will prevent curvy borders.

Our April 3 meeting will feature a members’ “Garage Sale” with multiple tables of fabric, supplies, and tools available for purchase. Horse trading may occur.

Visitors are welcome to attend any of our meetings, which are held the first Wednesday of the month (September through May) at 1 p.m. in the Navajo Room at Sun Lakes Country Club (25601 S. Sun Lakes Blvd).