AAQG Logo
Sew 'N Tell
December 2006
Issue No 183.
Web Address: http://www.aaqg.net
Mailing: Ankeny Area Quilters' Guild, P.O. Box 961, Ankeny, IA 50021
"Sharing a common thread!"


The next board meeting will be Tuesday, December 5, 2006, 6:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Ankeny.

Join us for our next guild meeting, Tuesday, December 12,  2006, 7:00 p.m., at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Ankeny.


December Program Promises Holiday Magic!

The holidays are upon us, so it's time for a party!

We've scheduled celebrity, "Terry The Magic Guy", to magically entertain. Join us as we sit back, tap our inner child, laugh and enjoy!

Bring a friend, recruit a new quilter.



Try our NEW Block Lottery in December!

Beginning in November, we will start a block lottery to replace the fat quarter lottery. The idea is simple-we will provide a 12X12 block pattern each month at the guild meeting, you take home the pattern, choose your fabric and color, complete in time for the next meeting and bring your block to put in the lottery. One lucky winner (or maybe more-depending on participation) will take home that month's stack of blocks. The patterns will only be provided at the monthly guild meetings! There are no restrictions on fabric or colors, just make a block according to the given pattern and directions, and bring it to share. Have Fun!!

image of snowman

Winter Weather Policy

It's getting to be that time of year again—so here's a reminder about our guild's winter weather policy!

If the Ankeny schools are cancelled (or evening activities at the schools are cancelled) due to weather there will be no quilt guild meeting or guild activities in the evening.


December Treats!

Thanks to Elaine Kimberley, Carolyn Link, Donita Link, Lonnie Parsons, Peggy Vespestad, Judy Herrin, Marcia Lemke, Roxie Brown for volunteering to bring treats in December.

Quilts of Joy for the Homeless


The following information was presented at the November guild meeting. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church—where our guild meets each month—has asked for our help. They are having a fund-raiser for family homeless shelters as well as collecting wall-hangings to donate to families.

There was discussion at the guild meeting about the wooden wall-hanging display racks. Just to clarify—the church has display racks available and would like you to call and pick-up one if you chose to participate in this project. While the rack is not required they hope it will help solidify participants commitment to get the wall-hangings done and turned in by February 1st. It also gives them an idea about how many quilters will be involved in the project. When a homeless family finally has a home to live in they will be given one of the wall-hangings and display rack as a gift. There will be photos and acknowledgement that it was from a member of the Ankeny Area Quilters Guild.

photo of a wallhanging

This is an example of a donation wall hanging. The project needs to be completed by February 1, 2007.


There is a critical need for housing for homeless families in the Des Moines area. There are shelters for men only and for women and children but only one for families to stay together. St. Joseph Family Emergency Shelter currently provides five apartments. They turn down 45 families per month. St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church has three buildings (the former Good Samaritan home) that could provide transitional housing for up to 2 years but they are in need of refurbishing before they can be used for housing families. This will require many hours of work and money to bring them up to code.

Here is how you can help:

Would you be willing to make a wall hanging that could be displayed at Holy Trinity and later given to the homeless families as a gift? They would display the small quilts and let the congregation vote on their favorite by putting a dollar in a jar. Their person who made the winning entry would receive a gift certificate at Quilter's Cupboard and all other money would be given to the refurbishing project for the homeless. Please give us a helping hand with this project. The first thirty five entries will be supplied with a wooden display rack, 30 inches wide. Please bring the finished products to us by February 1, 2007. Questions: please contact Kathy or Elaine Haugen at 515-964-4348.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!




Christmas Ornament Challenge in December

Rules and categories are simple. Quilted or non-quilted ornaments will be accepted. The item must be made by the guild member, and non quilted items can be felt, beaded, crochet, knit or other. The Quilted items are just that---Quilted!! Appliqued or pieced, all are welcome. Winners will be awarded to the top 2 ornaments in each category. Bring them to the December guild meeting in a small brown bag. Check in at the Director's at Large table, where we will give assigned numbers for your ornament. All members will vote. So let's get creative and have some fun!



December Birthdays!

Best Wishes to:

Diane Collette— December 4



Secret sister revealment

Bring your last gift of the year to our December meeting and reveal your secret identity!

Quilt Pink Quilts!

Our guild members are very generous with their time and talent! Thanks to all who have participated in this special project. If you have a quilt you or your small group has made for Quilt Pink we'd be so happy to feature it in our newsletter for all to see.

If there are other members/groups who have quilts to donate, they are due February 7, 2007. The ebay auction will begin May 2007. Quilts can be sent to or dropped off at the following address: Quilt Pink Quilts, 1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309. Any questions, call (515) 284-3575, or log on to www.quiltpink.com.


photo of a Quilt Pink Donation Quilt

This quilt was made by our guild members who participated in the Quilt Pink sewing day, September 30th.


photo of a Quilt Pink Donation Quilt

This Quilt Pink quilt was made by members of the Evening Stars small group. Blocks that had been donated last year were used in the quilt.


photo of a Quilt Pink Donation Quilt

The small group, Evening Stars, made this for donation. Group members provided the blocks and Marlene DaRos did the quilting. Great job everyone!



Treasurer's Report

Checkbook Balance 10/31/06-------$2,824.16

Plus November Income----------------$60.00

Less November Expenses------------$383.89

Checkbook Balance 11/20/06-------$2,500.27

Savings Account Balance 11/20/06--$15,089.72


By-Law vote held in November

During the November Guild Meeting a vote of the membership was taken on the proposed By-law changes and Standing Rules Changes. All the changes were passed by the guild members. Here's a quick review:

Annual membership dues shall be payable commencing September 1st and will increase to $25.00. (September 2006-August 2007) Any member who has failed to pay dues by October 15th will be dropped from the membership list and will not appear in the yearly directory.

Spring retreat sign-up

The spring retreat is Thursday, March 29-Sunday, April 1. We will be taking names with checks at our January meeting. The retreat will be open to non members after our February meeting.

Fresh New Program Idea

Submitted by Marlene DaRos

I remember when many years ago my parents "changed" Christmas. Instead of putting up the usual cut tree, they bought one of those aluminum foil trees! Ours had a color wheel to shine from behind. Red bows were put on the ends of the branches. My brother and I helped unpack and set it up, we agreed it was not the same o' tree we were used to but what we have today are fun memories of experiencing something different.

As your program chair, my attempt this year is to try some things different. Instead of the same o' programs you're used to, just for this one year I plan to offer fresh, different program ideas.

photo of Quilt themed Floral Arrangement

November's program featured floral designer, Debbie Groff of Carmen's Flowers as our speaker

We shared our annual potluck dinner with her, then settled back to watch her perform 'magic'. Her presentation was both informative and interesting. She explained the different flowers chosen, taught us the names, advised how to take care of arrangements and importance of placement. Her candle/flower piece was so simple and elegant! Something all of us can try at home for the coming holidays.

Keeping with a quilt-theme, I commissioned my favorite woodworker and husband Larry to craft three wooden pieces for use as containers. His choices of quilting designs were 'Flying Geese', 'Log Cabin', and 'Patchwork'. I was most pleased to witness the designs come to life in those containers! Ms. Groff was given the honor to draw names for the lucky winners.

Anticipation and suspense revealed four of your fellow quilters were very happy to be a part of this fresh new program idea! The winners were Joyce Romick, Gloria Ross, JorJan Johnson and Peggy Palmer. Congratulations to all of you!

Next month you're encouraged to experience a different magic performance. Take a moment from your holiday busyness and join us for more prizes, surprises and again, something fresh and different.

See you then!


Quilted table topper

Marlene DaRos made ten table-toppers used to decorate our dinner tables at the potluck. Later, ten lucky guild members each won a table-topper in a drawing. Thanks Marlene for your fun, festive table decor!



Thuy Nguyen, our October speaker, has generously shared her secret for removing the blue semi- permanent marker lines from a quilt top.

She adds one teaspoonful baking soda to 25 ounces of water and uses this mixture to gently wash away the markings.



Here's your chance to volunteer!

We are still in need of a volunteer to help with the Raffle Quilt for the 2007 Quilt Show. This person will coordinate the schedule to display the raffle quilt, develop the raffle tickets and take to copy shop, coordinate the photo of the quilt and get copies for the packets.

PLEASE volunteer! It would be a big help to the quilt show committee—and you'll have lot's of fun working with them! Contact Denette at 515-490-8281.

President's Letter

Happy Holidays to all!

Are you working on your last minute Christmas quilts? I have a goal to have all of my family members sleeping under a quilt I've made. This year my two brothers will receive theirs. They have both begged me for years for a quilt of their own so I am really looking forward to watching them open their gifts. There's a new brochure promoting our guild available now. I'll have some copies at our next guild meeting. I did drop some off at Quilter's Cupboard and plan to take some to more local area shops soon. If any of you know someone that's been thinking about joining, please feel free to take a brochure to them. I've also been busy working on the Membership Directory and it will be available at the December meeting, too. Be sure to stop by and pick yours up! Sometime after December 6th, the Ankeny Magazine will be available at Quilter's Cupboard. Emily Bida from the Des Moines Register has done an outstanding article on quilting and our guild and is going to be dropping off several copies at the Cupboard. Hurry in to get yours as I think these will go fast. Well, need to get busy working on my ornament! And don't forget the block exchange starts this month! See you at our December meeting!

Continually quilting,

Kim Manthe


Tips and techniques group

In January, we will be starting a new group called "Tips and Techniques". This will be similar to our former new comer's group, (it has been renamed because the name was misleading ). The meeting will be for any member, no matter what level of experience, to learn a new technique, refresh something you may have learned in the past or learn some new tips from experienced quilters in our guild. We will meet at 7:00 PM on the 3rd Tuesday of the month in the gathering space, which is at Holy Trinity, just outside of the fellowship hall where our guild meetings our held. Each month a guild member will be showing us a different technique or sharing tips to help us all become better craftswomen! These meetings will be free and will last 60-90 minutes, depending on the topic. Please watch for the sign up sheets for these events at our guild meetings. (These are used to get a rough estimate of how many members to expect). Each topic will be announced at least one month prior in our newsletter and at the guild meeting. We hope this will become a popular meeting and that we can continue it!

If you have any questions or if you have a technique you would like to share, please contact Jenna Ingle 965-1585.

EQ6—Have you upgraded yet?

Submitted by Celeste Muehlenthaler


When I got home today, I found a little package by my door! I love internet shopping —I get little surprises on my doorstep from time to time!! This time I received my EQ6 upgrade from EQ5!

Let me start at the beginning. I like computers (sometimes!). I find that when my computer is working well, I really enjoy using this piece of equipment to help me get things done. I'm definitely no computer expert, but I enjoy working with them. Electric Quilt (insert version number here) is a computer program that helps you design quilts, print out directions, try out colors and fabrics, even get ideas on which quilt to do next! There are block libraries, quilt libraries, and even fabric libraries in this program. Each time I work with it I learn something new. I also know from personal experience, if you make sure to register this program with the Electric Quilt company they will keep you informed about new programs, features of their website, etc. If you have an EQ program (I think my first one was EQ4) they send you a notice so you can upgrade to the new EQ program for substantially less than buying the program new!

There are programs that go with EQ—programs with fabric lines to plug into you EQ software (called "Stash" with the season and year, so you can see your quilt design with the fabric you will use), blocks by different designers to add to you "sketch book", other programs with even MORE blocks. Lots of inspiration!

As I'm playing with this new version, I click on the video help library. You can use this to see & hear a video about whatever you have a question on. You can also SAVE it(!!), which is terrific for me, because I always forget and have to go back and look it up again. This way, I can bookmark it, and read it over any time I'd like! This version has "quick start" quilts you can put into the sketchbook and do without designing one from scratch. As I'm playing, I use the video and figure out how to click on a block and get the program to make foundation papers or rotary cutting instructions for me!!

On the website I can download additions to my program for free. For EQ5 I could get a new bunch of fabric to download each month so I can have more fabrics to choose from when designing a new project. There are lots of other items of interest on the website, but that feature was my favorite!

I hope someday to make a quilt I've designed on my own with EQ! Until then, I'll just have to pacify myself playing with this really cool toy! What a sacrifice, but I guess someone has to do it!!

Twas the Night before Christmas

Quilter's Edition


'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,

The only one sleeping was Quilter's dear spouse.

The Log Cabin stockings were almost completed,

"Just a few stitches left," our sweet quilter repeated,

"Then I can hang them and head off to finish

The pillows I'm making, fulfilling Mom's wish

For something "quilty" to put on her couch",

As she pricked her poor finger, our quilter yelled, "Ouch!"

....When from out in the kitchen there arose such a crashing,

She sprang from her work, and she dropped all her sashing.

Away to the doorway she flew like a plane,

Wondering just what was happening and who she could blame.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,

But Old Mrs Claus and her bag of quilt-gear....

....With her elves bearing gifts, through the kitchen she came,

She directed and pointed and called them by name.

"Now Elna, now Pfaff, now Bernina and Viking,

The Hoffman and Mumm should be just to her liking.

To the sewing room—there, it's just back of the hall,

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"


"My Dear," said The Claus (as she liked to be called),

There really is no need to worry at all.

Your projects will all be completed this night,

I'm terribly sorry we gave you a fright.

Sit down. Have some tea. It's relaxing, you'll see.

My friends and I've come a long way to help Thee.



She thought she was dreaming, our Dear Quilter did,

In fact she quite feared that she'd near' flipped her lid!

But the flash of the needles and twist of the thread

Soon gave her to know she had nothing to dread.

They spoke no more words, but went straight to their sewing.

How the work went so quickly she had no way of knowing.

The stitches, how tiny! The corners, how straight!

This Claus-woman's talent was awfully great.

They finished the pillows, then started a quilt.

Before they all knew it, the whole thing was built!...

And she knew they'd need help on this night most of all

So she said to our quilter, "Just move over, dear,

I've brought my own needle. We'll get done, never fear.

I told dear old Santa about what quilters do.

How they plan all these projects but have other work too.

So he taught me his magic for doing things fast.

There, that pillow's done. Now this is the last."

They tidied their thread snips, and picked up the scraps

And chased our dear quilters six cats from their laps.

They left behind gingerbread (just to be nice)

And the whole house smelled sweetly of Christmas and spice.

As they scurried away with their thimbles still gleaming

Dear Mrs. Claus paused, her cap ribbons streaming.

"Merry Christmas, my dear, now just have a ball!

Relax and enjoy. Happy Quilting to all!"



Poem by: Brenda Groelz, Kathy Rockbugs, Marilyn Root, Cindy Swafford

From the website: http://www.quiltersbee.com/cmaspoems.htm

Longarm machine quilting by Barbara Dickerson

Specializing in stipple (meandering) and pantogram (edge to edge pattern)

Reasonable prices!

Quick turn-around! (2—4 weeks)

Smoke-free environment!

Quality work!

Contact us about pickup arrangement in the Ankeny area.

Barbara Dickerson, Runnells, IA, 515/966-2190




Quilting Connection ad




Quilter's Cupboard ad
Staples Ad

Program Posters provided by StaplesŪ

Staples Ad



Creekside Quilting ad




Country Quilt Studio ad

Block Party Studios, Inc.

Your Unique Source For Hand Printed Quilting Fabric

located in Nevada, Iowa

For our newsletter shop feature, Susan and I went up to Nevada to see Block Party Studios. We sort of surprised them —we just thought we'd drop in and see if anyone was available to talk to us. It worked out quite well! We were lucky enough to catch the designer/owner Jeanne Coverdale; her husband/business manager, Mike; and the entire staff all hard at work. Everyone was so friendly and kind! I have seen some of their work in shops—you have too—the fabric with inspirational quotes, and especially the "Therapy In Session" panel. I always thought they were neat. It was so cool to meet the designer and see the whole business up close!

Jeanne Coverdale grew up in SW Iowa and has a degree from Iowa State University (go Cyclones!! Am I showing a little personal bias?!?) in Fabric and Textiles. After working in other areas she began dabbling in screen printing, beginning in a class offered at the Memorial Union on campus. She started her own business in the back of a shop in Nevada, and went on to build her own "garage" to house the business. They've been outgrowing buildings since and moved into their current place in 2005. It's a large building with retail space, offices, a warehouse, and an area to print the fabric. We were given a tour of the entire business. How interesting! We weren't able to see the printing in action —they were already out of the 600 yards(!) of fabric they order every 2 weeks and waiting anxiously for the next shipment of fabric to arrive. We asked about the extent of their sales. They sell all over the world! At the last Quilt Market they received orders from Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, England, France—to name a few as well as all over the US and Canada. They are a world-wide company!


Block Party Studios

Jeanne Coverdale & Susan Body in the Block Party Studios showroom. Featuring quilt patterns, quilt kits, hand-printed fabrics, signature labels, fabric pens & gifts for quilters!

Block Party Studios

Designer & owner Jeanne Coverdale with her husband & business manager, Mike.


Block Party Studios is in the process of building their retail trade. As we walked in we were greeted by many quilts and kits and as you look closer, you notice patterns, gifts and lots of cool items! We even got a "scoop" on a new project they're working on. They've had mother/daughter fabrics, now they're working on a "son" set. I got to see them and was excited to hear they'll be available soon! (Jeanne thought they'd be available around March 2007.) I have to tell you, I got a little choked up. They were so heartwarming! As part of the retail business you can go online and order (one of my favorite pastimes!). They have a monthly newsletter and catalogue which you can get online also or pick-up at the shop.

Here's my helpful hint for finding them. From Ankeny, go north on I-35. When you get near Ames, go east on Hwy 30. As you go east, Nevada is the first town to the east of Ames. Before you get to the wind turbines (west of the road into downtown Nevada) look for a road that goes to the north called Airport Road (another sign on that intersection says W 18th St.) Go north on that road to West K Ave. Their building is on the north side of that road which is not a through road. The roof is green, it's really easy to spot. They are so nice, they'd love to see you, OR put in an order online —then you don't have to stop sewing for very long!!


Block Party Studios, Inc.

Address: 1503 West K Ave., Nevada, Iowa 50201

Phone: 1-800-419-2812 Fax: 1-515-382-3158

Email: customerservice@blockpartystudios.com

Website: www.blockpartystudios.com

Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30am—5:00pm