Handmade Holiday Retreat

Posted By on October 16, 2016

Infinity Scarf

Infinity Scarves

This year’s Handmade Holiday Retreat is scheduled for November 11 – 13, Friday – Sunday at my studio in the Hungerford. We will be making five different stand-alone gift items again this year. At this fun weekend retreat you can come Friday night and set up your work station for the entire weekend. After some holiday snacks (you’ll get the recipes), we will make an easy sewn project, an infinity scarf. This makes a perfect gift for the holidays. The Friday night session runs from 6 – 9 p.m. You will be able to leave your work station set up overnight at the studio.

Roll-and-Go Placemat & Napkin

Roll-and-Go Placemat & Napkin

Then return Saturday morning at 10 a.m. for a full day of sewing. After coffee and a continental breakfast, we will be making a Roll-and-Go Placemat and Napkin. This a great set to pack with your lunch for work or you can make a set of four for a wonderful handmade holiday gift, great for picnics or any meal on the go. We will break for a box lunch at 1 p.m. and then continue in the afternoon by making an easy Seminole table runner. All patterns and meals for the weekend retreat will be included in the low cost of just $99 per person. Saturday’s class will end at 5 p.m.

Seminole Runner

Seminole Runner

Then return on Sunday for the final day of your Handmade Holiday Retreat at 10 a.m. again. We will begin Sunday by making a large totebag using canvas and a leather-like product called Kraft-Tex. After a nice brunch, we conclude the retreat by making an oil cloth coin purse with attached key chain. The coin purse is large enough for a driver’s license, credit card and some cash. Great to grab when you don’t want to carry a purse. All fabrics, including Kraft-Tex and canvas are available for purchase at my studio. I will also have kits available for purchase to make the oil-cloth coin purses, complete with all hardware needed to make these look professional. Before leaving on Sunday at 5 p.m., we will have a show & tell where you can share your finished projects and show another handmade item you have made over the past year.

Oil Cloth Coin Purse with Key Ring

Oil Cloth Coin Purse with Key Ring

Get a jump on your holiday sewing and join us for this creative and fun-filled weekend. Sign up now through Paypal on the calendar page of this website, or mail me a check, but don’t delay since I have limited space available at my studio. When i receive your payment, I will email you a supply list. Down load a signup brochure here if you would like.



Stitch & Bitch Class Series

Posted By on September 30, 2016

Apron (2)I’m offering a new series of classes this fall, every other Friday afternoon. We will spend each Friday afternoon session stitching a fun and easy item perfect for holiday gift giving in the Stitch & Bitch Class Series. From microwave bowl cozies to sock monkeys, join us for a Friday afternoon of sewing with friends at the studio. On October 14, we’ll be making a hip half apron that’s lined and has lots of pockets. Simple sewing skills and easy enough for a beginner, this fun apron makes a perfect work apron. Stop in on First Friday and check out all of the fun modern quilt fabrics I now have available for sale, all perfect for this fun apron.

Caff Crafters-Sock MonkeyAnd back by popular demand, on October 28, make a retro sock monkey from a pair of Red Heel socks. I have 5 different colors to choose from now. This is mostly a hand sewn project with just a little machine work. If you don’t want to bring your machine, I will have a couple of machines available for people to share for this class.

Stop by on First Friday, October 7, from 6 – 9 to see a sample of this fun apron and other Stitch & Bitch projects. Each class is just $20. Get your holiday gifts made early this year!





Fall Classes & What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Posted By on August 29, 2016

Wow! Did this summer go by fast!! It seems to go by faster every year. And with Jazz Fest being so much later now, extending into July, it doesn’t even feel like it starts till after the 4th of July. Both my husband and I have lost our dads over the past twelve years, but our moms are still alive and doing well. My mom, who just turned 92 on her birthday a couple of weeks ago, still lives by herself in Ohio and still drives. I have, however, spent more time driving back and forth to southern Ohio (a 7 1/2 hour drive) this year, to go to doctor appointments with her and to drive her back and forth to Rochester for visits. She used to fly, but now is too stressed by the whole process of flying (who isn’t?!), so I have to drive over and get her for visits. She visited us in May and again in July this summer. We are about to drive to Ohio again and pick her up to drive to my nephew’s wedding in Missouri (another 7 hours).

My husband’s mom is younger, 86, and has lived by herself since Jeff’s dad died 6 years ago. But she doesn’t drive and her house is southwest of Cleveland, Ohio. His brother lives in Cleveland, but was about 45 minute drive from his mom and has spent the last 6 years driving out to her house in the country once a week to do her banking and grocery shopping. Since she suffers from glocoma and is now legally blind, it has been a worry for us having her live by herself so far out of the city. We have finally, after several years of trying to persuade her, convinced her to move into a lovely assisted living apartment, minutes from my brother-in-law. So we spent several weeks of our summer driving over to pack her house, sell the furniture she wouldn’t any longer need, and moving her into Berea, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland). She will now be 40 minutes closer to us, and her meals will all be prepared for her. And we were fortunate enough to sell her house in just a few weeks after putting it on the market and get her off the waiting list and into an apartment within days of the sale. So everything has fallen into place wonderfully, but like I said…the summer has gone by way too fast!

In addition to all of this, I was trying to get my quilt Get-Away Weekend set up in a new location for 2017. It took several months of research, but I think I have found an even better place than where we have been going for the past 11 years. And having just announced this new location about a month ago, it is over half full already! If you are planning on attending this year, be sure to get your deposit down soon. I’ve already had inquiries from a dozen new retreaters, so I expect it to be full this year. You can read more and download a sign-up brochure by clicking HERE.

Bicentennial Quilt, 1975-76

Bicentennial Quilt, 1975-76

But I did get to take a weekend and go to the Thousand Islands with a friend to her family’s camp for a little rest and relaxation before moving Mom Spevak. We did nothing but eat, drink and relax by the water except for one morning when we took a drive and ended up in Cape Vincent checking out their tiny little museum by the entrance to the ferry to Wolf Island. That’s were I saw this beautiful red and white Friendship Quilt made between the years 1925 and 1928 as a fundraiser for the St. John’s Episcopal Church in St. Vincent. For just 10¢ anyone could have their signature embroidered on the quit, or they could embroider it themselves. According to the documentation, there were 727 names on the quilt, raising just under $75…a lot more substantial sum in those days than it would be today.  Also, there was another handmade quilt, a Bicentennial project by a 1975-76 kindergarten class, arranged in the order in which their names were called on the roll for attendance each morning. So the summer was not all work and no fun. Seeing these quilts helped inspire me to get busy planning some classes for this fall.


Signature Quilt  Signature Quilt2

Now I am in the middle of painting the hallway outside my studio. This past weekend I painted the bottom half of the wall grey and started painting the turquoise trim. I still need to finish painting the trim and paint the doors. I hope to finish that before First Friday, which is this week, September 2, from 6 – 9 p.m. Stop by and check out my “new” colorful studio! I still have modern quilt designer fabrics for just $7.50 per yard and I currently have a table of some of my stash fabric for just $3 per yard. You can also pick up a brochure for the 2017 Get-Away Weekend and signup if you are interested. This will be the first year that I will take credit card payment for the weekend. And as a special incentive, if you make full payment by September 25, you will receive coupons for 2 FREE open studios in 2016 and 2 FREE yards of fabric. I also will be having a special Class Preview during First Friday. This will be your chance to find out about my fall classes. There will be a special drawing for a quilt kit which you can enter by signing up for some classes. One entry for each class you register for on First Friday. So stop by and see what’s new at Quilting with Margaret, Studio #307, the Hungerford, 1115 East Main Street. Signup for a class, and maybe you will win a quilt!

Studio Paint      Studio Paint2     Studio Paint3

ANNUAL GET-AWAY WEEKEND, April 27 – 30, 2017

Posted By on August 8, 2016

Beaver Hollow Conference Center

Beaver Hollow Conference Center

Exciting new developments for the 2017 Get-Away Weekend! The dates for this, our twelfth year, are April 27 – 30.  We will be getting away to a new location this year: Beaver Hollow Conference Center  which is located on 300 acres of natural woodland in Wyoming County. Open since 1989, Beaver Hollow has earned a reputation as the premier location for group and corporate business meetings and events. Being a private conference center, they specialize in catering to clients like us, with no restaurants or bars open to the public. We will have 4-star cuisine planned just for us by their culinary staff who believe in using organic, locally grown and harvested ingredients whenever possible with their Farm to Table initiative. Since Beaver Hollow is designed for corporate retreats and events, a majority of the guest rooms (renovated in 2012) are designed to accommodate two guests with two double beds and offer all of the modern conveniences found in corporate hotels including complementary high speed internet, cable TV, worktable, phone with voicemail, radio alarm clock, terrycloth bathrobe, iron, ironing board and hairdryer. Many of the guest room baths have a separate sink area from the bathroom/shower area for optimal morning use. Also, several adjoining rooms are available for those of you attending with more than one friend.

We will have a spacious 3000 square foot “sewing room” equipped with plenty of cutting, ironing and basting stations. Everyone will have their own “sewing station” which will include an adjustable ergonomic executive office chair. The “sewing room” has plenty of natural and artificial lighting and will be equipped with plenty of electric outlets for sewing machines and task lighting. The dining room is located in the same building as the “sewing room” in the Main Lodge. Also located in the Main Lodge is a lobby area with several pool tables, a TV sitting area, large  stone fireplace with sofas and a coffee bar. Additional recreation will be available for our use in the nearby indoor aquatic center featuring a large heated saltwater pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and locker rooms. For those of you wishing to include some spa-time during your weekend you can pre-schedule any of the many spa treatments offered by the premier spa and salon, Spa Alexis, located in the Main Lodge. There will be more information about scheduling at the Get-Away Pre-Party in March.

Our personalized weekend consists of three full days this year for everyone, beginning on Friday, April 28 at 9 a.m. and concluding on Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m. For an additional  add-on cost, you can opt to arrive Thursday evening and set-up early although no dinner will be provided Thursday. Each night you can participate in the optional and legendary Beaver Hollow bonfire with an amazing view of the property and lake. Weather permitting, there is an outdoor pool area with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and bar area. It probably won’t be warm enough in late April to swim outdoors, but the outdoor Jacuzzi may be open, and if the weather permits we will have our welcome tasting in the outdoor bar area Friday night. There are also plenty of hiking and walking trails around the property so pack your sneakers if you want to commune with nature.

Cost for this all-inclusive weekend is $555 per person for a double room and $650 per person for a single room. All-inclusive means the cost includes hotel accommodation, all meals, meeting space, class fee and lots of little extras like a complementary welcome reception Friday night, welcome bag, pre-party prior to the weekend and of course, chocolate. There will be a cash bar set up for anyone interested on Saturday night. And if you choose to come on Thursday night the add-on cost will be only $110 per person for a double and $150 per person for a single. If you choose the add-on, you will get to setup early, but no dinner will be provided so you will either need to eat on the way down or bring your own dinner.

And as a special incentive to signup early, pay in full by September 25, 2016 and get a coupon for: 2 FREE open studios in 2016 and 2 FREE yards of fabric of your choice (a $55 value). For more information or to register, download the sign-up brochure by clicking below:
2017 Get-Away Signup Brochure


Sip ‘n Shop Happy Hours

Posted By on April 26, 2016

Studio FabricStarting in May, the studio will be open every month on the 4th Wednesday from 5 – 7 p.m. for a monthly Sip ‘n Shop Happy Hour. Stop by on your way home from work or take a break at the end of your busy day and stop by my studio for a glass of wine. Relax and shop my 150+ bolts of modern fabrics, pre-cuts and patterns. All fabrics are priced at the everyday low price of $7.50 per yard. Plus, each happy hour I will feature one bolt as the “blue light special” priced just $5 per yard during happy hour only. After happy hour the price will return to $7.50 per yard. Stop in, check out my studio space, see all of the new fabrics and join the fun!

And don’t forget my Open Studios, monthly on the last Tuesday of the month from 5 – 10 p.m. and every Second Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open Studios are an opportunity for you to quilt with other quilters in a creative studio environment. My studio is equipped with lots of work tables, adjustable office chairs, counter height cutting tables and ironing stations. There’s always coffee, tea and water available. This is the perfect chance to get some of those unfinished projects done. The cost is just $20 per session. But please register in advance for open studios, so I know how many people to expect and am sure to have space for you. You can register easily through PayPal on the Classes page of this website.

Sock Monkey Mania

Posted By on October 7, 2015

Caff Crafters-Sock Monkey

The Sock Monkeys are here again! Join us on Sunday, October 18, 12 – 5 p.m. for Sock Monkey Mania at my Studio #307 at the Hungerford. We’ll be making sock monkeys. I have lots of embellishments and stuffing. I’ll also have Red Heel socks for purchase. Bring your own machine, if you have one, otherwise you can share one of mine. The cost is only $20 and you can learn to make one of these classic stuffed monkeys for yourself or a lucky recipient. Sign up on my website and pay through PayPal by going to the  Classes page.  After you register, I will email you a supply list, so be sure to send me your email address.

New Albert Paley sculpture, just after it was installed.

New Albert Paley sculpture, just after it was installed.

If you want to see the samples or pay in person, stop by my studio at 1115 East Main Street this Saturday, October 10, from 6 -9 p.m. for the October Second Saturday. When you come by the studio you can also see the beautiful new Albert Paley sculpture in the Hungerford’s new handicap-accessible entryway. How exciting to have a colorful Albert Paley sculpture welcoming you into our building filled with artist studios!

Also, I now have a new Instagram account to keep you posted on what’s new at Quilting with Margaret. I’ll post pictures of new fabric as it arrives, quilts as I complete them, new items for sale at the studio and classes that will be coming up and as they are happening.  I think this will be a much better way to keep you posted than through Facebook, so be sure to sign up for Instagram (it’s free) and follow me.

Lakeside Farmers Market and Open Studios

Posted By on September 8, 2015

At the Lakeside Farmers Market with Mom

At the Lakeside Farmers Market with Mom

This past August through the end of September from 4 – 7 p.m. each Monday, I have been participating in the Charlotte Lakeside Farmers Market. It’s located in the parking lot of Hose 22 on Lake Avenue. This is the first year for the market in Charlotte, and though small, they have a nice variety of vendors including fruits and vegetables, cheeses, fresh pickles, organic meats, homemade pastas and locally brewed cider. I chose to vend here because I’m a Charlotte resident and really would like to see this market succeed. It’s also been a great opportunity for me to promote the Hungerford building where my studio is located.  The market continues until the end of September. Stop by and see me if you are in the neighborhood on Mondays this September. There’s plenty of parking on the street and in the church parking lot across the street from Hose 22.

Also, this Saturday, September 12, is my first Open Studio of the fall.  I have two Open Studios scheduled per month at my studio #307, the Hungerford, 1115 East Main St. Open Studios are a great opportunity to complete projects and make new quilting buddies. There’s lots of space to work with adjustable office chairs, and I have cutting and ironing stations available for you to use. The cost is only $20 per session.  We meet on one Saturday (usually the 2nd Saturday) of each month from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and one Wednesday (usually the 4th Wednesday) of each month from 5 – 10 p.m. Second Saturdays are especially nice because many other studios are also open during these hours, so you can shop around if you like. The hours both days are also flexible, so you can come late or leave early if it suits your schedule better. On Wednesday night, the “regulars” trickle in over the first hour on their way home from work. Everyone brings their own lunch or supper and I provide complimentary coffee, tea and water. A special sale this fall: if you sign up for all 8 Open Studios (2 per month, September – December) you will get the two December Open Studios for free! To sign up, call me or email me.

June First Friday, June 5

Posted By on June 5, 2015

Microwave bowls2It’s tiki time at Quilting with Margaret, studio #307, the Hungerford tonight from 6 – 9 p.m. Stop by for some tiki appetizers and sparkling fruit punch, Hawaiian shirts optional, and check out my latest creation, microwave bowl cozies. The perfect cozy for your microwave bowls of all sizes. No more burnt hands or fumbling for a potholder and trivet. Just put your bowl in the cozy, place bowl and cozy in microwave. Heat, the cozy is microwave-safe. Now here’s the easy part. When your food is steaming hot, just grab opposite corners of cozy and carry dish and food to table. The cozy doubles as a trivet! And the small microwave bowl cozies are perfect for holding your oatmeal bowl while cooking and then eating.

And don’t forget, I also have Westminster designer fabrics by the yard for sale, just $7.50 per yard (90+ bolts). And I just purged my huge flannel stash. All flannel bundles, $4 per yard. It’ s not too early to get started on those holiday quilts. Or if you would rather just buy a ready-made quilt, I have plenty of handmade quilts, runners and table scarves for sale.

First Friday at the Hungerford is the perfect place to shop for that one-of-a-kind locally handmade gift. The Hungerford is a wonderful old factory building re-purposed into 4 stories of creative artist studios.

Recipes for tonight include:
Pink Lemonade Sparkling Fruit Punch
Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread

Sizzlin’ Summer Retreat

Posted By on May 8, 2015

Easy 10-Minute Runner

Easy 10-Minute Runner

The last few weeks, I haven’t been doing a lot of quilting. We have a BBQ team which will be competing in the Roc City Ribfest over Memorial Day Weekend, so I’ve been really busy getting reading for that.  But the weekend after Memorial Day, May 29 -31, I’ve scheduled my annual Sizzlin’ Summer Retreat, this year at Café Sewciety Quilts in Webster. They have a nice large classroom there and lots of natural light.  We’ll be making a couple of quilts from Modern Quilt Relish and Friday night, after our welcome reception, we’ll be making an easy 10-minute runner.

Lap-size "Recipe Cards"

Lap-size “Recipe Cards”

Saturday, we’ll be making a pattern called “Recipe Cards.”  You can determine the size you want to make.  It’s a real good example of a modern quilt so popular today, with asymmetrical piecing and lots of negative space, or background as we used to call it.  This will give you a chance to try some fun machine quilting like the easy squiggly horizontal line I used in the sample.  If you prefer, you can make a smaller project, either a baby quilt or a table runner.

The price of the retreat includes a welcome reception on Friday night, continental breakfast Saturday morning when you arrive and lunch later in the day.  On Sunday, we will have a brunch later in the morning and a big show-and-tell. This is all in addition to the instruction, two and a half days of quilting and lots of fun, including doorprizes.

Sunday, the project that we will be working on is called “Cutlery” and you can also decide what size you want to make with this pattern,  Again, there is lots of negative space, which means quick and easy piecing. For the sample here, I made a table runner but you can choose to make a baby quilt or a larger lap quilt.  We’ll discuss some machine quilting basics in class and I’ll also share some easy modern machine quilting designs which work well to fill up the negative space so dominate in quilts today.

"Cutlery" runner

“Cutlery” runner

Get your friends together and plan to spend the weekend with me at Café Sewciety Quilts for this fun retreat. You can set your quilting station up fr the weekend and leave everything at the store when you go home to sleep.  We’ll provide your food so you can focus just on quilting and having a good time.  I’m ready for some marathon quilting before it gets too hot this summer. How about you?

Machine Quilting Made Easy!

Posted By on April 8, 2015

Machine QuiltingI’ve been quilting for a couple of decades and now my favorite part of the process is machine quilting. I used to be intimidated by machine quilting. When I first started quilting I was a hand quilter. But as you probably know, as therapeutic and beautiful as had quilting is, it just takes too long! Not to mention the potential carpal tunnel issues that seem to go along with years of hand quilting. So I was determined to learn to machine quilt. But when I started, I approached machine quilting from the viewpoint of a hand quilter. It wasn’t until I gave up the notion that machine quilting had to be marked and symmetrical, using stencils to mark, that machine quilting became easier and more fun.  True, you can find continuous-line machine quilting stencils, but marking a quilt takes nearly as long or longer than actually quilting it.  And when your designs are perfect and evenly spaced, even a non-quilter can see where you wen off the line and made a “mistake.”

Then one day I picked up a sale copy of Show Me How to Machine Quilt by Kathy Sandbach. As I started reading through the book, machine quilting was revolutionized for me.  According to Kathy, quilting doesn’t have to be perfect! Think of it more as doodling, even drawing or “quilting” your design over several times, just like when you are doodling.  Don’t pick perfectly even hearts and stars to free-motion quilt, pick more whimsical designs.  And don’t waste your time marking, just go with it. Wow this was “crazy!” Everything I ever learned about quilting involved accuracy and perfection. Wouldn’t this negate all of the time and effort I had spent cutting and piecing so that all of the points were perfect and everything fit together like a glove? But I tried it anyway because I was tired of working so hard on a quilt and then stressing so much over the finishing or quilting process.

And much to my surprise, not only was this concept easy, it actually enhanced my quilts.  If you think about what you’ve learned about variety and selecting fabrics: variety of print scale, variety of value,different color combinations, why not vary the most common element of your quilts (angular, straight line, perfect piecing) with curvy free-form, even whimsical quilting.  Once I let go of the whole need to be “perfect” when I quilted, my quilts became much more advanced looking.  And the more I did free-motion quilting, not worrying about staying on a marked line, the more relaxed and free I began to feel.  And like I said before, it started to become my favorite part of quilting.  I couldn’t wait to get my quilts pieced and basted so that I could have “fun” quilting my quilts!

Angela Walters at Quilt Con 2015

Angela Walters at Quilt Con 2015

And now with the latest quilting movement known as “Modern Quilting,” I am truly in love with quilting again.  Modern quilting is asymmetrical with lots of negative or background space just begging for dense machine quilting. Not to mention the simple and often large scale piecing goes fast so that you can get right to the quilting or “fun” part of the process of quiltmaking.  Just this past February I attended Quilt Con with approximately 10,000 other modern quilters, the second annual Modern Quilting convention in Austin, Texas featuring hundreds of modern quilts, dozens of lectures and workshops and a huge vendors shopping mall. I heard a lecture with several of the quilters of Gee’s Bend and saw some of their beautiful quilts in the show. I went to dozens of other lectures by the top quilters and book authors of the modern quilt movement like Denyse Schmidt, Bill Kerr, Jacquie Gearing and Angela Walters. And I was lucky enough to get into a machine quilting workshop with Angela Walters, whose quilting I admire and books are great.  I learned lots more easy free motion designs to apply to various shapes on quilts.  It was all very inspiring and just helped to make me love machine quilting even more.

Quilt Con WorkshopIf you want to learn to love machine quilting as much as I do, consider taking one of my Machine Quilting Made Easy workshops.  I have one coming up at my studio on Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for just $45.  You will learn several basic all-over designs and lots of different free motion designs all without marking and all easy enough for a beginner machine quilter.  Even if you’ve been doing a lot of machine quilting, this is a great chance to improve your machine quilting and learn some new free motion designs My workshop focuses mostly on free motion machine quilting and easy techniques I have learned over the past few years and some of the great tips I learned at Quilt Con with Angela Walters.  You will be creating a box of machine quilted sandwiches which you can use as a reference tool when you are ready to machine quilt your quilts. To register for this class, email me at qwm@rochester.rr.com or stop by my studio any First Friday or Second Saturday.  I’m also there during the day most weekday, but call first to be sure.