Press Release: March 2017

The Resurgence of Garment Construction

Camden, Maine, March 3, 2017— At Coastal Quilters’s next meeting, on Saturday, March 11, Leah Ondra will present a program about the recent renewed interest in garment sewing. The program will begin at 10:00 a.m. and is free and open to the public. She will give a talk and will bring garments she has made, as well as a sample of the wide variety of apparel fabrics that is available now. Ms. Ondra enjoys inspiring sewers to add a modern take on traditional skills, and she is particularly fond of vintage dresses and deliciously juicy color combinations.

Ms. Ondra will discuss how home garment sewing began in this country as the most economical way to provide clothing, but then lost favor as consumers bought “fast fashion” that was manufactured inexpensively overseas. Today more and more people want clothing that is unique, fits, and is well made, and they are beginning to sew again. Thanks to sewing blogs, YouTube, Pinterest, and social media, new and returning sewers can take advantage of an inspiring and supportive online sewing community offering unlimited ideas for things to make and instructional tutorials and videos. Fabric companies and individual designers began to pick up on this trend, producing apparel fabrics in addition to the popular quilting cottons, and creating a new diversity of patterns with instructions that are written in plain English.

Ms. Ondra is proprietress of Clementine in downtown Rockland, which focuses on design, apparel fabrics, sewing haberdashery, and independent garment patterns. A crafter since a young age, she grew up in Monroe and studied fashion and costume design at Bennington College in Vermont. After working in retail and doing custom sewing work in San Francisco, Ms. Ondra moved back to Maine, where she opened a handmade gifts boutique in Bar Harbor and then helped to establish and manage Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast. Feeling the itch to return to garment construction but loving her day job helping others with sewing projects, Ms. Ondra opened Clementine in 2014. She and her husband live in a restored 1887 farmhouse in Rockland.

Photos below by Leah Ondra.

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January 2017 Meeting: Show & Tell

Rhea Butler, co-owner of Alewives Fabrics in Damariscotta Mills, gave a demonstration of English paper piecing (EPP) at the January Coastal Quilters meeting. The first three photos below are from her program.

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Rhea Butler, of Alewives Fabrics, demonstrating EPP

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Member Megan Bruns exhibited her stunning quilt-top-in-progress at the end of Rhea’s presentation, as an example of EPP:Megan Bruns-Jan-2017.JPG

Below are photos of more Coastal Quilters members’ EPP and other work.

Quilts and blocks by Becca Babb-Brott:Becca Babb-Brott-1-17-1.JPG

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More EPP by Megan Bruns:Megan Bruns-1-17-2.JPG

Jan Corson’s quilt (front and back) and her Christmas tree skirt:Jan Corson Quilt.JPG

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Louisa Enright’s hexagon and paper-pieced quilts:Louisa Enright-1-17.jpg

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Vicki Fletcher brought in an antique family quilt and some counted cross stitch to share:Vicki Fletcher-antique family quilt.JPG

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Jan Kelsey’s flannel scrap quilt (front and back):
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Karen Martin brought in her EPP to work on and share:
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Maggie Schwamb’s quilts:
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Quilted work by Sarah Ann Smith:
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Lynn Vermeulen’s EPP:
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Press Release: February 2017

Coastal Quilters Presents Program on Quilting Tips

Camden, Maine, January 27, 2017— Coastal Quilters’s February program will demystify some of the essentials of quilting, with information for both beginning and experienced quilters. Coastal Quilters member Louisa Enright will share some of her favorite quilting tips and techniques, including choosing and using quilting rulers, producing a perfectly sized block, how to “web” or sew together blocks or a whole quilt, how to create perfect bindings, tips on stash management, and more. Ms. Enright will bring some of her quilts to illustrate her talk, although she takes to heart the Zen practice that states, “you can have the work, but not the fruit of the work.” She gives away most of her beautiful quilts so they can continue to give “quilty hugs” to the lucky recipients.

Meetings are always free and open to all. Coastal Quilters particularly invites anyone who wants to join others who quilt or who wants to learn how to quilt to attend this meeting to find out more about the group. The program will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 11, at the Camden Lions Club.

A Camden resident, Louisa Enright has been quilting for more than 20 years. The quilters in Ms. Enright’s first “bee” adopted and taught her how to quilt, becoming life-long friends. They also taught her to “play it forward” by helping others to quilt. Now, the teacher Ms. Enright follows the most is Bonnie Hunter, whose website and daily blog ( are “a treasure trove of quilty knowledge and free patterns,” she says.

Ms. Enright’s favorite part of the quilting process is the piecing, followed by sewing on the binding. She loves using her hands, which she finds soothing. She also loves watching a quilt take shape on her design wall as she completes the individual blocks.

Ms. Enright writes a blog on quilting (, with commentary on her other interests—gardening and healthy lifestyles, focusing on locally sourced, nutrient-dense, organic foods. Ms. Enright has a PhD in Cultural Studies, an MA in English, and an MFA in English, Creative Writing, all from George Mason University, and she has taught at the university level. Locally, she has been on the boards of the Midcoast Forum for Foreign Relations and The Community School (now Wayfinder Schools). She has been president of Coastal Quilters twice.

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Below are details of quilts by Louisa Enright:

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“Bee Land,” from an arrangement by Edyta Sitar in her “Flower Garden” quilt, English Paper Pieced made from 2 1/2-inch square scraps

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“Allietore,” a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt

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“Winter Blue Jays,” a scrappy quilt, using 2-inch squares from the scrap bin and a classic Jacob’s Ladder block

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“Crayon Crumb Box,” made from leftover fabric “crumbs” and 2-inch squares from the scrap bin

Selvedge Quilt Finished

Thought I’d try to post something on our blog.   I finished my selvedge quilt that was started on our first retreat in Kennebunk at the Franciscan House.   I machine quilted straight lines ( or nearly straight!) along the seam lines and hand quilted hand drawn stars in all the white spaces.  This thing is heavy!   I do like it and am ready to try another in the near future–have enough selvedges left over to make a pretty good sized one!   Hopefully will show this at our February meeting.seldvedge-quilt-star-hand-quilted

December 2016 Meeting: Show and Tell

December’s meeting was our annual Holiday Pot Luck and Show and Tell. Members’ work is pictured below.

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Jan Corson’s quilt

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Patty Courtney’s improv quilt from Timna Tarr’s workshop

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Louisa Enright’s improvisational quilt, from Timna Tarr’s workshop

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Louisa Enright: from Katja Marek, The New Hexagon, milliefiori paper piecing

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Louisa Enright: more from Katja Marek, The New Hexagon “quilt-lets”

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Louisa Enright’s “Tell Me A Story,” Amy Friend’s design

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Louisa Enright’s tumbler quilt, from the Bonnie Hunter leader/ender challenge 2015-2016

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Sharon Flanagan’s improv quilt from Timna Tarr’s workshop

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Sharon Flanagan, screen door for a Bay Chamber Concerts fundraiser

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Jan Kelsey, Advent calendar with pockets

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Jan Kelsey, needle felted landscape of Hosmer Pond and Ragged Mountain

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Tori Manzi’s Modern quilt

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Tori Manzi’s improv quilt from Timna Tarr’s workshop

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Lisa Niles, quilt for  her husband, started at the CQ October retreat

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Lisa Niles, Christmas tree skirt

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Maggie Schwamb[‘s improv quilt from Timna Tarr’s workshop

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Roxanne Wells

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Nancy Wright, from Timna Tarr’s improvisational piecing workshop

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Nancy Wright, Lucy Boston piecing

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Quilt by Nancy Wright


Press Release: January 2017

English Paper Piecing at Coastal Quilters Meeting

Camden, Maine, January 5, 2017—Coastal Quilters will begin 2017 with a program on English paper piecing (EPP) on Saturday, January 14, at the Camden Lions Club. EPP, which is the technique of covering paper pieces with fabric that are then sewn together by hand, is currently undergoing a surge of enthusiasm among quilters of all interests. Quilter Rhea Butler of Alewives Fabrics in Damariscotta Mills will share her best tips, from her favorite thread and needles and other tools of the trade, to more advanced insights, including how to select fabrics that work well for creating the beautiful kaleidoscope-like quilts that resemble the intricate patterns on Italian millefiori glass beads. Ms. Butler will bring many samples of her work to share, and Coastal Quilters member Megan Bruns will show some of her own fabulous EPP work. Dawn Elliott, also from Alewives Fabrics, will help with demonstrations. There will also be fabrics and EPP supplies for sale at the meeting. The presentation begins at 10:00 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

Rhea Butler has owned Alewives Fabrics with her mother since 2004. She began working at Alewives at the age of 19, when the previous owner began teaching her how to quilt. For the next six years, Ms. Butler worked at the shop part-time and attended college at the Butera School of Art in Boston, where she graduated with a degree in graphic design. Ms. Butler lives next door to the shop with her husband and four-year-old son.

May retreat attendees, please note: The initial $50 deposit is due at the meeting if you haven’t already paid it.

Quilts and blocks below by Rhea Butler:






November 2016 Meeting: Auction!

Coastal Quilters will hold its 2016 biennial auction with Georges Valley Quilters on Saturday, November 12, at the Camden Lions Club on Lions Lane. The doors open and the preview begins at 9:30 a.m. A 10:00 meeting will be followed by the live auction at 10:30. A silent auction will continue during the entire meeting, which will end around noon. There will be breaks for refreshments.

Auction items, made and/or donated by members of the two chapters, will be of particular interest to quilters and other stitchers, although everyone will be sure to find beautiful handmade gifts for the upcoming holiday season!

As always, everyone is welcome and the meeting is free. The auction proceeds will benefit the two Pine Tree Quilters’ Guild chapters. Coastal Quilters’s proceeds go towards paying for programming for the next two years, so “bid high and bid often”! Cash and checks will be accepted; no credit cards.