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Indianapolis Chapter

Category: Article

Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined, Fresh Techniques & Design, Allie Aller, 2017.

Posted Jul 7, 2023

Reviewed by ASG member Cindy Baker

I’ve been quilting long enough to remember when stained glass quilts burst on the scene in the 1980’s. They were impressive…lots of black bias binding, curves, & hand stitching…oh my. Well, if you liked ’em then, this book will knock your socks off! The author started making them back then & has progressively refined her technique to make them easier, quicker, & without the hand sewing. Think ribbon of different widths, braid, ultrasuede, even metallics…all kinds of “strippy” things with no-fray edges make the stained-glass technique easier & faster than before. And the patterns–no church windows here–the patterns are fresh & contemporary. The author uses cotton, but she also uses silk, velvet, flannel, & wool. She teaches 3 main techniques: couched fiber, appliqued ribbon & trim, & iron-on leading. A removable pattern sheet to trace is included. A chapter on basic quilt-making instructions is included. I found the chapter on design very useful. She recommends you think of stained glass as out-lined art & any design can be transformed. You can always begin with a coloring book or clip art, but she encourages you to look beyond…applique patterns, redwork, & embroidery transfers are also rich sources of design.

Book Review

Posted Feb 2, 2023

“The Gown”, by Jennifer Robson. Reviewed by ASG Member Linda Abel

 Our web master, Jude Hernly, suggested since I read quite a bit and also sew that I might want to review books that have are of particular interest to us as sewist.  For my first review I picked “The Gown”.  It is an historical fiction that revolves around the making of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress.  (FYI, the dress is still on display.)

from the book The Gown, by Jennifer Robson
Queen Elizabeth’s Gown

My book club, mostly non sewers were impressed with the detail concerning how the embroidery was completed.   The creation, even financing of the dress is scaffolding for the interplay of generations, and friendship well-crafted into the story.  The main characters of the book did not exist in real life; however, the dress does.  The story line pulls you in and makes you care about them all.  Some more than others depending on your own history. 
It provides a view of life in London after WW II.  It touches on the relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter as well as the women involved with the embroidery and fashion at the time.  The author gives a view to her writing process at the end of the book, don’t miss that part, very interesting. 

 As I said before you don’t need to be terribly interested in sewing, or fashion to enjoy this novel.  I will look for other books from this author given her attention to technical facts and her character development.  Put this one on your list to enjoy.


** Just So You Know **

Posted Feb 2, 2023

As I was reviewing dates for events, like National Sewing Month, National Button Day, etc., I found the following anomalies.

While National Sewing Day is June 13, 2023, National Sewing Month is September 1-30, 2023.

The National Button Convention is March 17-19, 2023, but National Button Day is November 30, 2023.

Now I found all this information on the internet, and the internet is always right, right?

Just So You Know

Did You Know?

Posted Oct 10, 2022

What’s the 2023 Color of the Year? Why, it’s “Viva Magenta”. Did you know there actually is a Color of the Year? Read more about it here. 2024’s Color of the Year will be announced in December.

Book Club

Posted Jun 6, 2022

Book, magazine, & pattern reviews by members for members.

Wise Craft Quilts, A Guide to Turning Beloved Fabrics into Meaningful Patchwork, Blair Stocker, 2017, as reviewed by ASG member Cindy Baker

I wondered what is a “craft” quilt. And then I wondered what’s a “wise” craft quilt. This book is so much more than its title! It is a thoughtful compilation of ideas about what to do with a collection of “special” fabrics. If you have a group of precious fabrics—think baby clothes, daddy or grandpa’s shirts, handkerchiefs, a wedding dress, feedsacks—you can turn them into a memory quilt using the author’s suggested quilt patterns. A vintage tablecloth that dressed your family’s dining room table on special occasions can be transformed into a wholecloth quilt. What to do with a furniture store book of fabric samples? Or a stack of denim jeans scraps? Turn them into a quilt! If you’re a lover of Sashiko like I am, you’ll want to see the Boro quilt project.

The author gives us courage to cut into our most precious fabrics by offering her strategies how to transform odd-shaped fabric pieces into cohesive quilt blocks.  Twenty-one projects are beautifully photographed. Templates and basic quilt-making instructions are included.

Looking For Someone to Service Your Machine?

Posted Jun 6, 2022

The topic “Where can I get my machine serviced?” has been a conversation topic at many Neighborhood Group meetings. We are aware of several, which we’ve listed below. Can anyone add to the list? If so, please contact

Indianapolis area

* Select Sewing Service, 2415 E. 65th Street, Indianapolis, 317-255-6332

* Indianapolis Sewing Machine Company, 6830 Industry Place, Suite A, Indianapolis, 317-322-0875, industrial machines expert

* Quilt Quarters, 9840 N Michigan Rd, Carmel, 317-757-8340, NW side Indy

* Husqvarna Viking store inside JoAnn Fabrics Castleton, 8714 Castle Creek Pkwy East Drive, Indianapolis, 317-594-9900

* French Seam, 9335 Castlegate Drive, Indianapolis, 317-841-1810, near 96th Street & I-69

Outside Indianapolis

* Mike White – Drop your machine off at Locker Room Sporting Goods in Danville, next to the Mayberry Restaurant. Mike’s wife, Suzanne, works there.

* Always In Stitches, 1808 Conner Street, Noblesville, 317-776-4227

* Jack Watts, Lebanon, 317-650-0859, formerly the Carmel Hancock Fabrics repairman, now works from home

* Josh Moore, Moore Sewing Machine Repair, Lebanon, 765-336-1047

* Sew Crazy, 3623 E. 25th Street, Columbus, 812-418-8200

* Mann’s Sewing Machine & Sweeper Repair, 2640 W Kilgore Ave, Muncie, IN 47304 765-282-1880 They offer $5 off tune up when you show your ASG membership card.

* Calico Point, 24856 CR 40, Goshen, IN 46526, 574-862-4065

* University of Sewing, 611 W. 11th Street, Suite 2, Bloomington, (812) 323-2665, we service Bernina machines only

Tips From Tammy

Posted May 5, 2022

Dear Tammy,
I’m struggling to find time to sew. I want to sew, but it seems the days are filled with so many things already. How do I get more sewing time?
Frustrated in Fortville

Dear Frustrated,
I understand! I’ve got 3 suggestions for you that helped me find more sewing time.

  1. Schedule time for sewing. Write it on the calendar. It’s an important appointment you’re making with yourself, just like a doctor or dentist appointment.
  2. Baby steps. Instead of thinking about the whole mending pile, select 1 item from the stack – that 1 item you really want back into circulation before the season changes – & get it mended. One item done is better than none; & if you happen to get 2 items fixed, well, that’s icing on the cake!
  3. Habit. Get into the habit of rewarding yourself. You work, you volunteer, you have kids, you have a husband…reward yourself for all the the things you do for others with a little “me” time.


Teaching Children To Sew

Posted May 5, 2022

You may not realize it, but you have several options for sewing classes. Both children and adults, female and male, enjoy sewing. Whether the initial motivation is a costume, special project, or something more basic, it’s important to give them a good start. The sewing skills they learn will carry with them the rest of their lives.

  • First, consider Indy ASG members who teach. There’s a “Classes” tab on the Home page where you will find a list of members who offer lessons.
  • Next, 4-H is a great organization for teaching children, 3rd grade through high school, life skills such as sewing.
  • JoAnn Fabrics offer classes, as well as independently owned fabric and quilt stores. Check with your local store.
  •,, or whatever social media app you favor can be very helpful. Whether you’re asking about sewing lessons or a plumber, members enjoy sharing their experiences with you.
  • Finally, do you have a neighbor who sews? I bet you do and you don’t know it. Ask around.

Antique Quilts versus Contemporary Quilts–What’s the Difference?

Posted May 5, 2022

Contemporary quilts differ from antique quilts in several easy-to-spot ways. You don’t need to be a quilt historian to see the differences. When judging the age of a quilt, look at:

  • Quilting stitches – Antique quilts are usually hand quilted, whereas contemporary quilts are usually machine stitched.
  • Quilt size – King and queen size beds are a relatively modern invention.
  • Binding – Is the binding a separate strip of fabric sewn on? Or is the back fabric brought around to the front, folded, and sewn in place? Bringing the back fabric around to the front has fallen out of favor with today’s quilters.
  • Quilt block pattern – Some patterns, such as the Nine Patch, will always be popular, but others are much more common in antique quilts…Lone Star, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, Dresden Plate, and all appliqué patterns.
  • Fabric – Quilt historians look at the fabrics and date according to the “youngest” fabric.

Finally, keep in mind, a quilt could have blocks from one century & sashing from another century. Quilters make quilt tops and quilt blocks, then store them away for finishing later. Sadly, some quilters never got around to finishing them. When another generation finds those stored treasures, these quilts-to-be get another chance to become display-worthy and useful.

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