Sunday, January 25, 2015

Flaunt Your Finish: January 2015

It's a sparse month for finishes...but ANY finish is better than no finish. How are ya'll doing on your 2015 sewing goals? I'm in the hole for mine, but I'm hoping to do better. I always feeling like I just need a rest in January. It makes me that much happier to start up projects in February.

Don't forget to link up YOUR FINISH at the bottom of this post and share our button on your own blog. Thanks!

Agnes S. made a New Year's resolution to finish at least one UFO and/or quilt a month in 2015!  And it looks like she is off to a good start! This flannel cozy quilt has washable wool batting, and is in fact a late Christmas present. Agnes' daughter spotted it on and while there was no pattern, Agnes figured it out. The gorgeous quilting by our own Jana Hernandez of Peace by Piece Quilting was completed extra fast and the recipients are already enjoying it in D.C., where it is considerably colder than Oklahoma!


And Agnes' version is spot on! It looks so warm and cozy!

Agnes also completed a small project: a zipper pocket mini notebook cover, along with the lanyard she made for her "QuiltCon lanyard swap" partner in Australia - hope she wears it at QuiltCon 2015!

Brigette W. made a couple of cute pillows! She bought some 18” pillow forms late last year when they were on sale and wanted to try to make envelope type covers.

The first one is made from Dr Seuss spotty (almost dotty!) fabric and was very easy to make.  To make the other, she cut squares, pieced them together, and quilted into a small quilt.  It took much longer than the first and I should have probably adjusted the measurements to be a bit bigger to allow for the batting, etc, but it turned out OK.  I had to really work to get the pillow form into it…lol….

Celeste S. completed this darling quilt. The pattern is by Debbie Maddy.   Her patterns look difficult, but aren't.   There are no y-seams!  There are a whole bunch of half-square triangles.

Knowing I had to write this blog post, I took some time to (finally!) finish up numbers 11 and 12 of my Christmas gift mug rugs. Yes, that's Christmas 2014. They are for the women on my floor at the office and I think they have become Valentine gifts! I really like the one with the hot pink flowers on the binding for myself, so I guess that means I have one more to make...(shrug).

Now it's YOUR TURN. Link up you January finish below!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Coffee Talk with Shirlene

It seemed appropriate to start off this year's Coffee Talk feature with our new guild President, Shirlene Davis. She's enthusiastic and a real go-getter and I'm happy for the opportunity to work with her and get to know her better.

Shirlene, how long have you been sewing?

I anxiously waited for 8th grade to take the block of classes with wood shop, art, home economics, and music.  In home economics we had two sewing projects.  The first was a pillow project and I chose an apple with a worm coming out.  It was red broadcloth with a felt stem and worm appliquéd to the front.  We had to sew a garment as well; vests were really big so I made one from black corduroy and a patch with of a coat of arms. I was going to get an “A” because my Mom was an avid sewer.  Let’s say that it was not “A” quality work by my teachers’ standards. I did a lot seam ripping because my seams were not straight. 

How long have you been quilting?

I got started quilting about 3 years ago.  I had been contemplating making a t-shirt quilt out of my high school t-shirts.  I still go to football games and needed a stadium blanket. I attended a co-workers retirement party and asked what she was going to do.  Just so happens she was going to be the bookkeeper at Prairie Quilts.  I asked if they offered classes as she said “they sure do”.  There was a t-shirt class they just started offering and it was downhill from there.

Perfect timing! What or who inspired you to get into quilting?

My then new sewing machine made me get serious about quilting.  With my new machine I could take classes free, short of the supplies and quilt kit.  So I took a yearlong class to complete Stitcher’s Garden.  I learned the ins and outs of my machine and too many skills and techniques to count.

I need that class. I still don't know the ins and outs of my machine. What is it that drew you to modern quilting rather than a more “traditional / classic” style?

Ladies in different classes I had been taking at various local quilt shops were talking about things they were doing with their guilds.  I thought I might look into joining one.  I Googled “Oklahoma Quilting Guilds” and ran across OKCMQG webpage.  Compared to the other guilds, OKCMQG site was the most inviting to my likes and did not interfere with my Thursday night bowling league. I visited a meeting and joined up.  I value the knowledge of the members along with the diverse way they apply the modern quilt aesthetic to not only quilts, buts other forms of sewing arts from handbags to clothes.

Traditional quilts I like as well, but there has to be a design style that really speaks to me.  I have a couple of El Camino Real quilts I am going to make for my bed, one is pieced, and the other is appliqué. 

Who do you find inspirational in the world of modern quilting and why?              

That is a very good question.  I am a class junkie and I love to sit with a group and learn something new along with everybody else.  I took 2 workshops offered by Oklahoma Quiltworks the summer of 2014 where Carolyn Friedlander had two sessions offering instruction for two patterns: Totem and Olive.  I have not really ventured into the world of paper piecing, but once you try it you can’t help to be hooked.  I really met Carolyn for the first time when her Architextures fabric line came out and hit the shelves.  I found the color and prints interesting and to meet her in person and find out she was a professional architect was amazing.  You can see her life in her art from fabric to patterns.


If you take a peek into my quilt supplies you will find I have a good collection of quilt rulers.  Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts is the other person I find inspirational.  I love her line of rulers and their companion patterns. It is very easy to choose a color pallet or precut fabrics to produce amazing quilts.

Snack Time

What styles (designers, manufacturers) of fabrics speak to you the most, and why?

If you look at my stash you will find precuts, solids, and blenders.  I have an infatuation with solids.  I LOVE Kona cotton solids by Robert Kaufman fabrics.  Any quilt I make will have either all solids or at least 1 solid to bring out a color in a print I really love.  My favorite blenders are Grunge Basics by BasicGrey for Moda Fabrics.  I like the fact that I can pull colors that complement each other and have a really special quilt in the end.  I mention pre-cuts because most manufactures offer them, if there is a line a really like I’ll get a layer cake, if I love it I buy a fat quarter bundle or both.  Color Theory and Ombre Fabric by V and Co for Moda is next on my list for pre-cut purchases.  Do you see a Moda theme here?  Then of course I have Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe is in my stash now with a nifty Ten square, Robert Kaufman equivalent to a Moda’s layer cake.

When are you most productive?  When do the most ideas strike you?

The last three years I have been in learning mode taking classes to build my quilting skills and techniques.  I am happy to check “Intermediate” when asked about my skill level.  There are 3 times I am most productive.  Before, during, and after a class, workshop, stitching groups, or sew days.  Before, because I am gathering supplies, fabrics, and pattern for class or sew days.    This is when I get an ideas and inspiration.  I look at what I am going to do with the project after I am done. Is it for me or can I gift it?  Based on that, I can look for fabrics and complete any pre-tasks.  During an event because I have however long I am there to work on the project uninterrupted.  The guidance from the instructor or even my neighbor in class eliminates the frustration and spinning my wheel at home.  After, because I want to finish up that particular block or make another of the same project so I won’t forget what I learned.

What are some quilt patterns or styles that you hope to tackle in the near future?

2015 will be a busy year.  I’ll be working on completing works in progress (aka WIPS) for all of the classes.  A half day class is not enough time to complete a quilt.  I’m guessing I have around 15 projects between classes and block of the months.

I am most looking forward to two BOM projects:
Jaybird Quilts, Gravity
Pile O’ Fabrics, Skill Builder BOM 2015 Technicolor Galaxy
Both projects use solids and blenders.

What quilt creation are you most proud of?

1,000 Pyramids

This mini was a project featured in Modern Patchwork magazine.  I looked at materials to make it and I had 60 degree ruler, charm packs, and white yardage to make it and I did.  In looking at my stash, I pulled blues and that one color of chartreuse and voila!  The one cool thing about this mini was the use of the strip tube technique to make the triangles.  It was a timesaver and pretty cleaver.  I think it aided in the points lining up so nice.  This is my first piece that has been shown internationally, it was with collection OKCMQG members shown at an arts center in Hungary.

Did you ever have a quilt project go terribly wrong?

I would say if you were a long-arm quilter and saw the back of my Stitcher’s Garden quilt you would say no way.  No amount of ironing will get those seams to lay flat.  As I progressed through the quilt you can tell which ones were earlier blocks in the project. Between learning how to read the pattern instructions and mastering the quarter inch seam it was a chore to complete the quilt top.  At least it looks good all put together.

Ha, ha...thats what counts! If you had to choose one must have book or blog to visits for modern quilting what would it be?

Can we make it plural with books or blogs?  I have a huge appetite for information so when I start something new at work or in my quilting I can do it with confidence.  Many of the members of the Modern Quilt Guild have books and blogs. I encourage you to seek out your favorites.  I’ve narrowed it down to a couple.  I use an application called Bloglovin' because there are so many I follow.

Here are 5 blogs I check the most often follow:
Moda Fabrics Blog- love their fabric and many contributors are MQG members
Moda Bakeshop great projects for precuts found here
Jaybird Quilts - I fun blog supporting her books and rulers, also Angela Waters quilts for her projects.
Sew Mama Sew - Tons of contributors if you follow one site, this is it.  One stop shop for great info.
Pile O'Fabric Quilting Blog - Love her annual skill build projects and the Stash and Share (great color ideas)

My collection of quilt books has evolved to where I am comfortable to purge a few books, because they are not where I am at design wise. These two books are new to my collection and I wish I had them both when I started quilting Modern.  I would say these should be must have:

Carolyn Friedlander’s Savor Each Stitch is just a good read with written stories along with great companion quilts.  I have a beautiful signed copy I treasure.

Let’s not forget magazines.  I only get 2 in the mail.  Love, Patchwork, and Quilting because I love the freebies stuck to the front and many of their projects require templates.  Block, by Missouri Star Quilt Co., incorporates great family stories and projects from their business.  Missouri Star Quilt Co. is on my places to visit list.

Wow, you are a wealth of knowledge! What is your advice to someone just diving into the world of modern quilting?

Try at least one workshop or attend a social group meeting to tackle something you want to learn more about. 

Great advice! Thanks so much for letting me interview you. I look forward to see your next project!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Meeting Recap - January 2015

I love the start of a brand new year.  It's so full of possibilities and fresh starts, and the guild is no different.  Our new board is full of fun and exciting ideas and we look forward to participating in all of the excitement in 2015!  The 2015 Winter Quilt Show was a success, thanks to the thoughtful planning of our new President, Shirlene, and we were happy to see so many new faces at our very first meeting.  A big thank you to everyone who helped with the quilt display and those who manned our booth.

In November of 2014 Agnes, one of our wonderful members who hails from Hungary, took an OKCMQG mini quilt exhibit to Budapest.  She not only organized the show, with the help of a friend "back home", but she also put on workshops for those interested in learning more about the Modern Quilting movement.  The show was a huge success and even inspired the formation of a new MQG branch in Hungary.  We're so excited that have found a passion for this art form that we love so much and look forward to keeping up with what they accomplish as a guild.

Of course we're always excited to share our work with each other here in Oklahoma and this meeting was no different.  We got the ball rolling with Shirlene showing off our new guild banner (for display at shows and exhibits) designed and quilted by our very own Leslie Lamb.  She used a mix of techniques from Angela Walters and a new book about Graffiti quilting.  The result is very modern and stunning!  Thanks so much for working so hard on this Leslie!

Next up I shared a Swoon Pillow I made for my son.
Cyndi just moved here from New Jersey to be closer to her grand baby and is making this Comma quilt to hang on her wall.  So many of our guild members are big fans of the "Comma" line so we know Cyndi will fit right in!
Angie has been hard at work on swap projects and designing paper piecing patterns.  They're so stinking cute and had everyone of us oohing and ahhing over her work.

Pattern/Tutorial "Fractured Pervalong" from the blog Displacement Activity.
Kathy is also new to the guild and she shared her "Aurora" quilt which was inspired by the Aurora Borealis on a trip she took to Alaska.  I like the unique shape and the addition of some sparkle.
Karen, who is rejoining us after a hiatus, shared a bag of her own design for a pattern she has created.  It is an exercise in zipper installation and pocket styles which is definitely something I know I could use.  Zippers can be so intimidating sometimes, can't they?
Beth shared a neat wallet she made with the Melody Miller Typewriter fabric I think we can all agree is amazing.  And then on top of that she quilted up a couple of her friend's fish appliqué quilts.  Seriously nice friend and the quilting turned out lovely.

Trish visited with us and shared her modern take on T-shirt quilts.  It was so nice to see her again after meeting her briefly during the end of our November quilt show.  She also shared what she has termed "Photographic Reproduction" on the back of the T-shirt quilt.  I think she left us all with our mouths hanging open in amazement.

Ellen made this quilt for her niece.  Being a kind aunt she allowed her niece to choose the fabrics for the quilt, and talked a little bit about the flexibility of batiks when working with unique color combinations.
And last but not least, Melissa shared with us her take on the cute Hedgehog quilt (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman).  This quilt was a massive hit at the Winter Quilt Show this month, and Melissa's take on the pattern is definitely worthy of all of the attention it is receiving.  Who couldn't love those little hedgehogs?!
Thanks so much for sharing all of your talent with us ladies!  We look forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting.  February will be our "welcome" meeting where we hope to share a little bit about the guild with visitors and new members, and I believe Melissa will be announcing the roll out of our new Charity project.  See you soon lovely quilty people!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

OKC Winter Quilt Show 2015

We had a GREAT showing this weekend at the annual OKC Winter Quilt Show.  BIG THANKS to Shirlene Davis for taking the lead on this event! And another THANK YOU to Shirlene, Elizabeth Richards and Agnes Stadler for setting up the display! It looked great, ladies!

Thanks to all our volunteers who manned out booth! And Shirlene (again!) for takedown. We appreciate everyone!

And in case you missed it, here's a walk through of our display!

See ya'll at out meeting TOMORROW, Monday, January 12th, 6:30 pm!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Membership Dues for 2015

Now is the time to join or re-join the OKC Modern Quilt Guild!

Dues are $30 through January 31, 2015.
Dues will be $40 beginning February 1, 2015.

Click the BUY NOW button to join the OKC Modern Quilt Guild via PayPal!
Join us at our meeting Monday, January 12th, to submit your dues in person.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Flaunt Your Finish: December 2014

Happy New Year's Eve!

Typically, this is the time where we review the year and reflect on the good (and not so good) events of our lives. When I was younger, I used to love to watch all the 'Year-In-Review' shows shown by various news outlets. Now, eh...not so much. 

A few years ago, my son had graduated from high school and as a stay-at-home-mom of only one child who was basically grown, I found myself with a bit more time on my hands. I had already found the OKCMGQ online, and had joined, but I hadn't attend any meetings. You know, it's sometimes awkward to go to a meeting by yourself when everyone online seems to know each other. The new year came and I told myself that I was going to get out more and expand my horizons. I finally went to a guild meeting (which was in the back room at Quiltworks) and no joke, there were like...six of us. A few other members trickled in and I soon made lifelong friends.

If you haven't rejoined the guild yet, just click on the PayPal button on the sidebar. Honestly, the guild will not the same without you. We need everyone to make it the awesome group that it is! If you're lurking and wondering....join us Monday, January 12th (Click on Meetings/Area Events on the top menu for location details). Try us, you'll like us!

We've had a GREAT year in the Guild. We've grown by leaps and bounds and have inspired each other and the world around us. How awesome is it that there is now a modern quilt guild in Budapest?!! I'm not going lie, I got teary eyed when I read on Facebook that they'd started a guild. I can't wait to hear more from Agnes about her trip at our January meeting. 

How was YOUR year? Did you keep the resolutions or achieve the goals you set last year? Are you going to make new ones this year? What new project are you excited to take on?

Here are a few finishes to wrap up an outstanding year of modern quilting!

Agnes S.  says she is still infatuated with the "Greetings from Antarctica"  animals. (How could she not be? They are adorable!) This time she made them into one longer pillow. It was soooo much easier than the postal stamp sized bear last year (when I forgot to enlarge the pattern, duh!)

I have also learned never to ask my husband again whether he would like a cute small present for the office....turns out there are EIGHT people he needs to take mug rugs for! So I came up with  the mug rug by-the-yard method, ha!

Debbie A. has this cute stocking to show that she made for her new grandson this year. Incidentally, she first made this pattern in a class a couple years ago taught by our own Emily Siemers. I'm told that Emily has agreed to teach the class again next season!

Bri W. finished this sweet quilt. It is the Shortcake Quilt, pattern by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew.  Bri used a Notting Hill jelly roll and plans to put it in the OKCMQG display at the OKC Winter Quilt Show.

Ann S.  has been a busy woman. First up, her 2013 BOM from Quiltworks is finally done! Ann started it just a while after first learning of Carolyn Friedlander. She fell in love with the 'Architextures' fabric line from the first time she saw it, so committing to the BOM was easy. Ann substituted two of the blocks with her own paper pieced rendition of her house. By taking so long to get it done, Ann was able to add in Carolyn Friedlander's following lines, 'Botanics' and 'Doe.' Beautiful job, Ann!

Ann can't seem to stop piecing her backings. Last July, I had the chance to take the Olive workshop with Carolyn herself. (Thrills and shivers!) In addition to having her autograph one of my house blocks (lower left), I wound up with a stack of paper pieced trees. I wasn't planning to finish them according to her pattern, so including them here was just right. The remaining blocks are Totem-esque. 

I recently ordered yardage from Spoonflower and some of it was personalized quilt labels. This is the first one I've used. Hand stitched, to boot! May rethink some of my labeling options, but this works for now. Done IS better than perfect. Speaking of such, there's a doozy of a humility block in this one. It went completely undetected until I was delivering front and back to the quilter. She saw it. Too late to replace it and I didn't want to delay the process. So, there it stares back at me with impish glee.

Ann says it takes her a while to get geared up for the holidays. She finally got around to gift sewing just a few days before Christmas. Of course, there was our Guild gift exchange earlier in the month. She pieced a sampler of Carolyn Friedlander fabrics together to make the exterior of a Task-It Basket. Ann loves that Angie Bullard received it. It's very different from her usual fabric choices. 

The second was for a friend who loves Felix the Cat, and his bag of tricks. Ann ordered fabric and it wasn't what she envisioned. She wanted to make a big satchel frame type bag but since she wasn't happy with the fabric, and in order to have something to give her friend, Ann opted for another Task-it Basket.

But wait...there's more! There were also mug rugs. All tolled, Ann was quite surprised how much time went into what she imagined would be quick projects. (Yep, I'm still working on 12 mug rugs myself!) Many thanks to Queen Elizabeth for on-point mini-charm technique and Leslie for the fabulous binding short-cut!

And...Ann finished up the fun with another Quilter's Wallet. She added the loops, shoulder strap, and hardware on this one. Love this fabric!!!

And finally, we have this lovely quilt from Robin O. How's this for a last-minute gift? I took Stitched In Color's Angled class in the fall, and then when a family member fell on tough times, I decided I just *had* to give her a Christmas quilt to cuddle. The pattern is based on Rachel Hauser's Emerge quilt, the feature fabric is from Robert Kaufman's Holiday Flourish line, and the whole thing went from "prewashed fabric" to "completed quilt" in just over 30 days. Needless to say, after I finished this, my major Christmas gift to myself was no more projects with deadlines! I need to give myself that same gift Robin! Wonderful quilt and we know it'll be so appreciated!

Okay, I'm exhausted after this post.

Thanks to everyone, not just this month, but all through the year for sharing all your wonderful projects with us. May the new year bring you joy, happiness and beautiful fabric!

Link up your December finishes below! See you next year!