Monday, May 2, 2016

Show and Share/Flaunt Your Finish Super-Post!

April showers bring April sewing! Here's what our guild members have been hard at work on this month.

Ann S, Debbie W, Agnes S and Ellen M are in a small group and made projects using Anna Marie Horner's Field Study. Bold and diverse! Lovely!

Elizabeth and Becky are in the same group but didn't make it to the meeting- lovely work!

Bob brought a stunner! He made this using a doily he received from his friend in the Budapest Modern Quilt Guild. I love the see-through look. He calls it "Ring Catcher."

Trish bought these boots at a recent quilt show and had to share- they're quilted! Swoon.

Mandy made a beautiful attic window quilt. It really looks like a sunrise, especially with the hand stitched sun rays coming from one corner.

Ranette made this stunning Jen Kingwell quilt! If you didn't know, Jen Kingwell will be doing a class this summer at Oklahoma QuiltWorks- the class is sold out, but you can sign up for the waiting list or come to the Trunk Show on May 31.

Agnes S made this beautiful Colored Happy Quilt (free pattern here) as a graduation present. Agnes says- 

I started doing this square stippled stitching , which is quite time consuming, but I think looks good with modern quilts. Also, the name of the recipient is quilted in cursive on the border, which works well with this dark blue fabric.

Agnes has also been using scraps to make some amazing pouches!

From Agnes-
One is a modified, appliquéd feather á la AnnaMaria Horner, on an Essex linen base. (... everything looks good with Essex linen).  The other is a repurposed designer upholstery fabric square with felt 1/2 inch hexies ( idea from @modernhadcraft's IG feed).

Leslie made this great baby quilt for a high school friend, which is a great modern twist on a classic. She just started using Bloc Loc half square triangle rulers and now swears by them! Finished up with machine quilted, half inch lines, this looks fantastic.

Last but not least, Beth shows off her brilliant quilting skills with this beautiful Sew Scary panel.

I don't usually use rulers or contrasting thread, but decided to play around with the small solid sections of the border to make them fit better with the print. I know it's a Halloween theme, but I'm going to hang it in my sewing room year round!
Experimenting leads to great art!

Thank you to everyone for sharing your beautiful work, and thank you to Beth for her help in compiling this month's information. Keep sewing!

Monday, April 4, 2016

March Flaunt Your Finish

With spring came a burst of enthusiasm from our members! We received info for so many great finishes, so many with personal meaning.

Donna sent in two very special finishes. The first is a gift for her daughter- a t-shirt quilt made up of all of her softball shirts, spanning 17 years! How sweet! She looks thrilled.

The second is her first Quilt of Valor, made for her son in law's father. He recently received a terminal cancer diagnosis, and she was able to make and present this to him, including some of the patches he received during his service. Here he is receiving it with this son. What a precious gift and memory. She said everyone teared up and I believe it- I am now!

Agnes has spring fever, which influenced her colors and projects. 

First, she hacked the Modern Quilt Guild pattern of the month by Anne Sullivan and made a table runner. She promises us the dimensions, soon!

These cute placemats have me itching for a road trip.

And she sent a great picture of a quilt she pattern tested for Gina at Happy  Garden Quilt Collection- available here!  SPRING!

Becca took a class with Gail Garber at the Oklahoma State Guild Spring Retreat, and learned some great paper piecing technique. Stellar!

Chaunda had some great finishes this month, too. She made this stunner for their guest bedroom- so modern!

 She also made this chic but easy baby quilt for friends at church. Love those colors!

Celeste, who had a fantastic binding demo at our last meeting, said these are all she's been able to finish in a while, and reminds us of her excellent binding tip- 12" gap on the quilt and 10" tails on the binding!

What a fantastically talented group we have. Thank you for sharing, everyone! Can't wait to see you at our April 11th meeting- at THE VILLAGE LIBRARY (change from regular venue).

Friday, March 18, 2016

March Meeting Show and Share

March brought us another show and share full of fantastic finishes from our members!

Brenda found a new way to show off some creations from her vintage linen collection on canvas.

And she made the raffle quilt for the Medieval Fair this year, from t-shirts of past years! Buy a ticket at the Medieval Fair in Norman this April. 

Susan used some of her reproduction fabrics to finish up this lovely, cozy quilt.

Miss Elizabeth showed off what she is learning in the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club.

And she was very excited to tell us about receiving her ACE pin! 

Evangeline showed off her sewing bee block- so modern! Great colors! 

Agnes brought her first Quilt of Valor, which will go to a family member. Stunning!

She also did pattern testing for a friend. This quilt embodies spring!

Karen is getting ready to hit the road with some travel bags she made for herself, including a luxurious self knitting travel case.

And a larger bag to keep her hand sewing organized around the house. She also had a great travel hand sewing bag she'd made, but someone (cough) didn't get a great pic of it.

Well done everyone! Can't wait to see what you bring next time!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March ACE Quilters

In January, we were excited to announce that we were beginning an achievement program to encourage our members' involvement and growth in the world of modern quilting, the ACE Program.

At the March meeting, we were very proud to bestow the first round of ACE pin recipients! 

From left to right-

Leslie L. received her education pin
Shirlene D. received her art pin
Ann S. received her art and education pins
Elizabeth R. received her art pin
Agnes S received her art pin

Thank you ladies for making the effort to experience more of the modern quilt making world, sharing it with others, and coming back and telling our group about it! We can't wait to award our next recipients!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Coffee Talk with Beth Furnish

Meet one of your newest board members- Beth Furnish! Beth serves as our Programs Coordinator, so if you ever have any ideas for topics to cover at meetings, or guest speakers, just let her know!


How long have you been sewing?

I started sewing when I was a kid, maybe 7th or 8th grade, in home economics. I remember making a unicorn stuffed animal made from a kit. My grandma and mom sewed, too, but I was mostly left to teach myself with a sewing machine, a pattern, and fabric. I laugh now thinking how I used to carefully cut out all the pattern pieces (even the ones I didn't need for my garment), and nicely press them BEFORE cutting any fabric! I don't do that anymore.

How long have you been quilting?

I took my first quilting class in 2003. My husband foolishly surprised me with an anniversary present of a Juki mid-arm quilting frame around 2005. I'm now on my 3rd longarm machine, and he tells me I can't upgrade again.

Well to be fair, he started it... :)
Who or what inspired you to get into quilting?

I always thought I would hate quilting because of that 1/4" seam, matching seams, and keeping points. My niece liked turtles and a friend had made a turtle quilt, so I wanted to make the same turtle block for a canvas book bag for my niece. Little did I know then - it was a template pattern! I had no idea what I was doing, but I got it done. I had to put extra batting under the shell because it poofed up like a D cup. I guess you could say I also had my first "trapunto" experience, as well. After that I decided to take a quilting class in 2003 to learn how to quilt properly. I'm sure glad I did! I've been addicted ever since.

And so it begins!

What drew you to modern quilting, rather than a traditional or classic style?

After almost 10 years of quilting, I had just moved to CO and met up with an old friend who invited me to the Ft. Collins MQG. I made time to look into this thing called blogs and read about this person named Jacquie Gering. Her blog BLEW MY MIND! I read how she had just been to Ft. Collins a month prior for a fabulous dinner and workshop - I had just missed it! I wouldn't say I'd grown bored with quilting, but seeing these modern quilts just reinvigorated me in ways I didn't expect. I was so inspired to take the fundamental skills I had as a quilter and branch out into very different styles - not your grandma's quilt! (Even though I still love Grandma's quilts.) I was fortunate enough to go to the first two QuiltCons in Austin, where I got steeped in the many styles and personalities of modern quilting.

Who do you find inspirational in the world of modern quilting, and why?
You wanted my top 12 list, right? 

Haha, you won't catch me holding you back!

Modern quilting seems to focus more on the story behind the quilt, at least it can more easily do that for me. Thomas Knauer gave a fascinating talk at the first QuiltCon about the parallels between the modern art and quilting movements. I got goosebumps when he posted his "Palimpsest" quilt (quilted with double wedding ring pattern on rainbow patchwork) on the day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage. Chawne Kimber inspires me with her series of word quilts that some find controversial. I got to see her "Give a F*ck" in person - one of my all-time favorites. I also like some less "heavy-topic" quilters, like Katie Pedersen. Someday I want to experiment with her half-square triangle value quilts. I also find Riel Nason's selvage quilts simply amazing! Many are Halloween designs, but she has a great snowman and others, too.

I took a paper-piecing design class by Penny Layman. I had made her Kitchen-Aid Mixer block and it opened my eyes to piecing any shape you want - for those times when applique just doesn't take long enough. I made a cowboy boot and want to get back to paper piecing.

As for quilting, I started out using contrasting or variegated thread for quilting, but then I started to crave blending thread and negative space after poring over Angela Walters' blog and Craftsy classes, and later following Krista Withers, Judi Madsen, Teresa Silva, Lisa Sipes, Kathleen Riggins, and Ardelle Kerr. I just love being able to accentuate piecing and add texture.

Whew! We have a great community of inspiration, don't we?! About half of these I already knew and loved, and the other half have been added to my blogroll and social outlets!
What styles (designers, manufacturers) of fabrics speak to you the most, and why?

My favorite fabrics are Echino (love the whimsical aspect and color combinations), Heather Ross (how can you not love the stories her drawings tell?), and Charley Harper lines (reminds me of watching birds with my grandpa). I'm starting to explore solids and color theory this year and want to learn how to use solids better.

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

I'm a morning persons, so early in the morning, before my kids get up. That's my most peaceful, creative time.

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

It's a dream of mine to do a modern whole cloth quilt, maybe with some of Krista Withers "piece as you go" technique sprinkled in. I will just have to guess at how she does it since I don't think taking her class is in the cards for me now that QuiltCon isn't in Austin anymore (sniff, sniff).

What quilt creation are you most proud of?

The 2nd modern quilt I did was my "New Dawn" quilt. I fell in love with Katie Pedersen's "Psychedelic Baby" at the first QuiltCon, but felt it needed a lot of negative space to play with. Plus, I wanted to make it king size and didn't want to piece the whole thing! So, I turned the square on point and put in a grey background. I knew I wanted to use Kaffe Fassett's Paperweight fabric and tried to find colors to exactly match the dots on the selvage. I pieced a few blocks and it looked awful, so I tried different colors. I repeated this cycle a few more times before I finally settled on the final colors (with the help form a couple of guild members). I put some of the color rejects on the back to remind me of the journey. I named it "New Dawn" to recognize a new era in both my quilting life and sleeping arrangements (as we were just coming out of the co-sleeping phase with our kids).

Have you ever had a quilt project go terribly wrong?

I made a sample quilt for a shop in CO and decided to try quilting feathers to help me learn. Well, the feathers came out ok, but when I flipped it, click, click as my fingernail ran over the stitiching, all of it! I didn't have my tension adjusted properly - not the longarm business advertising I'd hoped for! A hard way to learn to always, always, always check bobbin tension before you set loose to quilt for hours. I knew I was going to keep the quilt in the end, so I just left the stitching in.

In your opinion, what is one "must have" book or blog to visit for modern quilting?
This year, I am very interested in the Quick Curve Ruler patterns. I usually like to try to figure out how to make patterns on my own, but I cannot figure out how to make their projects without the pattern. They just came out with a new book this Jan and I'm currently making big plans!

What is your advice to someone just getting into modern quilting?
Try not to get swept up in all the trends. Or at least, go through that phase to educate yourself, but then come out of it to just follow your own likes. I've been in traditional and modern guilds before where certain styles of piecing, quilting, or fabrics are poo-pooed. I love all quilts (well, almost all), but I don't have to want it in my house to love it. I heard Simon Doonan on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" state his fashion advice: "I usually tell people, go out and buy a blue stripper wig. If you can establish a signature look at is recognizable, that is yours - bingo. You've made it, darling."

Monday, February 29, 2016

Flaunt Your Finish- February 2016

February may have been a short month, but our members got a lot done! All of the inspiration coming out of Quiltcon 2016 inspired all of us.

Vicki sent in a modern take on a dresden plate:

The Norman Area Quilters Guild welcomed Susan Cleveland ( as a guest speaker in January. In her workshop “Disappearing Dresdens,” I began this wallhanging. We learned how to piece the dresden blocks on a starched fabric foundation to ensure it lays flat. She also showed us how to use her prairie point tool to form the points each end of the dresden blade. I think her design choice for leaving the center of dresdens open allows the background piecing to become an important part of the composition.


Jennifer sent in this beauty of a finish!

Made this for my son Drew & his wife, Rhema, for Christmas. Made in Diane Cerny's class at Mustang Library using blocks from Wishes Along pattern from Fat Quarter Shop. Free motion quilting by Diane Cerny & myself on her Tin Lizzie.

Agnes sent in a work of love:

My February finish could be subtitled "...and this is why I quilt, folks!", because this quilt has been significant on so many levels!
First, and most importantly, it went to Sophia in Ohio, for her birthday. Her mom, Jen, has been my friend since back in the days when we were camp counselors together....a looooong time ago, indeed! Jennifer even came to visit me in Budapest, when we were still living behind the iron curtain - 1983? 84? Oh, the stories....!
The quilt is also a cooperative design effort. After much back and forth messaging, it started taking shape: the background is Essex linen, and there are about 20 different colored 2.5 inch squares as well as some Riley Blake gingham. The backing is Carrie Bloomston newsprint.
I think Sophia likes her quilt, as you can see on the second picture!

Beautiful work and beautiful recipient!

And lastly, Miss Elizabeth has been working on some delightful minis! She has also been experimenting with ways to display them on canvas.

A great month of finishes, everyone!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Coffee Talk with Melissa Sullivan

In the words of poet LL Cool J, "Don't call it a come back, we've been here for years!"

It's time to bring back Coffee Talk! In case it is new to you, this is where we get to know some of the members of the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild better.

Today we have a treat. Melissa Sullivan has served as our Charity Committee Coordinator and is an active member in our guild. Her quilts are always a delight and she brings so much to our group.

How long have you been sewing?

I took Home Ec. In 8th grade, so that would be about 27 years, wow I'm starting to feel old. When my first child was born I began making her some things and really started there.

How long have you been quilting?

I believe I made my first quilt around 2007 or 2008.

Who or what inspired you to get into quilting?

The fabrics did! One Saturday after eating way too much at Jimmy's Egg my husband suggested we walk around for a bit. I went into Oklahoma Quiltworks and was addicted from then on. I had only know of Hancock Fabrics at that time and was astonished at the world that had just opened up before me. My husband regrets that he suggested we walk around Cassidy Square that day! LOL

What drew you to modern quilting, rather than a traditional or classic style?

I liked all of the negative space and also the bright colors, brown was not my thing.

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

I find the first ladies of the modern Quilting movement the most inspirational. Gee's Bend quilters, Denyse Schmidt and whoever it was that started the group 'Fresh Modern Quilts' on Flickr. Anyone that has the courage to stand up and say no, I'm going to do it different than the rule book states is a hero on my mind. Knowing what you like and not conforming to someone else's idea of how and what something should be is an admirable trait.

What styles (designers, manufacturers) of fabrics speak to you the most, and why?
Cotton + Steel is heavy in my stash, right now I am crushing on Add It Up from Paper Bandana. Essex linen comes in after that, I just love the way it feels after the quilt is finished and washed.

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

When I am most productive is really hit and miss. I would have to say Fall Break, Christmas Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break!! I do some quilt dreaming in between kids in the library and come up with ideas.

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

I want to make a new king-sized quilt for my bed. I'm thinking of Add It Up in bone and some bright, solid flying geese.

What quilt creation are you most proud of ?

Someone asked me to make an R2D2 quilt. They sent me a picture they had found on Pinterest. I drew it out and it turned out great!

Beep boop beep boop


Have you ever had a quilt project go terribly wrong?

Yes, a few! The most memorable was a free motion quilting experience gone wrong! It was a quilt I was making for my youngest and I didn't bother to look at the back as I was quilting it. The tension was way off and after realizing it half-way through I trashed it.

I think many of us can relate! I know I've had to ditch a project halfway through.

In your opinion, what is one "must have" book or blog to visit for modern quilting?

Hmm, there are so many! My two favorites are Tula Pink's City Sampler and Patchwork City by Elizabeth Hartman. Handmade Style by Anna Graham is the next on my 'to buy' list. There are way too many blogs to narrow down.

Agreed! There are so many resources out there; it's awesome and overwhelming!

Everyone loves Hazel!

What is your advice to someone just getting into modern quilting?

Mistakes are proof that you are learning!
Make what makes you smile!

Ain't that the truth! 

Thank you so much for your time and for all you do for OKCMQG, Melissa!