Monday, May 18, 2015

May 2015 Meeting Recap

Wow!  May was a jam packed meeting with a wonderful program and many fantastic show and tells! Before we get into the pictures... just a few "reminders"...

- NEXT MEETING will be held at Oklahoma Quiltworks.  We will be having a social and demo night so please bring a snack to share and be ready to have FUN!

- If you are not receiving email updates from the Modern Quilt Guild (remember, that's the larger group not our local chapter) you may need to go in to the Modern Quilt Guild site and complete your registration information.  If you're unsure of where you are in the process and you have questions about that please email OKCMQG and someone will help you out.

- Speaking of technology, are you on Instagram?  If so, don't forget to add #OKCMQG and #MQG on your posts.  It makes it easy for everyone in the guild, and in the Modern Quit Guild, to find all of your wonderful work!

- If you are interested in participating in the "Road to Oklahoma" Quilt Block Lottery please click here or on the image in the sidebar to find out more details.

- We have a possible opportunity for a show at the OKC Museum of Art and Leslie has challenged us to create quilts with an alternate grid layout.  There is great discussion happening over on the Facebook page of what this looks like.  More details to come!

Now that we're through the business side of things, we had the wonderful Brenda Esslinger speak with us about her Fractured Quilt technique.  Brenda is the author of two books on the Factured Quilting technique, which are available in her Etsy Shop, and she was kind enough to share a bit about how she discovered a faster and easier way to accomplish this look.  She brought along several of her lovely quilts to aid her in describing the technique which involves cutting from several squares of the same image in a variety of ways to create this choppy slightly out of focus look.
 Brenda has used this technique in so many unique ways, at times she uses her own pictures, or finds interesting prints or panels to try it with.  The number of images you use, the width of the strips cut, the seam allowance used, and the direction in which the fabrics are cut can all affect the end result in dramatic ways.
And sometimes she discovers new techniques from cutting errors of her own or from the classes she teaches which create new and interesting effects.
There were so many beautiful and interesting quilts in Brenda's presentation and we so appreciate her taking the time to come and share with us this fascinating style of quilting.

And continuing on the pretty sewn items front we had a wonderful show and share as always.
 Dana not only made her super cute dress, but she also completed a darling Box Car Tote (pictured above) and a WIP plastic zipper bag.  How handy is that?!
 Cathy was tired of awkwardly using her iPad in bed and created her own iPad Pillow!  Genius!
 Jennifer and Carol took a quilting class together and made these darling quilts!  And you would NEVER guess that this was the first quilt for BOTH of them!!! Way to go!

 Bob made some "Road to Oklahoma" blocks for the lottery, but then made a few extra for himself, and he created this stunning American quilt for Moda's Piece and Comfort Challenge, in which he placed 1st in Area.
 Nancy made this lovely chevron quilt using half of a layer cake.
 Regina is making sibling quilts and this one is for her brother.  How fun is the bottle cap fabric?!
DeeDee made a jean quilt for her Son-in-Law and used mens shirts for the centers of the blocks.  It's one heavy duty (and heavy!) quilt.  :)
DeeDee also made this quilt in all solids which is so rich and saturated.   The picture doesn't nearly do it justice.
 And sadly this picture doesn't do Karen's One Block Wonder quilt justice either, but there are so many fun details and an amazing use of fussy cutting.
 Ellen made her brother a fun fishing and camping themed t-shirt quilt.
 Beth, color coordinated with her quilt, shared her paneled growth chart.  She's more into the quilting than the piecing and oh boy is it fantastic quilting.
 Chanda made this well deserved pink quilt for a teacher...
 and she finished this Christmas tree skirt WAY ahead of Christmas 2015.  ;)
 Elizabeth made this darling charity quilt with Denyse Schmidt fabrics.
Leslie also completed this charity quilt using uneven strips of Waverly solids and a Michael Miller stripe.  
 Amanda shared one of the quilts she is making as an end of year teacher gift.

Way to go on all of your fabulous projects everyone!  Keep up the great work and we'll see you in June at Oklahoma Quiltworks!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Meeting Recap: April 2015

Despite a rainy day we had a great turnout at our April meeting!  Thanks everyone for coming out to The Village Library (our "new" meeting location).  President Shirlene had some important reminders and announcements for us beginning with a possible speaker opportunity.  The Guild is considering bringing in Shannon Brinkley to speak with us and to teach a workshop about her scrappy appliqué technique...
 How cute is that bunny?!  So, take a look at Shannon's blog, and see if it's something you'd be interested in our Guild pursuing.  Members can vote "yea" or "nay" on the Guild's private Facebook page.

The "Road to Oklahoma" block lottery project was also announced.  You can find details in the April newsletter , by clicking on the corresponding graphic on the right, or by simply clicking here.

Leslie announced a possibly opportunity for our guild to showcase at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in October.  We won't know anything for certain until this summer, but in the meantime be thinking about ideas for quilts to display similar in size to our previous October "Defining Modern" show (54" x 70").  Leslie is challenging us to create using an Alternate Gridwork design.  More details and specifications to come as Leslie learns them.

OKCMQG member, and paper piecing maven, Angie Bullard spoke with the guild about designing paper piecing patterns and offered some tips and tricks on paper piecing assembly.  Her patterns are super cute, and are available on her Craftsy page.  She brought several of her finished blocks along, and has this darling umbrella pattern available for download for the guild on our private Facebook page, so make sure you check that out.
 And, as usual we had some awesome Show 'n Shares this month.

Leslie decided to put that alternate gridwork style to work in this darling triangle quilt she made for her cousin's baby.

Agnes made this bandana quilt for her husband and the top only cost something like $19!  Note to some bandanas!

She also brought along this little elephant mini she made using the Riley Blake MQG Challenge fabric.

Phoebe showed off this gorgeous raffle quilt that she designed and quilted for the Central Oklahoma Quilters Guild.

Diane played with her new long arm (WOO!) on this sweet quilt made using V and Co fabrics.  We think she did a great job with that new long arm!

Trish is helping dreams come true by helping the DIY generation create unique quilty guest books for their life events.  Traditional guest books are so last season dontcha know.  

Jana quilted this lovely charm pack quilt up using some of the techniques she learned a class she took in Dallas.

Elizabeth got a steal on some Christmas fabrics and decided to use them to make a star quilt (her favorite kinds of blocks).  Beautiful, and the lovely all over quilting was done by Jana too.

Vicki brought in a friend's quilt to share as she's always amazed by the way in which he uses the fabrics he buys.  And he's a generous soul as well, as he sends his quilts to the Norman Guild to donate.

Melissa shared her gorgeous "Elizabeth" Sew Together Bag.  She will be teaching a class on this bag at Oklahoma Quiltworks this summer so make sure you check out their schedule so you too can learn  how to make this handy little bag.

She also finished this custom order Hazel the Hedgehog quilt in a fun rainbow of color.

Ann shared her take on Carolyn Friedlander's "Local" quilt pattern.  She kicked it up a notch by swapping out a few of the blocks in the pattern for a take she created of her own home.  She also joked that it's taken her so long to complete this project that she's been able to use a little bit of each of Carolyn's fabric lines.

I shared this little mini quilt, entitled "Copper Boom!," for which I designed a tutorial for FWFS's Mini Quilt Mania series.

And there you have it folks!  Another fun filled OKCMQG meeting!  We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting on May 11th.  Until then...happy quilting!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Flaunt Your Finish: March 2015

Welcome to March's Flaunt Your Finish! 
We hope you'll share YOUR project at the end of this post!

Agnes is still on schedule with her one-quilt-a-month resolution. February was sidetracked by QuiltCon, but this month she finished her husband's three-tone blue bandana quilt. He wears it well, wouldn't you say?

As for a non-quilty finish, Agnes says she finally made herself an artist's apron. She's been wanting to sew one forever. It will come handy with the fabric dyeing and indigo experiments she's planning for this summer!

Elizbeth has been finishing up an old UFO or WIP tablerunner.  You can tell it is old by the fabric :) It deserved to be finished and Elizabeth will use it on the 4th of July.  She had fun with the straight (sorta) stitching in varigated thread.  It's a bit wavy, but appropriate for a flag, don't you think? ; ) 

This next quilt is a quilt that Bob is turning in to The Savage Quilter for Moda’s Piece & Comfort Challenge. It's made with Moda’s Red White & Free fabric. Is it wrong for me to say . . . Vote for Me! Nope, it's not wrong at for Bob!

I had the fun opportunity of giving a presentation about modern quilting to the Spinning Spools Quilt Guild in Shawnee, Oklahoma. They were a fun group and I made a few zipper-pouches to give out as door prizes. Complete with OKCMQG pins, or course!

Link up YOUR March finish below. We'd love to see what you've created!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Coffee Talk: Becky Schwendeman

Becky is just about as sweet as they come and I'm happy to share her quilting journey with all of you!

How long have you been sewing?

I started sewing when I was 12 years old.  Our summer babysitter was 16 and had taken sewing in Home Ec in school. My mom had just bought a new sewing machine so we sewed all summer and I was hooked after that.  In High School, I took a tailoring class and sewed a lot of my own clothes, but had a fascination with quilts early on. The quilt on the left below is a lap quilt I made in High School and the other I made in college.  Both are tied with yarn.  I still have both quilts and they’ve been well used.

I love that you still have these quilts. So, you've been quilting since high school?

I’ve been quilting on and off for a very long time.  Some seasons of my life have been more productive, but I’ve always done some kind of craft. Last year, I hand stitched snowflakes for all our Christmas cards.  That took a very long time!

Oh, I love to make Christmas cards! How did you to get into quilting? 

I remember seeing some quilt tops at my great grandmother’s house when I was young and now I wish I had some of them.  I think they planted a seed for me.

What is it that drew you to modern quilting rather than a more “traditional/classic” style?

I’ve sewn traditional quilts for a long time and have fabric for several quilts sitting in a cabinet, but they didn’t seem very exciting.  Ann Solinski invited me to a sew day at Oklahoma Quiltworks for the Modern Quilt Guild about 2 years ago.  I enjoyed meeting new people excited about quilting. Modern quilts are often bright and cheerful and you can use traditional designs, some brighter fabrics, modify the design a bit and it becomes a modern quilt. It has been a way for me to connect with Heather, my daughter-in-law, who loves to sew and quilt, too.  We have made 3 modern baby quilts together for friends and a cousin.  Now, happily, we can start sewing for our first grandson due in early August.

There are so many creative and talent people in the world of quilting. Who do you find inspirational?

There are so many lovely patterns and fabrics out there.  I enjoy taking classes with quilt teachers.  It was fun to take a class from Carolyn Friedlander and hear how she has navigated developing patterns and fabric in the modern quilt world. 

What styles of fabrics speak to you the most, and why?

I have fabric and patterns for the Jaybird Park Bench and Rock Candy designs, but haven’t started them. In the recent past, I was drawn to Bridgette Heitland’s Zen Chic’s Juggling Summer and Comma fabric line.  I’ve loved the brightness of Kaffe Fassett fabric and Heather has really drawn my eye to the gray fabrics.  I made a queen size chevron quilt as a graduation gift for Heather from the Comma fabric.  I saw a picture on Pinterest and made up the pattern so the quilt was on the living room floor for a very long time.  Heather was with me before Christmas when I picked it up from being quilted and she kept asking me who the quilt was for.  She was very excited when she opened her present and saw the quilt.  It brings me great joy when someone really appreciates the time and effort put into making a quilt.  I also have part of a quilt made using the Off Track pattern and the Juggling Summer fabric.  Even though I love whole fabric lines, I’m hoping to branch out more to mix and match.

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

I love sewing in the late afternoon after work, but usually evenings are my time to dream and sew and Sunday nights while watching OETA.  I like the motto that I used with my son, Jim, when he was young taking Suzuki cello lessons, and that was, he had to practice on the days he ate.  So I think that should apply to quilting, too!

Is there a project you're hoping to tackle in the near future?

I just bought some nice linen fabric to make a Super Tote.  It looks so handy for traveling. The Metro medallion with the quick curve ruler looks fun.  I’m thinking about making Jennifer Sampou’s Elephant and I quilt.  Our son and daughter-in-law brought me some fabric from Africa and I think it would be fun to use it in the quilt.  It might even be a baby quilt. I have some fabric from Liberty of London that I bought while in London last year and am waiting for an inspiration to use it. When I have more time, I really want to practice and explore machine quilting.  I’m pretty good at meandering, but need to get more proficient with other designs.

What quilt creation are you most proud of?  

I actually have several quilts that I really like. The first is this queen size quilt I made for our son’s wedding.  Jim wanted a rainbow quilt and Heather wanted bright colors so I used all batiks. I think it led the way to modern quilts. The quilt pieces resided on our living room floor for about 4 months.  It was a labor of love and they both have an appreciation for quilts.  

A wall hanging I enjoyed making is the blue and white Making Waves quilt I had hanging in the 2014 OKCMQG quilt show in Edmond.  It now looks so great on the wall by my piano.  I just finished a quilt with sailboats on it for my sister in Minnesota. It was a free Moda pattern that I modified to make it my own.  They live at the lake in the summer and race their sailboat.  I’m excited to give her the quilt when I visit next week.

I love your Making Waves quilt too! Did you ever have a quilt project go terribly wrong? 

It was my first attempt at a queen size quilt, a Trip Around the World kit. In 1982, we were living in Fairbanks and I joined the Cabin Fever’s Quilt Guild.  It was the first time that I felt a kinship with others who loved quilting and I was also introduced to many new quilting tools that have been invaluable on my journey.   I learned to hand quilt with a small group of young women while our babies played.  It took me 3 years to hand quilt it. The border and backing fabric were a cotton blend and it wasn’t until I entered the quilt in the Alaska State Fair and got the critique back that I found out I should have used all cotton fabric.  I learned a valuable lesson but I did get a 1st place ribbon for the quilt.  I also sewed and machine quilted many baby quilts with a herringbone pattern during our 6 years in Alaska.

If you had to choose one must have book or blog to visit for modern quilting what would it be?

There are so many blogs on the Internet: Moda Fabrics Blog and Moda Bakeshop have interesting patterns and many are free! Ami Simms has some interesting ideas and baby things. I often check out blogs recommended by modern quilters: Sew Mama Sew, and the new Block magazine/book from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

What is your advice to someone who wants to jump into the world of modern quilting?

Explore the Internet, take classes, join a quilt guild and go to sew days with the MQG or at a quilt store.  I was recently sewing with Haley, a 12 year old girl and showing her my selection of quilt books. She responded with, why would you want to buy books when you can go on the Internet and find tutorials and free patterns.  I like sewing with others.  It gives me energy and I often learn something new.  Sometimes, I lose interest in a project and set it aside for a while, or in the case of a kaleidoscope quilt I made at Quiltworks about 15 years ago for a very long while.  It’s in softer pastels so doesn’t really speak to me and I haven’t had a plan for it so it has been hard to finish. When I have a person in mind for the quilt, it usually goes together more quickly because I’m very excited to share my labor of love with them.  I only give quilts to people who will treasure them.  I want them to feel like they are wrapped in love when they use the quilt.

Thanks Becky! I love to hear what inspires people and you've just inspired me to go finish the baby quilt I'm working on!