Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Coffee Talk Interview: Karen Oyerly

When I first joined the OKC Modern Quilt Guild, there were about six of us sitting around a table in the back room of our local quilt shop and it was easy to get to know everyone. Now that we're ten times the size, it's hard just to learn everyone's name. Relatively new to the guild is Karen Oyerly, our lucky October Coffee Talk Interviewee. Karen has a great sense of humor and I'm looking forward to hearing about and sharing her journey toward modern quilting.

So Karen....How long have you been sewing? 
About a year and a half; I learned to sew as a child and did some sewing in girl scouts, but it didn't stick!

Well then...how long have you been quilting?
About a year and a half.

Wow, that's not long and you do great work. With getting back into sewing just recently, how did you get into quilting? 
A friend kept bugging me to come hang out with her at a local quilt shop (sadly closed now).  I finally gave in one Saturday, and really fell in love with a quilt the owner had on the design wall - it was all Marvel comic fabrics in the "Big EZ" pattern.    The owner convinced me I'd be able to make it after taking her intro class, so by the time I left, I had signed up for the class and bought a stack of fabric.  I still haven't made that quilt, even though I've had the fabric for it since then!  In addition to the finished products, I was really drawn in by the community and camaraderie I felt in that room of quilters.  The class was scheduled for 3 Saturdays, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it stretched out quite a while - by the time it was over, I had finished a jelly roll race quilt top outside of class time on a Hello Kitty sewing machine I had bought on clearance at Target years ago and had never used - you could say quilting just "clicked" in my brain!

I love Hello Kitty. Did you hear she's not actually a cat, but a girl? Anyway....What is it that drew you to modern quilting rather than a more “traditional/classic” style? 
A little of everything, really.  I love modern fabrics, with the great prints and color palettes. I love the bold, busy quilts that are a barrage of color, but I also love the quilts that make use of empty space.  I love the minimal use of borders - all the quilts I grew up with didn't have borders, so to me that seems natural.  There is a freedom in modern quilting - to modify patterns, to play with color and scale, to improvise and adapt that just appeals to me.  So far, there's not a lot about the modern movement that I don't love!

There are so many great quilters with blogs and books...Who do you find inspirational in the world of modern quilting? 
I really like Melissa Lunden of Lunden Designs - she just has a clean style, and I think she makes really accessible patterns.  Sew Kind of Wonderful - I can't wait to do my first quick curve ruler project - and the quilting on some of her quilts is amazing! The Quilt Engineer does a lot with solids, and talks a lot about her design process, which I find really interesting and educational! HoosierToni - I love everything she does! 

Gee, I haven't heard of a couple of those. I'll have to look them up. What styles (designers or manufacturers) of fabrics speak to you the most, and why? 
Recently I've been really intrigued by what people are doing with linens - I just can't get over the depth that texture gives a quilt.  My favorite fabric designers are Joel Dewberry, Tula Pink, V and Co., Carolyn Friedlander. I also have a slight obsession with Echino fabrics from Japan.

When are you most productive? When do ideas strike you?
I think I get the most ideas in the evening.  I'm definitely more productive in the evening and in group situations. I seem to get a lot of piecing done listening to baseball games!

Haha...I like to have Thunder basketball on while I piece. What are some quilt patterns/styles that you hope to tackle in the near future? 
I definitely have a couple of quick curve ruler patterns in my future! And I've been plotting a quilt with linens and some of my Echino collection!  I just finished a Nancy Drew quilt for my niece - a quilt for me out of this collection is definitely going to happen! 

What quilt creation are you most proud of?  
I made a half-hexie quilt last winter for my niece - it was only the 3rd quilt top I'd ever completed, and the 2nd completed quilt.  It was the first quilt I did without any kind of pattern directions.  I just had the ruler and a stack of 10 in squares!  It was also the first pieced back I made.  To be honest, I've only finished five quilts, so I'm pretty proud of all of them! If you had told me 5 years ago that I would ever finish ANY quilt I would have laughed at you!

Have you ever had a quilt project go terribly wrong? 
Not yet - knock on wood! 

If you had to choose one must have book or blog to visit for modern quilting, what would it be? That's really hard, since I take inspiration from so many books and blogs! 

Me, too. There are so many to keep up with. What is your advice to someone just diving into the world of modern quilting? 
Join a modern guild if there is one close to you! You can learn so much from the guild members, and someone always jumps in to answer questions - we are all learning from each other! And every month at least one project gets shown that I want to make.  And follow fabric and pattern designers on your social network of choice - that way, pictures of new quilts and fabrics are in your feed every day to provide inspiration for your next project!  Make what you love, relax (there is no quilting police, and you are your own worst critic), and have fun!

Thanks so much Karen for being interviewed. Keep up the beautiful work! I look forward to seeing your future projects! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Quilt Show 2014: Opening Night

Our 2014 Quilt Show opened with a bang! We had a wonderful response both in number of attendees and in positive comments. I dare say we even inspired a few to pick up some unfinished projects of their own. I’d love nothing more than to show you each and every quilt in the this post, but we’d much rather have you come see them all in person!

As the last of us were leaving the building, I turned and saw an amazing site. Standing in the shadows, I looked through the windows into the lit-up building and saw an array of amazing color! It was so beautiful to see that we all pulled out our phones and cameras to take a few pictures. If you’re in the area at night, cruise on by.

I’d be remiss to overlook this opportunity to send out a HUGE thank you to Amanda Lipscomb, the mastermind behind this year’s show. It takes a great plan to have a great show and we appreciate all her time and hard work. Heartfelt thanks to the many other volunteers behind the scenes who helped with flyers, set-up, refreshments and anything else that needed to be done.

A special thanks to Alejandro Lozano de Aos for his lovely guitar music throughout the night. Alejandro is a student at Classen School of Advanced Studies and we appreciate him sharing his talents.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond. We greatly appreciate the use of their wonderful facility! I heard several members talking about signing up for an art class!

Remember, the show continues weekdays from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm through October 30th, at the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond, 27 E. Edwards Avenue. Also, don’t forget to enter our Quilt Raffle for a chance to win this beautiful modern quilt! You may purchase raffle tickets at the Institute or on this blog. Click the QUILT RAFFLE button at the top of the sidebar to get your tickets today!   

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WIN the "Doppleganger" Raffle Quilt!

Tomorrow is the opening night of the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild 2014 "Defining Modern" Show!  After two years of planning and some substantial growth in our membership we are so excited to share with everyone the talent of our group at the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.  We are also excited for YOU to have the opportunity to win this gorgeous quilt....

For the first time at one of our shows you have the opportunity to win a beautiful modern quilt!  The "Doppleganger" pattern, designed by the talented Thomas Knauer, was chosen for this year's quilt and measures 80"x80".

The vibrant four, and single, patches were pieced and contributed by generous OKCMQG members.  The array of purples are from the Michael Miller Cotton Couture line and were purchased at Oklahoma Quiltworks.  Jana Hernandez, member and owner of Peace by Piece Quilting, stunningly quilted the "Doppleganger" quilt in a fresh and fun "all over" design.  The backing is from the "Collage" line by Carrie Bloomston and was purchased at Je's Bend in Norman, OK.  The quilt in its entirety is 100% cotton.

75% of proceeds will assist the OKC Modern Quilt Guild fund educational programs for membership, display future quilt shows, aid in the completion of charitable projects, and more.  The remaining 25% of the proceeds go toward aiding the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond fund programs and community outreach, including allowing groups such as ours display their work free of charge.

How can you enter to win?  There are two ways...

1)  Visit our show throughout the month of October at the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond (dates and times can be found on the sidebar of our blog) and stop by the front desk to purchase raffle tickets there.  Or visit us opening night (Thursday, Oct. 2nd; 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.) and stop by the raffle ticket table.

2)  Click on our "Raffle Quilt" Paypal button below and enter the dollar amount for the number of entries you would like to have.  Please ensure that the email address associated with your Paypal account is the one at which you would like to be contacted.

Raffle tickets are -
1 entry for $1.00, or
6 entries for $5.00

All tickets (online and physical) will be combined.  The winner will be announced here, on the blog, and they will be contacted on November 1st via email or phone depending on how/where you purchased your entries.

Best of luck and thank you for helping the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond and the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild!  We both sincerely appreciate it!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Flaunt Your Finish: October 2014

We are just days (DAYS I tell you!) away from our 2014 Quilt Show! We hope you’ll join us Opening Night. If you can’t join us then, remember it continues through the entire month of October. So, bring a friend, bring a neighbor, bring a little cash….because we have an amazing Raffle Quilt! $1.00 per chance to win or 6 for $5.00.


And now back to our regularly scheduled post.

OKC Modern Quilt Guild
While this month’s Flaunt Your Finish projects are not in our Quilt Show, they are all lovely nonetheless and will give you a hint of what you can expect to see at the show. First up is Elizabeth R. (As we now have TWO Elizabeth Rs, Queen Elizabeth’s moniker may need to go public. This is not QE, as she will be heretofore known.) As I was saying…Elizabeth R. is ready for October decorating. This is a modification of the “Fang Table Topper” from the September/October issue of Quilty magazine. Instead of a table topper though, Elizabeth cut it in half so that it can be hung on her front door. Eek! What a great idea!

Next up is Melissa S. Melissa’s poor husband was the last person in the family to get a quilt, so Melissa made it worth the wait. The entire quilt is hand-quilted with size 8 Perle cotton. Beautiful job Melissa!...and a shout out to that Comma fabric by Zen Chic that so many of us love.

This next sweet quilt was lovingly made by Amanda L. for her 4-year old daughter. It’s been a long-time in the making, as Amanda has been collecting fabrics since her daughter was a baby. It is a scrappy look with oversized tumblers. In the center, Amanda quilted the words “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”, which is the lullaby she used to sing to her as a baby. She placed the title in two echoing ovals and then stippled the remainder of the quilt to help the center stand out. This is such a sweet and lovely quilt!

Agnes S. has two finishes to share this month. The first is a quilt called “Never Ask for Directions”. She used the arrow block from the guild’s 2013 Block-of-the-Month and made it in two sizes (12 inches and 6 inches). Agnes wanted to do something directional, with arrows, and a bright palette of colors. The background indigo weave fabric is one she will be using often…after so many grays, she’s ready for a new favorite! I love how the quilting inside the arrows echoes the shape. Fun!

Agnes has also been thinking about a variety of projects that can be made with little leftover morsels of fabric (in the best tradition of quilting, she tries to use up every last bit!) Here's a great modern cover for those bland notebooks.

Robin O. also has two finishes this month. The first is “ConVivial Company”. Named in honor of its recipient, this quilt will be given to Robin’s new niece. It is made in the colors of her nursery (which Robin says was a bit of a stretch for her color-wise) and she’s most proud of the hand-quilted octagons and the hand-stitched dedication on the back. I love the color combination and know it will be well-loved and treasured.

Robin is a second-generation quilter, so both her husband and her father like to playfully complain that they are “quilting widowers”. This particular sewing project (a game board for her husband’s Star Wars X-wing miniatures game) was basically a bribe to remind her husband that he benefits from her quilting too. The mat is 36” x 36”. She used a Smithsonian Museum print for the front and some licensed Star Wars fabric for the back. Now her husband can take this to game nights and Robin can get some more quilting in!

And to wrap up this month’s Flaunt Your Finish, Trina K. has this amazing quilt to share. This was Trina’s first go at half-square triangles. She wanted to use all solids (she used Kona solids) and was inspired by a quilt she saw on Pinterest. She picked out the quilting pattern, but didn’t quilt it herself. The back fabric is from IKEA, and it is definitely a keeper! Wow! Amazing layout and amazing quilting!

There you have it, another great month of finishes. If you like what you see (and really, why wouldn’t you?) please join us at our Quilt Show. Opening Night is Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6 pm - 8 pm at the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond, 27 E. Edwards. We’ll have our raffle quilt on display, treats to eat, live music and an array of fantastic quilts. What could be better?

Link up your finish below and share our button on your own blog!

OKC Modern Quilt Guild

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coffee Talk Tuesday with Regina

Welcome to Coffee Talk! This is where we have the chance to chat with our members one-on-one and find out what makes them tick. This month, we're sitting down with Regina Engling. Regina has been a member of the OKCMQG for about a year now and is just one of those people you instantly like. She blogs at Life in Bits and Pieces 2 and makes wonderful projects. I'm happy to get to know her a little better and share her work with all of you.

Let's start with an easy question first. How long have you been sewing?  

Like many young Oklahoma girls back in 1959, my first sewing project was an apron in pink gingham for 4-H.  

(laugh) Mine was a green gingham stuffed turtle. The only thing I ever remember doing in 4-H.

I can still remember my Mama helping with the cutting and then sitting me on her lap to learn how to guide the fabric through her old Singer sewing machine.  I was so proud to model it at the Carter County Fair that fall, and then present it to my Mama (who put it to good use for many years).  My Mama made most of the clothes for her 3 girls; and,  I was her assistant, hand sewing hems and sewing on buttons – good training for hand sewing quilt bindings!  Today my sewing is for grandchildren – twirly skirts for my youngest grand-daughter and Trick or Treat bags. The bags are usually a  joint project with grandkids supplying the designs and me doing the stitching – you can never start them too young!

I definitely agree that we need to teach kids to sew. So, you've been sewing for a long time. How long have you been quilting?  

I’ve been quilting long enough (over 20 years) that the first fabrics I purchased are now becoming ‘trendy’!  My first quilting projects were quilts for new babies in my large extended family. Using books from the library, scissors, fabric and thread, I managed to create very simple quilts.  One of my first quilts was a baby quilt for my niece – machine pieced, with flannel used in place of batting and tacked with yarn.  My niece is 40 now and still has that quilt along with a baby quilt for each of her three children, all stitched by me.  According to my quilt journal, the total number of quilts made for our family’s grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren is 35 quilts. 

What a wonderful legacy of quilts! What or who inspired you to get into quilting? 

Over 20 years ago, my friend, Linda, who worked in the same office complex, was a new quilter like me.  We would meet during our lunch hour in her office to hand stitch quilt blocks together. Later we joined Central Oklahoma Quilt Guild and soaked up all the knowledge and creativity that those quilters were glad to share. I loved the sense of community the Guild brought to my quilting journey and I’m so glad to have found the OKC Modern Quilt Guild. Linda has been my quilting mentor and even though she and I live miles apart – we still keep in touch with the help of texts and email. She’s still the first person I turn to when I’m in need of some quilt/sewing (and non-quilt related) advice.  

So, with your experience and history of quilting, what drew you to the relatively new modern quilting movement?  

My quilting journey began with needle, cloth and thread –  I fell in love with quilting, but soon found out that I was drawn to quilt blocks & patterns that were less fussy.  Quilts with clean lines, colorful prints framed by solid fabric.  Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate traditional quilting patterns and the quilts created from those patterns; but, they just weren’t for me.  I began taking traditional designs (especially my two favorite traditional patterns: log cabin & stacked coins) and putting my own stamp on them.  After that, with each quilt I stitched, I was learning what I liked and what ‘spoke’ to me – and, that made me happy.  Having the freedom to create with fabric, thread, and needle on my own terms, without boundaries or restrictions, -- that’s what Modern Quilting is to me.

Freedom...that's a great definition! There are some amazing people in the modern quilting world. Who do you find inspirational? 
  • Camille Roskelley – her take on traditional blocks/patterns is amazing.
  • Susan Beal at West Coast Crafty – Modern Log Cabin; log cabin blocks, pretty fabrics, crafty stuff – what’s not to like!
  • Amanda Jean Nyberg at Crazy Mom Quilts and Cheryl Arkison at Dining Room Empire.  Their book 'Sunday Morning Quilts' and Cheryl’s book ‘A Month of Sundays’ are both filled with quilts I want to stitch. 

What style of fabrics (designer or manufacturer) speak to you the most?   

The designers at Moda are some of my favorites:  Bonnie & Camille, Fig Tree, Basic Grey, French General, and Bunny Hill.  But really it’s all about color for me, if it catches my eye on a website or in a quilt shop, at least a fat quarter will come home with me. (I’ll admit it – I  have an addiction to fat quarters!)

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

Weekends are my most productive -- Saturday afternoons are my time to create in my little sewing corner.  I never know when an idea will pop into my head  – which is the reason I have little note books stashed all over the house, the office and in my purse.  Because at my age, the memory isn’t what it used to be!

I'm lost without a notebook! What are some quilt patterns or styles that you hope to tackle in the near future?
  • Stripes from ‘A Month of Sundays’, which is made with men’s shirting fabric;
  • Scrappers Delight  from ‘Sunday Morning Quilts’. It's a quilt to make use of my scraps.
  • Modern Crosses Quilt from ‘Modern Log Cabin’. I have a collection of fat quarters started for this quilt.
  • Dwell from ‘Retro’ by Camille Roskelley. This quilt just might be made as a mini.   

We all have a favorite quilt, whether because of workmanship or sentimentality. What quilt creation are you most proud of?
My husband and I had our first date at Jazz n June in Norman and for our 25th anniversary I made him a quilt from his Jazz n June t-shirts. It’s not the best quilt I’ve made, but it’s filled with memories and that makes me smile every time I see it.  Plus he loves it and that makes me happy too.

Aw, I love that. Did you ever have a quilt project go terribly wrong? 

O’ yes – at times my seam ripper and I have been very good friends!  
If you had to choose one must have book or blog to visit for modern quilting, what would it be? 

Modern Quilting has so many talented and unique quilters/designers - I don’t think I could pick just one!

What is your advice to someone just diving into the world of modern quilting?  

Explore blogs, take some classes, join a Guild, discover what fabrics, patterns and quilts catch your eye -- just go for it!  And, remember to create quilts that make you happy.  

"Create quilts that make you happy"...I couldn't have said it better. Thanks so much, Regina, for sharing your quilts and thoughts with us!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Meeting Recap: September 2014

When I first started quilting, I finally mustered up the courage to post a quilt in an online quilt festival. I posted it and commented that I felt I was cheating because I hadn't quilted it all on my own, my mother had helped. Since then I've learned: Heck no, you don't have to do it all yourself!

I love learning from other guild members and this month we were fortunate to hear from Jana Hernandez of Peace by Piece Quilting. Jana is a professional long-arm quilter and she shared many ideas with us on what to expect and how to talk to your long-arm quilter. She talked about the nitty-gritty: cost, how cost is calculated, supplies needed, how to prepare your quilt, etc...

but she also showed us some fantastic samples of her quilting!

You can't really see the quilting in this photo, but you can trust me when I say it's awesome.

Jana also did the quilting on this quilt that we'll be raffling off next month. Again, the photo does not do it justice. (Check back for details on how to enter our raffle to win.)

Thanks so much Jana for sharing your talent and expertise with us! 

Show and share isn't just a time to show off finished projects, we also like to see projects still in the works. 

First up is Amanda. She shared her oversized block quilt she's been working on. She's hand-quilting chunky colorful stitches with Perle cotton. 

We had a few visitors and several new members. Beth was wearing a visitor badge when she showed us this fantastic mini-quilt. We're hoping to see her again.

Ellen's cute and colorful modern baby quilt just needs the binding stitched down and it'll be ready for delivery! She going to take a little trip and deliver it in person. Don't you love giving a quilt in person!?

Shirlene learned a new skill: towel embossing! I had no idea. This is her bowling towel. Hmmm...an inter-guild bowling league?

You may have seen tessellation quilts around the web. Marie showed us her version and we loved it!

Kristine brought the bag she made for the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge. We shared her photo of it in THIS POST, but we always like to see things in person. I love her straight-line quilting!

Kristine also made a couple banners that we'll be hanging at our October Quilt Show.

Robyn made these banners as well. The star is a nod to the quilt she was making when her daughter was born!

Quilters are a giving bunch, as Robyn has made this quilt for her niece.

Laura should get some sort of prize. She's the only one (that we're aware of) that completed a quilt with our 2013 Block-of-the-Month. She loved that bottom left-hand corner block so much...

that she made a whole quilt using that block! I love how different blocks can look with just a change of fabric.

and....Laura whipped up a cute dress for her granddaughter.

Melissa made this over-whale-mingly cute quilt (sorry, I couldn't resist!) It's Elizabeth Hartman's Preppy the Whale Pattern and there's just no denying how cute and whimsical it is.

Cameron whipped up a couple more banners for the Quilt Show. And I mean, whipped up. Like... 30 minutes before the meeting!

We're excited to be presenting a quilt show in Budapest, Hungary in November. Initially, I wanted to wait and show all the entries in one post, but we bring what we're doing to Show & Share, so I've decided they're just too good to keep.

First up is Bri, who sent me this photo for last month's Flaunt Your Finish. Sorry, Bri. Changed my mind again.... Bri used Aria Lane’s Crossknot pattern and modified it a bit to work with the bright scraps she wanted to use and to keep it small enough for the Budapest show.  He daughter suggested the quilting, and Bri thinks it really makes it pop.  She named it City Scapes as it reminds her of a city skyline.

Shirlene's mini of triangles. I always love a mix of blues and greens.

More blues and greens in Karen's quilt. she said some mumbo-jumbo about this one not be quite right (I love it!)...

and made another one! She looks happy with this one!

Kate's modern mini. Look at her straight-line quilting. She has portions that are quilted in different directions and, you know, that just makes it even cooler.

Regina wanted to do something simple and sparse for her Budapest entry. This one is called Sea Glass. Oh, how I wish we could all be in Budapest to see the reaction to these quilts. We'll share all the projects from the show at a later time.

BIG THANKS to everyone for another great meeting!