Friday, July 27, 2012

Finish Up Friday: July Edition

Finish Up Friday is a favorite feature. Say that three times fast...

As I write this, my own finished quilts are in the dryer. I love the moment I pull them out and they are warm and crinkly. I'm giving them to two girls who are getting ready to leave for college in a couple of weeks, but need to give them to them today in just under two hours. I may sneak my photos in later, so check back.

Okay, now on to those who were on the ball and got their projects completed AND photographed!

Hexagons! They are all over quilting blogs. Our Stephanie made this one, below. And if it's the same one she was working on at one of our previous sew days, I couldn't believe how quickly she put this one together. She just about had me convinced that I wanted to do one too! Almost.

City Weekend Giant Hexies

Have you ever had a fabric that you loved so much that you were afraid to cut into it? Well, Robin says she's been hoarding (her words) this lovely floral, Eclectic Garden by Jason Yenter, for well over two years! She finally gathered up the courage to cut into and and I'm glad she did. It's beautiful! She pieced it last September, but shelved it for awhile to do a few baby quilts. And 100 degree Oklahoma heat or no, she's going to cuddle under it! That's why we all have air-conditioning, Robin, so we can use our quilts year-round.

Amanda, on her blog The Cozy Pumpkin, just finished a new quilter quilt-along. This is the finished quilt. Yes, you too can make a quilt for the first time like this! And don't let those tiny red squares scare you, there's a little magic that happens when making this quilt. I love the cheery colors and patterns of her fabrics.

Erin made a quilt that, well, I'm not afraid to admit I'm a little jealous of. This fabulous plaid quilt is what's known as a transparency quilt. It's pieced in a way that gives you the illusion that the fabrics are layered over one another, as if the blue is transparent when it overlaps the white. My first foray into transparency didn't work out as planned, but after seeing Erin's plaid, I'm going to have to give it another try.

I hope you've seen something here to inspire you today. I know I have. We have a guild meeting coming up on August 11th and that means...Show and Tell....(giddy clapping). Subscribe to this blog, if you haven't already, so you can continue to see what our members are creating. We have an interesting group project coming up that I can't wait to see!

Later that day...
Sneaking in one my finished quilts. She loved it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Coffee Talk Tuesday: Leslie Lamb

I think that the ladies in the OKC MQG would agree that if any one of us was to write a book about modern quilting, full of gorgeous patterns, it would be Leslie Lamb.  This gal is bursting with fabulous ideas in quilt design, graphic design, t-shirt design....  You name it this girl can do it.  And to top it off she's a sweetheart.  It almost makes you sick to your stomach doesn't it?!  ;)  Seriously though...we love her and I know you will too!

Leslie Lamb

Hi, Leslie!  Thanks for being our July CTT interview.  Just to start off I want you to share your blog and shop address with everyone.

My blog is LeslieUnfinished, and my shop is Tangerine Bloom.

Your blog is full of great tutorials and "quilty" eye candy.   You have an eye for color that is either raw talent or comes from experience.   So, I'm long have you been sewing?

I think I learned how to sew a straight line at about 9 years old. My mom made a lot of our clothes, so I just grew up around sewing. My sister and I used to make pillows for our Barbie dolls. My mom's machine was a heavy, metal Singer that was really loud. I always felt like it was sewing out of control, so I didn't like sewing very much. I tried again as a teenager, but didn't have the patience. If one thing went wrong, that was it. Project over! I had a little more patience after I got married and sewed a lot of my own clothes since we were still poor college students.

I hear ya.  I think many young people find themselves lacking in patience with sewing.  But, quilting...that certainly takes a lot of patience.  So how long have you been quilting?

I've been serious about quilting for about 3 years. Until then, I'd only made two quilts. One of which, was the king-sized quilt that is still on my bed. My piecing isn't that great, and my mom and I hand-quilted it. We calculated about 100 hours just in hand-quilting! I then made a couple of quilts for friends and it was just so time consuming that it kind of took the fun out of it. But, at that time, I was a real quilt snob. Quilts could only be hand-quilted, otherwise, it wasn't a "real" quilt. I quickly got over that the first time I tried free motion quilting. I absolutely loved it and the quilt was completed in a fraction of the time!

HA!!!  "Quilt Snob."  I love it!  But, if you weren't super into sewing in general at first, and quilting was a bit of a chore in the beginning, what or who inspired you to learn quilting?

The women in my family always quilted and I have several memories of my sister and I playing under the quilts as they were stretched on the quilt frame. My great-grandmother was the piecer in the family. I still have a wonderful quilt she made with small hand-pieced hexagons. My grandmother's quilts always won the blue ribbon at the county fair each year. She had wonderfully, perfect stitches! She liked to do the hand-quilting more than the piecing, so most of the quilts my family has from her are whole cloth quilts. She couldn't see the point in cutting up perfectly good fabric just to sew it back together again! When my mother would quilt with grandma, grandma would unpick my mom's stitches because they weren't up to par. So, my mom tied quilts when I was a child. When I got into quilting a few years ago, she did too. It's great to share this hobby her and we probably go to some sort of fabric store together every week and enable each other's fabric addiction.

One of the things that we love about your quilts is that they are quite often very bold and graphic in nature, which is often a reflection of the modern quilting "movement".  So what drew you towards the modern side of things, since you grew up surrounded by the more "traditional"?

I consider myself a border-line modern quilter. I think traditional quilting says; I need so many light, medium and dark fabrics with so many small, medium and large designs. Modern quilting seems to be less about that. I do a lot of baby quilts and they tend to use classic patterns with bold, modern fabrics. For me, it's all about the fabrics and less about the pattern. I have a Fashion Merchandising degree and I've always loved the mix of patterns in clothing...a stripe with a polka-dot, a plaid with a floral...combining fabrics into a quilt seemed a natural extension of that thought process. I also have the idea that you can't have too many prints (which, yes, in reality you really can have too many) but, quilting feeds that desire to add one more polka-dot to the mix. I'm really drawn to the boldness of modern quilting, just like I'm drawn to the modern art section at an art museum.

Pinwheel baby quilt made from a collection of various fabrics. I can make this quilt in my sleep, I've done so many!

I love doing these interviews because I had no idea your degree was in Fashion Merchandising!  How neat!  

So who do you find inspirational in the world of modern quilting?

I have a lot of blogs on my reader. If I had to pick a couple that really inspire and speak to me I'd say first, Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!  She has some fabulous original patterns and I love the way she often uses multiple prints in the same color to create blocks. There's just something very refreshing about her work. Second, would be Cynthia at Ahhh...Quilting.  Her bold patterns and contrasting colors just speak to me.

Do you have any certain fabric designers or manufacturers that speak to you the most?

I don't pay that much attention to who designs or manufacturers the fabric I buy. Again, it's just about how the fabric hits me. If you are choosey, you can find good fabric almost anywhere. But, you have to be very selective. Fabric needs to have a certain "feel" for me to buy it.

Do you find that there is a time of day when you are the most productive or when the best ideas strike you?

I tend to be most productive in the afternoon. Maybe that's because my ideas seem to strike at night when I'm going to bed and I can't get to sleep because I'm thinking about them. Since my son graduated high school a year ago, it seems to take me a little longer to get dressed in the morning. In fact, it's 12:30 right now and I haven't even showered!

HA!  I think many of us can relate.  I know I'm not a morning person, although my kids are desperately trying to make me one.  So, what quilts or techniques are you looking forward to tackling in the future?

I'd like to get a little more variety in my free motion quilting. I actually don't like a lot of fancy quilt stitches. For me, the quilting just holds it all together. I use the meandering stitch a lot because it's fun to do and because I love the look of the quilt when it's completed and washed. The randomness of the stitch really facilitates that old-fashioned crinkly look that I love. I'd also like to work with more solids and become a little more abstract and random. I can do planned random, but I have a hard time being truly random. I'd like to break out of that.

Now out of the quilts you have completed which one is your favorite?

I'm most proud of my Plaid Houndstooth quilt. The pattern was just a basic houndstooth, but I had some crazy inspiration during an episode of Top Chef to make it plaid. I couldn't be happier with the results and I've had a lot of great responses to it, which I really appreciate.

Plaid Houndstooth using Michael Miller solids

Of course, now that we know what your favorite is we need to know if you've ever had a project go terribly wrong.  It will help to boost our self esteem after seeing that Plaid Houndstooth of yours.  

Boy have I! I always seem to do things the hard way first and I hadn't really figured out the best way to piece the blocks in my Seaside Avocados quilt. The piecing of each block was painful at times and I unpicked a lot. Then, when all 40 blocks were sewn together, I realized I hadn't flipped every other row like I wanted. So, I unpicked it all and sewed it back together again. This was also my first time doing straight line quilting, which isn't as easy as everyone makes you believe. Or maybe it was just me? There were several rows of quilting I had to unpick as well. With a little patience, though, it all turned out in the end.

Seaside Avocados using Kona Cotton solids.

Phew!  That makes me feel better.  

While your blog is super inspiring in it's own right, do you have a blog or book that you recommend for the modern quilter?

I'm not sure there's just one site I'd suggest, but Oh, Fransson! would be at the top of my list. She has a section with tips on the basics and that's where I learned the essentials of free motion quilting. I don't buy many quilt books for some reason.

And, one last question.  What words of advice do you have for someone just diving into the world of modern quilting?

I have two pieces of advice. First, you can only learn by jumping in and doing it. There are a lot of great tutorials online and they can give you the basics of what you need to know. Find a free tutorial of a pattern you like and just do it. When it comes to free motion quilting, practice a lot on samples about the size of a placemat so you get the rhythm and the feel for the motion and speed. It'll feel completely different when you get to the actual quilt, but you need to practice. Just put on your favorite music and take your time. 

Second, it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. There's that moment at a baby shower when the quilt gets passed around and everyone starts inspecting it and all I think is, "Don't look too close, it isn't perfect!" My quilts will never be perfect. But, I've discovered that when that quilt is on a bed or on the floor with a baby and spit up all over it, it doesn't need to be. It's beautiful just the way it is.

AMEN!!!  Thanks for your time, Leslie!  Your approach to quilting from beginning to end is refreshing, and we look forward to seeing you tackle some of those items on your "to do" list.  

Sew long for now,

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 2012 Meeting

Hi you fabulous quilty people!  :)

I've missed you.  But, my shoulder/arm/wrist is in "physical therapy" of the massage nature.  Jealous?!

Don't be.  The massage is super painful.  Like tears in my eyes painful.  Seriously.  My therapist is really sweet and does some relaxation techniques for me at the end b/c she can tell I'm uncomfortable.  With that said...2 days after the massage I feel AMAZING!  Seriously, AMAZING.  So, for the time being, the stupendous Leslie is going to continue helping me out with our WIP and Finish Friday posts.  BIG thank you to her for that.

Now on to our July meeting.  There was a lot of business to discuss, but it was super fun.  I don't have my agenda in front of me so we'll wing this by highlighting some things.  We talked about future blog ideas and next years show.  Look forward to a Q&A post with our show coordinator for 2012, Crys, and myself regarding how our show worked in late July/August.  

Oh, and a shout out to our new members!  You know who you are!  We are SO excited to see our Guild continuing to grow and thrive!!!!!  So many new super cool peeps.

We discussed our plans for attending QuiltCon...and then we talked about our Michael Miller Quilt that we're making to submit for the QuiltCon Show.  The fabulous LQS Oklahoma Quiltworks talked us up to the Michael Miller people, at Market, and through a little quilty magic the OKC MQG is creating a group quilt to enter in to QuiltCon using all Michael Miller solids.  And, (I wish I had snapped a picture of this) to inspire us all, Michael Miller sent every guild member participating in the quilt a Swatch Card of their fabulous solids.  Be jealous.  Be VERY jealous.  It's an AMAZING card.  The fabrics are soft, luxurious, GREAT to work with (I already have on several occasions myself), and the colors are radiant!!!

So a HUGE thank you to the people over at Michael Miller.  We are most definitely feeling inspired!!!  Stay tuned for pictures of that quilt as it comes together.  I can't wait to see how everyone's blocks turn out!!!

Of course we had our standard show and tell segment as well.
Top L - R:  Anges' Linen Quilt, Andrea's zig zag piecing (awesome new member who has NO FEAR!
This is only her second quilt.  Her first one was Avalon!!!  I kid you not, Crys continues on her quest to
complete her "Quilt as you Go" quilt.

Middle L - R:  Betty's quilter accidentally attached a cheater to her backing.  Oops!,  Jemellia made this
zipper pouch for one of the kiddos she knows attending the Oklahoma Quiltworks Kids Kamp.,  
Agnes created this amazing little mini for an Alzheimer's Charity Auction.

Bottom L - R:  Robin (our cutie preggo member) finished the binding on this lovely quilt while at the
 meeting, I shared this little doll quilt I finished up for my daughter, and
Erin made this AMAZING plaid transparency quilt for a customer.
 I seriously plan to have her do an entire post about this quilt as it is stunning.  :)

I hope you all are having a fabulous summer!!!  Now...who else is going to QuiltCon?!  We want to meet ALL of you!!!!!!!!!!  :)

Sew long for now,