Friday, October 26, 2012

Coffee Talk "Tuesday": Jemellia Hilfiger

Once again, I am unable to get this up on a Tuesday.  Ugh.  I think this feature needs a new name so I feel less pressure.  lol  

With that said, I am very excited to introduce you to Jemellia.  She was my first true quilt-y friend that wasn't via the internet.  And we quickly learned that we have a good bit in common outside of the quilting world as well.  This lady is a MACHINE!  I don't think she sleeps.  She keeps a blog over at JemJam and sells some wares at her Etsy shop.  But, you'll have a better chance of finding her at local craft shows in the fall/winter or at local shops.  So without further Jemellia. :)

Hi, Jemellia!  Thanks so much for being our October interview.  So, lets start at the beginning shall we?  How did you get started in the sewing world?

I learned how to sew in junior high in Home Ec., I didn’t do much after that until over 5 years ago, after our daughter was born.  I mostly sewed zipper bags, totes, skirts and dresses.  I also love pincushions. 

So when did you start quilting?

I started piecing quilts just last year, after my second, I started quilting.  I’ve made a lot of quilts in that small amount of time. 

I swear you're a machine.  You must not sleep!  I'm always amazed at the sheer quantity of the things you produce with impeccable quality!!!  Did you always know you wanted to be a quilting machine?  HA!

 When I started sewing, I wanted to make quilts, I owned a few books with quilts in them and knew that I would eventually do it.  My first sewing book purchase was Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing, I started reading her blog in 2006 and when she had her book listed for pre-order in early 2007, I knew that I was ready to begin my sewing adventure.  I also started reading The Purl Bee and Sew, Mama, Sew around the same time and I’ve never looked back.

So, it looks like you have been attracted to the modern vibe from the get go.  What draws you to this particular style of quilting?

Well, I guess the colors and prints attracted me most, I already had a love for print and pattern which was displayed in my daughter’s clothing, my aprons and bags--it just made sense for me to be attracted to modern quilting.

You've shared a few of your major early influences.  Who continues to be an influence in your quilting journey?

ElizabethHartman is very inspirational, her work is precise, calculated, and balanced.  I have both of her books and they are great references and sources of inspiration when I need a boost or an idea.  You know, I first heard of her when she posted a doorstop tutorial on SMS--it wasn’t even a quilt project!  Denyse Schmidt and Joelle Hoverson were 2 authors (and fabric designers) that I soaked up and loved for their meticulous instructions.  Apparently, I’m into precision and plans.  I’m shocked by this...

This is how you ended up with the title "Queen of the Tedious."  :)  Everything you tackle seems so intricate and/or time consuming.  lol

A lot of people may not know that you work at a local quilt shop, and I know you were a big help to me on one of my quilts in particular by introducing me to the Echo fabrics.  So, I'm curious...what fabrics or designers speak to you the most?

Some of my first purchases were Peas & Carrots (American Jane/Sandy Klop), it had Pez prints and she has great basics, still.  Summer in the City (Urban Chiks), Flea Market Fancy (Denyse Schmidt), Freshcut (Heather Bailey), and Belle (Amy Butler), I could go on and on.  Anyhow, the prints that I liked best were bright, mainly had pink or green in them, or were easy to blend.  I still love Urban Chiks the best.  Now, as I look for fabric for quilts, I look for smaller prints and I still love dots, stripes and crosshatch.  Mmmm, crosshatch, nom nom.

Yes, what would the world do without a good crosshatch?!  

So, when do the most ideas strike you, or when are you the most productive?

I’m most productive when I am warm, so in the summer, I cannot sew much during summer days because I have a dependent, but when she is napping or playing on her own, I get busy.  I also will stay up late to sew, ideas usually strike me when I’m close to waking up, almost falling asleep, or, you won’t believe me--in the shower!  Yes!  When you said that about yourself, I was giddy!  Seriously, I probably did a shower wall drawing that day of your interview!

DUDE!!!  I am not alone in the shower thing!  Wait.  That came out wrong!  I mean...other people come up with ideas in their showers?!  Thank goodness I'm not the only one!  

So, what were you drawing on the shower wall?  Your next great idea?  What are you hoping to tackle in the near future?

The easier question would be to ask, “What do you not want to tackle?”  I have some projects that I started that I would like to just sit and finish.  I started Swoon as a curiosity and I really loved it, but, I started a big needle-turn project (almost done) and I put it aside.  I want to make it big enough for our bed, so I did not feel the need to work on it, but now I’m ready to start some more blocks.  Also, I made 4 blocks for the Avalon quilt and put it aside for lack of time needed to dedicate to so many pieces.  I love it, I just sometimes want to “bust out” a quilt.  I have a great idea (to me, at least) that I need to work on because I would love to apply to enter it in the QuiltCon quilt show.  It’s still secret right now, I like secret projects.
Twin sized quilt Jemellia made for her daughter's bed.
Everyone has a favorite completed project.  What is yours?

I’m most proud of this quilt for our daughter’s room, I started collecting fabrics when she was a baby because I knew that I would make something for her room, this is actually the first quilt that I started, which was in January 2011, there were so many pieces, it was so mundane and I put it away for months--months!   Then, the fabric was just in my way so, I decided to complete it and move on with my life!  It’s a twin quilt--75”x90” and I quilted it over 2 evenings, luckily, we have a pool table and I moved my machine there to tackle that beast.  My goal was to finish it by 2011 and I sewed the last bit of binding in place the evening of December 31!  I know what you are thinking, yes, I popped open champagne for the victory! 
You're too funny!  I remember that blog post.  I think I had fingers and toes crossed for your on time finish that night!
Of course we've all had at least one project go terribly wrong right?  Tell me I'm right.
For the OKCMQG quilt show in 2012, three of us did a challenge with the line Washi, we were supposed to take a traditional block and supersize it to a 60” quilt, well, after doing the math, I cut my blocks and once I started piecing, I realized that my quilt was not going to be sixty inches!  It ended up being 77” square!  My blocks were on-point and I did not take that into consideration, Pythagorean Theorem, anyone?
Yep...there you go with the complicated stuff again.  ;)  
Now for new quilters or those who are entertaining the idea of quilting...

If you had to choose one must have book or blog to visit what would it be?
Can I pick one blog and one book?  I choose Chawne’s blog, she is inspirational and intoxicating, it makes me hurt. 
  As for a book, I think I’ll pick Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering & Katie Pederson, it is fabulous, the quilts, the quilting, the colors, just phenomenal.  
Good choices!  In closing, what would your advice be to someone just entering the world of modern quilting?
About half of my items are modern, so, I’m not sure that I can give advice, but I guess I could say, do what you want, sloppiness sucks, eat mint chocolate malt balls as fuel, and be proud of your work.   Also, that’s my life advice.
Words to live by, by Jemellia Hilfiger, ladies and gents!  ;)  Thanks so much for your time, Jemellia!  I hope y'all will take the time to check out more of Jemellia's work on her blog, and I know she'll be at the Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar on December 8 at the OKC Fairgrounds.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WIP Wednesday

While it's fun to see what quilting projects our guild members are working on, it's also fun to see some of the other projects they're working on as well. This week our members have been working on a variety projects. We're also happy to have some new members sharing their WIPs for the first time!

Stephanie is working on this Stashbuster pattern from Material Obsession 2 with Tula Pink Parisville. I love all these prints mixed together! If you're a fabric junkie lover like me, I'm betting we could all use our stash a little bit more. 

Amanda C. is making this cute little jumper for her daughter for an upcoming photoshoot with the extended family (her husband's parents and siblings and their spouses and offspring). Amanda says she's thinking some big pink buttons for the top...but she thinks it still needs something along the bottom... But not sure what... Any suggestions are welcomed, so please chime in on the Comments below with your ideas! I love those little birdies!

Agnes is working on a ginormous size quilt! In theory, she says it's queen sized, but would fit a king, too. It is a housewarming gift for her friend Isabel, who just moved into a beautiful modern home. Her favorite colors are gray and grey :-), and the request was that it shoud be stark and minimalist. Sooo, she went to Denyse Schmidt for inspiration and picked Bella gray and the grunge gray from Moda. Agnes is thinking about doing something more fancy on the quilting front...maybe?... of course on a long arm frame, because there is no way someone could do this on a home machine!

Aw, Agnes...I think you can do it! Someone once told me to just start in the middle and spin it like a lazy-susan!

This is Cristi's first WIP Wednesday! Cristi was going to show us a quilt but she's too busy trying to paint her soon to be sewing room. So instead, here's a picture of how her dog decided to "help" her. He nosed a full paint pan and dumped it onto the carpet the one spot she hadn't yet put a drop cloth. 

Ugh! I've been there with spilled paint but didn't have a dog to blame it on. Maybe Cristi will get new carpet too..haha!

But, Cristi had done some sewing too, and here is a photo of some 9 patches she's using in a quilt for  her mother-in-law. She's used 6 charm packs of Chateau Rouge by French General for Moda and will be using Faded Red Linen yardage for the sashing.

Mmmm....I'm liking this a LOT!

Andrea is making a quilt with the Fresh Lemons Garden Trellis pattern using leftover Echo prints and Madrona Road text print for the center.  It's another quilt for a cousin who recently got married.  Think she can finish by Saturday?  Yeah, Andrea doesn't think so either!

As I'm gearing up for the season finale of Project Runway I defer to Tim Gunn and say, "Carry on!" and "Make it work, Andrea!"

I wasn't sure what I was looking at first when Melissa sent me this photo. Was there a disaster? Nope, she's just on Fall Break this week and the next, so instead of sewing, she's stripping wallpaper.  This wallpaper is the layer *behind* the first layer that she removed.  Just so you know, fabric softener and water make it so much easier to get the stuff off!

Seriously, what's worse than stripping layers of wallpaper. Here's hoping is goes quickly, Melissa, so you can get back to sewing!

Erin has been sewing for her school's annual auction. This is the 3rd class quilt she's made with her daughter's first grade class.  Each child made a mini quilt with colorful fabric scraps Erin provided.  She then stitched them up and incorporated them into this quilt.  The title of this quilt is "know US by our LOVE" based on the verse from John 13:35.  She says the quilt is still very much a work in progress, but will be finished Sunday night.  Erin's other two class quilts "Olive Tree" and "Heart and Hands" can been seen on her website under her portfolio at  

I LOVE this idea of the kids making the blocks! It's going to be stunning!

I went back to work 2 weeks ago and (sigh) I've hardly sewn a stitch. A couple of us from the guild will be doing some presentations about the guild, so I'm making up some blocks to illustrate and hopefully help answer the question, "What is Modern Quilting?" I think this is a good start.

A big THANK YOU to all our contributors! It's a bland blog without you!

Today we're linking up with:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 2012 Meeting & Sew Day

What a great meeting we had this month!  So many great show & shares and a sew day too boot.

I was amazed to find out that we are up to 34 paid members!!!  WOO!!!!  We're all so excited with how our little guild is growing.  :)

In the area of "business" it was brought up that elections are happening at the November meeting for the officer positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Committee Chair.  If you are interested in tackling one of these positions please get in touch with our current President, Angela.  Dues will also be voted on at the November meeting.

Prior to the voting in November there will be a survey to complete.  Angela e-mailed a link to all paid members.  If you didn't receive it please let her know.  This survey needs to be completed by October 26, as items may need to be added to the ballot for by-law amendments. This survey will also help the leadership for 2013 better understand the direction this guild would like to be moving.

In December we have our Deluxe booth on Dec. 8th!  Please see the events page on the private Facebook group to sign up to help.  Shift work is a possibility.  We will need to prepare a hands on activity or two for the young ones.  And we have our Christmas party in the works.  More info to come!

Crys discussed the BOTM for 2013.  If you are interested in creating a 12.5" block, original in design (a "skill" in the block is encouraged but not required) please contact her.  She is currently looking for volunteers for January - March 2013.

Our show and shares consisted of a lot of the Hexie projects begun after last month's English Paper Piecing demo by Jemellia.

Anges Star Quilt in autumn colors with a autumn rainbow zig zag at the top and bottom.  Gray background and binding.
Agnes saw a pattern in a magazine that she wanted to make and then she saw how many pieces she'd have to cut!  HA!  So she altered the size of the stars and the result is STUNNING!  The colors are so vibrant (the dim lighting for the picture didn't do it justice at all).  Everything just shines off of the gray background, and those variegated zig zags...genius.
"Newer" Amanda (yes, we added yet another Amanda at the last meeting so now we have 3) shared this gorgeous English Paper Piecing project.  The use of negative space is genius here, and the bold autumn color palette is drool worthy.  She's lucky it didn't disappear on her before she left!  lol

I am mid project, but this will become part of a Thanksgiving table runner.  The center will be a diamond composed of hexies, and then the right and left ends will each have a hexie flower.

Angela is "this close" to finishing this darling little hexie zipper pouch.  You can't see but my fingers are really close together.  I should have got in closer because everything about it is so meticulous.  And that blue zipper is just grabbing my eye right now...LOVE it!

Emily was able to join us for the meeting!  YAY!  And she shared this Art Student Tote.  It's so nice and roomy.  She's hoping it will make a good project bag.  I'm fairly certain it will!

Jemellia had a couple of things to share, but since we had our hexie projects to share I figured I'd use that one.  She's making a pillow about of this Vintage Modern charm pack.  I don't think anyone will actually be allowed to use the pillow though.  lol  It's too pretty.  (Side note:  I hate that the cabinets are washing out this picture.  I tried everything I could think of to balance the colors more.)

Leslie was a SLACKER ;) and didn't do her hexie project.  But, she made up for it by bringing her Great Grandmother's Grandma's Flower Garden quilt.  It's so fun to see these old quilts.  Especially when you know who made it.  And it's been dearly loved.  Just as a quilt should.

One of our new members, Mandy, shared this darling (1 of 2) baby quilts she's making.  I would have been THRILLED to bits if one of my kids had received this quilt.  This is one lucky baby!

Melissa pulled a Tim Gunn and made it work with this pezzy print quilt.  It was supposed to be a zig zag, but her lovely children disrupted her cutting and it ended up a diagonal stripe quilt.  We all still think it's fabulous, and a happy accident.

Shana is fearless.  This girl is new to sewing and tackles anything and everything she wants to with a DIY attitude.  I  already adore her for that.  She had a bag to share and a sewing kit, but I just love her little Hexie flower that she'll be putting on placemats.  :)  

Well, that's all for this meeting!  Please stay tuned with regards to the Christmas party, and be sure to show up to the November meeting so your voice is heard in the election process!  It's our first one so I hope it will be fun and exciting!

Sew long for now,

Friday, October 5, 2012

Machine Binding 101

One of the goals of the guild is to incorporate more classes, retreats, sew days, and general fun having into our schedule.  We've had a lot of "business" to attend to with establishing our guild in a more official capacity than it previously was, and I feel like we're finally getting a foot hold.

So, on Sunday, Mauri, at Oklahoma Quiltworks, held a special Machine Binding class just for Guild Members.

We had a good turnout and it is certainly a skill that will take a good bit of practice.  Mauri had great tips on how to get a nice even binding on each side of the quilt, how to set your needle, how to handle corners, and some of our members even learned some binding basics.  She really ran the gamut with us and we had a wonderful time!

If you're in the OKC area I highly recommend checking out the schedule to see when you can take Mauri's class.  She's a great teacher and has a fabulous dry sense of humor!!!  :)

Anges and Mauri discuss stitching on the binding
Agnes & Mauri

Mandy irons her binding
Tomorrow we have a Meeting and Sew Day from 10-4 at St. Mary's Episcopal Church.  We'd love to see you there!!!  (Especially if you bring a snack to share.  ;) )