Thursday, November 21, 2013

November Meeting

November brought a couple of BIG changes to the OKMQG.

Earlier in the month, members met for a special meeting and voted to officially become part of the National Modern Quilt Guild!  It's exciting to be a part of a group that is, literally, worldwide!  We look forward to sharing and implementing new group features in the near future.  Please join us if you haven't already.  We'll start accepting membership dues for 2014 on December 1st.

The next change in the coming year will be our new meeting place. More details will come in time for the January meeting, but let's just say...the new place has room to breathe!  We simply out grew our current location.  Many thanks to the Neighborhood Alliance.  We appreciate you so much!

Our last meeting in the Neighborhood Alliance also brought a changing of the guard. New officers were unanimously elected! (Okay...there was only one person per position running...but still, we all voted unanimously Yes! for each one.) Congratulations to the new and returning officers!

Now...on with the show!

Amanda L (new Programs Coordinator) This was a bee quilt/swap that Amanda participated in. Participants just picked a color, made up the block and sent it to her. The variety of colors look planned!  Amanda is hand quilting this with these cute chunky stitches she likes to do with Perle cotton...

Angie has been testing a lot of patterns lately. This was a cute purse she sewed up and machine quilted the owl.  Yeah...I need to work on my free-motion quilting too. Oh, and that's a peak of her new little squeak in the corner. I just couldn't crop her out!

Ann (new President) is working on The Local Quilt which was a winning quilt at QuiltCon. Here's a look at several of the block she's made.  She's done a fabulous job so far!

I have to give my apologizes to my guild members. I'm seriously challenged when it comes to camera settings. My husband took my camera to New York and I now realize my settings were all wonky. So no, you all don't need to get your eyes checked. I need another camera lesson and the photos really are a blurry.

Agnes (returning Treasurer) I didn't make it to the Lisa Calle workshop last month, but Agnes did and here's her finished quilt. You make those curves look good, Agnes!

Agnes also made a large block/mini quilt using the OKC Memorial Block that Amanda L designed...

...and an improv mini too.  Love that free-motion quilting!

Candace - made this adorable mini. I love just looking at all the little prints she used and I dig the quilting that echoes the shape of the blocks.

Jemellia (outgoing President) made this groovy quilt for her little sister. So cute and vibrant! We know she'll love it.

We will NOT be having a meeting in December. Instead, we'll have a member party and handmade gift exchange. 

P.S. Handmade gift exchanges are the best. Ever.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Quilt Block of the Month Wrap Up: How to Assemble Your Quilt

Now that the Block of the Month is complete, it is time to turn that quilt top into a quilt.  Here is a quick rundown of the steps to assemble the quilt layers, quilt them, and add the binding.  

1.  Prepare the Backing

Choose the fabric for the quilt back.  The backing should be 4"-6" larger than the quilt top, meaning 2"-3" of backing should extend past each of the edges of the quilt top.  While quilting, the fabric can be "pulled" in some.  If the backing is the exact size as the quilt top, when the quilting is complete you may find the backing is actually smaller than the quilt top.  More backing is better.

Use masking tape to tape the backing right side down.  Tape it tight and smooth, but not so tight as to distort the fabric.  If there are any seams in the backing, pull tight along the seams and tape in place.  This will help keep them straight when quilting.

2.  Assemble the Layers

Once the backing is taped down, add a layer of quilt batting and trim to the size of the backing.  Then center the quilt top on top of the batting (right side up) and smooth out any wrinkles.  Make sure the seams are straight and neat and start pinning.  Use safety pins to baste the three layers together and pin every 3" - 5".

Quick Tip*
Press the quilt top and backing with a hot iron and spray starch prior to assembling the layers.  Spray the starch on the wrong side to prevent starch build up.  The starch helps to give the fabric some body and stiffness and aids in preventing tucks and pulls when machine quilting.  It really makes a difference!!

3.  Quilt the layers 

Three options for quilting are: free motion quilting, straight line quilting (using a walking foot), or hand quilting.  This part is all personal preference.  Quilt it however you like, use your imagination and have fun.

Quick Tips for Machine Quilting*
*Roll up the excess quilt to help make it easier to move around under the arm of the sewing machine.

*Stitch length is a matter of personal preference, but a longer stitch length of 3 - 3.5 is a more relaxed stitch and doesn't pinch the fabric as much as the smaller stitches.  Start quilting with a 1.0 stitch for several stitches to lock in the quilting and then increase the size to the preferred stitch length.  When finished quilting, reduce the stitch length back to 1.0 and stitch several stitches to lock in the final stitches.  This will prevent the ends from unraveling.

4.  Prepare for Binding

When the quilting is complete, use a ruler and a rotary cutter to trim the edges and square up the corners.

5.  Prepare the Binding

For the length of binding needed, measure and add up all four sides of the completed quilt and add 25 inches to the total.

6.  Attach the Binding

Start sewing the binding on the bottom side about 1/3 of the way in.  Leave about 10"-12" of extra binding loose before starting and backstitch at the start.  Prevent the layers from shifting by using a walking foot.


7.  Closing up the Ends

Sew the strips together as demonstrated by the line below.

8.  Blind Stitch the Binding to the Back of the Quilt

Now your all finished!  Congratulations and enjoy your new quilt!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Visit from Lisa Calle

After much thought and planning we here at OKC Modern Quilt Guild celebrated an exciting milestone for our guild...our first workshop and speaker!!!  :)  We were thrilled to have Lisa Calle (founder of the Dallas MQG) come and speak with us, on the behalf of Moda Bake Shop, with regards to the use of Moda precuts in Modern Quilting.

Lisa has a lot going on these days!  Not only is she running the Moda Bake Shop, but she has a highly successful blog "Vintage Modern Quilts", has entered the pattern business as "Vintage Modern Quilts Pattern Co.", and she is involved in a couple of new books!  The first is entitled "Classic Modern Quilts". (Please visit her blog for details on all of these exciting ventures.)

One of the guild's goals this year was to have a speaker come to visit us.  I, Amanda L., was lucky enough to meet Lisa at QuiltCon this year, and we struck up a friendship that led to inviting her to come and give these presentations; the first of which was a workshop on Improv Curves using Layer Cakes.

Lisa has a natural rapport with people and has a thoughtful and thorough approach to teaching as well.  Quite the natural.  She also brings a unique and experienced eye for color and design to a project.  Taking her workshop was a lot of fun, and I think everyone came away with an in progress quilt that they were extremely pleased with.  Unfortunately, my photography skills were less than stellar that weekend, so please pardon the lack of pictures.  It's always hard to balance the fun of absorbing everything going on and remembering to photograph it as well.  :)

Agnes is probably aware that all of my pictures are going to turn out blurry!  :/

There was a flurry of activity while we worked and lots of fun chit chat as well.

On Monday, Lisa visited with us at our guild meeting to talk a bit about her work at Moda Bake Shop, how to become a chef for the blog, what types of precut bundles Moda has available, and some examples of how they have been used in a variety of projects (quilts, clothes, home decor, etc.) and specifically in Modern designs.  She also shared some useful details on the information that comes with Moda's precut bundles.  Handy stuff!

Thank you so much, Lisa, for coming to hang out with us!  We very much enjoyed our time with you!!!

Of course we built in a little time for some OKC Modern Quilt Guild "Show & Tell" as well.  We had to show off what we can do!
Mike share his sweet little Halloween wall hanging.

Audra brought the quilt she made for the "Quilts of Valor" charity organization.

Kristine shared this sweet quilted lady bug costume she made for her daughter.

Jemellia brought her do.Good Stitches charity group quilt which used Elizabeth Hartman's "Octagonal Orb" block tutorial.
Amanda brought a quilt she completed for her husband using Denyse Schmidt's "Cog + Wheel" pattern.

At our next meeting we will be holding our annual elections, so if you're a member interested in running for a position please let Jemellia know ASAP!  See you in November!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Block-of-the-Month

Here it is! The final block in our Block-of-the-Month feature. You'll remember that we showed two blocks in both July and August. Join us next month as we put it all together and prepare for quilting.

This month's block is presented by Agnes:

This Arrow Block is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek "…to be continued…" message at the end of our BOM quilt.  I certainly hope there will be many more to follow!  The inspiration and basic proportions came from Anita at Bloomin' Workshop.  Her arrow was a 6-inch block, so I increased it to 12 inches.

For Easy to Print Instructions: Click HERE

Materials Needed:
Two contrasting fabrics

Cutting Your Fabric:
Fabric A: (the arrow)
A1.  Cut one 7" x 8"
A2.  Cut one 6" x 13"
Fabric B: (background)
B1.  Cut two 4" x 8"
B2.  Cut two 7" x 7"

Sewing it Together:
1.  Sew together on the 8-inch sides, B1 on each side of A1. Press towards the darker color.
2.  Place each B2 background piece with RIGHT sides facing on the A2 arrow head piece.
3.  Line up corner to the right.  The background piece will be about an inch longer on the left. 
4.  Trace a line from the upper left corner (where the two fabrics meet), to the lower right corner. Sew on traced line. 

5. Trim 1/4-inch from stitching and press towards darker color. 

6. Repeat steps 2-5 on the other side.

7. Trim the arrow head piece to get a straight line (about 1/4-inch).

8.  Find and pin the center of both pieces. Sew together with a 1/4-inch seam. Press towards the stem of the arrow.

9.  Place 12.5-inch square ruler over block (or use the grids on your cutting mat) and trim block to 12.5 inches square.


Don't forget to show us your block on our Flickr page!