Monday, February 22, 2016

Coffee Talk with Melissa Sullivan

In the words of poet LL Cool J, "Don't call it a come back, we've been here for years!"

It's time to bring back Coffee Talk! In case it is new to you, this is where we get to know some of the members of the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild better.

Today we have a treat. Melissa Sullivan has served as our Charity Committee Coordinator and is an active member in our guild. Her quilts are always a delight and she brings so much to our group.

How long have you been sewing?

I took Home Ec. In 8th grade, so that would be about 27 years, wow I'm starting to feel old. When my first child was born I began making her some things and really started there.

How long have you been quilting?

I believe I made my first quilt around 2007 or 2008.

Who or what inspired you to get into quilting?

The fabrics did! One Saturday after eating way too much at Jimmy's Egg my husband suggested we walk around for a bit. I went into Oklahoma Quiltworks and was addicted from then on. I had only know of Hancock Fabrics at that time and was astonished at the world that had just opened up before me. My husband regrets that he suggested we walk around Cassidy Square that day! LOL

What drew you to modern quilting, rather than a traditional or classic style?

I liked all of the negative space and also the bright colors, brown was not my thing.

Who do you find inspirational in the world of modern quilting, and why?

I find the first ladies of the modern Quilting movement the most inspirational. Gee's Bend quilters, Denyse Schmidt and whoever it was that started the group 'Fresh Modern Quilts' on Flickr. Anyone that has the courage to stand up and say no, I'm going to do it different than the rule book states is a hero on my mind. Knowing what you like and not conforming to someone else's idea of how and what something should be is an admirable trait.

What styles (designers, manufacturers) of fabrics speak to you the most, and why?
Cotton + Steel is heavy in my stash, right now I am crushing on Add It Up from Paper Bandana. Essex linen comes in after that, I just love the way it feels after the quilt is finished and washed.

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

When I am most productive is really hit and miss. I would have to say Fall Break, Christmas Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break!! I do some quilt dreaming in between kids in the library and come up with ideas.

What are some quilt patterns and styles you hope to tackle in the near future?

I want to make a new king-sized quilt for my bed. I'm thinking of Add It Up in bone and some bright, solid flying geese.

What quilt creation are you most proud of ?

Someone asked me to make an R2D2 quilt. They sent me a picture they had found on Pinterest. I drew it out and it turned out great!

Beep boop beep boop


Have you ever had a quilt project go terribly wrong?

Yes, a few! The most memorable was a free motion quilting experience gone wrong! It was a quilt I was making for my youngest and I didn't bother to look at the back as I was quilting it. The tension was way off and after realizing it half-way through I trashed it.

I think many of us can relate! I know I've had to ditch a project halfway through.

In your opinion, what is one "must have" book or blog to visit for modern quilting?

Hmm, there are so many! My two favorites are Tula Pink's City Sampler and Patchwork City by Elizabeth Hartman. Handmade Style by Anna Graham is the next on my 'to buy' list. There are way too many blogs to narrow down.

Agreed! There are so many resources out there; it's awesome and overwhelming!

Everyone loves Hazel!

What is your advice to someone just getting into modern quilting?

Mistakes are proof that you are learning!
Make what makes you smile!

Ain't that the truth! 

Thank you so much for your time and for all you do for OKCMQG, Melissa!

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