The modern quilt guild

January 20, 2010

The Modern Quilt Guild

Alissa has been working on growing her LA modern quilt guild into a national movement of modern quilt guilds nationwide.  She has started a new site to help others start branches in their own city at The Modern Quilt Guild.

I decided I wanted to start an Indianapolis branch – personally, I’d love the opportunity to meet other modern quilters in the area and meet once or twice a month.   You can find more information at  I will be posting information on our first meeting soon, and would love to have anyone interested in the Indianapolis area join us.  Beginners are welcome!

What is modern quilting?  According to The Modern Quilt Guild:

The concept of modern quilting is not meant to divide or segregate. It is meant to welcome new quilters, of all ages, to the world of quilting in a style that they can relate to. In many ways, modern quilting takes us back to the basics of the early quilters, when women of the day used the colors and styles of their time to express themselves creatively.

There are branches starting all over the country, so even if you are not in Indianapolis, check out the member guild links and find one in your area!

The advent calendar

November 18, 2009

The finished calendar

I decided to start doing this while I was packing up my things to move, because you know the best time to start a new project using techniques you’ve never tried before is while you are preparing for a major life event.  I probably started it just to give myself a reason to not pack…I justified it by telling myself “well, you are doing something productive instead of packing so it’s OK!” I actually finished it the Sunday before I moved.

I finished this during one of the most stressful weekends of my life.  I was trying to get as much packing done as possible.  Saturday I needed a break from packing.  Foxy has been at my parents house since before Halloween to make it easier to show my apartment and get ready to move.  I decided I would go to the local city animal care and control and pet some kitties to relieve a little stress.  What ended up happening was that I brought home this sad little dog.

little pumpkin at the vet

The poor thing had kennel cough, fleas, and messed up teeth.  I don’t know what I was thinking, it was just an impulsive decision.  Immediately after taking him out of ACC, I took him to the vet.  He has all his shots now, is flea free, and got antibiotics for his cough.  I brought him home.  That night I was a mess.  I felt like I had made a horrible mistake.  My dog Foxy really does not get along with other dogs.  I just couldn’t bring him back to that horrible shelter.  I didn’t know what to do.  I had just compounded my stress level by 1000.

What I ended up doing is working with an adoption group called Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership to try and find him a new home.  They placed an ad on for me.  I have had at least a dozen people contact me who were interested in Pumpkin, but none of them followed through.  It has been terrible.  And the worst part is, the longer he’s with me, the more I’m getting attached to him, and I don’t think I will be able to adopt him out.  I’m really conflicted and don’t know what to do.  I’ve been so stressed out for the past month – my hair is falling out.  I feel terrible and tired all the time.  I cannot wait for Thanksgiving so I can have the time to just do nothing for a few days and hopefully relax.

close up of the applique and quilting

Anyway, back to this advent calendar.  I used the tutorial that was on the Sew Mama Sew website.  I pretty much used the same fabric too, Michael Miller Funky Christmas.  I just really loved the prints in that collection.  It was the first time doing any real applique, and that was probably what took the longest and was the most challenging.  First I had to trace the numbers backwards on the double sided fusible webbing, and cut them all out.  Then I had to iron on the numbers to the fabric I was using for the numbers and cut them all out.  Then I realized that I had ironed on all the numbers that were on printed fabrics to the wrong side, so I had to redo half of them!  Once I got that all straightened out, I ironed the numbers to the background fabric and began to satin stitch around the outer edge of the numbers on the sewing machine.  It really took a long time to finish all of that.  Once I had that done, and sewed the pockets together, the rest of it came together really quickly.

I forgot to add, they are all little pockets to put treats in!

I messed up the binding though.  I was so tired on Sunday night, but I really wanted to finish.  I didn’t realize until I was sewing the binding to the back (which I do by machine) that there was batting showing in the upper left hand corner…I hadn’t sewed the binding onto the top of the quilt there, I missed the edge.  But instead of ripping the seams out and fixing it, I just sewed the binding so it covered the batting up, folded it over and finished the back.  That’s why it looks crooked there.  I just didn’t care at the time, but now it drives me crazy.  There’s a couple of crooked pockets that bother me too, but I think overall it still looks ok.

I need to dig my sewing machine out from the pile of unpacked boxes and at least put some things away so I have enough room in my “craft loft” to set it up so I can finish the blocks for the quilting bee before the end of the month.  There’s about 4 projects I wanted to make before Christmas as well.  Some will be really quick, like these bookmarks, and some not so much – I wanted to do a quilt as a gift for someone for Christmas…I hope I can get everything done in time!  I have about 6 weeks, I think if I do a little every day, I’ll be able to finish all the stuff I had planned.  Hopefully!

October Bee Pieceful Blocks

October 23, 2009

Poinsettia Block

Poinsettia Block

Morning Star Block

Morning Star Block

I mailed these out on Monday to this month’s bee, Kim.  She sent us Christmas fabric and asked for “traditional” blocks.  I looked around online and settled on these two patterns, Morning Star and Poinsettia.   I think I have finally gotten over my mental block about this virtual quilting bee – I think you are able to see the  vast improvement I’ve made over August and September’s blocks.  The seams and points all line up (almost) :).  But where they don’t it is not that obvious.  I like how I arranged the fabrics, and for the first time in this bee, I was happy to send these out.  Hopefully I will be able to keep it up.  Next month’s fabric is going to be sent soon, and she wants string piecing, something else I have not tried yet.  I want to get it done as quickly as possible, so I can send it back before I move.

I am moving!  I finally found a new apartment that has almost everything I wanted, and its only about 1/4 mile from where I am living now!  I finally got lucky, I had almost given up because I had been looking since May. It is a duplex in a neat little neighborhood called Cottage Home, and has a really cool loft area that I am going to make my sewing room.  I can’t wait to move in and get settled.  Moving Day is only a few weeks away.  I’m moving on Friday the 13th!

After next month’s quilt block, I only have one more project I need to get done before the move.  It’s the Poky Puppy quilt my mom wanted me to make for her.   I will have to post about that later.

on point

October 16, 2009

I just wanted to share this.  Its one piece of a block I am doing for this month’s bee.  The points match!  I’m glad I am getting better at this.  Lets see if this block will be the one where all the seams line up for once.

woodland mixtape - finally complete

I am so glad I finally finished this quilt!  I will be relieved when it finally makes it to its new home on Sunday, when I attend my cousin’s wedding.  He and his fiance better like it!  I want to thank Joann at  Select Sewing Service for letting me come to the store the past two weekends to finish this thing. She taught me lots of helpful tricks and was so kind and understanding to allow me to come in and use their equipment when I was in a panic when my machine broke.   I am so glad I bought my machine at a brick and mortar store!

I’m happy with the decision to add the border, it was just a little too minimal for me without it.  I decided to name it woodland mixtape.  I even made sure I put a label on it, at my cousin’s request.  For a guy, my cousin had pretty exact specifications!  I always forget to add the label on most of my quilts.  I should make an effort to include them.  Maybe if I got that printable fabric, I wouldn’t be so lazy about making labels.

the whole front view

the whole front view

So now that’s done, I can move on to stuff that I WANT to do…

Oops, I remembered my mom’s Poky Little Puppy Golden books lap quilt request first. 😦 Hopefully it will be easier to make than this one was.  I’m just going to freestyle a design that I can use the fabric panel on.  It has each page of the book printed on it to make a soft book.  They are 8″ each, so I wanted to cut them out and use them in blocks for this quilt.  The rest I still need to figure out.  I’ll work on that now and get everything cut out before I get my machine back, so when I do I can start working on piecing right away.

Hope my sewing machine is fixed soon!  I’d like to get my Christmas project done before December 1!

The top is done!

September 10, 2009

I like the border on this mixtape quilt, I think it helps. I thought the 8 solid border was a little large.

I like the border on this mixtape quilt, I think it helps. I thought the 8" solid border was a little large.

I am so glad this top is done.  I added a border because it didn’t seem big enough.  I have lost my quilting motivation I think.  It has been so hard to get myself to work on this thing!  I still need to sandwich and quilt and bind.  I hope my motivation comes back soon!  I hate when normally fun things start feeling like a chore.

deer valley project update

September 1, 2009

I finally got the sashing on this thing, it has really been a nightmare putting it together.  I don’t know why but every row had to be ripped out and resewn at least once.  One of them took like 4 or 5 tries.  It was like every time I sewed a row on, no matter how carefully I lined things up and pinned, it came out crooked.   I was super irritated.  I still need to put the borders on, hopefully that will be a little easier.  At least after all that trouble, I finally got the vertical sashing looking straight, but it was the least enjoyable quilt top I have put together so far because I hate having to do things over, but since my pride would not let me have crooked vertical rows, I had to do it!  I hope this isn’t a bad omen that the quilting part is going to give me trouble too!

audrey’s finished quilt

August 31, 2009

finished top

I finally am able to post about this quilt I finished about 3 weeks ago.  I finished it the night before I was going to see the recipient so it was dark.  I waited to take a picture of it until I got to my parents house.  I had forgotten my camera so I used theirs.  I didn’t upload them right away, and when I left that Sunday, I forgot I had to do it.   So the next weekend I had to go up to my parents’ again for another event, and that time, no one could find the camera.  It turns out that my mom left it in my aunt’s car.  So, THIS weekend, I had to meet my mom up in Lafayette to switch cars (my car got a flat the last time I was up there and so I had been driving my mom’s car so I could get back to indianapolis and go to work while it was getting fixed).  She finally remembered the camera, so now I am able to share these pictures with you.

I think this is my favorite quilt that I have made so far.  It came together pretty quickly, and I had a good time quilting it.  I even tried to quilt Audrey’s name into the quilt.  Its hard to see in the picture, but you can read it in person.  It looks like 3rd grade cursive! But I am sure I’ll get a steadier hand the more I practice.

Im probably the only one who can read it in this picture!

I'm probably the only one who can read it in this picture!

This is also the first quilt that I have gotten tons of comments on, so it must have made quite an impression on people.  I gave it to Audrey at my cousin’s bridal shower because I wasn’t able to go to her 1st birthday party.  So now I have a waitlist of people in my family who want me to do a quilt for them!  It makes me happy though, I’m doing something people appreciate.  That makes me feel good.

...and the back

Charlotte’s quilt

August 21, 2009

a peek of front and back

a peek of front and back

It’s my friend’s daughter’s first birthday party on Saturday so I decided on the spur of the moment to make a quilt for her.  Mainly because everyone was asking me what I was making for her, and all I could say was “I bought her some clothes!.”  This was probably the fastest quilt I have completed so far.  I started on Tuesday and was finished by Wednesday just working on it when I got home from work.  Mostly because there was not a lot of cutting involved.  Cutting out the pieces is not my favorite part of the process, it gets tedious and you have to pay so much attention to make sure everything is precise.  I was so tired of using pink, the last two quilts I’ve made have been mostly pink quilts, so I wanted to do something not pink, and also using only what I had in my stash.  So I was looking through what I had and came across this Michael Miller Ginger Blossom fabric that I had and realized that it was mostly made up of the colors in my friend’s house.  So I decided I would make a baby quilt that they could throw on the floor or over the couch and it would match its surroundings!  I added in the Midwest Modern poppies,  sky blue Carnaby Street fabric and Olive Rose Curves in emerald to brighten it up.  At first, like with Audrey’s quilt, I wasn’t sure if I made good decisions picking out fabrics for this quilt.  I was thinking it was going to be ugly.  Even when I finished the top and back, I still had my doubts.

At this point I was thinking This could quite possibly turn out to be the ugliest thing Ive made so far

At this point I was thinking "This could quite possibly turn out to be the ugliest thing I've made so far"

But once I got the sandwich together and started quilting, I began to like it more.  And once it was washed and came out of the dryer, I liked it a lot.  And it goes great with my couch!

If I had more of this fabric left over, I probably would have made a bigger version of this for myself!

If I had more of this fabric left over, I probably would have made a bigger version of this for myself!

I’m  glad I’ve been making these quilts lately using materials I already have.  Its nice and economical when money is tight, and still makes an impressive gift!  Although the next project I am working on I had to buy all new fabric for.  I love getting new fabric, but sometimes its nice to just use what you have when you are feeling poor, and I am feeling poor right now.  But on the brightside, I got a bunch of different prints  in the Joel Dewberry Deer Valley line, and I am going to be using Oh, Fransson’s mixtape quilt pattern with it, so I think its going to turn out pretty awesome.  Just waiting for the fabric to get here so I can get started!

This is a happier project than my sad Halloween block below.  I’m making my goddaughter a quilt for her first birthday, here’s a little preview of what I got started.  I actually finished up the quilt top and back last night, hopefully I will be able to take some pictures this afternoon when I get home from work.   Its a stacked coin quilt, I used 22 different fabrics for the coins…mostly pinks but there’s also some orange yellow blue and green in there.  I know that sounds insane…I was unsure of it myself at first…but once it came together I think it looks adorable.  I’ll try and post those new pictures tonight!