Saturday, December 20, 2014

January Supply List

Thank you for being brave and willing to join me in our design workshop during next meeting. I think it will be an amazing trip, if you're willing to try with me. 

We will have the two class times next session, just to manage bodies for the table-oriented workshop next month. Please be mindful and come to either the 9am or 10:30am class time in January only.

Here is a (hopefully) straight forward list of items you can bring in January:

  1. Around 50 paint chip cards from any home improvement store. These are the free cards in the paint section. Choose a range of whatever colors and tones that jump out to you. The 50ish you select won't all look good together. These will be used as reference cards during our workshop.
  2. 20 - 4x4 fabric squares, two each of 10 different fabrics. Look through your stash and find 10 fabrics that you love just because you love them. They will not go together. Cut 2 - 4x4" squares of each of them, if you can stand it, giving you a total of 20 squares.
A couple of things to remember. You will be willing to give one of the duplicate squares you cut, so half of your 20, to the group to use. And everyone else will do the same thing, so you will have a chance to pick through a group pile. Please do not choose fabrics based on wanting to seem attractive to the group pile! Bring what you like, who cares about anyone else. This is a very individual workshop project.

Please come even if this idea stresses you, or you didn't find time to get your supplies ready. I really think it will be fun.

There will be no Show and Tell in January. We will be introducing Session 8, which begins in February, and you can sign up for it after January's class. Session 8 will be one class time, beginning at 10am. 

We will not have the Bring a Friend day in January, like we usually do, because of this workshop. Please do bring friends to check out our group in February instead.

After class in January, we will have Open Sew. Let me know if you want to participate and didn't sign up. We have a limited amount of space, as you may or may not have noticed. 

I hope this is clear for you. Let me know if you have any questions at all.

December - Oldest WIP's

Merry Christmas, friends! Thank you to those who brought an old project or two to share with the group. It was fun to laugh together today. I kept trying to find a common thread in everyone's WIP's, and I'm not sure there was one. Many projects were begun early in our quilting lifetime, and we quickly surpassed the project for one reason or another, before it had been finished. Others just lost attention and interest. Some thought they had more to go than they actually do, which is great news! And still others didn't like where it was going and put it away, not ready to take the time to pull apart or begin again. 

I think today reflected how quickly both the fabric world, and our lives change over the years.  Different stages come up, and we become different people as each month and year turn over. We are each truly WIP's. I see many of you come here to find solace. Peace. Inspiration both in quilting and in life from each other. And I am glad for this. We have quilting WIP's because there are pieces of us that we like working on, and other parts we don't like about ourselves that we want to hide away. I hope that in 2015 you can feel, maybe because of our group, that all of your parts are welcome and needed. That some parts maybe don't help you and can be left behind for good, to make room for the better parts of us that need to be able to shine. 

Thank you for sharing anything with us throughout 2014. I loved seeing all of it.

Carmen Geddes also shared her beautiful grids in class and in the store today. I love this idea of both making seams come together easier, and also having more freedom to design something pixelated. Carmen is an incredible quilter and teacher, so anytime you get a chance to learn from her, on and off the sewing machine, grab it up!

I hope at this time of year, each of you can feel the love and magic in your hearts that this season is supposed to be about. I know it can be a tender time in your lives, and also a stressful, hectic time. Savor the good, sweet moments and we look forward to seeing you next month and next year!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November Favorite Things

It was so fun to see some of YOUR favorite things, during this gift giving season. I was touched by how many of you like to make something for your friends.  

Please remember that in December we want to see your oldest WIP, in whatever condition or stage.  Halloween is over, but we want to see the skeletons in your sewing closets. The other kinds you can leave at home . . .

For January (when we will have NO Show and Tell), please collect 10-20 of your favorite fabrics. These are any and all pieces, from whatever styles and origins and dates, that jumped out at your heart for whatever reason. Cut off 2, 4" squares - these will not go together at all - and also bring  at least 50 paint chips from any home improvement store. Again, won't go together, just the tones you like. You can keep one set of your squares, and be willing to share the other set with the group. Also include an open mind.

Here are the gifted beauties that were shared today, and links if available. There were a lot, so please forgive if I unintentionally missed anyone. Any quilts shared went into the flickr Show and Tell site, link at left.

Burlap banners from A Bright Corner

A needle pouch that was a store kit, be could be recreated on your own

A larger project bag/thread catcher

Seasonal table runners

Double-thick crocheted hot pads

Additional notes by Heather at Quilt Barn  

Using any Advent panel to make a gift - knock knock jokes suggested

Draw string, lined, french-seamed book bags with reinforced bottoms

Woodland-inspired Christmas decorations

Patchwork hot pads using Insulbright

Beautiful movie-themed Halloween costumes using recycled clothing

Laundry balls using wool roving

Handmade cow and white elephants. Get it?

Jeanie's plastic organizational system, dealt out of her trunk. Ask next month if you need your fix!

Local art prints from Art Market
(This is one of my favorite places to be a few times a year)

This Fall I have been savoring moments with family and friends who are loved ones especially. I am trying to stop in any given moment where I'm laughing or feeling happy and really look at those around me. To see them and those minutes as they really are. I appreciate all of you in my life who add to me, and never take away from me. I am grateful for this group and how much pleasure I get by seeing the artists in all of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Meeting in Review

Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! 3rd Edition
October brought us together to discuss the virtues held within the pages of our awesome "Cook Book" for this session. 
Quilts, Quilts, Quilts  by Diana McClun & Laura Nownes

This is the 3rd edition of what some say is
the essential handbook for the beginner 
quilter & the constant companion for the 
experienced quilter.  The book is based on the principle that a solid foundation turns beginners into lifelong quiltmakers. 

JoyLyn & Sydney chose two different projects from the book & gave a summary of what they liked, what was helpful, & then showed their finished and in-progress projects.

Sydney & JoyLyn liked the charts and numbered quilt layouts.  They were very helpful in deciding fabric placement.  Sydney suggested studying the cutting instructions before you cut so you can better understand the way things are listed.  This should make it easier to following them throughout the book.  She also suggested looking closely at the finished size of some of the projects.  Her quilt while a blast to make, turned out huge! Which thankfully is always a welcome result for Sydney.  Nice big blocks, great for playing with fabric choices & practicing sharp accurate piecing.

JoyLyn briefly covered some of the chapters about tools (remember for better accuracy in cutting don't use your cutting matt lines & avoid switching between ruler brands).   She talked about viewing your project from different distances which can help in the composition of your quilts.  
#1 Across the Room (at least 15-20 feet away) 
#2 Across the Isle (6-10 ft. away)  
#3 Up Close & Personal (12" away)  
This is where the viewer receives the special treat & details the quilt or art has to offer.

JoyLyn also talked about taking time to enjoy the process.  Slowing down and creating compositions of color and beauty.  Putting more of yourself in your quilts.  She showed a simple portable design wall made by using a flannel backed vinyl table cloth.  

As always so many of you shared your fantastic show-n-tell with us. Check out the flickr page for those photos. 

Have fun creating until next month!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Meet the Team: Pamela

Carrying on with our Meet the Group series, we are going to also be doing a Meet the Team series, so that you can find out a bit more about the women behind the curtains. Pamela gets to be first up this time. She joined the UCMQG team after a few years, when she heard about us and couldn't stay away any longer.  She helps with the communication portion of our group, so if you ever have questions via email, she's your gal. She also drives the wonderful QuiltBliss retreat, sponsored by UCMQG. If you weren't able to get a spot for the February 2015 retreat, dates have been announced for a Fall 2015 retreat as well. Yipee!

Here are a few words from our sweet Pamela:

I started wanting to make things with a sewing machine about 15 years ago, and asked my parents for a sewing machine for Christmas my sophomore year of College. Scrapbooking was huge back then and I idolized Martha Stewart. Finding like minded quilters was hard for me, because everyone my age was scrapbooking and gave me strange looks when I said, "No, I don't scrapbook, I quilt! I love fabric". I had one little baby, no car, so I needed my sewing machine to keep me from going stir crazy at home. 
How wonderful it would have been if UCMQG had been around back then. Quilt groups are great creative therapy. You spend a few hours with like minded people and it fills your creative soul. Every quilter needs a current project, but a group takes it one step further. You get a chance to share your quilts and get feedback from other quilters and it enhances your creative journey. This is what UCMQG did for me. My creative journey has been enhanced, expanded and my creative soul is filled each month at UCMQG.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Meet the Group: Jennifer

Jennifer joined us last summer, but it feels like she's always been here. She initially registered for QuiltBliss 2014, and then decided to come to UCMQG to meet some of the people in the group. She and her mother attended QB2014 and they will be kicking it up again with us in Heber at QB2015. 

Her favorite part of our group meetings is Show and Tell, and also learning new techniques. She quilts as therapy, and also to break up the mundane tasks of her days and weeks. It's her creative outlet. She loves feeling fabric. (As long as it's not green, right?)

Jenn is still plugging along on her beautiful sampler from Session 5. One of the things I like about Jennifer is how many quilts she always has going at once. It makes me feel more normal. She just finished a beautiful flying geese quilt using the fabric she received at our Text Swap. This session we are swapping low volume fabrics, and it will be fun to see how everyone uses those, too. Thanks for setting great trends in UCMQG!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Meet the Group: Lacie

Lacie is one of our newest UCMQG members. She has only been to two meetings! She joined to learn new quilting tricks, and ways of putting fabric together. She also wanted to meet new people who sew. She feels like she is a beginner, but likes to think outside the box in everything she does. Learning new things helps her feel confident in her sewing skills. I can tell you, Lacie has a great balance of confidence and friendliness, as she digs into all UCMQG has to offer. 

For her, sewing is a stress relief. See? She already belongs here. She loves creating what she's feeling. Putting her energy into quilts makes her happy. 

Since she just started with us, she doesn't have a fav UCMQG project, but she feels like everything she's creating right now is from the group. She comes feeling overwhelmed, and leaves feeling inspired and like the fire has been relit to go home and make something beautiful and satisfying. We are so glad she has joined the group. Welcome Lacie!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September MBS Demonstrations

Our last outdoor meeting of 2014 was fantastic. A special thank you to those members who took the time to try out a recipe on Moda Bake Shop. It seemed like most of them suggested printing out the instructions for online tutorials, and they all felt like following the picture of the finished project was a must. And, all of their finished products were really beautiful. Keep the following ideas in mind as the holiday season approaches:

Pamela did the Quilt As You Go Improv Pillow. Hers was made with scraps from a Halloween quilt she made for her son's bed. She did say she wanted more details in the construction. Good thing she's an excellent quilter.

Jennifer B. did the Zen Tote. Jennifer has sewn several bags together and I think those skills saved this bag for her. She tweaked it and adapted it in ways unwritten in the pattern. For example, the pattern read that she needed 24 cut pieces per side, but she ended up needing 31 to take the pattern to the edges. She wished there had been handle sizes, so she bought the only pair at her local craft store and made them work as she sewed the bag. She said the bag took her two hours, and another bit to hand stitch the handles on.  

Syd made a sewing machine cover, combining the two patterns, Sew Busy! Organizer and Jelly Roll Cover Up.  I liked the way her cover allowed for her table extender. She did wish the second pattern would have showed her how to bind into a tight corner, as she's never done that skill before. She also showed a Grocery Bag Dispenser that she made to store her plastic sacks and cheer up her pantry.

Ella and Lori both made the Summer Swing Skirt. I have to say, their modeling might have won best in show, particularly when they threw their left over strips into the crowd.  I loved the way different fabrics made for such variety, as in quilts. And their trim matched their outfit. Ella even made the Charming Belt to match. 

Amber finished the Reversible Child's Apron in purple and yellow. She said it took her about three hours, including the pockets on both sides. Other suggestions were boy/girl combos, or two holidays for twice the baking fun.  

Andrea made Charming Christmas Ornaments, and then did what any creative would do and made a second cuter set using her own ideas, for reusable gift tags.  I love that she's new to the group and jumped right in!

Brenda, Andrea's mother, made not one, but two Introducing Owlivia pincushions. One for her, and one to be given away to a lucky member of the group.  She opted out of the pocket on the back, and added interfacing and another layer of backing fabric to the eyes to make them more stable and lasting. She also didn't need 10" strips, as called for. She only used 6.5". A very thoughtful quilter.

And lastly, Jennifer H. took on the seasonal section with American Glory. Jenn noted that most of the patterns in seasonal shouldn't be ignored. They were seasonal only because of fabric used, and not for the quilt's inherent pattern.  She used some greens and blues, and then made a scrappy mini, much to all of our delight.  This is a pattern that would be a good intro skill-builder to teach someone wanting to get into quilting. 

Please remember that the low volume fabric swap begins next month. Bring your fabric in October, November and December, or all at once in October. The sorting will happen at the end and all will be returned to you during January's meeting. 

Also next month's meeting will be back inside for the winter, so please pay attention to the time you signed up for and come at either 9 or 10:30am. JoyLyn will be talking about some great skills and techniques in the newest edition of Quilts! Quilts! Quilts!, our session recipe book. We look forward to seeing more of what you are working on both for yourself, and as gifts.  Enjoy all of the Fall colors, and let them bleed into your projects!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meet the Group: Michelle

I know I keep typing these nice Meet the Group posts, and some of you may be wondering how I'm making everyone sound so great, but honestly, it's true! And Michelle is certainly no exception. She joined UCMQG during Session 4, but it feels like she's always been here with us. She came with a friend, because she wanted to learn to quilt and didn't know where to start. This is news to me. I assumed she'd been quilting all along with the rest of us. Her quilts are so beautiful and thoughtful, I never would have guessed that she just started.

Michelle's favorite part is learning new techniques. She also loves to see how our group members use color and new ideas others' quilts give her. As many of us feel, Michelle loves the end result of a quilt. She is loving the feeling she gets of accomplishing a new talent, and this may say more about Michelle than her quilts ever will.  Her favorite UCMQG project was the 75 Quilt, when everyone received a bundle containing 75 different fabric squares, to be assembled using half-square triangles in any layout. She loves making HST's now.

Lastly, Michelle loves to give quilts to people she cares about. I will tell you that this group member doesn't take the spotlight a lot at meetings. She doesn't share very much about her personal life, but when she does, it's always so sweet and sentimental. I remember one time she shared an especially cozy quilt for a friend who was receiving cancer treatments at the time, as well as some of her feelings on that topic, and after she sat down, the room felt so much closer and warmer. She has that effect on people.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Meet the Group: Connie

Great news: this week you get to meet wonderful Connie. She joined us in the very beginning of UCMQG with her very talented daughter, Brittany. It was fun to see how she and Brittany's styles were different and the same. Mother-daughter quilting is fun. Connie joined to have fun (we hope she still is!) and to see what other quilters are doing. So often we sew in our own little caves, and I love this group because you get to share what you built, and see what the other cave-dwellers were working on during the month, too.

Connie's favorite part about coming is the artistic outlet UCMQG is for her. And she is quite an artist. She also finds it calming. I'd love to hear more about this sometime. For me, sewing is very calming (unless I'm unpicking an entire row), and I love it when life finds me more like-minded creatures.

Her favorite project we've done so far was the medallion - also one I never got to see finished. Connie's center was a beautiful native embroidery piece she picked up on vacation to I can't remember where now. It looked very South American, so her entire quilt centered around fabric choices inspired by our southern neighbors; oranges, bright greens, black and royal blue. Picking up textile souvenirs on vacations is one of my favorite ways to bring life into my quilts, and I think Connie's toucan center was a great idea for this huge project.  Her quilts are always very distinctly Connie, and the time she spends making sure the color choices are just right really shows.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Meet the Group: Nicole

Nicole has just joined us last session. She loves to share quilting with others who also love it as much as she does. Well, you have found your home with us! She loves to learn new ideas and techniques, but Show and Tell is her favorite. I'm telling you, that's the most awesome part!

She says she quilts so she doesn't kill people, and I'm in that boat, too. Particularly those under four feet tall. She says she's just kidding, but only a little. She loves the creative process and the whole progression that each individual quilt makes. She also appreciates that each quilt has a story.  

Sidebar: every quilt does have a story. Yours! No matter what you piece, what fabric you use, how you put it together, it's important to you. It's your mark in the sand. Not someone else's. And the world truly needs each of us to find some way to make it more beautiful. We are here for a purpose. Leave your mark!

Ok, back to Nicole. She also runs a long arm business called Scribbles & Stitches. Check it out!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meet the Group: Lori

Lori is such a fun friend, and I would say that looking at her quilts now, and her quilts when she joined us a few years ago, she is also having the most fun. I've seen a real shift in Lori's confidence as a quilter and as a person. She says she loves coming to learn new skills and new friends, but her last statement I think reflects who she is the most: she comes to find new creativeness. I love it. And everyone around her benefits, too.

Lori quilts for therapy. Hi, Lori. She loves creating things that can't be destroyed or eaten in five minutes. Her favorite UCMQG project to work on was the medallion. That would have been my guess. She won the award for biggest finished medallion. She was having so much fun she just kept going and going. Each border added so much and it turned out to be a real masterpiece.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Meet the Group: Teena

Teena came to our group right after the second session. She wanted something quilty to do with her friend, so they both braved it and came. She has been busily adding to her WIP's each session in our group, which is why I love coming as well. It's all so inspirational! Teena is a great friend to many in the group and enjoys seeing what others are working on, too.

She started quilting because her mother quilts and encouraged her to try. I love a multi-generational obsession. They're the best kind. Quilting keeps Teena busy and gives her a good creative outlet. She also loves giving them as keepsakes to family. 

Things I have learned about Teena: she and her sister have come closer during her sister's successful battle with cancer, her son's family recently moved to Russia with her granddaughter and a beautiful Russian doll quilt Teena sent with them, she shared her love with her husband by making an amazing bike quilt for him, and she has a very peaceful spirit about her. I am grateful to know Teena and to have learned from her calm perspective on life and quilting.