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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back from QuiltCon - My Recap

QuiltCon was just what I hoped it would be and more!  Having the opportunity to be surrounded by fellow quilt lovers and quilts crafted by so many talented quilters was surreal.  The quilt conference was filled with artists of every scope and level and the creativity that was exhibited was astounding to say the least.  Noted designers such as Amy Butler and Denyse Schmidt (two of many presenters) provided insight into their design processes;  Mary Fons and Jacquie Gering, among others, offered their expertise in quilt piecing, etc.; Angela Walters shared her exemplary free motion quilting techniques and discussed (with a panel of publishers) the publishing process to all who were lucky enough to get into their lectures and workshops.  There was also a vast array of booths featuring published authors who many deem as celebrities in the world of quilting and fabric arts--a few of them, I am proud to say, are from our very own Guild (the KCMQG).  And two of our members won cash prizes for their quilts; I believe I can speak for the members of our Guild that we're very happy for them and proud of their talents and for representing Kansas City (MO and Kansas) too.  There were also manufacturers and designers exhibiting glorious fabrics, patterns, books, notions, irons, threads, yarns, templates, fabric cutting machines, sewing machines, and long-arm and mid-arm machines.  Demonstrations were ongoing throughout the day every day of the four-day event, offering tips and information from understanding grain of fabric to making optimal use of your sewing machine.  It was literally a quilter's paradise!

The Modern Quilt Guild has now formally introduced itself to the world--being that this was an inaugural event--showcasing what "modern" quilting is all about, and being a part of this phenomenon was truly amazing and inspirational.

Here is a glimpse of a few of the quilts that caught my eye.














To view more photos and read about the quilters and what inspired them, check them out on Flickr.com and type "QuiltCon" in the search box.  The pictures and write-ups there are far superior and truly give them the justice they deserve.


Another highlight for me was meeting a few people I've met online.  Alyssa Lichner from Pile O'Fabric, who is also a web designer by trade and the facilitator of the Skill Builder BOM (Block of the Month) online that is currently ongoing. I also participated in a pincushion swap with some members of the BOM while there, and I briefly met and chatted with Nicole Neblett, blogger of Mama Love Quilts, who entered a quilt (or two) and was recognized as well - go Nicole!  Best of all, I got to get to know members from my Guild a little better and that made this event even more special.

Oh my, this week was a blast and with this being the first conference of its kind, I can only imagine what 2015's conference will offer.  I'm already anticipating bigger and better--because we're a growing community sharing creativity!  What else would there be to expect?






http://www.marciascraftysewing.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

. . . Backpack Ready

The tasks on my To Do List are slowly but surely getting crossed off.  Eight days to go and hubby and I will be on our way to Austin, Texas.  The cutting mat that I ordered was delivered yesterday, so last night I adhered it to the Take-Along Cutting/Pressing platform I was working on last week. This is what it looks like completely finished.



Today I made a backpack to carry my mat, sewing supplies, and a few personal items.  I find that it's so much nicer to not have to carry things all day long.  Here's my backpack and it should go with anything I wear.   (Sorry about the picture quality.)

Front view -


 Back view -


Yes, I could have bought these items, but what fun would that be?

Next, I will need to cut what seems like an infinite number of 5 1/2 inch hexagons for one of the workshops.  Then I will need to finish my BOM (block of the month) project and then at least start on my Mug Rug Swap project before we go--these will stay at home but will need to be completed or be close to completion by the time we return.  Packing will begin early next week.

Are you usually super busy before you go on a trip?  Does preparation seem very involved or are you the "make it simple" type and are rested even before you get to your destination?  Your comments and tips are certainly welcome.

I'll be back soon! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pincushions Swap

Aah pincushions!  I don't know about you but I love pincushions.  As far as I'm concerned, pincushions are the next best thing to making quilts.  Why?  Because of many things:

1) they are useful

2) they are often quick to make

3) they can offer inspiration

4) they can reflect a person's interest (e.g., if you love frogs)

5) they can make people smile

6) they offer safety and organization

7) they are decorative

8) they are soft

9) they can capture moods, personality, and imagination, and

10) can be a collectible

I probably could go on an on --but you get the "point".  (Sorry I couldn't resist.)

Anyway, when Alyssa Lichner over at Pile O'Fabric and the facilitator of our Block of the Month group suggested to those going to QuiltCon that we meet for dinner while there and do a swap, we all agreed and voted on what type of swap we wanted to do.  Our decision was pincushions after a majority vote.  (So it seems I am amongst good company.)

Well, going through the patterns I already had didn't do a thing for me this time, so I, once again, started searching the internet and found a Woodland Cottage Pincushion by The Cottage Mama that I just had to make.  Lindsay, who actually lives in a cottage, is the designer and her creations are warm and fresh.  She also shares recipes, home entertaining ideas, and home and clothing items on her blog:  thecottagehome.blogspot.com and, if you like, check out her patterns on wwww.thecottagemoma.com.

Since my pincushion is ready for the swap next week, I just had to show it to you.  Below is a picture of the pincushion from Lindsay's blog --a free patttern by the way -- and next to it is my finished pincushion with a slight variation.

 

I just hope that whoever receives it, enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Do you like pincushions?  Is there one you received or made that has sentimental value or is particularly special?  If so, why?  Pincushion lovers such as myself would love for you to take a moment to comment.



Denise

Friday, February 8, 2013

QuiltCon Preparation

So now that the Madrona Road Quilt Challenge is over, it's time to start preparing for QuiltCon--woo hooo!  I do have to admit though that I had already started gathering supplies that I knew I would need last week for this week.  So today, about an hour after my workout at the gym, I started making a Take-Along Work Surface, which is a combination cutting and ironing mat.  I am still waiting on the Omni cutting mat portion to be delivered but other than that, it is ready to go.  If anyone is interested in making this as well, I happened to have found this little gem one day while perusing the book Quilt Lover's Gifts - Best of Fons & Porter at the fabric store.  It's really quite easy to make and it requires very little in the way of fabric and supplies.  Also this meets the recommended dimensions for personal work mats for classes at QuiltCon--see their list of workshop supplies on-line.  This particular item, by the way, was recommended but not required.  For me, I felt that this item will always come in handy for future retreats and workshops so I decided to go ahead and make one. 

This is what it looks like:   folded/transportable view -


 

Open view - still waiting for my cutting mat, which will be adhered to on right.



This is the outer surface or bottom view that has been flipped over to become an ironing mat.






Feel free to post or email me if you are interested in making one of your own.  My email address is:  projectniniquilts@yahoo.com.  One project down, many more to go!  Enjoy the day!


Denise





 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Putting A Face With A Name

QuiltCon is only a couple of weeks away and when it is here, we will all have an opportunity to see the many faces (instead of pictures) attached to the many blogs, quilts, crafts, tutorials, and email that have been exchanged as a result of our common interest - quilting.

The Modern Quilt Guild has asked attendees to share five things you do not know about us/me.  So in response to that, here are the following things you may not know:

1)  All though I was not born in the U.S., I was raised here since I was 16 months old and grew up in the Midwest - actually Kansas City, Missouri -  and went to parochial schools from 1st grade through high school.

2)  I was a cheerleader for 3 of the 4 years in high school and was into sports but have always had a primary interest in sewing, cooking, and home economics.  A year after graduation I married my high school sweetheart.

3)  My husband and I raised my little sister and two of our own children in a suburb 20 minutes east of Kansas City called Blue Springs.  Now, my son is an artist and lives in Los Angeles and my daughter, formerly a sergeant in the Army, now works for the Social Security Administration in Kansas City and is married and has one son, and two step sons.


4)  While we are technically "Empty Nesters", we are highly involved in the education and development of our grandson, who loves to provide his input on my quilting projects from time to time.

My grandson - Tyler and my husband - Ray

 5)  I have a very supportive husband, who enjoys the things I create, whether it's quilting, cake decorating,  (I've been known to dabble in the craft as well), teaching, gardening, or cooking and entertaining friends and family.

Me working with my sewing student
 
I can't wait to meet everyone in person - see you soon!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

SCROLL - My Madrona Road Challenge Quilt

My quilt is now bound and ready for show for our guild meeting on Thursday.  Before I go into detail about my quilt, I do want to apologize to my non-quilting friends for not explaining the Madrona Road Challenge in my previous post.  The Madrona Road Challenge was presented to guild members to make a quilt using Madrona Road fabric, which is a fabric line designed by Violet Craft and sponsored by Michael Miller.  The criteria for this particular challenge is to use this fabric (and other Michael Miller fabric if needed) and take a traditional block and incorporate it in your quilt using a modern aesthetic.  The traditional quilt block has to be somewhere in or on  the quilt, and it can be placed on your backing.  In my case I chose to add my traditional log cabin block on my backing shown in the second photo.

Photo 1 - Front - 


Photo 2 - Back -

Inspiration for my quilt came from a combination of the modern block I found on www.freshlypieced.com called the Hexing Around Block and my love of visual effects--scrolls--in this case--because of the movement they create.  There are quite a few visual effects on line, and I found a falling hearts scroll that gave me the idea to make my hexi-logs appear to be scrolling in an up-&-down fashion.  So this is how SCROLL came to be.

Hearing about how someone comes up with a design idea and sees it through is fascinating to me.  Please comment and share how you came about designing a creation of your own.