Thursday, April 17, 2014

A follow-up

Thank you so much for your lengthy comments on my last post ("Who is the 'modern' quilter?"). I've read them all but I haven't responded to any emails yet, due to feeling feverish and out-of-sorts for the last 24 hours or so. If you haven't read what people have said, take a look. It's clear that the topics of quilter categorization and what "modern" means resonate deeply in the quilting community. I guess we can hope that one day they just won't matter in a negative way.

CoExist Stars 2

^An awesome graphic from Hunter's Design Studio (posted with permission)! It says it all! For further reading on the topic you should definitely see Sam's awesome post, titled "All Inclusive."

I do agree with those who have said that they feel people should categorize their quilts for quilt shows. As the president of a guild, I also think it's necessary to explore the tenets of modern quilting and to challenge my fellow members to try them out. If you are in my guild, please show us your quilts, no matter what!

Finally, many of you, including myself, find "traditional" quilts beautiful and derive much inspiration from them (P.S. have you seen the Quilt Alliance contest? The theme is "Inspired By..."). Overall, I'll say it just one more time: go make stuff!

I don't really feel like moving right now but I'm hoping to be better tomorrow. After a short in-service at my school, I have the rest of the day off - which means sewing time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who is the "modern" quilter?

And what is "modern" quilting? I realize this topic is a point of contention in the quilt world. I also realize much has been said on the topic. I've been encountering it a lot more lately, including from within my guild, so it seems like a worthy topic to explore further. By the way, this is not to comment on traditional quilting in any way, but instead to discuss the modern quilting world.

The Modern Quilt Guild defines modern quilting in several ways: "the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, [...] alternate grid work, [and] 'modern traditionalism' or the updating of classic quilt designs." It's good to have a definition; it gives us a sense of the movement as a whole.


My definition of modern may be different from others'. I believe "modern" can mean a traditional design using modern fabrics (solids, bright, saturated colors). It can be improv piecing and/or lots of solids as a background. It can be changing a traditional design to be more scrappy or improv-y or unsymmetrical. It can be a totally original improv design with lots of lines or curves or both. It can be any and all of these things put together.

I happen to be a modern quilter who loves dense quilting, deviating from the pattern, and modern fabrics. I often piece traditional blocks and I enjoy precision; lately, though, I've been dabbling in improv and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Botanics quilt top - yet unnamed

As long are we're making things, does it really matter whether or not we are definitional "modern quilters?" Heck, no! So let's quit the negativity and go make stuff!

I think it's the most beautiful thing: that we all have our own style. What kind of modern quilter are you (if you do, in fact, consider yourself modern)? What do you think modern means? I'd love to know!

I've been writing this post in my head for a while, and I hope it came out clearly. Thanks for reading, and seriously, in case you missed it - just go sew!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

FAL List, Quarter 2

 I'm rolling over some projects from last quarter's Finish-A-Long list, and there are a bunch of quilt finishes ahead, hopefully! I can be a bit ambitious when it comes to goals, so we'll see:

1. The second Sister's Ten BOM (my quilt) HAS to get done! I want to take pictures of it with its sister, and enjoy it! Since I'm currently quilting another quilt, I have a sad feeling my quilting mojo might disappear for a little while, but hopefully not too long. In the meantime this beast has to be sashed and backed. Here's a picture of some of the blocks (more than halfway through the sampler).

2. My lantern quilt top is still languishing in the UFO pile from last summer, just waiting to be backed and quilted. Some people from the QAL have finished theirs, and they are amazing! I actually just bought some Good Fortune fabric from Burkholder's to incorporate into the backing. Maybe I'll get this one done. Or maybe it will be for the 3rd Quarter. There are higher priorities on the list. I would like to use it this summer, though...

3. The Botanics Challenge quilt, however, WILL be done by the end of June. The quilting is 3/4ths done at this point. I've been working on it all week and I'm very happy with it. Still not sure how I'm going to bind it, though. Suggestions?


4. Finish my Socialite Dress (AMH pattern). This is in the cutting stages of the muslin - I'm using some AMH voile for the real deal. I keep going in and out about it! I know I can do it...but I just love making quilts so much! Lol!

5. My Michael Miller Challenge piece. Our guild challenge is curves, and I think I'm going for "improv" curves. This is due for our June CJMQG meeting. Since I didn't end up completing the last challenge, and since I'm the president now, I kind of feel obligated to do this one. And the fabrics are pretty.


 ^picture from the MQG site

6. An Ellie Travel Case and pillow cover (and other fun swap goodies) for my quilty friend @sew_into_my_20s (on IG!). We are doing a swap and lemme tell you - excited over here. She's making me a Supertote!! :O Remember what I said about enjoying quilts to much? I figured, one new venture at a time (the dress) so large bag making will have to wait. I'm excited to try the tutorial by my friend Heidi.

7. A pillow cover for another friend - improvy and using some special fabric. Can't show a photo because I want her to be surprised and she sometimes reads my blog. :)

Too ambitious of a large project list? Probably. But I'll try.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sunday Stash: Mid-Atlantic Mod Edition

Oh goodness. You've caught me on the day I share my Mid-Atlantic Mod haul. I'm a little embarrassed about how much more fabric I actually brought home. And I brought a LOT of fabric to the retreat because I was trying/failing to make decisions on my medallion. Ah, fabric.

My guild friend Sonia (@soniabegoniasonia on IG) gifted me the sewing machine fabric on the bottom - gah! I need to make something with this very soon! Thank you, friend! <3 Oh and by the way... those purple cathedral windows on the bottom right... I can't handle how awesome they are.

Rachel, Liz, Jess, and I took a trip to Burkholder's, where we discovered not only new fabric (Mormor, anyone?) but also some OOP favorites (Architextures, Terrain, Simply Color, etc.) I really wish Jess and I had taken a picture of our cart because the bolts were just teetering on top. Why I didn't just go get my own is beyond me… or I really just didn’t want to spend any time NOT looking at fabric…

These two pictures are all of my winnings (thanks to Windham Fabrics for the beautiful Lotta Jansdotter "Sylvia" bundle and to the Intrepid Thread for the Alison Glass Lucky Penny FQ!), plus half yards, lots of FQs, and some fat eighths from Burkholder's and The Sassy Tassel. I bought yardage of purple Lecien fabric (bottom, first picture - YUM) to make a top. The Sassy Tassel also had OOP Amy Butler "Love" (which I mostly missed out on because it came out before I was sewing), AMH "Innocent Crush" (clearly there's never too much of that around here) and Joel Dewberry "Modern Meadow." Thanks, Sassy Tassel!

I overloaded on purples (because awesome purples are hard to find [though getting easier to find] and they are my favorites), and low volumes (yes, I finally bought a piece of Catnap!!). I've been going through LVs like crazy since last November when I made Pumpkin Spice Latte. The Botanics quilt ate up a lot too, so I had to shop… right? I can't get over the "8 Days a Week" fabric from Windham at the bottom of the first picture. It's almost as exciting as the Britten Nummer print from Ikea (that is sadly becoming discontinued :( ).

After this, I literally cannot stuff more than maybe 5 half yards more into my fabric cabinet. I'll either need to use a bunch of this fabric en masse or just get more storage… lol?

So, what are you stashing this week?
 I'm linking up to Sunday Stash @ Molli Sparkles!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Mod Recap

So, what is there to say about Mid-Atlantic Mod? Too much, apparently! I kept finding more things to say, and since this is my blog, I'll say them all! 

Here's a picture of the CJMQG members at the retreat, minus Rachel and Sonia. We are just too cute!  From the left: Neva, Tatiana, Jess L, Robin, myself, Christina, Laura (back), Amy (front), Kathleen

Mid-Atlantic Mod

 Mid-Atlantic Mod was a sold-out, four-day modern quilting retreat made up of the Philly, Central Jersey, and DC Modern Quilt Guilds, as well as other quilters within the area (65 attendees). And it was totally awesome. Driving to Lancaster took most of us 2 to 2.5 hours, so it was super convenient. I have to admit that if I only can afford to go to one event next year, I would be more than content just going back to this retreat. It was definitely the most fun I've had over a four day period in a very long time, and it was so exciting to meet Instagram friends and new friends, hang out with old friends, fabric shop, discover Lancaster, and sew a whole lot. 

Thursday, the first day, was c.r.a.z.y. I think it took a half hour to unload my car because of all the sewing stuff I brought... whoops. No regrets, though! This includes my entire AMH stash and any neutrals/solids/low volumes/tone on tones I am considering for my medallion quilt... I don't take prisoners.

I used a beautiful Chicopee pillow from Life's Rich Pattern all weekend - it's one of our favorite pillows in the house :)

I finally met Liz! Liz (@beadqueene on Instagram) found out about the retreat from reading my blog. We've been emailing/Instagramming since she told me she was going, and we had the best time together! Here we are with our friend "Crafty Festa" Sara (@craftyfesta)!

Many of us were pretty loopy that first night. The bar had drink specials for the quilters: Round Robin, Seam Ripper, and Pinking Shears (lols). There was a scrap bin to throw your scraps in and pick out new ones and we went a bit crazy...


On Friday, some of us took a roadtrip to Burkholder Fabrics. Never have I felt more like a kid in a candy store. So. Worth. The. Trip. We could have also trekked to some other well-known fabric shops, but we wanted to sew more than shop all day. I know some people who shop-hopped and got some crazy awesome stuff all over! I'll share my haul on Sunday for Sunday Stash. Here's a great picture of us after Burkholder's: 

VICTORIOUS. From left: Rachel, Liz, Jess, and myself - photo credit: Rachel

We joked about wearing "our nice sweatpants" on Friday because there was a wedding reception happening right outside our conference room. Like, you would walk out to run to your hotel room or go to the bathrooms or whatever, and you were in the middle of a reception! We must have looked pretty hilarious. We also had a fun mixer that we have our wonderful sponsors to thank for (thank you!). It was great talking to other quilters and meeting new people, but after a while a bunch of us really just wanted to sew ;). We all sewed the night away afterwards!

Saturday was the day most people had one (or two or three or four) classes. This made it a bit difficult to go anywhere with friends because of schedules, but we made it work. I only took one class - Foundation Paper Piecing - and I haven't finished my block yet :P. Jess *says* she offered the class to help me, and of course I was ten minutes late (Neva, Rachel, Nicole, Liz, and I had a really relaxing lunch and did some MORE fabric shopping downtown and we cut it a bit close). Anyway, I now understand the general process of paper piecing but finishing my block was not a priority once the class ended (I kind of missed one piece and got frustrated and moved on to finishing my Radiant Orchid coasters). When I'm ready, I'll take it back out again and have Jess help me more. I promise I'll post it here, too! I might also just dive into a simple paper piecing project now that I get the gist of it.

On Saturday night, we had a pajama party (out in the atrium there was a big dinner, so again, we looked a bit out of place!). The tote bag swap was hands down the best part of the night. Quilters made tote bags using Essex Linen from Robert Kaufman (thank you!!!) and places them in bags for disguise. The organizers handed out the bags at random and it was like Christmas morning. Everyone was SO excited! I know of a pair of ladies who received each others' bags!

My bag was made by Heather (@heatherkojan), and now I have a new friend! She is amazing! OMG - OOP AMH and the viewmasters by Melody Miller - I was overwhelmed. Thank you Heather for making my weekend! P.S. - The lady who won my bag thankfully LOVES purple - yay!

Sewing-wise, I got a lot done, and so did many of my friends! You can see what I worked on here. And the giveaways. Wow. We had a ton of sponsors thanks to the hard work of Jess, Katie, and Andrew. Thanks to all of you for everything!

Andrew, the president of the Philly Guild, won the Lizzy House Soak nail polish (lol) and he knew I was dying to get my hands on some, so he gave it to me!! <3 I kind of look a bit confused here, and my hair is a mess, but you get the idea! He's a riot. And we worked on AMH feathers together. Thanks Andrew! Looking forward to working with you in the future as presidents!

Behind the hotel. So beautiful! Neva and I took a walk around here when we needed fresh air. :)

We had a wonderful weekend, and the next one can't come soon enough! There was a lot of free time to do what you wanted. I need to remember my bathing suit next year for the awesome pool! I hope you'll consider registering next year if you are from the mid-Atlantic region of the US. And even if you aren't... well, you could fly here... ;)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Whoops. I didn't blog at Mid-Atlantic Mod! Every time it popped into my mind, I thought I'd rather socialize more with people I don't see often/had just met, and/or sew more. I'll have a recap of the whole weekend up this week! It was an awesome weekend overall and I CAN'T WAIT until next year.

I'm actually really impressed with how much I got done at the retreat. I nearly finished the second border of my medallion quilt. The Anna Maria Horner feathers are one of my favorite patterns but they *can* take forever (like, all day Thursday). I'm just waiting for inspiration to hit for small corner blocks. What do you think? Bear paw? Churn dash? Something else? I'm all ears.

I finished some cute coasters for last night's CJMQG Radiant Orchid Swap Challenge! I just sewed together a bunch of scraps from "Plumes of Orchid" and cut them down to coaster size. Super relaxing.

I got a really cute drawstring bag from Christina in the swap, and Amy made me this awesome glasses case! Thanks ladies, I love love love them!

Finally, I started quilting the Botanics Challenge quilt. It has been really relaxing but I haven't been able to squeeze in much quilting time the last couple of days, with work and planning the guild meeting. I can't wait to share more about my quilting designs. I'm using a variety of Aurifil grays for the low volume parts and tree trunks, while the actual trees will get their own Connecting Threads colors.

I still have to unpack all of this:

Womp womp. What are you up to on this lovely Wednesday? So excited that it's going to be about 60 degrees all week!


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