Tag Archives: modern quilting

Crumb-ing with Ami Simms

Look! I’m featured in Ami Simm’s newsletter!

http://amisimms.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/the-2014-crumb-quilt-challenge/

Here’s the youtube link if you just want to skip to my part:

E0l0Y

How’d that happen? Well, I went to a workshop sponsored by my quilt guild where Ami Simms was the teacher. (It was her twisted sister class.) As I usually do, I crumb-pieced blocks together as I worked instead of using leaders and enders. Ami asked about it and ended up filming my explanation. So cool, right?!?! She said that a customer asked about sorting and using scraps in the comments of her January newsletter. So, right place, right gal, right time… all of this fit nicely into the ideas that were already being formed for the February newsletter in response to that customer.

I feel honored that such a super-star quilter felt inspired by me and what I do. My award-winning quilt, “Picking Up The Pieces” even appeared in the mostly smart-phone-recorded video. What’s even cooler is that I’m helping to fill a need too. Win-win…. for the win! 🙂

Picking Up The Pieces

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Customer Service 101: Active Listening

 

It is so very important to listen to customers and really hear what they’re saying. I made a portrait quilt top (not quilted, so it could be hung in a frame) for a customer who wanted to give it to her husband for Christmas. She described it as he’s in the military and she wanted something beautiful and unique featuring this photograph of his squadron.

Julianna 1I heard her… until I saw the picture. Dude! That’s the mountain from Close Encounters of the Third Kind! The one the kids were drawing and the guy made sculptures of because the aliens would land there. How cool that this is an actual real-life landmark! I’m such a sci-fi geek. And my first pattern draft focused on how awesome the mountain is… until I realized that I wasn’t focusing on what’s really important to the customer.

It doesn’t matter what I think is important (or cool!) in a photograph. It matters what the customer wants to feature. So I scrapped my drawing of the mountain in all its glory, which hides the planes quite well… and swapped that for a plain stripped fabric which brings the focus back to her husband’s squadron. I think it’s well done.

Juliana 2

Megan Bags Courtesy of My Friends

I’m on my way back home tomorrow! I’ve had such a super wonderful time in St. Louis and am looking forward to a nice long hug from my husband. And some kitty snuggles. I’ll have a bunch of posts for you guys as I download photographs, experiences, jokes, and life lessons. For now, here’s a little insight onto how I’m able to turn trash to treasure with a little help from my friends.

Some of my quilting buddies have taken to collecting and saving their scraps of fabric for me. I love using teeny tiny pieces of fabrics for my crumb piecing projects, and they feel good that these bits aren’t ending up in the trash. My friend Melissa says it’s like going back to the origin of quilting, sewing together every usable bit of fabric. It was out of necessity way back when. You know, keep the family bed warm with what’s left of dresses and flour sacks. When I get scraps, they come in “Megan Bags” which look something like this:

DSCN0008Yup, this one’s mostly batiks. Aren’t they pretty?! I turn on the TV or Hulu and start the sort. The pieces that are too small even for me (yes, there are a few) go in a bag for community service at one of my quilt guilds. They stuff pillows for the homeless with those bits. The rest, I sort by color into bins.

DSCN0010

When I stop for the night, usually when the show is over or the Megan bag is empty, I transfer the sorted fabric into the larger drawers that I use to store scraps. Here’s what some of them will become:

Hexes so far

The Turkeys Are Here!

Here’s an update on this post I wrote about making quilts for my childhood summer camp. The turkey blocks have arrived! I sent blocks to camp to be decorated and they’ve flown back to me. I photographed them in sets for detail’s sake. I sent two different sizes. ‘Cause I’m cool like that. Here are the smaller, rectangular ones.

Small turkeys 2 Small turkeys 1

Small turkeys 3

As you can see from the last photo, I got some extras back that were not decorated. Which is completely fine! When making a signature quilt or collaborative project I ALWAYS make more blocks than I think are needed. They can always go on the back or be made into something else. I’d much rather have this problem than the uncomfortable one of not having enough for everyone who wanted to participate.

Okay, here are the next set of turkeys. These blocks are larger and (as you can tell if you passed kindergarten) square shaped.

Large turkeys 1 Large turkeys 4 Large turkeys 3 Large turkeys 2Look! I even got some of those hand-turkeys I was talking about in my last post. Also some really intricate Zentangle-like blocks that are so artistic and awesome! Lots of feathers and tracks.

The final photo is of the maker’s block. I sent this one off to camp with the request that all of the artists identify themselves so I can give them credit. Didn’t expect anything this beautiful in return. Preeeeetty.

Maker's block

Also, the Bears’ quilt is completely finished! Pieced by Betsy Huffman and quilted by Nancy Dewire.

bears done

That’s all for now folks! I’ll post another update on the clan quilts as we get further along in this process.

Four Faces: A Custom Portrait Quilt

When I started this blog way back in August of 2012 I gave you a sneak peak of a quilt-to-be. It was in the planning stages then and has long ago been completed. Somehow I neglected to show you guys the big finish! So here it is. I started with this photograph: 4 subjects photo

Then, taking several artistic licenses, I rendered it into fabric. I like to call it inspired by the photograph instead of actually copying the photograph exactly. Shading is important here as is texture. Plus the gravel backdrop was too boring and I’d rather not have that boot in the quilt. Two of the women in this photo are sisters, the ones wearing green and grey. You’ll notice they have the same eye color. I tried to use some of the same fabrics for these two faces to give you the sense that they’re closer related. The other two people are cousins of the sisters. Recognize anybody? Yup, that’s me on the lower left. I call this masterpiece, “Four Faces.”

FourFaces Completed

 

I’m working on a custom order now for a quilt of this sort. Instead of a portrait I’m working from a landscape photograph with an airplane in it. I can really do this with any photograph, people. The holiday gift-giving season’s coming up quickly but there’s still time to order one of these for someone you love. Check out my etsy shop for more cool stuffs.