Monday, October 31, 2011

December Secret Swap

One of the fun activities for December will be the Bay Area Modern first ever secret swap! It will happen as part of our December meeting.

Why are we telling you this now? So you can plan, of course!

Here's the plan:

  1. You must be a paid member to join this swap.
  2. You will indicate you want to participate. Members will reply to the secret swap post on the Ning site.
  3. You will provide us with some suggestions of item(s) you would like to receive, such as a mini-quilt, table-runner, placemats and napkins, sewing machine cover, pin cushion, mug rug, tote, purse, basket, notions, etc.
  4. You will also tell us your color choice(s) and some of your favorite fabric designers or fabric lines. You can ask for solids, stripes, dots, etc. You can ask for holiday fabric or request that holiday fabric is not used. These are suggestions and requests, so please be aware that you might not receive an item made from the exact fabric you requested.

You'll bring this information (printed on a card or printed out with your name and contact email information on it) to us at the November meeting. You can aksi Ning mail it to Kathleen.

Secret partners will be assigned the day after the meeting via email. Watch your provided email for the exciting revelation of your secret partner's information! You will need all of these tidbits to prepare the swap gift items.

You will have approximately 30 days to complete your secret partner's requested items(s). Wrap up the items prettily and identify yourself. Bring your package to the December meeting for the exchange and big reveal. If you can't make the December meeting, contact Kathleen and see what you can do to have someone else bring the package to the meeting.

So, let's go over the steps:

Step 1. Anyone who wishes to participate in the swap will respond to the Ning discussion and let us know that you want to participate. Sign is as simple as saying "I'm In!"

Step 2. Participants should complete their wish lists / suggestions / requests to give their secret partner ideas for the type of item you would like to receive, color preferences, fabric lines or designers and whether Christmas fabric is acceptable or not. Try to give several options for items you would like to receive.

Step 3. You will be assigned a secret swap partner and provided her preferences, choices, etc. shortly after the November meeting. Keep your partner a secret. Please don't contact your secret partner directly. If you need more information, email Kathleen and she will act as go between.

Step 4: You'll complete your secret partner's items, wrap up, include your information on a card and bring to the December meeting for the swap. Bonus points for pretty, creative wrapping, cards, etc. ;-)

Step 5: Pay your dues so you can swap!

If you can't make the December (or November) meeting, but want to participate, contact Kathleen directly so we can make that happen.

Any questions?

Let the swap begin!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cat Beds

How Much Work?

I have often judged the amount of work I have done over the course of a week by how full my garbage can was. Still, I wished that I could put those bits of fabric somewhere to use without having to store them myself. I am sure that many of us have been wondering why tiny bits of fabric couldn't be recycled. As I tossed out stockings and holey socks, I wondered if there wasn't something that could be done with them? If they were clean, why couldn't the fabric be used for something else?

Reading Victorian mystery novels didn't help, because they mention 'rag pickers', but who wants that job? I haven't heard of a modern job called rag picker or 'reusable fabric engineer'.

A few months ago, Amanda came to the BAMQG meeting and solved my problem! She told us that she and some friends were making cat beds for a local homeless cat shelter. She asked us to save our tiny bits of fabric including worn out clothing (no underwear!) such as t-shirts and sweatshirts. She would use them to fill the cat beds she was making so the beds would be soft and comfy for the cats.

Despite the fact that I had long thought about saving tiny scraps and doing something with them, I thought saving the tiny bits would be too much trouble. Then I remembered
  1. all the times I had been reluctant to toss tiny bits;
  2. Pam and what what good care she takes of her cats; and
  3. how lame I was acting.
Cat Bed Filling

I got myself a zipper bag and started tossing scraps in.

Thread, schnibbles, bits of batting, and selvedges all go into the cat bed filling bag. I was shocked at how many tiny bits I had and how quickly I filled up a bag. I brought two bags of bits to Amanda the first time she collected them! I wasn't the only one who brought schnibbles. At one meeting Amanda had two paper grocery bags of schnibbles.

Trimmings from quilting, e.g. the edges of the quilt sandwich fill those bags up faster. It is another kind of sorting to do daily and it is hard to find the right spot for the bags.

I am really happy to do this one small thing to make a cat's life better and to help Amanda, who is doing the heavy lifting on this project. The other good thing is that my garbage can is a lot emptier, which means less stuff going to the landfill.

So, Amanda will be collecting schnibbles at the meeting on November 5. Bring your Schnibbles.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jaye Represents at PIQF!!

Make sure to check out Jaye Lapachet's quilt, Zig Zaggy at PIQF.

Jaye put a new twist on Oh Fransson's popular New Wave quilt pattern.  She has a tutorial of her variation on her blog.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kathleen Represents at PIQF!!

My name is Kathleen Robertson.  My quilt, called The Sunflower, was accepted into the New Quilts of Northern California exhibit at this year's PIQF.  I pieced the quilt and my good friend and quilter, Dee Small of Groveland, California did the amazing quilting on this 60" x 60" quilt. 

The inspiration for this quilt was a class that I took at Eddie's Quilting Bee.  It is a variation of Drunkard's Path using many non-traditional quilt fabrics to give it sparkle and depth.  Most of the blocks that make up the sunflower itself are pieced with strips of many different fabrics, again to give it depth through the use of light, medium and dark value fabrics. 

My favorite thing about this quilt was finishing it!  And my second favorite thing was working with Dee Small, who "got" my vision of the effect I was after with the quilting.  If I made this quilt again, I would try to be more precise in my cutting of the curved pieces so that the assembly of the quilt was easier and the end result had fewer blocks that had to be "massaged" into place. 
What am I working on next?  I am assembling a string quilt made from scraps and, my current favorite, a sampler block quilt made from Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow fabric.  Members of a bee that I am in made some of the blocks for me and I made the remainder.  And, I'm working on an improvisational block quilt that I hope will be visually striking and go on my bed. 
I regularly post my work on Flickr.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Member News

Our fabulous President, Adrianne, was featured on Creating the Hive on 10/3/2011! Check out the lovely post. Congrats, Adrianne!

Angela and Jaye have their quilts displayed with the New Quilts from Northern California exhibit at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, held from October 12 (preview night) through October 16, 2011

Rhonda entered a quilt in the last Modern Quilt guild Challenge

You can see the Scrap Art exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles for a few more days (ends Oct. 16). Rhonda and Jaye both have quilts in that exhibit.

Julie was interviewed on the Quilter in the Gap podcast episode 12. Go take a listen.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Angela Represents at PIQF!!

I am so excited and button-popping-proud that three of our guild members have quilts hanging at PIQF this week.  PIQF, or Pacifiic International Quilt Festival is the largest quilt show on the West Coast.  It's big people.  Lots of quilts, lots of vendors and lots of fun!  Show starts this Thursday.  Don't miss it!!

This week I am going to highlight each of these members so we can learn more about them and their quilts.  If you go to the show keep and eye out for Angela's quilt, Kona Color Waves.

Name of quilt:  Kona Color Waves
Size:  Approx. 60"x60"
Materials:  All Kona Solids
You can see more of my work here:  (CraftyAO)

This quilt, "Kona Color Waves", is the result of many designs and redesigns and more redesigns for the Modern Quilt Guilds' Robert Kaufman Kona solid fabric challenge.  It is completely different from the very first sketch I made after receiving the charm pack, but I thoroughly enjoyed thinking about and sketching all the possibilities that the little charm pack held.  Having never designed an entire quilt and never having made a quilt entirely of solids, this was quite a challenge for me.  I was inspired by the rainbow order that the Kona charm pack came in and I wanted to highlight the fabric in that way.  I decided to set the colors off with a black to white gradient.  The quilt back (or other front, I plan to use both sides) was heavily inspired by the "Cascade Quilt" by Christina Cameli (and admired by me many, many times on Flickr where she's known as afewscraps'), but instead of just one set of colors, I wanted to highlight all of the color families from the Kona charm pack.  It is quilted by stitch in the ditch vertically and with 5 large wavy lines horizontally to play off of the wavy feeling of the colors.  This quilt is made entirely of Kona solids: front, back and binding.  For me, modern quilting means challenging myself and stretching my skills.  This truly achieved that for me.  I believe that most quilt designs have been done before and to come up with a new "design" is very difficult, so the uniqueness of a quilt comes from the interpretation of that design and how the fabrics and colors are assembled within that design.  The basic layout of this quilt is quite simple, just a number of rectangles, but it's how the fabrics and colors are situated that make it different and modern to me.  The different shades of the colors also give the quilt a sense of movement, which I also see quite a bit in modern quilts these days.

I made my first quilt in 2000.  It was an extremely traditional sampler throw quilt that I machine pieced and hand quilted.  I taught myself the basics through books and much trial and error.  After I made that quilt, I made a few simple pieces of clothing, but no more quilts again until I decided to take a beginner class at a local quilt shop in 2005.  The rest, as they say, is history and I now have a quickly growing stash of fabrics, a huge WIP and want-to-make list of quilty projects, a very long list of quilting blogs I check in on regularly and I now carry an idea and sketch book with me for when inspiration suddenly strikes.  One of my favorite parts of being in the Modern Quilt Guild is the inspiration I gain from others, the openness and willingness of others to show me new tips and tricks and the camaraderie of other creative people.

I think the biggest thing I learned through this challenge is that I am progressing into a bona-fide creative quilter; I'm no longer a beginner.  I'm becoming more confident with my ideas, designs, eye for color and skills.  I am excited by the possibilities that I now hold as a quilter and I'm eager to try more new things and take on more challenges.

My next projects include my Little Apples quilt, the A-Z blocks for the BAMQG quilt along, the Jay McCarroll Habitat challenge quilt, a quilt containing the fall blocks that I just won at the last BAMQG meeting, a Dia de los Muertos quilt, the Kona Castle Quilt Kit from Fat Quarter Shop, a Fifi and Fido quilt, a Max & Whiskers quilt, some bags and pouches, a novelty fabric quilt in the style of Jaye's Fabric of the Year quilts, some crocheting projects, my art journaling . . . .  I could go on for days. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 1 Meeting Notes

The meeting was, once again, well attended and packed with fun and information.

The latest block exchange were 9 patch blocks in Halloween colors. Allison and Angela won the blocks , which they divided up into Halloween and Fall groups. People did really creative things with the 9 Patch grid and there were a lot of purple and bright green in addition to the normal orange and black.

Adrianne's Lozenge 9 Patch

Angela's Rose

Local quilt work is really good, in general, and the BAMQGers work is no exception. Angela, in particular, is really taking off in terms of work. I do know that she took a class in reverse applique called Stencil Quilting by Dan Rouse at New Pieces in Berkeley. There will be another class in December. Angela said that this technique was different from traditional reverse applique'. I really am excited that Angela is trying new things and really pushing herself in her quilt work.

Her Kona Challenge quilt was accepted into the New Quilts for Northern California along with my quilt, the Zig Zaggy quilt.

The next challenge will be with a line called Heirloom. This is a guild sponsored challenge. Adrianne was going to hand out fabric, but the block the group voted on required some solids, which people wanted to coordinate, so there was a little back and forth about that. The Board decided to wait so they could decide what to do about the solid. The fabrics, barring unforeseen circumstances, will be handed out next month to paid members.

C&T Goodies

The awesome, Lisa, at C&T sent us a prize pack. We did a giveaway and I handed out all the postcards. I asked her for the Studio Color Wheel postcards to hand out and she sent me a giant box of goodies, including a copy of the Studio Color Wheel, which Deborah won, and an Ultimate Color Tool.

-Giveaway for Elizabeth Hartman's book "The Practical Guide to Patchwork". Members must add content to the Flickr group and Facebook page to be entered.
-Heirloom block challenge
-E block due in November for A-B-C (A-Z) challenge
-Habitat challenge due in November
-Guild elections
-volunteer positions available, please see Adrianne
-Scrap Art Show at the San Jose Museum ends on Oct.16. Jaye and Rhonda have quilts in this show.
-Intrepid Thread Julie was interviewed on the Quilter in the Gap podcast.