Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nice to meet you - Stephanie Cole

 Hi everyone!
Time for yet another "Nice to meet you" interview, so we can get to know each other even better. This time, our lovely Treasurer, Stephanie Cole:
1. Lets start from basics - how about you in 3 sentences?

I'm Stephanie and I am the current treasurer of the WNYMQG. I'm a 30-something wife and mama to 2 little boys (Milo, age 5 and Parker, age 2) and a puggle dog named Bella. I could live entirely on coffee and Dr. Pepper (with a little wine thrown in for good measure.)  
Heart quilt made as a gift for her cousin's wedding

2. What part of WNY you call home?

I live in Hamburg (which is in the Southtowns), all of 3 miles away from the house where I grew up and where my parents still live. (Which, by the way, 5 or 6 years ago I would never have expected to answer that way. I didn't think I'd ever want to move back to Buffalo, let alone live practically down the road from my parents!)

3. When and how did quilting enter your life?

I hadn't really sewed since the home ec class in middle school until shortly after I had my first son, when I had an idea to make something for him that I just couldn't buy in the stores.  A few months after that I got sucked into the rabbit hole of beautiful fabrics and discovered the blogs of some modern quilters totally by accident and was hooked. It inspired me to take a beginning quilting class just so I could have a good reason to by fabric and the internet taught me the rest as I've gone along.
4. If you would have to describe WHY you quilt, what would you say?

I have always been a creative person, starting with ceramics and painting in high school and in the beginning of college. I love that with quilting I rediscovered my artistic side and that it is something functional as well. Making pretty things keeps me from losing it in the sea of laundry and diapers that is life with little ones!
Cousin Nick and Holly's anniversary quilt
5. What type of quilts (or other sewing items) do you mostly make?

Quilts are easily my favorite thing to make, and lately I've been loving scrappy, or something with a sort of scrappy aesthetic, if that makes sense. I'm also currently having a love affair with solid pop color binding. Other then quilts I make baby blankets and burp clothes that I sell on Etsy and some other random things as the mood strikes.
Laptop and Kindle pouch
6. What is your design process?

I have no problem admitting that I typically use a great tutorial or pattern. I have a lot of ideas for designs in my head but chances are I can find something similar that someone else did so I don't have to work out the math or anything on my own. And if not, at this point in my life I'm just a little too scattered to try to figure it out on my own. Small children will do that to you!
Scrap Vomit - Christmas edition
7. What are you still dreaming to make?

I really want to make a dress! I have been pining over the Staple dress pattern thats been going around the blogs lately but I am too chicken to even buy the pattern. But my goal is to get over that sometime this year, since there are some talented ladies in the guild that I can turn to now!
AMH Super tote
8. Do you have a favorite part of the process?

Well, I can say that cutting and trimming are my LEAST favorite! I like all the rest of the process but I do think that there is nothing better then sitting down to hand stitch the binding because I love being able to "test it out" with the kids while I'm finishing up that last part! (Because you totally have to do the snuggle test before you can call it done, don't you?!)

9. How about top 3 inspirations?

So so many blogs, really too many to name! But I think my most favorite blogger is Katy Jones at I'm such a crazy fan girl of all the stuff she makes and I think we really share a similar aesthetic! Tula Pink and Elizabeth Hartman are my favorite "famous" quilters.

10. Now lets talk about your fabric addiction (no denying here!) - size of your stash? favorite type or designer? where you love to shop - local, internet, shows? Oh and any  good 12-step program you can recommend?

I love fabric but I don't really stash much, just purely for budgetary reason. (Kids! Needing things like clothes! And food! Unbelievable.) All the quilting fabric I have can probably fit in a 12x12" cube. I mostly shop online because I tend to buy for a specific project and there's not enough modern fabric options around here for me to be able to get what I want without dragging my kids all around.

My favorite fabric designers from their beginnings have been Tula Pink and Jay McCarroll - they can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. And most recently, Anna Maria Horner has come onto my radar when Field Study came out. I know she's been around forever but I never really noticed her before that collection, but I'm a total fan now!

11. Do you love to take classes and workshops? What are the things you would still love to learn?

I love classes and stuff but I have a hard time making the time to go to them. Its just how life is right now in our family but I hope as the kids get older I'll be able to do more of the stuff.

12. Traditional quilts - any opinion, inspiration, favorites?
13. Modern quilts - love them all? still exploring?

I think I need to answer these 2 together. I am a huge fan of modern quilting. But I think MY PERSONAL definition of modern quilting is much more narrow then most would say. So, I love all modern quilting, that falls in the scope of my personal definition. I didn't even really have any frame of reference of traditional quilting when I first started, but I have found some of my favorite quilts actually do a traditional block in a really modern way.  I think the really old traditional quilting like the Amish quilts, and the Gees Bend stuff is what our modern quilting is based on and I really love that stuff, its amazing! 

But its the calico, appliqu├ęd, look but don't touch side of quilting that I can't ever really wrap my brain around getting into, simply because its not my aesthetic, but I certainly appreciate the skill some traditional quilters have. 

Now a few months ago I would have said I don't much love art quilting, but then it turns out our secretary Anne calls herself an art quilter and I love her stuff so maybe I actually love art quilts? Or at least certain types for sure.

Also I  find my tastes certainly evolve as I'm exposed to more, so its always changing.

In summary of that long winded nonsense... I love quilts! Maybe not all quilts, but I don't like all couches or t-shirts either so its cool.  BUT, I make no bones about the fact that I hate quilts you aren't supposed to touch. It's fabric! Chill out and let me touch it! 
14. How did you get interested in Modern Quilt movement/ style? How does it speak to you?

There is no history of quilting in my family. And I can't really even think of any quilts that people in my family had. So my first real exposure to quilting, when I actually noticed it, was modern quilting! Its what really brought quilting into my line of vision.
15. How about WNY MQG - what are your hopes and wishes for this quilting community?

I am so excited by the future of this group. This was something sorely needed in this area and I'm so grateful to Rebecca for stepping up and getting things going for us. I really just want us to grow and be able to "infiltrate" the quilting shows and stuff around here that are so skewed towards traditional right now. There is not a lot of respect for the modern quilter in WNY's quilting communities from my experience and we can change that. 

16. Show and tell time! YAY!!  Tell us about few of your quilts and please share some photos!
Milo's Chain reaction

Scrap Vomit quilt
Tommy's Atari quilt - My very first finished quilt, actually!

17. What is your all time favorite fabric collection that you would forfeit the rest of your stash to get your hands on?

Field Study, hands down. No contest. Its perfection. It speaks to my soul. End of story. 

18. Tell us about your quilty friends? Are you the only one of your friends who quilts? 

I didn't have any "real life" quilty friends until I joined the guild! And I only have 2 friends who do any sewing at all, one of whom lives all the way in CA. 

And now for Stephanie's question for all of you: 

19. Show me your sewing space! Post a link to a picture of your sewing space in the comments.... and keep it real folks! (Because I want to know that I'm not the only messy one out there!)
Steph's sewing space
OK ladies, how about showing you sewing mess...I mean SPACE! Let's see it - great question Steph! :)
Thank you Stephanie for such a great interview and peek into your creative world - this really is so much fun! Anne Anderson, our lovely Secretary will be next - stay tuned!
Have a lovely week and spooky Halloween,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October meeting and Feather Swap

Hi everyone,

finally getting my act together to post pictures and stuff from our wonderful October meeting and sew-in!
First things first - thank you Karie and Aurora sewing Center for hosting us!
It was great to be able to spread around, sew, and even have a bite or two - big thanks to Robi for bringing refreshments!
It was so great to have several new potential members too, hooray!

Also very important to note - we were so well behaved and had ALL our business stuff done FIRST, before all other fun, thanks to our awesome President, Rebecca! :) So we got a lot done and we had fun too! Here is the business part - Minutes from October meeting:
-Sign in, welcome, introduction
-in attendance:  (members) Rebecca, Stephanie, Anne, Karie, Robi, Marija, Kim,
(potential members: Todd, Elaine, Carol, Todd and Debbie)
***Thank you to Aurora Quilt shop and Karie for providing your shop as our meeting space, and for the sale prices and great deal on that Kona white!!
***Thank you to Marija and Robi (any anyone else who brought stuff) for the yummy goodies and delicious baked goods!  What a treat!

-Membership requirements (2 meetings/dues --> login/password for MQG international website).  and mentioned that our WNY guild has a local FB group which is quite active and also a Flickr page and a blog.
-Meetings - going forward - Nov and Dec 2014 are planned and dates/info on FB. Meeting dates and topics for 2014 will be set ahead of time and dates will be announced so that everyone can plan accordingly.  In general, we meet the third Saturday of every month.  Special Events and Holidays may shift the date.
     -Proposed for 2014: minimum of 4 meetings at various quilt stores; others at various regional locations and/or events/quilt shows.  In addition, we will plan some "field trips" during the year.

-our field trip to Chautauqua was a success and Anne will look into requirements for WNYMQG members making entries for next year.
-Rebecca presented another successful MQG talk at Creekside fabrics recently.
          -Robi mentioned that she attends a retreat in the area near Creekside fabrics...perhaps a future audience for Rebecca at the retreat?
(If anyone else would like to give a talk to a group, feel free! Just remember to let us know because these count toward our ' providing education ' as a non-profit.  If any monies are received they are put into our account due to rules of not receiving payment personally as a non-profit.  Note that Rebecca earned our guild $75 from her talk at the Amherst Quilt Guild. Thanks Rebecca!!
-2014 Budget to be discussed/determined.  Any members with ideas/concerns please let one of the officers know!
         -One idea is to put together a brochure regarding the talks offered by our guild (aka: Rebecca).  (Frankly, Steph and Anne are very glad that Rebecca likes to do the talks. )
-Outline/discussion of officer duties/roles.  The position of President (Rebecca) and Treasurer (Steph) will remain the same for 2014.  The positions of General VP (to assist Rebecca), Secretary/communication (take notes and post on blog, etc.), VP/events (plan field trips, some meetings) are open for nominations.  We will post all nominations after the November meeting, and vote in December. 
     -Anne nominated Marija for Secretary, Marija accepted the nomination. Rebecca nominated Stephanie for general VP and Anne for VP of events.

-Rebecca stated her big job for 2014 is to make sure we are compliant with NYS as well as Federal laws as a 501c3 non profit. 
   -We are under the larger umbrella of the intl. MQG for most items, but we need to be sure to comply with the NY laws also. 
-Stephanie contacted several companies and got SWAG for our guild! Go Steph!
There will be opportunities to win/earn some of the goodies...but you need to do your name tag.  No Tag, no Swag is Stephanie's motto.  I'm not going to argue with her.
-The Riley Blake challenge is due Feb 17, 2014. See MQG site or our blog for rules, entry info. Fabric was distributed to members at the Oct meeting. There are some extra packets available to the next few members...what a great time to join - reduced membership for the remainder of 2013 and you get fabric.  Seriously, why wait?
-Feather swap - this is a local chapter thing.  Marija made awesome patterns, we decided on the 6x12.  So far 14 people + one for a charity quilt to donate.  If more people join, we may need to make more!  We have white background fabric purchased by the guild for members (again, a perk!) and we use our own scraps for the feathers.  Only rule: no batiks.  Due date on this is March 2014.
Over and out for now!

Thank you Anne for great Meeting Minutes!

Now on to the fun stuff!!
Kim is on a roll to quilt and finish her 13 quilt tops - here are #2 and #3 from the list! Go Kim, go!

Robi could not wait till' she gets home from our Chautauqua field trip (more about that later!) to cut (free-hand!!!) and sew with her newly purchased, beautiful, one-of-a-kind hand-dyed Pat Pauly fabric...and VOILA! - she completed this awesome quilt! I am so totally impressed. The name is Autumn Forest:
 Really, really, REALLY love the quilting!
Robi also made two blocks that Stephanie needed to complete her quilt, (to make up for internet Bee member who couldn't do it) - look at these beauties:

And here is the rest of Stephanie's blocks - can't wait to see this quilt together!!! (no pressure, Steph! ;) )

Stephanie also made a beautiful memory/T-shirt quilt for her grandfather (of her grandma's shirts!) - I just love the creative design with black frames around each piece and great layout. Frogs were grandma's favorites, so they are featured in a fun print. Steph was on a tight deadline for this and I was happy to help her quilt this lovely creation. She chose this beautiful blue Aurifil thread and it worked so great - I had lots of fun with quilting!

Rebecca proudly showed her beautiful Name Tag - paper-piecing, stamping and embroidery ALL in this little tag!!
We had wonderful show and tell even from our new, potential members! Here is Todd with his work in progress - amazing colors, right?
Debbie showed us two of her beautiful quilts - here is a fun one made by cleverly using great prints:
And the back is fun too:
She also made this amazing quilt that comes with a great story:
After a lovely show and tell, we had some fun sewing! Stephanie went on binding grandpa's quilt asap:

Rebecca was busy finishing Christmas presents for her daughters:
Robi and Karie cutting away, while Anne is having some good time:
All in all, everyone had fun!
OK, OK...I did not do much, except chatting and having fun, but if it is any defense, I did bring paper foundations for our Feather Swap!! Does that count? :)

Oh yeah - Feather Swap! If you missed the basic information about it, find it HERE , together with the link to the original, Anna Maria Horner's Feather quilt and free pattern. We decided to do our feathers by paper-piecing, so I re-created the block in my trusty EQ7 software and hence was also able to print foundations in many different sizes.
You can find PDFs with these paper foundations as follows:
for a 2"x4" size  HERE, for a 3"x6" HERE , 4.5"x9" HERE , 6"x12" HERE , 6"x12" with strips HERE , 9"x18" HERE and 9"x18" with strips HERE .
Please note that larger sizes, 6"x12" and 9"x18" ones come in two variations - with and without strips inside the feather, and also will print on multiple sheets of 8x11 paper, so you will have to glue these together for the complete foundation (using lines provided).
For the swap: we will be swapping ONLY 6"x12" block size, with strips inside the feather!
Update on swap rules:
- Guild did buy white background fabric and it has been distributed to members who were at the meeting and the rest is with Stephanie, so for all of you who did not get it, she will somehow give it to you
- List of participants grew to 13 (possibly 14) and since we agreed to make ONE EXTRA block for a charity quilt (to be made and donated later), each of us needs to make 14 (or 15) feather blocks, using the same white background fabric and ANY prints or solids (no batiks!) for all the feather strips
- Swap deadline will be March 2014 meeting - so plenty of time to complete your feathers!
The deadline was chosen so that all members who are also participating in MQG Riley Blake Basics Challenge (deadline in February) will have time to work on both.
For new, potential members - yes, we did get the lovely RB fabrics, it was cut, folded and even tied with a lovely string by Stephanie (thanks Steph!), distributed at October meeting - and YES! there is more for several new members who join the WNY MQG! How is that for a nice membership perk? :)

Now on to thinking what to make with it....daydreaming quilts is what I do best!!
Wishing you a lovely week, till' the next post (soon! I promise!),

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Feather Swap Sign-Up!

Feather Swap Sign-Up is Open!
Okay WNYers...if you are interested in joining the WNYMQG's Feather Swap head on over to our Flickr discussion group and sign up.  After the paper piecing demonstration we had at the September meeting some members expressed the desire to do more paper piecing and a swap while we are at it.  So, get out your paper and join us in the fun!

We are going to be making the pattern above.  The instructions to Anna Maria Horner's Feather Bed Quilt Pattern can be found here.

General Swap Rules
  • Depending on the number of swap members we have sign up we will each make a certain number of feathers and receive the same amount! (Right now we have 7 Participants, if we have more participants we may divvy up the number of feathers to a smaller number.)
  • We will all use the same foundation backing - white.  Guild will vote on whether to purchase the white backing using the Guild's surplus funds for project at October meeting.
  • All Modern Fabrics of course.  No Batiks please.  (Yes Anne, solids are allowed!)

Post your questions and comments below or on our Facebook Group.

WNYMQG President

October Meeting

WNYMQG October Meeting/Sew-in

When: October 19 2013 at 4:00pm (store will be closed, but we'll be there!)
Why: Meeting and Sew-in to follow!

What do you need? Bring a sewing machine if you are staying for the sew-in and Show-and-Tell for the meeting of course!  Also, bring your name tags.

If you have items you would like to discuss or see added to the Agenda please leave a comment below.  Some topics which will be discussed...
- Double-Wedding Ring Challenge
- Feather Swap
- December Event/Swap/Party?
- Riley Blake Challenge