Posted on Leave a comment

San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild Mini Quilt Show

The guild I belong to recently held a mini quilt show/silent auction, where the members were challenged to make modern mini quilts measuring 16″ square to show and raise awareness for modern quilting and invite people to ask questions about what our guild does.  The event was graciously hosted by Sew Special Quilts in San Antonio, where they provided space for us to show the quilts and have our meeting after hours.  They were so awesome and have a great selection of quilting and sewing supplies, so if you’re in need and in the area, please show them some love!  

I already posted about the mini quilt I made two weeks ago (the double wedding ring mini quilt), but I wanted to share the other two quilts I worked on, in collaboration with Debra–a fellow member of the guild.  
The first quilt I quilted was pieced by Debra from yet another guild member’s inaugural fabric line (Leslie Tucker Jenison-Urban Artifacts by RJR Fabrics).  It’s a great design and awesome way to showcase a variety of great fabrics.  For this quilt, I just quilted some simple contrasting straight lines.  I think the fabrics and design of the mini are more prone to show better when the quilting design is simple.
Pieced by Debra B, fabric-Urban Artifacts by Leslie Tucker Jenison
pardon the not-square appearing mini.  It really was square, but I forgot to smooth that wrinkle before I snapped this picture.  This was right after quilting and mini was not yet bound. 
The second quilt I quilted was also in collaboration with Debra.  Debra hand cut each charm square from a Grunge charm pack and fused the fabrics to the background.  I thought this was a super cool quilt pattern to use and has the illusion that all the circles are connected.  For this one I wanted to do something to make the circles stand out from the background, so I quilted a smaller grid on the fused circles and then did some straight line quilting on the background fabric.  
Mini Quilt “pieced” by Debra B. using Grunge fabrics
We had a really great night and the event was so much fun.  It isn’t often that everyone in our guild participates in “Sew and Tell”, and we had a lot of members participate in this.  Seeing the range of everyone’s quilting interests and what their personal specialty is was a treat.  
Posted on Leave a comment

Embrace the Chaos Workshop with Libs Elliott :)

Libs Elliott was the guest speaker for the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild Meeting!  It was so awesome to have her lecture at our meeting and present a workshop the following day.  She was such a fun guest speaker (and even did her workshop for us on her birthday!)  
Libs delivering lecture at SAMQG meeting

The workshop Libs presented for our guild was “Embrace the Chaos” and was a great way to discover some planned improv piecing.  I know I have a lot of trouble just winging it and creating something without any planning.  Libs’ workshop was a really unique presentation on how to create something similar to her code method without the use of electronics.  

This is the quilt top that I ended up with (after I enlarged the blocks quite a bit)…these are 12″ blocks, so it’s roughly 60″ x 60″.

I’m waiting for a small break in my work load until I can quilt this for myself, so I’ll post an update as soon as I get it finished!  

Posted on Leave a comment

The first MQG mini quilt swap-are you in?

Who doesn’t love a great sewing swap?  I started my first with a swap hosted by The Sewing Loft.  Soon after, I found out about the Schnitzelandboo mini quilt swap.  I think I started on the second round of that swap and have stayed in it ever since.  I even participated in another smaller themed sewing swap that was a lot of fun.  And in October of 2016, The Modern Quilt Guild announced its first mini quilt swap, open to members worldwide.

To be honest, I was really bummed when I first heard about the swap.  I recently quit my real job to sew and quilt as my full time job and (as I type this) am about to be a new mom.  The odds of me signing up for this swap didn’t look too good.  But then I started thinking about it, and realized I needed something to look forward to in the first few months of being a new mom.  I don’t want to lose myself entirely in my new role and hopefully I will find bits and pieces of time to work on this for my partner (sorry partner… ;).

So I signed up.  I got my partner assignment, and wouldn’t you know…their instagram profile is PRIVATE.   GRRRRRRRR…….Seriously.  If you’re going to do a swap, have a public profile.  You’re ruining the surprise.  Or at least include some other form of social media where you post your preferences.  I was a little miffed.  But my swap fairy came through for me and managed to get a Pinterest profile for me.  This provided tons of inspiration and so I’m currently working on tweaking some things I’ve found to make it my own.

Posted on Leave a comment

Quilty friends are the best

I may not have come right out and said this yet, but as I type this, I am 37 weeks pregnant with our first child.  I’m kind of a private person when it comes to this kind of stuff and social media, so there haven’t been any baby bump pictures or ultrasound photographs or “facebook official” posts.   

However…I have to talk about my “tribe”.  The group of people I didn’t even know I needed until I found them.  I also have my church family to lean on and love (thank God for that!), but there is something to be said for your sewing friends that other groups don’t relate to.  

I’m a member of the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild, and have been for a little over 2 years.  From the first meeting I attended, I looked around the room, and I could feel something different about the group.  It was mostly (I think ALL, then) women.  They were talking about things they made with their own hands, and they were supporting and encouraging each other.  There was laughter and gossip and friendship.  And they were all very different in their own way.  

Sewing can be a very isolating hobby if you don’t have a tribe.  And I didn’t know what I was missing out on until I went to that first meeting.  I immediately joined and can’t believe the friendships I’ve made in that short period of time.  There has been laughter, tears, good times, and bad.  And sometimes there wasn’t any sewing going on during this.  My point here is that sewing/quilting friends are the BEST.  They get it.  You can be talking about your dog dying one minute and the new quilting technique the next, and they don’t bat an eye.  

I feel like I got a little derailed there, so let me get back to my point.  Our MQG has a tradition that someone will head up making a baby quilt for expecting moms in the guild.  So several of the people in the guild got together and put this amazing quilt together.  I love everything about it, and it couldn’t be more perfect.  They had even finished piecing it back in August.  Which is the month our guild had booked Karlee Porter to come do a graffiti quilting workshop for us.  Somewhere in all of this, they were discussing the baby quilt in front of Karlee and discussing who would quilt it.  (I have to say here that Karlee is hands down the most authentic Sewlebrity I’ve even met.  She is real and such a great person to be around.  And AMAZINGLY talented.)

And Karlee volunteered to take it home and quilt it.  NUTS.  Not only did she take it home and quilt it, she couched my baby’s name in the center of the quilt with metallic yarn.  This post is more for me than anyone else.  I want to always remember how special I felt when i received this.  Emily presented it to me at our October guild meeting, and I had no idea that it was finished.  I wasn’t expecting it, and lately, I have been nothing but a bucket of raw emotions.  So they told me how they put it together, the amazingly special people that planned it, gave fabric for it, gave their time for it, and arranged for Karlee to help as well.  And I lost my shit.   (Pardon the french.  I don’t cuss on the blog, but there it is.)  I cried so hard that I nearly couldn’t recover to do the rest of the meeting (I’m currently interim President).  Ugly tears were seen by all, and I didn’t even care.  Because this group is my tribe.  And wouldn’t you know, I’m crying again while I’m typing this.  Seriously, I can’t wait for these pregnancy hormones to be gone!  

Anyway. I’m totally overwhelmed at the thought of being a new mom and have no clue what to do once Gemma gets here, but I know that she will be SO loved.  And already is if this group is any indication.  
Posted on Leave a comment

Finding time to give back #quiltsforpulse

 In the midst of tragedy, I am relieved that I belong to a group of people that goes out of their way to show love for others.  The group I’m talking about is the Modern Quilt Guild.  And even  more specifically, the San Antonio chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild.  The Orlando MQG organized collections to accept in progress quilts and completed quilts to show support and love for some of the people affected by the Pulse night club shooting.  I hate that I’m even writing a post about this, because it’s so disturbing the amount of violence we hear about on a daily basis on the news…but I want to focus on giving back and showing support for our fellow human beings.  



The SAMQG members are SO giving and generous with their fabric and time, that we’ve had a plethora of blocks constructed (most using the Heart pattern tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew).  A few charity sew-ins, and we’ve finished (I think) 5 quilts!  



I had the great opportunity to quilt a few of these, and wanted to discuss charity work in this industry.  I’ve done a little bit of charity sewing in the past, but not really donated much of my time or resources prior to getting my longarm.  And once I started donating my quilting, I kind of just rushed through the process, doing a stipple or some quick meandering design to get that top off my frame as quickly as I could.  But one night, I started thinking about the recipients of these rushed through pieces I had worked on.  Was I proud of the work I was doing on them?  No.  Absolutely not.  I was just FINISHING THEM.  There was nothing special or generous about what I was doing to add to the quilt.  And maybe those recipients don’t even look at the quilting.  But it really got to me that I was doing about 2% of my best work on something that was supposed to be making someone happier.  I decided to start doing my best work on every quilt top.  Whether it was a paying customer or not.  If I’m going to commit to working on something, why would I give anything less than my best?  And besides, if you want to look at it from a really selfish angle, it’s great practice and helps develop your skills even further.  


I really love the graffiti quilting style, and chose to do that on this quilt.  These blocks were pieced together by so many different people, with such love and compassion in their hearts.  It really does give me a little bit of hope for humanity.

Anyway, my two cents for the day is to think about where your heart is when you decide to do charity work.  If it’s in your heart, put your best foot forward and really give all you have.  Otherwise, what are you wasting your time for?  

Posted on Leave a comment

Mini Quilt Swaps

Mini quilt swaps are becoming all the rage!  You can find them everywhere, from private blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and even quilt guilds are becoming involved.  If you aren’t familiar with what a mini-quilt swap is–it’s usually created by one person, and then other people sign up to help moderate.  Partners are assigned, sometimes based on similar likes and interests.  You are given a deadline, and after you sign up, you are asked to create something awesome for your swap partner.  It’s on a small scale, normally the quilt sizes are limited to under 24″, so there is plenty of time for creativity and finishing.  

I “borrowed” this photo collage from The Houston Modern Quilt Guild Blog at houstonmodernquiltguild.blogspot.com and it shows some great examples of some minis:



Some of the more popular swaps are the #schnitzelandboo mini quilt swap (@schnitzelandboo), the #igminiswap and countless other swaps that include other items besides mini quilts.  Many of them have themes that you are supposed to stay within.  For example, The Strawberry swap has a strawberry theme, $itchesgetstiches (expletive) moderated by (@weenchaweena) has a swearing theme, and countless others are themed after seasons, holidays, etc.  

Typically, these swaps have rules and guidelines you are supposed to follow, and the intention is to make connections with other sewists across the globe.  

These swaps are so much fun to participate in, that I felt the need to do a blog post on them.  Many people don’t know where to start, but they are really simple to get involved in, and probably the most difficult part is meeting the deadline before the sign up closes!  Many swaps have limits for how many people can sign up, as they are usually free to participate in, and overseen by a Regular Jo with a real job.  

Here are some pointers I personally have for you if you plan on participating in a swap:  
1.  Plan ahead.  Have some ideas you can easily use and alter to fit your partner’s likes.
2.  “Stalk” your partner’s social media accounts to find out what they like.  This is really a lot of fun, and you can easily uncover favorite colors, patterns, and other fun things about your partner’s interests.
3.  DON’T BACK OUT!  Someone is looking forward to your handmade gift.  If you can’t commit to the swap, don’t sign up!  How disappointed would you be if you took the time to make an awesome mini for someone, and then received nothing in return?  
4.  Once you have your partner assignment, get your fabric and pattern early, and get to work!  Have your mini done way before the deadline so you don’t have to sweat not making the ship date.
5.  Put your personal touches into the gift.  Don’t forget a quilt label!  You want your partner to know where the quilt came from, who made it, and when.
6.  HAVE FUN!  These swaps are intended to be fun, so HAVE FUN!

I absolutely love making things for other people, and it makes it so much more fun when you don’t know them.  It’s awesome to have the challenge of making something for someone else by trying to find out what they’re interested in.  

The first swap I participated in was the Sewing Loft Blog Mini Quilt Swap.  Here’s what I made for my partner:


The pattern I chose was @Sewwhatsherlock ‘s Spiderwebs paper piecing pattern, which is available on her blog for FREE.  It’s an awesome pattern, and she really does a great job with all of her paper piecing patterns.  All of the fabric is Cotton + Steel.  I made this at one of our guild’s sewing retreats in Kerrville, Texas at Creations.  SO much fun!

The second swap I sign up for was the #IGMiniSwap moderated by @curly_boy1 and several other swap participants that signed up to help.  We haven’t reached the ship date for this one yet, but here’s what I made for my partner:

I’m not sure what the blueish smear is on the picture…it isn’t on the fabric!  All I can say is I’m definitely not a professional photographer 😉  The pattern I chose for this was “Swoon” by ThimbleBlossoms.

For my third swap, I wanted to offer a swap within our guild, The San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up “signing up” for this swap since I was doing partner assignments.  I didn’t want to know who would have me…so I opted to just oversee.  I can’t wait to see what all of the extremely talented guild members come up with.   You can see what they’re working on by checking the Instagram hashtag #samqgultimateswap .  

@weenchaweena has just offered a x-rated sort of swap, if you will.  It’s called $itchesgetstitches (expletive), and I also signed up for this.  I haven’t gotten my partner yet, but the  swear words/puns should be lots of fun.  This swap is probably not for everyone, but I have a fondness for “Debra” in the sitcom “Dexter”, and enjoy her needless use for random cursewords and how she strings them together.  I also have a different kind of humor, and enjoy seeing silly things like “poop” free-motion quilted into make up bags.  Like I said…not for everyone.

I’m currently waiting for @schnitzelandboo to offer a new swap sign up, and can’t wait to hopefully participate in it!

I’m not endorsing any of these swaps, just sharing my love of participating in them!