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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.  
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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!  

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Charity quilt for SAPD

The back of the quilt

So on my birthday this year, only five days after bringing our little girl home from the hospital from being born, I have the tv turned on to some inconsequential show to help me forget how tired I am.  A news story comes on about a police officer in San Antonio being shot and killed while writing someone a ticket.  It is really disturbing that we keep having incidents like this happen, and even more so when you just had your first child.  It’s so discouraging thinking that this will be the world she grows up in–where good people who lay their life on the line on a daily basis are killed without rhyme or reason.  

The front


I am happy though, that I am part of a guild that has such a heart for charity and outreach.  I won’t name the individual who organized everything and made this happen, but I am so glad she did.  This is one of the quilts that was put together by members of the San Antonio Modern Quilt guild for the officer’s surviving family members.  I really felt priveleged to have a hand in this (even if all I did was the quilting–check out the appliqued back!).  I hope that the family is brought some small measure of comfort, or even feels a little appreciation for what their family member worked for.  And hopefully the good that people do will overpower the wicked people in this world. 
meandering heart quilting

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Graffiti Quilting workshop with Karlee Porter

This picture!!!  I had the awesome opportunity to take a 2 day workshop from THE Karlee Porter.  The workshop was in Castroville at the Quilt Shop, and I swear, it was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken.  Most of the time, when I take a workshop and the person putting it on says there will be about half a day of lecture, then we get to play… I’m usually a little dismayed.  But Karlee had an awesome program that I left with PAGES of notes and drawings for inspiration.  And it wasn’t like I was just writing stuff down to busy my hands.  I’ve referred to those notes and drawings at least a dozen times in the short weeks since I took that class.  

Karlee was so gracious in letting us ask unlimited questions, take pictures of all the samples she had, and she even did a trunk show at our SAMQG guild meeting.  This is one of her masterpieces–I  believe it’s called “Russian Mosque”, that literally takes your breath away.  

The principles Karlee taught can be applied to a domestic machine, sit down quilter, or longarm.  Since I started out quilting my quilts on a domestic, I liked that.  However, since I’ve been doing most of my quilting on a longarm in the last year, it took a minute for my brain to catch up that my hands were moving the fabric and not the machine 🙂

After Karlee taught us her important principles of successful graffiti quilting, she turned us loose and we were able to apply those principles to some small class samples.  This was the sample that I worked on, and although I’m not nuts about the thread colors I selected, I did like the high visibility of it.  

And of course, I had to include a picture of me and Karlee!  Not sure what I’m doing with my hand…is that a hook?  Anyway, I was seriously beyond excited that I had the opportunity to hear Karlee in Texas–and can’t wait to keep working on my graffiti quilting skills.  

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My Finished Glam Clam Quilt

I am going to talk to you today about Latifah Saafir’s “Glam Clam” quilt pattern and my journey completing the quilt.  

I’m a member of the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild, and we were fortunate enough to have Latifah Saafir do a trunk show AND teach 2 awesome workshops!  I was super excited…the clam shell style quilt has been on my quilting bucket list since I first started sewing, so this was a great excuse to get it done.  I immediately signed up for the workshop and picked my fabrics out after I got the pattern and templates.  I painstakingly cut out all of the pieces, labeled them, and organized them all into little ziplocs, until I would  attend the workshop.  I had the finished quilt in mind for a very special friend and was excited to gift her a really cool quilt.

About a week from the workshop date, my grandmother’s health was failing.  She passed away, and the funeral was scheduled for the same time as the workshop.  I missed the workshop and didn’t touch the pieces I’d cut for a few weeks after.  Once I started the quilt, I thought about my grandmother often.  I’m not crazy about piecing curves, but I must say that it was kind of a healing feeling to sit and sew without really thinking about anything.  It gave me a chance to think about relationships and friendships and how much people can impact your life.  

Quilting the finished top was even more fun that putting it together.  After doing a little bit of research, I found that many of the clam shell quilts are quilted with just an all over design, without much attention paid to the individual blocks.  I definitely didn’t want to just do edge-to-edge quilting.  

Latifah’s pattern is seriously so simple to follow, and her templates are to die for.  They are very mindful of how curved seams should be constructed, and here’s something even more awesome–NO PINS NEEDED!!!  I won’t lie…I didn’t believe that at first, but after sewing a couple together, I tried it without pins, and–life changing.

Here is a little more of the quilting–not really anything too difficult, but I felt it gave a better effect than an all over quilting design.  

Above is the top with no quilting or binding–I absolutely love how this quilt came together.  
And then this was the finished quilt after binding.  I shipped this beauty off to my friend in California and hope she uses it until the thing falls apart!  I must say, Latifah did an amazing job on the pattern and tutorial and I can’t wait to make my next Glam Clam quilt.  



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Scrappy Trip Quilt Project with the San Antonio MQG

Have you ever felt sort of isolated in this “hobby” (or lifestyle to be more accurate) that we call quilting?  I had recently discovered modern quilting and realized there was this whole other world of people that were just like me.  I’m sure we’ve all had a point in our lives where we thought Joann’s and Hobby Lobby were the only places you could buy fabric…I went through this phase for probably the first year and a half that I was discovering sewing (disastrous, I know!).  Once my eyes were opened (along with my pocket book), I needed to connect with other people that felt there was something more than just traditional quilting and subdued fabric.  

I found the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild really by accident when I was trying to register for QuiltCon 2015.   I immediately joined and have missed just a handful of meetings due to my “real job”, but the experience has been nothing short of life changing.  I have made friends and contacts that have enriched my life so much.

We followed the tutorial posted on Quiltville’s blog here: Quiltville’s blog 
You should check it out if you’re interested in making your own Scrappy Trip quilt–the instructions are very well written and easy to follow.

Some of the guild members have started the journey of the “scrappy trip along”.  It’s really a cool technique to learn, and since we all have a bit of a competitive nature, there are prizes involved and a schedule for block completion.   

Somewhere along the way…I got caught up and ended up with 100 completed blocks.  

This was my starting point when I began cutting 2.5″ wide strips to arrange into blocks.  I obviously like very bright, saturated colors 🙂

My only plan for arrangement was to alternate bright, lighter colors with dark, duller colors.  I wanted a very busy, random quilt when I was done with it.

I think the scrappy trip quilt is an awesome project when you are feeling less than inspired and maybe lost your sew-jo, but need to find it.  Especially if you are doing a random arrangement, where you allow the fabrics to just do their own thing and speak for themselves.  It can be a relaxing project to just piece without thinking and enjoy the results and the process involved.  (It is kind of a lengthy process!)

These are some of my finished blocks (before sewn into the quilt, they measure 12.5″ x 12.5″), and I just love the brightness of them.  

And this is the first layout I set prior to piecing my quilt top.  So many times, we face difficult decisions with all the “favorite” fabrics we buy and not having fabrics to coordinate with them. In the scrappy trip, anything goes, and you don’t have to concern yourself with that.  

I ended up with 100 completed blocks…I kind of got wrapped up in the cutting strips, sewing together, cutting, seam ripping, sewing process and forgot that my intention was not to make a king sized quilt…My final layout was a 9 x 10 layout with the finished top measuring 120″ wide x 108″ long.  This was perfect for our bed since we have a little bit of a problem with cover thievery, and allowed for enough of a drop on both sides that neither my husband nor I end up without covers in the middle of the night.  I had 10 blocks leftover and pieced them all together in a 2 x 5 arrangement.  Then I cut them in half in the center of the middle block so they each measured 25″ x 31″.  I put batting behind each one and quilted these so we would have semi-matching pillow shams.  

I will say that I wanted to go nuts quilting this.  But with those super busy fabrics, I knew the quilting wouldn’t really be showcased, so any intricacy would be lost on anyone but me.  I went ahead and did some cool swirls that took me much longer than I should have spent, but I really had fun with it.  If you’re a beginner quilter, this would be a great project to really push your quilting skills, because any mistakes you make won’t show like a sore thumb.  


So, if you’re in the market for a pretty low stress project that you don’t have to think about, grab some scraps and get started on your own scrappy trip!  Enjoy the process and you’ll love the end product.  

I’m excited to show this at our November guild meeting when everyone will showcase their own scrappy trips and share their results.  

Until next time!
Joanna




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Quilting is my first love, but garments have wooed me!

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to do some work for Janome.  I made a few garments and a bag for them to use in a photo shoot, and even though it was stressful, seeing the finished products come to life on other people was maybe the best feeling in the world!  

I can’t post the video yet, as they haven’t released the advertised equipment yet, but I did screenshot some of the items I made to share with you.  I never thought I would have an opportunity to do something like this, and it was a blast!  I only recently started my trek into clothing, even though I’ve dabbled in bags since the beginning.  I must say I’m smitten and sometimes so in awe of the pattern designers.  

I can’t wait to continue my journey into exploring different garment fabrics, and even incorporating some into the quilts I make.  Even though I adore quilting and the process that goes into it, sometimes trying things you aren’t comfortable with are really refreshing and have the ability to breathe new life into your work.  Now that the school year has started, I’m back at quilting, but it’s really nice to know that garments will be on the sidelines waiting for me the next time I want to stray away and try something new 🙂

This bag.  I could barely let it go!  Love those colors so much 🙂
Sorry for the blurry picture on this one, but those are 2 
of the 3 pairs of shorts I made for the photo shoot.
And the top.  My pattern and the embroidery was
 all new embroidery designs from the sewing 
machine company that come stock with the machine.

 Then this little guy.  Literally.  He was 17.  31 year-old me had to 
dance with him.  It’s okay…I left my walker on the side 
of the dance floor 😉  That denim jacket was embroidered by 
my friend Danielle who does such beautiful work–the girl has got mad skills!

These are the two other girls from my guild that were in the
photo shoot I was in with the denim jackets.  We had so much fun.
I couldn’t seem to get a good paused part of the video with Toni…