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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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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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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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My first Quilting class to TEACH!

Many of us sewing enthusiasts dream of one day being able to actually do this for a living…am I right?  I didn’t realize that sewing and creating brought me so much joy until a few years ago.  Now I wonder how I ever did without it.  I wonder what I did with my free time with no project waiting for me in the other room.  

This past week, I visited with a local store owner in the San Antonio area.  It’s a new quilt shop in Boerne, TX, called Sew It Fabulous.  The owner is ridiculously awesome!  She is allowing me the opportunity to teach a beginning quilting class on August 2.  

And this is a portion of her shop’s newsletter.  I’m so excited to do this, even if it turns out to be a one time thing.  I hope that I can help other people to become excited about sewing–because I know how frustrated those first stitches can make a person.  I remember when I first started using my little rinky dink Singer and how all of my seams would be off and unfinished, and I was still so proud of myself for what I had made.  

Last week, I also prepared a step-by-step tutorial of how to do the wall-hanging applique project that I had posted about (spent hours on it!), only to find that when I went to upload it that this host does not allow you to upload PDF.  GRRRRR.  I will find another way to post the tutorial, because it really is a great project-even for beginners.  So I guess this post is mostly just an update that I WILL post the tut…eventually!  More to come soon!

Joanna