Monday, September 15, 2014

Meet the Group: Michelle

I know I keep typing these nice Meet the Group posts, and some of you may be wondering how I'm making everyone sound so great, but honestly, it's true! And Michelle is certainly no exception. She joined UCMQG during Session 4, but it feels like she's always been here with us. She came with a friend, because she wanted to learn to quilt and didn't know where to start. This is news to me. I assumed she'd been quilting all along with the rest of us. Her quilts are so beautiful and thoughtful, I never would have guessed that she just started.

Michelle's favorite part is learning new techniques. She also loves to see how our group members use color and new ideas others' quilts give her. As many of us feel, Michelle loves the end result of a quilt. She is loving the feeling she gets of accomplishing a new talent, and this may say more about Michelle than her quilts ever will.  Her favorite UCMQG project was the 75 Quilt, when everyone received a bundle containing 75 different fabric squares, to be assembled using half-square triangles in any layout. She loves making HST's now.

Lastly, Michelle loves to give quilts to people she cares about. I will tell you that this group member doesn't take the spotlight a lot at meetings. She doesn't share very much about her personal life, but when she does, it's always so sweet and sentimental. I remember one time she shared an especially cozy quilt for a friend who was receiving cancer treatments at the time, as well as some of her feelings on that topic, and after she sat down, the room felt so much closer and warmer. She has that effect on people.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Meet the Group: Connie

Great news: this week you get to meet wonderful Connie. She joined us in the very beginning of UCMQG with her very talented daughter, Brittany. It was fun to see how she and Brittany's styles were different and the same. Mother-daughter quilting is fun. Connie joined to have fun (we hope she still is!) and to see what other quilters are doing. So often we sew in our own little caves, and I love this group because you get to share what you built, and see what the other cave-dwellers were working on during the month, too.

Connie's favorite part about coming is the artistic outlet UCMQG is for her. And she is quite an artist. She also finds it calming. I'd love to hear more about this sometime. For me, sewing is very calming (unless I'm unpicking an entire row), and I love it when life finds me more like-minded creatures.

Her favorite project we've done so far was the medallion - also one I never got to see finished. Connie's center was a beautiful native embroidery piece she picked up on vacation to I can't remember where now. It looked very South American, so her entire quilt centered around fabric choices inspired by our southern neighbors; oranges, bright greens, black and royal blue. Picking up textile souvenirs on vacations is one of my favorite ways to bring life into my quilts, and I think Connie's toucan center was a great idea for this huge project.  Her quilts are always very distinctly Connie, and the time she spends making sure the color choices are just right really shows.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Meet the Group: Nicole

Nicole has just joined us last session. She loves to share quilting with others who also love it as much as she does. Well, you have found your home with us! She loves to learn new ideas and techniques, but Show and Tell is her favorite. I'm telling you, that's the most awesome part!

She says she quilts so she doesn't kill people, and I'm in that boat, too. Particularly those under four feet tall. She says she's just kidding, but only a little. She loves the creative process and the whole progression that each individual quilt makes. She also appreciates that each quilt has a story.  

Sidebar: every quilt does have a story. Yours! No matter what you piece, what fabric you use, how you put it together, it's important to you. It's your mark in the sand. Not someone else's. And the world truly needs each of us to find some way to make it more beautiful. We are here for a purpose. Leave your mark!

Ok, back to Nicole. She also runs a long arm business called Scribbles & Stitches. Check it out!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meet the Group: Lori

Lori is such a fun friend, and I would say that looking at her quilts now, and her quilts when she joined us a few years ago, she is also having the most fun. I've seen a real shift in Lori's confidence as a quilter and as a person. She says she loves coming to learn new skills and new friends, but her last statement I think reflects who she is the most: she comes to find new creativeness. I love it. And everyone around her benefits, too.

Lori quilts for therapy. Hi, Lori. She loves creating things that can't be destroyed or eaten in five minutes. Her favorite UCMQG project to work on was the medallion. That would have been my guess. She won the award for biggest finished medallion. She was having so much fun she just kept going and going. Each border added so much and it turned out to be a real masterpiece.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Meet the Group: Teena

Teena came to our group right after the second session. She wanted something quilty to do with her friend, so they both braved it and came. She has been busily adding to her WIP's each session in our group, which is why I love coming as well. It's all so inspirational! Teena is a great friend to many in the group and enjoys seeing what others are working on, too.

She started quilting because her mother quilts and encouraged her to try. I love a multi-generational obsession. They're the best kind. Quilting keeps Teena busy and gives her a good creative outlet. She also loves giving them as keepsakes to family. 

Things I have learned about Teena: she and her sister have come closer during her sister's successful battle with cancer, her son's family recently moved to Russia with her granddaughter and a beautiful Russian doll quilt Teena sent with them, she shared her love with her husband by making an amazing bike quilt for him, and she has a very peaceful spirit about her. I am grateful to know Teena and to have learned from her calm perspective on life and quilting.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August Meeting in Review

A big welcome to all of our friends old and new for the beginning of Session 7! Meeting outside has such great energy and I loved seeing the Show and Tell. JoyLyn liked the surprise flow having your quilts be the grand finale, I think we'll do that going forward. Remember we are all together outside at 9:00 in September.
JoyLyn especially loved those of you who made declarations to the group about their goals for this next session.  Always inspiring when we combine our energy toward a common goal!  It is especially inspiring when you have the confidence to voice that goal to the group.

This month we introduced the WIP (works in progress) idea. We will discuss it more as we go, but let's focus on clearing our decks and getting rid of things that are holding us back in the next 6 months of meetings. And who knows, maybe it will seep into other areas of our lives and we will all be lighter and happier in 2015. We are all WIP's, and maybe looking at the unfinished piles of fabric clouding our stashes will get new and improved creative juices flowing. Let yourself be free to be who you are!

Check out the new edition of Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! We talked about the "Tools" section of the book & went over the goodies in your tool pouch.  The store as some copies you can use your class-day discount on it you'd like. In October we will be sharing some interesting tips and tricks from that book exclusively.

Anna shared one of her favorite Moda Bake Shop quilts, Pinwheel Baby Quilt , JoyLyn shared the most downloaded pattern from Moda United Notions free project section 30's Playtime , Machelle shared Candy Scraps Quilts . Sydney shared a mini made her way from the "Simple Whatnots Club" by Kim Diehl, starting at Broadbent's in September.   It is such fun to see these reinvented with different fabric choices.

Next month, we get to see some demos from Moda Bake Shop by class friends. I am really excited to see the variety that I'm sure will come out of this project. Feel free to browse this great site for free tutorials on a wide range of sewing ideas, and join me in making The TRIFLE DISH row quilt, if you like. 

Fall is a time of retirement where we get ready for the winter. The leaves fall and less flowers bring us joy, but despite all of that, it feels like a new beginning to me. I love Fall, and not just because kids go back to school. It feels like a crisp fresh start. A definitive change in season. The crest of the beginning of holiday season where love and family are hopefully felt by all of us. Take the time this Fall to recharge and renew and breathe deeply. 

And if you need a laugh, here's a great pic of Anna that I am not editing. That's what you get for giving me a pickle face on purpose. And thanks for always holding up our unending Show and Tell, friend. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Meet the Group: Ella

Ella joined our group several sessions ago, maybe as peer pressure, I'm not sure. Whatever the way, I'm glad she came. Ella loves the process of quilting, choosing the fabrics, and making beautiful things for her home and family. She is certainly good at doing that! She also has her very own long arm and the finishing quilting she does is beautiful, too. 

Her Favorite UCMQG project was a tie between The 75 Quilt, when each member received 75 different 6.5" squares to make something using half-square triangles, and our medallions. I'm not sure I saw Ella's finished medallion (hint, hint), but the along-the-way versions she shared were truly inspiring. 

If you can't tell by the fabrics she chose, she loves all things pink! I love Ella's spunky personality and her contagious laugh.  She likes to buy lots of fabric, drive big trucks, and make lots of friends. She has volunteered hundreds of hours for her local church, The Community Presbyterian Church, which meets in the historic Footloose chapel, and last year raised funds to replace the stained glass windows.