Sunday, February 5, 2017

January Meeting Recap

We tried to bring our competitive spirits to the jelly roll race at our January meeting - but no one can remember who, if anyone, won. We do know it was a fun way to mix it up with old and new members as we made quilt tops for Camp Erin.

Bloodthirsty crowds pushing and shoving to get just the right strips for their quilt tops...

It takes four people to sew a jelly roll strip: one to count, one to clip,
and one to carefully balance the next strip on your shoulder.
Thank you to the generous members who offered to take the tops home for finishing, quilting and binding. We can't wait to see the finished products!

 And now for your show and tell:

Sue's first finish (of many to come) in 2017 is this adorable baby quilt,
made from the charm pack she received at SewBoston

There's something especially nice about the quilts we make for
ourselves - like this pleasingly-pink offset heart top from Taz
Lisa's brother may have eloped, but he still got this
beautiful wedding quilt to commemorate the day.

Lisa's cheery Christmas quilt is all ready for next winter.

A pretty pink mini for Lisa's Instagram swap

Another lovely mini-swap entry from the prolific Lisa

Laurie's tranquil Spin Me Round baby quilt top

Laurie's awesome retro-modern entry for an Instagram swap

Another colorful swap quilt for some lucky recipient

The first Violet Craft quilt we've seen out of the CMQG - we are loving
Laurie's choice of green for the background on this quilt she made for her dad!

Kim's 12 days of Christmas table runner with
beautiful beading detail inspired by our November meeting

Hildy's working on squares from this book

but somehow things aren't lining up as expected.

This pretty scarf, designed by Hildy herself, however, came out perfect!

Jared is learning the Tarot Cross Spread
and designed this cool quilted mat for mapping out where the cards go.

Kaesmene's sweet bee block (see what I did there?)

Kaesmene's color choices make this Hunter's Star so soft!

Jessica's feather quilt is so lush it looks like it could be velvet.

Gretchen's lovely I Love You quilt from V & Co. uses ombre fabric brilliantly.

Sarah's firefighter/union quilt is full of subtle meaningful references -
and those yellow lines are only visible from the side when it covers a twin bed!

Maritza will be teaching a class on this happy lion quilt -

Maritza's interesting and modern take on a log cabin

Christine has been working on these pouches made from mini-pieced quiltlettes
 as "a palate cleanser" between bigger projects. Great idea!

Mary's creatively-contrasted circle square quilt
will be featured in an Australian quilt magazine

and finally, T gives us a preview of his Valentine's Day Cupid role - tix available HERE.

And special thanks again to Taz of Bring To Light Photography for the awesome photos!

 Looking forward to seeing those of you that can't make QuiltCon at our meeting on February 26th. Happy quilting!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Meet Your (quilt) Maker - Allison Coe

It's hard to believe that the Cambridge Modern Quilt Guild started less than a year ago. We accomplished a lot in 2016, and our plans for 2017 are just as ambitious. Leading us through our fledgling months (How do you become tax exempt? How can we get to know each other and design a logo in the same meeting?) was our original conceiver, our fearless leader and our democratically-elected-again president, Allison Coe. 

Hey Allison!

What’s your favorite podcast/music/audiobook genre to listen to when you quilt?

I typically like to watch (semi-watch) Netflix, Comcast On Demand, or Amazon Prime shows.  I'm big into binge watching series.

What sewing skill are you most proud of?

Hmmm.... I guess liking to work with small pieces and mostly even-spaced pixel quilts... which I'm getting better at every time I make one. 
Pixelated Hello Kitty (pattern by Amy Newbold)

What skill are you itching to master?

Screen printing, but I'm looking for low mess, low to no odors, and chemical free or greener chemicals... so this might not be for me after all.  Maybe I should try designing fabric instead on my odorless computer and then outsource the printing.

Do you sew for a living?

No, I run a lab at MIT and torture microscopic marine bacteria for a living... for the greater good of course.  I don't think I could sew for a living without eventually disliking it, but I'd love to just sew all day for fun without the pressure of $.  Darn that $!

What kind of fabric are you most attracted to?

Well in general I'm like a magnet to cute little animals with beady eyes... so Japanese prints usually lure me in.  I'm a big fan of Lizzy House and Carolyn Friedlander and just solids in general.  Oh and I can't forget Liberty!  Surprisingly I LOVE the classic floral prints (even though I'm not the soft girly kind of girl) and of course the whimsical prints with animals, etc.

Tell us about the quilt that means the most to you and why. This doesn’t have to be one that you made. And we’d love to see a picture!

I don't have one quilt that I really put above the rest.  I have many quilts that my mom made me when I was younger... some are literally falling apart, but I could never toss them.  And I have a piece of a quilt my great great grandmother made, framed and on the wall.  And of course my video game quilts are special to me... because I love retro video games.
A poor quality photo of a framed section of
my great-grandmother's quilt (hand sewn, of course)
Donkey Kong Quilt (pattern by Carolina Patchworks)

How/When did you start quilting?

My first dog passed in January 2008.  I went through a rough patch of emotions.  I got him right out of college so he was with me through a lot of challenging life moments and I took his passing pretty hard. But what got me out of the rut was the random decision one day to buy a sewing machine and make a Q*bert (retro video game) quilt that I saw online.  It was the best decision!  It was my therapy then and continues to be now.  Oddly enough, that quilt was "gifted" or rather "claimed" by the puppy I got six months later, who I also named Q*bert.   A very fitting name for a spazzy, energetic (loves to jump), and loving dog.  

From designing and picking fabrics to watching a recipient’s face when they see your quilt for the first time, what is your favorite part of the whole process?

Making a quilt for someone can be tricky.  You want to make sure it's the right style, color(s), and overall aesthetic and that's kind of stressful (or it is for me). So when I'm proud of the workmanship and I see that it's used, then I'm happy about the process.  In my opinion, quilts are meant to be used and loved... even by dirty pets and sticky children.

What do you do to get over a hump when you get stuck on a quilt?

Leave it and then come back to it.  I have a little ADD when it comes to my projects so I typically have way too many things going on at once.  Dropping it into the "figure it out later" pile is pretty common for me. 

Dig Dug Quilt (pattern by me)

What kind of other crafts are you into besides quilting?

Well, right now I exclusively sew, but in the past I did a lot of crafts including embroidery, needle felting, and metalsmithing.  I used to TA metalsmithing classes and sell my goods at craft markets/fairs, but I'm not a good salesperson and decided that wasn't for me.  And you can only make so many pieces of jewelry for yourself... so I'm on a little break, but I do miss it and I'll toot my horn a little by saying I'm pretty decent at it.  One day when I strike it rich I'll have my own studio building and have separate floors for each hobby. 

Where’s your fave place to eat in Cambridge?

When I lived in Inman Square, I frequented EVOO a lot (before they moved and I moved).  I also ate/drank at Highland Kitchen and Lord Hobo often.  With a 3 year old now,  I'm lucky if I go out to eat a handful of times a year.  Love my kid, but I'm definitely falling way behind on the foodie scene around Boston.  

Do you have any favorite blogs/insta accounts we should know about? And where can we find you on the internet?

I'm on Instagram (alibear167) and I follow many people.  Too many to list, but you can access my followers through my IG account if you are really curious.  

Anything else you want us to know about you?

I'm a scrap fabric enthusiast and will "dumpster" dive for modern fabrics... especially for Liberty, Lizzy House, solids, and Carolyn Friedlander.  I've been known to lightly and jokingly scold people for tossing scraps and I have no shame about checking trash bins at retreats or sew-ins for treasures.  My idea of a toss-able scrap is anything less than an inch.  Needless to say, I make lots of scrap quilts and contribute to Do.good stitches and other charitable activities with the two guilds (also a member of Seacoast MQG) that I am a member of. 

Look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on January 29th!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

November Meeting Recap

Maritza lays it down for the hand quilters.
Looking through this November recap you might think "Wow, what an amazing group. We're so fun and innovative. We make such cool stuff. Geez, I'm not usually this shallow, but we're so attractive." Of course these things have always been true, but this is the first time our recap post has captured our all-around fabulousness so accurately. That's because this month Taz of Bring To Light Photography has taken the photos. So enjoy scrolling through what we really look like!

We had a great demonstration by Maritza Soto and Julie Reuben on hand sewing. Maritza started with the ins-and-outs, or maybe ups-and-downs (in a continuous rocking motion) of hand quilting.

She's using pink, because hand quilting should be seen.

If you're not familiar with the quilter's knot, it will revolutionize your hand sewing.

Julie Reuben shows us her beaded quilting and a world of possibility opens.

Two words: seed beads

Julie blends more than one color bead to give it more texture.

Then it was time to collect the food and hygiene products for Cambridge Rindge and Latin's Falcon Pantry. You all gave super plus mountains of goods and CRLS asked us to pass on an enthusiastic thank you for all your donations.

CMQG makes sure everyone is covered.
Our Alternative Materials challenge deadline finally arrived and with it some really cool and unusual quilts:

Gwen made the most luscious and cuddly baby quilt;
double gauze on the front and minky on the back.

Sue's beautiful Blue Heron quilt, made from denim and Marimekko canvas ...

...was beautifully designed and executed, both front and back.

Julie wasn't thrilled with her fall leaves (made from wool suiting) when she put them all together.

So she tried again with an eye on bringing out the negative space
and was thrilled with the result.

Kaesmene's festive and soft santa hat quilt was made with cotton sateen velvet and minky.
Each hat was quilted with a different stitch using gold thread,
hitting the perfect note between fancy and cuddly.

Julia's quilt, made from oil cloth, reflective tape, canvas and something furry,
is a masterpiece of variety from reflective to matte - all in black.

Charlotte showed off her awesome and textured ski quilt from clothes in her closet. Materials ranged from
white leather to gray fur and something kind of shiny that made the old half square triangle look like something we'd never seen before.
Allison showed off her vibrant Sparkle Punch quilt made
from lawn, canvas, linen, gauze and a touch of Liberty.

Kathy made this futuristic shower curtain quilt that made us all rethink what we have hanging in our bathrooms. 

And then it was on to our usual show-and-tell where you all continued to impress:

Kim made this beautiful junior king quilt for her lucky daughter.

We can't wait to see what she makes with her little birdies!

Heather and Rebecca shared some of their stuff from Glamp Stitchalot,
including these stripped pieces from a class with Sherri Lynn Wood...

...these four-square stack and whack quilt-letts they worked on with Nicholas Ball...

... and these tops made with literal tops (shirts) made with Luke Hayes.

Rebecca also showed us this lovely hand appliqued quilt that she
had barely started at Sew Boston (was that just a month ago?)

Gretchen's festive tree skirt from Modern Patchwork Christmas
is a wonder of Cotton & Steel holiday fabrics.

We were all excited about the border and varied yellow background
 that Reva used in this quilt inspired by A Quilter's Table.

Chris got so into our lotto block that she made a whole quilt
and showed us how it was done! We love how the border and colors
gave it a totally different feel from the original.
FINALLY we got to the pièce de résistance: our QuiltCon charity quilt. If this quilt is a reflection of the CMQG, we have a lot to be proud of: talented designers in our midst; dedicated quilters who came together at numerous sew-ins to get this done, and done early; and support from generous indie businesses Gather Here, Cambridge Quilt Shop and Laurena's Longarm that gave us places to work and machines to use at no charge because they're just cool peeps. A special thanks to Gwen Marceline who kept us on track, showed up for everything and insisted on an early finish (we're all thanking her for that now, eh?) and to Jenn McPhilimy who came up with our reptilian scale design and took on finishing up the front and sewing the whole back, solo. 

The finished masterpiece...

...and because you can't have too many pics of this.

The back

The 'snake' pieced by Jen, from the teeny-tiniest, waste-nothing scraps.
Thanks to all for making the first year of the CMQG as great as it was - now it's off to 2017!