Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Hello fellow guild members!  At last month's meeting I had mentioned that I would be reviewing the book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting which is co-authored by Angela Walters and Christa Watson. Whether you're a seasoned quilter or just starting out, a sit down quilter or a long armer, there's something for everyone in this book.

The reason I started quilting back in 2012 is because I wanted to learn how to do the beautiful designs I saw on finished quilt tops. After my husband got me my first really good machine that Christmas, I jumped right in to free motion quilting and I've never looked back.

While I've only quilted on my sit down domestic machine, I have a burning curiosity and desire to learn how to long arm quilt. One of my favorite features of this book is that it approaches machine quilting from both techniques. The pages are color coded and both quilters guide you through step-by step on how to achieve a specific design or motif.

There are 10 full color patterns used in the book and the photos are just stunning. The clarity and quilting details are so helpful. (Kudos to photographer Brent Kane and Martingdale for such beautiful photos!)

If you are strictly just a sit down or long arm quilter and are worried that half of the book won't pertain to you, think again. Much of the advice and tips from both Angela and Christa can be applied to developing your own skills regardless of your preferred method of quilting. Here is my own example: while I am pretty good at some of the more difficult motifs, like feathers, I have had a mental block when it came to ribbon candy. I could never seem to get the design to look uniform. Here is the advice that Angela gives on how to master it:

After reading it, something clicked in my brain. I always tried to make the lines touch but never overlapped them. Just that slight adjustment of allowing the lines to overlap a bit made all the difference to me and before you know it, I was quilting ribbon candy! And as you can see, I didn't even need to overlap anymore. I call this a great success!

We're very lucky to have Christa coming to visit us in September and I'm even more excited to meet her and learn from her after reading this book. If you have the opportunity to get your hands on it, I highly recommend it. You won't regret it! You can find it at your local bookstore or any of these online retailers:  Christa's shopAngela's shopMartingale, or Amazon.

~ Diana

Please note: I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased and honest opinion.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Meet Alexis Brandenburger!

Hey y’all! I’m Alexis and I’ve been a member of the guild since January of this year. I’m currently in my last semester of undergrad at UCF and will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology next month. I’m originally a paper crafter and run an Etsy store calledGrowingUpGoddess selling notebooks & planners. I started sewing after receiving a sewing machine for my 22nd birthday in August 2015 — so I’ve only been sewing for a few months. One day in October of last year, I woke up and out of nowhere decided to make a quilt. I have been obsessed ever since!

Being a member of this guild has brought me so much joy and inspiration and every day I am overwhelmed with enthusiasm about the Modern Quilt Guild and the fabulous art of quilting. Since I’m still so new to quilting and sewing in general, I feel like I learn something new every day — but I definitely dove head-first into the quilt life. To date, I have finished five blanket-sized quilts and a few smaller quilty projects. Our guild seems to be shocked and impressed by my speedy production, but I just jump into my projects with a lot of passion, no fear, and no expectation of perfection.

As someone who is so new to quilting, I am still wide-eyed and amazed at almost every project I see on Pinterest and Instagram and anywhere else I can find beautiful quilts to look at. I take inspiration from what I’ve learned as well as from my own life to design my quilts. Sometimes I see a combination of colors that I really love and work from there, and other times I begin the creative process with a shape or pattern of shapes. From that initial spark of inspiration I either sketch out a pattern or just go with the flow and figure it out as I go.

Quilting has certainly been one of the best things I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing and I love the inspiration and fun I’ve experienced in our wonderful guild! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Maitland, FL

President Alissa called the meeting to order; 50 members and 1 guest were present. The six new members introduced themselves.
Alissa passed out paper and asked members to make suggestions for what the guild will do with the charity quilt we made for QuiltCon 2016.

Joan received membership forms and dues for renewals and new memberships, including 6 new members. Each person joining or renewing chose a gift of a Modern Quilt Guild mug or project bag. Joan asks anyone who plans to join or renew to please pay their dues right away, so the new roster she will be email to members soon will be up to date. Members also signed up and paid for the Mandy Leins class on May 7th, "Improv on a Photo." There are still places available in the class.


Leandra returned the Raffle Basket filled with many new and special items. The basket, which brought in $48 for raffle tickets, was won by Debra.


Education Coordinator Ede reported that Christa Watson will be teaching a class on September 24th and that Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety, who conducted the recent podcast with OMQG officers, may be coming to the class. Diana reported that she will be reviewing Watson’s new book and will post her view on the guild blog and at

Ede also reported that Jacquie Gering is coming March 17-19, 2017, to give a trunk show and teach for two days.


Education Coordinator Sharleen reported last month that the group supporting the deploying Florida National Guard troops, for whom the guild made hundreds of pillowcases, had requested items to fill the cases for the soldiers, and contribute items were collected.

Sharleen explained the current annual guild charity project, providing 70 quilts to the House Next Door, a nonprofit which serves child victims of sexual abuse, by the end of the year. She has received 17 so far. The quilts to be donated should be 48” x 60”, though smaller will be accepted.

She will announce a 30-day charity challenge at the May meeting, which will be due at the June meeting.

 Cara reported that Kate has started a Kickstarter campaign to purchase sample quilts from Wandering Stitches, with her employee discount, for the House Next Door; she has 15 so far.


UFO Coordinator Kelly reported that the UFO log is available on the website now. Someone reported that items added this year are not on the linked log, so Kelly will  make sure the updated UFO log is available at the link. Add UFOs to your list any time. Members receive one entry per finished UFO in a drawing for prizes at the December holiday party.

 LAS VEGAS MINI QUILT SWAP  -   #vegasmeetsorlandoswap

Tanyia reported on the mini quilt swap with the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild, reminding those participating that their minis are due to her June 1st, so should be brought to the May meeting or mailed to her. They should be wrapped with a card on the outside, showing the recipient’s name, and a note introducing yourself. If you want to show your mini at Show and Tell in May, Tanyia will wrap it for you. She said, if the person has not posted anything in Instagram to share their tastes, to go by their list of likes and dislikes. No extras are allowed in this swap. Minis are to be 12”-to-24” each side, any shape. Tanyia will mail them to Las Vegas as a group. 

 Tanyia announced that lunch this month will be at 12:30 following the meeting at Applebee’s on US 17-92.

GUILD LIBRARY           

Yanick brings the guild library of quilting books to each meeting. See her to see what is available and to check out books, which must be returned at the following month’s guild meeting.


April’s Blocks of the Month were won by Cara.

 Kate presented the Block of the Month for May. Directions are available on the guild blog. The blocks should be 12” and monochromatic, any color. She said, “do not be afraid” to improvise. 


Members went in groups of ten, in the order they signed in, to shop the piles of fabric, bags of fabric, boxes of magazines and patterns, and tools and miscellaneous items donated by members. Fabric sold for $2/yard, bags of fabric $3-5, patterns $1, books and magazines $.25, and various amounts for miscellaneous items, with all receipts going to the guild education fund. 



Remember to return membership forms and dues for this year to Joan, if you haven’t already, so we have current information for everyone and all names for the new roster. If you are taking part, remember to have your Las Vegas Mini Quilt Swap mini to Tanyia by June 1st.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 am.


·      April 11 – Sew Day, 10-4, Maitland Public Library
·      April 16 – Sew Day, 10-4, Dr. Phillips Public Library
·      May 4 – OMQG Guild Meeting, 10 am, Sewing Studio
·      May 7 – Mandy Leins class, “Improv on a Photo,” 10-4, Bernina Sewing Center, Lake Mary
·      June 1 – OMQG Board Meeting, after the guild meeting
·      September 24 – Christa Watson class, “Modern Quilting in Style”
·      Next year’s QuiltCon East 2017, in Savannah, GA, Feb. 23-27, 2017. The Modern Quilt Guild will post a course catalog online on June 1st; member registration begins June 25th.  Quilt Entry runs July 1 – Nov. 30.
·      March 17-19, 2017 – Jacquie Gering trunk show and 2 days of classes

May Block Of the Month!

Hello guild family!

I just completed a quilt for my grandma using a beautiful pattern I had found in an Australian quilting magazine. I really fell in love with my completed quilt top and how beautiful the improv piecing turned out, despite my best efforts to over think it. 
Once I let go all control and allowed the improv powers that be take over, I sailed through the blocks and loved each one more than the last.
When looking for a nice block of the month to help people bust their scrap stashes I realized I had pinned a block just like it from Comfort Stitching! I thought I should let you all join in the improv, stash busting fun I just had!
You can find her tutorial here.
Much like her blocks lets keep our blocks monochromatic. You can make a whole bunch of blocks for the lotto and bust that scrap stash one color at a time!

For those of you who are too busy over engineering your blocks and stressing about the devil may care attitude you must have for this block, I have included a little tune for you to hum along with:

I also think it's funny that I probably just got that song stuck in your head :-D

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Meet Michele Lancaster

Hello! I have been a member of the guild since it started in 2010. After following Rene’s blog and figuring out we lived in the same city, Rene asked if I would like to join her newly formed Modern Quilt Guild. I was thrilled to join an actual guild of my “people!” I served as treasurer and have watched the guild grow from the original 16 to now over 75 members. I can’t imagine not being part of our fun and talent-filled guild.

I first started quilting in 2007 after collecting fabric, quilts and vintage linens for years. I’ve always been intrigued with textiles, but never really sewed. I made my kids a few garments when they were little, but garment sewing wasn’t my thing. But I did like printed feed sacks, vintage cotton prints (think groovy 1960s), old bandannas and quilts. I have a quilt from each of my great grandmothers, who were prolific quilters, so quilting may have been in my blood after all.

When I began quilting I scoured the internet and found an online quilting group called “The Quilting Board.” There were links to free patterns and tutorials, chat rooms, blocks of the month skill building, photo galleries, and more. I learned so much and eventually hosted a “doll quilt” swap that I ran for several years before handing it off to a fellow quilter.

Blogs were also paramount to my quilting lessons. I learned everything from step-by-step tutorials (with photos!) written by the amazingly giving blog community. I participated in swaps, challenges, and met amazing quilters all over the world. I still love reading blogs and getting distracted by a tutorial I see. And I’m still learning and meeting new friends.

My first quilt was a postage stamp mini quilt that I made using my vintage fabrics. I was rather proud of this 19” x 23” quilt  and mailed it to a longarmer for quilting.  I bet she burst out laughing when it arrived. She did make my first little quilt a beauty with her awesome quilting skills.

I can’t say I have a favorite quilt, unless it’s the one I’m working on at the moment (but not if I’m bored with it). I also like to have numerous projects going at once. I can’t imagine not starting something new if an opportunity arises. The spontaneity of creating is a luxury I don’t have at my real job as a graphic designer. I get to create in my position, but the subject matter is usually chosen for me.

Color intrigues me and most of my quilts and sewing projects are a riot of all colors. I attempt subtlety, but rarely accomplish it. Modern improv, mystery quilts, fabric dyeing and scrap quilts are among some of my favorite processes. I doubt you’ll be surprised, but I love fabric! Novelty and food prints, black and white, bright batiks and anything orange will catch my eye. Modern fabrics render me senseless. Even selvages are fun!

My next obsession or quilt I can’t get out of my mind involves solids and improv piecing. I can’t wait to start it! I blog periodically at Nostalgic Cafe. Stop by and say hi!