Monthly Archives: July 2015

FMQ Motif of the Month Challenge Month Four: Belly Buttons!

Free motion quilting (FMQ) and modern quilting go hand in hand; got to fill up that expansive negative space with beautiful quilting! Here is your chance to build up and hone your FMQ skills with our very own FMQ challenge! The goal is for each participating individual to dedicate as little or as much time as they want to practice a particular FMQ motif chosen for that month by one of our members. Each month, a member will volunteer to select a FMQ design and challenge participants to stitch it down on a practice sandwich (any size from 12 inches and up) and bring it to the meeting to show and share (no matter how bad you think it looks, we want to see!). We can discuss our experiences and help troubleshoot problems together; a true judgment-free zone! Below is a list of volunteers I have so far, if you wish to volunteer for a particular month, let us know at the next meeting. All that is required of the volunteer is to let us know what design they want to challenge us with for their chosen month at the prior month’s meeting.

  • May 2015: Candi
  • June 2015: Robin
  • July 2015: Christy
  • August 2015: Angie
  • September 2015: Bonnie
  • October 2015: Sara
  • November 2015: Ruth

We’ll keep this going until we all become proficient FM quilters or we get tired of trying 🙂 🙂

So on to this month’s challenge, a beautiful FMQ from the fabulous Leah Day chosen by Angie: Belly Buttons!

Photo Credit: Leah Day
                Photo Credit: Leah Day

Click here for Leah’s video tutorial, stitch your sample and let’s talk about it next month!

Happy Quilting!


July Swap & Program reminder

Hola my fellow JMQG’ers!

A quick reminder that we will be swapping stories and showing quilts as the members put on the program this month based on the prompt, “If there was a fire and you were able to grab just one quilt, which would it be and why?”.

It can be any quilt , even unfinished if you are new to the addiction, made by you or someone else.

So grab your quilt and we will see you this Saturday!!

~das jen

Spotlight shines on Laurie!

 Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about where you are from, work, family etc.

Born in central Illinois; grew up in southern Illinois through high school.  Moved to St. Louis and attended secretarial school/training.  Married young … had my only child/daughter at age 23.  Moved to Chicago area for husband’s job in 1989.  Divorced in 1995.  Married second husband in 1997 – stayed in Chicago until 2007 when we moved to Austin, TX area.  Lived “in the middle of nowhere” on 10 acres about 50 miles outside of Austin.  Now work in computer software consulting so travelled a good deal for work.  Husband passed away in March 2014 from a fatal heart attack.  Sold the house 5 months later and moved to Jacksonville to be near my daughter and 2 grandkids – ages 4 and 6.  Built a house in Nocatee 1 mile from them.  Now loving every minute of life!

Tell us about when and how you started quilting.

I have a very creative sister who has always sewed – as our mother did as well.  My sister had a fabric store in Champaign, IL and had a small corner of quilting fabrics.  One year for my birthday she gave me a personal all day session with her quilting teacher and I was hooked.  This was probably in 2000 or 2001.  Before that I did a lot of cross stitch and some needlepoint.  I’ve given up on cross stitch but still have some needlepoint that I would like to pick up again in the future.

What’s your favorite part about quilting? Least favorite?

Picking out fabrics and creating simple pattern tops.  Finding fabrics that work together well is something I very much enjoy.  I am not a “perfection” piecer and don’t worry about points that don’t exactly match.  Patterns with too many pieces or matching seams are not for me!

Any favorite technique or one you wish to learn?

Paper piecing – yes … seriously!  I know we joke about it, but I took a class one year in the Denver area (while travelling for work) and really enjoyed it.  I just need to give myself time to practice and learn the skill and I know there are patterns I would enjoy making.

What fabrics are you drawn to? Any particular styles or colors?

I am more and more a fan of batiks.  I like the way they feel and the absence of fraying edges is wonderful.  Every fabric is so different and I love the randomness of the designs.  My home here is decorated in coastal colors so aquas, teals, purples, creams, greys, etc – which is a total opposite from my home in Texas where everything was earth tones and very rustic/masculine/sophisticated western.

Who is your favorite quilter (whether international, national or local)? Any blogs you love to follow?

I am inspired by Virginia Findlay Wolfe and her creativity.  I am a big fan of Marie Bostwick and her quilting-based novels – all great reads!  I also enjoy Sue Spargo and her work with wool, many different embellishments and threads – one day I will have time to make something using her techniques.

Tell us about where you sew! Your stash? Your sewing machine/s.

When I had my new house built, I had a wall removed between a study and a bedroom which gives me a nice big studio.  I share one corner with my work desk/filing cabinet as I still work full time – but blessed most of my work is remote/from home these days.  I don’t sew that much at home right now.  Most of my sewing is done at sew in’s or retreats – either in Florida or with old friends in Texas … where I still go to several retreats each year.

I have a Pfaff 4.0 that my late husband insisted we buy one year on the drive to Illinois for Christmas.  He was a very good man who always based part of our vacation every year on visiting quilt shops regardless of where we were travelling.  I had a HUGE stash of cowboy/western fabric that was all “left behind” in Texas when I decided what to move to Florida and what to leave for others to enjoy.

Here are a couple pictures of my sewing room.  The long library type table in the middle of the room will be replaced eventually with an actual sewing cabinet.  I am still deciding on what style/size to get but I know I want something that expands for working on larger quilts.    The big blank wall at the end will become a design wall one day.  The other storage pieces are a couple of the only furniture pieces that made the move from Texas to Florida.  They hold fabric and other sewing room goodies behind closed doors!

Laurie 1Laurie 2

Are you organized? Tell us, we won’t judge! If you are, what would you say the one thing that helped you organize the most?

Yes … and because of the move I have much less “stuff” than before.  I am more careful now before I make fabric acquisitions and really decide if the fabric is something I am going to use before I buy it.  I have several large cabinets in my sewing studio that hold my fabrics, as well as a nice big closet that has many bins for holding fabrics – yes … sorted by color and/or style.

Please share a picture of your favorite quilt that you made, and tell us a bit about it.

There are a couple of favorites …  I made a yellow/pink quilt for my “bestie” who lives in Indianapolis for her 50th birthday several years back.  It was fun acquiring the fabrics over the year or so before the quilt was made and it was a total surprise to her.

Laurie 3
Then the second “favorite” would be a quilt I made for the master bedroom back in Texas.  My (late) husband helped pick out the fabrics and the custom quilting was done in western styles with hats, ropes, barb wire fences, stars, etc.  When I moved from Texas last year, I gave this quilt to my next door neighbors as a thank you for all they had done to help me after Bruce passed away … and for being such great people.  Yes – she cried … as did I …   I knew the quilt belonged in Texas.

Laurie 4
Do you have a quilting bucket list?

Always!  Most of the quilts I make are for gifts.  I do make one now and then to keep but it is the exception.  Since moving in the new house, I do have a couple for myself on the list … one for the back of the couch in new “calm” colors and another for my bedroom – which will be brighter and “happier” and then eventually for the guest bedroom as well.   I have 2 other quilts planned for close friends and a daughter’s friend who is having a baby boy.   Beyond that – who knows!

Anything else you want us to know?

I am very happy to have found the JMQG and been welcomed with open arms.  You know there will be an immediate connection with most quilters in general but this group of women is filled with amazing people who I am making close friends with.

Janette Hughes would give me grief if I did not also include a couple picture of the cabinet in my guest room where I keep a collection of antique/older quilts acquired by Bruce during our years in Texas.  Bruce was a man of “great admiration” (i.e. EXCESS) and had some 200+ quilts.  Yikes …   I had to select my most “cherished” of the collection when it was time to move and these are the ones that made the cut.  One day we could have a bed turning at my house to share them with the guild – though there are none that fit the “modern’ category for sure!

Laurie 5 Laurie 6

Thank you so much Laurie for sharing with us!

July 2015 BOM – Modern Pinwheel


Our Block of the Month for July is a Modern Pinwheel. I felt this block would lend the negative space needed to showcase all the Free Motion Quilting everyone has been learning with our FMQ monthly series with Candi Lennox.

Guidlines for the block:

  • Use solids for background & prints for pinwheel blades
  • Maker chooses 2 different colors to work with
  • 12.5in unfinished
  • Not required but appreciated – make a second block for our charity block stash
Start with four 7in blocks (if you are good with your 1/4in seams do 6.5) and choose your print scraps for the pinwheel blades
1. Start with four 7in blocks (if you are good with your 1/4in seams do 6.5) and choose your print scraps for the pinwheel blades
2. Firgure out your blade placement. These do not have to be an exact size. For those familiar with a wonky star it is very similiar.
2. Firgure out your blade placement. These do not have to be an exact size. For those familiar with a wonky star it is very similiar.
3. After sewing the blades on you want to give them a good iron
3. After sewing the blades on you want to give them a good iron
4. Flip over and trim off those hanging pieces
4. Flip over and trim off those hanging pieces
5. Then trim off the extra piece of backing to reduce bulk
5. Then trim off the extra piece of backing to reduce bulk
6. Lay out your squares and sew them together just as you would do a standard 4 patch
6. Lay out your squares and sew them together just as you would do a standard 4 patch
7. This is an example of how I iron my seams for this block.
7. This is an example of how I iron my seams for this block.

Here are 3 that I made.(3rd one is for my Irish penpal not a requirement for our BOM)

11749341_10153394345464098_1947162569_n 11720073_10153394393699098_1665100597_n 11696697_10153386451179098_17240492_n

I hope you enjoy making the block. I look forward to seeing what color combos everyone else chooses. 🙂

~das jen

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge Sew-in!

Just a friendly reminder that we will be having our QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge sew-in this coming Saturday 7/11, from 10 am to 5 pm at Ladybug Quilt Shop ( 1400 Cassat Ave). The guild will provide each member with a fabric packet to make a block or two. All you need to bring is your sewing machine and sewing essentials and lunch if you wish. Also feel free to bring a personal sewing project if you want to hang out and sew once your block/s are done.

See you all then!