Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May Eye Candy

Were you able to join us at our May Guild meeting? We started up our Tool Time segment where Gail and I discussed basting. What is your favorite method?

I have become a spray baste convert!

Jenn just might be our resident overachiever! This and the next three are all hers. And are all finished! You Go Jenn!!

pattern from Moda Bake Shop

You may remember this from a previous meeting. Here it is all quilted and bound up.

January is making coordinating quilts for her boys using Bernstein Bears fabric.

A fun table runner for Mother's Day.

Angela picked up this baby at a garage sale, Rockford!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Guild Meeting

Just a reminder, our May guild meeting is tomorrow night!

Thursday, May 17; 6:30pm

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We find our home at the Creative Collective Fort Worth.

Don't forget:
-your name tag
-your secret sister's gift

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quilter Questionnaire: Suzie

Suzie Diver 

How long have you been quilting?
I made my first "real" quilt before my middle son was born, so 18 or 19 years. 

How did you learn to quilt?
My grandmother made lots of our clothes when I was a kid, so I watched her sewing. After she passed away, I inherited her sewing machine and fabric stash. After that I started watching PBS quilting and sewing shows like Eleanor Burns, Fons & Porter, Nancy Zieman, and Shirley Adams and trying to sew things. It didn't take long to figure out that I like making quilts WAY more than clothes! I subscribed to Quiltmaker and Quilter's Newsletter magazines and read those. Eventually, I joined a couple of online quilt groups, joined a few local guilds and a bee, took classes at Houston Quilt Festival, and collected lots of fabric (and a few more sewing machines).

When I first started quilting, I fell into the "machine quilting is cheating" camp -- until I saw Jane Sassaman's quilt at the Houston Show. Fusible web and machine quilted and fabulous! Also in Houston, I took classes on curved piecing and improvisational piecing that changed my quilting world. 

So, short answer, I guess, is mostly self-taught with bits of great teachers thrown in.

What is your favorite part/step of the process?
Designing the quilt. I rarely make a quilt from a published pattern, although I use popular techniques like Stack'n'Whack. 

Yellow Stack"N"Whack made as a wedding gift for a friend

Your biggest obstacle?
Finishing! Too many projects in my head...and I hate binding.

How many have you finished?
Finished? Probably less than 30. Lots more that are unfinished.

Which item that you have made are you most proud of?
I don't know about proud, but the quilt I LIKE the most is one that I hated when it was first pieced. "Dripping Paisley" started out as a curved piecing project with darkish background and swirly yellow/red limbs. It was hideous!  So I cut it up into 8" squares and pieced more 16-patches from the dark fabrics. I played with the blocks on the design wall and then sewed everything back together, quilted it on the longarm, and couched yarn along the binding. 

Another of Suzie's favorites: Comfort was one of my favorite quilts to make. The center image started out as a doodle that I thought looks like three draped figures. I wanted to use colors reminiscent of Renaissance paintings. My mother-in-law thought the figures looked like a turkey and other folks have seen other things, which is fun.

How do you decide on a pattern?
Usually it depends on what I want to do as far as technique, what fabric is calling my name, or how much brain I have at the time. The scrappy diamond block happened because i wanted to use up my scraps and needed a block based design to work on at retreat. (But then my hubby got sick, so I made them at home. Go figure.) Right now, I have the urge to curved piece some larger design, but I'm focusing on another scrap block while I'm working from the dining room and most of my fabric is stored away. 

Tell us about your stash:
My son says I could open a fabric store. I say I collect fabric and those pieces chat amongst themselves and eventually tell me what they want to be. 

How would you define your style?
Arty, scrappy, and eclectic. 

 unfinished project and original design

What are your go-to colors?
Red, yellow, green, black (dark), white (light), and polka dot.

Favorite tool or notion?
My brass stiletto for guiding fabric under the needle, especially for curved piecing.

Do you have other crafty hobbies?
I would like to make jewelry and knit, but mostly I just use beads and yarn to embellish quilts.

Suzie says: I made My Own Zen Garden because I wanted to work with only neutrals and I love triangles. My son had a miniature rock garden that he didn't want anymore, so I "borrowed" the small rake and added stone beads. This piece won Third Place at the Dallas Quilt Celebration in the Art Quilt-Artisan category, 2003. (Quilted with gold rayon thread)

Anything else you'd like to share?
I hate to paper piece, but I will if I have to. I used to hand-dye and hand-paint fabric. I had a longarm named Fred in the living room many years ago. I would like to make quilts like Ruth McDowell when (or if) I grow up.

Suzie says: The pink triangles are all from my hand-dyed or hand-printed fabrics, which were pretty ugly on their own, but I like them in this quilt with the wild print border.

Thanks so much Suzie for giving us a peek into your quilting world!
If you want to know more about Suzie, please ask in the comments or at the next guild meeting; I know she would love to answer!