Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Meet Our Members: Amanda Gaither

Say hello to Amanda! Born and raised in the South, Amanda and her partner came to Omaha 8 years ago and made it home. Amanda is a social worker, activist and lover of rainbows,  bright solids and geometric prints. She has been quilting for nearly 2 years.

How long have you been a member of OMQG? I attended my first meeting when it was still hosted at Sunshine Stitches in September 2016. I was overjoyed by the welcoming group and inspired by the show and tell. As a new quilter, I very much appreciated the demonstrations and sense of community so I became an official member of the group in November.
Tell us about the first quilt you made The first quilt I fully completed was a t-shirt quilt for a friend. It was a little rough around the edges and I learned a lot from that experience.
How would you describe your style? What are your influences? I love all things rainbow! I am most drawn to bright modern fabrics. I get most of my inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, quilt shows, and fellow quilter's show and tell.
How often do you sew/quilt? I know many folks sew every single day and I commend your dedication but I prefer to sew in large blocks of time on the weekends mostly. I'm sure I could be much more productive if I worked on a project at least 30 min per day but it's just not my style.
What is your proudest quilting moment? I'm strengthening skills with each project but so far my proudest quilting moment has been a llama pillow sham I completed for an Instagram swap. The construction of the llama was tricky and the quilting was nothing special but I felt proud of the final product. I am often too critical of my own work but this time I was confident and it felt great for a change.
Any quilting fails? What areas do you wish you were better in? I am learning new techniques and tricks of the trade with each project so I would not consider anything a fail but simply a learning experience. I wish I wasn't so afraid to free motion quilt on my domestic machine. I have watched many tutorials where the instructor moves so fluidly but when I'm sitting in front of my machine I freeze up and panic. For now, I will continue quilting with my walking foot but I have a goal to practice more free motion this year.
Any recommendations? I love listening to podcasts while quilting. Some of my favorites include Serial, S-Town, This American Life, My Dad Wrote A Porno, Black Tapes, and a variety of TEDtalks. What is your best advice for a beginning quilter? Sign up for as many beginner classes as you can to learn hands-on from experts. Follow quilters on Instagram for inspiration. Buy the best machine, notions, and fabric you can afford because the investment is worth it. Most importantly, enjoy the creative process and don't be too critical of yourself.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Let These Podcasts Inspire You

Podcasts can be a great addition to your sewing ritual. I love them and I am constantly inspired by the interviews or helpful tips I hear. If you've never given them a try, here are some of the best to get you started. Check them out wherever you get podcasts.

American Patchwork and Quilting Radio
Off Kilter Quilt
Sit and Sew Radio-Quilt Addicts Anonymous
The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady-New Zealand Quilt Show
Quilt Cabana Corner
Canadian Quilt Talk-Quilter on Fire

The following podcasts are not about quilting exclusively, but feature quilters often or are full of good information about sewing in general:

While She Naps (This is my personal favorite. Abby clearly has mastered the podcast and she is so skilled at interviewing people. I'm always fascinated.)
Modern Sewciety
Sewing Out Loud
Maker Style
Thread Cult
Craft-ish

Lastly, these podcasts are not sewing or quilting focused, but about creativity in general. They are great for when you are feeling stuck.

The Moment
Magic Lessons
Accidental Creative
Dear Handmade Life
Creative Pep Talk
Design Sponge-After the Jump

Is your favorite on the list? Please share with the group!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

June Meeting!

Don't forget...


Our program will be an interactive discussion/show & tell about members' favorite sewing tools and notions. The more members that participate, the better the program will be! Please bring a few of your favorite, life-changing sewing/quilting tools and notions to share with the group. We'll also have the usual meeting activities of show & tell, a raffle, and door prizes. We are collecting personal hygiene items for Youth Emergency Services throughout the year, so feel free to bring any donations.

As a reminder, the tour of the Youth Emergency Services Street Outreach Center is set for this Monday, June 5, from 6 - 7 pm at the Street Outreach Center located on the northwest corner of 26th and Harney – 2602 Harney Street. (Not at the admin offices around the corner on Farnam.) We will get to see our beautiful community participation quilt hanging on the wall and learn more about YES. Please leave a comment here or on the post on our Facebook page if you are planning to attend.

We'll see you at YES on Monday and the June meeting on Tuesday!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Meet Our Members: Heidi Carpenter



Meet our Member, Heidi Carpenter! Heidi is mom to four children and has been a member for 5 years. Connect with Heidi on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Look for the handle "sewnheidi" to see what she's up to.
Here is more about Heidi!

Tell us about the first quilt you made.  I grew up a 4H member.  So my first quilt was back in my 4H days in the 80’s.  I hand pieced the top (log cabin pattern), used a sheet for the back and tied it.  I did receive a Reserve Champion ribbon at the fair!
How would you describe your style? What are your influences? I would say my style is a little modern with some vintage thrown in.  I am a big Angela Walters groupie and love to study her machine quilting.  
What do you do when you aren’t quilting? I volunteer a lot at my kid’s school and our church. I also like to rescue vintage sewing machines from garage sales and craigslist and get them working.
What is your proudest quilting moment? Every quilt I finish is a proud moment.  Also, finally being comfortable using a long arm and being confident in my machine quilting.
What inspires you right now? Using up scraps, I have accumulated a lot over the years, so all the scrap quilt ideas coming out now are motivating me to get my scraps and stash organized and used.
Any recommendations? Instagram (follow other quilters, lots of eye candy), Pinterest is a great place to organize ideas and tutorials, I love to follow Amanda Jean Nyberg at ‘Crazy mom quilts’, I love the fabric and patterns that Thimble Blossoms puts out, and I love Kate Spain and her designs
What is your best advice for a beginning quilter? Buy the best sewing machine you can afford.


A sample of Heidi's beautiful work!


May Meeting Reminder

It's almost time for the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild May meeting! We're back at our usual meeting location at AccuQuilt.


If you made a project for the MQG Riley Blake fabric challenge, please bring it to share!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Don't Forget...April Meeting Location Change!

We hope to see you tonight!


In addition to our regular meeting, our program will be a longarm quilting demo by Jackie Heyne, owner of A Quilting Place.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Meet Our Members: Emily Phillips


Meet our member, Emily Phillips! Emily has been a member of OMQG since 2014. Her work includes such cute pieces as these:







(The babe and the kitty are pretty adorable too!)  Here is more about Emily.

Tell us about the first quilt you made. The first quilt I made was really simple. Four large squares sashed with smaller squares. I didn't actually know how to do the quilting so it is held together with ties and buttons. It's on the back of my Grandma's couch and when I'm there I like to look at it to see how far I've progressed.

How would you describe your style? What are your influences?
My style tends to lean towards the abstract, and I love using really saturated colours.

What do you do when you aren’t quilting? I love to hang out with my family.
I love photography and enjoy capturing those moments with my lens.

What is your proudest quilting moment? Learning new skills. Long-arming my first quilt is probably the best as of right now.

Any quilting fails? What areas do you wish you were better in? Plenty. 

What inspires you right now? Any goals or new challenges?
I'm inspired by colour, and nature first. My quilting goal for 2017 is to complete all my PHD's! 

What is your best advice for a beginning quilter? Be brave... embrace your own vision and make what you love.

See more of what Emily is working on over on Instagram at @Phillipsemilly

Saturday, March 25, 2017

April Meeting Location Change!

Don't forget...for our April 4, 2017 meeting, we are NOT meeting at AccuQuilt. Instead, we will have a longarm quilting demo at A Quilting Place located at 11019 I Street in Omaha. We will still meet at 6:30pm and will have a short business meeting and show & tell in addition to the longarm quilting program. We hope to see you there!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Meet Our Members: Kimberly Doss


Meet our member, Kimberly Doss! Kim has been in OMQG since 2013 and currently serves as secretary. When she's not quilting, she can be found at her job in the financial industry or snuggling her cat, Magic. Here's Kim!

Tell us about the first quilt you made Scrappy quilt made from late sister who passed from breast cancer stash of fabric. This is the only quilt I keep on my bed.

How would you describe your style? Love everything modern .

What are your influences? Any material with some bling and black and whites

What do you do when you aren’t quilting? Zumba and buying material for quilts.

What is your proudest quilting moment? finishing and gifting a quilt. I share a part of me in every quilt.

Any quilting fails? None, I don't consider it a fail, just a learning opportunity.

What areas do you wish you were better in? This is a hobby that takes me a away from the realities in life. I consider quilting a journey where I create in the moment and whatever skills I have at that time I accept.

What inspires you right now? Any goals or new challenges? machine and long arm quilting

Any recommendations? Missouri Star youtube video's, Jenny Doan shows you how to do anything you can image and Leah Day has hundreds of quilting video's.

What is your best advice for a beginning quilter? practice and practice some more, don't compare your worst skills to someone else's best, take classes - it can build confidence and you may learn a new skill, there's no such thing as a stupid question, so ask others for assistance, get organized and have a plan before your stash gets out of control, bring your show and tell project project, we want to see what you are working on and you get lots of encouragements and a round of claps, and volunteer and get connected with other quilters



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Do you practice quilting?

Do you practice quilting just by making quilts or do you set aside time to practice the art of quilting? How many of you quilt while watching Netflix or while listening to music or podcasts? Check out this great video on the science of practicing. You may find better ways to become a better quilter.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Meet Our Members: Kris Khan


Meet our Member, Kris Khan! We got lucky this year and got two presidents for the price of one. Kris and Stephanie are both leading our guild for 2017. Kris is mother to triplets and was a nurse for 30 years. She moved to Omaha in 2014, shortly after she began her career as a fiber artist. Here is more about Kris!

How long have you been a member of OMQG? I joined in 2014 shortly after arriving in Omaha.

Tell us about the first quilt you made I have been sewing since the age of 8. I decided to try quilting in 2002 when my arm was in a cast and I was looking for something I could sew one-handed. I figured I could make a quilt block. I did, and in fact made 144 blocks and created my first quilt. It was a queen sized pinwheel quilt and is still one of my favorites.

How would you describe your style? What are your influences? My style is kind of modern, kind of artsy, and sometimes traditional. I love highly saturated colors, which are not always in style with modern quilting. I do my best work when I just improvise and shoot from the hip. Others call this "listening to their inner voice" but for me it feels like slapping things together.....yet it works. My influences are nature and abstract art. I especially love the art of Wolf Kahn. Nancy Crow shaped the way I look at and approach quilting, since I took a week-long workshop with her in 2006 or so.

What is your proudest quilting moment? I created a quilt called "Spectrum," in 2012, which hangs outside my studio door at Hot Shops. It is an abstract piece made of 4,096 1" squares in an abstract design, mounted on 4 32" x 32" panels. I displayed it at the Bayou City Art Festival in Houston, Texas in my booth which faced a pond. Literally hundreds of people visited the booth and said they had seen Spectrum across the pond and had to see it close up. That was cool. Not that anyone has bought it.....

What inspires you right now? I am at a point in my life right now where I need some comfort, and that usually comes from mindless sewing -- i.e., making things that require little thought, like disappearing 9 patches and things like that. I am also inspired by the political climate and have in mind some text-based art quilts...

What do you do when you aren’t quilting? I read voraciously (about 100 books a year), I garden, and hang out with friends and family.

Any recommendations? OBSERVE. When you are in nature, observe the lines of trees and branches, the colors of moss and rocks and flowers, the lines of birds in flight, the subtle changes in colors of the sky. Go to art museums. Look at graffiti. Sift through junk and old posters and textiles at antique stores. And LEARN.

What is your best advice for a beginning quilter? Just do it. Listen to / read a little bit of advice and then just do it. There is so much information and so many "tips" out there that you can become paralyzed. Just start by starting.

Where can people see more of your work? My website or come by my studio at Hot Shops Art Center, studio 321 at 1301 Nicholas Street in Omaha.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Meeting Extra-English Paper Piecing

At February's Meeting, we were treated to a program about English Paper Piecing (EPP). If you are not familiar with EPP, it is a method of basting fabric onto a paper shape, often a hexagon or diamond. The individual pieces are then sewn together to create a larger shape. Grandmother's Flower Garden is a common example.

The program included various methods for paper piecing, including thread basting, glue basting and pressing. Whichever method you prefer, there are endless ways to piece the shapes together.

If you need more help or missed February's meeting, look no further than Missouri Star Quilt Company for a great video tutorial!


Ready to get started? Visit your local quilt store for papers and other supplies. 
In addition, here are some links to get you going.

Paper Pieces has a shop full of supplies
Learn how to fussy cut your favorite fabrics for EPP
Combine Foundation Paper Piecing and English Paper Piecing into one adorable project.

Hope you are inspired to play with paper piecing. Don't forget to use the hashtag #omahamqg to show us your creations on Instagram or post on our Facebook page. 


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Meet our Members: Stephanie Jacobson


Meet our member, Stephanie Jacobson! Stephanie is the current President of the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild. When she is not quilting, she is cheering on her adorable son, Logan and working as a pharmacist. Enjoy getting to know Stephanie!

How long have you been a member of OMQG? I attended the very first meeting back in July 2012. It was scary walking into a room not knowing anybody, but being a member of this guild has been a life-changing experience for me.

Tell us about the first quilt you made. My first quilt was made for a friend's new baby girl, and I had no idea what I was doing. This was before widespread use of the internet so I just winged it. I cut out squares of fabric (with scissors!), sewed them together, then realized I had no idea how to actually quilt the darn thing. I ended up tying it with embroidery floss then realized I had no idea how to bind a quilt. I bought some kind of ruffle edging from the fabric store. I cringe when I think about what that quilt looks like, but my friend's daughter is now in high school, and I'm told she still has the quilt.

How would you describe your style? What are your influences? I consider myself modern, but I do love vintage as well. I follow the "rules" I want and disregard the ones I don't like. My go-to style is scrappy, bright rainbow colors mixed with low-volume fabrics. I love Moda Grunge and anything with words/text on it. Up until about a year ago, I was always concerned about what everybody else thought about my quilting and what other people (e.g. Quiltcon judges) wanted to see. I finally realized it was much more fulfilling to create what I loved instead. I spend far to much time on Instagram and Pinterest, but I am always so inspired by the beautiful and creative work of other quilters.

What do you do when you aren’t quilting? I really feel like I spend much of my time quilting or thinking about quilting. I work and spend a lot of time with my husband and son. (But even when I'm hanging out with my family watching TV or waiting for my son at practice, I can't help binding a quilt!) 

What is your proudest quilting moment? I can't really pinpoint one proudest quilting moment...each completed quilt brings me such a sense of joy and accomplishment. I feel like I finally found my little niche in the quilting world, and that brings me a sense of purpose and peace. I am proud of my involvement with the PEACE circle of do. Good Stitches (we make and donate quilts to Project Linus), and I am a new member with the Omaha chapter of Quilts of Valor. I'm also proud of myself for going completely out of my comfort zone and gradually stepping into leadership roles. 

Any recommendations?  My first introduction came from Elizabeth Hartman's blogThis was many years ago, and I remember reading numerous blog posts about being a self-taught quilter and doing all of her quilting on a domestic sewing machine. I purchased her book The Practical Guide to Patchwork, and I was sold. I was going to be a modern quilter. Be supportive of each other...especially new quilters. There are two things that are permanently etched into my mind. After I finished my first quilt, I was so proud of it. I showed it to a highly-skilled quilter, and her response was something to the effect of "It's good for a first quilt. Now do you want me to tell you everything you did wrong?" Twelve-ish years ago, I got my first really nice sewing machine. I took the free classes the shop offered, and learned a lot about my machine and how to use it. I asked the instructor for a few tips on quilting and was told "You have to take hours and hours of classes to learn how to quilt." Because of this, I will encourage and do my best to help anyone with an interest in quilting to try it!

What is your best advice for a beginning quilter? Don't be scared. Don't be afraid to try new things and put yourself out there. Take a class. Jump into a leadership role. I used to be really hesitant to try new things, so I started asking myself "what is the worst that can happen?" and "what is the best that can happen?" (The best always outweighs the worst.) Try new things even if you don't think it's your thing. I just took a quilt class from Lola Jenkins...totally not my thing, but I learned so much and I LOVE it!

Where can people see more of your work? You can find me on Instagram (@stephkucera), and I have a blog. I just started a crazy (but potentially really awesome) community-driven quilting adventure where I will be collecting one particular quilt block from quilters (hopefully from around the world!) for the remainder of 2017 to assemble into quilts and distribute them to the people and organizations that need them. There is a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/inspiredquiltproject/ or you can search #inspiredquiltproject on Instagram for more info!

Thanks Stephanie!