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!