Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CMQG Member Spotlight: Sarah Smith


Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m originally from the Dayton, Ohio, area and ended up in Cincinnati after graduating from

UC. My husband and I just celebrated our 12th year of marriage. We have two kids, ages 3 and

6. I work full-time in an industry that is very standardized, so quilting and other craft endeavors

allow me to fulfill my creative side. My grandmother owned an independent craft supply store

when I was little, and I spent hours crafting with her when I was a kid. It’s hereditary!

Tell us about your quilting history –

About 5 years ago, I started a family blog. I stumbled onto a craft blog, followed the links

to others, and my mind exploded! My aunt is a skilled traditional hand quilter, but I was

introduced to modern quilting through craft blogs. My first quilt was one I made for my

daughter when she moved from her crib to a toddler bed 4 years ago. It was very simple…just

strips of fabric sewn together with a simple pieced back.

  What is your favorite thing about quilting? What is your least favorite?

I love the acts of designing and piecing. But if I could pay someone to cut for me, I would!

In what room of the house do you sew? Tell us about your sewing/quilting/crafting space.

Our guest room doubles as my sewing room. I sew on a long folding table that holds my

machine, serger, and cutting mat. My ironing board is stationed next to the table. My fabric is

stored on a metal shelving unit stuffed in the small closet. I’m trying to convince my husband

that we don’t really need the bed anymore! I’d love to have a proper cutting table in there.

Tell us about your machine(s)

I sew on a Janome 3160 QDC, which I got about 2 years ago. I am spoiled by its one button

thread cutter (my favorite feature). I keep my first machine, a simple Husqvarna Daisy, around

for friends and as a back-up.

Do you like to have multiple projects going at once or do you usually finish one before

starting another?

I have total project ADD. I can’t help starting another project in my mind before I get one

finished. I like to mix in some instant gratification projects to keep my interest.

 What was the best thing you have in your sewing room/studio to help you organize it?

I have some Ikea ceramic pods on a rod on the wall that keep most of my sewing notions and

cutting supplies up high. It keeps them tidy and away from little hands.

What is your current fabric obsession (color, line, style, etc.)?

I’m drawn to neutral colors, so I love the Parson Gray lines. And I dream of making projects out

of Nani Iro fabrics…just need to save my pennies!

 What tool could you not live without?

I’d love to say my rotary cutter, but it’s more like my Clover seam ripper.

 Do you do any other sewing besides quilting?

I am definitely a poly-crafter. I like to do a little bit of everything: sewing for my house, making

clothes for my kids, and many, many stuffed animal repairs.

 Is there a technique on your list to learn this year?

Foundation paper piecing. My style is more improv and imperfect, but I’d like to experiment

with this precise technique.

Favorite quilting blogs?

I tend to read blogs that are not exclusively quilting blogs: Wise Craft, Soule Mama, Posy Gets

Cozy, Purl Bee, and all my CMQG friends

What do you generally do with the quilts you make? Give away? Keep? Sell? Show?

I make quilts as gifts and to keep. But I’ve been lucky to get to make some to show with the


  What are quilt project are you currently working on?

I’m working on a baby quilt as a gift and another that will stretch my free motion quilting skills.

Quick 5

Pre-wash fabric or not? Pre-wash

Pins or Spray to Baste? Used to spray, but now Pins

Sew to music, TV, or silence? I mostly listen to podcasts or favorite movies

Celebrity crush? Colin Firth (I have a thing for British accents)

Dream vacation? One day I will go to Paris!

Monday, September 24, 2012

September Meeting Minutes

Here is a recap of the fantastic guild meeting we had on September 5.

Heather and Holly - IQF Presentation

  • The group voted and chose a modern interpretation of the Dresden Plate theme
  • Heather and Holly will send an email with details
  • See this blog post for inspiration
QuiltCon registration is now open. Check the website for details on registration and on how to participate in the juried quilt show.

Our group met its charity goal for ConKerr Cancer! We donated over 100 pillowcases. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Our next charity project may be in conjunction with a sew-in. Details to follow.

The group did a special show-and-tell of modern quilts.

Then, the group split into small groups and rotated discussing different topics related to modern quilting. 

The meeting ended with a Potholder Swap. 

The swap for October is an item with Embroidery. Embroidery must be hand stitched. See this blog post for inspiration

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dresden Plate - Inspiration

Rita from Free Falling


Moda Bakeshop

Monday, September 17, 2012

Embroidery Swap Inspiration

The October meeting's swap is for a small embroidery item.  Embroidery is such a fun, peaceful and portable craft.  There's something so satisfying about picking out thread colors and all that repetitive stitching.  It's cheaper than therapy!

I've put together some inspiration and resources from around the internet in case you need some ideas for this month's swap.  It can be anything from a pincusion, finished hoop, small pillow, ornament or mug name it!


This cute embroidery design by Sarah Jane Studios featured on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog is perfectly seasonal.


These fruity segments are a great excuse to practice your satin stitch.  Find this plus other free patterns on  Polka and Bloom


Did anyone else have an obsession with unicorns in elementary school? Aimee Ray, the author of Doodle Stitching, has this free pattern over on her blog. You can also find a cute bicycle and birdcage pattern there, too.


Sublime Stitching has a sweet mustache sampler available to download for free.


This grumpy gnome cracks me up.


Could these sloths from Wild Olive be any more adorable? Check out these other freebies on her site.


Alicia Paulson from Posy Gets Cozy has these Days of the Week dishtowel patterns available. Choose your favorite day of the week to swap!


Rachael at imagine gnats has this adorable Thread Girl pattern that she has turned into an Embroidery To Go case.

Clover and Violet offers up this page full of embroidery resources on everything from how to pick thread and tutorials on different stitches.

And don't forget to search on Flickr and Pinterest if you're still on the hunt for inspiration.  Happy stitching!

Monday, September 10, 2012

September Meeting: Modern Quilting in the Queen City

This month we're focusing on MODERN! We've planned a fun and informative meeting busting with everything related to modern quilting.

Here's the plan....

Our Show'N'Tell time will go a little differently this month. We're asking for you to bring specific items. Please bring one or two quilty items that fall into one of these categories:

  • Applique – Quilt includes either machine or hand layering of fabric where the quilt’s focus is applique.

  • Handwork – Quilt includes at least one element of handwork including, but not limited to hand piecing, hand quilting, embroidery, redwork, cross stitch, crewel, etc. Hand stitched binding does not qualify as handwork.

  • Improvisation – Quilt is pieced improvisationally (without the use of a pattern or templates).

  • Minimalist Design –The design of the quilt expresses the principles of minimalism including one or more of the following traits, simplicity, clarity of focus, singleness, and use of large forms.

  • Use of Negative Space – Quilt design incorporates a significant use of negative space which organizes the composition of the quilt.

  • Piecing – Quilts that are machine pieced.

  • Modern Traditionalism – Quilt design incorporates the use of an identifiable traditional block pattern and modernizes it by applying design elements such as alternate grid work, asymmetry, color, scale, etc.

Be ready to share how/why your item fits into one (or two) of these modern categories.

After SNT, we're gonna talk about the elements of modern quilting.  This will be fun and informative and a time for learning and interaction. We're so excited about this part!

And then, after all the fun, we're gonna have a wrap-up at the end. This will be a quick conclusion to our meeting that will be an important part of our guild's mission and vision moving forward into the future.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at cincinnatimodernquiltguild {@} gmail . com

See you Wednesday at 7pm at the Centennial Barn!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Common Thread - An Exhibition of Quilts by the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild

Recently, our guild had the fortune of being invited to contribute works for an exhibit curated by Steven Vincent Clark at the Global Novations Art Gallery.  Heather Jones wrote an excellent post about the exhibition on her blog Olive and Ollie, and she was kind enough to let us post it here as well.  Thank you, Heather!


The Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild was invited to participate in an exhibition of selected works curated by Steven Vincent Clark at the Global Novations Art Gallery. The opening was a couple of weeks ago and I've finally got the chance to share some photos of it that I took with you.

Steven wrote a very lovely narrative to accompany the exhibition as well. 

Quilt making, as we know it, was born of necessity. Patches and scraps of precious material were saved and stitched together in random or geometric patterns. When layers were joined together and filled with various materials to give added bulk and insulation against the cold, quilts became a staple in homes. Quilt making evolved into a skill learned and practiced by many in rural and poor communities through the country. 
Today, the craft can, and often does, go far beyond its original intentions. While the larger finished pieces are still warm and comforting, many quilters have opted for a non-utilitarian role for their efforts. It's true that several of the pieces on exhibit could be used to cover a chair or your legs on a chilly evening but visually enjoyed mounted on a wall is the preferred usage. 
For members of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild, respecting the heritage of their craft while exploring new methods, designs and applications for what has become their art form, is what connects them as a group. One can experience this by simply studying a quilt created by one of the members. There are details that, when viewed up close, can be reminiscent of a quilt a hundred years old. However, when you back up and take in the entire work, it becomes clear it is a contemporary piece made by someone with far more in mind than simply keeping warm. 
In essence what began as an almost life or death necessity has evolved, due in part to the industrialization and mass production of textiles, into an art form that can be viewed as an extravagance by some. However, to the members of the Guild and their many colleagues around the country and the world, one person's extravagance is another person's passion, life and commitment to keeping this craft/art form alive and thriving in all its many forms and usages.
I would like to thank all the members of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild who participated in the exhibit and especially Heather Jones, the past president and founding member, whose help was invaluable in seeing the exhibit through to fruition. Thanks much.
Steve Vincent Clark
curator, Global Novations Art Gallery

And here are all of the pieces included in the exhibition:

my Stitch Zig Zag

Andrea Johnson, Liberated Stars & Stripes

my Improv Log Cabin

Christine Doyle, String Quilt #2

Ellen McKee, Gradient Whirl

Holly Castle, Wild Flower

Andrea Johnson, Flip Side

Christy Meyer, Bullseye

Janine Keeton, Sateen Stitches

Ellen McKee, Simple Symmetry

Teresa Seitz, Rain Dance

Gillian Pratt Krygowski, Ode to Ton Schulten

Loretta McMeans, Footsteps for Bree

Sarah Smith, Summer Storm

my Pinwheel Spinning Around

Sarah Smith, Broken: Unbroken

Jessica Rider, Early September

Gillian Pratt Krygowski, Measure the Stars

 Holly Castle, Wild Flowers II

 Nancy Brooks, Summersault Mosaic

Thank you very much to Steven Clark for all of his work though out the planning and execution of the exhibition. And thank you to everyone at the Global Novations Art Gallery, and to all of my colleagues in the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild who participated in this exhibition as well.

If you'd like to see the exhibition for yourself, it runs through November and is located at 11260 Chester Road, Suite 400, Cincinnati, Ohio 45246. The gallery is open to the public from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.