Monday, March 16, 2015

A Visit with Michele Muska

Our guild is always excited to have visitors, especially one of our own. Michele Muska lives in Connecticut where she works in crafts, needle arts, and of course, the quilting industry.  She has appeared in many magazines, books and on television. She also is on the board of several organizations such as the Quilter's Alliance.

Her latest amazing work is her book called "Quilting the New Classics: 20 Inspired Quilt Projects Tradional to Modern Designs.  

Now isn't that a gorgeous looking book! Just imagine what's inside...gorgeous quilts fill the pages. Lucky for us, we got an up close and personal look at all of them.
Our members excitedly awaited Michele and her technical editor Barbara Parsons Cartier.

Michele started off by reading  to us from her preface.  Lines such as "For most quilters, collecting fabric is in our makeup," and "Our stash is always waiting for us like a dear sweet friend," resonated for us all.

Michele reminded us that every quilt has a story. It is important to keep that story alive. Labeling quilts and documenting the inspiration, stories, and memories behind the quilts are a must. 

She shared many a quilt. This one she created for her husband in college. Embroidery played a big part in her quilts around that time. Hearing the stories behind the quilts makes the quilts that much more precious.
A pair of pants from her high school days. Crafty genes! (pun intended)

Michele's book juxtaposes the traditional and the modern.  Each chapter displays a traditional block interpretation and a modern one.  It goes to show that the possibilities for self-expression are endless. 

Above, we glimpsed a traditional double wedding ring quilt. Michele explained that these quilts were popular during the Great Depression. Different demographics used different color palettes back then. Usually done in pastels, people who were having an especially hard time would use bold and dark fabrics.  The sky is the limit these days. Below, you see a modern interpretation. 

Two hours of bliss spent looking at beautiful quilts, and hearing some funny stories behind them.  You will have to hear Michele present to get in on those.
A modern crazy quilt
A tradional crazy quilt
A traditional bear paw
A modern bear paw
An antique quilt made from velvet and silks-very cool!

We loved the historical commentary.  In the olden days, yo-yos were laid on a solid background.  If she hadn't told us her quilt was traditional, I think we all would have placed it in the modern category.  

Of course, Michele presented a ton more quilts, but we don't want to spoil the book for you. If you want to see the rest, you can go here to get a copy

Unfortunately, the fun did come to an end as all great events do.  Before she left, Michele told us about the Quilt Alliance and the animal inspired quilt contest they are holding.

A quilt for a special little girl in her life

She also signed our books and gave us a treat: acrylic mini tools from e-z quilting. We will work with Michele to come up with a challenge using those tools.

Thank you Michele for your wonderful presentation and can't wait for your next visit! We look forward to making yo-yos with you. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February Gathering Part II: Sewcations and Quilts

Welcome to the second installment of our February meeting! We had so many quilts and WIPs (works-in-progress) to share, all thanks to the wonderful ice and snow.  These snow-induced sewcations created many quilting opportunities as you see below.

Peg charmed us with three quilts/tops.

Those colorful triangles really pop
Batiks in a fun formation
Terrie made this quilt for one of her closest friends. 

Jessica has been creating a very special quilt for her baby boy.  Look at that fox,

and squirrel, 

and itty-bitty raccoon too! So cute!

Susan shared some fun curved piecing. Makes us all want to give it a try. 

Maybeth created pretty dresses out of her granddaughter's clothes. What a great keepsake!

Of course, we always want to take a closer look, and ask questions.

How lucky is the girl who is getting these?
Suzanne made a quilt full of a lot of heart. She is going to be a grandma. She made this quilt for the other woman who will be sharing this honor with her. So very sweet!

It says to Grandma's House We Go. The smoke from the house even has little hearts coming out of it. 
Many of us signed up for this 12 month paper pieced block-of-the-month.  Not sure how many of us got through them all (or even started them) but Lori did.  We are impressed!

Look at those colors and seams!

Last year our guild had a fun day learning to put together this Meadow's Quilt with Lizzy House. 
 Here is Lori's version.  
A close-up of the Meadows Quilt

Lisa is our resident guru of online swaps. Here she is showing us her current swaps. 

Our own Sheri has been truly "buzzy". She announced that she has launched her website, Whole Circle Studio, and blog of the same name. Look out for paper pieced patterns, quilt patterns and more.  All the best on this endeavor! 

Oh yeah, and when she isn't quilting, she is winning awards , like this one at QuiltCon.
Check out her quilt, What's the Frequency, Love? 

Sheri asked for suggestions for quilting the bees, and shared some photography inspired quilts.
Betsy shared with us her cool colors quilt. She is also a fountain of information. Want to know how to starch your fabric, or organize your threads?  Betsy is the woman to ask. 
Here's a fun organizational tidbit from Betsy. Want to organize your threads and bobbins? Don't need to buy Bobbinis (although they are pretty cool,colorful and  clever). Just use your extra golf tees to keep that same colored bobbin and thread together.  

Michelle is quilting a future pillow. 
Admiring the quilting
She also shared the blocks that put together the quilt below.

Jennifer shared her process for her mod strips quilt.

Happy Quilting! Next meeting will take place Saturday, March 14th at 10:00 a.m. at the Weston Library.  We will be welcoming Michele Muska to the group. She will have a trunk show and will show us how she makes her yo-yos. She is also selling her new book Quilting the New Classics for $22.  To learn more about Michele, visit her website