member spotlight

Mini Trunk Show: Meet the Quilters

Our June meeting will feature mini trunk shows from seven accomplished PMQG members, who will show some of their work and talk about what modern quilting means to them.  

Who are these talented ladies, you ask? Read on—and check out their blogs for more!  

Pétra Anderson

When I was growing up there was always some form of art in my life. My Granny painted; my Mom did ceramics, sewed, and eventually made art quilts. I received a BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute and continued my "art career" in the retail industry as a makeup artist and working at Art Media after moving to Portland in 1993. Then I ventured into teaching art to children, and also started an Etsy business making knitting-needle holders.

Then everything turned into kids and family.  After my life calmed down a bit I was ready to be creative again. My goal was to start painting again but then I made my first quilt and I was hooked! I also started a blog in 2009 (here is my first post). I had no idea what I was doing, or that there were other bloggers doing exactly what I was doing—and then I found this wonderful community through PMQG. 

My quilting philosophy stems directly from my fine art background, where I painted a lot of abstract art landscapes and had a bold use of color. I approach a lot of my quilts by starting with sketches and also just improvising on my design wall with blocks of fabric. I love improv piecing and quilting but I also enjoy working from patterns some and focusing more on fabric choice and color. Of course I have always been addicted to fabric and hope to take things a step further by getting into fabric design in the future. 

Instagram, Flicker, Twitter: @CreativeMomPDX

Jen Carlton Bailly is a self-taught sewist who learned to sew from online tutorials. Before she began sewing she graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle in fashion marketing. Having a love of textiles, fashion, and art, sewing/quilting was a natural progression and a quick addiction. She finds inspiration in everything from an old dresser drawer to a run-down Portland building. Currently working full-time from home as the communications manager for the Modern Quilt Guild, she spends every free minute sewing.

Susan Beal is the author of seven books, including Modern Log Cabin Quilting, Sewing for all Seasons, Bead Simple, and Button It Up. She’s also the historian for the Modern Quilt Guild, a contributing editor at Stitch magazine, and the mother of two little children, Pearl and Everett. Her Pearl's Rainbow Charm Bracelet (quilted by Nancy Stovall) is part of the PMQG Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show special exhibit for 2014, and a new version of the quilt pattern will be published in Scraps, Inc. later this year.

Susan also teaches log cabin quilting classes for Creativebug, and her new book of sewing projects with Pendleton wool, Hand-Stitched Home, comes out in September.

Instagram:  @westcoastcrafty

Christina Cameli fell in love with quilting as a folk art more than a decade ago. She spends her sewing time experimenting with fabric, using up scraps, and finishing her quilts on her home sewing machine. She works primarily without patterns, enjoying the surprise of letting quilts develop as they go. She loves to share enthusiasm for quilting with anyone who is
excited to try it. Christina believes quilting is for everyone, regardless of budget or style or experience. She sees quilting as an art—a living, breathing art that we are all creating together.

Christina's special interest is in helping quilters become comfortable with free-motion quilting. She has a series of free-motion quilting tutorials on her blog, and is the author of “First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting: 24 Projects for Fearless Stitching”.

Rachel Kerley

A founding member of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, Rachel has been quilting ever since she found some squares, drafted her own pattern, and proceeded to make every mistake imaginable. After making a couple of hundred tops, quilting and finishing a couple hundred more, Rachel has grown her piecing and quilting skills and can easily communicate her vision of creating simple, artful utility quilts. Drawing on her art education, her love of Art Deco, and her ongoing delight with the simple circle, Rachel designs most of her own patchwork and applique.

Rachel quilts freehand on an Innova 22" longarm machine.  "I like the idea of the quilting being uniquely mine, no quilt is ever repeated exactly the same. And the idea of being able to reinterpret older quilting motifs from my own perspective gives me great joy.  Quilting is something that gives me a chance to connect to the women before me, to connect with my own sense of Womanhood and to women around me."

 Rachel tends to work in series in her home studio, making bed quilts of various sizes, with each quilt as an opportunity to express herself.  She has also collaborated with other artists and worked for manufacturers.

Instagram: @2ndavestudio

Christina Lane

I have been sewing since I was a little girl, when my mom gave me many pushes to try it.  I can't say I was particularly interested, but I had a lot of fun making things with her and my grandmother.  I loved to dissect objects and figure out how they were made and then make them myself, to my own specifications.  I started quilting in my teens, but really went full force into it after my step dad died in my early 20s.  It was my therapy, and still is today.  I especially love drawing graphic quilts, figuring out the math and placement for a quilt top, and making it happen.  I love the whole process.

My quilting philosophy: Enjoy the process.  Society has this instant gratification problem.  We want it now.  Quilting isn't an instant kind of thing.  It takes time.  You have to figure out your pattern, cut your fabric, sew your pieces, rip a few seams, square your blocks, assemble the top, assemble your backing, sandwich the quilt, quilt it, bind it...  A lot goes into making a quilt.  You're going to be working on it for awhile, so you should enjoy the process.  See the beauty in each step.  By taking your time and enjoying the process you will not only have a greater love for quilting, but also an end product you are happier with.  Taking your time has never been a bad thing in any endeavor.

Christina is the author of Quilting Happiness (Aug 2013, Potter Craft)
instagram: @SometimesCraftr

Cherri Langley

I love surface design, unusual color combinations and clever cutting and piecing techniques. I have made over 100 rotary cut, paper pieced or improv quilts. I love quilts with fussy cut elements and traditional block designs reinterpreted in a modern way. I appreciate quilts that are full of pattern and color and showcase quality construction techniques.

Member Spotlight--Anne Woodman

We're continuing the Member Spotlight series this year in order to learn more about our fellow guild members. Meet PMQG Member Anne Woodman! 

Many people are amazed that I have time to make quilts because I have two children still living at home, a seventeen-year-old boy and a thirteen-year-old girl that I home school and a part time job. I have worked at the Hilton Portland and Executive towers for sixteen years and I love it. Working in a hotel is like living in a small town, it is a little community. I don’t really have time to make quilts, I neglect other things to do it, and I try not to feel guilty.

I love to travel but I have not gone anywhere since I went to Costa Rica with a girlfriend two years ago. I have taken my children as far as Africa and Nepal. I have special fabric from Africa that I only use a little at a time. Africa and Nepal are special to me because the women who live there appreciate fabric.

Q: What got you into quilting?
A: I have always been sewing something or other for years. I made my first quilt from an AOL tutorial when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter thirteen years ago.

Q: How long have you been a PMQG Member?
A: This is my third year as a guild member, and I love it! I have learned so many things from guild meetings that I would not have learned otherwise.

Q: What’s your quilting philosophy?
A: Quilting time is art time! I need to make time to quilt and make art so that I can really be the person I was meant to be.

Q: What’s your favorite sewing/quilting tip?
A: Do not worry about mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning curve. I just helped a friend sew a bunch of old baby clothes together for a keepsake quilt. I do not normally sew knits, but I dived in and  laughed at my mistakes and my friend LOVED the blocks I made.

Q: Do you have a favorite quilt pattern? Fabric designer?
A: I do not have a favorite pattern. I made so many Dresden plates when I started that most people who know me outside the guild would say it is my signature block, but now I do not normally make any pattern more than twice.

 As far as a favorite fabric designer Sandi Henderson is great, also, Petra and Monica are special to me because they are local and I love to follow what they are doing.

Q: Do you have a favorite notion/tool you couldn’t quilt without?
A: My rotary cutter is one of my best friends.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the quilting process?
A: I adore improve piecing.

Q: What part of the quilting process do you dislike the most or find the most difficult?
A: Basting. I do not pin baste, I am too suspicious that it will not stay smooth, so I baste all my quilts with a four inch grid of purple serger thread. This is not fun. My knees do not like this activity.

Q: What inspires you to create?
A: I feel blessed to live in a beautiful world.

Q: Do you do any other crafts? Which ones?
A.I paint watercolor paintings. Watercolor is a very hard medium, and I have had little training. Hillsboro has some wonderful affordable classes and I have taken a few, but I am not very good. I do love it though. This is really the time of year I get inspired to paint.

Q: How many quilts have you made?
A: More than 25, I have given so many away I cannot count them accurately.

Q: What are some of your upcoming projects?
A: I will probably make another Urban Nine Patch. The one I have completed was not to my satisfaction, but my seventeen year old son loved it, and when I told him I was not happy with it he begged me for it, so I gave it to him. I would like to make another one though; I am looking forward to it when I can find the right fabric. 


Thank you so much for sharing with us, Anne!

--Mary Ann VP

Member Spotlight // Amber Wilson

PMQG: 1) How long have you been making quilts? What was your learning process like?
Amber: I’ve only been making quilts since January of this year. My learning process was looking over a couple books that a friend let me borrow, consulting Google a lot, and then texting nonstop questions to Jen Bailly. She’s been walking me through the steps, and she’s been very patient with me

How long have you been a PMQG member?
January 2012 was my very first PMQG meeting and I became a member shortly afterwards.

What inspires your designs/quilting?
Inspiration for me comes from anywhere and everywhere. A platter at Target with a really cool geometric pattern, the shapes and pattern of apartment windows, a tissue box, artwork, stamps, the list is endless. Part of what I’ve really enjoyed since I began quilting is how I see everything differently now...anything can become a quilt!

How many quilts do you think you've made in your life?
I’ve finished one quilt! However I have 3 other WIP that I’m working on at the moment.

Why do you quilt? What do you enjoy most about it?
I quilt because I love to make. When one is done and I stand back and think to myself “I made that!” 
the mistakes disappear and I’m content. Bringing ideas and fabrics to life in a quilt is something I will 
NEVER tire of.

What is your favorite quilt that you've made?
My favorite quilt so far is the one I’m making for my son. It’s so close to being done, and I’m hoping to 
share it at Show and Tell soon!

Fill in the blank: "When I'm quilting, I feel _______"
When I’m quilting, I feel free and content.

While you're quilting, what is the environment like? 
My environment while quilting varies depending on what time I’m doing it. If it’s during the day, I 
could have kids hanging on my back, or sew for 5 minutes to increasingly louder arguments and/or 
racket in another room, have to stop and come back to it later, or if it’s at night or the weekends when 
said argument and general racket-makers are out playing with their Dad I usually put on Pandora to a 
new favorite station and just lose myself in the process. There’s always music involved though...

Lastly, could you give us a peek into your sewing space? It's always inspiring to see! 
My sewing space is spread out throughout my house at the moment. Fabric storage is in the kids’ 
playroom, and my sewing table is in the living room. To quilt I move over to the kitchen table for the 
extra space. Cutting usually takes place at the table also. I get a lot of exercise when I sew

Flickr: AGypsiSoul
Pinterest: AGypsiSoul
Instagram: agypsisoul

Thanks for sharing with us, Amber!! 

Member Spotlight // Heather Lott

Meet Heather Lott! 

PMQG:  How long have you been making quilts? What was your learning process like?
Heather: I have been making quilts for about 11 years.  My friend and her mom liked to quilt, and I thought it was for "old ladies."  It wasn't until I walked into my friend's mom's studio that I changed my mind on that!  She had cabinets full of fabric, beautiful quilts on the walls, and shelves full of patterns.  My friend gave me her old sewing machine, her mom gave me some fabric, and a pattern, and I was on my way!!  I taught myself a lot from books, and after 5 years of quilting, I took my first quilting class at my church, where I learned how much I didn't know, and quickly got better.  I recommend taking classes for sure!  I now sew as much as possible, it's the best kind of therapy.

How long have you been a PMQG member and how did you find us? 
I joined the PMQG in 2010, a few months after it started up.  I heard about it through blogs.  

What inspires your designs/quilting?  
Mostly color.  I love playing with color.  

How many quilts do you think you've made in your life?  
I would say around 40 or 50?  

Why do you quilt? What do you enjoy most about it?  
I was a fine arts major in college, mostly working with oil paints.  When I had my kids, I stopped painting and drawing.  Having children in the house is not conducive to a relaxing environment.  I picked up cross stitching, and then quilting, which kids can't really harm.  I find working with fabrics is a lot like working with paints, you can mix colors, layouts, it's very creative.  It also has a rewarding and useful outcome.  AND, my quilting friends are the BEST!!  I love them.

What is your favorite quilt that you've made?  
That is a tough one!  Right now, today, my favorite one would be my Ocean Boardwalk Quilt.  It was the first time I've used all solids to make a quilt, and it was super fun.  Plus, the colors are blues and greens, my favorites.

Fill in the blank: "When I'm quilting, I feel _______"  

While you're quilting, what is the environment like?  
I sew in the master bedroom.  We have a small home, and our bedroom is big, so I set up a large table in there and have a nice view out the windows, I love it.  I keep my fabric stash in bins under our bed, and in the closet.  My husband says we'll have to use a ladder to get on the bed soon, as the fabric under there seems to be growing quickly...  Someday I'd love to have a dedicated room for it.

Lastly, could you give us a peek into your sewing space? It's always inspiring to see! Sure!  

Make sure to check out Heather here, too! 
Instagram: oregonsurfers

Thanks for sharing with us, Heather! 

Member Spotlight // Petra Anderson

Meet Petra Anderson! Be sure to check out her blog at Sew Paint Create! creativemompdx on twitter & instagram, and Creative Mom2010 on flickr!

PMQG: How long have you been making quilts? What was your learning process like?
Petra: I technically made my first quilt for my son so 11 years ago but I really started quilting in 2009. I grew up sewing with my Mom and had a business making knitting needle holders for awhile so I had basic skills but I really didn't have any idea what I was getting into. 

What inspires your designs/quilting?
I am usually inspired by the recipient of a quilt and go from there with fabric choices and designs. 

How many quilts do you think you've made in your life?
Hmmm lets see you know I used to keep track but have no idea now. I don't think it's a huge number but I'm not ready to scour my blog to figure it out.

Why do you quilt? What do you enjoy most about it?
I have a background in fine arts and was always trying to figure out how to get back to painting and drawing. When I started quilting all of that creative energy and obsession came flooding back and I realized I didn't need to paint right now because quilting makes me so happy. I really enjoy the whole process from design to quilting, binding not so much. 

What is your favorite quilt that you've made?

I think it's a tie between my Untitled linen quilt I made for the 2011 Sisters show and my scrappy + & X quilt which was so much work but totally worth it!
Untitled Linen Quilt

Scrappy + & X Quilt

Fill in the blank: "When I'm quilting, I feel _______"

While you're quilting, what is the environment like? do you listen to music? enjoy the humming of the machine? watch re-runs of Downton Abbey? 
I listen to music and catch up on episodes of Car Talk and other radio shows using the NPR ap. When I am binding though I am in front of the tv.

Petra's Studio Space: 

Member Spotlight // Gail Weiss

Before diving into this week's Member Spotlight, don't forget that this Saturday is our All Day Sew at Fabric Depot from 9am - 9pm. Stay all day or come for a few hours! Bring your sewing machine and a project to work on. Fabric Depot provides irons and cutting mats and you can bring anything else that you may need. We had a fun potluck last time, feel free to bring snacks to share if you'd like! 

Meet Gail Weiss! 
Flickr: Gail Weiss

How long have you been making quilts? What was your learning process like?

I would say I've been actively quilting for about 2 years...  I'm just a beginner in many ways.  While I've been sewing my whole life, I've had no formal training so there are many little things about the way I sew that I question. My learning is definitely still in process!  Usually when I have a question, I just ask someone with more experience.  I learn most from watching others work... on-the-job-training style.  When there is no one there to show me how to do something... I just try to figure it out on my own. The object of my current study is color tone and value ~ this is where I feel I need the most work in my quilting... and where I want to expand my personal take on modern quilting.

How long have you been a PMQG member and how did you find us?
Since July(?) 2010.  Doing an online search for techniques that would help me with an art quilt, I found the PMQG on Ning.  Jen Carlton-Bailly was president at the time and she was very inviting and supportive of me to join.  I'm so happy I did!  Every single meeting I've been to I've learned something new ~ I guess it's not that big a deal if you're an expert quilter, but I'm just beginning ~ so it's pretty awesome.  Plus I'm a huge fan of "Show and Tell"... some of the quilts I see there are state fair quality and are stunning.  I leave feeling motivated with fresh new ideas that tend to keep me up at night.  I love it.

What inspires your designs/quilting?
Again... seeing those quilts at PMQG meetings is one of the biggest inspirations for me.  I think my taste is different than most, so I love seeing other people's perspectives in putting fabric colors, and styles together... and photos online just don't cut it compared to the real thing. My quilt designs have all stemmed from learning a new technique or two.  Once I've mastered a skill, I want to show it off ~ so I let my practice blocks speak to me as to how to put a quilt pattern or design together. 

How many quilts do you think you've made in your life?
About 12-15

Why do you quilt? What do you enjoy most about it?

Quilting is a good habit that I'm working on to keep me from other "not so good habits".  I have an addictive personality, and sewing keeps my hands busy which is a very good thing!   Plus I love color... I don't really like wearing color, but I love SEEING color... and I've always liked working with tactile objects.  Being a graphic designer keeps me on the computer for long hours... so I'm always happy to take a break from the monitor and just work with my hands and touch nice things.  
I also like the people that quilting attracts ~ very creative, supportive, types.  
Lately, I've been happier and happier with my execution in sewing projects, so there is also a sense of pride and accomplishment when looking at something you made with your own two hands... I'm really happy to start seeing progress in my own quilting style.
There is nothing better than snuggling under a freshly washed quilt... especially one you love.
What is your favorite quilt that you've made?
The Squid Quilt has to be my favorite so far... but I think the dragon I'm currently working on will blow that one away. I was also really happy with my Villa Villa Kula Quilt ~ it was a very personal quilt to make for me, and the more I see it the more I love it.

Fill in the blank: "When I'm quilting, I feel _____"

While you're quilting, what is the environment like?
I usually shut myself off to the outside world (take a message please) shut the door to my sewing room and listen to sci-fi novels on disc.  My favorite author of all time is Dan Simmons, but any good story will do.  I like thinking of other-worldly places where my quilt might live while I'm sewing it.   I take my paper-piecing projects with me whenever I can. When I sew on the go, I tend to get lost in the ambient noise around me and just "zone out" on my project. 

Gail, thanks so much for sharing with us! 

Guild Meeting Reminder & Member Spotlight // Paula

Happy Sunshine Everyone! The past few days have been filled with as much sunshine as I could squeeze into the day. Hopefully, I'll get some more sewing done soon! ;)
Remember that our guild meeting is this week! It's this Thursday, May 19th at 7pm in the Stagecraft Building. We have the pleasure of learning some applique from Rachel and quilt photography from Paula and Amber. Bring your cameras so that we can get some hand-on knowledge.
And while we're at it, let's get to know Paula at bit more....

1) How long have you been making quilts? What was your learning process like?
Maybe three years? I know it hasn't been very long… seriously really started when I joined PMQG in 2010. I had some background in sewing because my mom is an excellent seamstress and learned from her. But she didn't quilt; so most of what I know is self taught or I have had the chance to take some great local classes.  There was a period of time where I was at the stage of "Is it me or my machine?" Definitely the machine right??!!

2) How long have you been a PMQG member and how did you find us?
Since 2010 [I think??] - I was slowly getting into quilting and started following a few blogs and noticed that there was a Modern Quilt Guild and luckily there was a Portland Oregon chapter!

3) What inspires your designs/quilting?
I really get my inspiration from other creative people and my surroundings. Pinterest and Flickr are like crack for me! It's funny how creative endeavors can change how you look at things ever so slightly.

4) How many quilts do you think you've made in your life?
The ones that I have made myself: I think around seven - out of that seven I have kept two. Of the ones I have done for Do. Good Stitches - two

5) Why do you quilt? What do you enjoy most about it?
In all of my creative outlets I really just enjoy the process. With quilting I enjoy all the different stages; planning, shopping, cutting, piecing, quilting and binding. While I have several WIP this actually drives me nuts since I am so focused on the process and when things are half way started/finished it's enough to drive me insane. I also enjoy the giving of quilts - not just to family and friends but to charity. I have enjoyed being part of the Do. Good Stitches PEACE group for over a year now. We do 11 to 12 quilts a year and they are donated to My Very Own Blanket who provides them to foster kids. 

6) What is your favorite quilt that you've made?
I can't say that I made this quilt - but I worked with the kindergarten class on it and to date this is hands down my favorite quilt. This is the Garden Quilt for my niece's school auction - it was the highest bid item that night at $2500! I was so proud of the kids and equally excited that there were people out there that saw the value in a project like this. The winning bid was from the father of one of the kids - she happened to rock the very large yellow flower on the top left. He told me that he wanted to put it in her hope chest but she wraps herself in it every day!

7) Fill in the blank: "When I'm quilting, I feel _______"
When I am quilting I feel that I am doing the right thing for me at that moment. There is no feeling of regret or the fact that I should be doing something else. 

8) While you're quilting, what is the environment like? do you listen to music? enjoy the humming of the machine? watch re-runs of Downton Abbey? 
 I am lucky enough to have a dedicated creative space/office. It has gone through several transformations over the years but its finally settling in. Instead of major furniture rearranging I am either consolidating, swapping out or re-organizing. When I am working on projects I usually have the TV on so I can catch up on my shows or watch a movie and when that doesn't suffice the music is going. My furbabies are always close by and they are my reminders to take a break every once in awhile.

- - - - - - - 
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Paula! I don't know about you all, but I'm in some serious envy of her sewing space! 
~ Heather

Member Spotlight // Jen Carlton Bailly

Hello Guild Members! I'm thrilled to have Jen sharing today on the blog. Enjoy! 


HI! I’m Jen Carlton Bailly, otherwise known as Bettycrockerass. If you get to know me, I might share the story of how that name came to pass almost ten years ago! I love to sew, garden, bake/cook and read.

I’m almost 40 (May 18), a stay at home mom and an avid self taught sewist. When I’m not chasing my kids or and making something delicious I usually have my head down scheming on a new sewing project…figuring out how I can not follow the directions and use fabric that I probably shouldn’t!

How long have you been making quilts? What was your learning process like?
My best friend taught me how to sew a straight line about 10 years ago. That lasted for a few days until I got frustrated. About four years ago I bought an old 1972 Husqvarna Viking. Got frustrated. Then I learned that I was putting the bobbin in wrong. Who knew! Well, I guess I could have read the manual.

At any rate, I really didn't start really sewing until about 3 years ago. My daughter had received a quilt while in the NICU. I loved it so much and was so touched I wanted to make one (some) to donate back. I Googled "quilts" and my entire life changed. For days I was plotting and planning. Then, I read about a "fabric stash" and how everyone must have one! I had a little one, but I NEEDED quilting fabrics! So I started fabric shopping... and well now, I have a whole room dedicated to sewing.

How long have you been a PMQG member and how did you find us?
I’ve been a member since the beginning and was the first president. Alissa (who co-founded the MQG) knew that I was interested in a local guild and let me know when Elizabeth got the ball rolling! Being nominated, as president was a little shocking but the year was fun. We had lots of bumps along the way but feel like we were able to move forward and create something people were excited for.

What inspires your designs/quilting?
Everything around me inspires me. Right now it’s art. I see a piece of art and I want to turn it into a quilt. My last quilt was exactly that. A random piece of art that I saw on line became a great quilt that’s going to be in the Modern Quilt Guild Show Case at The International Quilt Festival!

How many quilts do you think you've made in your life?
Around 60-I average about 20 a year.

Why do you quilt? What do you enjoy most about it?
I quilt because it’s an outlet for my artistic side. It gives me time to learn something new, challenge my skills and then perfect them.

What is your favorite quilt that you've made?
My Orange Cross quilt that I did when reviewing Susan’s Modern Log Cabin Book. Several people shared their fabrics with me (thanks again!) and I used my favorite color. The linen gives it some weight that feels so nice when you’re curled up with it. It’s not done. I’m hand stitching it with floss after being inspired by Ale’s presentation on hand quilting. It will get done at some point, it’s a labor of love. It’s also the first quilt I’ve made for myself.

Fill in the blank: "When I'm quilting, I feel _______"
Happy, inspired, talented and some times really frustrated!

While you're quilting, what is the environment like? do you listen to music? enjoy the humming of the machine?
I usually listen to Pandora or This American Life. My music tastes vary with what I’m sewing.

Member Spotlight // Mary Ann Morsette

If you've been to a meeting lately, you'll have noticed that we aren't getting any smaller! In an effort to get to know everyone better and learn a bit about new members, we're introducing a new column: Member Spotlight! To start things off, here is Mary Ann!

1) How long have you been making quilts? What was your learning process like?
I've been quilting for maybe four years? I started sewing in junior high--clothing and baby stuff and purses but was never the least bit interested in piecing a bunch of triangles into a boring looking star pattern. When I finally realized that there were patterns I liked I jumped in with a few baby quilts. My first projects had a lot of mistakes--a pinwheel quilt with a couple pinwheels spinning the wrong way, another baby quilt that I tried to use fusible batting on that bunched up terribly--but I caught the bug.

2) How long have you been a PMQG member and how did you find us?
I attended the second meeting. My friend Kimberly Lumapas told me about it.
3) What inspires your designs/quilting?
I am a total book/blog/picture junkie, I love looking at what other people have made and then putting my own twist on it or just letting the ideas simmer until I come up with something of my own. A lot of times inspiration can come from fabric, because it needs to be cut or pieced a certain way.

4) How many quilts do you think you've made in your life?
Probably around 15-18? It's hard to say since so far I haven't kept any and they have all been gifts or swaps!

5) Why do you quilt? What do you enjoy most about it?
I think I quilt just to create. Sometimes you get that feeling where you just have to make something, even if it doesn't turn out well or nobody else appreciates it. I enjoy the process of piecing and binding and that final moment when it's all finished and washed and you can really feel the weight and texture of it. I don't care for the basting and quilting process, so I do get stuck with finished quilt tops a lot of the time!

6) What is your favorite quilt that you've made? 
This is always changing, but right now it's a quilt I made for a friend in a Craftster swap. She sent me about a yard of Ghastlies fabric, and initially I was going to make an apron for her. But I decided it would be an awesome quilt and cut it up into "scenes" which I made  into a sampler style quilt, with pairs of modern style blocks. I love using gray but am not a fan of black and pink together, so while I enjoyed working with the quilt and loved the end result, it wasn't too difficult to give up since it wasn't exactly "me" colors.

7) Fill in the blank: "When I'm quilting, I feel _______"

8) While you're quilting, what is the environment like? do you listen to music? enjoy the humming of the machine? watch re-runs of Downton Abbey? 
I like to quilt in my sewing room with the tv on. I watch something I've seen before like Buffy or Friends, or something that doesn't require a ton of attention (Dr 90210, don't judge!), or anything else on Netflix Instant that catches my fancy.

Thanks so much for sharing with us Mary Ann!

Meet Jill -- A Portland Modern Quilter

(If you are looking for August meeting information, it's HERE.)


Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Jill, and I’m 34 years old. I’m married to a great guy, and the Mom of two adorable yet challenging kiddos, and a sweet furry dog. I have 2 degrees in Architecture – a field I have since decided I have no interest in working in. I’ve worked in a few different Architecture offices and I now realize that I’m not cut out for a fast-paced business life. I like to think about things before I do them, and I don’t like to do things that I don’t agree with. Right now I stay at home with my kids and pick up contract drafting/design work when I can. We live in a beautiful old craftsman style home that was built in 1904, and has been in my husband’s family since 1919. I have a lot of pent up creative energy since leaving work and have found sewing to help me release that.

How long have you been quilting/how did you get started?
I’ve really only been quilting for about a year, and not consistently. I have been sewing for awhile though. I learned in middle school, and have dabbled in it at different times in my life. I started a quilt that I never finished about 10 years ago, and finished my first quilt for a friend’s son about a year ago. Since then I have made a quilt for each of my 2 kids, and a couple more as well. I’ve also made several quilted pillows. I still feel like I’m just learning about the whole process. I have made a lot of handbags also, that was what got me back into sewing a few years ago. I also have a big obsession with fabric, and quilting is a great use for all those pieces of fabric that I just can’t pass up!

Why do you quilt?
I think quilting is a good use of my creative side. I get to design something, then make it, and I end up with a useful object. It’s therapeutic for me as well, it’s something that I can work on, then let sit and pick right back up where I left off. It doesn’t whine at me, tug at my pant legs, or keep me up at night. I can do it with my mind racing or resting, and either way it helps me to find a balance. I always feel relaxed and even keeled after a sewing session.

What is your favorite and/or least favorite part of making a quilt?
I really love designing and visualizing a quilt. I often draft quilt patterns out in AutoCAD. Picking out fabric and laying it out in different groupings, I can do this all day. I’d have to say cutting and ironing are my least favorite parts, and basting isn’t all that fun for me considering I have to move furniture and roll up a rug, then vacuum to do it. The actually sewing part is very fun and relaxing for me. Opening up the pieces and laying them flat after each seam is so gratifying, and I love that first time I get to flip the binding over to the back and see what the quilt will look like finished.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of things. Certain fabric can sometimes just call out to me and tell me what it needs to be made into. I’m inspired by color, geometry, and architecture. I see patterns in a lot of things. I do get inspired by other quilters work, and sometimes like to try my hand at other designer’s patterns – but not knowing how to really use a pattern, I usually draw a similar one up for myself with AutoCAD so I can really understand it. (This is where those free online patterns come in handy!) I’ve also been known to make acrylic rotary cutting templates/rulers for any shape I need to cut more than 1 of – this helps my dislike of cutting immensely.

What are you working on right now?
I’m now finishing up binding on a wall hanging / doll quilt for my daughter’s room. I made the pattern for this one based on the painting we did on her walls. I also made a diamond template to cut with. I have a pattern designed and fabric picked out for a couch quilt for each of my kiddos to work on next, along with a bag for a good friend. Then onto Christmas presents. Yikes!

Jill, Thank you so much for sharing a little bit about yourself and your very inspiring work!

For better views of Jill's lovely quilts, visit her flickr photostream:

Meet Kristen -- a Portland Modern Quilter

Welcome to the first installment in an ongoing series,
Meet a Portland Modern Quilter:

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Kristen, and I'm 27 years old. I live with a roommate, and my cat Fritz. I work as a Print Production Artist for a small graphic design firm. I like going to the movies, playing video games with my friends, and of course, quilting.
How long have you been quilting/how did you get started? 
I haven't been quilting all that long, I started in 2008 after I graduated from the Visual Communications Program at Chemeketa Community College. I was unemployed for awhile, and I was bored. I'd always wanted to try quilting, so I got a quilting magazine and went from there. I picked a pattern that had colors that I liked, and didn't really pay attention to difficulty levels. It turns out that the pattern was considered advanced, but it was totally possible to just follow the directions and make it work. It was a real testament to whoever wrote that pattern that it worked out as well as it did, because I didn't know anything about quilts, or quilting. Or even sewing really. I had to watch a youtube video to figure out how to thread my mom's old sewing machine.

I didn't want to take a class, or let anyone know that I was making a quilt. I don't like being a beginner, or having basic things explained to me, I like to figure it out myself for the most part. I even bought all the fabric at Wal-mart because I was sure no one would ask any questions about what I was making or why. For some reason I was nervous that someone would tell me that I couldn't do it. I don't know why I thought so, everyone I've met through quilting is super nice, and very supportive.
Why do you quilt?
I quilt because it's a great creative outlet. It's interesting to me that quilting is the creative outlet that stuck most with me. I've dabbled in a lot of creative type things, like painting, drawing, piano etc., but I never really pursued them outside of a class. I enjoyed making art that way when a teacher would look at and evaluate my work, but it wasn't something I did in my free time. Quilting, however, I do all the time. I'm always thinking of a new quilt idea, or working through a quilt. I find it very satisfying. It helps that my roommate plays a lot of video games and ties up our TV. It leads me to find other ways to fill my time. :)
What is your favorite and/or least favorite part of making a quilt?
I always have this fantasy that I'll become a famous quilter, and have studio assistants to do all the things I don't like in quilting. I usually have this fantasy when I'm doing something I don't particularly love, like winding bobbins, or ironing a million seams, or doing bindings. Then I imagine it would be nice to have someone do the cutting for me, and maybe the pinning too. I don't really mind these things that much though, as they make up almost all of quilting. The one thing I would love to have done for me though, is making the quilt sandwich. It's hands down my least favorite part of the quilting process.

My favorite part of the quilting process is the seeing the progression of the quilt. I like doing things where you can physically see the progress of what you are making. Quilting is wonderful that way. Each set of tasks you complete is as important as the last, and each one brings you closer to a cool finished project.
What inspires you?
The question should be what doesn't inspire me! I see quilts everywhere. The worst is when I see something inspiring when I'm driving and I have to try and keep my eyes on the road while jotting down whatever has struck my fancy.  I love working with solid colors. I struggle with prints. It's not that I don't like them, or find them beautiful, because I really, really do. I like seeing quilts that other people make with prints very much, but I just have trouble using prints that other people have created. They've already done the fun part! My creative outlet is in creating new shapes and colors through the quilt.
What are you working on right now?
I just finished a quilt inspired by the Dear Jane quilt, and feel pretty good about it. It all happened so quickly, and I finished the top in about month and a half. My job was going through a slow point, so I was sewing all the time. It was a very intense period of creativity for me, both in physically sewing it all together, as well as drafting all the blocks, and researching possible blocks. I'm very happy with how it turned out. The Portland Modern Quilt Guild has been very good for me in that respect, as it gives me timelines to complete work if I want to show it off.
 Thank you, Kristen!  Your enthusiasm and can-do attitude are very inspiring!