Quiltcon recap

Quiltcon just before opening

Quiltcon 2023 is in the books and, as always, it was an amazing experience! The quilt show itself was so inspiring, but there were also interesting lectures on varied subjects and workshops with something for everyone to learn. The guest speaker this year was Chawne Kimber; her keynote inspired and moved a room full of people. And the special exhibit of her quilts attracted many, who were awed by her tiny piecing and precise quilting. Did you know it took her two years to make “Cotton Sophisticate”, one year for the patchwork and then another year to quilt it?

“The Quilts of Chawne Kimber” Special Exhibit tour lead by Teresa M. Duryea Wong, here pictured in front of “Cotton Sophisticate”

But we have our own celebrities in the guild 🙂 This year, there were FIVE Silicon Valley MQG members who had quilts hanging at Quiltcon! They put their work out there, entered their quilts into the biggest modern quilting show and they got juried in! The quilts were in different categories and showcased the range of beautiful work our members do. What an inspiration! I might try to enter my work in quilt shows too this year…

  • Name: Dianne Gates-Anderson
  • Quilt: Amphritrite Getting Her Swirl On
  • Category: Piecing

What Dianne said about this quilt: “This quilt is named after Amphritrite, Greek Goddess of the Sea. I hope she likes what I have done. I tried to capture the motion and energy of the ocean for her while also embodying the ocean’s swirling beauty. This quilt is made entirely of solid fabrics that were sewn into improvised panels that were subsequently cut up and pieced into giant nested curves. Have fun following the rolling curves and swirl along with Amphritrite.”

  • Name: Darla Gallentine
  • Quilt: X-treme
  • Category: Modern X exhibit

What Darla said about this quilt: “X-treme was an opportunity for me to explore bias tape applique as well as whole cloth quilting. In celebration of Quiltcon’s ten years, I wanted to offer a piece that exemplifies all the tenants of modern quilting. Happy Birthday Quiltcon!”

  • Name: Michelle Trimble
  • Quilt: Monterey Kelp
  • Category: Modern Traditionalism

What Michelle said about this quilt: “This quilt was inspired by a quilt I saw at PIQF in 2019 that stayed with me. It was made for my husband’s office and he helped pick the fabrics. Monterey Kelp is my first exploration of the improv piecing technique. After piecing the quilt top, the alternating pieced wedges and navy wedges resembled light filtering down through a thick kelp forest to me. To accentuate this, I chose to quilt the improv wedges with straight lines so they would remain smooth like blades of bull kelp, while I quilted a curved motif in the navy wedges resembling bubbles rising through the deep water.”

  • Name: Mary Kay Davis
  • Quilt: Town Square
  • Category: AP&Q Log Cabin Quilting Challenge

What Mary Kay said about this quilt: “This quilt was originally created for “Quiltmaker” magazine. They were looking for new takes on old patterns. I chose a very very vibrant color palette to move away from the more traditional colors, including a pop of bright yellow for the central home/hearth red theme usually associated with the pattern. I also wanted to create something of an optical illusion by changing the shapes and sizes of the cabins. It is supposed to appear as if you are looking down on the town , and as such, the magazine ended up calling it “Bird’s Eye View”. Either title works for me.”

  • Name: Rhonda Rosales
  • Quilt: Teja
  • Category: Windham Ruby+Bee Fabric Challenge

What Rhonda said about this quilt: “This is my first quilt ever accepted by Quiltcon. Each year I design a quilt for the Quiltcon fabric challenge. I try to get inspiration from the fabrics that have been chosen. This year, the Ruby+Bee colors that Chawne Kimber selected immediately made me think of villages along the Mediterranean… stucco buildings with red tile roofs surrounded by the beautiful blue sea and sky. This quilt of geometric shapes is inspired from that vision. Once designed, figuring out how to piece the top, including y-seams was a real challenge. The quilting was designed to give the quilt a 3d effect dimension.”

Even with our busy schedule, we found the time to visit to our guild’s Community Outreach quilt:

(image caption) From left to right: Michelle Trimble, Laura Durr, Veronique Oudard, Lisa Bourgeault, Darlene Talukder, Lynn Ball, Judi Seip and Dianne Gates-Anderson

It was so great to see it in person! The design was striking and the execution impeccable.The quilt really stood out in its category. Of course we had to get silly too:

Finally I asked our members who attended the show what was their favorite part about the experience:

Judi “Loved the unique creativity. Was awed by what the kids did, especially the 3rd grade classroom that illustrated all their faces. And the vendors were amazing!  Such a wonderful collection. Now I have to find time to actual transform what I bought into something magical. It was also gratifying to see our members taking part in something on the other side of the country.”

Lynn “My favorite parts were 1) seeing all of the beautiful quilts—the creativity is astounding, 2) Chawne Kimber’s keynote and her quilts “

Lisa “My highlights from QuiltCon were seeing Chawne Kimber’s quilts in person–the skill of her tiny piecing and her beautiful hand quilting make in-person viewing so much better than Instagram–and also spending time with other guild members in person and seeing their quilts hanging in the show.  I have about a million more highlights but I assume you don’t want the whole laundry list :-)”

Michelle “How friendly everyone was! I had some amazing conversations with people I just met!”

My favorite part was meeting so many famous quilters whose work I admire on Instagram and having casual conversations with them at lectures, in elevators or while volunteering… I love how accessible our community is!

I hope you all enjoyed Quiltcon, either in Atlanta or online. We hope to see you all next year in Raleigh, NC!

February Photo Field Trip

The rains stopped long enough for some of our members to venture out together to take photos of some newly completed quilts.

Members helped each other set up shots using trees, statues, fences, anything interesting we could find.

Kitty Wilkin (@nightquilter) spoke to the guild in November about taking quilt photos and her tips were put to good use. Beautiful quilts deserve beautiful photos.

More trips are planned later in the year, so expect more quilt artwork!

New Activities for 2023

Author: Rochelle Rosales, VP Activities

In addition to our monthly meetings and workshops, we have a lot of ongoing activities planned for members this year! While all are welcome to participate in all of them, the hope is that the variety will ensure that everyone can find at least one thing that appeals to them.


This year we are hosting a Monthly challenge series as well as a Quarterly series. Both challenges can be started at any time through the year.

Monthly – Quilt Design Challenge

Participants will design a quilt each month utilizing modern quilt elements as described by The Modern Quilt Guild (MQG). These elements include:

    • Use of bold colors and prints
    • High contrast and graphic areas of solid color
    • Improvisational piecing
    • Minimalism
    • Expansive negative space
    • Alternate grid work
    • “Modern traditionalism”

    Each month a prompt will be introduced and discussed in a small group meeting. We’ll continue the conversation and share examples or ideas in a dedicated Slack channel as well. 

    The goal is to focus on one element each month to challenge our creativity and become more familiar with these design elements. 

    Quilts can be designed using any tool, from EQ to Illustrator to paper & pencil. Quilts can also be any size, but they should be complete and makeable.

    As this is a design exercise only, finished projects are not part of the challenge, though we also look forward to seeing some finished projects in the future.

    Quarterly – Photo Mini Quilt Challenge

    Each participant will choose a single photo at the beginning of the year (or when they start the challenge). This will be their photo for the entire year.

    Every quarter, we will provide a specific prompt that participants will use to make a mini quilt (20” max), based upon that photo. We’ll share our progress and finished quilts in a quarterly small group meeting and dedicated Slack channel.

    Every quarter, we will provide a specific prompt that participants will use to make a mini quilt (20” max), based upon that photo. We’ll share our progress and finished quilts in a quarterly small group meeting and dedicated Slack channel.

    The goal of this challenge is to explore a single subject in different ways, expressed in a specific manner as a mini quilt.  At the end of the year, we’ll have a series of four mini quilts (1/qtr) all inspired by a single photo.


    Exchanges this year will take the form of a year-long Quilting Bee.

    Members will be assigned to a HIVE and will make 2-3 blocks each month for ONE MEMBER of that group. Blocks will be based upon a design prompt (pattern, theme, etc.) and requirements (color, size, etc.).

    The Hive consists of:

    • Hive Leader – provides the prompt and receives all of the blocks for that month; changes monthly
    • Worker Bee – makes 2-3 blocks each month, following the specific prompt and guidelines, and sends them to the Hive Leader
    • Honey Bee – volunteer who can make blocks any month, but will not receive any blocks 
    • Beekeeper – forms groups, sets rules, identifies Hive Leader, fields questions, resolves issues, helps wherever possible (VP of Activities)

    Groups will be formed in early February, and the first prompt will be provided at the February small group meeting. 

    There will be an information meeting on January 25th at 7pm to provide details and answer questions.

    We will share blocks and review the next prompt at a monthly small group meeting and via a dedicated Slack channel.

    NOTE: this is a year-long commitment and sign-ups are due by the end of January. Joining mid-year is unlikely. If you can’t commit to a year and just want to make some blocks, you can volunteer to be a Honey Bee who will make blocks if anyone misses a month or has to drop out.

    In-person Events

    We’re scheduling in-person events each quarter to get people together and gauge interest in meeting in-person again. 

    These events will be held locally, in Silicon Valley, but will be tied to at-home participation via Instagram and Slack, so that no one is left out. 

    We’ll start out with quarterly events, but we could schedule more, if there is interest.

    Here is what we have planned so far…

    • Q1 – Photo field trip – February 18th, 1-3pm (Palo Alto)
    • Q2 – De-stash, Show & Tell, and Potluck
    • Q3 – Hand-Sew Day and Show & Tell

    There will be a dedicated Slack channel to share information about specific events and to suggest ideas for future events.

    Sign Up!

    If you are interested in any or all of these activities, members can sign up via the members-only Programs webpage. (This adds you to our roster for emails, invites, and the Slack channels.) 

    Not a member? Check out membership information on the Guild website.
    For more information, email Activities at siliconvalleymqg.activities@gmail.com

    Precision Piecing with Tighe Flanagan

    Lisa Bourgeault
    Author: Lisa Bourgeault, VP Programs
    Rachel Petterson

    Tighe Flanagan taught a great course about precision piecing to about 20 of our members on September 17th.  Our guild has been focusing on skill-building this year, so his piecing techniques were right on point.  Many of the students came to class for that purpose, but others came to learn more about tessellating quilts and Islamic geometry.  

    Tighe is most known for his quilts that feature his modern interpretations of classic Islamic geometry and art, and he told us that he especially loves finding designs in situ as inspiration for making his own quilts.  We worked on his Fig Leaf quilt pattern that is based on a fairly common motif in Islamic tile work.  Tighe likes fig leaves so much that he planted a fig tree in his yard—presumably, he likes figs, too.

    Emily Harris
    Amy Wang

    In class, Tighe used a slide presentation to describe the “silver ratio” and how it is derived from using a pattern of diagonal lines drawn using specific points on overlapping large and small circles as guides. The concept sounds extremely complicated, but his drawings and explanation made it clear. Using the silver ratio grid, the resulting shapes can be much more nuanced than if they were built around squares and half-square triangles.  Students included a math teacher and other math fans, who all really enjoyed his explanation, and it was clear enough for even the math-phobic to get a sense of the idea.  

    Students started class with their fabric pressed and starched and a set of templates (either paper ones printed from his pattern or acrylic ones purchased from his website), but we weren’t asked to cut pieces because we would learn some important cutting concepts in class.  One tricky thing about the silver ratio for sewists is that it doesn’t result in pieces that measure in inches, so the templates or his paper piecing patterns are a must. 

    As we cut and sewed some of the blocks, we had ample opportunities to ask Tighe questions.  Some were quilt-related, but others ranged through math, computer programs for designing quilts and publishing patterns, and art in Islamic cultures.  Tighe shared his impressive knowledge with us.  He is warm and clear in his teaching, so it was really fun to talk with him.  

    Some people were daring and used multiple colors in their quilts, while others of us played it safer with just one foreground and one background color.  It was really amazing to see the tessellating pattern come to life as we placed our blocks up on our design walls—almost like magic!  

    One great thing about Tighe, whether he is talking in class or writing a pattern, is the respect he shows for the cultures from which he draws his design inspiration.  He also does a great job of describing the geometry behind the design, which is especially important given the development of geometric concepts in Islamic culture.  

    You can check out Tighe on Instagram at @TigheFlanagan and check out his line of patterns and templates on tigheflanagan.com.

    Silicon Valley MQG Retreat – Back Together Again

    St. Francis Retreat Center, San Juan Bautista, California

    Author: Pam Holt

    How do you adequately describe the joy experienced by 24 quilters during their first, in person SVMQG quilt  retreat post pandemic?  It was clear our quilters were up for a busy and somewhat competitive weekend full of activity and fellowship which included 24 negative, on site, covid tests, 24 smiling faces, 24 humming sewing machines, six busy irons, four ever changing design walls, 4 raffle baskets, door prizes, games, dance parties(Girls Just Want to Have Fun), charity sewing, and more.

    Preparation is the key to a successful retreat and our committee took their responsibilities seriously.  Ice dye tote bags held our SWAG which included donations from several merchants including The Granary Quilt Shop, Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers, etc.  Each quilter received a name tag for their workstation, a monogrammed glass and other sewing tools. A favorite was a miniature sewing center in a hinged box hand-crafted by @small.town.vintage, complete with books, tools and a 3d printed sewing machine by @Jeff_and_rubytheredbone.  The committee created a meet and greet face sheet with hand carved monogram stamps to mark our progress.  Home made embroidered badges were created to mark accomplishments for early birds, late birds, project completion, exercise breaks and a host of other quilty activities. 

    St Francis Retreat Center was the home to our little gathering. While our group has been active on Zoom throughout the pandemic, this was the first time so many of us were together in person in over a year.   We shared our projects, our hopes and dreams for future projects, our distinct disappointment about unfinished projects and delight over finished work. We created our own ever changing store in the lobby of quilting supplies and fabric that might find a home in somebody else’s studio. Quilters don’t like to waste anything.  The retreat center catered breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we added wine and cheese, and snacks including sewing machine shaped cookies. 

    The vibrancy of our color choices was amazing to all. We had seen many of these quilts on zoom, but up close and personal is by far the best way to appreciate a quilt.  In depth conversations about how a quilt design was conceived were freely shared. Inspiration was everywhere.  Oh what fabric we fondled and we all cheered when a UFO was completed.

    How lovely it was to have a chance to partner with another quilter to puzzle out the best way to finish a bias binding or create a 60° angle in a quilt block, and to cut it efficiently, and to arrange it in a pleasing fashion. What a coincidence to find two quilters, who were inspired by the same design, and both had brought that design to work on and complete at the retreat. 

    Some of us showed real persistence in coming with one project that they were determined to finish, whether it was piecing a complicated color palette or machine quilting a large quilt on their domestic machine. Tenacity was encouraged by all.

    Pulling together to sew for charity was an important part of our gathering. Each time we visit St Francis we work on a quilt to donate to brighten their ascetic rooms; this retreat was no exception. Everybody did a little and volunteers were found to take the blocks home to piece and ultimately quilt our donation. 

    We also partnered with Sew For Love in keeping our scraps out of landfill.  They supplied us with a Cubie Chair and we filled it with all of our scraps.  By the end of the retreat, it was almost full.

    Learning and teaching new skills is always a part of an SVMQG gathering.  Michele taught us how to make fabric boxes:

    We all left the retreat with a sense of deep connection to an extraordinary group of creative quilters. “You are my tribe”, said one new member.  Joy, friendliness, support and inspiration buoyed us on our way home.  We can’t wait for our 2023 retreat!  Thanks to the organizing staff:  Jenny, Renee, Michele, Cyndi, Pam and the consistent support of the guild president, Sarah.  

    Learning Curves with Jenny Haynes

    Author: Rachel Petterson, VP Education Programs

    Kicking off the workshop circuit of 2022, we had Jenny Haynes of Papper Sax Sten come teach her Cogs, Thistles and Caterpillar Wheels workshop. This workshop focused on the freezer paper method for foundation paper piecing and piecing curves without pins as techniques but also touched on the design methodologies that Jenny uses for her quilts. Jenny taught us virtually from her home studio with a great multi-camera set up that allowed us to see everything she did while also viewing her animated presentation style. As a bonus, Jenny provided us with the recording of the workshop. Since this workshop was full of info, this was great for reviewing afterwards and getting a chance to reinforce some of our new skills.

    For the paper piecing, Jenny sent over templates ahead of time that we printed and had ready for the workshop. She walked us through each step of using them for the paper piecing, peppering her instruction with lots of tips and tricks. I’ve personally used both the traditional sew-through-the paper method and the freezer paper method, but only had instruction in the former. After Jenny’s class, the freezer paper method felt so much more comfortable and I love that you can reuse the templates a few times! By my second cog quadrant, it felt natural. Jenny thoughtfully gave us time as part of the workshop to work through our individual issues while being on hand to answer questions as they came up during actual implementation of the techniques.

    Once we had the chance to make some cog curves with our paper piecing, we moved on to the curve piecing which we’d use to form them into a complete block. Jenny demonstrated her method for piecing curves without pins which is a big win in my book since it allows you to move so much faster. Although Jenny’s instruction was straightforward, this is definitely a technique that will take practice. However, I like that Jenny’s templates build in allowance for doing it without pins which gives students much more confidence to try out the technique while having the assurance their sample will still turn out successful.

    Finally, Jenny covered some of the principles she uses when designing her cogs and thistles quilts. She explained how she decides when to stop and start, how many teeth to put on her cogs and ways to accent the cogs using fussy cutting techniques. These were all great for those of us looking to use the techniques from this workshop to put together our own quilt!

    Overall this was a really fun way to spend the morning that stretched some creative muscles I hadn’t used much. Jenny’s teaching style is easy going, but informative. She focuses on her topics, but you also pick up so many general quilting tips that she tosses in along the way. Jenny shared some of her other workshops coming up that make creative use of curves and I have to say I was intrigued!


    A Slice of the Valley

    Size: 69” x 90”
    Made from 32 colorful slices
    0 calories


    1- Our guild is so awesome. Every step of the way, members gave their time and talent to volunteer and work on this quilt. Thank you to everyone for making yet another beautiful Quiltcon Community Outreach Quilt!

    2- For a photo session and warm welcome, I highly recommend visiting the Colwell Thundering Herd Ranch (and getting a homemade pie). The place is beautiful, the lady of the house is a quilter and you’ll even get help to hold the quilt!


    • Citrus Slice Quilt FPP Block Pattern by Barbara “B” Cain of “Modern Quilting by B”.
    • Improv Citrus Slice blocks inspired by the above pattern
    • Off-grid layout
    • Lots of negative space


    1. The committee met in June  for the first time. There were many ideas on this year’s “Angles” theme. In the end, we chose to work on something that grows in California, to change from our recent Quiltcon submissions.
    2. We spent the next few weeks making test blocks, estimating fabric yardage, getting kits ready for the guild members. 
    3. In August, the guild members worked their magic and made beautiful citrus blocks. We met online and worked together. The variety of blocks was just amazing.
    4. Then it was time to put these blocks together, the committee met in Judi’s sunny garden and the quilt layout came to life in record time.
    5. Darla was brave enough to volunteer to piece the off-grid top. She had the top assembled in a few days. 
    6. Last but not least, Kathleen found the perfect quilting design for the “Angles” theme on her Gammill longarm and even added the binding to finish up the quilt perfectly.

    PIQF recap

    SVMQG Showed Up and Showed Off!

    Author: Dianne Gates-Anderson, 2021 Senior Vice President

    In 2021, the SVMQG President’s goals were to focus on Modern Quilting and to celebrate our members’ efforts and creativity.  Fortunately, the state of the pandemic allowed the in-person Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) to proceed this year (Oct 14-17, 2021) and our members were prepared to take  advantage of the opportunity.

    Earlier in the year, NACQJ certified quilt judge, Kathi Eubank, spoke at our July meeting.  Kathi went into great detail on what quilt judges look for (they really want to help improve your work) and she strongly encouraged our members to submit quilts to as many shows as possible. Armed with our new knowledge, and gentle nudging from our leadership, 10 members submitted a total of 15 quilts to PIQF. 

    At our July meeting, we discussed 9 reasons why members should submit quilts to shows. Enjoy this photo gallery of our members quilts on display at PIQF along with these reasons, and be sure to scroll all the way through to the end of the list to see why the list has been expanded to 10

    Why you should enter your work in quilt shows: 

    Reason #1: It’s an accomplishment to get accepted, so take a bow 

    Rhonda Rosales with her quilt “Tamalpais” 

    Reason #2: It’s a chance to share the beauty of your work with others and let them shine

    “Kinship Expanded” by Erika Williams

    Reason #3: Nice way to get pictures of full size quilts

    “Love All Around” by Therese May
    “Entropy” by Rhonda Rosales

    Reason #4: People get to know you as a quilter and creator

    “Somewhere Out There” by Dianne Gates-Anderson
    “Sway” by Rhonda Rosales

    Reason #5: You get to see your work from a different perspective

    “For Lee” by Darla Gallentine

    Reason #6: Your work can inspire and encourage others

    “Love from Coast to Coast” by Anne Muller
    “Operatic” by Rhonda Rosales

    Reason #7: Entering shows motivates you to complete projects

     “If Only We’re Brave Enough”  by Mandy Fleig
    “My Favorite Anderson” by Dianne Gates-Anderson
    • Mandy and Dianne had to hustle to expand their works to meet minimum size requirements for PIQF and pre-finished hanging sleeves came in handy for last minute finishing up before delivering the quilts to the show.

    Reason #8: Entering shows makes you take your work/craft/quilting seriously

    “Happy Little Trees” by Jenny Wagner
    • This is one of several quilts that she has had accepted in the Cherrywood Challenge.  The Cherrywood Challenge quilts travel from show to show around the country and this little quilt is a perfect example of Jenny’s creativity and attention to detail.

    Reason #9: Feedback from judges helps you grow as a quilter

    “Happy Houses” by Dianne Gates-Anderson
    • While the judges liked the composition and the colors they also pointed out a couple of areas for improvement such as careful trimming to avoid shadowing and suggesting more uniform quilting throughout the piece.  These suggestions will definitely be kept in mind for future quilts.

    Reason #10 (newly experienced)Winning ribbons is awesome!

    “Stairway to Heaven” by Pam Holt
    “Modern Bullseye” by Kathrin Brown
    • Pam received lots of suggestions for completing her quilt at the UFO Rescue Digital Thursday last year and continuing support and encouragement to enter her quilt in PIQF during our Saturday Sew Days.

    Guild members also performed white glove services for the show, and staffed a table where we shared information about the guild’s many activities and offerings.

    In addition to welcoming prospective members, we continued sales of our Quilt Journal, encouraging quilters to document their quilting process and record their finished quilts.

    Charity Quilt Donation (Bill Wilson Center)

    Author: Lisbeth Polavarapu, 2021 VP of Philanthropy

    Our second group of donated quilts this year went to Bill Wilson Center in San Jose. Our guild has donated quilts to Bill Wilson Center for many years, and we were happy to continue supporting them this year. 

    Bill Wilson Center provides a variety of services to children, youth and families in Santa Clara county. They focus on providing counseling, housing, education, and advocacy, and have been working with youth in our community since 1973. 

    Sorting quilts by size for donation
    Stacks of quilts for Bill Wilson Center

    This time our guild donated 34 quilts in total, 22 baby quilts and 12 lap size and larger.

    Heather at Bill Wilson Center with our donated quilts

    BWC is very appreciative of all the quilts they have received from us. The timing was great, and they were excited to be able to include our quilts in their Adopt-A-Family Holiday program. The quilts will be given to needy children in the Santa Clara county foster care system to bring some extra joy and warmth during the holiday season.

    For more information on Bill Wilson Center and all the services they provide, visit their website.

    SVMQG Member Spotlight | Lisa Bourgeault

    Author: Lisa Bourgeault, 2021 VP of Membership

    A divorce can change your life in many ways, but in my case, it turned me into a quilter. 

    I learned to embroider at the age of 5, and that led naturally to a bit of hand sewing. 

    One of my first embroideries.
    Hand-sewn bag circa 1971. I still keep my embroidery stuff in this bag.

    Once my mom taught me to use a sewing machine, I got excited about choosing fabrics for simple garments – my first effort was a very ‘70s pair of wrap pants made out of wild fabric, with ball fringe – I wish I had a photo of those!  My whole adult life, I thought that if I ever had the time, I’d love to do some type of fiber art and just surround myself with beautiful fabrics. This was kind of a crazy dream seeing as I’ve never considered myself to be artistic. 

    This is not your typical bridesmaid dress.

    My sewing for many years was very utilitarian – curtains, pillows, a bridesmaid dress and a huge project making fleece ponchos for a charity sale – and every trip to the fabric store made me long to spend a lot of time shopping for and petting beautiful fabrics.

    In 2014, when I got divorced, I decided to take the room my ex-husband had been using as his office and turn it into a sewing and game room for me and my two kids.  By the next year, my old clunky sewing machine gave way to a new very nifty one, and the games (and the kids) were banished to a different room.  

    Did I want to sew garments? Make quilts?  I didn’t know at first, until a pattern drafting class just overwhelmed me and made me realize that I didn’t really want to pour my time into learning how to sew clothes when I could jump in and enjoy quilting at a beginner level very quickly.

    I learned to free motion when I made my first quilt, in a class at Eddie’s Quilting Bee.

    My daughter already loved sewing, so she came to a quilting class with me and quilting became something that we could enjoy together.

    My daughter and I made this quilt together. It was supposed to be for her freshman dorm room, but we didn’t finish until her sophomore year.

    Even my son, who was 8 at the time, started a small quilt for his beloved stuffed dog (however, it is still sitting in the UFO pile).    

    I have to say I am not a fast quilter, but I’m trying to be patient with myself and just enjoy going at my own pace.  Baby quilts and throws are my specialty, because they can be finished fairly quickly and they are easy to quilt on my domestic machine.

    One of my all-time favorite baby quilts, given to one of my all-time favorite teachers.
    I had fun with the walking foot quilting on this charity baby quilt.

    I like challenging myself to do something new with every quilt, and lately I have fallen in love with improv.  The fact that I’m not proficient at 1/4 inch seams has a lot to do with that, but I also love the look of improv quilts; It’s great that they don’t get boring since I’m not making bunches of the same block.  I love free motion quilting and have taken quite a few classes; I’m also in the Self-Guided Learning Team Deep Dive into Quilting, so I’ve been practicing a lot this year.  I just bought a ruler foot and a couple of small rulers, so I’m looking forward to trying those.

    This year I’m also working on a series of quilts called “Springtime in Los Altos.”  For four years I’ve been taking photos of the glorious purple and pink flowers that appear on my walks around town in the spring, and I wanted to figure out how to capture the feeling of being surrounded by this beauty.  I’m very excited that the Self-Guided Team on Working in a Series has pushed me to take this idea that has been in my head and turn it into a reality.  My first two efforts didn’t do what I wanted them to do, but the current one is working out really well and I love it.

    I’ve taken some great classes with the guild, including Giucy Guice’s class on Photography and Branding and most recently a class with Carolina Oneto. 

    I photographed this quilt during Giucy-Guice’s class. Not a great photo, but it certainly showed me the importance of photographing in daylight and finding interesting photo shoot locations.

    When the pandemic hit, the SVMQG really saved my sanity – I always look forward to our Zoom meetings so I can see my friends.  I’ve loved our virtual retreats and working on the 2020 and 2021 BOMs, too.  

    I have so much fun quilting and hanging out with quilty people at quilty events.  I’m definitely a quilter for life.

    Many thanks to Lisa for sharing her story us!

    Check back each month for more Member Spotlight blogs where we’ll feature one or more of our guild members who will introduce and tell us a little bit more about themselves and their quilting journey.

    If you’re interested in being featured on our Member Spotlight, fill out the form on our Member Resources page and we’ll reach out with more info.