Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: Improvising Tradition

Just in time for this month’s improvisation theme a new book! Improvising Tradition by Alexandra Ledgerwood gives quilters a guide to easily develop improvisation styled quilts by using familiar traditional quilting patterns. Patterns like log cabin, coins, one patch, and rail fence are given modern makeovers using improvisation techniques.

The book is divided into three sections focusing on three improvisation quilting techniques: strip setting, strata, and splice-and-insert. First, she gives a tutorial with a clear overview of each technique. 

Next, she clearly explains different design options then continues with step-by-step instructions in the subsection called “Here’s How”.  

Afterwards, she follows up in each chapter with a variety of projects using each technique.  There's a total of 18 great projects from full sized quilts to small coasters. (Great ideas for our mini-quilt of the month theme!) 

As a bonus there are tips on free-motion and hand quilting. I especially enjoyed the explanation on her approach to the decision-making process of selecting a quilting design for a quilt. 

New quilters will be able to dive in and get started on making beautiful modern improv quilts with ease. They will find the sewing tips in the beginning of the book very useful. Experienced traditional quilters will be able to use familiar skills to easily venture into modern improvisation.

I saw several projects I want to make, especially the adorable mini coasters using the improv strata technique.

This book is beautifully laid out and well organized with bold color photographs and clearly illustrated color instructions. It even has a helpful index, which is something you don’t see too often in many current quilts books.  It’s a wonderful guide for modern and traditional quilters alike.

Thank you Interweave Press for giving this book to our guild to review. Someone will be the lucky winner at our next meeting!  By Secretary Veronica 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Scott Hansen Painted Forest Workshop Sign-ups--Now Open

Are you looking forward to March? Dreary March in Portland can be a drag, but I've got a way to lighten it up! Scott Hansen is coming to town and teaching PMQG members an awesome, colorful workshop! I've been intrigued by his Painted Forest pattern since I first saw it a year ago, and now we can all learn from the designer himself! As a fun bonus Scott will be selling patterns and other items at the meeting AND giving PMQG members a 15% discount to his online store through the end of March. The discount will be sent to guild members via email. 

Read on for more details about Scott, his patterns, and details for his March 20th workshop with sign-ups opening this Monday, January 19th.

Have you met Scott? When I met him, he handed me a nickel that was painted blue (his company is named Blue Nickel Studios). You never forget a person that pulls a genius move like that! I know you'll have a blast with him when he comes to lecture and teach a workshop in March.

Here is a bit about Scott in his own words:

Scott is the Mad Color Scientist at Blue Nickel Studios which he runs from his rural home in the Pacific Northwest, sort of smack in between the Cascade Mountains and the suburbs of Seattle. 
He has been quilting for more than half of his life now, and doesn’t see fit to change that any time soon. He has designed and created quilts for many fabric manufacturing companies and has had other quilt designs featured in many leading quilt magazines. He speaks and teaches locally and regionally, sharing his work and quilts. Scott is thrilled to be preparing to spend his third week teaching at the Quilters’ Affair program that is part of the world famous Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon this July. He is Community editor for Generation Q Magazine on the side, as well as working full-time at Costco to keep a bit of steady cash flow.
He still maintains a blog at even if he’s not sure anyone really reads them anymore and sells his patterns in his Etsy shop You can follow him on IG at He’s there the most often.

In his spare time, he tries to maintain his sanity along with the house he built and acreage he thinks can still be the park he envisioned 20+ years ago. He is married to his wife of 25+ years, Linda, a talented mixed-media/doll-loving artist herself, and they have three young adult children, who give them all sorts of joy and challenges as they are stretching their wings to leave the nest. He loves God, his family, trees, architecture, gardens, color, cats, vintage and modern textiles, art, pattern, meeting new people, design, Christmas, fashion, his curly mustache, and a great many other marvelous people, ideas, and things.

What: Painted Forest Workshop (see description and supply list below)
Who: Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios
When: Friday, March 20th from 9-5
Where: St. Andrew Church, 806 NE Alberta St., in the Oscar Romero room, which is up a wheelchair accessible ramp to the right side of the gym where we hold our meetings.
Price: $72 plus you will need to purchase and print PDF pattern with discount code before workshop

Class description:
Painted Forest   59 ½” x 60”

Have a blast making your own little forest in whatever colors you chose. Scott helps you make your own unique trees using a variety of blocks already mapped out and then you can arrange and rearrange the parts to “plant” them anywhere you want in your quilt. Autumn? Get your fall colored scraps together. A black and white forest on a backdrop of a variety of reds? Super Dramatic! A Winter forest with not a leaf to be seen? You can do that too! The sky’s the limit on these fun blocks.

Supply List:
Sewing machine with ¼ inch foot or at least your ability to make accurate ¼ inch seams, rotary cutter, cutting mat, and 18” or longer straight ruler (a shorter one would be handy too, but not necessary),thread, and other basic sewing supplies: seam ripper, pins, etc.
Highly recommended:
Finger presser for “in between” pressing (there is a lot of pressing needed in this project)
Small rotating cutting mat (there is a lot of trimming in this project)

Fabric list:
2 yards or more -- Assorted print fabrics for the “leafy” bits
1 yard -- Assorted solids or “near” solids for the branches and trunks
(each tree needs 2” x WOF, and there are 14 trees in the pattern)
3 yards -- Assorted background prints or solids (each tree takes less than a fat quarter)

Optional: Digital device to save your layout options

The workshop is now on saIe. Please fill out the sign-up form below. Workshop is open to PMQG members only until March 1st, then it will be open to the public if there are still unsold spaces. When we receive your sign-up form we will email a confirmation. If you for some reason do not receive an email confirmation within 24 hours, please send an email to

Price of workshop is $72, via Square only plus workshop attendees will need to purchase the pdf pattern before the workshop. Pattern originally $10 but will b $8.50 with the 15% discount Scott is generously giving guild members through the end of March. No refunds are given for cancellation unless your spot can be re-sold.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

January Meeting Reminder

Welcome in the new year (and a new PMQG board) at the first meeting of 2015! We’re excited to have guest speaker Jessica Darling with us bringing some color to the drab days of January.

Thursday, January 15
7:00 p.m.

St Andrews Church
806 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211

The meeting will be in the community center, which is behind the main church building. There are two parking lots.

What’s in store:

  • Sign up for 2015 membership 
  • Meet the new board members
  • Announcement about 2015 PMQG Quilt-Along
  • Update on Panty Raid quilt 
  • Sign up with Sam Hunter with your UFO
  • Fabulous giveaways 
  • Post-meeting socializing at the Radio Room

Don’t forget to bring:

  • Your quilts for show and tell!
  •  New, clean panties for the Raphael House (each pair gets you a chance to win the Panty Raid quilt) 
  • Your name badge (and get an extra chance to win a giveaway!)
  • A mug for coffee or tea

Guests and non-members are welcome at the guild meeting. Guests are free for the first visit; $5 for each visit after that.

Modern Domestic Discount
Modern Domestic will offer PMQG members 20% off their purchase of fabric and notions on Thursday. Modern Domestic will be open until 7 p.m., so stop by before the meeting! 1408 NE Alberta St.

We hope to see you on Thursday!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

~CLOSED~ Submissions for PMQG Quilt Show--2014 Medallion Quilts

Happy New Year, guildies!

It's time to submit your 2014 Medallion Quilts for our PMQG Quilt Show that will hang at Modern Domestic in February.  Submissions are now closed, thank you.

To submit, please send the following to with the subject "Medallion Quilt Submission" Submissions are now closed.
  • Name and Email Address
  • Completed Quilt Size
  • 1 picture of the entire quilt
  • 1 close-up picture
We are doing our best to include all the quilts submitted, but size restrictions may not allow that. Submit your quilts from now through Midnight, January 9th. Notifications will go out on January 12th if your quilt will be included in the show. If included, please bring your quilt to our January 15th meeting at St. Andrew Catholic Church. If unable to make the meeting, please send your quilt with a friend, or you can make later arrangements with quilt show coordinator Rachel to get the quilt to Modern Domestic.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Review: Burda Style: Wardrobe Essentials

BurdaStyle Modern Sewing: Wardrobe Essentials
(Interweave/F+W; $29.99; November 2014.)
Hi there! Secretary Kelly here to bring you a review of something a little different than quilting: BurdaStyle Sewing

Have you ever wanted to sew your own clothes? Have you seen all the amazing garment fabrics being produced by our favorite quilting fabric designers? Rayons, lawn, knits--they are all ripe for clothes sewing! 

In this new release from BurdaStyle the book takes some of the confusion out of Burda patterns and explains construction steps with how-to's and diagrams. 15 projects are included, from a simple peasant top to a more advanced yet classic twill blazer and trousers. The designs are all very classic and could be interpreted over and over. 

The book comes with a set of full printed patterns ready for tracing onto pattern paper. 

Also useful is the step-by-step section on how to use the patterns, answering questions like like what size am I, what do all these crazy symbols mean, and how do I match up directional fabric? 

I learned how to sew clothes before I started quilting, and yet I am still feel like a beginner. I think this book would be perfect for someone who has some garment sewing experience and wants to push their skills further. 

Thank so much to F&W media for sending us this book! I hope who ever wins it at our upcoming meeting finds a new handmade wardrobe waiting for them inside!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review: artfully embroidered: motifs and patterns for bags and more

Artfully Embroidered: Motifs and Patterns for Bags and More
By: Naoko Shimoda
(Interweave/F+W; $24.99; November 2014)
Hello there! Secretary Kelly here to bring you a review of an amazing new embroidery book. I'll be honest, my embroidery skills are weak. I still have a WIP from 1996 of jungle animals waiting to be finished. (One day!) But this book makes me want to stitch all the things with simple yet stunning designs inspired by nature. 

I like how this book is set up-- not only does it have gorgeous embroidery patterns, but it also includes a little pattern to make something with it. Bags, purses, and pouches are used throughout the book. Instructions are clear and well-illustrated for bag construction and for the embroidery stitches themselves. 

Who can't see themselves in an adorable linen skirt with embroidery embellishments around the hem? I don't know, everyone should have a skirt like this!

I could have photographed every page of this book, but I restrained myself. The photos are beautiful, the projects inspired and I hope who ever wins this book at our next PMQG meeting will make me one of these little coin purses! (wink, wink)

Thanks so much to F&W media for sending us a copy of this book to give away. I hope all you stitchers check it out, it is one for your craft library.