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.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Jessica Darling Color Party Improv Workshop--Signup

PMQG is thrilled to welcome Jessica Darling to speak at the guild at our January meeting! The next day she will teach an Improv Workshop all about color and mixing fabrics. See sign-up form at the end of this post to register for the workshop.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica at last year's Quilt Knit Stitch when PMQG member Violet Craft introduced us. She is bubbly and fun and vibrant and just kind of oozes cool, ya know? I'm very excited to kick off 2015 with Jessica as our first speaker AND the first teacher for our new workshop program!

 Here's a little about Jessica in her own words:

Before she knew how to drive, Jessica Darling knew how to operate a longarm
machine. As a teen, she was greatly influenced by colorful graffiti/street art and album covers from her favorite musicians. She had dreams of owning a trend-conscious, funky quilting boutique that catered to her esoteric taste. She started remnants:fiber[culture] in 2012 and offered the Austin, Texas sewing community a unique alternative. The store has since closed, but it inspired Jessica to pursue teaching and pattern design. She started Homegrown- a division of Villa Rosa Designs, the pretty little postcard patterns. 
When she╩╝s not designing card patterns, she lectures and teaches about color and composition with a modern, edgy twist.

You can keep up with her rock-and-roll lifestyle and peep her constant works in progress

on her instagram- @jessicakdarling
thru her website-
OR you can be friends and keep in touch
thru her Facebook page-

And the description for the Color Party Improv Workshop:
Does color selection confuse and infuriate you? Are you unsure of your color combinations and intuitional color sense? Explore the art of intuitional and individual color stories by personifying your fabric. Everyone loves a party.

For this workshop, besides sewing machines and basic sewing tools, attendees bring 2 yards of a "Party Host" fabric that will be the overall theme for their quilt, as well as 3-5 yards of scraps that will be shared among all the workshop attendees (you may or may not get your scraps back).

What: Color Party Improv Workshop with Jessica Darling

When: January 16th, 9 am to 5 pm
Where: St Andrew Catholic Church, 806 NE Alberta St., Oscar Romero Room (above the gym, to the right up the wheelchair accessible ramp)
Price: $72, Online Square payment only. No additional fees or pattern needed for this workshop

Refunds only given for cancellations if spot is able to be re-sold or if workshop is cancelled due to low attendance. 

This workshop is open only to 2015 PMQG members. If you have not yet joined or renewed for 2015, you may fill out the registration form to hold your space and then join the guild online. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

2015 Skill Building Block of the Month

We're excited to participate in Pile O' Fabric's Skill Building Block of the Month this year! This is an optional paid program that PMQG members can participate in with a group discount. This program is in addition to any program (like the 2013 BOM or the 2014 Medallion Along) that the 2015 Officers might put together. 

This Color Wheel style quilt will help us develop all kinds of quilting skills  and techniques as the year goes on:

All lessons will be online and a new lesson will be posted each month.Participants will need to be able to download and print templates as well as access the online classroom. There is a higher priced option if you would prefer to pay for templates.

The original price of the class is $45 for just the class, or $69 for the class plus printed templates, but we will be receiving a group discount. The discount we receive will depend on how many members sign-up. We currently are at a 30% discount! ($31.50 or $48.30 with templates) and only need 4 more people to make it a 35% discount! ($29.25 or $44.85 with templates).  If more people sign up the price will continue to go down. (please note, discount will not apply to fabric kits).

To sign up, please email us at On January 1st I will send in our head count and receive a discount code to distribute. After you receive your discount code via email, you can visit the Pile O' Fabric website to register and pay.

Business Member Spotlight: Bill Volckening Quilts

Our business member for December is Bill Volckening, quilt appraiser extraordinaire (and subject of much envy after he won the medallion quilt raffle at the guild meeting on Thursday.) How does Bill know so much about quilt history? Find out below! 

What makes your business special or different than others in your industry? 

Most of my involvement with quilts has been philanthropic and related to my personal collection. I started my business in response to a variety of quilt-related requests from the community, and the business is my vehicle for responding to these requests. Much of the work is appraising and photographing completed quilts, both new and old, but I have worked with clients on a variety of projects.

How long have you been doing this? 

Three years. I have collected quilts for 25 years. I also have a creative background, which includes study at Rhode Island School of Design, School of Visual Arts in New York (BFA in Photography 1988), International Center of Photography and New York University (MA in Studio Art and Photography 1991). 

What’s the most important thing you’ve had to learn to do your job well? 

If I do not have an answer, knowing where to find it or who to ask is key. 

What do you see as a significant aesthetic trend right now? 

Modern quilting, of course – geometric pieced quilts – and I see a lot of interest in certain kinds of antique and vintage quilts, especially improvisational design and mid-century modern. According to friends who went to Houston this year, handwork is making a big comeback. I think it may have something to do with being portable, something you can pull out of your bag on an airplane. 

What’s the strangest thing a customer has ever asked you? 

People have a lot of questions about their quilts, and they are usually very good questions. One request I receive fairly often is to appraise quilts from photos, but I must see the quilts in person to appraise them. People also ask if I am interested in buying when I am in the process of evaluating a quilt for an appraisal, but I will not engage in trade transactions when appraising. Oh, and Sam Hunter (of Hunters Design Studio) will appreciate this…I sometimes get asked to provide free “ballpark” valuations on quilts. In those situations, I offer verbal assessments with a per hour fee. 

Any new products or services you’d like to mention? 

In January I will be offering a webinar about quilt history with Quilters Newsletter. If it goes well, there may be a series of webinars. A new book will be available in April, possibly sooner. It will be a coffee table book about my New York Beauty quilt collection, published by Quiltmania in France. I am also working with another publisher on a potential series of pattern books using antique and vintage quilts from my collection as inspiration. 

In addition to the special exhibits I am planning at QuiltCon and Pour l’Amour du Fil in 2015, I will be the featured guest at the Airing of the Quilts in Milwaukie in March, and will exhibit 1970s quilts at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon during 2015 Quilt County from August to October.  
"Rick Rack Tiles" will be part of Bill's special exhibit at QuiltCon.

Why do you like being a business member of PMQG? 

It is a simple way to support the guild and its members. I enjoy being a beacon for information about quilts, quilt history and the quilt marketplace. I also love meeting guild members who approach me with questions and queries. PMQG is an impressive organization, full of talent and creativity. Offering something unique to the guild makes me happy. 

If you couldn’t work in the quilting/sewing world, what would your dream job be?

Antiques dealer during the rainy season, and Plein Air landscape painter in the non-rainy season. 

Business Info

Bill Volckening Quilts
1220 NW 119th Place
Portland, OR 97229
Phone: 503-327-3202
Web site:

Friday, December 12, 2014

Will Panty Raid for Charity!

Panty Raid Quilt Raffle

PMQG is really excited to participate in an event organized by our very own Sam Hunter of Hunter's Design Studio!  One of our small groups has been making a quilt (a pattern of Sam's called Star Stuff) that they plan to raffle off at our January 15th PMQG meeting.

This is no ordinary raffle though! The proceeds are going to one of PMQG's 2014 Charities: Raphael House, a shelter for women and children escaping from domestic violence. And the proceeds aren't money, they are underwear! Used clothing might be fine when you are in need, but new underclothes are nice to have, whatever your situation.

To participate in the raffle (PMQG members only) and have a chance to take this lovely quilt home, bring new underwear (women or children's sizes) to our January meeting. Please think of picking some up when you are out doing your Holiday shopping!

Update with specific needs from the Raphael House website:

Due to space restrictions, we cannot accept any used clothing.
  • Women’s underwear and bras (new) - all sizes for women and teens, especially underwear sizes L-XXL
  • Children’s good, clean, casual clothing - especially boys sizes 5 to 16
  • Children’s underwear and socks (new) - all sizes

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 2014 Meeting Announcements

Here are the full announcements from the December Meeting. Slide show may take a moment to load.