Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May Meeting

May - another month, another great meeting of the Emerald Coast MQG!  This is a long one, so bear with me!
Upcoming Sew Days and Meetings

Our next sew day will be Saturday, June 23 at First Baptist Church in Crestview from 12-6.  In July, we'll actually be combining our meeting with our sew day on Saturday, July 28 at FBC in Crestview.  At that time, we'll start at 10 am for the meeting, and once we're done with business, we can get down to sewing!  We'll be there until 6 pm. 

QuiltCon

We also talked, once again, about QuiltCon and the Block Challenge for QuiltCon.  You can learn more about QuiltCon here, and the Block Challenge here.  People from all over have already been submitting blocks for the Block Challenge, and a Flickr Group has been created specifically for this challenge.  If you want to submit a block (or two, or three) with our Guild, then try to have those blocks done by our July meeting, so we can meet the August 15 challenge deadline.

Charity Quilt

We talked again about the Charity Quilt.  We still haven't decided on a charity or how we'll raise the money, but hopefully we can nail down those details soon. 

Name Tag Challenge

We have a fun challenge to do before our next meeting in June - make your own name tag!  A few other guilds have done this, and it seems like a fun thing to do, so why not?  The only requirement for these name tags - it has to have your name on it!  Other than that, just have fun with it.  The tag can be any size, any medium, and can be made to wear around your neck, pinned on, clipped on...whatever!  If you need some name tag inspiration, check out these pictures.


Can't wait to see everyone's name tags in June!

Presentation
For the presentation, we discussed Etsy and Flickr.  First, Melanie discussed buying and selling and other general information about Etsy. 

Etsy

On Etsy you can be a buyer, a seller, or both! You must create an account (which is FREE) but you cannot ever change your username. You can, however, have a separate name for your shop. Items on etsy must be handmade, supplies, or vintage (>20 yrs old).

BUYERS
-Payment method varies by shop
-Read listings carefully, not just titles on listings
-If you're unsure about something, send the shop a conversation (convo) about it
-Search parameters are very specific on etsy so check your spelling and spacing of words during a search

SELLERS
-It costs 0.20 to list an item and the listing will remain in your shop for up to 4 months
-Once an item sells, etsy will bill you for 3.5% of the sale price (not including shipping)
-PayPal and CCs also charge a small percentage of the TOTAL price (sale and shipping)
-Once an item is listed you can edit or inactivate it whenever you like
-Etsy allows 5 photos per listing (at no additional fee)
-It is important to tag items well and set up clear shop policies to protect you and your buyers
-Advertise for free by linking listing to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest or through your blog. Be careful on Flickr - you cannot link directly to your shop!
-If a person lives outside of the countries you have listed on your shipping costs Etsy will not allow them to purchase the item. They can convo you to make the adjustment.
-Etsy has more great information for sellers via the website. They often have workshops on pricing and advertising, etc.

We have had a few members express interest in starting an Etsy shop, so this was great information for all of us!

Blogs and Flickr
Next up, Kelly discussed blogs and Flickr, and their importance in the world of modern quilting.  This quote is taken from The Modern Quilt Guild site:


The MQG developed out of the thriving online community of modern quilters and their desire to start meeting in person. The founding guild was formed in Los Angeles in October of 2009. Through blogs and the Internet, word spread quickly of the fun they were having and soon guilds started popping up everywhere.

The "thriving online community" is referring to both blogs and Flickr.  Back in 2009, Alissa Haight-Carlton mentioned on her blog that there was a lack of representation of the modern quilting aesthetic at the Long Beach Quilt Festival.  From that blog post ultimately came the idea of starting a modern quilt guild.  Through blogs and Flickr, interest in this idea of a modern quilt guild was created, and the first meeting of the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild happened in October of 2009.  Word of this meeting got out, and modern quilters all over the world joined in the fun!  Since that first meeting in LA, there are now over 100 MQG's worldwide - including all over the States, in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South America and India!

The four people who make up the Board of Directors for The Modern Quilt Guild, and are also very influential in this modern quilting world are Alissa Haight-Carlton (author of Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee - The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog, & 12 Improvisational Projects and Modern Minimal: 20 Bold & Graphic Quilts), Latifah Saafir (President of the LAMQG), Jacquie Gering (author of Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts), and Elizabeth Hartman (author of The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker, 12 Quilt Projects and Modern Patchwork: 12 Quilts to Take You Beyond the Basics).

Flickr

A lot of people in our guild aren't familiar with Flickr, so it was a good time to go over some basics.  There is such a huge modern quilting community on Flickr, and within that community are swaps and bees and modern quilting groups.  Some groups of interest are:

Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild (of course)
The Modern Quilt Guild

QuiltCon Block Challenge
Quilts and Quilting
MQG Robert Kaufman Kona Solids Challenge Quilts
Modern Quilting Stitches: Life Beyond Stippling
Fresh Modern Quilts
Simply Solid Quilts

Swaps
Swaps are a fun way to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and make something for someone else based on their likes and dislikes.  It's also fun to think of what you'd like to receive in these swaps.  There are all kinds of swaps on Flickr - pillow swaps, pouch swaps, swaps for kitchen items, doll quilts, mug rugs, etc.  The way to get involved in a Flickr swap is first to find out when a swap is about to start.  When the person in charge of the swap opens it up to sign ups, usually you're asked to fill out a questionnaire and make a mosaic of designs or colors that you like.  If you're selected for the swap, you'll find out who you'll be making an item for, but they won't know who you are.  Once you find out who you're making something for, familiarize yourself with the mosaic they made.  You can also browse through their Flickr favorites, or check out their blog to find out even more about what they like or dislike.  When joining a swap, you should always be open to buying fabric based on your partners interests.  After you start working on the item, post pictures along the way - it could show fabric choices, design ideas, progress, etc.  This is a good way to get feedback from your partner, without directly asking them.  You could say something like, "Partner, do you like these fabrics?" and then wait to see if your partner responds.  It's always fun to see if your partner comments along the way.  At the same time, you should also comment on pictures other people post, especially if it's something that fits what you asked for.  It's important to mail by whatever the specified date is.  If you're unable to do that, then you should contact the person who's running the swap to let them know.  When you receive the item made for you, it's always nice to take a picture of the item and post it to the group pool, and also send a Flickr mail to the person who made it, telling them thanks. 

Popular Swaps:

Pretty {little} Pouch Swap
The Pillow Talk {Swap}
Scrappy Mug Rug Swap
Spicing Up the Kitchen [A Modern Swap]
{Urban} Home Goods - A Modern Swap
Doll Quilt Swap
For the Love of Solids Swap

Check out this group to find out when swaps are starting - Modern Swapping.
Bees
The quilting bee has come a long way in the modern age.  Virtual quilting bees are another great way to get involved in Flickr.  It's also a way of growing you as a quilter, by stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new techniques.  The good thing about participating in a bee is that you get to sample new techniques, without committing yourself to a whole quilt - you usually just make one or two blocks, and then you're done!
The way a Flickr bee usually works is that it is made up of 12 people, and each person is designated a month.

When it is your monthDecide what kind of block you would like made for you. It’s best to make a sample block of what you’re looking for, but usually not required. You can also make an inspiration gallery on Flickr. Figure out how much fabric everyone would need, including more than enough. Be willing to send more fabric if need be. Write out instructions and list them on the Flickr group and/or include instructions with the fabric. With the instructions, include information like if it’s all right for them to add in their own fabric, the dimensions of the block, and any other specifics that are necessary. Mail the fabric out to the 11 members of the Bee. Wait for beautiful blocks!

When making a block for someone else Wait to receive fabric. Read the instructions thoroughly, and ask any questions you might have. If it’s something that’s new to you, or you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the technique that’s being asked of you, do a sample block before you cut into that person’s fabric. Complete the block and post pictures to Flickr. Mail the block back.
If joining a bee sounds like something you'd like to do, check out this Flickr group to find out if there are any openings - Quilting Bee Blocks.
An important thing to keep in mind about both Swaps and Bees is that people don’t expect perfection, but they do expect your best effort.  So there's no need to be scared or intimidated about joining either one.  Just try your best, and be prepared to push yourself!
Show and Tell

After that presentation, we had Show and Tell:
Valarie showed us a baby quilt she made



Debra showed us a quilt she made for her yet-to-be-born first grandson


Melissa didn't have them with her, but she showed us pictures of quilts she has recently made





Melanie (with the help of her son Adam) showed us a few items she's made for her kid's teachers



Melanie has also finished her blocks for the QuiltCon Block Challenge!


And she also brought in her beautiful Nicey Jane quilt


Leslie showed us a few little items she's made - a crayon wallet and a pouch.  She also made labels for her handmade items, and they turned out pretty cute!




And I showed off a couple of quilts I received as gifts for my baby boy, Tucker.  This first one is from friends of my first guild home, the Los Angeles MQG.


And speaking of Bees, this next one was made by members of my Bee - Bee Happy.



I also showed my recently finished Amy Butler Weekender Bag


And that was our meeting!  Start working on those name tags, and remember, our next sew day is Saturday, June 23 from 12-6 in Crestview, and our next meeting is Friday, June 29 at Lynn's Sewing Center in Fort Walton Beach at 10 am.  Hope to see you soon!

Playing Catch Up - April Meeting

Things have been crazy around here lately, so I've kinda neglected the blog.  But I'm back!  So, here's the recap of our April Meeting.

We talked about our charity quilt, and decided to go with the Sew, Mama, Sew Modern BOM.  As far as colors go, we'll be doing the blocks in colors representing not only our guild name, but where we live - the beautiful Emerald Coast! 


We haven't decided on a charity yet, or a method (raffle, online auction, donating the quilt itself, etc.), but we have time to figure all that out.  We're shooting to have this done by the end of October. 

Everyone who wants to participate in assembling the blocks will be designated a block and get a bundle of fabric at our June meeting.  We'll need people to not only assemble blocks, but to piece the quilt top, baste the quilt, do the quilting, and bind it.  It's definitely going to be a team effort!  It's sure to be beautiful when it's finished.

After talking for a while about the charity quilt, we had a time of Show and Tell.

Melissa showed us a beautiful WiP


And an almost-finished quilt


And progress she's made on a quilt using Jenny Pedigo's Quick Curve Ruler - can't wait to see this one when it's all finished!


Melanie brought in her beautiful Swoon quilt, done in Tula Pink's Prince Charming line


And her Stargazer quilt



Leslie showed us this quilt she made for her new nephew



And a cute little WiP


Cindy showed us her "Year of the Dragon" WiP


And this colorful quilt she's making for a school auction


It's always so much fun to see what everyone makes!