Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spotlight on.... MARLENE!

Hello! An intro would just waste the time we could all be spending oohhhing and aahhhing over the following photos, so please - read on to learn about Marlene's talents!

  • Tell me a bit about yourself:

My name is Marlene Reasoner. I am originally from Rochester, NY, we moved to the outer most suburbs of Philadelphia in 1989. I have been married to my wonderful husband Dan for 31 years. We have four adult children, Luke, who lives in Charleston, SC, Ben lives in Sellersville, Beth is still living at home and Danielle is a senior at Shippensburg University. As a family we all enjoy competitive sailboat racing. We sail a Thistle, it’s a 3 person high performance racing sailboat.

I have a blog too, .

  • What do you do (employment or for fun)?

I work part time at law firm in Blue Bell.

  • How did you get started quilting?

My grandmother was an avid quilter, and I have always admired her work. Then when we moved here we received a coupon/area guide gift basket from the “Welcome Wagon” which had a coupon for the Country Quilt Shop. I found the store, it was first time I had ever been in a “quilt” shop, and needless to say I was instantly hooked. Then I signed up for my first class.

  • Who taught you to quilt? Did you ever take quilting lessons from someone?

My first class was taught by Lois Richichi, it was a 9 block sampler sewn by hand. I have since taken classes from a variety of fabulous teachers.

  • What do you like best about quilting?

I love learning new techniques and challenging myself.

  • How do you decide what pattern to make?

I like creating my own designs using graph paper, my sketch book or Electric Quilt

  • Where do you do your work? Do you have a quilting room?

I sew in one of our bedrooms, which is my studio.

  • Do you use a sewing machine, long arm quilter or do you quilt by hand?

I have a Bernina sewing machine, however I have hand quilted a few. I also used to work for Carol Singer using her long arm to quilt customer quilts.

  • How much time do you quilt during an average week?

Usually not enough, but it really depends on what I am working on and how focused I am on that project.

  • Do you name your quilts or label them?

Absolutely! Every quilt I make gets a name and a label. I often decide what to name it during the construction process.

  • Have you ever taught someone to quilt?

I taught my youngest daughter how to quilt. For her senior project in high school, she wanted to learn how make a quilt, and have it be good enough to be juried into a national show. That was quite a task for a beginner. I taught her how to use my machine, then the basics and a few techniques. Her quilt included piecing, appliqué, couching, embellishments, and thread painting. In 2005, her quilt won Best Amateur entry at the PNQE show.

  • What do you consider your greatest quilting related achievement?

My greatest quilting achievement I would say was having one of my quilts juried into the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

  • How do you choose your colors? What are your favorites?

My favorite colors are brights, reds and yellows, although most colors get to audition for a project.

  • Where do you buy your fabrics and materials?

I tend to buy most of my fabric online, although I do love quilt shops.

  • What quilt(s) are you working on now?

I am currently working on my Love Pigs, it’s a mix of Amy Butlers Love fabric with this adorable pig fabric I found on Etsy. It just needs the outer border, and then it can be quilted. Also I just completed my design for the Project Modern: Challenge 1 and I have a few gifts in the works.

  • What are your quilting related goals?

One of my goals is to complete a bed quilt for each of my children, one made especially for each of them, like my grandmother did for all of her grandchildren.

  • What other crafts do you indulge in or hope to learn?

I am the “Mom I need a Halloween Costume by Friday” quicker sewer upper. It’s amazing what can be sewn in a short amount of time, project runway here I come! I also used to be a counted cross stitch-aholic.

  • What is your most treasured possession?

My Family.

  • What is your motto?

Not so much a motto, but a statement I often think about during the process and that is “Color gets all the credit, where Value does all the work”. I try to make sure there is always a range of values in my quilts.

Thanks to Marlene for taking the time to be interviewed! It’s always great to meet another friendly face from the guild.

Also, this will be my last spotlight but don’t worry! Allison Bailley will be continuing the fun on her own schedule, so keep your eyes peeled for the next interview. Thanks for the opportunity and for all the encouragement along the way!

Happy Autumn! ~Nicole Bruno

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spotlight on... SUJATA!

Hello folks! Hope you enjoyed all the fabric and quilt store bios and now we're back with member spotlights. Read on to learn more about Sujata.

Tell me a bit about yourself :
My name is Sujata Shah. Originally from India, I moved to the U.S in 1986 after finishing my degree in graphic design. I am mother of two young men and a teenage daughter, a quilt designer and teacher. I currently live in a suburb of Philadelphia with my loving husband and daughter.
Growing up as a little girl, I was not very fond of sewing. I recall watching my mother sew her blouses, dresses for my sisters and I and all the utilitarian things like bags and pillow cases. She was good at sewing things without a pattern. I remember helping her all the time but I was sure I was never going to do the things she did!
I was so wrong!

What do you do (employment or for fun)?

I started working at a local quilt shop in 2002. I taught classes based on Kaffe Fassett quilts and fabrics and workshops inspired by quilts of Gee’s Bend, needle turn appliqué and ran block of the month appliqué club based on my original designs.
Currently, I teach classes at Spool in Philadelphia and Quilter’s Corner in Chadds Ford. My blog is The Root Connection where I share my current work in progress and things that inspire me.
I also design quilt patterns for my company, ‘Rangoli Designs’. The very first pattern I designed was also an award winning quilt in 2004 at APNQ ,

How did you get started quilting?
In early 90’s we lived in California. In 1992, I took a class at a local store and learned all the techniques of basic quilting. It was my first experience of being able to create patterns with fabrics. Later that year, I started making soft sculptured dolls to sell at local craft stores. I also made dry and silk floral arrangements to sell during those years.
I took a long break from quilting and crafting while raising two young boys. In 1996 we moved to Seattle. After moving, I made good use of those leftover fabrics from dolls and made my second quilt.
That quilt got attention of a friend who was part of a neighborhood quilting group. She invited to join the group and I was hooked!

What do you like best about quilting?
In my opinion, the best thing about quilting is that it is always evolving. I see this art full of possibilities with timeless beauty. It does not matter if the quilt is traditional or contemporary; it warms the hearts of friends and family, young and old alike. Like any other art form, it is a medium that lets you express your true emotions with color style and patterns. I can remember all different phases of my life when I see each of the quilts I have made as if the memories have been preserved one stitch at a time. It is also a documentation of my being. I have evolved as a person and a designer and my quilts are here to tell my story!

What is the hardest thing about quilting?
The hardest thing about quilting is having too many ideas in my mind and not having enough time to implement them all.

How do you decide what pattern to make?
Since I like making my own patterns, I have rarely started a quilt with a pattern and if I did, I always change it to my liking. I enjoy experimenting with patterns and colors. I honestly think that none of my quilts match the interior of my house. When I start working on a quilt, it usually begins from a memory of a place or colors of the season. I enjoy working on scrap quilts as they provide endless possibilities. I like using up bits and pieces of fabrics from my stash to create unusual combinations of textures and colors.

Where do you do your work? Do you have a quilting room?

I have an extra large room in my basement that is devoted to my quilting and designing. I have installed two design walls and there is always a project or two in works at the same time.

Do you use a sewing machine, long arm quilter or do you quilt by hand?

I have a viking mega quilter which I use for sewing and machine quilting. I can see myself really getting into various quilting designs if I ever got into longarm quilting. I enjoy hand quilting and taking my time as I stitch those stitches away. Maybe that’s why I have many quilt tops still needing my attention!

Do you name your quilts or label them?

I would love to get into habit of labeling the quilts. I have always named my quilts because they are usually inspired by some memory or an event.

How do you choose your colors? What are your favorites?

I have never excluded a color from my stash but I would say that purple is my list favorite of all. I think green would be my favorite color. I like using high contrast in colors, textures and scale of the print.

What quilt(s) are you working on now?

Lately I have found myself drawn to improvisational quilts. The whole idea of designing as you go excites me more than result oriented project. You can read more about the process here

I am inspired by the quilts of Gee’s Bend and quilts made by Anna Williams. Indian Ralli quilts are my other source of inspirations. I want my quilts to tell a personal story.

What other crafts do you indulge in or hope to learn?

Along with quilting I truly enjoy gardening, yoga and taking long. I would love to try mosaic some day and paint furniture. After finishing graphic design, I have not picked up a paint brush in my hands. It would be nice to go back to painting too!

What are your quilting related goals?

As far as my quilting related goals, I would very much like to publish my appliqué patterns some day.

I would also like to teach more classes in the area shops. I enjoy spending time with other quilters who inspire me with their love and devotion to the art of quilting. I hope to do the same for beginning and experienced quilters. Oh yes, and to quilt those 40+ quilt tops that are sitting in the closet!

What is your most treasured possession?

My most treasured possessions are my hands and my eyes! We all know I can’t get anything done without them!

What is your motto?

My motto is to keep it interesting. Surprises are good and variety is the spice of life!

Thanks Sujata, for taking the time to answer all my questions and to send me your photos. The photos are spectacular! The spotlight will be back in two weeks - see you then!

Happy Autumn! ~Nicole Bruno

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Introducing Susan of the Village Quilter!

Even though we're called the Philly Modern Quilt Guild, we all know that most of the time NJ is included in the Philly area. And that's a great thing for all of you quilters located in New Jersey, because this week's shop is in your neck of the woods! Read on to learn more about The Village Quilter.

Tell me a bit about your shop:
The Village Quilter
10 Charles Street
Mt. Holly, New Jersey 08060

When did your shop first open its doors?
March 7, 2002

What made you decide to start the shop?
After careers in insurance sales & the window treatment industry, I was given the opportunity to start a new quilt shop in the quaint Mill Race Village ( section of Mt. Holly. My parents would have said, retail was my destiny. At the age of 8 I set up a card table in my front yard & sold potholders to all the neighbors.

Does your shop offer classes? If so, what types?
We have a full range of classes that change quarterly. From beginners classes in Machine Piecing Machine Quilting, Hand Appliqué, & Paper Piecing. Moving on to more intermediate classes in quilting, clothing & purses. Our clubs have also been very successful. We recently have added Jo Morton’s Little Women Club and Terry Atkinson’s Groovy Girls Club that have 3 full sections!
We also have a nice variety of Block of the Month Programs. These programs allow customers to pace themselves financially & time wise in completing a large quilt over a longer period of time.

Do you have sewing machines in the shop? Long arm quilters?
We have 3 local long arm quilters available to our customers. Two work at the shop part time & all 3 ladies are on call to meet customers at the shop 7 days a week.
We also have 2 Bernina’s in the classroom for use during class or club times.

Is there any particular supply you’re partial to?
Even though we are a small shop, we are very eclectic in our fabric offerings. Marcus Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Westminster, Blue Hill, MODA, Free Spirit and Andover seem to be our staples.

What’s unique about your shop compared to others out there?
Our location! Just 2 miles off Exit 5 of the New Jersey Turnpike & nestled in the heart of Mill Race Village with plenty of parking! Mill Race Village is an eclectic group of shops anchored by one great restaurant The Robin’s Nest. The shop has become a destination quilt shop. Our customers often combine a trip to the shop to pick up one of their Blocks of the Months with lunch at The Robin’s Nest.

What’s your vision for the shop in the next 2+ years?
Another expansion! Plans are moving forward for a 1000 ft addition in the spring 2011.

Anything else you’d like to mention regarding the shop?
I am blessed with an awesome staff & a very talented group of teachers!

Now for questions a bit more personal:
Tell me a bit about you:
My name is Susan and I grew up in Wayne, PA & now live in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. I am married & have 2 fabulous children. Kate (23) a recent graduate from Penn State and Dan (21) a senior at University of Delaware. We recently adopted 2 puppies, Mia & Bella, sisters from Mississippi at the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees NJ. I am a member of Moorestown Area Quilters and Philly Modern Quilt Guild

Do you sew or quilt?
Both, but finding the time is a struggle!

How did you get started sewing/quilting?
I started sewing when I was 8. A babysitter taught me to make clothes for my Barbie. I started quilting in 1986 under the tutelage of Jessie MacDonald.

What do you like best about quilting?
The people! My customers, my staff, and my fabric reps. I have made such wonderful relationships with so many great people in this industry in all parts of the world.

What is the hardest thing about quilting?
Just like our customers……finishing all the projects we start!

Do you name your projects or label them?
I try and label everything I give as a gift.

What other crafts do you indulge in or hope to learn?
I love to cook & play in my garden. I hope to sit still enough someday to learn how to knit!

What is your motto?

Every calling is great when greatly pursued.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my questions, Susan! Best of luck with the shop and congrats on the planned expansion!!

Also, this concludes our shop spotlights! Hope you all enjoyed learning about the women behind the shops and maybe found a new one close to you. I'll be back to doing member interviews on the next round. See you then!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Project Pure... more photos!

Project Pure was a great success!!  Here are detail photos of members and their projects!

If a member has a blog or has been featured in one of our "spotlights" I've given you the links.

Nancy E.

Lesley E.

Kathy B.

Anna Z.

Cindy G.

Cindy C.

Allison B.

Larissa R.

Wendy D.

Laura H.

Janet P.