Modern Quilt Guild Member Spotlight: Dani Miller

Meet Dani Miller, a member of the MQG and Treasurer and Communications Coordinator for Roanoke MQG. Like most of us she fell into quilting hard and fast! Learn about her below and check out that fantastic sewing space! (I totally covet her industrial Juki).

Dani

When did you become a MQG member? Do you belong to a guild or are you an individual member?

I originally started as a member of the now defunct SWVA MQG in 2011. The group morphed into the Roanoke MQG in 2012 and I have been a member ever since! I am the Treasurer and Communications Coordinator for our guild.

When did you first find modern quilting?

I would say I was interested in modern quilting pretty much from the time I started quilting, I just didn’t really know it. I took a Learn-to-Quilt class in January 2009, and while everyone was making quilts with traditional fabrics in soft colours, I picked out a graphic collection of black, white and red. That quilt is still one of my favourites and hangs in my studio!

Studio3

What is your favorite part of the quilt making process?

A bit contrary to most people, I think cutting out the pieces for a quilt is actually my favourite part, along with hand binding. Cutting always seems like quick progress to me, and then the hand binding is that “slow down and enjoy the end of the project” part.

PinkHeartQuilt

Pink Heart Quilt (for more details click on the photo)

How do you educate yourself on new techniques?

I learn the majority of my new techniques online, through blogs or websites. But a close second to that is my guild – we teach a new technique or skill at most of our meetings. While some things I may have already been familiar with, I inevitably learn a new or better way to do it.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am a big blog reader, so a lot of my inspiration comes to me in that form. I also have a lot of quilt and sewing books that I often flip through for general inspiration. Anything with bold colours, especially rainbow styles, just makes me want to sew!

AnimalQuilt

Animal Quilt (for more details click on the photo)

What is your most used and favorite quilting tool?

Other than the obvious rotary cutter, ruler and mat, I would say my favourite quilting tool would be my old Singer 15-91 that my sweet friend Lindsay gave me for my birthday. She (her name is Agnes) is so wonderful to piece with, and she makes me slow down a bit and enjoy the process. I sew all day long on my industrial, so when it comes time to do some quilting I need to force myself to slow down a bit.

Studio4

What is the funniest mistake you’ve made while sewing?

The most bizarre thing I ever did while sewing was to sew my kitchen tablecloth into a quilt. I kid you not. Years ago, for whatever reason, I had my machine on the kitchen table, rushing to finish a gift quilt. I think I was doing the quilting, and my husband said to me, “Shouldn’t you take the table cloth off the table first?” I do believe I gave him the look, and he walked away with a shrug. It was about 30 seconds after that that I wondered why the quilt seemed to be getting bound up as I quilted away. Yeah. That would be because I had completely sewed the edge of the table cloth to the bottom of the quilt. That was an interesting one to pick out.

Show us your sewing space!

I have included lots of pictures of my space! I run a small business called KSC Designs, so I spend all day every day in my studio. This was an unfinished room when we moved into this house, and my husband, his dad and I did all of the work to get it where it is today. I love my huge cutting table (made from Ikea kitchen islands) and dedicated spots for all of my machines.

Studio2

Studio5

Studio1

Studio

What sewing machine do you sew on?

I have 5 different sewing machines: Penny, my industrial Juki, does the lion’s share of the sewing in this space. She runs day in, day out, hours at a time. Sebastian, my industrial serger, is my newest addition. Agnes as I mentioned is my 1950’s Singer that I use for piecing. I just finished fixing up a 1937 featherweight that I bought – he or she is yet to be named! And I also have my home Singer that started it all, although it is mostly used for sewing labels on my products now.

Sebastian

Penny

If you could take a class from anyone in the quilting world who 
would it be?

I think if I could take a class from anyone it would probably be Anna Maria Horner. I would love to learn more about the fabric design process!

DWR

Double wedding ring (for more details click on the photo)

Stay up to date on what Dani is working on!

Website: knitty34 on Etsy

Blog: DaniMiller

Instagram: knitty34

Facebook: KSC Designs

Twitter: knitty34

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MQG Member Spotlight: Christine Slaughter

Meet Christine, another one of our MQG Community Moderators. Like most of us, Christine found quilting and ran with it! Her stash is already hefty and totally organized.

CS

When did you become a MQG member? Do you belong to a guild or are you an individual member?

I became a member as soon as it was available to Individual members. My nearest MQG is about two and a half hours away, so I was thrilled when I read that an Individual membership option was going to become available!

When did you first find modern quilting?

I have only been quilting for about a year and a half. The first time I really noticed that there was a modern quilting movement was when Alyssa Lichner of Pile O’ Fabric and Emily Cier of Carolina Patchworks had The Totally Groovy Quilt Along in July of 2012. I was really intrigued by the quilt, but too new to the craft and too intimidated with curved piecing to participate.
CS Quilt

What is your favorite part of the quilt making process?

Piecing! I love it! Especially now that I’ve gotten down that scant 1/4” seam that eluded every block of mine for the first 6 months of sewing.
After laying out all the Broken Herringbone blocks  yesterday, Mister decided he didn't want the green or yellow blocks. After some internal pouting, I put on my big girl panties and started cutting strips of blue, teal, red-violet, and purple to replace

How do you educate yourself on new techniques?

We have a saying at our house that is used often (particularly with the kids): “Google is your friend”. I use the internet to research everything! Pretty much every hobby I have ever learned, I learned online. For quilting in particular, I read blogs, watch videos, google tutorials, scour Pinterest, whatever it takes! I have also taken a few Craftsy classes. There is such a huge community out there willing to help and encourage, and always with a friendly attitude. Currently, I am participating in Pile O’Fabric’s Skill Builder BOM, specifically to challenge myself with new techniques. I have learned A LOT this year!

Skill Builder BOM - Em Dash Quilted

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration comes from all the bloggers I read. I always see such creative and beautiful projects, and sometimes they are accompanied with tips/tricks to help motivate me to start on a new project. Usually before finishing the current project, I might add…
July 3rd sewing: "Shattered Chevron"

What is your most used and favorite quilting tool?

Most used? I think it’s a tie between my Olfa rotary cutter and Gingher thread snips. I’m always reaching for one of the two! Favorite tool? My FriXion pen. Before I bought that, I always had the hardest time marking my fabric.
I mentioned to Mister.yesterday that a couple of hooks on the ruler rack he made me would be awesome. That way I could hang my cutter and nippers. Today he adds this. So now I have all my cutting tools available!  #heismrfixit #jackofalltrades #ilovemyhus

What is the funniest mistake you’ve made while sewing?

Hmmm… I’m not sure that I have had any I would call funny (at the time). I think the most exasperated sewing experience that made me chuckle later was when I carefully sewed a paper-pieced block. After assembling it, I realized that one of the corners that had a directional fabric was going in the wrong direction. Since I was trying really hard to get this particular block perfect, I ripped that corner off, printed out a new pattern, cut new fabric pieces out, and carefully sewed it back together. I took my picture of the re-completed block, posted it to Flickr, and then realized I had made the exact same mistake! At that point I said “forget it” (actually, it was a more choice word than that!), and left it be. I chuckle every time I see that block!

Show us your sewing space!

I’m SO glad I just completely reorganized my little sewing area! My husband and I had a motorhome garage and an extra two car deep garage built last year (a necessity in Arizona with the heat), and after that was finished we walled off the back of our first boat-deep garage to make a hobby room to share. My sewing area occupies the back corner, along with a daybed for my husband to snooze on when I’m sewing. He also just built a wall storage unit for my birthday, and we completely organized all of our supplies. He’s not into fancy-schmancy, so it’s all bare wood, fresh from the hardware store. Still, it’s a lot neater in there, and my need for organization has been fed with all-the-same-style type of storage boxes. I also just bought 300 comic book boards and wrapped all my fabric (FQ’s up to 1.5 yds) on them. I’d love a book case to store them on, but for now my big Sterilite storage drawer unit will have to do!
CS Studio 2

CS Studio 1

What sewing machine do you sew on?

I sew on a Brother PQ1500-S. I was shopping around for a different high-speed straight stitch machine earlier this year, and a sewing machine shop in Las Vegas recommended this machine and one other. This one was in my price range, and had everything I wanted! I started saving money for it, but my husband surprised me and bought it for an anniversary present this past May. The man knows the way to my heart, I tell ya! My other machine is a smaller Brother XL-3750 machine. Nothing fancy, but is able to do other stitches that my straight stitch machine can not do, should I need them.
CS Machine

If you could take a class from anyone in the quilting world who would it be?

Angela Walters… I just started learning to FMQ when I got my sewing machine, and I would love to learn from her! For now her books and Craftsy classes will have to do!

Thanks for taking the time to share yourself with us Christine! I know others will be inspired by you just as you are inspired by others.
Stay up to date with what Christine!

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MQG Member Spotlight: Erika Mulvenna

This is Erika, otherwise known as Miss Sews-it-all. Currently living in Chicago, she is one of our awesome individual member at the Modern Quilt Guild. Her talents are many as are her sewing machines! Read a little about Erika and what inspires her.

Erika Mulvenna

When did you become a MQG member? Do you belong to a guild or are you an individual member?

I joined the local MQG chapter a few years ago, the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. The group has not decided if they will continue as an official chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild or focus on modern quilting after this year, so I joined the MQG as an individual in order to stay connected.

Little Landscape

Little Landscape – a small quilt I just finished, inspired by a photo of the sunrise over Austin from my hotel room at QuiltCon earlier this year!

When did you first find modern quilting?

When I heard the term “quilting” it always used to bring to mind images of traditional patterns made with those dusty country colors, and I was never interested. But, when I was at home with a new baby a few years ago I had LOTS of time to sew, and started looking online for inspiration. I found all kinds of bloggers sharing quilts made with bright colors, geometric patterns, and awesome fabrics. The modern quilters that I saw online inspired me to give quilting a try, and that’s when I made my first ever modern quilt

What is your favorite part of the quilt making process?

I really love the whole process, from designing to finding the right fabrics, cutting, sewing, pressing, and I yes, I even love binding!

Patchwork Aprons

Patchwork Aprons – I’ve been playing with making orphan blocks into aprons

How do you educate yourself on new techniques?

I learn a lot from other people, I ask lots of questions of my fellow guild members and friends. I love being able to pick up a book and check out a technique, a pattern, or look at photos for inspiration. I am also a huge fan of finding sewing and quilting resources online, and read lots of sewing, quilting and crafting blogs regularly.

Where do you find inspiration? 

Sometimes I get inspired from seeing what others are making. Sometimes inspiration comes from the stuff I’ve collected and surround myself with; all kinds of books both old and new, vintage patterns, old and new fabrics, toys, and knick knacks (my husband thinks I’m a bit of a pack-rat!). I keep a scrap book filled with images I love along with interesting bits of paper, and I also keep a sketch book where I keep track of ideas or sketch out things I want to make.

Yellow Blue Quilt

Yellow Blue Quilt – improvisational quilt I made this year.

What is your most used and favorite quilting tool?

My favorite quilting tool of all time has to be the sewing machine! I have lots of sewing machines both old and new, and I love to sew on them all. I even have an old hand-crank, and stitching on a people-powered machine really makes you slow down and appreciate every stitch! It is pretty amazing how computer technology has merged with the sewing machine, producing machines that let you control every aspect of the stitch, and that even cuts the threads for you. No doubt about it, I have a serious love affair with the sewing machine!

Sunrise Quilt

Sunrise Quilt – the quilt I had accepted into the QuiltCon quilt show.

What is the funniest mistake you’ve made while sewing?

There are many! This is how I learn best, by making mistakes, by seeing how things don’t work and how they do. I’ve made just about every mistake possible when quilting, from sewing fabric wrong sides together to setting in a block the wrong way and even totally screwing up binding.  My seam ripper never gets lonely.

• Show us your sewing space!

Sewing Room 1

Our current home is just a temporary living space, so my basement sewing room is kind of a make-do situation. There are lots of columns, supports, doors and funky equipment (think giant furnace and water heater) to work around! I do love the cutting table, the pegboard for organizing tools, and that I’m able to have several machines set up for sewing at the same time. I sew on the desk or on the industrial machine, and I quilt on a kitchen table set up at one end of the room.

Sewing Room 4

Sewing Room 3

What sewing machine do you sew on?

As I mentioned, I have quite a few machines and love to piece on all of them. I do have a BERNINA B580 sewing machine which I have been doing all of my quilting with, both with the walking foot and free-motion quilting. I love it!

Sewing Room 2

If you could take a class from anyone in the quilting world who would it be?

I would definitely take an improv piecing class with Denyse Schmidt if I had the chance! I’d also love to take a class from LUKE Haynes, I’m really amazed by his portrait quilts.

Scrappy Quilt

Scrappy Quilt – the first “modern” quilt I ever made for my daughter. I was lucky enough to have this quilt featured on QUILTY TV for the “This Is My Quilt!” You can check it out right here : http://www.qnntv.com/videos/1110_qnn-qty-e304-px-v1-this-is-my-quilt-wspecial-guest-erika-mulvenna/.

Thank you so much Erika for taking the time to share a little about yourself! Want to content and learn more about Erika? Check out the links below!

Blog: http://sewsitall.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MissSewsItAll

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13849102@N03/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/605711-erika