February 2017 – Meeting Recap & Special Announcements

February 22, 2017
This month was our “Member’s Mini Trunk Show”.  
Members who participated included Amy Struckmeyer, Eileen O’Regan, Erika Mulvenna, and Robbi Eklow.  Each member is extremely talented and so very gracious in sharing their journey and quilts with us.  They were also extremely generous in answering our questions about their techniques that they use.  We are very pleased to have such talent in our guild.
Thank you to member Holly Harper for organizing this event.  It’s always a guild favorite.

Please see the Guild’s Instagram account {here} for all of the images of this year’s Member Trunk Show!
Amy Struckmeyer

How long have you been quilting?
Sometime in 2008, during my lunch breaks while I was still working as an Architect I designed my first “quilt” (a simple table runner) in AutoCAD. Although I could sew, I really knew nothing about making a quilt and it took me another four years to finish it!  Soon after, I joined the CMQG in April 2013 and made my second quilt in 2014 completing most of it at our Spring retreat.  It was a relief to know I could finish a little faster!
For you, what is the hardest part of quilting?
Lately, I’ve had a hard time just getting started.  Sometimes it’s deciding on a concept I’m passionate about.  But mostly I have just found it difficult to make the time to quilt a priority.  Oddly enough I believe the two are related and that if I would just sit down and sew something it will spur more ideas.  So I’m working on how to get beyond that. Also, I know many people find the repetition of piecing meditative and enjoyable, but I don’t relish sewing the same thing again and again so I generally avoid quilts with repeating blocks.  And that’s why it might take me years to finish the January block quilt I’m making for my husband.
What is your favorite part of making a quilt?
I love the whole process!  Once I have an idea I’m happy with I enjoy choosing a color scheme and selecting fabrics.  I like doing the mental work of fine tuning the pattern or plan for the quilt.  Then I delight in seeing the blocks or different parts of the quilt come together.  I’d say the actually quilting is maybe my least favorite part (I’m always a little scared that I’ll ruin it after all the work I put in!), but then it kind of blows my mind to see how the quilting can add so much more depth and dimension.  And finally, I find it really relaxing and enjoyable to sew the binding on by hand.
How would you describe your style?
Geometric, colorful, asymmetrical, evolving.
For you, what is the most important quilt you’ve ever made?
Without a doubt my Deconstructed Lonestar quilt.  This is the quilt I learned the most from and it gave me a great deal of confidence as a quilter and designer.
You can find Amy on social media at:
Instagram:  @formwork  https://www.instagram.com/formwork/
Blog:  Form*Work   www.formworkdesign.blogspot.com

Eileen O’Regan                                                                                                                      

How long have you been quilting?
I have been making things since I was about 5 when my mom taught me how to knit.  Since then, I’ve dabbled in all kinds of artistic outlets.  I made my first quilt block when I was about 10 after watching a show about log cabin blocks on PBS.  I used to love watching those makey shows like Bob Ross, Julia Child and This Old House.  So, I went upstairs and raided my Mom’s fabric and made one block.  And I think that was all I quilted for 8-10 years.  My first real quilt was for a friend’s baby and I made it with drapery fabric!  While I know it was pretty I don’t know how long it lasted since I tied the corners at 6” apart and I used that super fluffy acrylic batting.  I started quilting in earnest after I joined the MQG.  I had been looking for creative people to share with and quilting gave me permission to buy lots of happy fabric and supplies.
For you, what is the hardest part of quilting?
The hardest part is starting.  In the past I have used quilting as a reward after getting “just one more tedious thing” accomplished.  And as a result, I often shortchange myself on creative time.  Going forward, I am working on doing things that I enjoy more often.  And I’m working on letting go of “Art as a reward”.
What is your favorite part of making a quilt?
I love to play with fabric until I come up with ideas.  I like combining colors and visual textures to create a pleasing outcome.  Fabric in general makes me happy.  And finally figuring out what I want it to communicate in a design lets me open up and get the job done.
How would you describe your style?
I choose projects that make me happy and I mostly design quilts that serve a functional purpose.  I express my affection for someone by making them something.  And I definitely have preferential color palates!  What I really struggle with and want to explore is pushing myself to make objects that are not just functional, but are a truer expression of an idea that needs to be expressed.
For you, what is the most important quilt you’ve ever made?
Although I have contributed to many quilts for friends that have been meaningful, I think working on the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative quilt started me on a path of quilting as expression.  I made a mini quilt that described my take on how Alzheimer’s and brain injury can rob you of the color in life.  Leaving you with the framework of who you had been, but fading to monochromatic and grey.  This project quilt also led me to volunteering for AAQI and a fantastic partnership and fabulous friend.
You can find Eileen on Instagram @coldcoffeestudio  https://www.instagram.com/coldcoffeestudio/
Erika Mulvenna                                                             

How long have you been quilting?
My mom taught me to sew when I was about 10 and I made my first quilt in college.  That first try was a disaster! The quilt was a small size and featured a giant lizard in the middle with 3D scales.  My Fiber Arts Professor loved it, but to me it was a total fail.  I gifted it to some friends who liked it.  They later had a son who loved the “lizard quilt” until it was threadbare!  It would be years until I tried quilting again.  I gave it another go in about 2009.  Shortly after that I joined the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and have been steadily making a few quilts each year.
For you, what is the hardest part of quilting?
At first the hardest part was trying to get a handle on all the different techniques and tricks to piecing and quilting.  I spent the last few years trying out as many different techniques as I could.  Now that I know what works the best for me I can concentrate more on making the quilts that I want to.  Currently the hardest part is having lots of ideas about making quilts and precious little time to actually sew.
What is your favorite part of making a quilt?
I like being challenged when making a quilt.  To start with an original idea and try to figure out how to make it happen is probably what I like the best.  Sometimes I know exactly how I’m going to make a quilt from beginning to end and sometimes I have to try several ideas before I can figure out how to get it finished.  I love working with fabric and I love sewing.  So all parts of the process are my favorites!
How would you describe your style?
I love bright, bold colors and combining colors in unexpected ways.  I’m also a color theory enthusiast; reading, studying and blogging about color theory since 2014.  Its obvious color theory has had an impact on my work.  I don’t limit myself in material that I use.  I’ve quilted with solids, prints, new fabrics and old, cottons and blends, silks, wools, overdyed and hand dyed fabrics.  My overall style is still evolving and changing.  While it’s hard for me to name a style that fits all of my quilts I do think when you see one of my quilts you can definitely tell that it was made by me.
For you, what is the most important quilt you’ve ever made?
All the quilts I’ve made are important because each one represents a new challenge and learning experience.  I am very proud of a few quilts even though they each have a few issues I can see.  There’s always room for improvement.  There have also been a few quilts I finished that I really dislike and think of as failures, but even these taught me important lessons learned in design choices or construction.
Anything else you want to share?
As much as I’ve learned about quilting these past few years I still feel like I have a lot to learn.  To me continuing to feel challenged by quilting is what keeps me going.
You can find Erika on social media at:
Instagram:  @erika.mulvenna  https://www.instagram.com/erika.mulvenna/
Blog:  Miss Sews-it-all  http://sewsitall.blogspot.com/
Robbi Eklow

How long have you been quilting?
I got interested in 1976 during the bicentennial.  I decided it would be a good idea to cut out a drunkard’s path with electric scissors.
For you, what is the hardest part of quilting?
Squaring or rectangling a quilt at the end.
What is your favorite part of making a quilt?
Free motion quilting.
How would you describe your style?
Contemporary, but sort of arty.  But not really arty because I’m not trying to say anything.  But art because they are meant to go on walls not a bed.
For you, what is the most important quilt you’ve ever made?
Kenophobia took several years and won a Best Wall Quilt award at the AQS show in Daytona, so I’d say that one.
Anything else you want to share?
I discovered I don’t actually like to sew that much. I like to quilt, but not to piece.
You can find Robbi on social media at:
Instagram:  @robbieklow  https://www.instagram.com/robbieklow/
Blog:  The Goddess of the Last Minute  http://www.robbieklow.com/
The guild’s banner is DONE and it looks BEAUTIFUL!!!!  This project started over 2 years ago when members were asked to make 6” blocks in colors that matched the CMQG logo.  Members were given the freedom to make whatever block(s) they wanted.  Some members even signed their blocks.  The quilting was done my Nikki Maroon of The Girl Who Quilts http://www.thegirlwhoquilts.com/ and she did such an AMAZING job!!!  Also a BIG THANK YOU to Laura McDowell Hopper and her husband for taking these professional photos.

We then ended the meeting with some Show and Tell.   Refer to our guilds Instagram account (@chicagomqg or click on the Instagram logo at the top of this page) to see some amazing quilts made by our members.
  • Our next meeting will be Sunday, March 19th and the topic is “Simply Solids: A Comparative Analysis of Solids Manufacturers”.  More info to come.
  • Membership Chairperson Sally Prokopec announced we currently have 79 members.  If you would like to renew your membership or if you would like to join please click the link “Become a Member’ located in the right side bar.  Dues are $55 (same as 2016).  Sally said she will have MQG membership cards and pins (for new members only) at the March meeting.
  • The Pick Museum of Anthropology at Northern Illinois University is hosting a quilt exhibit titled “Quilts and Human Rights” from September 5th – December 8th.  In order for them to host this exhibit the museum is seeking individuals or organizations to sponsor a quilt.  Our guild will be sponsoring a quilt titled “Survivor” which was made by local artist and guild member Jennifer Benoit-Bryan.  If you would like more info on this exhibit and / or sponsor a quilt click here .
  • As a member you can support the guild financially throughout the year in a couple of ways:
    • Shop the CMQG Swag Shop.  To purchase CMQG logo products click the “Shop the CMQG Swag Store” button located in the right side bar.  A percentage of each sale goes directly to the guild and helps to fund charity projects, programming and more. 
    • Shop Amazon Smile and support Chicago MQG.  Amazon makes a small donation to the Guild based on a percentage of your total purchase price at no cost to you.  Click the Amazon Smiles button located in the right side bar.
  • The current Board of Directors are proposing some changes to our guild’s current bylaws.  These bylaws shall be adopted by the guild upon a vote by the attending members at the March 19th meeting, with a two-thirds majority.  It’s important that ALL members read the new bylaws whether you plan on attending this meeting or not.  To obtain a copy click here  If you have any questions or concerns please contact Vice President Amy Struckmeyer at chicagomodernqg@gmail.com.  
  • At the March 19th meeting we will be voting on the new Board of Directors for the 2017 / 2018 year. The new board will take effect in April.  Candidates include:
             Amy Struckmeyer -President (moving from Vice President)
             Heather Kinion – Vice-President (moving from Special Events)
             Dianne Bienick –Secretary (remaining in current position)
             Dani Miller –Treasurer (remaining in current position)
             Laura Hartrich -Program Committee Chair (remaining in current position)
             Laura McDowell-Hopper -Program – Special Events Chair (candidate)
             Jenni Grover Prokopy – Social Media and Communications Officer (candidate)
             Rebecca Cynamom-Murphy -Membership Chair (candidate)
             Sarah Evans – past President, and honorary, non-voting member of the board
            Erin Davis, Sarah Evans, and Sally Prokopec are retiring from the board this year.  They will be greatly missed!   A BIG THANK YOU  to each of you for all your wonderful work and dedication to the guild.
  • Our next retreat is April 28 – April 30 with an optional day on Monday, May1st.  Retreat prices will be the same as the Fall 2016 Retreat.  Registration is now open and the lottery will be held at the March 19th meeting.  To register click here 
  • The talented Jacquie Gering will be visiting the guild for a workshop and lecture / trunk show in June 2017.  To learn more about Jacquie click here .  More info regarding the workshop including registration will be available soon.
  • Our Special Events Chairperson Heather Kinion is looking for locations to host guild workshops.  She is looking for a space that can accommodate 24 people with ample electrical outlets for their sewing machines and to set-up several ironing stations throughout the room.  Must also be reasonably priced.  If you know of any place in your area or if you have any questions please contact Heather at chicagomodernqg@gmail.com.
  • Charity Update:
    • Member Sarah Shulman is leading an effort to make a quilt(s) for a local Veteran(s) thru the Road Home Program.  For more information on how you can contribute click here  
    • To quickly find information regarding our current charity endeavors click the “Charity Projects” button in the right sidebar. For information on future meetings click here 
– written by Dianne B.
– edited/posted by Erin D.
All meetings are 2-5 pm on the third Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted.

Next month’s meeting is on March 19, 2017

Meeting location:

Rush Oak Park Hospital 
Centennial Room 
520 S. Maple Ave Oak Park, Il 60304 

A list of our meeting schedules can be found on {this} page.

Not a member, but would like to be? Click the button below to join our Guild!

 We hope to see you there!

Become a new Chicago Modern Quilt Guild member

Photo: Triangles quilt by Erika Mulvenna