modern quilt guild

Baby’s First Quilts

When I first moved out to Los Angeles, I posted an inquiry on the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild (LAMQG) website looking for some girls who were interested in getting together on a weekly basis to sew. Liberty and Jenny responded quickly and it turns out they both live within a couple of miles of my house (how rare in Los Angeles)!

Very quickly these girls became close girlfriends, especially as they helped me grieve through my second miscarriage and then my diagnosis of lupus. I cannot tell you how therapeutic good friendship and sewing is for the soul!

Over this past year our lives have all gotten a bit busier (and during my periods of intense morning/evening sickness I wasn’t able to sew much), so our get togethers have been more sporadic. But our lives have been connected and hopefully we will get together a little more frequently in the future. ūüôā

My friend Liberty made our baby girl this beautiful quilt.

SMTD- LAMQGI would point you to her blog, but she just decided that her blogging phase is over for now, so, you’ll just have to believe me that she is an incredibly talented, wonderful woman. She tends towards improvisation which is inspiring to me since I tend to follow patterns and specifics.

SMTD- LAMQGThe star is made from large half square triangles. There is a tutorial for a similar quilt top by In Color Order: Giant Vintage Start Quilt Tutorial. Liberty used only 2 fabrics/colors in this quilt rather than 8 different colors.

DSC02573Jenny made me this fantastic quilt. I am in love with the fabric. Especially the print peeking out from the back. She machine quilted it and also added yarn ties for texture, which I love. Jenny has an amazing eye for anything vintage. She recently renovated her sewing space which makes me incredibly jealous– you can check out her before and after pictures on instagram.

Our girl is already so blessed!

– erica


Nine thousand, seven hundred and twenty six

9,726: the number of visits I have had on my blog in one year. I have nothing to compare this to since¬†this is my only blog and it’s my first year. But it kind of sounds like a lot of views. And it’s really close to 10,000.

Last year, today, I posted my first blog post. I can’t tell you how many times I reread that post wondering if it was okay. Now, I just kind of write.

I can’t believe how many things have happened in the past year:

  • Sewed many baby quilts, bags, pouches… and bought a little bit of fabric…
  • Joined the Boston Modern Quilt Guild
  • Took sewing classes at Laura’s Sewing School
  • Bought a kitty, who is part bengal
  • Left my job in Cambridge, MA
  • Started working in Los Angeles, CA
  • Moved across country due to above job change
  • Went to Sewing Summit 2011
  • Had¬†two miscarriages
  • Had my¬†one year anniversary (can I just say: best husband ever)
  • Started a sewing group at my house in LA
  • Diagnosed with Lupus
  • Became vegan

And I’m still kickin’ it! Seriously, how many changes can you have in one year?

Thanks for following along, I’m excited for year number two!

– erica

Sewing Group

When I lived in Boston I went to a sewing class every Monday night at Laura’s Sewing School. There were never any particular projects going on. Laura is a super talented sewer and so each person would bring whatever they were working on and Laura would help you with all the parts you needed help/advice/direction :). These were small classes with only about 4 women. This dedicated time to sewing every week was so satisfying. It meant you actually got some sewing done each week and also had the chance to spend time with other women.

I have looked high and low for a similar thing here in LA and I can’t find anything. Most places offer classes for particular projects. But I’m not like that. I don’t want to go sew an “apron”. I want to work on whatever my mind feels like working on. (Laura…. I think there’s a market for you here, move PLEASE!).

So, I’ve started thinking I want to start my own sewing group. We have a large dining room with a huge table (which we don’t use) that we could sew on. I’m looking to find 3-4 other girls that are interested in meeting weekly to sew for 3 hours. I’m not really sure how to go about doing that. I have some friends here that that say they are interested in sewing but most are really busy and I want to find some girls that would be committed to a weekly get-together.

How do I find these other women? First of all, if you’re reading this and you live in the Los Angeles area and would be interested, please contact me. Otherwise, I’m thinking about maybe reaching out to the Los Angeles Modern Quilt guild (but I haven’t gone to any meetings yet, doh!) or Meet-Up (although I’m afraid that will open it up too broadly). Any other suggestions?

I’m thinking: Monday nights, 7-10PM. My place in LA. Bring your own machine and any project you are working on. 3 hours of dedicated sewing time and good company.



The Boston Modern Quilt Guild was asked to participate in Jay McCarroll’s Habitat challenge. We were each given a fat eighth of the fabrics in the BRIGHTS colorway.

However, one of the prints was not from the BRIGHTS colorway, but (accidentally?)  from the EARTH colorway.  And, as much as I tried, I could not bring myself to mix it in.

I also could not bring myself to add this print in, although looking at my finished quilt, I actually think it would have looked OK.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do for this quilt. As I haven’t been quilting for very long, I am trying to do something unique with each quilt to help me learn a new technique. I had a vision of doing something with curves. I drew a sketch on a manilla envelope and then Jake whipped out a really nice drawing in Adobe Illustrator.

¬†I was initially going to try to make the curves with finished seams, but then decided it just seemed too hard. Since then I have seen some tutorials of people doing designs similar to what I had envisioned (check out Amy’s tutorial from Stichery Dickory Dock).

I decided to cut a bazillion curved pieces of fabric from kona snow with a template. This was a perfect project to do while watching Dexter (we watched multiple seasons in a few weeks…).

¬†I sewed together the fabric squares with some kona solids mixed in (we were only allowed to add solids). ¬†I used pomegranate, carnation, buttercup, peridot, aqua and black.¬† It actually looked so nice and simple that I almost stopped there. But then I decided that this was a challenge quilt so it would be better to do my original design. And I’m glad I did.

¬†The “template” pieces give the quilt an entirely different look.

I laid the template pieces on top of the squares and then did a snake-like stitch from one end to the other. It made a beautiful pattern on the back of the quilt.

 The night before the quilt was due, I had not yet finished sewing all the pieces on. Taz came over and was working on her challenge quilt and it was so nice to have company!

I finished the outside edges with a serger and then changed my mind multiple times on how I wanted to do the edging/binding. I felt like a traditional binding would look strange with all the curves so I wanted to wrap the template pieces around the edge. But when I wrapped them, they didn’t overlap anymore so you could see the serged seam. So, I cut larger pieces out of kona snow and sewed those on so they overlapped, but that looked strange, so I ripped all of those out (this is where I always hear Laura saying “If you’re going to sew you’ve got to be willing to rip…”), and put the original pieces back on.

¬†If I had been forward planning I would have turned right sides together on the ends to have a closed seam, but I couldn’t change it once all the pieces had been sewn on (this is hard to explain…). Or, if I had used a matching thread color it wouldn’t have been as noticeable.

Taz gave me the idea to fringe the edges of the pieces, and I love how that turned out. I was racing against the clock to get to our quilt guild meeting and Jake helped me fringe all the edges (*best husband EVER*).

 It turned out baby quilt size. I like it, but am not sure exactly what to do with it. Kitty quilt?



Habitat Quilt Challenge

The Boston Modern Quilt guild was asked to participate in the Habitat challenge.

Our rules are: (1) you can’t add any more of the prints and (2) you can’t add any other prints.

I got the fabrics and there were a few that I just didn’t like (which was probably because they sent us a few from a different line). So, I have decided to only use 6 of the prints. I am adding 6 different solids.

My original vision was to do a sort of modified cathedral window. For this I made a template (which Tabacon stole multiple times) and cut 144 cream “oval”ish shapes.


Now that I cut out the prints and the solids I’m not sure I like the idea of adding cream into the quilt. I guess I’ll start by sewing these blocks together and then lying out the cream pieces on top to see what it will look like. Sometimes you just don’t know what you like until you’ve already invested a little “love” into the project.