Monday, July 17, 2017

July Member Interview: Taylor Darby

This month's interview was with Taylor Darby. Enjoy! 

            Hello, my name is Taylor and I have been sewing since my grandma taught me when I was eight years old. She taught me to crochet and knit as well. For most of my sewing career I have focused on making clothing and tailoring for my family and friends. Then six years ago I attempted starting a baby clothing company, but a year later I became a mother and things started to fall apart for the company. I drastically underestimated how much time a child would consume. When we decided to have a second child I completely gave up the idea of the baby clothing company and returned to sewing occasionally.
            On the glaringly bright side of things I have two daughters, Alanice and Danica, with my wonderful husband, Colt. 

 We live in Winchester, CA with our two dogs, Kimber and Blue. 

            My other hobbies are soccer, painting, traveling, and raising my babies. In the fall I start grad school at CSUSM in pursuit of a Masters degree in Biological Sciences.  I have a humble little sewing room in our humble little house and I pack it with as much sewing paraphernalia as I possibly can. I have my industrial sewing machine on wheels so I can store it in the corner then pull it out when I use it. I also save space by using a folding dining table as a work area. 

            It’s a 7.5 foot long table, but it folds into thirds so I can customize how much work space I need depending on the project (2.5 ft, 5 ft, or 7.5 ft long area). I need to be smart about my space because I recently had a blossoming seamstress invade my sewing room (she’s sewing next to me as I write this).
            For my daughter’s fifth birthday in May 2017 I got her her first sewing machine. Naturally, I had to set up a little mini station for her in my sewing room. It’s amazing how quickly she learns. She wants to be sewing with me every time I’m in my sewing room. I love it, but, although she gets a lot done, I don’t get much done at all.
            I have always considered myself an artist and I enjoy almost every way of expressing myself including through my sewing.  At one point I wanted to be a fashion designer, but I wasn’t interested in the sales and competition aspects of being a designer. I decided to create custom clothing more as a hobby than a source of income. I hadn’t discovered quilting as media of artistic expression until January 2016.  A friend invited me to the Road to California convention in Ontario, CA and I loved it so much we decided to go to QuiltCon 2016. I absolutely fell in love. I really connected with all of the quilts I saw and I appreciated the unique way each one touched me.  At that convention I went to a Victoria Findlay Wolfe lecture and instantly became a fan girl. I love Victoria more because of her contribution to the modern quilting arena rather than her quilts themselves. She is so motivational and supportive of genuine, individual expression.
            Each corner I turned at that convention I was learning something new, and my mind was exploding with ideas and possibilities. I felt so robbed of all of the years I could have been quilting but didn’t because I had written it off. As a young girl quilting wasn’t cool, and it had a reputation for being a hobby meant for an older demographic. That convention proved my preconceptions completely wrong and opened my eyes to the possibilities of quilting I had never taken the time to learn about. When I saw the signup booth to join the Modern Quilt Guild in Temecula I didn’t hesitate at all.
            Today I have finished one quilt since joining the TVMQG. It turned out okay, but it definitely needed rescuing at one point. Using a long arm is definitely harder than it looks. I attempted zigzags because I didn’t know any better. What a mess! To rescue it I used my DHM to sew straight lines across the entire quilt and freehand little monsters peeking over the straight lines (check out the pictures, I think they turned out kind of cute).  

            Besides a quilted bag I made, the rest of my quilts are in progress. I’ve learned I am a multiple project kind of quilter. I’m hoping to have my second quilt done by July 15th so I can enter it into my first quilt show in San Diego.
             This is just the beginning of my quilting career.  I’m hooked and I have a feeling I will be hooked for the rest of my life. Thank you, TVMQG, for helping me through the beginnings of my journey.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 2017 Meeting

Our June meeting was fun (as always)! We had some beautiful things shared during show and tell and had an awesome demo from Susan. But first we went over some upcoming projects.

Colleen stepped up and volunteered as the Project Leader for the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge! We cannot wait to get started on it. If you're interested in contributing, please let her know. We also discussed the July meeting, which will be held at Jane's house. We'll be enjoying finger foods and will be having a mug rug swap. If you'd like to participate, bring a mug rug or hot pad with 2 layers of batting to swap (and bring it in a brown paper bag).

Maritza brought in the Block of the Month for July, which is called the Susannah Block (see the Block of the Month tutorial link here.)

For Show and Tell, Susan started us off with her amazing quilt she made for the Solids Challenge last month.

Taylor reminded us of some log cabin blocks she brought in last year for show and tell. She had hidden them away for months and just recently took them back out to try something new. And in the process came up with this beautiful improv quilt top. She hopes to enter it into a local show coming up soon. After, the finished quilt will be gifted to her daughter. 

Linda brought in her finished quilt from the quilt top she showed us last month. It came out just lovely!

Colleen brought in a cute needle roll she made. She's been working on making the pattern as well and hopes to start selling it soon once the pattern is done.


Jane showed us this pretty and brightly colored graduation quilt she made for her friend's daughter. Friends and family of the graduate wrote notes on some of the white squares. 

Jessica brought in her fun new quilt using Tula Pink's new Tabby Road line. She used the Layer Cake and Jelly Roll Quilt pattern by Missouri Star Quilt company (see YouTube tutorial here). 

Sue shared her quilt for her youngest, who just joined the Marines. It started as a Drunkards Path quilt, but ended up with her own spin on it. 

Susan brought in her sewing machine and taught us all how to "Quilt As You Go". This fun and fast tutorial made this improv mini quilt (which will end up on her wall once after she binds it). 

And As always, we ended our meeting with the raffle:
Jane won the $20 gift certificate from Primitive Gatherings and
Linda won a Batik fat quarter bundle. 

Until Next time! :)

~Angelica Jones

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Member Interview: Maritza Farr

For the month of May we had our first board member interview. I hope you enjoy learning more about Maritza. :)


Hi Angelica,

I am honored to have been selected as an interviewee. The TVMQG has been a wonderful source of
inspiration and learning about modern quilts and new techniques. I look forward to what the future will bring to our "little" guild. When I first saw the announcement about our guild starting in January 2016, I was so excited and eager to attend the first meeting. I became a member immediately and have no regrets in joining our wonderful group of women, who each bring such talent, warmth and generosity of spirit to all. I am currently the Secretary, which has been a nice experience, even though challenging at times with my schedule. It has been wonderful to see our guild grow and find its way. A challenge indeed with any new group starting. I am happy to see that a portion of the meeting is used to teach techniques. I would like to eventually see the Show and Tell include more information from each presenter about what they learned in the project, challenges, and tips for others when encountering similar projects.

I retired from Orange County Social Services in 2012. My last position was Director of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. I have a BA in Social Work and a Master in Public Administration. I loved working in child welfare and making a difference in the lives of families. Just prior to retiring one of our employees shared that I had been the social worker for one of her family members, and that one day when I visited the home as the social worker she had been so positively impacted that she made a decision to become a social worker. As a result of being a social worker, she adopted two children. This young woman's story was the most significant event of my career - I truly had made a difference in someone's life.

I am on the Advisory Board that supports the Riverside First 5 Commission. I recently started my second year on the Advisory Board. I was appointed by Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, Third District. This position allows me to be involved in making a difference in families in Riverside County.

My husband and I have been married 42 years and have a wonderful daughter, son-in- law, step grandson, grandson and granddaughter. Our daughter is an RN at CHOC and we are extremely proud of the wonderful woman that she is. We couldn't have been more blessed.

In October 2016, I won second place in the Keepsake Quilting Prints and Woven Challenge, see the link, they have a short bio on me and my winning quilt. (Angelica, your paper piecing demo was pivotal in my ability to design this pattern using paper piecing.) I had not entered any contests, so was thrilled to win at this level. Shortly after entering this contest, I also submitted a block to the Modern Quilt Guild, and much to my surprise the block was selected for the January 2017 Block of the Month. I would like to continue entering challenges, but don't want this to become the focus of my creativity. I can't say that I stick to any one fabric color, line, etc. I try to let fabrics "speak to me" as to how to best use them. Recently I started collecting black and white prints and eventually want to design a quilt (idea that has been brewing in my head for a while).

I have to say that the baptismal outfits that I made for my grand children have a very special place in my heart because of the significance of baptism. Here are pictures of them in their special outfits.

I love being creative, so I know how to quilt, sew garments and home dec, crochet, cross stitch, machine embroider, make paper crafts including cards, and making jewelry. I have cut back a lot on other crafts since unfortunately there are only so many hours in a day to dedicate to a craft. I tend to focus on sewing these days and I still have to many projects in my "head" that need to be created. Due to so many things going on, I have decided to limit my social media activity to Facebook. I eventually want to start a blog and truly hope that I can accomplish this in early 2018.

I enjoy following on Facebook Christa Watson, The Modern Quilt Guild, Modern Quilts Unlimited, Moores Sewing, and some other sewing and machine embroidery groups. Christa focuses a lot of her information on free motion quilting and what is currently happening in quilting. She is down to earth and responds to anyone's questions about quilting. Her site is informative and inspiring.

I make most of my projects for family and eventually want to start selling what I make. I am certified to teach Beginning Sewing and Heirloom Sewing under the Martha Pullen program (specific projects with each of the certifications). I also can teach some Sulky Thread Art projects. My ultimate goal is to reach out to teen group homes in Temecula and start teaching foster youth how to sew. I truly believe this creative outlet will be empowering for them.

I have a bedroom in my home that I dedicate to sewing, but like all us sewists we eventually spill out to other areas of the home. So I take up a hall closet, part of the alcove, and of course part of the master bedroom (my wonderful hubby doesn't really complain.)

Sewing brings me great joy and inner peace - I simply can't imagine my life without it. God blessed me with the ability to sew and for that I am very grateful.

Maritza (Rodriguez) Farr