Monday, 15 June 2015

OMG Quilts!

There is a sub-genre, not  quite a spin off but a group that makes a variation of quilts within the Modern Quilt Movement called OMG – Organic Modern Quilts. 
Image used with the kind permission of Helen Godden.  source: Facebook
Image used with the kind permission of Helen Godden.  source: Facebook

On the group Facebook page an analogy is used to describe the group aesthetic.  To understand pink you need to understand red.  To understand OMG quilts you need to understand the Modern Quilt aesthetic.

We use the original Modern Quilt Guild description on our blog which is a very loose, all encompassing, more of a guideline really (Captain Jack Sparrow anyone?) that includes :
  • Primarily functional rather than decorative quilts
  • Use asymmetry in quilt design
  • Rely less on repetition and on the interaction of quilt block motifs
  • Contain reinterpreted traditional blocks
  • Embrace simplicity and minimalism
  • Utilize alternative block structures or lack of visible block structure
  • Incorporate increased use of negative space
  • Are inspired by modern art and architecture
  • Frequently use improvisational piecing
  • Contain bold colours, colour combinations and graphic prints
  • Often use grey and white as neutrals
  • Reflect an increased use of solid fabrics
  • Focus on finishing quilts on home sewing machines
Weeks Ringle from the Modern Quilt Studio describes Modern Quilting as
“Modern quilting is about making quilts that are expressive of the times in which we live.”
Amy Ellis from Amy’s Creative Side describes the modern category of the the Blogger’s Quilt Festival as “Modern to you is modern to me”
So its kind of a loose definition that we work with.  What makes OMG quilts different to most modern quilts?  There is no piecing, applique is the method of choice.  There are set sizes to work with and you can submit your quilt for critiquing.  Once accepted the quilt is given an OMG number and entered into the OMG hall of fame.  It is a brilliant way to see how the group evolves over time and may even lead to an exhibition in the future.
Helen Godden OMG
Image used with the kind permission of Helen Godden.  source: Facebook
The OMG group was founded by Helen Godden, Michelle Pearson and Suzanne Hyland.  The idea for the group came from a conversation had during a HandiQuilter Academy in Utah in 2013 where Helen questioned the use of piecing so prevalent in Modern Quilts and wondered why they couldn’t be more organic.
Helen Godden OMG6
Image used with the kind permission of Helen Godden.  source: Facebook

Influenced by artists such as Rex Ray, Joan Miro, Henri Matisse and Henry Moore amongst others the OMG quilts feature free form fluid shapes often taking inspiration from nature.  They use organic shapes in a graphic way and avoid pictorial or realistic effects and straight lines typically found in pieced quilts.  Use of pattern to draw attention and combining shapes and colour with quilting, gives an abstract style of quilts, that can cross over from functional quilts favoured by the Modern Quilt Guild to non-functional Art quilts.
Helen Godden OMG7
Image used with the kind permission of Helen Godden.  source: Facebook
The Rex Ray (paper artist and collage) influence is seen in the sizes chosen by the group.  Rex Ray was German born and so the smallest 5” x 7” size is called Kleine (small) and the largest 40” x 60” Ueber (meaning over sized and chosen for 40” usable width of fabric).  The sizes chosen prefer the 3:4 ratio of standard paper but square is also accepted. 

The sizing is strict allowing 1/2” to 1” tolerance on the finished quilt.  The difference between sizes allowed is twice that of the previous to allow for a good collective display when exhibited. Creatively speaking adding a little constraint can be a good thing,  getting the mind working hard to be creative in developing a design!
Helen Godden OMG1
Image used with the kind permission of Helen Godden.  source: Facebook
Helen Godden OMG2
Image used with the kind permission of Helen Godden.  source: Facebook

The other aspect about OMG quilts that I think is really interesting is the concept of Parent and Child designs.   A child design is made from leftovers, scrap fabric or the same set of fabrics as the parent design.  Sounds like a fun challenge to me!

If you want to see more and perhaps submit a quilt for critique (to do write a Facebook update on the group page with OMG! OMG! OMG!) the group page can be found here.  Go take and look and see what wonderful organic modern quilts are being made!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

News & Exhibitions

This day last week, we had the opening of our Happiness Exhibition at St. Patrick's Hospital in Dublin.  It was great to get to meet so many people we only know through the web.  About 15 of us turned up from all around the country and there were some funny moments.  At one point Cindy asked if Liz was there and I answered yup, she's standing right behind you!  Lots of smiles and introductions and of course wandering the corridors to view our gorgeous quilts. 

Paula and Cindy both gave lovely speeches to open the exhibit and Cindy has posted her speech on her blog Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  It was a really lovely, funny speech talking about how Cindy and Sarah founded our group and the community of quilting.  Please hop over to Cindy's blog and have a read!

I have posted photos to our Flickr page here and also to our Facebook page.  The link between Flickr and Facebook for automatic posting is broken and while Flickr groups is being updated I'm manually posting to Facebook.  Some of the photos shared recently may not have appeared in the facebook feed but next week I'll do a Show and Tell post.   Please go have a look and if you can make it to Dublin to view the exhibition in person you will not be disappointed!

6 of our members also had quilts on display for the Mid Western branch of the IPS exhibit Local Landscapes.  I've posted some more images on my blog here if you want to take a look. 

Also on in Limerick is an EQA (European Quilt Association) exhibit titled "Movement" hosted by the IPS.  It is running until this Saturday 13th June and features mini-quilts from 17 countries.

Lastly this weekend there is a Quilt and Craft Fest on in Newtownmountkennedy with lots going on in Apple Tree Crafts. 

Hope everyone enjoyed our first National Quilting Week!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Reminder - Summer swap sign ups extended to Wednesday 10th June!

Just a quick reminder, I've extended the deadline to this Wednesday for our summer swap if you are interested in signing up.  If you are a new member and have joined our group the sign up for the swap is a seperate form here.

We are making tote bags big enough to carry a crafting magazine and a little something extra ( a small handmade item or favourite sewing notion). 

You have the whole summer to make and postal deadline is 1st-3rd September.  Come join the fun!

Original post outlining the details if you want to know more is here on our blog!


Monday, 1 June 2015

Modern Irish Bee - June

Hello fellow Bee Members!
I’m Erin, and I’m excited to show you the block I chose for June. First off, I thought I’d let you know a little bit more about me, as I’ve only been in Modern Quilters Ireland for a year. I’m currently a stay at home mom to twin 2.5 year old boys. They keep me very busy as you can imagine, and I only get a limited time at the sewing machine. My family and I moved to Ireland from Seattle, Washington last April to Cork for his work. It’s been a bit of an adjustment living here, especially with the difference in fabric availability!
I love working with color, especially colors of the rainbow! I’ve made a Charming Chevrons quilt using Robert Kaufman’s Primary palette and black background, a Spin it Again quilt using ROYGBIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) colors for the center pinwheel. When I found out I had June for my month, I went exploring on Pinterest for my block idea. I spent hours searching, and eliminated a ton of stuff because I thought it might be too complicated. I finally came across this block from Flickr user Ginny F.

I loved the different prints, the wonky star, everything about it! Perfect for using all the scraps! I found this tutorial for making the block:

Since the tutorial is sized for a 17.5 inch block, I did a little math to make it 12.5 inch size. Please make two 12.5 inch blocks, and keep each of your blocks one color.

Here’s what you’ll need to make each block:
• One 2.5 inch square white fabric. I used Kona white for my example.
• Scraps of Kona white to make star points, 8 scraps/block.
• Thirty five 2.5 inch squares of prints or solids with one color theme. Please keep to the ROYGBIV color scheme if possible. I used 11 different fabrics, 3-5 squares were cut from each fabric.
Once you have your squares cut out, lay them out so you have a pleasing layout. You’ll need to put your white square in any space that isn’t the outside rows/columns of squares—this way you’ll be able to sew your points on all sides. Feel free to put it anywhere you’d like, as long as it’s not one of the outside blocks.
Next, you’ll be working with the four squares that are to the top, bottom left and right of your white square. I’m going to start with the solid red square on the top.
Next, you’ll take a white scrap and place it on your colored square. Feel free to make your points wonky or not! I’ve placed my seam ripper on what will be your sewing line. Make sure that when you flip the white fabric, it will cover the corner!
Sew 1/4 inch from the edge.
Trim off your colored fabric 1/4 inch from the seam line. Press white fabric open.
Trim your white so it’s even with your colored square. I found it’s easiest to do this from the back side.
This is what your piece will look like from the front or “public” side. Repeat the same process for the next corner, and then other three blocks that surround the white block. You’ll need two star points per these squares.

Layout your pieces to ensure correct placement when sewing rows together.

Sew your pieces together, alternating pressing directions per rows so it’s easier to nest seams.

Sew your rows together. I pressed my seams all in one direction here. It doesn’t matter which direction.

Your Finished Block!
I’m thinking for the finished quilt I’m going to use some thin white sashing between the blocks, then surround with a border. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Any questions, please send me an email .  I’m EksRN2002 on Instagram and Flickr . KnittingRN on Pinterest!