August: Susan D. Owenby

Guest speaker

Susan Owenby

What a fun meeting! We welcomed Susan D. Owenby as our presenter as well as many guests who joined us from the Alamance PieceMakers guild.

Susan shared many beautiful pieces with us and framed her talk around a diagram she likes that illustrates the flow model created by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Csikszentmihalyi flow modelThe idea is that we should try to stay in the flow channel where we push ourselves to learn new skills so we don’t become bored and at the same time not tackle challenges so far beyond our skill level that we become anxious and frustrated. As our skills increase, so can our challenge level keeping us in the flow.

Susan and her Harry Potter quilt

Susan used the flow model to describe her journey with her amazing Harry Potter bookcase quilt as she tackled new skills with each shelf of the bookcase so she didn’t become bored and accepted challenges she would not have been able to meet on earlier shelves. She also described herself as INFP on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and now realizes that her desire to explore and ask “what if” questions is typical of that type. In the works she shared with us, she told of constantly asking “what if” I tried this – sometimes leading to cool new creations and always providing learning experiences.

Susan's creationsSusan blogs at The Bored Zombie where you can read about many of her projects. She keeps a journal (blog posts) reporting on progress and what she’s learned in each phase of a project. From the TBZ Projects page, you can select many of the projects she showed us and for each one, read about its evolution. She also has a wonderful post about her design process in which she debunks the idea that it’s all about creativity and talks about how much she works at it, learns from mistakes and successes, and is willing to let go if something doesn’t work out. She shared her sketchbook with us at the meeting and talks in this post about doodles as her first step. She ends by encouraging us to attempt something we set aside previously as too challenging. She says that “experience and openness to learning are the only ways to accomplish new techniques and continue to improve the old ones.”

Someone asked Susan if she entered her work in shows, and Susan’s response was she did not like to think of art as competition. She described working with textiles as a collaboration from the start since someone else created the fabric she works with. She prefers to encourage people to create and not be inhibited by comparison to others.

In addition to the great annotated photos on Susan’s website, here are a few additional photos of Susan and her work from our meeting.

Business & reminders

Lisa reminded everyone of the upcoming High Point guild show on Saturday and Sunday. Those not going Saturday who are available are invited to come to the church basement from 10-4 for charity sewing.

Ilona reported on behalf of the nominating committee their progress in developing a slate of officers and committee chairs for next year. See board minutes for the working slate, adding Barbara as a nominee for secretary.

If you did not read August board minutes and newsletter, be sure to check those out for lots of important information – both were emailed to you or you can find them via the members-only page.

Drawings and block challenge

Barbara won the nametag drawing, but the real excitement was around the block challenge. Patriotic red, white, and blue was the theme for the blocks this month, and there were 15 blocks contributed. New member Enola won the drawing and took home all the blocks. We hope to see her finished quilt at next month’s show and tell!

patriotic blockspatriotic blocks
Next month’s theme involves red, green, gold and black with cream background. So get busy sewing your blocks (12 1/2″ square unfinished) to bring to the September meeting. Your name will be entered into the drawing once for each block you contribute – winner takes all.

Show and Tell

Ann shared a zippered pencil case she had made, and Vernett shared an Irish chain quilt she quilted for someone.

Ann's pencils case

pencil case

Irish chain quilt

Enola shared a quilt made from neckties.

Enola's necktie quilt        quilt back

Enola also shared several temari or Japanese thread balls she enjoyed making.

Boutique items

holiday table runnersDon’t forget to finish up your sewing of projects for upcoming fall boutique sales. Barbara and Enola brought in holiday table runners made using kits provided in July by Lisa and Miranda. The July blog post has video instructions for 10-minute table runners if you need a visual to accompany the printed instructions.

Barbara brought two steno pad covers with matching pens to sell at boutique sales and also created step-by-step illustrated instructions for sewing a steno pad cover. She has purchased steno pads and pens if you need some to fill your sewn covers for boutique sales.

fabric steno pad & pen steno pad open


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