Sewciety + QuiltCon: Workshops and Lectures

This is the second podcast in a four part series. The first one can be found here.

The next episode with Stephanie at Modern Sewciety is all about the experience with workshops and lectures at QuiltConElizabeth Dackson, MQG Events Manager, chats about how to prepare for the classes and a bit about what to expect when taking lectures and workshop. Cheryl Arkison and Carolyn Friedlander talk about the experience of taking workshop and lectures at QuiltCon. Don’t miss out on some great tips given by all!

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Are you or your guild interested in becoming a part of the MQG?
Read about membership here.

QuiltCon Charity Quilt: Alternative Gridwork

We  hope you have already read all about the 2015 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge and are planning to join in! If you missed reading about it, you can find the original post here, and the Color post here.

The QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge is one of the MQG’s largest-scale charity projects. For QuiltCon 2015 guilds are asked to follow a predetermined color palette and alternate grid work design.

As quilters we are often (but not always) naturally forced into grids based on our construction techniques. In this post, we’ll talk about different forms of grid work and how to consider using them in your charity quilt design.

Alternate grid work is a modern quilting design element that is used frequently by modern quilters. It is often one of the easiest design elements to experiment and explore modern quilt making with. Modern quilters often “break the grid”. Alternate grid work is a tool to help showcase modern quilting design fundamentals such as negative space, no borders, minimalism, asymmetry, modern traditionalism and exaggerated scale.

Alternate grid work in modern quilt making refers to quilts that don’t follow the traditional block format of many quilts. The majority (but not all) of traditional quilt styles follow a predictable grid structure. It’s important to note that some modern quilts DO follow traditional quilt grid work and some traditional quilts do NOT follow traditional quilt grid work.

Traditional Grid Work Examples

The Straight Set – columns and rows of repeating blocks.

On Point – columns and rows of repeating blocks on a 45 degree angle

Medallion – a central focus feature with design elements bordering outward.

Credit: Marcelle Medallion Quilt by Alexia Abegg

Alternate Grid Work Examples

Traditional grids can be adapted or altered beyond the normal repeating columns and rows.

Increasing negative space.

 

Shifting the on point angle to an atypical degree.

Alternate gridwork refers to the underlying grids. As quilters, our seam lines guide our grids. Here are some examples of alternate grids.

Modular Grids are the basis for a vast majority of quilt design. You can use a modular grid, but don’t follow strict columns and rows. Using scale is a great way to use a modular grid in an alternate way.

 

Adding negative space is another way to use the modular grid in an alternate way.

 

Variable Framing uses the modular grid, but floats blocks in negative space. The underlying column and row format is there, but utilizes negative space to make it modern.

 

Offset or Misaligned Grids shift the rows and columns to offset blocks.

 

Paneling does not follow a modular grid structure and disguises any underlying grid.

 

Are you really into grids? Here’s some great reading:

Grids for Graphic Designers:

The Designer’s Guide to Grid Theory

Grid-Based Design Theory

Five Simple Steps to Designing Grid Systems

A Brief History of Grids

 

Books:

Making and Breaking the Grid by Timothy Samara

Geometry of Design

The Alternate Grid Chapter by Jacquie Gering, Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making, Lucky Spool

 

General Design Books:

Design Basics by David Lauer and Stephen Pentak

Design Elements by Timothy Samara

Applying Mathematics to Web Design 

 

Understanding the Impact of Design:

A great book to understand how forms impact and are processed by the human brain is Sensation and Perception by E. Bruce Goldstein. This book was the first book that really got me to think about design in an objective rather than intuitive manner. Have fun everyone!

 

Thanks,

Heather Grant, Director of Marketing & Programming

QuiltCon Quilt Show: The Judging Process

This is post 3 of a series of posts on the QuiltCon Quilt Show.  You can see the first post here and the second post here.

The Judging Process

The MQG has listened carefully to feedback on the judging process at QuiltCon 2013 and we are working to improve the judging experience for our members and the judging process for our judges and volunteers. The MQG is committed to developing a competitive experience that is positive for all involved and which will allow our members to receive feedback which will be encouraging and allow them to set goals for improving their work if they so desire.

A panel of three judges, one of whom will be an NQA certified judge, will conduct the judging process at QuiltCon. The quilts will be judged with an elimination process rather than a points system. Quilts will be organized by category. Each category of quilts will be “fanned”or held up in front of the judges one at a time so that the judges can view each quilt at a distance and get an overall impression of the quilt, evaluate the overall design and see the general appearance. Judges will consider individual design elements and how they have been combined to create an effective, impactful design. The judges will have an evaluation form to use as a guide during judging. We will share the form as soon as it is in its final version, but essentially the quilts will be judged on Design and Composition, Overall Appearance, and Workmanship.

The quilts will then be examined individually, on a flat surface, so that the judges can view the quilt up close and examine workmanship, applique, quilting, edge finishing techniques and visual detail. Quilts can be held up again at the judges’ request. The judges will discuss each quilt as a team and decide on feedback for the quilter that will be written verbatim by a volunteer scribe. The judges at QuiltCon will be asked to give a minimum of three pieces of positive feedback for the quilter and if the judges deem appropriate, constructive feedback which will help the quilter improve.

After a quilt has been examined individually the judges will decide if the quilt will be released or held for a possible award. After all quilts have been judged, the held quilts will be reevaluated as a group and individually to determine the awarding of ribbons. It is at this time that judges may recommend that quilts be held for special awards such as Best Machine Quilting.

Each quilter will receive their feedback sheet from the judges with the return of their quilt. We hope the comments and feedback will be taken in the spirit in which they were intended. No judging process is perfect and final results will vary based on the individuals involved. Every effort will be made to conduct the judging process in a professional, impartial manner.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

The Education Committee

QuiltCon 2015 Quilt Show!

Did you know that QuiltCon quilt show entries are now open?!? Think you want to enter the show? Wondering what you need to know before you do? This series of posts will provide information that will help you understand what will happen before, during and after the show. Jacquie Gering has been leading the Education Committee, made up of 17 members, on revamping judging for QuiltCon 2015. The MQG Education Committee has been hard at work at these posts so they will be jam packed with loads of information for you!

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TODAY!: Show Overview and Choosing Your Quilt

Post 2: Challenge Details + The Submission Process

Post 3: Judging

Post 4: Post Show

Ok – so let’s get to it and dive into the first post of the series!

Quilt Show Overview & Choosing Your Quilt

QuiltCon is the convention of the Modern Quilt Guild and the quilt show, as the main event, is our opportunity to showcase the spectacular work of our members from around the world. In order to enter a quilt you need to be a member of the MQG. Not a member yet? Join here.

The first step is to submit a quilt for consideration. Quilt submissions opened July 1, 2014 and close November 30, 2014 so you have lots of time to get a fantastic modern quilt made to submit!

Submitted quilts will not automatically be part of the quilt show. There is limited hanging space at the venue, all submitted quilts will undergo a jurying process to choose the quilts that will ultimately hang in the show. Think carefully about the quilt(s) you’d like to enter. The jurors will look for quilts that fit the modern aesthetic as defined for our guild:

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. “Modern traditionalism” or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

Quilts do not have to have all of the characteristics of the aesthetic, but since this is a modern quilt show we are looking for modern quilts. The jury will also be looking for quilts with visual impact and quilts that are well made. Quilts will be chosen so that the show is balanced in each of the categories. We want to showcase the best work of our members. If you’re unsure about what is a modern quilt, we recommend you take the time to watch Heather Grant’s webinar that is available free to members on the MQG Community website.

How do you choose which quilt(s) should be entered into a show?

  • The quilt doesn’t have to be brand new, but it does have to be in great shape and made in the past four years.
  • The quilt should be clean and shouldn’t have stains, pet hair, tears, or worn areas. You can of course also make a quilt especially for entry into the show.
  • Pick your best work. Choose a quilt that has maximum visual impact, a quilt viewers at the show will walk up to, or move over to from across the room, and say, “Wow!” about.
  • Submitted quilts will need to fit into one of the categories listed below. Read the category definitions carefully to determine where your quilt fits. The jury and judges will make the final category determinations for quilts that hang in the show. Your quilt may fit into multiple categories, that is ok!

Quilts will be placed in the following categories based on entry:

Group or Bee Quilts – Modern quilts made by 3 or more people

Small quilts –  A quilt that fits into the categories listed below that measures 36″ or less per side. The quilt can be any shape as long as it does not exceed the size limit. The challenge is open to individuals or groups. Individuals may only be involved in one quilt or group.

Quilting Challenge – Bias Tape Applique, sponsored by Panasonic – Quilts that include either machine or hand sewn bias tape as part of the main design element.

Fabric Challenge – Cotton Couture Pastels, sponsored by Michael Miller – Quilts must primarily use Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture Pastels. Coordinating Michael Miller prints and cotton couture fabrics are permitted.

Youth – Entrants 18 years and younger

 

Quilts will be placed in the following categories during the judging process:

Applique – Quilt includes either machine or hand layering of fabric where the quilt’s primary focus is applique.

Handwork – Quilt includes at least one element of handwork including, but not limited to: hand piecing, hand quilting, embroidery, redwork, cross stitch, crewel, etc. Hand stitched binding does not qualify as handwork.

Improvisation – Quilt is pieced improvisationally (without the use of a defined pattern or templates).

Minimalist Design –The design of the quilt emphasizes extreme simplification of content and form to achieve maximum visual impact.

Use of Negative Space – Quilt design incorporates a creative or significant use of negative space which is integrated into and/or organizes the composition of the quilt.

Piecing – Quilts that are machine pieced and reflect a particularly strong or innovative use of piecing.

Modern Traditionalism – Quilt design incorporates the use of an identifiable traditional block pattern and modernizes it by applying design elements such as alternate grid work, asymmetry, color, scale, etc.

The Details:

  • The maximum perimeter of a quilt in the show is 480″. If a quilt is accepted and larger then 480” it will not be able to hang.
  • Quilts entered in the show must have been made in the four years before QuiltCon 2015 happens, so no quilt that was made before February 2011 may be entered in the show.
  • All entered quilts will not make it into the show. Does that mean it’s not a beautiful quilt or that it’s not a quality quilt? No, it doesn’t. It simply means that it didn’t get into the show. Sure, you might be disappointed, but no risk, no reward.

In the next post we’ll review all the information you’ll need for the submission process.

-See you then!

The MQG Education Committee

QuiltCon Registration is Open!

 

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Did you hear? Registration for QuiltCon 2015 is NOW OPEN! There are just a few workshops remaining after members registered, so act quickly if you want to snatch one up.

We also have an amazing lecture line up. Come and see many of modern quilting’s top names speak about design, their inspirations and all things quilt-ish!

Want to see Gee’s Bend Keynote speech? There are not many spaces left so don’t delay in registering.

Hope to see you in Austin in February!

Register Now.

A little fun with #quiltconplanning

Yesterday QuiltCon registration opened for all MQG members. A few weeks ago on Instagram we asked people to show us how they were planning for the day.

We had everything from Cats:

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To drinks:

drinks

Helpful kiddos (and a husband!):

kiddos and husband

And even a few flow charts:

charts

You were all so creative! Our favorite was this from Kimberly Needham a member of the Los Angeles MQG. It really show the emotions that people feel when trying to register for a huge event.

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Thank you to everyone who played along and shared your plans with us. While we know not everyone got what they wanted, know that there are still a ton of lectures and a handful of workshops left. I even hear there might be a hexie making bar crawl!

So Kimberly, we hope that you enjoy your great FQ set from Michael Miller Fabrics. We’re sure you’ll put it to great use!

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QuiltCon Tips: Tina Michalik

Registration for QuiltCon 2015 is June 24 (members only). Have you figured out your schedule?! This week we wanted to share advice from members that attended in 2013. You can read Anne’s post here, Becca’s post here, and Christa’s post here.

The next tips come from Tina Michalik who is the president of the South Bay Area MQG.

QuiltCon was such a great experience. I came home brimming with enthusiasm, which I still feel. I love sharing it with people in the South Bay Area MQG and other quilting friends.  

Along with a few of my guild mates, we came to Austin not knowing what QuiltCon would be like exactly, we just knew it was going to be awesome.  I did a lot of saving and personal destashing of fabric in order to purchase three workshops, one for each day of QuiltCon.  I would never regret taking a workshop, but in hindsight, I think I was overloaded by the end and next year, I’ll be taking maybe one less workshop.  Also, this year I’ hope to be a Super Volunteer. I’m really looking forward to that because I think you get to meet so many more people by volunteering.  Also, by taking three workshops, I ended up missing some of the lectures that I really wanted to attend.  I heard so many great things about the lectures and what a wonderful visual feast they are. (Thankfully, some of these lectures are available to watch for free on Craftsy.)

What was so great about Austin is that you can walk everywhere you need to go from the convention center.  There was great food venues right outside for quick lunches. They offered quick and tasty International fare complete with vegetarian options.  

I would definitely recommend pairing up with blogging and Flickr/Instagram friends to share hotel expenses with.  That way, the QuiltCon vibe keeps on going even when you go back to your room.  You can chat about your day, look at all the goodies you purchased or got in your swag bag, and you always have someone to go out on the town with.  

Finally, I just want to say that going to Quiltcon ’13 was an experience that will always stay with me.  Being around all the beautiful quilts, meeting like-minded quilters and literally feeling the energy every day has given me memories to draw from for the rest of my life.  I came back with a renewed sense of purpose in my quilting, inspiration from others, and lasting friendships.  Even if you’re only halfway considering going to Austin next year, I truly encourage you to come be with us.  You’ll never regret it!

Emily Sardo's picture of me looking at my ribbon the moment I found out I had been given one!

Emily Sardo’s picture of me looking at my ribbon the moment I found out!

Did you go to QuiltCon 2013 and want to share some tips? Email us at info@themodernquiltguild.com.

Important dates to remember:

QuiltCon
June 23  Acceptance letters for Super Volunteers sent
June 24  Registration open for all MQG members 8 am PDT/11 am EDT
July 1  Registration open to non members
July 30  Last day to cancel QuiltCon registration and receive a full refund

Quilt Show Entries and Contest
June 27  Submissions for MQG Special Exhibit at International Quilt Festival close
June 30  QuiltCon Design Challenge submission close
July 1  Submissions for QuiltCon quilt show open (details coming soon)

Become part of the MQG today! Check out the benefits and join now.

QuiltCon Tips: Christa Watson

Registration for QuiltCon 2015 is June 24 (members only). Have you figured out your schedule?! This week we wanted to share advice from members that attended in 2013. You can read Anne’s post here, and Becca’s post here.

The next tips come from Christa Watson who is one of our very active Individual MQG members.

Hi all! I have a couple of tips to share from my awesome experience at QuiltCon in 2013!! 

First of all, don’t be afraid to go up and introduce yourself in person to people you’ve met online, and be open when people do the same to you :-). I did that all weekend and solidified so many new friendships by the end of the show!  

Katie Blakesley, Christa Watson, Faith Jones, Holly DeGroot and Lee Heinrich hanging out and having an outside dinner at QuiltCon 2013. This was the first time I met them all in person.

Katie Blakesley, Christa Watson, Faith Jones, Holly DeGroot and Lee Heinrich hanging out and having an outside dinner at QuiltCon 2013. This was the first time I met them all in person.

Second, when you take pictures of quilts to share on your blog with the folks who couldn’t be there, take a picture of the info card that goes along with each quilt. That way you can give proper attribution when you are writing about it later. I usually take a picture of the quilt first and then the information card next, so they are in order on my camera. 

I can’t wait until February, 2015 to do it all over again!

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Info card from Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s & Lisa Sipes’ Best of Show quilt. It was handy to have it right there when writing up a blog post later!

Thanks Christa for those great tips!

Did you go to QuiltCon 2013 and want to share some tips? Email us at info@themodernquiltguild.com.

Important dates to remember:

QuiltCon
June 23  Acceptance letters for Super Volunteers sent
June 24  Registration open for all MQG members 8 am PDT/11 am EDT
July 1  Registration open to non members
July 30  Last day to cancel QuiltCon registration and receive a full refund

Quilt Show Entries and Contest
June 27  Submissions for MQG Special Exhibit at International Quilt Festival close
June 30  QuiltCon Design Challenge submission close
July 1  Submissions for QuiltCon quilt show open (details coming soon)

QuiltCon Tips: Becca Jubie

Registration for QuiltCon 2015 is June 24 (members only). That leaves you with SIX days to figure out your schedule! This week we wanted to share some advice from members that attended in 2013. You can read Anne’s post here.

The next tips come from Becca Jubie of the Seattle MQG.

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I had a great time at QuiltCon 2013! The entire event was amazing – the huge quilt show, awesome swag bags, dance party, and the fantastic schedule of lecturers and classes. I found it easy to meet other people – everyone was so friendly and excited to be there, and it was also a great way to get to know the people from my guild too. I took two classes that were both fun – machine quilting with Elizabeth Hartman and a table runner class with Valori Wells. They were both enjoyable – Elizabeth demonstrated tons of cute quilting patterns as well as showing off her beautiful quilts, and Valorie gave wonderful color advice and was really down-to-earth. I also took part in a leadership mixer as I am on the board (Seattle MQG), and it was fun to meet other guild officers and discuss guild ideas. I learned so much at QuiltCon and left feeling really inspired about my own quilting and guild.

Some advice I’d give: Don’t over-schedule yourself! There are so many fabulous classes and lectures being offered so it is tempting to want to do it all, but it can be overwhelming. You’ll want to save time to look at the quilt show, shop and check out Austin, plus just get together with new and old friends. Also be sure to pack light! The swag bags are jam-packed, and there is a shopping area in the convention center, so there is plenty to take home. Finally, try to get some barbecue! 

Thanks Becca for sharing your thoughts. We are glad that you enjoyed QuiltCon 2013!

Did you go to QuiltCon 2013 and want to share some tips? Email us at info@themodernquiltguild.com.

Important dates to remember:

QuiltCon
June 17  Discount code and registration tutorial sent to all members (check your email)
June 23  Acceptance letters for Super Volunteers sent
June 24  Registration open for all MQG members 8 am PDT/11 am EDT
July 1  Registration open to non members
July 30  Last day to cancel QuiltCon registration and receive a full refund

Quilt Show Entries and Contest
June 27  Submissions for MQG Special Exhibit at International Quilt Festival close
June 30  QuiltCon Design Challenge submission close
July 1  Submissions for QuiltCon quilt show open (details coming soon)