Board Of Directors Annual Meeting

The Modern Quilt Guild Board of Directors held their annual planning meeting in Houston, just before Quilt Market. Board members attended both in person and through video conference.

The board recognized a need for leadership positions on the board to help us achieve our goals and provide guidance to the MQG staff. To that end, the Board elected Jacquie Gering as our chairperson, Kathy Mack as Treasurer, and Susanne Woods as Secretary.

The Board of Directors established five focus areas for the Modern Quilt Guild in 2013-2014.
1. Educating our members and the quilting community
2. Developing processes and procedures to form a strong foundation for the guild
3. Supporting, developing and growing our membership
4. Creating a charitable program for membership and the community
5. Developing and implementing a membership voting and governance process

With the goal of involving our members in strategic decisions and the development of the organization, we are excited to announce the establishment of six committees that will provide support and guidance for strengthening the foundation of the guild and supporting the mission of the MQG.

These committees are member volunteer based and will be chaired by a member of the Board of Directors with the exception of the Nominating Committee which will be chaired by a member.

Chaired by Jacquie Gering
Supports skill growth within membership; supports development and implementation of education support; seeks outlets for membership education; handles and oversees events, external communications, and maintains judging and jurying process for the MQG. The goals for 2014 are:
• Develop judging and jurying process for QuiltCon
• Educate other guilds and judges about judging modern quilts
• Develop judge certification process
• Provide input to instructor and lecturer recruitment process
• Develop teacher/lecturer certification program

Chaired by Kathy Mack
Includes legal, HR, policies and procedures, IT, technology purchases and long-term planning. Handles and oversees finances. The goals for 2014 are:
• Develop employment contract process
• Work with Executive Director to develop employee annual review process
• Work with the staff and other committee chairs to produce annual report

Chaired by Alissa Haight Carlton
Handles and oversees membership details from the database to addressing member concerns; oversees the developing of documents for guild support; acts as primary contact person to our internal members; funnels member concerns to the Board of Directors; oversees annual membership survey. The goals for 2014 are:
• Develop documents for guild support
• Execute 2014 membership survey

Chaired by Heather Grant
Oversees charity sewing and MQG volunteerism; develop and maintain a grant program. The goals for 2014 are:
• Identify focus areas of charities for the guild
• Develop a community involvement program
• Develop charity sewing program
• Develop grant program

Chaired by Susanne Woods
Develops and oversees the MQG’s governance structure; works with the nominating committee. The goals for 2014 are:
• Develop governance structure with member input
• Determine election process for National Guild board members
• Execute elections

Nominating Committee*
Chair TBD
Lead and staffed by members (not the board); researches and identifies potential board candidates; oversees board member applications and works closely with the Governance Committee. The goals for 2014 are:
• Develop criteria for National Guild board member candidacy (with input from governance)

* Nominating Committee members are not eligible to be National guild board members.

If you are interested in volunteering for one of these committees, please email Jacquie at

Quilt Market Wrap Up

The Modern Quilt Guild hosted our annual fall Quilt Market meet-up on Saturday, October 26. Hundreds of people and members attended! It was great to see old friends and make new ones. We are very thankful to the generous companies who provided door prizes.

Cheryl Jemelia Carolyn-crop

Fun times with our MQG members: Jemellia Hilfiger, Stash author Cheryl Arkison, and Robert Kaufman Designer Carolyn Friedlander.

Thank you to our door prize donors:

Cheryl Arkison
Cloud 9 Fabrics
Dianne Springer Designs 
Drygoods Design Online
Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio
EZ Quilting/Simplicity 
In the Beginning Fabrics
La Todera Sewing and Craft Patterns
Marcus Fabrics
My Modern Quilt Shop
Oilcloth by the Yard
Quilter’s Dream Batting
Riley Blake Designs
Schmetz Needles 
STC Craft/Abrams 
The Long Thread
Windham Fabrics 

We were thrilled that Baby Lock  provided one of their new machines as our Grand Door Prize, the Rachel . This is a great computerized machine for experienced or beginner sewists, it has 50 stitches, a drop-in bobbin and more.

Babylock Rachel

Babylock Rachel

An additional thanks to our annual sponsors:


Platinum Annual Sponsor


Platinum Annual Sponsor


Platinum Annual Sponsor

Platinum Annual Sponsor

Platinum Annual Sponsor


Supporting Annual Sponsor


Basic Annual Sponsor

Quilts Inc Logo

And a special thank you to Quilts, Inc.

SewDown Nashville!

The Modern Quilt Guild is excited to announce the instructors and lecturers for the upcoming Nashville SewDown, to be held April 11-13, 2014! Hold on to your fabric, because we’ve got an amazing line-up of teachers and one very special event you don’t want to miss!

SewDown Nashville

Learn from superstar workshop teachers Carolyn Friedlander, Anna Maria Horner, Angela Walters, and Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Get inspired with lectures from Alexia Abegg and Elizabeth Dackson.

Attendees will also be invited to join Anna Maria Horner in her Nashville home studio for an exclusive tour and cocktails! Transportation will be provided.


SewDown Nashville is an all-inclusive weekend quilting getaway, filled with delicious food, inspiring lectures, amazing teachers, and new friends. Live it up from Friday through Sunday with four workshops, open sewing time, and a studio tour from Anna Maria Horner herself! All workshops, lecturers, hotel room and meals are included in the registration fee. A limited number of lecture passes and local day passes will be available as well. SewDown Nashville will be held at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel from April 11-13, 2014.

Nashville, also known as the Music City, is a center for the music, health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home to Vanderbilt University, as well as Belmont University and Tennessee State.  Home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville is chock full of music-related sights and sounds throughout the city.


Mark your calendars – registration opens November 11, 2013 9 am PST/12 pm EST!

For workshop and lecture descriptions, schedule and pricing, please visit the SewDown Nashville website.

Member Spotlight: Andres

Meet Andres, a brand new quilter/sewist who picked up his first needle and thread in 2012. Honestly, you would never guess he was newbie. His designs and eye for color is truly inspiring.

Andres is also one of our forum moderators over on the Community site. He’s quick with a helpful suggestion, link and great graphic to show you whatever you need to know to navigate the site! We so appreciate the time he takes to volunteer. THANK YOU!


When did you become a MQG member? 

I became a MQG member in July. I joined with the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild. It was always the intention of the VMQG founding members to join a national organization and we joined as soon as it was available.


When did you first find modern quilting? 

My first exposure to modern quilting was in late winter 2011. A local fabric shop (superbuzzy) that was online-only opened a brick-and-mortar shop in Oct-Nov and my roommate (who was already interested in the modern quilt aesthetic) and I started hanging out there. Mind you, at the time I didn’t sew/quilt/etc. but what I saw interested me. In January 2012 we founded the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild. The first thing I sewed was our guild’s February block challenge.


What is your favorite part of the quilt making process? 

My favorite part of the quilt making process is that initial spark of of inspiration for a new quilt. There’s nothing like that first “hey, you know what would be awesome…” moment.


How do you educate yourself on new techniques? 

I educate myself by reading blogs, asking my roommate for advice, consulting my guild mates and local shop owner. I ask a lot of questions.


Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in everyday things I see and the work of my peers.


What is your most used and favorite quilting tool? 

A rotary cutter. There’s no way I’d quilt without one.


What is the funniest mistake you’ve made while sewing?

Funniest mistake? Is sewing two pieces together the wrong way funny? It is after it’s fixed. I’ve also nicked myself with a rotary blade while cutting/drinking. The cut wasn’t bad so I laughed it off. I also don’t drink and cut anymore.


Show us your sewing space! 

My sewing space, I like to keep it modular so I can move tables around depending on what I’m doing.


What sewing machine do you sew on? 

I sew on a Janome Horizon 7700QCP. I recently bought a Singer Featherweight from 1946 (according to the internet, at least).



If you could take a class from anyone in the quilting world who would it be? 

I would have said Jacquie Gering but I’m taking a class from her at Road to California next year! There’s too many brilliant people I’d love to take classes from. My second pick for Road was Lisa Sipes, she looks like one cool cat. A long quilt retreat with Joe Cunningham would be totally awesome too.

Want to see more from Andres? Check out:




SewDown Philadephia: Lizzy House

Oh Lizzy House, you make such pretty things! It was such a joy to finally meet Lizzy. She is not only talented but also totally awesome. Her style of teaching is very unique and the students loved her class. You can check out the Meadow Block class she taught here.

More SewDown 081

More SewDown 079

More SewDown 104 More SewDown 100

Thanks for sharing your talent with us Lizzy! We can’t wait to see everyone’s Meadow quilt develop over the next few months.

Announcing SewDown Portland!

We are so excited to announce the line up for the Portland SewDown!

The amazing instructors are:


Sherri Lynn Wood is an artist who lives in Oakland, California, where she improvises quilts as a life practice and blogs about it at Dainty Time. She has an MFA in sculpture from Bard College, a Masters of Theological Studies from Emory University, and teaches regularly at Penland School of Craft. Sherri’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the country. She has been making and selling quilts professionally for 20 years. Learn more at

heather jones

Heather Jones is a designer and self-taught quilter who lives outside of Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two young children. She is often inspired by everyday places and things that many people wouldn’t even notice (think an old metal silo or a painted grid in the parking lot of a big-box retailer), and is always excited by the challenge to translate that inspiration into her work. Heather has a great love and respect for the traditional art of quilting, is an avid collector of vintage quilts, and loves to bring a modern twist to traditional patterns. Her modern quilting patterns are available at a number of online locations and she will soon be bringing the Heather Jones Studio patterns to print as well. Heather is currently working on her first solo publication, which is scheduled for a fall 2015 release. Learn more at

lee squareLee Heinrich is a quilt designer, author, and blogger. Her book “Vintage Quilt Revival: 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks”—co-authored with Faith Jones and Katie Clark Blakesley—will be out in December 2013. She also has a line of patterns now available, and her work has appeared in magazines such as Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts, Quilt Magazine, and Quiltmaker. Lee loves the burgeoning area of “modern traditionalism” and wants to help quilters think outside the grid when it comes to traditional blocks. Stay up to date with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

julie square

Julie Herman lives in the San Diego and started sewing in 2002 and blogging in 2009. The goal when she started her blog was to share her quilts & have a journal of them. Since starting her blog she has been published in many magazines, started her own pattern company, and developed the Hex N More Ruler. Her book “Skip the Borders” was released in August of 2012. To read more about Julie, check out her blog

The fantastic lecturers are:

violet squareViolet Craft was born in the Old West into a ridiculously talented family of weekend artists and musicians. She was always drawn to art, craft and make-ing, but pursued her education in business and finance. As often happens, the birth of her first daughter compelled her to seek out her passion in design. Violet’s first fabric collection debuted with Michael Miller Fabrics in Spring 2011 along with the first Violet Craft Distinctive Lifestyle Sewing Patterns. She teaches sewing and design workshops and is an active member of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. Learn more at

wells square

Valori Wells is a professional quilter, author, fabric and pattern designer, painter and photographer. She also co-owns The Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon, with her mother. Valori came into quilting through osmosis, having a mother who shared her love of quilting and opened the Stitchin’ Post in 1975. She has been designing fabric, writing quilting books and patterns for 14 years, presenting a new look to the quilting and sewing world. Valori lives and works in Sisters, Oregon, with her husband and three children. Learn more at

Bill SquareBill Volckening is a quilt collector who lives in Portland, Oregon. He has collected quilts since 1989, and his collection includes more than 250 quilts made between 1780 and 2012. Bill studied art and photography at Rhode Island School of Design, School of Visual Arts in New York (BFA), and New York University / International Center of Photography (MA). Quilts from his collection have been included in exhibitions and publications around the world, with solo exhibitions at the Benton County Museum (2011) and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (2013). Bill was recently featured in Quilters Newsletter and Generation Q Magazine. He blogs about quilts at Wonkyworld, and as a guest blogger for Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics. Read more about Bill at

Portland SewDown registration will be opening on September 12, 2013! We hope to see you there!

What are the SewDowns? An all-inclusive weekend quilting getaway! A swanky hotel, all meals and workshops are included in the attendance fee. Live it up from Friday through Sunday with four teachers, a full load of workshops and lectures, plus spend time sewing with your friends at the open sew nights!

Can’t make the entire weekend? Lunch and dinner lectures will be available too!

The Portland SewDown dates are February 7th 2014 to February 9th 2014.

Full Package Cost:
Shared room: $750 MQG members/$935 non-members
Single room: $960 MQG members/$1200 non-members

What you get!
Four workshops with our amazing teachers
Six delicious meals (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners)
Three informative lectures
Two nights at a fantastic hotel
Two fun nights of open sewing time!
1 great swag bag

Local Package (No Hotel) Cost:
$480 MQG members/$600 non-members

What you get!
Four workshops with our amazing teachers,
Four delicious meals (2 lunches, 2 dinners),
Three informative lectures,
Two fun nights of open sewing time,
And 1 great swag bag!

Please note we have a limited number of local packages available.

Lectures Only
Luncheon Lectures $50
Dinner Lecture $90

The Nines Hotel
525 SW Morrison St
Portland Oregon 97204
United States

For workshop descriptions, schedule and pricing, please visit the SewDown Portland website.

Sewing machines will be generously provided by:


The Basics Challenge with Riley Blake Designs

We are so excited to announce Riley Blake Designs as this year’s sponsor of the 3rd annual MQG members fabric challenge.


Basics! We all love those wonderful basics from Riley Blake. They are generously providing each official MQG member 6 fat eighths from their Basic category. Each member will be receiving fabrics like these colors and patterns.


  • The challenge runs from September 2013-December 2013.
  • Members can make anything they want as long as it is quilted!
  • Add in any solids or Riley Blake printed fabric.
  • You do not need to use all the fabrics given to you.
  • Upload and share your photos to the Fabric Challenge Forum on the Community site.
  • MQGs can create guild specific challenges, as long as the other guidelines are upheld.
  • Don’t forget to use the #mqgrileyblakechallenge on Instagram and Twitter!
  • See the members Community site for sign ups.
  • Fabric sign ups end Aug 31st, 2013

We cannot wait to see what you make! Have questions? Email Jen.

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

SewDown Philadelphia Lecturers Announcement!

We are very pleased to announce the lecturers for SewDown Philadelphia! We hope that those of you who are local will join us! Tickets can be purchased here. Both lunch lectures are $50 each and dinner is $90.

Our wonderful lecturers are…

Saturday Luncheon Lecture sponsored by 400x100xcloud9fabricslogo.jpg.pagespeed.ic.g302RCCoVd

Michelle Engle Bencsko- Design and Marketing Director Cloud 9 fabrics

Michelle Engle Bencsko- Design and Marketing Director Cloud 9 fabrics

Michelle Engel Bencsko, Growing A Creative Business – how we started, how and why we grew the way we have and about my particular job: directing and producing fabric collections

Michelle is Design and Marketing Director of Cloud 9 Fabrics and has spent her entire life dedicated to the pursuit of creative endeavors. While she obtained a BFA in Photography at Montclair State College, she almost immediately abandoned the idea of going into that industry. Instead, she found herself moving from one creative job to another until she unwittingly landed a humble position as a designer’s assistant in a mens sleepwear and loungewear company. Within a few years and another company later, she found herself the Design Director for a prominent private label mens underwear company where she honed her design, merchandising and marketing skills. After about 15 years in the industry that she never intended to make a career, she left the big NYC job to pursue her own projects and have more time with her children. Through her independent company, Cicada Studio, she developed and produced home décor weight printed textiles in cotton/linen blends. It was also at this time that she began to license collections for Henry Glass & Co, specifically for the quilt market, which opened up an entirely new perspective of designing and outlet for her talents. As the success of her Cicada Studio collections grew, her need to produce on a larger scale became evident. Being Earth-friendly has always been important to Michelle. As she researched her options and refined her ideas for a collection, the notion to create a designer line of fabrics that bridged the gap of high-end organics and mass-consumerism took shape.

Learn more about Michelle’s work, life and musings on her person al blog Cicada Daydream.

Saturday Dinner Lecture sponsored by
Newcastle Fabrics


Victoria Findlay Wolfe- Quilter, pattern and fabric designer

Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Quilting Your Story

A painter, photographer and quilter, Victoria was raised on a farm in central Minnesota. She learned to sew and quilt when she was four years old. Victoria graduated from the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art in 1993, and a year later moved to New York City.

Victoria began an outreach program for a transitional housing project in the South Bronx, New York, through which hundreds of quilts have been donated from quilters all over the world. (

Victoria is the author of 15 Minutes of Play and a fabric designer for Newcastle Fabrics.  She is also a member of the NYC Metro MOD Guild, the Empire Guild, the Minnesota Quilt Guild and a SAQA member. She sits on the board of directors for the Quilt Alliance and her quilt, Double Edged Love, was winner of Best in Show at QuiltCon.

Victoria lives with her husband, Michael Findlay, an art dealer and author, and their Daughter Beatrice.

Sunday Luncheon Lecture Sponsored by Jay McCarroll Online Logo


Jay McCarroll- Fashion and textile designer

Jay McCarroll, My Life in Design…So Far

Jay is a fashion and textile designer based in Philadelphia , PA. Jay studied fashion design at the former Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, now Philadelphia University , where he currently teaches. He also studied at the London College of Fashion.

Fabric, color, pattern, and texture are among the great loves of Jay’s life. According to Jay, the greatest part of his job is manipulating those elements into functioning products for people to use and enjoy. Jay finds inspiration for his work in many different things. He’s always been drawn to the vastness and the beauty of nature and is also fascinated by how other humans utilize nature so industriously.

Jay is internationally recognized for winning the inaugural season of the Emmy nominated, competitive reality television show, Project Runway in 2006. In 2007 Jay was featured in a docu-special on the Bravo network entitled “Project Jay” where he was asked to design a dress for supermodel Heidi Klum to wear to the Primetime Emmy Awards.

In 2008 Jay was the subject of a full length documentary entitled “Eleven Minutes” which chronicled his experience of putting together a collection for New York Fashion Week.

Join us in Philadelphia- New friends, amazing workshops, a swanky hotel and all delicious meals included for this weekend get away!

Register Now


Alexia Abegg- Beyond Quilting Cotton

SewDown Philadelphia is just one month away! We are so excited to hang out, sew, share new ideas and learn a ton from our amazing instructors and YOU!

Alexia is another multi-talented instructor that will be teaching in Philadelphia.

She is the author of Liberty Love.


A pattern designer.

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And a teacher. Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 9.08.25 AM

Alexia will be teaching students all about working with different fabrics in quilts. Some of the most inspiring modern quilts of decades past have used every fabric available at the time. She will be taking that inspiration and teaching students how to work with the plethora of fabrics available to the modern stitcher today. They will be expanding their knowledge of how to handle a variety of fabrics such as voile, lawn, velveteen, silk, denim, chambray, and more. Students will create sample quilt blocks using a variety of fabrics learning special tips and techniques for each fabric along the way.

Beyond Quilting Cotton-7220

additional pics jen-7223

Don’t miss out on learning from Alexia! Join us in Philadelphia- New friends, amazing workshops, a swanky hotel and all delicious meals included for this weekend get away!

Register Now

About Alexia Abegg

Author of Liberty Love and one third of Green Bee Design & Patterns team, Alexia Marcelle Abegg has been fascinated with the art of sewing ever since her mother lent her a sewing machine in high school. Inspired by her parent’s creativity and dedication to art throughout her life, Alexia studied fine arts and fashion in college. She has a love for watercolors, and is rarely without a sketchbook.
After trying her hand at photography, production, acting, costuming, hair and makeup for film and television, fashion design, and custom sewing, she found her home in creating quilts and sewing patterns while living in Brooklyn, New York.

Guild Spotlight: Ann Arbor MQG!

Ann Arbor

With the opening of membership for the MQG we thought it would be fun to get to know some of the new “official” Modern Quilt Guilds.

The Ann Arbor MQG formed in January of 2011. They currently have 37 dues-paying members (a number that seems to go up all the time!) and there are around 20 of them at any given meeting.  Their early meetings were at the downtown library in Ann Arbor.  They sat around a small table, there were usually less than ten of them.  Now they meet in the awesome classroom at Pink Castle Fabrics!

What makes your guild awesome?

There is so much inspirational creativity and welcoming energy amongst our members!  We have a lot of fun getting to know each other and our styles.


Pieced by: Dorie Schwarz, Jenna Brand, Amy Stevenson, Kathy Koch, Rossie Hutchinson, Debbie Grifka, Jennifer Bernstein, Ginia Forrester, Amy Dietrich, Emily Shildhouse, Brenda Ratliff, Courtney Meszaros, and Ashley Day.
Quilted by: Kathy Koch of Threadbear quilting

How do you educate your members?

We sew together (which often involves group problem solving) and at meetings we do a “skill school” where a member might present their preferred binding method or we might learn how to match points in improvisational piecing.  Everyone is really generous with their knowledge! Our secretary, Jenna, does an awesome job keeping our blog updated with round-ups of members blogs and activities.  It’s a great place to see what we’re up to and what happens with modern quilts!  

We also started a guild library!


Pieced by: Dorie Schwarz, Jenna Brand, Amy Stevenson, Kathy Koch, Rossie Hutchinson, Debbie Grifka, Jennifer Bernstein, Ginia Forrester, Amy Dietrich, Emily Shildhouse, Brenda Ratliff, Courtney Meszaros, and Ashley Day.
Quilted by: Kathy Koch of Threadbear quilting

Have you participated in any quilt shows as a guild?

We had our own quilt show last fall at a local venue.  We’ve also encouraged participation in the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase and the show at Quilt Con, where our guild has been well-represented.


Pieced by: Dorie Schwarz, Jenna Brand, Amy Stevenson, Kathy Koch, Rossie Hutchinson, Debbie Grifka, Jennifer Bernstein, Ginia Forrester, Amy Dietrich, Emily Shildhouse, Brenda Ratliff, Courtney Meszaros, and Ashley Day.
Quilted by: Kathy Koch of Threadbear quilting

How does your guild give back? Do you do any charity projects?

We collect quilts from members for a local charity.  We’ve also worked as a group to produced quilts for fundraising.  This week, we’re auctioning off two twin-sized quilts that we made.  Proceeds from their sale will go to Habitat for Humanity! Bidding ends August 11, 2013.


Pieced by: Dorie Schwarz, Jenna Brand, Amy Stevenson, Kathy Koch, Rossie Hutchinson, Debbie Grifka, Jennifer Bernstein, Ginia Forrester, Amy Dietrich, Emily Shildhouse, Brenda Ratliff, Courtney Meszaros, and Ashley Day.
Quilted by: Kathy Koch of Threadbear quilting

Find the Ann Arbor MQG here:



Current Officers:

Brenda Ratliff – President

Debbie Grifka – Vice President of Programs

Rossie Hutchinson – Vice President of Membership

Jenna Brand – Secretary and Webmaster

Jennifer Bernstein - Treasurer