QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Colorado Cadence” by the Boulder MQG

by Ann Deister, Social Media Director

Colorado_Cadence_by_BoulderMQG

2017 marks the third year the BoulderMQG has made a QuiltCon charity quilt. Making charity quilts has always been a large part of our mission. We have donated over 50 quilts in the past three years. For a small guild, averaging around 24 members, I think that’s pretty amazing!

This was our process for creating Colorado Cadence.

When the color palette and theme were announced, we talked about possible ways to depict the idea of scale and agreed upon the colors we wanted to work with. We also chose to use mostly prints. Using the prints allowed us to use scale at the micro level within the design giving the quilt greater variety and depth.

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As chairperson, I developed a few ideas for review. Our President, Cynthia, suggested this mosaic by Roberto Burle-Marx, a Brazilian landscape designer as a possible source of inspiration. 

At the review, everyone agreed the mosaic offered wonderful opportunities for exploring scale. The next step was to develop the design. Squares and circles, structured through the use of color blocking, was the basis of our concept. I started with super large areas of color to create a vast sense of scale. These areas were broken down into 12” blocks using the square and circle design elements. More and more details were added providing texture and variety. With each progressive refinement more movement and rhythm was introduced.

Packets of fabric were pulled together that included a small amount of a solid plus some prints based on color. Members signed up for 2 or more blocks and supplemented with fabrics from their stash which added more variety. Block assignments were flexible so quilters could add their own twist. The main criteria was to stick with the color scheme and square/circle elements. This worked well for our group. Some made blocks exactly as the diagram showed and others added something. BoulderMQG_detail_of_quilting

Members worked at home and during our monthly sew days and, as the blocks came in, I put them up on my design wall to keep tabs on our progress.

During our October sew, many people pitched in sewing the blocks together so by the end of the day we had a finished top and a nearly finished backing. Cynthia, then took everything home. She completed the backing and worked her fabulous free-motion magic, quilting a variety of different motifs in the various sections of the quilt. We are so lucky to have her talent in the guild. By early January it was ready for the finishing touches. Binding. Label. Sleeve.

Most of our guild participated and I want to thank everyone for giving their time and talents to our effort. I am so proud of you and our quilt.

Having Colorado Cadence hanging in Savannah with the other charity quilts will be very exciting. Seeing so many quilts, all sharing the same theme and colors, hanging together in one place is simply AMAZING!  And all for charity. Quilters truly are generous people. BoulderMQG_design_development

The Boulder Modern Quilt Guild is based in Boulder County Colorado. If you live in the area or even if you’re visiting, we’d love to have you join us. Learn more about us by visiting our Facebook page or our website. Follow us on Instagram too @bouldermqg. #bouldermqg

 

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: by the Austin MQG

by Dawn Golstab and Amanda Hohnstreiter, Team Leaders

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Over the past few years, we have focused more on improv for the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge. Improv has become more and more popular this year, we have seen it more in the social media realm but also in projects that our members have been bringing to our monthly meetings for show and tell.
Around the time that the challenge was announced, Chawne Kimber visited Austin and taught a small scale piecing workshop. It was exciting and fresh and it was one of the catalysts for our design.
After all this focus on improv, we wanted to swing the other direction with the challenge. In an effort to test and build our skills for the precise, a design was created using small scale 3 inch finished churn dash blocks to create a larger scale churn dash. While the need for 720 mini churn dashes seemed daunting at first, our guild embraced the challenge and pressed on full speed ahead!

Building community and creating a supportive environment became so important on this project. One of the biggest blessing we saw were people honing their skills during piecing, but showing up even to iron, or cut fabric, anything to help out the team. Most sewing on this project was done in these group meet ups, which made the process all the more enjoyable. Everyone had a hand in the larger layout, fabric combinations, placement of individual blocks and more.
What’s most impressive is how well each person did with their precision piecing on this project. The idea of having a group of people sewing up 720 blocks individually and having them actually align and match up without much work seems impossible. However, each of those tiny pieces fit together like a glove. We couldn’t be more proud of the work from our guild members!

Instagram @austinmqg

#austinmqg

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Tangle of Triangles” by the Bloomington-Normal (Illinois) MQG

by Donna Lee, Vice President

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Featured on front are equilateral triangles of low-volume prints with the given palette shining like gems in the centers. A huge “log cabin triangle” is on back.

backWhat an adventure this was! The Bloomington-Normal (Illinois) Modern Quilt Guild members were very excited to start creating this quilt!! Ideas & texts were flying like crazy! With over 50 members in the 4 year-old guild, there was no problem getting volunteers to be on the Design Team! Equilateral triangles were chosen to provide a diverse platform for demonstrating scale. Low volume prints were added for the triangles allowing the given palette to glimmer like gems in the center of some triangles! Those bits of intense color would be sprinkled all over the quilt.

Was the finished product drafted on graph paper? Were kits assembled to pass out to members? Oh, no. We just jumped on the Design-As-You-Go Bus and took off!
Members enthusiastically attended sewing days and produced stacks of triangles! This soon revealed that low volume triangles resulted in a nondescript quilt! Eeek! Back to the design wall to add larger triangles and greater areas of color!! Lessons in color value were emerging! How big could a triangle be? Well, we would soon find out! Areas of threesomes were intentionally created to morph into larger triangles. Aah, now it was taking shape!
While attending a guild retreat, members swooped in to complete piecing the top. Triangle templates were constructed as larger triangular areas were defined. (It did have to fit together eventually, right?) If a little diversity was needed in some areas, the “other side” of the low volume fabric was used! No more worrying about right side and wrong side! Donna Lee, Vice-President and Project Manager, constructed a gigantic triangle for the quilt back that incorporated lots of teal along with low-volume prints.

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Next step: custom quilting. Can a quilt be loaded diagonally on a longarm? Whaat?? Betty Woodruff, famous local longarmer, figured out how! (Not sure she’d do it again, though!) Notice how the quilting emphasizes the triangles…well, of course it does! President Kathy Cook carried out the binding task.
Many members would probably agree that a favorite part of the challenge was exploring design options with like-minded guild members. Deciding color influence and puzzling over fabric possibilities are always fun tasks to undertake!

Instagram @BNMQG

#BNMQG

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Star in Your Future” by the Asheville MQG

by Connie Brown, Charity Quilt Coordinator

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In July 2016, the Asheville Modern Quilt Guild held a brainstorming meeting to share ideas for our 2017 QuiltCon Charity Quilt. Our vice-president was the project manager. She ordered the fabrics we were to use and the book “Patchwork City” by Elizabeth Hartman. The theme had been selected, “playing with scale”, as well as color choices and the idea to incorporate stars. Our first sew-in was held in Sept 2016 where members made large units of improvisational piecing because there were no guidelines or plan for an overall design. In October, we were to have another sew-in, but that was soon canceled. Our guild was in turmoil. The president, vice-president, and secretary all resigned and urged the guild to dissolve. Several members felt we could accept their resignations and continue on as a guild for at least one more year. The remaining members gathered for our regular November meeting. We discussed being able to complete the charity quilt project. If only we had the fabrics and improvisational units that we had already made. We received those items from the former project manger on December 19, 2016. Time was now a huge factor. A design was sketched out. It used star patterns found in “Patchwork City”. Stars in 4 sizes would be off-set and float on the improv background. Kits were put together so members could take a few home, sew them together and turn them in. We scheduled a sew-in day but snow caused us to postpone to the next day. On Tuesday January 10, 2017 we lugged sewing machines and supplies through 6 inches of snow to work on our charity quilt. Thank you to the Southern Highland Craft Guild staff and the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC for allowing us to use a meeting room. During the sew-in, a few spinners were meeting just next door. I invited them to see what we were working on. They were curious as to what is a “modern” quilt. This was a wonderful opportunity to educate other textile artists about modern quilts. We left our machines there overnight and the next day completed our “Stars in your future” quilt top.

A member has volunteered to longarm quilt it for us and another has volunteered to bind it. This guild has pushed through adversity to see this project through to the end. As I write this we have 2 weeks to quilt it, bind it, attach the sleeve and label and then ship it to QuiltCon. A big THANK YOU to all of the AMQG members who contributed to this project, including, Monica T, Moncia H., Avery, Christina, Jo, Tina, Erica, Diana, Paula, Pam, Sara, Rachel, Amy, Patty, and me, Connie. We did it!

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QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “White Noise” by Ann C. Malhotra & Catherine R. Herman

by Catherine R. Herman

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With the quilt challenge theme SCALE, we immediately thought music! For decades, our family has enjoyed many musical genres! We scoured our Modern Quilting resources. Ann spotted Debbie Grifka’s WAVES quilt in Modern Patchwork Summer 2014 (an Interweave Publication) and we were hooked! We chose the KONA pallette because of the wonderful colors (white, silver, pink, citrus, yarrow, ultramarine, hyacinth, ocean) and sewing ease. With permission from Interweave Publication, we began our construction by making a paper mockup to establish quilt size, block size, and color placement. Rotary cutting, design board placement, and machine piecing ensued. We were so pleased with each wave addition! Grey was added in the backing selection and machine quilting. Pink quilting lines added panache! We continue our musical and quilting adventures during daylight and sleep to white noise – thus the title!

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QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Fibonacci+Scale+Fabric=One Quilt” by Albuquerque MQG

by Vicky Kemp Harms, ABQMQG QuiltCon Charity Quilt Chairman

This is the first time that Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild constructed a QuiltCon charity quilt. Like most guilds, volunteers are the backbone of every activity. Our approach was to include as many members as possible in the process, and we are very fortunate to have awesome volunteers.

The theme for the year, Scale lent itself to a math theme for this quilt. For Scale, we used multiples of three to construct blocks ranging from three inches to twenty-four inches square. We used the Fibonacci sequence to determine the number of each sized block to construct. The Fibonacci sequence starts with 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 where a number is found by adding up the two numbers before it. If you take the time to count the number of blocks of each size, you will see that there are twenty-one 3” blocks, only one each of 21” and 24” blocks, for a total of 54 blocks. All blocks follow a set color combination, except the 3” blocks which are many color combinations.

ABQMQG is fortunate to have a fantastic sponsoring quilt shop, Hipstitch which carries the entire Moda Grunge line of fabric for us to match the color theme set for this year’s quilt. Another amazing Albuquerque quilt shop, The Quilt Works provided us space to have work days to construct block kits and assemble the blocks into a quilt top.

Members of the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild who made significant contributions to the construction of the quilt are Barbara Deshler who drafted out the double plus blocks in each size, including the paper piecing foundations for the 3” blocks which the ABQ Modern Mini group pieced during a sewing day, Tisha Cavanaugh who pieced the back which also follows the Fibonacci sequence and added her amazing quilting to bring this quilt to life, and Dana Brabson who bound the quilt and added the hanging sleeve. Many, many more members helped to make this quilt a reality. This truly was a group effort, with members gathering to determine color combinations for the various sized blocks followed by cutting fabric and assembling block kits with piecing instructions for guild members to construct. At a guild meeting, block kits were available for members to check out to take home, sew and bring back the following month. Some members took one, two, three or four home to sew and return. It’s a great way to include many members in the process. A group of members gathered once again to determine the layout of the blocks and transform them into a quilt top.

The favorite part of the QuiltCon Charity Quilt was being able to include so many members in making this quilt a reality, and we learned that our guild has many willing volunteers. The Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild has not yet selected a charity for this quilt. This will be determined later this Spring. While this is the first QuiltCon Charity Quilt for the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild, it definitely will not be the last.

Instagram: @abqmqg

#abqmqg

Making Decisions Together

After listening to membership feedback and having many, many conversations within the community, the MQG staff and Board of Directors have decided to retract the blog post about derivatives that was published in July. We want to sincerely apologize for the confusion, misunderstandings and frustrations it caused. We made mistakes with how the information was presented, and it was not our intention to discourage, stifle or disappoint members. For that we are truly sorry.

We are removing the blog post to avoid future confusion, but we realize some members may still want to review the post and associated comments, so a complete PDF is available to members on the Resources page, here.

Clarification of QuiltCon Rules and Jurying/Judging Policies

  • There will be no changes to the rules about derivative works for QuiltCon 2017 (i.e., the same rules that applied for QuiltCon 2016 will apply for the 2017 show).
  • The Education Committee is currently working on compiling the current jurying and judging policies and procedures for QuiltCon into a consolidated document for members to view. The information outlined in this document will be no different from anything we’ve been doing in the past, but we are formalizing the policy document to provide better transparency about the existing process. This document will be released to members in the October newsletter.
  • In the coming months, we plan to launch a new pilot member involvement program (see below). One of the first of these programs will be a task force to obtain membership input on how to best incorporate the important issue of derivative work into our QuiltCon 2018 quilt entry rules, and jurying and judging policies and procedures.

Making Decisions Together

As an organization, we realize there is a huge opportunity to increase member involvement, especially when making decisions that affect the entire membership. The response to the derivative post showed that a larger issue needs to be addressed: communication between members and leadership and how we make decisions. As such, we’ll be rolling out a new pilot member involvement plan in late 2016, which we will be discussing in an upcoming town hall meeting (see below). It won’t be fast, and it will take time to launch, but we are 100% committed to creating more avenues for member involvement within the MQG.

All-Member Town Hall Meeting

This town hall meeting will be held to share highlights of recent activities, present concepts to increase member involvement and answer your questions. Any and all MQG members are invited to attend.

Because the MQG is a global organization, we explored many dates and times, but found that the one below works best across all time zones. If the time is not convenient for you, please note that the town hall will be recorded and posted on the Community Resources page shortly after airing live. Any member may submit a question, here, and those questions will be read in the order they are received after live questions have been answered. The time for the town hall is:

Los Angeles: 1pm PDT, Thursday, September 22
Denver: 2pm MDT, Thursday, September 22
Chicago: 3pm CDT, Thursday, September 22
New York City: 4pm EDT, Thursday, September 22
London: 9pm BST, Thursday, September 22
Sydney: 6am AEST, Friday, September 23

Town Hall Agenda: 

  • Highlights of recent MQG activities
  • Pilot member involvement plan
  • Q&A

 

Edit: Please visit the events page on the MQG Community site to register and submit questions.

Thank you for your questions, comments and support over the last few weeks. We are committed to answering questions and working with all members to improve the organization, and we thank you for being on this journey with us. We can’t wait to take the next step and move forward together.

Please note that staff is not working over the holiday weekend, so comments made after 4p EDT will not receive a response before Tuesday the 6th.

Catching up with MQG member Charlotte Newland, winner of the Great British Sewing Bee

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 10/05/2016 - Programme Name: The Great British Sewing Bee - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. Generics) - Picture Shows: Charlotte - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Charlotte Medlicott

Photo courtesy of Love Productions/BBC

If you’ve been watching the BBC’s television show Great British Sewing Bee, you probably know Charlotte Newland, who was announced as the winner on July 4! Charlotte is an individual MQG member from London, and one of 10 contestants on this year’s show. She made it through eight weeks of tough sewing challenges to become Britain’s best amateur sewer of 2016. We caught up with Charlotte to talk about the Bee, modern quilting, QuiltCon and the MQG.

Hi Charlotte — and congrats! We’re so excited for you. When did you decide you wanted to apply to be on the show?

My kids and I had always watched the show together, and last season my girls in particular kept telling me I should apply. They were so excited to see that applications were open, and made sure I filled in the form!

What happened when they told you you had been accepted?

The application process was pretty drawn out — there were several stages to go through and it was about four months before I heard I had been accepted. By that time I had gotten to know the people in the production company pretty well, so when they called with the news there was a lot of excited squealing.

The Great British Sewing Bee

(L-R) Joyce, Charlotte, Jade the moment Charlotte was announced as the winner – (C) Love Productions/BBC – Photographer: Charlotte Medlicott

Did you watch the episodes as they were airing? Any funny fan moments that happened as the show progressed?

I watched the episodes as they were shown, every week. It was really interesting to see the bits that we hadn’t been aware of at the time, like the judges’ discussions. The editing team did an amazing job cutting down probably 100 hours of footage into a one hour show. I did get recognised from about episode two. I was walking across Tower Bridge one day and someone called out “Oooh! You’re the lady from the sewing bee!” It was so strange to be recognised!

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 22:00:01 on 27/06/2016 - Programme Name: The Great British Sewing Bee - TX: 04/07/2016 - Episode: n/a (No. 8 - The Final) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY 27TH JUNE 2016 AT 22:00HRS** Charlotte - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Charlotte Medlicott

Charlotte sews a garment during the show. – (C) Love Productions/BBC – Photographer: Charlotte Medlicott

Does your quilt experience influence the way you design and create garments? 

It was definitely an advantage to have good rotary cutting skills, especially bearing in mind that the challenges were timed. Pinning and using scissors is so much more time consuming than using weights and a rotary cutter. It’s also a lot more accurate when cutting out stretch or delicate fabrics. Rotary cutting FTW!

During the ’60s week, your color block dress was lovely! And very reminiscent of a modern quilt… The judges were also impressed that you were trying out your fabrics ahead of time. Is that a quilter technique? Did any of the other challenges require you to reach into your quilting bag of tricks?

Using fabric scraps to test out colour placement in the Mondrian dress challenge just made sense to me. It’s definitely something that I did because of my quilting background. I use a design wall a lot in my quilting, and this was a teeny version of the same concept.

The time I’ve spent matching HST seams also stood me in good stead in the chevron top challenge in the first week!

Is your garment design style similar to your quilt style?

I am primarily an improv quilter, and I think that the “chop it up randomly and sew it back together” approach was really helpful in the alteration challenge, particularly with the duvet cover in the semi final.

What was it like being critiqued by Esme and Patrick?

As an amateur sewer I’ve never been critiqued before (apart from by myself, of course!), and it took a bit of getting used to. The judges were extremely fair in all their comments, though, and really kind about how they said things even when there were serious issues. Getting a good review felt amazing – like winning a prize!

It seemed like all the contestants became good friends during the season! Are any of them also quilters?

We had so much fun in the sewing room, and we learned so much from each other. Because we are all amateurs we each had a different approach, so there was a lot of skill sharing. I love them all to bits, and wish that we lived closer. Joyce is the only other quilter in the group.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 10/05/2016 - Programme Name: The Great British Sewing Bee - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. Generics) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Rumana, Angeline, Duncan, Charlotte, Patrick Grant, Esme Young, Josh, Jade, Claudia Winkleman, Tracey, Joyce, Jamie, Ghislaine - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Charlotte Medlicott

(L-R) Rumana, Angeline, Duncan, Charlotte, Patrick Grant, Esme Young, Josh, Jade, Claudia Winkleman, Tracey, Joyce, Jamie, Ghislaine – (C) Love Productions/BBC – Photographer: Charlotte Medlicott

The MQG community has been cheering you on the whole season — what was it like knowing that 10,000 people were rooting for you?

Having the support of so many people from the quilting community was wonderful! Quilters are the best 🙂

You were going to attend QuiltCon last year, but couldn’t because of filming. What was your reaction when you found out the two would overlap?

I couldn’t believe it when I found out that filming would coincide with QuiltCon! I was so looking forward to coming to Pasadena, it was crazy that both things happened at the same time!

Are you working on any quilts or is it just garments for the time being?

I’m working on a solids improv quilt inspired by the art of Sonia Delauney. It’s been a bit neglected over the last few months, but I hope to get some work done on over the summer. I’ve also got loads of clothes I want to make, including a new swimsuit.

What do you plan to do with your sewing time now that you’ve won the Bee?

I am looking forward to sewing just for me again. During the Bee there really was no time to sew anything for myself.

Will we see you at QuiltCon 2017 in Savannah?

I plan to be there as crew — I’m just looking into flights now!

What is the best part of being an MQG member?

The MQG community! I’ve met so many fantastic people online and in real life, and everyone is so supportive. It’s really wonderful!

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 22:00:01 on 04/07/2016 - Programme Name: The Great British Sewing Bee - TX: 04/07/2016 - Episode: n/a (No. 8 - The Final) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY 4TH JULY 2016 AT 22:00HRS** (L-R) Claudia Winkleman, Esme Young, Charlotte, Patrick Grant - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Charlotte Medlicott

(L-R) Claudia Winkleman, Esme Young, Charlotte, Patrick Grant – (C) Love Productions/BBC – Photographer: Charlotte Medlicott

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Rise Up and Reach” by the Southern Appalachian MQG

By Randy Case, Member & Design Team and Janelle Warren, VP Ed/Events & Design Team

SAMQG 2016Charity Quilt

The Southern Appalachian Modern Quilt Guild (SAMQG) is now almost two years old and growing! We are a gregarious and creative group of modern and traditional quilters, drawn together from western North Carolina, northern Georgia and east Tennessee and meet in Murphy, NC to explore the intriguing facets of modern quilting.

With a year of study, tinkering and sharing notions of improv piecing, negative space, wonky stars and a lot of other new modern quilting ideas, our ambassador to QuiltCon 2015 told us about all the wonderful charity quilts she had seen at the show and challenged us to consider doing one for this year.

After a bit of tentative tiptoeing around the color palette and wondering if we could actually do this, someone suggested that we make the quilt for REACH, our local women and children shelter. That was just what we needed to spark the vision. REACH’s motto is “Compassion. Hope. Shelter.”

We wanted to express how our mountains are a shelter of love and reflect love and compassion in a safe environment.  Throughout the process, REACH’s motto resounded. With that safety and security of our environment, there is hope of the light as we see so clearly in our starry skies.

We had a great idea, a great group of members and a great organization to support. Now onto the great challenge of how to transfer this into an improv quilt. Together we watched the MQG’s webinar on improv, and we were on our way.

After an initial brainstorming session with the full membership, and a frenzy of sketching and swapping of sketches among the design team, headed by Randy Case and Janelle Warren, the final concept was narrowed down. We decided on an abstract representation of a sunrise in our beautiful Appalachian Mountains with a water reflection.

2 Design Board

This gave us a chance to refine and apply the improv techniques we had been working on recently. We roughed in a couple design options in EQ7 and, after feedback from the overall team, fine-tuned the final design and generated a full sized rendering of the main panel to guide the piecing process.

We gathered at our local quilt shop, Bless My Stitches in Murphy for several sew-ins to see this vision come together.

3 Patty Singer

Patty Singer

 

4 Diana Randy Janelle

Patty Singer, Diana Turkovics, Randy Case & Janelle Warren

 

5 Janelle and Terry

Janelle Warren and Terry Baird at Sew-In Fun

We supplemented the basic color palette with a variety of shadings and prints and started constructing some improv panels to capture the spirit and shadows of our mountain scene.

Lessons in color value and improv piecing emerged.  It was fun to see our members sewing away, laughing and having fun making their own material. Stepping outside the box of perfection and embracing the flow of improv further anchored out love of the modern quilting way!

As the component stars, mountains and sunrise elements began to take shape the team’s enthusiasm also began to build.

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Wonky Stars by Jeanne Hewitt and Randy Case.

Each new addition to the design wall was met with ooohs and ahhhs along with a growing confidence in the processes we were using. Our stitching sessions were genuine sharing times and, as we encouraged each other to stretch a bit past our comfort zones, we got to know each other and appreciate each individual’s contribution.

Randy engineering the piecing.

Randy engineering the piecing.

After numerous sew-ins, we figured out how to piece it all together.

Jeanne Hewitt, Randy Case, Pam Howard, Barbara Fowler, Terry Baird, Maureen Ripper Members not pictured:  Ann Graham, Patty Singer, Janelle Warren, Karen Hopple, & Barbara Haydon

Jeanne Hewitt, Randy Case, Pam Howard, Barbara Fowler, Terry Baird, Maureen Ripper
Members not pictured:  Ann Graham, Patty Singer, Janelle Warren, Karen Hopple, & Barbara Haydon

At another sew-in, the team was challenged with using all our scraps from the front of the quilt to piece the back!

Terry & Janelle Getting the Quilt Ready for our brave new long arm quilter, Randy Case!

Terry & Janelle Getting the Quilt Ready for our brave new long arm quilter, Randy Case!

14 Back of Quilt

The back of the quilt showing off Randy’s great quilting.

Our trusty hand quilters, Barbara Fowler and Maureen Ripper, added the binding and sleeve.

We were pretty pleased with the result and thoroughly delighted to share our passion of improv quilting with our community and the REACH organization.

Buoyed by this year’s experience, and with QuiltCon 2017 just down the road a piece, it was an easy decision to do it again. We’ll see y’all in Savannah!

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: Niagara MQG

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I had only recently joined the Niagara Modern Quilt Guild when the topic of a charity quilt came up. I had been involved in guilds before and with charity quilts, however this was to be a totally different game! Our group was led by the indefatigable Tara. She deciphered the challenge details, timelines and colours and stressed the improv nature of the work. Before I knew it, I had agreed to longarm the quilt too. I was swept up in the creative energy that our guild generates when we get together.

The materials for our quilt were generously donated by a local quilt shop, The Modern Bee. Our president, Susan, obtained the fabric and had it cut and ready for us to get to work. The game had just begun.

The first challenge came when deciding what the theme of our quilt would be. Even with our fairly small guild, we had more ideas than we knew what to do with. We started a Pinterest page to gather ideas — from Canadian inventions like lightbulbs, Robertson screws, zippers, snowmobiles, wine and grapes (we are a Niagara Guild after all), to inukshuks, beer bottles, donuts and Mountie hats — we have more than enough ideas for a lifetime of charity quilts!

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Eventually we settled on hockey. But how to improv on a hockey theme? Again Tara came to our rescue with a fabulous tutorial on her blog. She suggested each member make a simple hockey stick member to start, knowing perhaps we would move on to words, nets, masks, jerseys — and yes, even a Stanley Cup! Finally the blocks were complete.

We met for a sew-in, thinking perhaps this part would be simple and quick. But it took a concerted effort and again the guidance and patience of Team Captain Tara, who worked magic with only a taped out quilt perimeter on the floor and a tape measure. We stitched the mismatched block sizes together until the very end of our sewing day.

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Next, the longarming, which was where I came in. How to quilt something so unique? We had decided to add the words to The Good Ol’ Hockey Game by Stompin’ Tom Connors to the quilt. In addition to the words, I quilted modern squares that reminded me of the skate marks on a hockey rink.

After quilting, it was bound by Heather and labelled. More photographs were taken, and the quilt was packaged and ready for its American tour. So many steps, and each time a guild member there to pick up the puck and pass it on.

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It certainly was a challenge. It pushed us all to try something new and, best of all, work with no rules — no pattern! We had no idea how this game would end, but we were all thrilled with the result. We made it through the season to the tournament and now our quilt is off to the finals… at QuiltCon 2016!

Hope you enjoy our quilt. Proudly modern quilters and always Canadian!