Charity Quilt Spotlight: Northwest Arkansas MQG

The Modern Quilt Guild of Northwest Arkansas divided into two groups to complete the charity quilt challenge.

Group 1 chose a churn dash variation, while group 2 chose to work with a random pattern created from disappearing 9-patch and 4-patch blocks of various sizes.

Fabrics were chosen at a guild meeting where preliminary cutting was done. Members took fabric home to do preliminary sewing, then several came together on a Saturday where they worked 8 hours to complete the final tops.

Members Sonja Koch quilted the churn dash, and Karen Kielmeyer quilted the disappearing 9-patch.

Members will choose recipients following QuiltCon.

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Leeanna Walker
Publicity chairwoman

QuiltCon Charity Spotlight: Orange County MQG

Orange County Modern Quilt Guild (OCMQG)

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The OCMQG was very excited to participate in this challenge. We collected some ideas as to what type of quilt we wanted to make and decided as a group to do 3/4 log cabin blocks in varying sizes. We wanted to create our alternate grid with our blocks.

We purchased fabric in all of the challenge colors, as this quilt is intended for a child we wanted it to be bright and happy!  We cut our fabric into FQ’s and had our members select 3 colors each. Everyone then went away and made a selection of blocks, the member decided on the block size and color arrangement.

We have a monthly sew at the quilting studio of one of our members and it was here we collected all the blocks and spent a very happy few hours arranging and rearranging them into a top that pleased us. We managed to get the top pieced that day. We did have a few ‘left over’  blocks and lots of small strips of fabric from the block making. We decided to use all of this to create a block for the back of the quilt.

Our longarm quilter member (Karen) did the beautiful all over quilting, and then it was off to be bound, labeled, have a sleeve attached and get mailed (by Susan).

We are delighted to have been part of this MQG challenge and look forward to seeing all of the amazing quilts created by other guilds.

Catch the QuiltCon Traveling Exhibit

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The quilts of QuiltCon are on the road! Catch 20 inspiring quilts from QuiltCon 2015 at the following shows:

Charity Quilt Spotlight: Calgary MQG

The Calgary Modern Quilt Guild completed its QuiltCon charity project with the direction and spirit of Becca Cleaver. From an energetic and laughter-filled coffee shop meeting to designing the quilt to making the final stitches, she led the commitment.

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Our design is built off of blocks from guild member Bernadette Kent’s book, Rubies, Diamonds and Garnet, Too. Bern also helped sew the quilt. With its on point layout, a million HSTs and that great gray slab background, the quilt takes some seemingly traditional blocks to a wonderfully modern level. We decided to use the chosen fabrics to represent the four seasons, and the machine quilting reflects that as well.

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We had members piecing, a long arm volunteer, others squaring up, another binding, someone attaching the sleeve. It was a true group effort completed around everyone’s busy schedules. That quilt traveled a lot in the city!

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Calgary is no stranger to giving, and even needing a helping hand. After the devastating floods in 2013, the city rallied to help neighbours, friends and strangers clean up. We even did some of our sewing in a flood ravaged house, with members who themselves were flooded out of their homes. The spirit of giving is in our quilt, the support of our guild members and hopefully translated into our quilt.

All Points Patchwork: English Paper Piecing Beyond The Hexagon

By Diane Gilleland 

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106_cAlexandraGrablewski_ElongatedTableRunner_AllPointsPatchworkAll Points Patchwork covers English paper piecing from every angle: how to baste and sew patches, how to finish various kinds of projects, how to make your own designs and templates, and special tips for working with hexagons, diamonds, triangles, octagons, curved shapes, and more. There are 30 project ideas and 84 pattern ideas, but the book focuses on technique instead of specific project instructions, so you have more flexibility to dream up your own designs.

English paper piecing is a very old method for making beautiful, intricate patchwork. You don’t need any special skills or tools. All you need, aside from some basic hand-sewing supplies, is a stack of paper templates. When you baste fabric to these shapes, you get crisp, precise patches. Sew the patches together, and the paper does all the work of matching up the points.

IMG_7041I found EPP about five years ago, when hexagon patchwork began popping up around the internet. I was hooked after my first hexie. As much as I love my sewing machine, I find the slow, hand-stitched pace of EPP to be so meditative, and I can carry my projects with me anywhere. The craft goes way beyond hexies, too – you can EPP in any shape you can dream up, and you can work with great big patches or tiny little ones.

Learn more about the book at AllPointsPatchwork.com, and if you’d like to dip a toe into some EPP right now, try these simple free patterns on my website!

Storey Publishing is giving away three copies of All Points Patchwork to members and friends of the MQG. Enter here for a chance to win! We’ll select winners on Wednesday, June 17. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Charity Quilt Spotlight: Kansas City MQG

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KCMQG on the loose with a project – QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge 2015

First order of business? Who will we choose to work on this TOP SECRET MISSION?

What? It isn’t a secret? Then why will anyone read this? Oh, because inquiring minds want to know! OR just because.

October — a small elite group of sewists take on the challenge. Marsha Rhoads, Elizabeth Rogers and Monica Vega meet discreetly at the downtown branch of the Kansas City library to avert attention from those who would be spies. They choose a pattern — Fractal from a book called Quilt Lab, and agree to collect fabrics from their stash. Elizabeth agreed to draw the design to scale along with suggesting color ideas.  

Next step, meet at a secret location. They chose a store front — cleverly disguised as a quilt shop, Show-Me Quilting in Raytown. Oh right, it is an actual legitimate quilt shop with a great selection of modern fabrics! Make a note to go there! Between them, they owned a few good fabrics but were able to buy everything else they needed there. Marsha and Monica snuck off to a secret hideout to cut the blocks. In a further attempt to throw off would-be spies, Marsha suggested they meet up at the Rainbow Mennonite Church fellowship room to finalize the fabric placement.

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kansas city pic3At an undisclosed location (her sewing room), Marsha worked long hours by candlelight… okay, maybe a light or two. Elizabeth and Marsha met to exchange the package. Elizabeth would toil long hours in silence to quilt the project. All that was left was the binding and other finish work. Soon the package would be off to the secret destination in Austin, TX. There, it would be mixed up with all the other “projects,” in the hope that no one would know what quilt was submitted by which group. Oh, right – they all have labels…  And that is a wrap from the TOP SECRET team from the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.

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Charity Quilt Spotlight: Knoxville MQG

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The making of the Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild’s Quiltcon charity quilt was a collaborative effort spear-headed by founding member Emily Doane. Emily, who enjoys experimenting with graphic design in her spare time, used her skills with Corel Draw to create the quilt’s design, an updated take on the classic drunkard’s path and curved piecing. After coming up with the 3/4 circle block that would be the foundation of the quilt, Emily decided on the block size she wanted, 12.5”, and then varied the placement of the individual blocks within the rows of the quilt, experimenting with the amount of negative space between the blocks in each row until she was happy with the end design. The result is a quilt pattern with movement and space between the individual elements; each block unique in it’s coloring, pattern, and orientation to the rest of the blocks and quilt as a whole.

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After the design was set, Emily created a key for the members of the guild to follow to create the individual blocks. Participating members signed up to sew one or more of the individual blocks in the chosen colors.

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The blocks were collected from individual members, and then pieced by Emily, along with a generous donation of the background Kona Ash from member Dawn Green, into the quilt top. Member Pat Pike (Emily’s mom!) donated backing fabric as well as the use of her Gammill longarm quilting machine, which Emily used to quilt the quilt with an interlocking squared circle design.

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After the quilt was finished, Emily described the process as “very rewarding;” to see her design transform from idea, to pattern, to real quilt in “REAL fabric!” In the end, the guild’s quilt is a melding of Emily’s design efforts, the collaborative sewing of the guild members, and the modern quilting aesthetic.

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KMQG would like to thank Emily for her time and effort in designing, piecing and quilting the guild’s quilt, as well as all of those members who participated by piecing the individual blocks and/or generously donating materials for the quilt.

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Charity Quilt Spotlight: Boise MQG

Over the next few months, we’ll be featuring the work of some amazing charity quilts from QuiltCon 2015. Our first post is by the Boise MQG. Take it away!

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Laura Pukstas took the lead on organizing the Boise Modern Quilt Guild 2015 QuiltCon Charity Quilt submission. She gathered member feedback, finalized the design, and quilted it on her longarm machine. Most of the guild members wanted a lot of negative space and a non-traditional quilt layout. With this in mind, Laura worked on a quilt design that incorporated these elements. Laura says “I liked the idea of a block slowly building and getting bigger with additional elements being added to it. With the blocks getting larger in size, I wanted it to be emphasized by adding another color to each block. I liked the cascading feel of blocks starting in one corner and leading to one large block.”

Once the design was set, members were assigned a color, raided their fabric stashes, and helped to sew the individual blocks. Laura gathered the blocks and pieced together the quilt top, looking at it for several days to decide on a quilting design. She quilted some of the star block designs, various-sized flying geese, and a variety of filler designs to fill the expansive negative space. Two layers of batting made the quilting seriously pop, especially in the less-quilted areas. The quilting took a long time because it was so densely quilted.

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Once quilted, it was Angela Bowman’s turn to apply the binding. She chose some blue fabric from her stash and tried to stop staring at the stellar quilting long enough to bind the quilt.

 

Michael Miller Fabric Challenge — QuiltCon 2016

Michael Miller Glitz Fabric Challenge at QuiltCon 2016

Hold on to your sewing machines, because the fabric for the next QuiltCon Michael Miller Fabric Challenge is here! And we’re excited to unveil these fantastic metallic prints from Michael Miller’s Glitz collection.

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This year’s fabrics include 12 glamorous prints from Michael Miller, and each participant will receive six fat eighths at random. Like previous fabric challenges, we have many more members than available fabric bundles… We wish everyone could get one, but the bundles are first come, first serve. That said, we ask that everyone who signs up to please plan to submit the final quilt to the Fabric Challenge category at QuiltCon — like other categories, this category is eligible for judging and awards up to $1,000!

To be eligible, quilts must primarily use the fabrics above, but additional coordinating Michael Miller solids are permitted. Once completed, these quilts will be entered it into the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge category at QuiltCon. The top prize for this category is $1,000!

The registration link will be sent to members via email on May 9th at 10 a.m. Eastern time, 7 a.m. Pacific. To make things easy, here’s a handy time converter so you’ll know exactly when the link will be available to you. Registration is open until all fabric bundles are gone or until May 23. Bundles go quickly, so if you’re sure you want to enter, don’t wait! (However, if you’re not ready to commit, remember that you don’t have to get the free fabric to be involved – all you have to do is use the fabrics above in your quilt.)

All fabric will be shipped by mid-July, and the deadline for entries is November 30, 2015 (the same as other QuiltCon quilt show entries).

Have ideas for this sweet fabric yet? We’d love to hear ’em. Post a comment below! And for more info, visit the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge page at quiltcon.com.