QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Detroit Rising” by the Detroit Area MQG

by Lori Miller


The Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild is made up of members from across the entire Detroit Metro Area in Michigan. We were inspired to create a quilt that represented the growth, resurgence and positive momentum we are seeing in the city and metro area. This quilt also represents the diverse and talented population of individuals who are coming together to build that growth.

Donna Tarnas, Quiltcon Charity Quilt Chairperson, issued the call to our membership for assistance. Our member, Coleen Merte, an accomplished pattern designer, offered to help design the quilt. Coleen starts her design process with graph paper and pencil and then recreates the design on her computer.

The design inspiration was the beautiful Detroit Riverfront and downtown skyline including the historical Renaissance Center Building. The kaleidoscope colors represent the diversity of the people and the industry in Detroit. There is a newly energized industrial and artistic maker community thriving and redefining the city. It also represents our historic automotive and industrial legacy, rich musical scene, and the overall rebirth of spirit and infrastructure in Detroit.

The committee decided to put together kits of the different sections of the quilt so that all the members could have a chance to stitch a part of the quilt. Some members sewed at one of our Annual Retreats and others took a kit at a monthly meeting and returned their finished block for assembly. This approach helped keep the required color palette in check as well as made the piecing much simpler.

On a snowy day in December, members braved the weather to come together and assemble all of the blocks. The design began to take life with the Chevron Detroit River emerging, the downtown landscape, and even a few blocks of color highlighting the friendly rivalry between the University of Michigan and Michigan State.

The finished quilt was quilted using the street scape layout of Detroit as a pattern. Amy Lobsinger from Big City Quilting Company provided her long arm expertise. The Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild is proud to share this beautiful quilt from the Motor City. This quilt will be donated to a local charity.IMG_0301

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