QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “WELCOME HERE/BIENVENUE ICI” by the Montreal MQG

by Michele B. Fitzgerald, Project Manager for Charity Challenge


Montreal Charity Challenge for 2017

A Project Manager was nominated for this project, Michèle B. Fitzgerald, to be assisted by Lily Lam. During the springtime meetings, brainstorming and open suggestions were invited regarding the design and production of this quilt to explore the theme of Scale and we chose to design a large, single abstract flower inspired partly from the artwork of Georgia O’Keefe. Two other members offered concrete support in providing a grid and sketches (Josée and Cinzia) which allowed Lily to produce a final drawing and mock-up of the planned blocks. Although many of our members had not sewn curves and circles before, they were willing to learn and the entire quilt design was made of large curved petals spanning several blocks ranging from 8″ to 16″. Our goal was to not be bored assembling repetitious blocks and that goal was definitely achieved!

The first ten blocks were sewn at our October first sew-in, which was three weeks BEFORE our scheduled professional workshop where we would learn to sew curves and circles. We take the word ‘challenge’ very seriously here. Another fifteen members took blocks home with a hand-made pattern based on Lily’s detailed sketch and brought them back for assembly at the end of October. As expected, several blocks needed a little adjustment or fixing and the assembly procedure was modified to reduce the original fractured design. At this point, the poor quilt top looked like an awkward teenager going through growing pains but soon a devoted long-arm quilter, Francine Benoit stepped in to straighten it out, discipline it and work miracles. With patience and hours of hard work, Francine tamed and quilted it to accentuate our large curved flower petals. When returned to Montreal, this quilt is designated for a refugee family being sponsored by a local church community. Many of us want to continue sewing curves in the future but at least one of us said: never again! But we all had fun.IMG_1167