QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Breaking Out” by the San Diego MQG

by Jenifer Collins, San Diego MQG Charity Committee Chairchallenge_finalThe San Diego MQG was excited to participate in the Quiltcon Charity Challenge for the fourth year in a row. For this year’s challenge, we wanted to not only explore scale but how scale could simulate movement in a quilt.

Our members were provided a mock-up of the proposed project, but with the understanding that the ultimate design and layout would be created as a group during our challenge sew-in day.
Inspired by popular high-contrast nine-patch quilts, we decided to use the nine-patch as our base for experimenting with scale. However, we tweaked that idea a bit and settled on a 2×3 patch block, so that we would be working with rectangle instead of square blocks.

A variety of Kona fabric packets were handed out so that the primary components of the quilt could be made in advance of the sew-in. Members were asked to sew two-color blocks using any color combination they would like. We also encouraged people to substitute tone-on-tone prints where desired, but everyone kept it solid!

On the day of the sew-in, we used the large design wall at Quilt in a Day (the one Eleanor Burns stands in front of when they film the shows!) and, as a group, began laying out the collected blocks. We quickly realized that we had a problem: we didn’t like it…at all.

We tried various configurations and just couldn’t get the blocks to work right. We felt the color balance was off primarily due to the heaviness of the mustard and teal blocks. I had made several of those blocks as examples of the scale we would be using prior to the fabric distribution. I had picked mustard and teal thinking it would be a nice compliment to the blocks that would feature a neutral as one of the color pairs.

However, the majority of the blocks turned in featured a high-contrast set of colors, with one generally being a neutral. The mustard and teal blocks stood out in such contrast with the rest, it threw off what we were trying to accomplish. To be honest, we almost threw in the towel… until we discovered that if we eliminated all blocks containing mustard, we were back on track.


We were able to finish the top and passed it on to member Carrie Hanson (Gotcha Covered Quilting), who frequently quilts our charity projects. She did a phenomenal job, adding additional movement within the design through the negative space quilting.

This quilt is destined to support Just In Time for Foster Youth’s My First Home program. JIT and My First Home help San Diego youth aging out of the foster care system to establish and furnish their first apartments. We are proud supporters of this program.



Instagram @sandiegomodernquiltguild

#sdmodernquiltguild #sdmqg