When our guild, the Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild (DAMQG), saw the QuiltCon Charity Challenge we knew we wanted to participate. The Guild asked for a volunteer to chair the project. She designed and proposed three quilt designs for the group to choose from. She organized volunteers and, once the design was determined, selected a color scheme. She drafted the quilt design on paper, divided the design into separate blocks and distributed the blocks to those contributing their time and talents to the construction of the quilt.
The Guild arranged a Sunday Sew-In to construct the quilt top and backing under the direction of the chairperson. Those that were assigned blocks brought their finished block. Others came to help sew blocks together and construct the back. Once the quilt was constructed, our resident long arm quilter quilted the quilt and turned it over to another member for binding. This was a nice way for our group to bond and experiences making the quilt design come to life.
DAMQG chose to donate the quilt to the Methodist Children’s Home Society. Methodist Children’s Home Society is a licensed private, non-sectarian child placing agency, as well as a 501c3 non-profit organization. MCHS responds to the needs of abused and neglected children by providing an array of housing, educational, clinical and therapeutic services.
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.
Orange County Modern Quilt Guild (OCMQG)
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.
Congratulations to Corinne, Leah and Lori! You’ve won a copy of All Points Patchwork, courtesy of Storey Publishing. Check your email for more details!
Still want to purchase the book? You can! Here’s a link.
The quilts of QuiltCon are on the road! Catch 20 inspiring quilts from QuiltCon 2015 at the following shows:
- Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival, Kansas City, Missouri, June 19–21, 2015
- Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, Sisters, Oregon, July 11, 2015
- Patchwork Europe, Marie aux Mines, France, Sept. 17–20, 2015
- Road to California, Upland, California, 21–24, 2016
The Chicago Modern Quilt Guild’s entry into the QuiltCon Charity Quilt project was inspired by the pattern “Blue Ice” from Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen. As a longtime member, Jacquie has contributed so much to the spirit of the guild and it was a natural choice to turn to her for inspiration.
The first group of blocks were made at our guild’s fall retreat. We put out a call to bring scraps in the blue, green, and grey from the assigned color pallette, brought some coordinating yardage and borders, and set the group loose. The instructions included the finished block size and some guidelines about the block borders: at least three, using the yardage we bought, and only use berry in the middle border. Some ladies produced entire blocks while some created the gorgeous improv centers and passed them on to others to put borders on. Choosing a pattern that combined some improvisation with some specific guidelines allowed participants to play within their comfort zone or push themselves to try something new. The group had a lot of fun working together and exchanging ideas, encouragement, and scraps.
A couple of weeks later, we brought all the supplies to our monthly guild meeting and invited everyone to participate by taking fabric home to make a block. For those who had missed out on being in the group working together, it was fun and helpful to look through the blocks that had been made at the retreat. Looking through the blocks together provided an opportunity to notice details and ideas together and share in that inspirational part of the group process. In all we had at least 25 members participate in the project.
With the blocks done, three of us got together to press, trim, arrange, and assemble. The best part about helping with this task was being able to spend time looking at every single block. Each one is so incredibly different. Some have huge centers and skinny borders while some are tiny in the middle with extra-thick borders. Some centers are tall and skinny, some square, some funky parallelograms, and some break out into their borders. Some blocks follow the guidelines to the letter and some beautifully break the rules. Looking at just two or three blocks lined up may make one wonder how they will fit together in the same quilt, but stepping back to look at the entire quilt reveals that what each block has in common is more than enough to hold them together in a beautiful whole. In this way, the quilt has become an unexpected reflection of our guild and of the wider quilting community. There are as many different styles, methods, and personalities as there are quilters, but when you bring us together the resulting friendships are the kind that are made to last.
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.
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.
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!
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.
By Diane Gilleland
All 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.
I 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.
Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild
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.
At 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.
KNOXVILLE MODERN QUILT GUILD
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.