Charity Quilt Spotlight: Detroit Area MQG

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.

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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.

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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.






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


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

Charity Quilt Spotlight: Chicago MQG

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.

Charity Quilt Spotlight: Central Jersey MQG

The Central Jersey MQG took on the QuiltCon Charity Challenge! We wanted to involve ourselves on the international level and contribute to charity further (we just finished our 2014 project of making 25 baby quilts for a New Jersey charity).

Earlier in 2013, our guild banner came together with incredibly creative, original modern blocks by our members. Therefore, it wasn’t rocket science to suppose that they could step up to the plate again. I sketched a rough idea in my sketchbook, setting the blocks into circles, or bracelets – something new. Then, I visited my LQS (Pennington Quilt Works), armed with the MQG’s challenge color scheme. After cutting the fabric I bought into various strips and squares, I created 18 piles of fabric on my carpet to be bagged.

Members brought their blocks to the guild meeting one month after they had received the fabric. At our November guild retreat, I spent two days piecing the blocks and negative space to fit my vision for the quilt. I also set random blocks on-point for visual interest. The negative space was a lot harder to piece than I thought it would be!

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Next, Jessica Levitt quilted the quilt with her longarm. She used many thread colors to blend with the fabric, and did an amazing job of highlighting all of the blocks and the negative space. Finally, Neva Asinari bound, labeled, sewed on a quilt sleeve, photographed, and sent the quilt to Austin. We had a short time frame to make the quilt, but I’m so pleased at all the teamwork within our guild!

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Overall, “Modern Bracelets” is a tribute to minimalism, bright colors, and modern piecing of every kind. My favorite part is the hidden gray block (Neva’s)! When it arrives back from Austin, we will donate the quilt to S.A.V.E., a New Jersey animal shelter, who will raffle it off at their spring gala. Those of us attending QuiltCon can’t wait to see our quilt hang along with all the rest of the charity quilts!

-Jessica Skultety, President

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.


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.

All Points Patchwork: English Paper Piecing Beyond The Hexagon

By Diane Gilleland 


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, 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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