QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “An Exercise in Trust” by the Denver MQG

By Andrea Berryhill, President

Last year the Modern Quilt Guild threw out a challenge for the 2016 charity quilts to be displayed in Pasadena. The challenge required participants to “work collaboratively to create completed quilts using a predetermined color palette and improv with intent.” Several members of the Denver Metro guild know a thing or two about improv, so we were eager to accept the challenge!

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The first step in our process was to choose a theme around which to construct our quilt so that it would still be cohesive. The theme that was settled on was “Trust.” Specifically, how does trust come into play when making a collaborative quilt?

We trusted the MQG in their choice of colors, which included several neutrals and a few primary colors. Participants were then instructed to make an improvisational block using the neutral colors for their negative space and a simple four-sided shape with the black color trusting that there would be more direction to come. The third step was to put the pieced blocks into a bag, mix them up and draw out new blocks. Those blocks could then be altered using small amounts of the secondary colors using improvisation, curved piecing, slice and insert or whatever moved the maker, trusting the process while working together. Finally, the blocks were laid out with the intention of creating a focal point and some visual interest and movement through the use of the secondary colors and quilting. I think the result is a stunning success!

An interesting point to make is that many of these blocks were turned on their corners in order to create the movement of the smaller secondary colored curves. It was like putting together a puzzle for which there was no picture. There are a lot of Y-seams in this baby!

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Let’s face it, improv can be intimidating for a lot of us quilters. We tend to like order, and lines, and rulers! However, when you quilt with intention, basing your ideas off of a set of guidelines it takes some of the intimidation off the table and turns out to be a lot of fun. We loved seeing how all the blocks, as different as they were, still fit together (in our minds) perfectly! We’re not sure yet where we’ll be donating our quilt, but we hope that it makes the recipient smile.

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The women of the Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild would like to give the following members thanks for their participation: Andrea Berryhill, Alaina Marler, Marsha Loewenberg, Chelsea O’Hayre, Katie Rapp, Shelby Skumanich, Rosalynda Turner, Amy Wade, and Emily Voytek. We would like to especially thank Stephanie Ruyle for trusting us with an amazing design concept and working on final construction, Wendy Bermingham and Christine Perrigo for the many hours of assembly, creating the back and the amazing quilting, Susan Sanstistevan for heading up the committee and Judy Sanclaria for binding the quilt. What a beautiful collaboration!

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: Riverfire by the Brisbane MQG

By Victoria Mansfield, Committee Member

Participating in this challenge was my idea and fortunately, after floating the idea, I immediately had the support of the guild and was nominated to be the Project Leader. The first step, as always, is to come up with a plan, and since the Storey Bridge is the logo of the Brisbane MQG (BMQG) it was my first suggestion. Another member then suggested the bridge with fireworks, and that was it — we had our idea!

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“Riverfire” is the finale event to the annual Brisbane Festival and is a huge fireworks display along the section of the Brisbane River which winds its way through the CBD, with the Storey Bridge being a massive feature of this display. Almost everyone in Brisbane has attended at least one Riverfire, and the event holds a special place in all of our hearts. The Storey Bridge also turned 75 in July 2015, right at the time we were coming up with our plan. Brisbane, by world standards, is a relatively young city and has very few noteworthy architectural features. The Storey Bridge is one of our most recognised structures and we wanted to help celebrate it turning 75!

The next step was to come up with a type of quilt that would be able to include any member who wished to contribute.  We therefore thought smaller blocks would be the best option and liked the idea that this would pixelate the image. The quilt consists of 414 improv wonky log cabin style blocks 4½”. Twelve members made blocks, with a special mention to Janet Jackson, Jenny Cameron and Kirsty Cleverly, who between them made nearly 200 blocks.

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BMQG held its first annual retreat in October 2015, and one of the retreat missions was to get the last 50 or so blocks made and to work on the final layout. It was fantastic to have input on the layout from all on retreat, which helped make this quilt even better! After assembling the top, we chose quilting to amplify the fireworks and make them the main feature of the quilt. The bridge quilting was done with a walking foot on a domestic machine and the sky, water and fireworks were all done on a Sweet 16.

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I loved the collaborative process we went through as a guild to create this quilt and how much it brought us all together. The creativity of our members is a massive inspiration to me personally and to the guild as a group, and I want to thank the MQG for bringing us together! 

As Project Leader, I also want to thank all the members of the BMQG for their contributions to this project and for helping to make our guild so amazing! 

Our chosen charity is a Domestic Violence Shelter run by The Salvation Army.  We have donated 33 quilts to them over the last year, with many more in the process of being created and hope they provide some comfort in a time of need.

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QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: Flying Colors by Anita Lahay

By Anita Lahay, Individual Member

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My QuiltCon Charity quilt “Flying Colors” is inspired by the Hindu Holi Festival. As soon as I saw the color palette I immediately thought of the colored corn starch powders flying through the air. I started searching on the Internet for photos of the festival. In North America there are also “color runs” where people throw colored powders as well. The website for the Calgary color run says it is a race that “celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.”

I used improv with intent to convey the colors flying out from the bottom left side of the quilt. My main improv choice was slash-and-insert to show movement and direction. The movement of the powders is continued across the quilt with colored thread. There are ribbons, circles indicating powder clumps and particles, arrows and clouds of powder filling the white space of the quilt. The grey fabric indicates the streets people are running and celebrating on.

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When I was piecing the quilt, I originally planned to have the colors running from left to right (blue, red, yellow) along the bottom edge of the quilt and exploding upwards, but when I turned the top sideways to press seams I realized I liked that much better. Since I was free in the improvisational technique to do whatever I wanted, I changed my layout plan halfway through.

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I thought about what happens after the runs and the festival. People would need to wash the colored powders off of their skin. The three large bars in the top left of the quilt are quilted with big drips to show the colors dripping off of people. Immediately below the bars the drips continue in threads of corresponding colors. There are more water drops and more drips quilted with white in the space below the three large bars.

The majority of the white space is filled in with white cloud quilting to represent the clouds of powder in the air and the breath being expelled by the people running.

My favorite part of the challenge was searching for inspiration photos and the quilting after it was pieced. I have never made an “improv with intent” quilt before, and I found myself improvising the quilting too. I would look at an area on the quilt and just let it speak to me with what I should fill in there with thread. The clouds were an area where I could let my mind wander while quilting them. It was a freeing and fun process and definitely took me outside my usual box.

I plan to donate this quilt to the Alberta Cancer Foundation after losing my Aunt Valorie Weir to cancer on Christmas day December 25, 2015.

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: Kansas City MQG

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The creation of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild QuiltCon 2016 charity quilt, Strata Steps, was truly a group effort. The guild asked members to complete improv strata blocks using one focus color from the list of provided colors. Blocks had to be at least 12” x 12”.

During the presentation of how the guild would be approaching the challenge, Community Service Committee Chair Kristin Marciniak made the tactical error of pointing out that lime green was not one of the MQG-approved colors. She would live to regret that, as the rest of the meeting was peppered with questions like, “What about lime green? Can we use that color?” and “Wait, so the blocks are supposed to be entirely lime green?”

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Members posted on the guild Facebook group as they created their strata blocks and turned them in at the next couple of guild meetings. The KCMQG knows how to keep a joke going, so the threads were filled with lime green jokes and questions. But the more than 20 blocks collected fit the MQG’s color guidelines to a T. (The bag of blocks Kristin received from cheeky friends was another story altogether.)

Top in progress

Members then met at a Community Service Committee sewing day to help determine how to put the blocks together into a quilt top. During the sew day, Kristin and Jaime David posted a picture of the strata blocks on the guild Facebook group to let other members weigh in on how to put the top together. A few recommendations were made and, of course, members made sure to point out the lack of lime green blocks in the photo. Making a decision was harder than we thought, and by the end of the day, a quilt top was still not completed.

Luckily Jacquie Gering volunteered to take the blocks and create a quilt top. With some creative advice from Kim Eichler-Messmer, Jaime, and Denise Best, and some Kona Sunny, Rich Red, and Yarn-Dyed Essex in Black, we had a quilt top! Paula Leber put together the backing for the quilt and Denise quilted it with her long arm. It was then handed off to Shea Henderson for binding and sleeve and label creation. Shea transferred it to Jessica Toye to bring to the January guild meeting where Lesley Latham took over for this blog post and shipping.

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Label ready for labeling

There were quite a few steps and people involved for this quilt to exist, but it was worth it for the oohs and ahhs when the finished quilt was presented to the members during Show & Tell at the January meeting. Thank you to everyone who contributed blocks and/or helped with each step of the creation process. And next year, we’re voting for lime green.

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Thank you to our QuiltCon sponsors!

Thank you so much to our amazing sponsors for helping make QuiltCon possible! We couldn’t do this show without you, and we truly, deeply appreciate your generosity. You mean the world to us!

Northcott

Northcott, Platinum Sponsor

Handi Quilter

Handi Quilter, Platinum Sponsor

Baby Lock

Baby Lock, Platinum Sponsor

Robert Kaufman

Robert Kaufman, Platinum Sponsor

FreeSpirit

FreeSpirit, Platinum Sponsor

Craft South

Craft South, Platinum Sponsor

Moda

Moda, Platinum Sponsor

Bernina

Bernina, Platinum Sponsor

Stash Books

Stash Books, Platinum Sponsor

Riley Blake Designs

Riley Blake Designs, Platinum Sponsor

Michael Miller Fabrics

Michael Miller Fabrics, Platinum Sponsor

Janome

Janome, Platinum Sponsor

Thank you everyone! See you in Savannah!

Congratulations to our QuiltCon 2016 winners!

The competition was fierce this year, but these quilts stood above the rest. Congratulations to our 2016 QuiltCon winners!

Best in show

My Brother’s Jeans
Pieced & quilted by Melissa Averinos
Individual Member
@melissaaverinos
84” x 91”

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Machine Quilting, Framed

No Value Does Not Equal Free
Pieced by Molli Sparkles, quilted by Jane Davidson
Individual Member
@molli_sparkles
72” x 72”

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Machine Quilting, Frameless

ABQMQG
Logo designed by Bob Lowe
Pieced by Lois Warwick
Applique by Sally Williams & Laurie Moodie
Quilting by Renee Hoffman
Albuquerque MQG
86” x 45”

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Freespirit Quilting Excellence

The Other Side
Pieced & quilted by Carson Converse
Northampton MQG
59” x 57”

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Judge’s Choice – Cheryl Arkison

Better Together
Pieced & quilted by Laura West Kong
Individual Member
@laurawestkong

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People’s Choice & Judge’s Choice – Scott Murkin

Mr. Swirl E. Bones
Pieced by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, quilted by Shelly Pagliai
Individual Member
@victoriafindlaywolfe
94” x 94”

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Judge’s Choice – Lisa

Red Hot
Pieced & quilted by Shawna Doering
Individual Member
@thequilticorn
55” x 66”

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Applique – 1st

DripnSplash
Pieced & quilted by
Katherine Jones
Tasmanian MQG
84” x 60”

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Applique – 2nd

Ebb
Pieced & quilted by Carolyn Friedlander
Individual Member
@carolynfriedlander
41” x 36″

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Applique – 3rd

Cut & Keep
Pieced & quilted by Gina Pina
Austin MQG
@gina_pina
37” x 44”

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EZ Triangle Challenge – 1st

Eichler Homes
Pieced by Mickey Beebe
Quilted by Tami Levin, the Quilted Lemon
South Bay Area MQG
66” x 76”

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EZ Triangle Challenge – 2nd

Catnado
Pieced & quilted by Karen Duling
Individual Member
@karenbduling
56” x 61”

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EZ Triangle Challenge – 3rd

Facets
Pieced & quilted by Katherine Jones
Tasmanian MQG
25” x 37”

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Group or Bee Quilts – 1st

Mod Mood
Pieced by Debbie Jeske, Stephanie Ruyle, Leanne Chahley, Karen Foster, Felicity Ronaghan, Kari Vojtechovsky, Melissa Richie, Diane Stanley, Marci Debetaz, Hillary Goodwin
Quilted by Debbie Jeske
62” x 65”

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Group or Bee Quilts – 2nd

Pathways
Pieced by Janet Schoenfeld, Summer Rankin, Elaine Wienholt, Cindy Barcelles, Deb Kleiner, Judy Dunlap
Quilted by Maria O’Haver
Baltimore MQG
77” x 73”

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Group or Bee Quilts – 3rd

Twisted Sisters Quilt
Pieced by Stephanie Ruyle, Christine Perrigo, Wendy Bermingham, Amy Wade, Chelsea Camalick, Sheri Nichols, Michelle Davis, Wendy Roth, Teri Ladtkow, Susan Santisteven, Charlayne Dunn, Shelby Skumanich, Andrea Berryhill, Teresa Barbagallo, Lauren Lang, Dena Mehling, Anne deister, Katie Rapp, Carla Keahey, Marsha Loewenbery, Judy Sanclaria, Heather Ferguson)
Quilted by Wendy Bermingham, Christine Perrigo
Denver Metro MQG
78” x 88”

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Handwork – 1st

Places Unfold
Pieced & quilted by Heidi Parkes
Individual Member
@heidi.parkes
59” x 59”

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Handwork – 2nd

Double Wedding Ring
Pieced & quilted by Tara Faughnan
Individual Member
@tarafaughnan
78” x 78”

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Handwork – 3rd

Mod Mountains
Pieced & quilted by Susanne Williams
Individual Member
@suzyquilts
50” x 64”

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Improvisation – 1st

The One For Eric
Pieced by Chawne Kimber
Hand quilting by Chawne Kimber, longarm machine quilting by Pamela J. Cole
Individual Member
@cauchycomplete
79” x 77”

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Improvisation – 2nd

Night Flight no. 1
Pieced & quilted by Heidi Parkes
Individual Member
@heidi.parkes
58” x 58”

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Improvisation – 3rd

Colorfall
Pieced & quilted by Timna Tarr
Northampton MQG
@timnatarr
49” x 54”

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Michael Miller Challenge – 1st

The Stars Dream of Snow
Pieced & quilted by Kari Anderson
Los Angeles MQG
@Andersondesignworks
62” x 58”

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Michael Miller Challenge – 2nd

Pineapple Glitz
Pieced & quilted by Susan Slusser Clay
Individual Member
@slusclay
62” x 62”

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Michael Miller Challenge – 3rd

Better Together
Pieced & quilted by Laura West Kong
Individual Member
@laurawestkong
54” x 54”

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Minimalist Design – 1st

Bubble Gum
Pieced & quilted by Margaret (Kathy) Greer
Bainbridge Island MQG
58” x 72”

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Minimalist Design – 2nd

Shift
Pieced & quilted by Carson Converse
Northampton MQG
37.5” x 41”

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Minimalist Design – 3rd

Rainy Day Quilt
Pieced by Lindsey Neill
Quilted by Sarah Wilson from Crinklelove
Phoenix MQG
@penandpaperpatterns
56” x 72”

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Modern Traditionalism – 1st

Whimsical Logs
Pieced by Letitia Chung
Machine quilted by Laurie Grant
Sashiko by Letitia Chung
Individual Member
66” x 67”

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Modern Traditionalism – 2nd

Flounce
Pieced & quilted by Melanie Tuazon
North Jersey MQG
@melintheattic
52” x 57”

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Modern Traditionalism – 3rd

Release the Geese II
Pieced by Sarah Bond
Quilted by Carol Heisler, Norriton, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia MQG
@slbphilly
94” x 94”

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Piecing – 1st

Under the Radar
Pieced & quilted by Corinne Sovey
Austin MQG
@mustlovequilts
47.8” x 65”

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Piecing – 2nd

Pointed Statement
Pieced & quilted by Amy Friend
Seacoast MQG
@duringquiettime
48” x 60”

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Piecing – 3rd

Diamonds Quilt #2
Pieced & quilted by Tara Faughnan
Individual Member
@tarafaughnan
59” x 69”

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Small Quilts – 1st

Modern Improv Sampler
Pieced & quilted by Kristin Shields
Central Oregon MQG
@kristinshields
17” x 24”

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Small Quilts – 2nd

Lines Lost & Found
Pieced & quilted by Jennifer Rossotti
Individual Member
@jennrossotti
35” x 28”

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Small Quilts – 3rd

Holyoke 1938
Pieced & quilted by Timna Tarr
Northampton MQG
@timnatarr
22” x 29”

Holyoke 1938

Use of Negative Space – 1st

Reflection
Pieced by Nancy Purvis
Quilted by Mary Gregory
Triangle MQG
@owensolivia
37” x 47”

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Use of Negative Space – 2nd

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
Pieced & quilted by Rebecca Burnett
Toronto MQG
@duzzabear
63” x 85”

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Use of Negative Space – 3rd

Catching Up
Pieced by Kathryn Simel
Quilted by Stacey Bendure
Maine MQG
@midcoastcottagedesign
68” x 84”

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Youth – 1st

Ka-Bloom
Pieced & quilted by Sofia Locke
Sydney MQG
@craftypanda55
51” x 51”

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Youth – 2nd

Hearts Desire
Pieced by Autumn Overton
Quilted by Autumn Overton & her teacher Mrs. Goodman
Junior MQG of Broward County
57” x 94”

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Youth – 3rd

Modern Harris
Pieced & quilted by Alexus Upitis
Calgary MQG
41” x 43”

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QuiltCon Charity Quilt: Tipi by the Calgary MQG

By Rachel Elliott, Community Service Chair (Charity Quilts)

Every year, Calgarians celebrate our western heritage at the Calgary Stampede. A major component of the celebrations includes celebrating the aboriginal heritage of this area. It was a photo of this celebration that inspired this year’s Calgary Modern Quilt Guild Charity Quilt Challenge. At the same time Canada was engaged in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools. In this regard Canada has a dark past that continues to haunt our aboriginal population, and the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild wanted to create a quilt that could contribute to healing the relationship between our Aboriginal population and those of European descent in Canada. It is our hope that this quilt and its proceeds will work towards building a better future for Calgary’s aboriginal youth. 

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In the photo you can see young people dancing at a pow-wow with teepees in the background and Calgary’s skyline in the distance. This seemed to represent our city beautifully, and the idea to make a teepee quilt was born. Teepees are known in the area to have provided shelter to local native tribes throughout history. They provide warmth in the cold winter months and are a cool shelter from summer’s heat. Families gather in teepees to find comfort and kinship. As a group of quilters, we knew we wanted to make a quilt that would symbolically bring people together and provide comfort and to bring our communities together. 

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We met at a sew day in August to design the teepees, and Jera MacKenzie created kits that members could get at meetings to create blocks for the quilt. We also have the benefit of having Cheryl Arkison in our guild, so she provided us with a lesson on “improv with intent.” Each person used their own inspiration to craft a teepee that represented her own style. In November we had a dedicated sew day to finish our quilt top. Members worked together to finish making teepees and design the final layout for our quilt. You can see from the photos that we had a productive day. We all learned so much in this process! Many of our members had never attempted improv sewing like this and were excited to practice a new skill. Our layout provided opportunities for members to practice their “quilt math” and partial seams!

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The whole team agrees that seeing the quilt come together with such an incredible gesture of generosity of time, resources, and talent was the best part. We are very fortunate that our guild is growing and that members are keen to participate in these events.
The quilt was then sent to member Mary Dylke to be quilted by her expert hands. Mary added petroglyphs that have been documented throughout the prairies. Petroglyphs are are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, or abrading, as a form of rock art. The quilting was definitely the final touch that brought the quilt to life and helped to tell the story we were hoping to tell through this project.

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The quilt will be donated to an organization that supports aboriginal youth in our area and provides them with resources to further their education and help preserve their culture. It is our hope that this quilt will help to heal the relationship between our two cultures and that it will contribute as one small step in the direction of a better future for Calgary’s indigenous youth.

Se more of our work at @calgarymqg and #calmgq.

Meet our new board members!

As you know, two of our MQG board members are stepping down, making way for two others to take up their leadership roles. We are sad to send off Heather Grant and Kathy Mack, but we are so excited to welcome Christen Barber and Jill Lombard to the MQG board! Christen joins us as a board member and Jill joins as treasurer.

BarberChristen Barber shares her love of sewing and fabric on her blog Love By Hand, including tutorials, inspiration and sewing business advice. Beyond sewing, Christen spends her days as a social media strategist for Create Digital. She has 10 years of experience in marketing, public relations and advertising agencies advising clients on branding, online marketing and social media strategy and execution, not to mention getting paid to be on Facebook all day. “It is such an honor to join the MQG board of directors,” Christen says. “I’m really looking forward to applying the strategic planning skills that serve me well in my day job to help the MQG grow as an organization and continue to create value for members. I’m excited to be part of such a wonderful community.”

Head shotJill Lombard lives in Carlsbad, California. She has been married 25 years and has two daughters in college. She started quilting in the late 1980s with Eleanor Burns and Quilt in a Day. It is still her local quilt shop and home to the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild. Jill has evolved from her first log cabin quilt in mauve and teal to a more modern palette. She is a CPA and Treasurer of the Modern Quilt Guild. “I am thrilled to be joining the National Board as the incoming treasurer,” Jill says. “I have been a CPA and nonprofit specialist for 30 years and a quilter for 25 years. The one consistent thing in my years of quilting is scrap quilts — they are dear to my soul! I look forward to working with all of you!”

“I am so happy to welcome Jillian and Christen to the Modern Quilt Guild Board of Directors,” says Jacquie Gering, Chair of the MQG Board. “We are all excited to see what these accomplished ladies will contribute to the Board and the guild. While they have big shoes to fill, I know they will bring new voices, knowledge and skills and a unique perspective to the team. Congrats and welcome to the team!”

Thank you so much to Heather and Kathy for all their hard work and dedication to the MQG. They have been instrumental people in this community, and we wish them the best. Heather will remain in her role as director of marketing and programming for the MQG staff, and Kathy will remain crew member at QuiltCon 2016.

Please help us welcome our new board members by leaving a comment below!

We’ve reached 10,000 members!

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Today we’re excited to announce the MQG’s biggest milestone yet — we’ve reached 10,000 members!

Back in 2009, when the guild began, the goal was simply to give modern quilters a place to connect, learn and share their work. Since then, we’ve done that and so much more — with YOUR help — to build this great community. We’ve connected with each other and forged new friendships in our local communities and with members around the world. We’ve learned together through workshops, retreats, conferences, webinars, quilt patterns, blogs, events and more. We’ve shared our work online and in person at QuiltCon and other events.

Our community is now 10,000 members strong, and its amazing creativity and work is still providing inspiration every day. We have big plans for the MQG, and this is just the beginning of what we can accomplish together. But today, we want to say THANK YOU and celebrate what we’ve all created together.

Thank you for being part of this amazing, global community. Thank you for inspiring people to take up modern quilting, learn new skills, and become creative professionals. Thank you for believing in the importance of modern quilting and spreading it to all corners of the world. And thank you for sharing your expertise and creativity with the community in so many ways.

We can’t wait for the next big milestone (20,000, here we come!), and we hope you’ll join us when that time comes. Until then, keep quilting and keep being part of this amazing community.

Go MQG!

Alissa, Jacquie, and the MQG Team

Special thanks to our dedicated sponsors who have helped us grow this community and have generously provided gifts for our 10,000th member prize pack! Thank you Connecting Threads, Creativebug, Interweave, Janome, Michael Miller, Northcott, Paintbrush Studio, Stash Books and C&T Publishing, and Windham Fabrics.

Submissions now open for 2016 webinars!

Do you want to lead an MQG webinar in 2016? We want to hear from you! 

call for webinarsWe’re looking for teachers and presenters to lead one-hour webinars, which are free to MQG members. Each webinar is recorded and later posted on the members-only portion of the MQG website. Presenters will be compensated for their time.

Topics can include:

  • Modern quilting techniques
  • Modern quilt design principles
  • Elements of running a creative business
  • Sewing together (bees, swaps, etc.)
  • Tips, tricks and ideas for guilds
  • Panel discussions with multiple presenters

But if you have another idea, please pitch it! Presentations are accompanied by a slide deck. Any resources you wish to share will be posted on Community along with the webinar recording.

Please submit your idea to this form, and if it’s a fit, someone from the MQG will be in touch!