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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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Charity Quilt Spotlight: Knoxville MQG

KNOXVILLE MODERN QUILT GUILD

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Charity Quilt Spotlight: Boise MQG

Over the next few months, we’ll be featuring the work of some amazing charity quilts from QuiltCon 2015. Our first post is by the Boise MQG. Take it away!

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Laura Pukstas took the lead on organizing the Boise Modern Quilt Guild 2015 QuiltCon Charity Quilt submission. She gathered member feedback, finalized the design, and quilted it on her longarm machine. Most of the guild members wanted a lot of negative space and a non-traditional quilt layout. With this in mind, Laura worked on a quilt design that incorporated these elements. Laura says “I liked the idea of a block slowly building and getting bigger with additional elements being added to it. With the blocks getting larger in size, I wanted it to be emphasized by adding another color to each block. I liked the cascading feel of blocks starting in one corner and leading to one large block.”

Once the design was set, members were assigned a color, raided their fabric stashes, and helped to sew the individual blocks. Laura gathered the blocks and pieced together the quilt top, looking at it for several days to decide on a quilting design. She quilted some of the star block designs, various-sized flying geese, and a variety of filler designs to fill the expansive negative space. Two layers of batting made the quilting seriously pop, especially in the less-quilted areas. The quilting took a long time because it was so densely quilted.

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Once quilted, it was Angela Bowman’s turn to apply the binding. She chose some blue fabric from her stash and tried to stop staring at the stellar quilting long enough to bind the quilt.