QuiltCon Charity Spotlight: South Sound MQG

South Sound Modern Quilt Guild
Olympia Washington

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Our quilt is truly a guild team effort. The block was inspired by a quilt that was designed by one of our guild members. The original quilt is called Balance and was designed by Kathy Lindell of Eagle Nest Designs. The block was designed by our guild member, Bethany from Sew I’m Pressed.

Kathy took the time to teach our guild how to do paper piecing using freezer paper, and we had 20 guild members make our colored sections. We decided as a guild to use all solids for a more uniform and modern look. One of our guild members, Melissa, pieced all of the blocks and the gray and white sections. A wonderful long arm quilter, Dianne pieced the top and did the incredible quilting. Finally our quilt was bound by Honnah, and photographed and mailed by Roberta.

You can truly see the wonderful quilting on this photograph of our backing.

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Many, many hours went into the creation of our quilt, pulling in resources from our entire guild and we are so excited to have it at QuiltCon!

QuiltCon Charity Spotlight: Tucson MQG

The Tucson Modern Quilt Guild’s entry was a truly collaborative effort that grew from a shared vision of a quilt that would represent our desert city, affectionately known as the Old Pueblo.

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We met to plan the quilt armed with a flip chart and lots of magazines. After compiling a list of subjects that reflected Tucson’s history and desert themes, we discussed whether the quilt should be representational or abstract, made up of many blocks or one large image, etc. Someone pulled up an image of San Xavier Mission at sunset (“Mission San Xavier Del Bac, Tucson” by Richard Cummins/LPI). The Mission was established in 1692 and the current building dates to the 1780s. A thunderstorm had created a large puddle in front of the Mission that reflected one of our spectacular sunsets. We all loved the image, but how could we represent it in a quilt?

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More flipping through magazines found us our inspiration quilt, titled “Shining Through” by Brigitte Heitland (Modern Quilts, Summer 2013 (Vol 2, #3)). Her quilt features multiple sizes of squares set in a diagonal field that is quite striking.

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Inspiration quilt: “Shine Through” by Brigitte Heitland, Modern Quilts, Summer 2013 (Vol 2,#3)

We had an image and a layout, so we set to work selecting fabrics in the prescribed color palette. Our quilt shop, The Quilt Basket, had a variety of shot cottons and prints that worked for us. We purchased 13 fabrics and distributed them among the members with guidelines for cutting the fabrics into squares and rectangles. We added some white fabric later.

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At our next meeting, we began laying out the fabric on a twin sheet marked with a diagonal grid. We wanted to represent the Mission as well as the sunset in the sky and its reflection in the water. We even sneaked in an abstract saguaro cactus.  Can you find it?

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As we worked on the design, we developed guidelines for incorporating our colorful squares and rectangles into strips that could be joined together. After two sewing days, the quilt began to take shape.

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The strips were joined together, and the top was turned over to our intrepid quilter, Kristi, who had volunteered to do the quilting over her Christmas holiday.

We had suggested that she quilt parallel lines, figuring it would be challenging but straightforward. But the quilt had developed a personality by this time and demanded that there should be several different sets of parallel lines to set off the design and that each color needed its own quilting treatment. Thirty hours of quilting ensued, and then we were treated to photos of the finished project.

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QuiltCon Charity Spotlight: Seacoast MQG

Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild

Our guild set aside time at our September meeting to plan our QuiltCon charity quilt. Our planning and execution was truly a group effort with a large percentage of our members contributing ideas, time, materials, and skill. Our project manager, Judy Durant, led a lively discussion. The plan for the quilt design evolved quickly from Stephanie Harrison’s suggestion of donating the finished quilt to “A Safe Place,” an emergency shelter for women and children in southeastern New Hampshire. Her suggestion was met with overwhelming approval, especially because she also contributed the idea of a quilt design involving houses, representing a place of warmth and security. Once this was decided, we were off and running. The color palette given to us by the MQG appeared challenging at first, but as discussion proceeded it was decided that we would use all the solids in the palette with the addition of only one print. The deep turquoise (we used Kona Glacier) was chosen as the background. Each block was to include a house and one chartreuse star. We left that meeting with a plan settled and all tasks involved covered by volunteers.

Kali Zirkle volunteered to create a quilt layout diagram, and from her design, members were assigned a block size. The blocks were of varying sizes and shapes, and because all used a common background color, we were able to achieve an alternate grid work design of houses and stars scattered in the deep turquoise background. Peg Connolly secured fabric, made packets for each member, and shipped those packets to all who were making house blocks. And as if by magic, everyone appeared at our October meeting with a finished house block! It was such fun to see the variety of house styles everyone had created and the level of interest and enthusiasm was wonderful.

The house blocks were assembled by Jessica Benoit May into a charming quilt top. She added some stars in areas of negative space and she pieced a wonderful improv strip of solid scraps to add design interest to the quilt back.

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Mary Gregory then burned the midnight oil quilting our creation with all sorts of free motion designs, including a cat in one of the house windows! Some of the designs suggested tiles or shingles.

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By our November meeting, the quilt was ready to hand off to Nancy Peach and Sue Trask for binding, sleeve, and label. Sue used her embroidery machine to create a very special label. Our finished product was much admired by all at our December meeting before it was shipped off to Texas where some of our members will be able to see it on display.

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Our guild has decided to make and donate pillow cases to A Safe Place along with the quilt for the women and children who are sheltered there in their time of need.

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: Ann Arbor MQG

Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild (A2MQG)

The Ann Arbor Quilt Guild was very excited to participate in the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge! We had enough interested participants that we decided to split into two groups: one where members would piece blocks based on a pattern, and another where members would piece blocks in an improvisational manner.

The improv team started with an idea: a quilt inspired by ideas! Arrows swarming and circulating represent the coordination of thought fragments.

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Arrows were made improvisationally. A tutorial was written by team member Jenna and can be found HERE.

In accordance to the challenge guidelines, we forsook a traditional block format and rather used negative space and variable framing to give our arrows an alternate grid.

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This quilt was long-arm quilted by member Lynn Harris of The Little Red Hen.

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Our other group used their skills following the beautiful Think Positive pattern written by A2MQG member Debbie Grifka.

Team members made gorgeous plus blocks that were then assembled into a stunning quilt top.

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.

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Leeanna Walker
Publicity chairwoman

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

http://centraljerseymqg.blogspot.com

http://quiltyhabit.blogspot.com

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.

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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!

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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.

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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