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.

Call for Submissions: QuiltCon Magazine 2016

Call for Submissions

QuiltCon Magazine is a special publication brought to you by the editors of Modern PatchQuiltcon2015_300_1024x1024work in close association with the Modern Quilt Guild. The magazine celebrates the modern quilt aesthetic and features articles about QuiltCon West, behind-the-scenes interviews, tips for modern design, and other distinctive content.

QuiltCon Magazine will also include quilt patterns from MQG members and leading modern designers, galleries of beautiful quilts from the 2016 show, interviews, tutorials, and more.

We encourage all submissions; however, we are specifically looking for:

  • Modern quilts: Approximately a dozen quilt designs will be patterned in this publication. Submission guidelines are noted below.
  • Articles on topics such as:
    • Southern California’s vibrant sewing community
    • Making the most of your QuiltCon experience
    • Quilting techniques and tips

We will accept submissions for QuiltCon Magazine through Tuesday, September 29, 2015.

How to Submit:

  • Quilts: Send up to three low-resolution images of the completed quilt or a computerized mock-up (with fabric choices, quilting plan, and brief description of the project)—please include final quilt dimensions. Quilts must be original designs and available for shipping
  • Articles: Send a brief description of the article you propose for publication, along with sample low-resolution images, if appropriate.
  • Quilt, project, or article proposals should be sent to submissions@quiltingarts.com with “QuiltCon” in the subject line. Attach up to three low-resolution photos per email.
  • One project or article per email.
  • Include your full name, address, phone number, website or blog, and credentials.
  • For questions, contact info@quiltingarts.com.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The MQG Staff and the Modern Patchwork editorial team

Call for Instructors & Lecturers: QuiltCon 2017

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QuiltCon wouldn’t be what it is without the amazing instructors and presenters who share their wisdom in workshops and lectures. We’ve had some amazing speakers throughout the years, and now we’re opening the floor for applications for QuiltCon 2017 in Savannah, Georgia!

We’re looking for experienced instructors who can teach techniques of interest to modern quilters. Our workshop instructors are leaders in their fields for a specific technique, and they offer unique workshops that inform and inspire. QuiltCon instructors also teach techniques that are new to many modern quilters.

In general, we like a balance of technique-based and project-based workshops.

For more details on the application process, please read the application details and complete a submission. Please read through the whole page completely before emailing us with questions.

The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2015 at midnight CST, and applicants will be notified by March 31, 2016. Good luck!

Catch the QuiltCon Traveling Exhibit

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

Best of QuiltCon, Instagram Edition

We’re still riding our QuiltCon high (seriously, is it 2016 yet?), and half the fun is reliving the show from the eyes of our fabulous attendees. Collectively, we tagged over 12,000 new photos with the hashtag #quiltcon! Here are some of our favorites. Miss you already, QuiltCon.

By the end of the week, people were weighted down with pins from new friends and old. The pin swap was a huge success!

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Teachers and students strutted their stuff, and quilted apparel was all the rage in Austin. Hey Victoria!

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Classes and workshops were some of the highlights of the show!

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Sometimes a quilt just sticks with you!

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Our feeds were flooded with happy people taking #quiltconselfies. Like these two!

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So much quilting to do, so little time.

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You may have noticed the #quiltconartist getting into mischief at the show. Hilarity ensued.

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The biggest debate of all? Which tattoo to choose. So many good ones!

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Fabric was not in short supply — we all found treasures to take home.

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Sometimes a good quilt fort is all you need in life.

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The Quilters of Gee’s Bend shared their stories, wisdom, songs and of course, quilts.

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Quilt heaven, indeed.

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Each class was an opportunity for attendees to hone their skills and show off their personalities!

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Even our youngest quilters found their favorites!

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And there’s just no substitute for meeting your idols.

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Thanks QuiltCon! See you next year!

Sewciety + QuiltCon: Volunteering!

This is the final podcast in a four part series. The other posts can be found herehere, and here.

In the final episode with Stephanie at Modern Sewciety the conversation centers around volunteering at QuiltCon. Listen in how you can volunteer at QuiltCon. There are also some good tips for volunteers!

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Are you or your guild interested in becoming a part of the MQG?
Read about membership here.

Sewciety + QuiltCon: The Experience

This is the third podcast in a four part series. The other posts can be found here, and here.

This episode with Stephanie at Modern Sewciety is all about getting the most from your experience. Listen in to get some great tips from Jen Carlton Bailly, Susan Beal, and Andrew Joslyn. They talk about everything from what to bring to how to schedule your days!

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Are you or your guild interested in becoming a part of the MQG?
Read about membership here.

Sewciety + QuiltCon: Workshops and Lectures

This is the second podcast in a four part series. The first one can be found here.

The next episode with Stephanie at Modern Sewciety is all about the experience with workshops and lectures at QuiltConElizabeth Dackson, MQG Events Manager, chats about how to prepare for the classes and a bit about what to expect when taking lectures and workshop. Cheryl Arkison and Carolyn Friedlander talk about the experience of taking workshop and lectures at QuiltCon. Don’t miss out on some great tips given by all!

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Are you or your guild interested in becoming a part of the MQG?
Read about membership here.

QuiltCon Charity Quilt: Alternative Gridwork

We  hope you have already read all about the 2015 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge and are planning to join in! If you missed reading about it, you can find the original post here, and the Color post here.

The QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge is one of the MQG’s largest-scale charity projects. For QuiltCon 2015 guilds are asked to follow a predetermined color palette and alternate grid work design.

As quilters we are often (but not always) naturally forced into grids based on our construction techniques. In this post, we’ll talk about different forms of grid work and how to consider using them in your charity quilt design.

Alternate grid work is a modern quilting design element that is used frequently by modern quilters. It is often one of the easiest design elements to experiment and explore modern quilt making with. Modern quilters often “break the grid”. Alternate grid work is a tool to help showcase modern quilting design fundamentals such as negative space, no borders, minimalism, asymmetry, modern traditionalism and exaggerated scale.

Alternate grid work in modern quilt making refers to quilts that don’t follow the traditional block format of many quilts. The majority (but not all) of traditional quilt styles follow a predictable grid structure. It’s important to note that some modern quilts DO follow traditional quilt grid work and some traditional quilts do NOT follow traditional quilt grid work.

Traditional Grid Work Examples

The Straight Set – columns and rows of repeating blocks.

On Point – columns and rows of repeating blocks on a 45 degree angle

Medallion – a central focus feature with design elements bordering outward.

Credit: Marcelle Medallion Quilt by Alexia Abegg

Alternate Grid Work Examples

Traditional grids can be adapted or altered beyond the normal repeating columns and rows.

Increasing negative space.

Shifting the on point angle to an atypical degree.

Alternate gridwork refers to the underlying grids. As quilters, our seam lines guide our grids. Here are some examples of alternate grids.

Modular Grids are the basis for a vast majority of quilt design. You can use a modular grid, but don’t follow strict columns and rows. Using scale is a great way to use a modular grid in an alternate way.

Adding negative space is another way to use the modular grid in an alternate way.

Variable Framing uses the modular grid, but floats blocks in negative space. The underlying column and row format is there, but utilizes negative space to make it modern.

Offset or Misaligned Grids shift the rows and columns to offset blocks.

Paneling does not follow a modular grid structure and disguises any underlying grid.

Are you really into grids? Here’s some great reading:

Grids for Graphic Designers:

The Designer’s Guide to Grid Theory

Grid-Based Design Theory

Five Simple Steps to Designing Grid Systems

A Brief History of Grids

Books:

Making and Breaking the Grid by Timothy Samara

Geometry of Design

The Alternate Grid Chapter by Jacquie Gering, Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making, Lucky Spool

General Design Books:

Design Basics by David Lauer and Stephen Pentak

Design Elements by Timothy Samara

Applying Mathematics to Web Design 

Understanding the Impact of Design:

A great book to understand how forms impact and are processed by the human brain is Sensation and Perception by E. Bruce Goldstein. This book was the first book that really got me to think about design in an objective rather than intuitive manner. Have fun everyone!

Thanks,

Heather Grant, Director of Marketing & Programming