QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Colorado Cadence” by the Boulder MQG

by Ann Deister, Social Media Director

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2017 marks the third year the BoulderMQG has made a QuiltCon charity quilt. Making charity quilts has always been a large part of our mission. We have donated over 50 quilts in the past three years. For a small guild, averaging around 24 members, I think that’s pretty amazing!

This was our process for creating Colorado Cadence.

When the color palette and theme were announced, we talked about possible ways to depict the idea of scale and agreed upon the colors we wanted to work with. We also chose to use mostly prints. Using the prints allowed us to use scale at the micro level within the design giving the quilt greater variety and depth.

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As chairperson, I developed a few ideas for review. Our President, Cynthia, suggested this mosaic by Roberto Burle-Marx, a Brazilian landscape designer as a possible source of inspiration. 

At the review, everyone agreed the mosaic offered wonderful opportunities for exploring scale. The next step was to develop the design. Squares and circles, structured through the use of color blocking, was the basis of our concept. I started with super large areas of color to create a vast sense of scale. These areas were broken down into 12” blocks using the square and circle design elements. More and more details were added providing texture and variety. With each progressive refinement more movement and rhythm was introduced.

Packets of fabric were pulled together that included a small amount of a solid plus some prints based on color. Members signed up for 2 or more blocks and supplemented with fabrics from their stash which added more variety. Block assignments were flexible so quilters could add their own twist. The main criteria was to stick with the color scheme and square/circle elements. This worked well for our group. Some made blocks exactly as the diagram showed and others added something. BoulderMQG_detail_of_quilting

Members worked at home and during our monthly sew days and, as the blocks came in, I put them up on my design wall to keep tabs on our progress.

During our October sew, many people pitched in sewing the blocks together so by the end of the day we had a finished top and a nearly finished backing. Cynthia, then took everything home. She completed the backing and worked her fabulous free-motion magic, quilting a variety of different motifs in the various sections of the quilt. We are so lucky to have her talent in the guild. By early January it was ready for the finishing touches. Binding. Label. Sleeve.

Most of our guild participated and I want to thank everyone for giving their time and talents to our effort. I am so proud of you and our quilt.

Having Colorado Cadence hanging in Savannah with the other charity quilts will be very exciting. Seeing so many quilts, all sharing the same theme and colors, hanging together in one place is simply AMAZING!  And all for charity. Quilters truly are generous people. BoulderMQG_design_development

The Boulder Modern Quilt Guild is based in Boulder County Colorado. If you live in the area or even if you’re visiting, we’d love to have you join us. Learn more about us by visiting our Facebook page or our website. Follow us on Instagram too @bouldermqg. #bouldermqg

 

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: by the Austin MQG

by Dawn Golstab and Amanda Hohnstreiter, Team Leaders

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Over the past few years, we have focused more on improv for the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge. Improv has become more and more popular this year, we have seen it more in the social media realm but also in projects that our members have been bringing to our monthly meetings for show and tell.
Around the time that the challenge was announced, Chawne Kimber visited Austin and taught a small scale piecing workshop. It was exciting and fresh and it was one of the catalysts for our design.
After all this focus on improv, we wanted to swing the other direction with the challenge. In an effort to test and build our skills for the precise, a design was created using small scale 3 inch finished churn dash blocks to create a larger scale churn dash. While the need for 720 mini churn dashes seemed daunting at first, our guild embraced the challenge and pressed on full speed ahead!

Building community and creating a supportive environment became so important on this project. One of the biggest blessing we saw were people honing their skills during piecing, but showing up even to iron, or cut fabric, anything to help out the team. Most sewing on this project was done in these group meet ups, which made the process all the more enjoyable. Everyone had a hand in the larger layout, fabric combinations, placement of individual blocks and more.
What’s most impressive is how well each person did with their precision piecing on this project. The idea of having a group of people sewing up 720 blocks individually and having them actually align and match up without much work seems impossible. However, each of those tiny pieces fit together like a glove. We couldn’t be more proud of the work from our guild members!

Instagram @austinmqg

#austinmqg

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Star in Your Future” by the Asheville MQG

by Connie Brown, Charity Quilt Coordinator

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In July 2016, the Asheville Modern Quilt Guild held a brainstorming meeting to share ideas for our 2017 QuiltCon Charity Quilt. Our vice-president was the project manager. She ordered the fabrics we were to use and the book “Patchwork City” by Elizabeth Hartman. The theme had been selected, “playing with scale”, as well as color choices and the idea to incorporate stars. Our first sew-in was held in Sept 2016 where members made large units of improvisational piecing because there were no guidelines or plan for an overall design. In October, we were to have another sew-in, but that was soon canceled. Our guild was in turmoil. The president, vice-president, and secretary all resigned and urged the guild to dissolve. Several members felt we could accept their resignations and continue on as a guild for at least one more year. The remaining members gathered for our regular November meeting. We discussed being able to complete the charity quilt project. If only we had the fabrics and improvisational units that we had already made. We received those items from the former project manger on December 19, 2016. Time was now a huge factor. A design was sketched out. It used star patterns found in “Patchwork City”. Stars in 4 sizes would be off-set and float on the improv background. Kits were put together so members could take a few home, sew them together and turn them in. We scheduled a sew-in day but snow caused us to postpone to the next day. On Tuesday January 10, 2017 we lugged sewing machines and supplies through 6 inches of snow to work on our charity quilt. Thank you to the Southern Highland Craft Guild staff and the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC for allowing us to use a meeting room. During the sew-in, a few spinners were meeting just next door. I invited them to see what we were working on. They were curious as to what is a “modern” quilt. This was a wonderful opportunity to educate other textile artists about modern quilts. We left our machines there overnight and the next day completed our “Stars in your future” quilt top.

A member has volunteered to longarm quilt it for us and another has volunteered to bind it. This guild has pushed through adversity to see this project through to the end. As I write this we have 2 weeks to quilt it, bind it, attach the sleeve and label and then ship it to QuiltCon. A big THANK YOU to all of the AMQG members who contributed to this project, including, Monica T, Moncia H., Avery, Christina, Jo, Tina, Erica, Diana, Paula, Pam, Sara, Rachel, Amy, Patty, and me, Connie. We did it!

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QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “White Noise” by Ann C. Malhotra & Catherine R. Herman

by Catherine R. Herman

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With the quilt challenge theme SCALE, we immediately thought music! For decades, our family has enjoyed many musical genres! We scoured our Modern Quilting resources. Ann spotted Debbie Grifka’s WAVES quilt in Modern Patchwork Summer 2014 (an Interweave Publication) and we were hooked! We chose the KONA pallette because of the wonderful colors (white, silver, pink, citrus, yarrow, ultramarine, hyacinth, ocean) and sewing ease. With permission from Interweave Publication, we began our construction by making a paper mockup to establish quilt size, block size, and color placement. Rotary cutting, design board placement, and machine piecing ensued. We were so pleased with each wave addition! Grey was added in the backing selection and machine quilting. Pink quilting lines added panache! We continue our musical and quilting adventures during daylight and sleep to white noise – thus the title!

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Making Decisions Together

After listening to membership feedback and having many, many conversations within the community, the MQG staff and Board of Directors have decided to retract the blog post about derivatives that was published in July. We want to sincerely apologize for the confusion, misunderstandings and frustrations it caused. We made mistakes with how the information was presented, and it was not our intention to discourage, stifle or disappoint members. For that we are truly sorry.

We are removing the blog post to avoid future confusion, but we realize some members may still want to review the post and associated comments, so a complete PDF is available to members on the Resources page, here.

Clarification of QuiltCon Rules and Jurying/Judging Policies

  • There will be no changes to the rules about derivative works for QuiltCon 2017 (i.e., the same rules that applied for QuiltCon 2016 will apply for the 2017 show).
  • The Education Committee is currently working on compiling the current jurying and judging policies and procedures for QuiltCon into a consolidated document for members to view. The information outlined in this document will be no different from anything we’ve been doing in the past, but we are formalizing the policy document to provide better transparency about the existing process. This document will be released to members in the October newsletter.
  • In the coming months, we plan to launch a new pilot member involvement program (see below). One of the first of these programs will be a task force to obtain membership input on how to best incorporate the important issue of derivative work into our QuiltCon 2018 quilt entry rules, and jurying and judging policies and procedures.

Making Decisions Together

As an organization, we realize there is a huge opportunity to increase member involvement, especially when making decisions that affect the entire membership. The response to the derivative post showed that a larger issue needs to be addressed: communication between members and leadership and how we make decisions. As such, we’ll be rolling out a new pilot member involvement plan in late 2016, which we will be discussing in an upcoming town hall meeting (see below). It won’t be fast, and it will take time to launch, but we are 100% committed to creating more avenues for member involvement within the MQG.

All-Member Town Hall Meeting

This town hall meeting will be held to share highlights of recent activities, present concepts to increase member involvement and answer your questions. Any and all MQG members are invited to attend.

Because the MQG is a global organization, we explored many dates and times, but found that the one below works best across all time zones. If the time is not convenient for you, please note that the town hall will be recorded and posted on the Community Resources page shortly after airing live. Any member may submit a question, here, and those questions will be read in the order they are received after live questions have been answered. The time for the town hall is:

Los Angeles: 1pm PDT, Thursday, September 22
Denver: 2pm MDT, Thursday, September 22
Chicago: 3pm CDT, Thursday, September 22
New York City: 4pm EDT, Thursday, September 22
London: 9pm BST, Thursday, September 22
Sydney: 6am AEST, Friday, September 23

Town Hall Agenda: 

  • Highlights of recent MQG activities
  • Pilot member involvement plan
  • Q&A

 

Edit: Please visit the events page on the MQG Community site to register and submit questions.

Thank you for your questions, comments and support over the last few weeks. We are committed to answering questions and working with all members to improve the organization, and we thank you for being on this journey with us. We can’t wait to take the next step and move forward together.

Please note that staff is not working over the holiday weekend, so comments made after 4p EDT will not receive a response before Tuesday the 6th.

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.

Edinburgh Modern Quilt Guild Charity Quilt — Take 2!

By Jo Avery, Edinburgh Modern Quilt Guild

Last year the Edinburgh Modern Quilt Guild members took part in the QuiltCon 2015 Charity Quilt Challenge. Our original quilt was a team effort made over a number of ‘sew-ins’ and quilted by our master long-armer (and treasurer!) Tatyana Duffie. We were all very proud to have a quilt exhibited at QuiltCon!

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After QuiltCon, all the quilts were donated to local charities. This one went to a local Edinburgh charity, The Yard, a purpose-built indoor and outdoor adventure playground for children and young people with disabilities. They recently auctioned it and raised £500 ($760)!

Jenny Fox-Proverbs, the editor of Love Patchwork and Quilting, saw our quilt at QuiltCon and fell in love with it. As a regular contributor to the magazine, she asked me if I could create another version as a pattern for Love Patchwork and Quilting, with this quilt also going to a charity. (The magazine also gave a generous donation to get things started!)

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This new version was also beautifully quilted by Tatyana Duffie so is another great EMQG team effort! We are raffling this quilt for another local charity, The Edinburgh Clothing Store, a charity run by volunteers that offers clothing, shoes, bedding, etc., for people in genuine need. It’s a free service and no money changes hands. Around 1,500 people are referred to ECS every year, and the demand for their services is still rising. Raffle tickets are only available in the UK. Our fundraising target this time is £1,000 and we have til February 2017 to sell enough tickets!

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The pattern for the new version of the quilt is in issue 26 of Love Patchwork and Quilting, which is available in the UK now and in a month or so in the U.S. and elsewhere. You can also buy a digital version lovepatchworkandquilting.com.

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.

All Points Patchwork: English Paper Piecing Beyond The Hexagon

By Diane Gilleland 

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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 AllPointsPatchwork.com, 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.

Michael Miller Fabric Challenge — QuiltCon 2016

Michael Miller Glitz Fabric Challenge at QuiltCon 2016

Hold on to your sewing machines, because the fabric for the next QuiltCon Michael Miller Fabric Challenge is here! And we’re excited to unveil these fantastic metallic prints from Michael Miller’s Glitz collection.

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This year’s fabrics include 12 glamorous prints from Michael Miller, and each participant will receive six fat eighths at random. Like previous fabric challenges, we have many more members than available fabric bundles… We wish everyone could get one, but the bundles are first come, first serve. That said, we ask that everyone who signs up to please plan to submit the final quilt to the Fabric Challenge category at QuiltCon — like other categories, this category is eligible for judging and awards up to $1,000!

To be eligible, quilts must primarily use the fabrics above, but additional coordinating Michael Miller solids are permitted. Once completed, these quilts will be entered it into the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge category at QuiltCon. The top prize for this category is $1,000!

The registration link will be sent to members via email on May 9th at 10 a.m. Eastern time, 7 a.m. Pacific. To make things easy, here’s a handy time converter so you’ll know exactly when the link will be available to you. Registration is open until all fabric bundles are gone or until May 23. Bundles go quickly, so if you’re sure you want to enter, don’t wait! (However, if you’re not ready to commit, remember that you don’t have to get the free fabric to be involved – all you have to do is use the fabrics above in your quilt.)

All fabric will be shipped by mid-July, and the deadline for entries is November 30, 2015 (the same as other QuiltCon quilt show entries).

Have ideas for this sweet fabric yet? We’d love to hear ’em. Post a comment below! And for more info, visit the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge page at quiltcon.com.