QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Modern Bars” by the Lancaster MQG

by Kathy Dunkle, President


The Lancaster Modern Quilt Guild first met as a Guild in January of 2016. In early 2017, one year after our creation, we are very proud to be sharing with you our first ever QuiltCon Charity Quilt. From a guild meeting brainstorming session to cutting and sewing days to quilting and binding the LMQG members have generously shared their time and talents to bring this quilt to life.

The brainstorming session produced many sketches and ideas based on the landscape and culture of Lancaster County, PA. This area has a very old tradition of Amish quilting and many of the designs members came up with reflected a modern twist on this tradition. The final design chosen was our interpretation of an Amish bars quilt, inspired by the tidy rows of farm fields. The quilting was inspired by rolling hills and creeks that are found throughout the county. Thus the quilt, Modern Bars, was created.

Once the sketch of the quilt was finalized and dimensions completed a trip was made to The Old Country Store in Intercourse, PA. The Old Country Store has been instrumental in helping the LMQG get started and generously donated the material for this quilt. An evening of cutting fabric was held at the Lancaster, PA JoAnn Fabrics store. Chairperson of the 2017 QuiltCon Charity Quilt, Lori Berquist, then sorted the cut fabric into baggies and distributed the fabric to excited guild members at the next few guild meetings. The members took home the fabric and worked their quilting magic to create amazing squares.

When all the squares were returned a group met at The Christiana House. The Christiana House is a retreat house owned by The Quilt Ledger (just across the street) in Christiana, PA and was opened to the Guild for the day to lay out the blocks and piece the strips. The Quilt Ledger is another local quilt store that has been extremely supportive of the LMQG. By the end of that sew day the quilt had really taken shape!

After the quilt top was completed it was sent to be long-armed at North Star Longarm Quilting, where guild member Cindy Carey, in consultation with Lori Berquist and Carrie Strine, chose a quilting design and completed the quilt. The quilt was then passed off to member Andee McKenica who finished hand stitching the binding.CharityQuilt7

Instagram @lancastermqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Earning Our Stripes” by the Knoxville MQG

by Elizabeth Rea, Secretaryimage2

The Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild was delighted to hear that the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge this year was open to prints and other fabrics within the provided color palette, and so inspired by a watercolor print one of our members saw on a gift bag, we decided to set out on a process that involved painting our own textiles as a group.
Project managers Melissa Everett and Emily Doane developed a macro/micro pattern that proceeded from large stripes to smaller stripes, and then group members tinkered with the design to add color and movement.
After testing dyes to achieve the desired palette, Melissa and Emily led members through a fabric painting process at our September guild meeting. We applied dye to yardage in varying tones of blue, gray, mustard, and yellow. We laid the fabric out in the sun to help speed up the drying process, and as it dried, the color variations and shades of the dye started to reveal themselves.
After the fabric was dry and the dye was set, guild members gathered at our November meeting to start piecing the stripes together. Each person was responsible for a different section of the quilt in order to keep all the strips and stripes straight according to the pattern. Members were asked to focus on accurate piecing to ensure that the seams intersected precisely according to the design plan.

Throughout the process, members remarked on how the colors played off of one another and expressed interest in more experimentation with fabric dyeing. Project manager Melissa Everett has caught the fabric-dyeing bug and has been experimenting with different dyes and processes quite a bit, so we’re planning a workshop on fabric dyeing as part of our 2017 programming.


Instagram @knoxmqg

#kmqg #knoxmqg

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight, by the Indy MQG

by Jennifer BromelIMG_6959The Indy MQG happily decided to make a quilt for this years 2017 QuiltCon charity quilt. Going with the given theme of ‘Scale’ and using the given color palette, it was decided to create a large scale play on the traditional ‘Courthouse Steps’ log cabin block using small strips of ‘made’ fabric blocks set against a solid grey, for high contrast. The guild members made blocks on their own and together in several sew-alongs. Then several members took on the tasks of backing, quilting, binding and prepping for shipping. The quilt turned out beautifully and we are happy to be showing it off at QuiltCon and giving to child at Riley Children’s Hospital. IMG_6960

The following members participated in making the blocks: Jen Broemel, Katie Burford, Meghan Eschbaugh, Michele Farley, Stephanie Gowler, Jennie Hermanson, Molly Isenbarger, Tammy Keefer, Erika Manningham-Nickens, Darcie Mair, Tisha Nagel, Lisa Parker, Laura Wolverton. The front was pieced by: Meghan Eschbaugh. The back was pieced by: Jen Broemel. The quilting was completed by: Darcie Mair. Binding and sleeve completed by: Lisa Parker.

Instagram @indymqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight, by the Hudson Valley MQG

by Shelly Loveland and Karen R. Caccavo

HVMQG Completed quilt

Architects use a graphic scale in their drawings to maintain a sense of scale when going from two to three dimensions. In this quilt, our guild members from across New York’s mid and lower Hudson River Valley came together to create a fabric version of this graphic scale, choosing Kona Ocean (along with Kona Snow) to represent our shared ties to the beautiful Hudson River.

As the rows progress upwards from the bottom left hand corner, the scale doubles each time, the gradation of color progresses from saturated to lighter tones, and the quilting gets proportionally wider.  In this way, the concept of scale is interpreted on multiple dimensions in 15 different blocks, giving guild members the opportunity to contribute their individual esthetics, skills, and judgement while staying within the larger master plan.

HVMQG Putting together the pieces

This quilt is the first QuiltCon submission for our young but growing guild.  Sustaining a multi-month project and the planning, communicating, and joint decision-making it required, was itself a learning (and bonding) experience for us!  Along the way, members came forward to contribute their unique talents—from architect Erin Flynn Berg who designed the quilt to the many other members who created individual blocks, donated materials and quilting and organizing skills– and more. As the seasons turned, our ideas, fabric, blocks, and the quilt in various stages of completion were passed from member to member at our monthly meetings as well as meet ups in coffee shops and parking lots throughout the Hudson Valley.

Research is on-going to determine which local charity will benefit from our quilt.


Find us on Instagram: @hvmqg #hvmqg

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Focal Point” by the Great Lakes Bay MQG

by Marcia Streeter, Secretary; Carol Rose, Treasurer20160929_182854The Great Lakes Bay Modern Quilt Guild, which meets in Midland, MI, is a new chapter of the MQG. Seeking ways to challenge ourselves, we were attracted to the QuiltCon charity challenge, because it offered a way to give back to our community while making our way into the quilt show arena. Alden B. Dow, an outstanding student of Frank Lloyd Wight, was a Midland native known for his contributions to modern architecture. Permission was obtained to use a photograph of a door on a home designed by Alden Dow, to serve as inspiration for our quilt. The home is located on the campus of Duke University in North Carolina, and is used to house visiting dignitaries.

The theme “Playing with Scale” provided us with a range of possibilities and stimulated some creative thinking. Our best designers went to work on a pattern, and soon the entire group was pitching in creating panels for the door portion of the quilt. Some members chose to carefully plan their section, while others used improvisation. All of the colors from the required color palette were used as we felt it added visual interest and gave the impression of the stained glass used in the original door. Once the door itself was finished, the rest of the quilt was completed. One of our members generously volunteered her talent to complete the wonderful long arm quilting. The challenge to play with scale can be seen in a variety of ways on our quilt “Focal Point.” The piecing and quilting show that the door is set into an alcove. Each door section is unique with varying sizes of squares and rectangles to make up the window panes. The overall design of the quilt gives the illusion of depth. The quilting further enhances this. The quilting lines on floor and ceiling, and scale of blocks on the walls draws the eye in from the entryway to the door. The quilting also shows the uniqueness of Alden Dow’s ‘unit blocks’ which are present on many of his buildings. Multiple members assisted with binding, labeling and attaching a hanging sleeve to prepare the quilt for its trip to Savannah. Coincidentally, our guild was very excited to learn that one of our members met the daughter of the master carpenter who built the door. This woman, who still lives in Midland, has memories of the door being present in the family home while her dad was working on it! The Great Lakes Bay Quilt Guild has begun discussions with the Alden B Dow Home and Design Studios to plan for the auctioning of this quilt for their charity. The proceeds will go to scholarships for camp or classes, where young students are introduced to architecture and design.


Learning Together While Supporting the Arts Locally

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Courage” by the MQG Victoria

by Nicole Hannah, Guild Co-Founder, outgoing President, incoming Social Media Coordinator


The first meeting of the “QuiltCon Charity Quilt” was on July 31, 2016 with the two co-coordinators for the project, Natalie and Dawna, and then-guild president Nicole. Each person brought a few ideas and went over them together. We all really liked one of Dawna’s ideas so we were happy to use that one.

Dawna’s explanation of her design: “When you stand against the crowd you become strong in yourself and don’t have to ‘shrink’ away, making good choices help you become stronger and make a bigger impact.”

There were six of us involved with making this quilt: Catherine (@catquilter59), Dawna (@dawnasquilts), Natalie (@natalieskinnerquilts), Netta (@mycolourqueue), Nicole (@handwroughtquilts), and Pam (@pam6076). Dawna designed it and did the calculations while Natalie co-ordinated our colours and fabrics. Five of us got together at a local quilt shop for one evening of sewing slab blocks and piecing HSTs with Dawna later assembling the quilt top. Catherine is an amazing longarmer in our guild who quilted this on both her longarm and her domestic machines, and she did a magnificent job of quilting it. She had given us five sketched ideas for the quilting but we were unanimous in our first choice. Natalie finished the quilt with blocking and binding. The finished quilt was shown at our November 17, 2016 guild meeting. IMG_20161014_0004_copyPreliminaries

We had thought to call the quilt “Courage” and to have that quilted in the negative space, as that would “give meaning/explanation and maybe have more impact for whomever ends up using the quilt.”

The quilt will be donated locally to the Kiwanis Emergency Youth Shelter (KEYS).
Kiwanis Emergency Youth Shelter (KEYS) is a 10 bed facility that provides emergency housing for youth (ages 13-18) who are in crisis and have no safe housing alternatives. The program offers assistance 24 hours 7 days a week. KEYS is a dorm style residential setting offering up to a 7 night stay depending on the needs of the youth and their family/caregivers. Services include three meals a day, access to showers and laundry facilities, free hygiene products, and clothing.

In 2014-15 we made a dozen twin sized quilts for each of the beds and are proud to continue our support of this agency. At our December Social we do a fundraising/supply drive for them, and we will be donating another quilt to them to raffle off at their annual gala fundraiser in Spring 2017.

We are delighted to share this quilt with QuiltCon East and the larger world of the Modern Quilt Guild. Please check out the more detailed post at our website: http://www.mqgvictoria.com/p/hst-charity-project.html

Instagram @mqgvictoria

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Scotland in Scale” by the Edinburgh MQG

by Sheila Williams, Communications Officer

JA6_6283When the Modern Quilt Guild released the theme of scale and the mustard, blue and green colour scheme for the 2016-2017 charity quilt challenge the Edinburgh Modern Quilt Guild (EMQG) decided that this was something we wanted to do! Many months of discussions and planning resulted in us deciding on a underlying Scottish theme to the quilt. For the theme of scale we decided that we would combine different sizes of a tartan inspired block with quilting of Scottish words for small and large. We also decided that the colour scheme would also reflect the colours of the Scottish landscape and to further reinforce the Scottish connection that we would use Karen Lewis, Blueberry Park fabric and original screen printed fabric in addition to the bella solids. It just so happened that Jo had a business meeting in Nov with Karen Lewis and managed to source some of the fabric we required directly from the source! Huge thank you to Karen Lewis!
Robin and Cathlene took up the challenge to design a tartan inspired block and the scale inspired quilt setting inspired by Elizabeth Hartman, Metropolis in Modern Patchwork. A tartan inspired block was drafted and quilt setting was drawn up which met with the approval of the whole EMQG. A charity quilt sub-group made up of Barbara, Helen, Katie, Sheila, Margaret and Lucy (skinnymalinky) was set-up to lead the creation of the physical quilt and solve any problems! Block testing began in earnest, the improv-tartan block worked really well when made in the smaller scale but in the larger scale the tartan stripes became noticeably misaligned resulting in the loss of the tartan effect. After a bit of experimentation we discovered that if we made the large blocks about 20% bigger and then removed a strip from the block that corresponded to the width of the new stripe to be added then the stripes matched up!

2017-01-13_11-43-14We had two block making sessions and one quilt construction session in December where the charity quilt-sub group plus many other volunteers got all the blocks made and put together into the the quilt top in Jo’s shop. The plan was to then pass the quilt to our long-arm quilter, Tatyana, to be quilted with the Scottish words over the Christmas holidays ready for binding in January. However, Tatyana had a family crisis and was unable to take on the quilt so at the last minute Jo and Lynsey stepped in to save the day. Lynsey, hand-quilted Scottish words onto the blocks over the holidays and then the trusty EMQG members had a hand-quilting session at Jo’s shop and at the guild meeting in early Jan to finish off the hand-quilting! Jo is filling the background of the quilt with an all-over Paisley design which has strong Scottish textile design links mid-Jan and attach the scrappy binding that Lucy H made over the holidays. All that remains is for the label to made and attached and to send the quilt off!

Instagram @edinburghmqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Detroit Rising” by the Detroit Area MQG

by Lori Miller


The Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild is made up of members from across the entire Detroit Metro Area in Michigan. We were inspired to create a quilt that represented the growth, resurgence and positive momentum we are seeing in the city and metro area. This quilt also represents the diverse and talented population of individuals who are coming together to build that growth.

Donna Tarnas, Quiltcon Charity Quilt Chairperson, issued the call to our membership for assistance. Our member, Coleen Merte, an accomplished pattern designer, offered to help design the quilt. Coleen starts her design process with graph paper and pencil and then recreates the design on her computer.

The design inspiration was the beautiful Detroit Riverfront and downtown skyline including the historical Renaissance Center Building. The kaleidoscope colors represent the diversity of the people and the industry in Detroit. There is a newly energized industrial and artistic maker community thriving and redefining the city. It also represents our historic automotive and industrial legacy, rich musical scene, and the overall rebirth of spirit and infrastructure in Detroit.

The committee decided to put together kits of the different sections of the quilt so that all the members could have a chance to stitch a part of the quilt. Some members sewed at one of our Annual Retreats and others took a kit at a monthly meeting and returned their finished block for assembly. This approach helped keep the required color palette in check as well as made the piecing much simpler.

On a snowy day in December, members braved the weather to come together and assemble all of the blocks. The design began to take life with the Chevron Detroit River emerging, the downtown landscape, and even a few blocks of color highlighting the friendly rivalry between the University of Michigan and Michigan State.

The finished quilt was quilted using the street scape layout of Detroit as a pattern. Amy Lobsinger from Big City Quilting Company provided her long arm expertise. The Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild is proud to share this beautiful quilt from the Motor City. This quilt will be donated to a local charity.IMG_0301

Instagram @damqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Ripples” by the Denver Metro MQG

by Kari Vojtechovsky

20170118-P1180129_0120170118-P1180135The Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild has enjoyed participating as a group in previous MQG charity quilt challenges, so it was easy to keep that momentum going with this year’s challenge.

We used the opportunity of creating a collaborative quilt to suit the purposes of both the MQG charity quilt challenge and another upcoming show. Our guild has a unique opportunity coming up with a guild exclusive, juried show of original works at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum with the theme of How New is Modern? Our guild made a quilt that fits the criteria for both! (More details on the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum show can be found at http://www.denvermetromodernquiltguild.com/2017-show-details/)

One of the inspiration quilts for the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum show is a traditional Robbing Peter to Pay Paul design. This quilt was our conceptual launching point. From there, the quilt took a decidedly modern path. The concept also goes deeper than just the visual in Ripples. It speaks to the way individuals can magnify the impact of their work by joining together.

It was designed so that there are varying elements of scale creating interest and of course using the palette prescribed for the MQG challenge. From across the room, you see the bold overall design of concentric ripples. A little closer, you can see that the composition of the quilt is made up of deconstructed Robbing Peter to Pay Paul blocks. From arms length, the small details pieced into each block become apparent, from the improv curved piecing to inserted details to the rippled quilting.

The quilt was mapped out into individual blocks that were assigned to a member of our guild to piece. Directions included only the fabrics in the needed colors, finished block size and a visual of what is needed as a rough guide. Each of us was asked to take the general idea but to get creative with it and make it our own. No coordination of how or what shape to piece the curves was provided so that there was naturally variation in how each block turned out.

The result is a visually dynamic quilt that was interesting for each maker to create. Once the quilt was pieced together, the design remained cohesive because of the master plan but has a wonderful improv quality with the signature of many makers. The complementary quilting finishes the quilt. The quilting motif echoes the rippling circles of the piecing but at a smaller scale and texturally adds another element of interest to the quilt.

A favorite part of the quilt is seeing how the work of so many individuals comes together to create a work of beauty and function. It is a special quilt that could not have ended up with the interest and personality it has with a single maker. Although we have not chosen the charity that will receive this quilt, we all hope it will bless and benefit the eventual recipient.

The Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild would like to acknowledge the role our members played in creating Ripples:

Coordinators: Denise von Minden & Christine Perrigo
Blocks pieced by: Members of the Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild
Quilt top pieced by: Denise von Minden & Christine Perrigo
Quilting designed and quilted by: Christine Perrigo
Binding by: Stephanie Ruyle

Instagram @dmmqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Capital Confetti” by the DC MQG

by Lynne Mackay-AthaQuilt_Final
I thought that we were a little late in getting started. I knew from last year how tight the timeline felt. I wisely asked Robin to be my partner in this endeavor, and we read the guidelines and started playing with ideas. Scale. That is what we were focusing on. We had a meeting coming up at the end of August, not typically the most well-attended meeting of the year. I had stepped up as coordinator of the project, but not as a major quilt designer, so in the meeting I talked about the guidelines and what I had played with so far – our logo. I really love our logo. The group liked the idea of using our logo, and in the back and forth about the guidelines and the logo, Jessee Maloney @jessee_artschooldropout, a new member of the guild, brought up the idea of pixelating our logo. And, that she could design it so that there would be individual blocks so that lots of people could do the sewing. So, we were off and running!


Robin set to ordering fabric as Jessee was sending me block instructions…63 separate sheets. The call went out to the membership. Want to make a block or two? At the October meeting Robin and I made kits – one for each block except the 3 buildings – we decided that each building should be made by just one person. We handed out lots of kits at that meeting, and some were mailed to members. The deadline was the DCMQG retreat the weekend before Thanksgiving.


All of the blocks came in on time. First Robin had the Washington Monument put together, then I added the Lincoln Memorial. Linda put together a lot of the sky blocks, then Melinda brought the Capitol while Robin worked on the Potomac River. Once together, several other members worked on snipping threads and tidying the back.
It was time to hand the top over to Sari Thomas @sariditty and let her work her magic. When she started on the quilt, Sari would send me little teasers…so exciting!
We already had someone lined up to attach binding, and the label and sleeve ready to be sewn on. The completed quilt came to a guild meeting for us all to see!
From start to finish, this quilt has passed through the hands of roughly a third of our guild. We are proud of what we have created and are excited to see it displayed with the other charity quilts at QuiltCon in February. Each fall our guild sponsors a quilt drive – 100 quilts for Kids. Those quilts go to organizations that help kids, this year to The Children’s Inn at the National Institute of Health. After QuiltCon, this special quilt will be donated to one of the many worthy organizations in DC that will auction it and use the funds to support their programs.FotorCreated

Instagram @dcmqg