#QuiltsforPulse Charity Drive with the Orlando MQG

OMQGButtonLogoThe Orlando Modern Quilt Guild is collecting quilts and blocks for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub on June 12, and MQG members around the world are invited to participate. The goal is to gather enough quilts to help not only the victims who survived, but the families of victims who perished, as well as first responders, nurses, police officers, etc.

The Orlando MQG is asking for a minimum of 102 quilts — one for each survivor, and one for the families of each victim who perished. Any quilts that surpass that number will be given to first responders, and then distributed to the LGBT community in Orlando via organizations like The Center and Zebra Coalition.

Rainbow hearts are the design theme, and members are asked to submit either finished quilts (strongly encouraged) or 10-inch blocks with at least one heart. See the gallery below for block and quilt ideas, or visit our Pinterest board for more inspiration. You can also use this tutorial for a 10-inch heart block by Cluck Cluck Sew (or this paper piecing version by Elizabeth Dackson).

If you’re part of a guild, we encourage you to sign up as a whole guild and coordinate locally to make a finished quilt (or quilts). This will help ease the strain on Orlando MQG members. They’re asking for quilts larger than 48″ x 60″ but no larger than a twin. The Orlando MQG is also accepting quilt tops, binding and backings.

How to help:

  • Please sign up using this form so the Orlando MQG knows what to expect and when items will arrive.
  • When you’re ready to ship, please print out this form and place it in the box with your quilt or other items.
  • Ship the quilt to:
    Alissa Lapinsky

    c/o A List Hair Salon
    106 South Woodland Blvd
    Suite B
    DeLand, FL 32720
  • Please post photos and follow #quiltsforpulse on Instagram for ongoing updates. You can also find more information on the Orlando MQG’s website, here.

Blocks are due August 15 and quilts are due September 15. Thank you for your support!

 

If you want to add a button to your blog to promote awareness, feel free to use this image:

#QuiltsforPulse

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: Postcards from North Caroline by the Charlotte MQG

by Elizabeth Busscher, Vice President, 2015

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First off, please let me say how proud I am of all the members who contributed to this quilt. When I proposed this project, I got some grumblings from the group.  Apparently, improv quilting is not our favorite! But, I think we all can agree – the end product was totally worth it!

To prepare for this challenge, our guild reviewed some basic improv techniques by watching the MQG webinar “Improv with Intent” and discussing how we as individuals could create blocks that were improvisational, but still form a cohesive quilt. We decided a quilt with six individual blocks, each with its own theme would work best for our group.

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At our September meeting, we brainstormed the themes for each block, all to be captured under the umbrella “Postcards from North Carolina.” The six ideas represented are:

  1. Beach
  2. Mountains
  3. Sports
  4. Fields/agriculture
  5. Charlotte City
  6. State bird/flower

From there the guild broke up into six teams and created individual postcards. This was a great program for our guild as it allowed for sewing time, and time to get to know other members. We also very quickly learned who was not a fan of unstructured cutting and sewing – me for one!  It was definitely a challenge for some of us. Others had issues with the limited color palette, but we all got over our fears quickly. 

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At the October meeting, we revealed each group’s finished block. It was wonderful to see those piles of fabric turn into six finished blocks. A big thanks to Keleigh for taking all the blocks home and making them into the finished quilt top. (And for free piecing all those letters!)

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And another big thanks to Vicki for quilting and binding. It looks amazing!

When this quilt returns from the show, we plan to vote on a charity that will receive it. I’m sure whoever the final recipient is will treasure it. I know I’m honored to have been part of the group who made it.

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: 35 Sisters by the Pittsburgh MQG

By Amanda Hancock, President

35 sisters front finished

When the color scheme and challenge theme (Improv With Intent) was announced for the 2016 QuiltCon Charity Challenge, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to represent our fair city! Pittsburgh is well known for the beautiful golden steel bridges that surround the downtown skyline. Three of the most iconic of these bridges are affectionately termed “The Three Sisters.”

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For this challenge we expanded an image of one of these sisters to quilt size (70″ x 90″) and then deconstructed it into 24 manageably sized blocks. Guild members were then given these block images along with packets of fabric that were no bigger than fat eighths (and were in fact mostly small strips) and instructions to improv piece their block using the image portion as a reference point. In the end the blocks were put back together to reconstruct the bridge in its entirety. The final effect is a cool, impressionistic image of the bridge which is at once cohesive and also expressive of the individuals who contributed to the effort.

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We were lucky in this endeavor to have had Sherri Lynn Wood visit us while we were working on this project to lead a workshop on improv piecing. Many of the members have expressed their gratitude for this opportunity, and we all agreed that the concepts and skills learned during the workshop were instrumental to our success with the challenge.

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Initially, many of us felt nervous and apprehensive about the project. How would it turn out? Would it look crazy? What if my block doesn’t look like her block? What if the lines don’t match up! How do I even do that curve?! However! Many agreed in the end that it was a very freeing experience to shake off all the rules, lay the apprehensions aside, and just make. Many are even asking when we can do this again! Overall, the experience really brought us together as a guild. We are, as of this blog post, a guild that is 34 women strong. We named this piece “35 Sisters” as a nod to both the bridge itself and the hands that constructed this version of it.

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As of yet, we have not identified a charity to donate this quilt to. We would like to donate it to an organization that can perhaps auction if off to raise proceeds to maximize its potential impact for the greater good.

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: Beach Blanket Improv by the South Florida MQG

By Allison Schnackenberg, President

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South Florida MQG is a newly formalized guild — we took the leap and joined the MQG midway through 2015. Prior to that we were an informal group meeting once a month in our local quilt shop, the wonderful Stitchcraft of Boca Raton. Most of our members are new to modern quilting, coming either from a traditional quilting background, or being entirely new to quilting. Our very first workshop was an improv round robin, and it was a joy to see the gusto with which everyone abandoned their rulers and threw themselves into improv! So we were pretty excited about the idea of a group improv with intent for this challenge.

SFMQG covers a large land mass — a part of Florida that stretches from Palm City to Miami! Due to our members being so spread out, it can be a challenge to organize time to work together as a group on a sewing project. For this reason, we decided to work on individual pieces of the quilt. Many of us have been profoundly influenced by Sherri Lynn Wood’s wonderful Improv Handbook, and following her lead, we identified the steps we wanted to follow for this project.

Curating our fabrics

In fact, the first step was done for us by the MQG — the colors, which were part of the challenge framework. 

Find inspiration
These colors really spoke to us: a Florida sunset! We have glorious, dramatic sunsets in this part of the world – the blue skies melding into the golden and crimson sun on the dark horizon over the sea. The colors were a gift for us! 

Set limits
We then limited ourselves to five colors, and we restricted our patchwork size by limiting the amount of fabric available to each participant (a fat eighth of each color).

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Defining our process
An important part of the process for us was to make it easy for everyone to participate. For many of our members, working on this quilt would be their very first hands-on attempt at improv. I gave a presentation at a meeting which was aimed at removing some of the fear and loosening up the death-grips on those rulers. I then devised a step-by-step process for the patchwork which I hoped would make everyone comfortable. The instructions were specific enough to give the terrified a guide rope, but loose enough to allow the more confident to base jump right into the wild blue yonder. I deliberately did not include any photographs with the instructions, or post any tutorial photos, because I wanted imagination to take flight. We simply used that inspirational sunset as our guide, and used our scissors to create shapes to build our patchwork.

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I can not tell you how dumbfounded I was at our November meeting, as block after beautiful block turned up on the design board. A glorious wall full of colorful, abstract, improvised sunsets! As a guild, we knocked it out of the park.

For our December meeting, we spent the entire afternoon sewing. We are lucky to have Tonya Ricucci, the Unruly Quilter and a master of improvisational piecing, in our guild. Tonya led the group in charge of devising a layout. They simply starting putting pieces together like a puzzle, fitting one patchwork section to another and building our quilt top. Another group improv-pieced a back for the quilt from the leftover fabric used for the top. A third group cut and prepared binding. We had two members pressing everything as we went. We pieced the top and back together that afternoon. Our talented member Patti Auten did the free motion quilting in the following weeks. Charlotte Noll and Kerrilyn O’Rourke lent their talents to sew the binding and sleeve.

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It fills my heart with joy to see a such a new guild come together and complete this project. So much fearless creativity was harnessed and devoted to the completion of our quilt. I hope that the visitors to QuiltCon enjoyed our work as much as we have enjoyed seeing the beautiful creations made by other modern guilds. There is something truly special about feeling part of a project that so many people around the globe have also been a part of. Thanks to the MQG for making this wonderful project possible!

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: Riverfire by the Brisbane MQG

By Victoria Mansfield, Committee Member

Participating in this challenge was my idea and fortunately, after floating the idea, I immediately had the support of the guild and was nominated to be the Project Leader. The first step, as always, is to come up with a plan, and since the Storey Bridge is the logo of the Brisbane MQG (BMQG) it was my first suggestion. Another member then suggested the bridge with fireworks, and that was it — we had our idea!

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“Riverfire” is the finale event to the annual Brisbane Festival and is a huge fireworks display along the section of the Brisbane River which winds its way through the CBD, with the Storey Bridge being a massive feature of this display. Almost everyone in Brisbane has attended at least one Riverfire, and the event holds a special place in all of our hearts. The Storey Bridge also turned 75 in July 2015, right at the time we were coming up with our plan. Brisbane, by world standards, is a relatively young city and has very few noteworthy architectural features. The Storey Bridge is one of our most recognised structures and we wanted to help celebrate it turning 75!

The next step was to come up with a type of quilt that would be able to include any member who wished to contribute.  We therefore thought smaller blocks would be the best option and liked the idea that this would pixelate the image. The quilt consists of 414 improv wonky log cabin style blocks 4½”. Twelve members made blocks, with a special mention to Janet Jackson, Jenny Cameron and Kirsty Cleverly, who between them made nearly 200 blocks.

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BMQG held its first annual retreat in October 2015, and one of the retreat missions was to get the last 50 or so blocks made and to work on the final layout. It was fantastic to have input on the layout from all on retreat, which helped make this quilt even better! After assembling the top, we chose quilting to amplify the fireworks and make them the main feature of the quilt. The bridge quilting was done with a walking foot on a domestic machine and the sky, water and fireworks were all done on a Sweet 16.

Bridge_quilting

I loved the collaborative process we went through as a guild to create this quilt and how much it brought us all together. The creativity of our members is a massive inspiration to me personally and to the guild as a group, and I want to thank the MQG for bringing us together! 

As Project Leader, I also want to thank all the members of the BMQG for their contributions to this project and for helping to make our guild so amazing! 

Our chosen charity is a Domestic Violence Shelter run by The Salvation Army.  We have donated 33 quilts to them over the last year, with many more in the process of being created and hope they provide some comfort in a time of need.

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