QuiltCon 2017 Charity Quilt Challenge

The QuiltCon Charity Challenge is one of the MQG’s largest-scale charity projects, and we look forward to getting as many member guilds and individual members involved as possible.

The QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge is open to MEMBERS ONLY. Become a member today!

Guilds will donate the finished quilt to their local communities! After the quilts are displayed at QuiltCon, guilds are asked to donate the completed quilt to a local charity your guild supports.

The 2017 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge is a bit different from the 2016 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge. Please read carefully.

This year’s challenge requires participants to work collaboratively to create completed quilts using a predetermined color palette while crafting a design that plays with scale.

About the Challenge

Working with the Color Palette

The color palette can be described as:

Quiltcon Charity Quilt Palette 2017See a complete list of coordinating solid fabrics at quiltcon.com.

Once you have some of these solids on hand, it is easy to pull prints from your stash that coordinate. Yes, you can use prints! If your group prefers, it can be all prints. When choosing prints, it’s best to look for monochromatic/tone-on-tone prints rather than those that include other colors outside the color palette. No additional neutrals are permitted, only those included in the color palette.

Playing with Scale and How to Use It

Carefully chosen guidelines are so important when working with a group. Start your planning with a brainstorming session where all members can contribute ideas. If everyone feels invested in the plan, there will be better follow through. Consider not only the theme, but also how to best use the color palette and keep the other MQG aesthetics in mind as well. Nominate a Project Manager (see below for more on that) and make sure that person will be available through QuiltCon 2017 to receive and follow through with emails regarding the challenge.

Fly Away by Heather Jones

Fly Away by Heather Jones

You could decide to go with large-scale piecing. The overall design would be created with large pieces of fabric and a simple overall design. This might mean designing a quilt with one large block balanced in negative space. Heather Jones uses large-scale piecing in many of her designs. Check out her website for inspiration.

Untitled by Lindsay Stead

Untitled by Lindsay Stead

Lindsay Stead’s 2015 QuiltCon entry is another great example of large-scale piecing.

Log Cabin WIP by Chawne Kimber

Log Cabin WIP by Chawne Kimber

Or, you could go the opposite way and make blocks with very tiny pieces. This type of scale play is very popular right now. Chawne Kimber has made many modern quilts crafted from tiny (1/4”!) pieces. Please visit her website as well.

i Quilt by Kathy York

i Quilt by Kathy York

You could use multiple sizes of the same block in your quilt design. The Quilt Con 2015 Best in Show winner, Kathy York’s “i Quilt” is a great example.

Emergent by Kari Vojtechovsky

Emergent by Kari Vojtechovsky

Emergent by Kari Vojechovsky uses a combination of large scale piecing and smaller piecing in one cohesive design.

If you want to incorporate prints into your quilt design, you could choose prints with the same graphic element in different sizes. For example, one fabric might have 4-inch circles, another might have circles that are a half inch in diameter. You could scale right down to the pindots. Careful fabric choice is important here to make sure the scale change is obvious and an important part of the overall quilt design.

Pixel Pusher II by Caro Sheridan

Pixel Pusher II by Caro Sheridan

You might also think about pixelation. Pixelation and scale are closely related, especially when cropping comes into play. Pixelation can be the magnification of an object rather than the way most people think of it as low resolution.

Pixelation and scale are very closely involved especially when cropping comes into play. Pixelation can be the magnification of object rather than the way most people use it as low-res.

Resources

Organizing Your Guild’s Challenge

Determine Your Guild’s Project Manager

When you begin discussing this challenge with your guild, we ask that you nominate a QuiltCon Charity Quilt project manager for your guild. She/he will be the point of contact for direct communication between the MQG and your guild. She/he should be the person who signs the guild up for the challenge, oversees the project to make sure things are on schedule, and mails the quilt to QuiltCon. All emails sent about the challenge will be sent to this contact person only. That means that the project manager is responsible for communicating to the guild.

Sign-ups

  • Guilds: Project managers for local guilds can use this form to sign up their guild. Please make sure this is filled out by July 30, 2016. Please have your QuiltCon Charity Quilt project manager sign up.
  • Individual member teams: Individual Members Teams (IMTs) should select a leader who will be the only point of contact for the team. Individual members should sign up by May 15, 2016. IMTs can be formed in two ways:
    • Form their own group: If you want to create your own individual member group, please email Deborah Fisher and provide her with a name for your team and the names and email addresses of the two individuals who will be points of contact for your IMT.
    • Be assigned a group: If you want to be linked up with other members, fill out the form we will be sending via email soon. We will work to get groups together according to zip code and/or country to keep your traveling/shipping costs low.

Design the quilt!

  • Guilds, groups and/or individuals will complete a quilt using the predetermined color palette.
  • Guilds, groups and/or will complete a quilt playing with scale.
  • Patterns are allowed but you must credit the designer and obtain their permission in advance.

Work Together

  • Your guild and/or members will provide the blocks for the quilt.
  • Your guild will provide batting, backing, binding and additional fabric to complete the quilt top.
  • Quilts should be twin size (generally no smaller than 68”x 88” and not much bigger than 72” x 92”).
  • Quilting must be no farther apart than 2”. These quilts will be used, so please make sure they are sturdy.
  • Machine sewn bindings are okay.

Blog Post (optional)

  • Your guild will submit an optional blog post with 3–4 accompanying photos discussing the process of designing and completing your guild’s quilt by January 14, 2017.
  • We will email directions to participating guilds on submitting your content in October 2016.

Shipping

All quilts must have a sleeve and label.

  • Label: Each charity quilt sent must have a label securely attached to the back of the quilt. We expect that this is a temporary label that you will take off before donating the quilt to your charity. The label should identify your guild/group and contain the return shipping address.
  • Sleeve: Quilts will be hung with sleeves. Charity quilts require 4” sleeves. Quilts received without sleeves will not be hung. We suggest attaching the sleeve in very big stitches, so that it can be removed before sending to the charity, if applicable. Please review Jacquie Gering’s tutorial on how to make and apply a sleeve to your quilt.

The deadline for these quilts is February 3, 2017.

  • Complete details on shipping will be emailed to your project manager in December 2016.
  • If you need help, please visit the Community site or feel free to email our QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge Coordinator, Amy Friend.

Thank you for your interest in completing the QuiltCon 2017 Charity Quilt Challenge. If you or your guild are interested in becoming a part of the MQG, read about membership here!

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!

Riverfire_final

“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.

Top_coming_together_on_retreat

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.

Fireworks_close_up

QuiltCon Charity Spotlight: South Sound MQG

South Sound Modern Quilt Guild
Olympia Washington

South Sound pic1

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.

south sound pic2

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.

tucson 1+2

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?

tucson 3

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.

tucson 4

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.

tucson 5+6

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?

tucson 7+8

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.

tucson 9

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.

tucson final

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.

SMQG_charity_back

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.

closeups

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.

SMQG_charity _front

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.

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.

calmqg quiltcon 1

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.

cal2

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!

cal4

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

Kansas City Modern Quilt Guildkansas city pic1

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.

kansas city pic2

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.

kansas city pic4