QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Milky Way the Modern Way” by the Portland MQG Hillsboro Carpool Group

by AnnMarie Cowley, member

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The Hillsboro carpool gals (eight of us from Portland MQG and one deserter now with San Antonio MQG) agreed to do this challenge, and once we decided to make improv stars, off we went. One of us purchased Kona solids per the predetermined color palette. Each of us could add any solid or print that matched the chosen colors and made three stars each finishing at 3.5″, 6.5″ and 9.5″. PMQG has Sew Days at Fabric Depot, so we met two consecutive months with a plan in mind, then one last time at a member’s home. One member made the back from scraps, another quilted it, and then another bound and applied the sleeve.

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Probably the thing we learned in this challenge was about each other. Our carpool ride is usually 1.75 hours getting to the meetings, and an hour back, but we spent a lot more time together on this quilt. It was great having one member not sewing and moving the blocks around and giving direction. Occasionally, we would all break and get a consensus.

For me, I love the name of the quilt and that we met the deadline and will get to show it off at PMQG next Thursday. Important to all of us was to use fabric from fellow PMQG members: Elizabeth Hartman, Mo Bedel, Violet Craft and Monica Solorio-Snow.

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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: “Sew Pieceful Together in the Desert” by the Phoenix MQG

By Bonnie Bobman, Quiltcon Charity Quilt Project Manager

After reviewing the MQG prompts and video, the PHXmqg discussed what “Improv with Intent” means to us. We talked about the challenge that improvisational quilting brings to many sewing tables. We found that only one of our members truly worked with an improvisational direction in her quilting. More importantly was that many of the members were eager to learn but never knew how to approach this fantastic method! 

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Our intent for the Quiltcon charity quilt journey was to take this wonderful opportunity to learn together and join our many varied backgrounds and improvising our way to become one solid, cohesive group.

One member led a workshop on improv quilting as well as provided a home video where we could see the process and revisit the clip any time. The most important part of the process was to let go, have fun and, of course, have no rules! We tried to be concerned with only the moment and not so much the outcome. It’s easier to reign yourself back in but it is so much harder to break down the structure on our conventional quilt piecing.

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During our workshop, everyone was instructed to bring only rotary cutters and self-healing mats. Making that first random cut without a ruler was probably the most challenging step for those new to improv piecing. But once the first unmeasured cut was complete, the next came easier, and those that followed were even better! We experimented with curves, slicing, dicing and using tiny bits to create larger pieced segments. You could see the relieved, surprised and excited expressions of accomplishment all around the room!

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We had collected close to fifteen miscellaneous sized blocks. The project manager had permission to put them together and fill in the gaps to create one focus “fabric” for the quilt top. In the true improv method, the final design came from playing with the fabric until it reflected the group’s direction — togetherness.

Once the top and back was complete, the quilting was balanced and simple. The quilt went to another member for binding where she had full reign to do what she liked. Finishing touches of the sleeve and label were done by our final member. 

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We strive to have a learning environment within our guild; sharing our boundless talents and insights from all of our members. This group challenge was just one of many creative projects we have here in our Arizona guild. Our intent was to reach a very important, intangible and supremely crucial goal for our guild: to create a sense of cohesiveness within a chapter that is blessed with wonderful members from so many places — Alaska to Mexico, Connecticut to California. We are indeed a living form of a “quilt in the desert”!

More pictures on phoenixmodernquiltguild.com.

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “An Exercise in Trust” by the Denver MQG

By Andrea Berryhill, President

Last year the Modern Quilt Guild threw out a challenge for the 2016 charity quilts to be displayed in Pasadena. The challenge required participants to “work collaboratively to create completed quilts using a predetermined color palette and improv with intent.” Several members of the Denver Metro guild know a thing or two about improv, so we were eager to accept the challenge!

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The first step in our process was to choose a theme around which to construct our quilt so that it would still be cohesive. The theme that was settled on was “Trust.” Specifically, how does trust come into play when making a collaborative quilt?

We trusted the MQG in their choice of colors, which included several neutrals and a few primary colors. Participants were then instructed to make an improvisational block using the neutral colors for their negative space and a simple four-sided shape with the black color trusting that there would be more direction to come. The third step was to put the pieced blocks into a bag, mix them up and draw out new blocks. Those blocks could then be altered using small amounts of the secondary colors using improvisation, curved piecing, slice and insert or whatever moved the maker, trusting the process while working together. Finally, the blocks were laid out with the intention of creating a focal point and some visual interest and movement through the use of the secondary colors and quilting. I think the result is a stunning success!

An interesting point to make is that many of these blocks were turned on their corners in order to create the movement of the smaller secondary colored curves. It was like putting together a puzzle for which there was no picture. There are a lot of Y-seams in this baby!

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Let’s face it, improv can be intimidating for a lot of us quilters. We tend to like order, and lines, and rulers! However, when you quilt with intention, basing your ideas off of a set of guidelines it takes some of the intimidation off the table and turns out to be a lot of fun. We loved seeing how all the blocks, as different as they were, still fit together (in our minds) perfectly! We’re not sure yet where we’ll be donating our quilt, but we hope that it makes the recipient smile.

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The women of the Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild would like to give the following members thanks for their participation: Andrea Berryhill, Alaina Marler, Marsha Loewenberg, Chelsea O’Hayre, Katie Rapp, Shelby Skumanich, Rosalynda Turner, Amy Wade, and Emily Voytek. We would like to especially thank Stephanie Ruyle for trusting us with an amazing design concept and working on final construction, Wendy Bermingham and Christine Perrigo for the many hours of assembly, creating the back and the amazing quilting, Susan Sanstistevan for heading up the committee and Judy Sanclaria for binding the quilt. What a beautiful collaboration!

Congratulations to our QuiltCon 2016 winners!

The competition was fierce this year, but these quilts stood above the rest. Congratulations to our 2016 QuiltCon winners!

Best in show

My Brother’s Jeans
Pieced & quilted by Melissa Averinos
Individual Member
@melissaaverinos
84” x 91”

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Machine Quilting, Framed

No Value Does Not Equal Free
Pieced by Molli Sparkles, quilted by Jane Davidson
Individual Member
@molli_sparkles
72” x 72”

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Machine Quilting, Frameless

ABQMQG
Logo designed by Bob Lowe
Pieced by Lois Warwick
Applique by Sally Williams & Laurie Moodie
Quilting by Renee Hoffman
Albuquerque MQG
86” x 45”

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Freespirit Quilting Excellence

The Other Side
Pieced & quilted by Carson Converse
Northampton MQG
59” x 57”

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Judge’s Choice – Cheryl Arkison

Better Together
Pieced & quilted by Laura West Kong
Individual Member
@laurawestkong

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People’s Choice & Judge’s Choice – Scott Murkin

Mr. Swirl E. Bones
Pieced by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, quilted by Shelly Pagliai
Individual Member
@victoriafindlaywolfe
94” x 94”

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Judge’s Choice – Lisa

Red Hot
Pieced & quilted by Shawna Doering
Individual Member
@thequilticorn
55” x 66”

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Applique – 1st

DripnSplash
Pieced & quilted by
Katherine Jones
Tasmanian MQG
84” x 60”

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Applique – 2nd

Ebb
Pieced & quilted by Carolyn Friedlander
Individual Member
@carolynfriedlander
41” x 36″

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Applique – 3rd

Cut & Keep
Pieced & quilted by Gina Pina
Austin MQG
@gina_pina
37” x 44”

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EZ Triangle Challenge – 1st

Eichler Homes
Pieced by Mickey Beebe
Quilted by Tami Levin, the Quilted Lemon
South Bay Area MQG
66” x 76”

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EZ Triangle Challenge – 2nd

Catnado
Pieced & quilted by Karen Duling
Individual Member
@karenbduling
56” x 61”

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EZ Triangle Challenge – 3rd

Facets
Pieced & quilted by Katherine Jones
Tasmanian MQG
25” x 37”

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Group or Bee Quilts – 1st

Mod Mood
Pieced by Debbie Jeske, Stephanie Ruyle, Leanne Chahley, Karen Foster, Felicity Ronaghan, Kari Vojtechovsky, Melissa Richie, Diane Stanley, Marci Debetaz, Hillary Goodwin
Quilted by Debbie Jeske
62” x 65”

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Group or Bee Quilts – 2nd

Pathways
Pieced by Janet Schoenfeld, Summer Rankin, Elaine Wienholt, Cindy Barcelles, Deb Kleiner, Judy Dunlap
Quilted by Maria O’Haver
Baltimore MQG
77” x 73”

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Group or Bee Quilts – 3rd

Twisted Sisters Quilt
Pieced by Stephanie Ruyle, Christine Perrigo, Wendy Bermingham, Amy Wade, Chelsea Camalick, Sheri Nichols, Michelle Davis, Wendy Roth, Teri Ladtkow, Susan Santisteven, Charlayne Dunn, Shelby Skumanich, Andrea Berryhill, Teresa Barbagallo, Lauren Lang, Dena Mehling, Anne deister, Katie Rapp, Carla Keahey, Marsha Loewenbery, Judy Sanclaria, Heather Ferguson)
Quilted by Wendy Bermingham, Christine Perrigo
Denver Metro MQG
78” x 88”

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Handwork – 1st

Places Unfold
Pieced & quilted by Heidi Parkes
Individual Member
@heidi.parkes
59” x 59”

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Handwork – 2nd

Double Wedding Ring
Pieced & quilted by Tara Faughnan
Individual Member
@tarafaughnan
78” x 78”

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Handwork – 3rd

Mod Mountains
Pieced & quilted by Susanne Williams
Individual Member
@suzyquilts
50” x 64”

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Improvisation – 1st

The One For Eric
Pieced by Chawne Kimber
Hand quilting by Chawne Kimber, longarm machine quilting by Pamela J. Cole
Individual Member
@cauchycomplete
79” x 77”

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Improvisation – 2nd

Night Flight no. 1
Pieced & quilted by Heidi Parkes
Individual Member
@heidi.parkes
58” x 58”

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Improvisation – 3rd

Colorfall
Pieced & quilted by Timna Tarr
Northampton MQG
@timnatarr
49” x 54”

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Michael Miller Challenge – 1st

The Stars Dream of Snow
Pieced & quilted by Kari Anderson
Los Angeles MQG
@Andersondesignworks
62” x 58”

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Michael Miller Challenge – 2nd

Pineapple Glitz
Pieced & quilted by Susan Slusser Clay
Individual Member
@slusclay
62” x 62”

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Michael Miller Challenge – 3rd

Better Together
Pieced & quilted by Laura West Kong
Individual Member
@laurawestkong
54” x 54”

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Minimalist Design – 1st

Bubble Gum
Pieced & quilted by Margaret (Kathy) Greer
Bainbridge Island MQG
58” x 72”

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Minimalist Design – 2nd

Shift
Pieced & quilted by Carson Converse
Northampton MQG
37.5” x 41”

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Minimalist Design – 3rd

Rainy Day Quilt
Pieced by Lindsey Neill
Quilted by Sarah Wilson from Crinklelove
Phoenix MQG
@penandpaperpatterns
56” x 72”

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Modern Traditionalism – 1st

Whimsical Logs
Pieced by Letitia Chung
Machine quilted by Laurie Grant
Sashiko by Letitia Chung
Individual Member
66” x 67”

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Modern Traditionalism – 2nd

Flounce
Pieced & quilted by Melanie Tuazon
North Jersey MQG
@melintheattic
52” x 57”

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Modern Traditionalism – 3rd

Release the Geese II
Pieced by Sarah Bond
Quilted by Carol Heisler, Norriton, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia MQG
@slbphilly
94” x 94”

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Piecing – 1st

Under the Radar
Pieced & quilted by Corinne Sovey
Austin MQG
@mustlovequilts
47.8” x 65”

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Piecing – 2nd

Pointed Statement
Pieced & quilted by Amy Friend
Seacoast MQG
@duringquiettime
48” x 60”

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Piecing – 3rd

Diamonds Quilt #2
Pieced & quilted by Tara Faughnan
Individual Member
@tarafaughnan
59” x 69”

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Small Quilts – 1st

Modern Improv Sampler
Pieced & quilted by Kristin Shields
Central Oregon MQG
@kristinshields
17” x 24”

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Small Quilts – 2nd

Lines Lost & Found
Pieced & quilted by Jennifer Rossotti
Individual Member
@jennrossotti
35” x 28”

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Small Quilts – 3rd

Holyoke 1938
Pieced & quilted by Timna Tarr
Northampton MQG
@timnatarr
22” x 29”

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Use of Negative Space – 1st

Reflection
Pieced by Nancy Purvis
Quilted by Mary Gregory
Triangle MQG
@owensolivia
37” x 47”

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Use of Negative Space – 2nd

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
Pieced & quilted by Rebecca Burnett
Toronto MQG
@duzzabear
63” x 85”

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Use of Negative Space – 3rd

Catching Up
Pieced by Kathryn Simel
Quilted by Stacey Bendure
Maine MQG
@midcoastcottagedesign
68” x 84”

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Youth – 1st

Ka-Bloom
Pieced & quilted by Sofia Locke
Sydney MQG
@craftypanda55
51” x 51”

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Youth – 2nd

Hearts Desire
Pieced by Autumn Overton
Quilted by Autumn Overton & her teacher Mrs. Goodman
Junior MQG of Broward County
57” x 94”

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Youth – 3rd

Modern Harris
Pieced & quilted by Alexus Upitis
Calgary MQG
41” x 43”

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MQG Exhibit at International Quilt Festival

 

One of the great things about going to Quilt Market is getting the first peek at the MQG showcase at the International Quilt Festival! We had a stellar show this year with lots of diverse modern quilts. The photos below give a nice overview on how the show looks and feels. Best of all, all of these quilts will make an appearance at QuiltCon in Pasadena!

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From L to R: Big Love by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, Comma Comet by Pam Biswas

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From L to R: Tidy Towns: Irish Houses by Andrew Steinbrecher, Modern Amish II by Mickey Beebe

 

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From L to R: Line Study #1 by Andrew Steinbrecher, Balancing Act by Amanda Hohnstreiter, Bullseye by Vicki Ruebel

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From L to R: Paper Cranes by Sylvia Schaefer, Huckleberry by Rebecca Bryan

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From L to R: Spare Change by Betsy Vinegrad, Pineapple Variation by Alexis Deise

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From L to R: Twisted Sisters Quilt by Stephanie Z. Ruyle, Fruit Flavors by Mary A. Menzer

 

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From L to R: 5/325 by Hillary Goodwin, Embers by Stephanie Z. Ruyle

 

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From L to R: Kintsugi I (Medallion) by Alexis Deise, Life in the ER Quilt by Hillary Goodwin

 

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From L to R: Trimmings 2015 – The Cog by Amy Gunson, Pointed Statement by Amy B. Friend, Echoes by Leanne M. Chahley

 

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From L to R: When Oceans Rise by Amanda Hohnstreiter, Corsage by Stacey Day

 

 

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From L to R: Wavelength by Rebecca Bryan, Pixels by Ashley Nickels

 

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From L to R: Rain by Christa Watson, Random Perfection by Wanda A Dotson

 

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From L to R: Home by Jessica Skultety, Puddling by Amy B Friend, Diamonds in the Rough by Tina Guthmann

 

 

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: Ann Arbor MQG

Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild (A2MQG)

The Ann Arbor Quilt Guild was very excited to participate in the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge! We had enough interested participants that we decided to split into two groups: one where members would piece blocks based on a pattern, and another where members would piece blocks in an improvisational manner.

The improv team started with an idea: a quilt inspired by ideas! Arrows swarming and circulating represent the coordination of thought fragments.

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Arrows were made improvisationally. A tutorial was written by team member Jenna and can be found HERE.

In accordance to the challenge guidelines, we forsook a traditional block format and rather used negative space and variable framing to give our arrows an alternate grid.

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This quilt was long-arm quilted by member Lynn Harris of The Little Red Hen.

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Our other group used their skills following the beautiful Think Positive pattern written by A2MQG member Debbie Grifka.

Team members made gorgeous plus blocks that were then assembled into a stunning quilt top.

Charity Quilt Spotlight: Chicago MQG

The Chicago Modern Quilt Guild’s entry into the QuiltCon Charity Quilt project was inspired by the pattern “Blue Ice” from Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen. As a longtime member, Jacquie has contributed so much to the spirit of the guild and it was a natural choice to turn to her for inspiration.

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The first group of blocks were made at our guild’s fall retreat. We put out a call to bring scraps in the blue, green, and grey from the assigned color pallette, brought some coordinating yardage and borders, and set the group loose. The instructions included the finished block size and some guidelines about the block borders: at least three, using the yardage we bought, and only use berry in the middle border. Some ladies produced entire blocks while some created the gorgeous improv centers and passed them on to others to put borders on. Choosing a pattern that combined some improvisation with some specific guidelines allowed participants to play within their comfort zone or push themselves to try something new. The group had a lot of fun working together and exchanging ideas, encouragement, and scraps.

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A couple of weeks later, we brought all the supplies to our monthly guild meeting and invited everyone to participate by taking fabric home to make a block. For those who had missed out on being in the group working together, it was fun and helpful to look through the blocks that had been made at the retreat. Looking through the blocks together provided an opportunity to notice details and ideas together and share in that inspirational part of the group process. In all we had at least 25 members participate in the project.

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With the blocks done, three of us got together to press, trim, arrange, and assemble. The best part about helping with this task was being able to spend time looking at every single block. Each one is so incredibly different. Some have huge centers and skinny borders while some are tiny in the middle with extra-thick borders. Some centers are tall and skinny, some square, some funky parallelograms, and some break out into their borders. Some blocks follow the guidelines to the letter and some beautifully break the rules. Looking at just two or three blocks lined up may make one wonder how they will fit together in the same quilt, but stepping back to look at the entire quilt reveals that what each block has in common is more than enough to hold them together in a beautiful whole. In this way, the quilt has become an unexpected reflection of our guild and of the wider quilting community. There are as many different styles, methods, and personalities as there are quilters, but when you bring us together the resulting friendships are the kind that are made to last.

Charity Quilt Spotlight: Central Jersey MQG

The Central Jersey MQG took on the QuiltCon Charity Challenge! We wanted to involve ourselves on the international level and contribute to charity further (we just finished our 2014 project of making 25 baby quilts for a New Jersey charity).

Earlier in 2013, our guild banner came together with incredibly creative, original modern blocks by our members. Therefore, it wasn’t rocket science to suppose that they could step up to the plate again. I sketched a rough idea in my sketchbook, setting the blocks into circles, or bracelets – something new. Then, I visited my LQS (Pennington Quilt Works), armed with the MQG’s challenge color scheme. After cutting the fabric I bought into various strips and squares, I created 18 piles of fabric on my carpet to be bagged.

Members brought their blocks to the guild meeting one month after they had received the fabric. At our November guild retreat, I spent two days piecing the blocks and negative space to fit my vision for the quilt. I also set random blocks on-point for visual interest. The negative space was a lot harder to piece than I thought it would be!

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Next, Jessica Levitt quilted the quilt with her longarm. She used many thread colors to blend with the fabric, and did an amazing job of highlighting all of the blocks and the negative space. Finally, Neva Asinari bound, labeled, sewed on a quilt sleeve, photographed, and sent the quilt to Austin. We had a short time frame to make the quilt, but I’m so pleased at all the teamwork within our guild!

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Overall, “Modern Bracelets” is a tribute to minimalism, bright colors, and modern piecing of every kind. My favorite part is the hidden gray block (Neva’s)! When it arrives back from Austin, we will donate the quilt to S.A.V.E., a New Jersey animal shelter, who will raffle it off at their spring gala. Those of us attending QuiltCon can’t wait to see our quilt hang along with all the rest of the charity quilts!

-Jessica Skultety, President

http://centraljerseymqg.blogspot.com

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