QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Wintry Mix” by Seacoast MQG

By Kali Zirkle, Charity Quilting Chair

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The Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild is located in the coastal areas of southern New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts, and we wanted to represent ourselves and what we would be experiencing in February while QuiltCon was happening in Pasadena. After some discussion we decided to use Charity Quilting Chairperson Kali Zirkle’s idea of a wintery outdoor scene with a red barn in an icy low volume background as the basis for our improv with intent.

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On a Saturday in July at our guild meeting, we came armed with scraps in the given colors and our sewing machines to begin to create the quilt. Peg Connolly focused on piecing the red for the barn, Judy Durant focused on the area of sun peeking through the clouds, and most of the other sewists focused on creating a low volume background that had hints of icy blue mixed in. Everyone worked from a pile of fabric left on a cutting table in the center of the room and as the pieces got larger they were added to a portable design wall. Once we had a few sections made we started to piece them together and begin thinking about the placement of the barn within the quilt. After the meeting a small group got together to finish piecing the top, Jessica Benoit May pieced the back, and it was handed off to our 2016 guild president, Mary Gregory of See Mary Quilt for the quilting. She quilted dense swirls over the entire quilt which give it great texture and movement and attached the binding.

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The quilt was donated to HAWC, Healing Abuse Working for Change, located in Salem, Massachusetts.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.