Saturday, June 25, 2016

July Meeting: "Being True to Your Inner Artist" - Latifah Saafir Lecture!

In July, our guild is so excited to bring to Chicago a fabulous quilter, fabric designer, pattern designer, teacher, and all around charming person: Latifah Saafir! She has been known as 'the Quilt Engineer' and is known for some fantastic patterns (Glam Clam, Molehills, as well as some great bias tape work), beautiful quilts, and her new Grafic fabric line for Hoffman's you + me fabric line that is just hitting stores now. Check out her website for more!

She will be giving a lecture and a trunk show entitled "Being True to Your Inner Artist" -- An exploration of tips and insights to tapping into your own voice as a quilter. Learn practical techniques on how to tune into yourself and trust your instinct and vision.

The bulk of the meeting will be this lecture and trunk show and Latifah will be on hand to sell some of her patterns, tools, and other merchandise. Her lecture will be the very first thing we do (as she has a plane to catch that night). Then we will follow up with announcements, business and show and tell (both our Medallion BOM and regular show and tell).

As we have a guest speaker, we will be charging a $5 fee for any non-members in attendance, but all are welcome!! This meeting is at our regular space at Rush Hospital Oak Park.

Latifah is also teaching a glam clam workshop the day before the meeting (at Thimbles in Lockport), but it is full--although if you are still interested you can get on the waitlist here.

Please join us!

Sunday, July 17
2:00 - 5:00pm
Rush Oak Park Hospital,
Centennial Room (2nd Floor)
520 S Maple Ave
Oak Park, IL 60304

For your viewing pleasure: MODERN Exhibit at University of Chicago Medicine

As you may recall, our members were invited to submit their quilts for a 3-month show hosted by University of Chicago Medicine Center - we just received a few photos from the Center's coordinator and wanted to share!

The Center has received a lot of positive feedback as they were installing it. 

The exhibit is in the 2nd floor Skybridge that connects the DCAM building with Mitchell Hospital, at the corner of Maryland Ave and 58th Street. Literally thousands of people pass through this space every day.

Photos are courtesy of Janet Seitzer of Billy Hork Galleries.

-written by Erin D.

Friday, June 24, 2016

On the Blog: June Meeting Recap!

Our June meeting was a Sew-In. We met at Magical Minds Studio which is an art studio for children located in Oak Park, IL. It was a great space to gather, sew, and chat. Members worked on our charity project for Sarah’s Inn  or their own personal projects.

Here are some photos from our sew-in - a good time was had by all!

We then ended the meeting with some Show and Tell.  Refer to our guilds Instagram account (@chicagomqg or click on the “On Instagram” picture in the right side bar) to see some amazing quilts made by our members and more photos from our sew-in.


Announcements from June's meeting:
  • On Saturday, July 16th we will be hosting Latifah Saafir for a Glam Clam Workshop. The workshop is currently sold-out. To be added to the wait list (which includes both members and non-members), please send an email to Dianne Bienick @
  • On Sunday, July 17th we will be hosting Latifah Saafir for a Truck Show/Lecture. Her lecture will be “BEING TRUE TO YOUR INNER ARTIST”. We will be meeting in our usual location at RUSH Oak Park Hospital.
  • Our August 21st Meeting will be a Summer Potluck and Social. We will also be conducting the lottery for our October, 2016 retreat. Please click here for information regarding the lottery process. More information (including price) will be provided in a later post.
  • Donna Moscinski is working on a presentation for our October 2016 meeting. She wants to share the creative spaces of our members. This can be your table space at retreat, a corner of your living room, a spare bedroom, or a full fledge studio space.   If you would like to be part of this special project, please send an email to Donna
  • We will be hosting Jacquie Gering for a Workshop in July, 2017. Our Special Events Chairperson, Heather Kinion, is looking for a location to host this workshop. She is looking for a space that can accommodate 24 people with sewing machines and several ironing stations. Must also be reasonably priced. If you know of any place in your area or have any questions, please send an email to Heather
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at

Happy sewing!

- written by Dianne B.
- edited/posted by Erin D.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Latifah Saafir Workshop now open to Non-Members!

We are opening our upcoming Latifah Saafir workshop to non-members of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild! 

There are a total of 24 open slots - we have a small handful of spots left at the time of this post as most slots have already been filled during the guild members only registration open since late May - once the 24 slots in the workshop have been filled, the link below will give you the contact information for the person in charge of the waitlist - please contact them to have your name added (first come, first served style).

The workshop will take place in the classroom space of Thimbles Quilt Shop in Lockport, IL on Saturday, July 16th from 10am-5pm and will include lunch.

The workshop will cost $95 + materials needed for non-members--the member price is $75 (and you can join our guild now by clicking the become a member button). 

The materials needed are listed in the pattern which is free on craftsy. The pattern contains all needed templates and your usual patchwork tools plus fabric for your quilt are the necessary materials (it is possible to purchase Latifah's The Clammy Ruler for this quilt but is not necessary, for example). For this workshop you can select the 8" or 12" sized clam versions and can make any size quilt (from baby to King) that you would like. 

All clams (or at least enough for the first 3 or 4 rows) should be cut out BEFORE the workshop begins.

If you have questions, please feel free to email the guild, and we will get back to you.

Please visit THIS POST for more information - and we hope to see you there!

- written by Heather K.
- posted/edited and form by Erin D.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Charity Project Info and Tutorial

As mentioned in the previous post, the recipient of our charity project will be Sarah's Inn, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of those affected by domestic violence and to break the cycle of violence for future generations.  Click here for more information on the specific services that Sarah’s Inn provides.

We will be making pillows, quilts, and zippered bags. This post will guide you through block construction, two construction options for your pillows, and also give you a list of tutorials you can use to create your zippered bags. 

Let's look at our block options!

These four blocks are called (clockwise from top left): Dutchman's Puzzle, Indian Star, Sarah's Choice and Crystal Star. Each one is linked to instructions for how to make the blocks. You will be making 12.5" unfinished/12" finished blocks for both the pillows and the quilts. Please be sure to check that the cutting directions you are following are for the 12" finished block.

Here are the solid colors that we will be using for this project, both in Kona Cotton and Cotton Couture. The guild had one bolt each of Khaki, Soft White, and Violet that can be used by anyone for these projects. They will be at the June Sew-In!

Kona Color
Cotton Couture Color

Teal Blue
Soft White
Essex Flax

There will also be some prints available for use at the same meeting. 

Once you have created your blocks, you can choose to use them either to create a pillow, or with other member's blocks as part of a quilt.


Pillow forms are 16", and will be provided by the guild. No need to buy your own!

To make your pillow cover, first you need to size up your block. 

From your border fabric:

Cut (2) 12.5" x 3" strips
Cut (2) 17" x 3" strips

Attach the 12.5" strips to each side of the block, using a 1/4" seam. Press seams. 
Attach the 17" strips to the top and bottom of the block, using a 1/4" seam. Press seams.

This will give you a 17" square block. This is a little larger than we will need in the end, but depending on how heavily you quilt your pillow front, it may shrink down quite a bit.

On that note - quilt your pillow front as desired. You can just use a muslin or other light colored backing, as it will be inside the pillow and you won't see it.

Once your pillow front is quilted, trim your front down to 16" square.

For Envelope Back Pillow: 

Cut (2) 16" x 10" pieces of your backing fabric.

Fold up one long edge on each piece 1/4", and press. Repeat on the same edge, to create a nice hem.

Topstitch your hems to keep them secure.

Lay both pieces of your backing fabric, right sides up, and overlapping in the middle to create a 16" square shape on your cutting mat.

Lay your pillow front right side down on top of the backing fabric and pin around the outside. 

Continue with the "Finishing" directions below.

Zippered Pillow:

You will need a 14" zipper to create this type of pillow cover. 

Cut (1) 16" x 16" square from your backing fabric.

Place your pillow front right side down on top of the backing (right sides together) and pin along the bottom edge. Stitch using a regular stitch for 1", then baste for 14", then continue a regular stitch for another 1".

Press your seam open. This will be a little tricky because the front is so much thicker than the back, but use lots of steam and do your best!

Center your zipper over the seam, with the zipper facing DOWN. Pin in place.

Using your machine's zipper foot, sew down both side of the zipper. There will be a spot near the end where you will need to pause with your needle down, and move the zipper head out of the way. Continue to the end once you have moved the zipper head. 

Once you have sewn down both sides of the zipper, you can open the basting stitches using your seam ripper. 

Next, AND THIS IS IMPORTANT - open your zipper about half way. If you don't do this now, it's going to be a pain for you later on!

Fold your pillow in half, right sides together, and pin along the 3 un-sewn edges.

Continue on with the "Finishing Steps" below.

Finishing Steps:

If you have a serger, serge around all open sides and trim your threads.

If you do not have a serger, sew a straight stitch, 1/2" seam all the way around the open sides of the pillow. Use your machine's zig zag stitch to close the raw edges (these pillows will get a lot of use and washing, so the zig zag will keep things from fraying.

Turn the cover right side out. Insert pillow form, et voila! 

Pretty! Congratulations!

Zipper Bag Tutorials

Here are some links to different zipper bag tutorials. Sarah's Inn would like these to be small - the size that you would put into your purse for essentials. You can include a little indulgence, like a nice hand cream or lip gloss, if you like.

If you have any difficulty with either your pillow or your zipper pouch, please feel free to email/call/facebook/IG me (Dani) and I will be happy to help! 

Thanks for participating everyone!

- post and tutorial written by Dani M. and Sarah E.
- edited and posted by Erin D.