Tuesday, February 2, 2016

On the Blog: February Meeting Details - Sew-in, Different Time, Date, and Place!

Our February 2016 meeting will be on the last Saturday of the month at a different venue, and will be a sew-in!

Please fill out the form below to RSVP to the February meeting of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild if you plan on attending.  It's really important that we have an accurate count to ensure we have enough tables and chairs for everyone attending.

The meeting will be held from 12 - 5pm on February 27 at the following location:

Thimbles Quilt Shop*
940 South State Street
Lockport, IL 60441

If you've never attended a sew-in before, and you plan on bringing your machine, here are a few tips for you:

You don't have to bring a machine - if you'd rather work on some handwork, that's great!
If you do bring a machine, don't forget all of your cords and cables, and your foot pedal.
Bring a power strip/extension cord with you if you can.
If you'd like to bring a cutting 'station' (rotary cutter, ruler(s), mat(s)) to share, that would be great.
Bring whatever project(s) you'd like to work on.  Medallion quilt, pin cushion, or anything else!
Most of all: be ready to have fun!

*Thimbles is open from 9:30am to 4:00pm on Saturdays.  Feel free to arrive early to shop, if you wish.  Just know that you won't be able to get into the sewing space until noon.

Please RSVP below:

Friday, January 22, 2016

On the Blog: 2016 Medallion Quilt Along Instructions - JANUARY

This year we are starting a monthly sew-a-long for anyone who wants to participate. 

 We thought it would be an interesting and unique challenge to make a medallion quilt. The Seattle Modern Quilt Guild created a monthly medallion quilt in 2015 and they have graciously given us permission to use their patterns and instructions. 

Example of a Medallion Quilt - Image Courtesy of Debbie Jeske of A Quilter's Table
(Seattle MQG Member)

We will start with a 12.5" center block (of your choice) and add a border each month through September, leaving the last three months of the year for catch up and finishing.

You can sew-a-long as much or as little as you want. This is a no-pressure, work at your own pace project. 

 The border for each month will be presented at that month's meeting and posted on the guild's blog. At each month's meeting we will have a show and tell of everyone's medallion progress, so make sure to bring your Medallions!

If you have an account on Instagram, please share your progress using the hashtag #chicagomqgmedallion

If you have questions at any point you can send them to the guild email, using the email icon on the right sidebar, or, click {here}.

On to the instructions, let's quilt!

January Instructions:

Plan your color scheme for the full medallion, then make, design, find a 12.5" block for the center of your medallion. Examples and ideas for center blocks are on the guild Pinterest (see below) and the Seattle MQG blog

There are also many other resources online and in quilt books and magazines. Pinterest and Google are also a great resource and always sure to inspire.

image courtesy of Fresh Lemon QuiltsGreat center block ideas!
Need some help or inspiration finding your color scheme for your quilt? You can try searching palette sites like ColourLovers or Design Seeds to 'get your color on'!

The coloring sheet for planning your medallion is also imaged below, courtesy of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild's site.
Courtesy of Seattle Modern Quilt Guild
Medallion Quilt Along Coloring Sheet

Our Guild has also created a Pinterest board with examples of finished Medallion quilts from the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild to help inspire you:

This may also be a great way to get one of those orphaned blocks or works in progress resuscitated.

We can't wait to see everyone's center blocks at our next meeting, and stay tuned for February's blog post for the first border's instructions.

Happy creating, everyone!

- written/edited by Sarah S., Holly H. and Erin D.
- posted by Erin D.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

On the Blog: January Meeting Recap and Member Spotlights

What an awesome January meeting we had.

There were a lot of upcoming events and topics covered in our opening discussion, including:

  • IQF Drunkard's Path Challenge - deadline for submission to IQF is February 12 - check {this} blog post for more information.
  • IQF Mod Squad Challenge - deadline for submission to IQF is February 12 - check {this} blog post for more information     
  • Block of the month for 2016! We're going to be hosting a Medallion B.O.M. quilt along, inspired by Seattle Modern Quilt Guild's 2015 quilt along. More information on this is to follow in another upcoming blog post - keep your eyes peeled! 
  • CMQG Guild pin cushion exchange! Sign up and more information is {here} in this blog post!
  • Upcoming meeting topics and workshop events, which are listed on this {page here}, and more specific information to follow including times, dates, and sign-ups - watch the blog for this.
Another special announcement to note:

The Chicago Modern Quilt Guild is now on Pinterest!

You can access our Pinterest page by clicking the Pinterest Icon in our sidebar to the right and this will re-direct you to our Pinterest page. As well, you can search Pinterest for Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. Our Pinterest URL is https://www.pinterest.com/chicagomodernqg/

We'll be using Pinterest to inspire our members whom are participating in swaps, quilt alongs and more. We'll also be 'pinning' any member led tutorials or demonstrations there too for our member's future reference!

Our main event for the January meeting was the member trunk show - and it was awesome-sauce, as usual! We had some extremely talented people from our guild show off their creations and tell us what inspires them:

Sue Ryan

How long have you been quilting?
Since 2002.

For you, what is the hardest part of quilting?
Technical aspects of sewing!

What is your favorite part of making a quilt?
Building it! Making decisions as the quilt is evolving on the wall!

How would you describe your style?

For you, what is the most important quilt you've ever made?
The first one, because it proved I could do it! I didn't know how to sew or make quilts. I was learning from books: Singer's The Quilter's Bible and Gwen Marston's Liberated Quilting. Every step was tentative...I had no idea how to use a rotary cutter!!!? Every single part was new and I didn't have someone helping me!  I was excited about the fabric!

Anything else you want to share?  
I am so grateful for my friends in guild for their generosity, acceptance, and encouragement! It motivates me, and I know if I went to anyone with a quilting question or problem, I'd get the help I

Check out Sue on social media:

Dani Miller

How long have you been quilting? 
7 Years

For you, what is the hardest part of quilting?  
The design work. Once I have the design I find everything pretty relaxing, but trying to be creative in my designs is really challenging for me.

What is your favorite part of making a quilt?
Binding! I love sewing the binding down on a quilt.

How would you describe your style? 
Logical. I like designs that are mathematical, have lots of geometry, and definitive lines. I am not likely to ever make an art quilt!

For you, what is the most important quilt you've ever made?
I made a super simple flannel patchwork quilt for a family friend who was undergoing treatment for brain cancer. I was so surprised to hear how much he cherished the quilt, and how much use it was getting. He has since passed, but I have his thank you card, written in shaky handwriting, on my studio wall as a reminder both of him and the comfort that quilting can bring to others.

Check out Dani on social media:

Emily Handley

How long have you been quilting?
I started quilting when I was 10.  I can't remember a time when crafts and sewing were not a part of my life.  As a small child I would sit on my grandmother’s lap with my hands on top of hers while she sewed.  Later I learned to use her machine on my own using scraps of just about anything from old clothing to upholstery fabric.

For you, what is the hardest part of quilting?
I am a bit of a perfectionist and I find the hardest part of quilting to be knowing when to let something slide.  I have to tell myself that no one else will ever notice.  I agonize about the little things too much.

What is your favorite part of making a quilt? 
I love the design process.  As a child I would sit with tangrams and graph paper figuring out my next project.  I was not allowed to go to the fabric store or buy anything until the design was completed with yardage requirements and a cutting strategy.  The design training I received in architecture school built on that passion and gave me more powerful tools to realize my ideas.

How would you describe your style? 
I strive for clean graphic compositions.  I explore the space between digital design and fabrication, and traditional modes of making.

For you, what is the most important quilt you've ever made?
My ROYGBIV Hexagradient quilt is probably the most important quilt I have ever made.  It forced me to change the way I approached designing quilts and my workflow.  It pushed me to move beyond my comfort zone and required me to utilize different tools to achieve the result I wanted.  I work a lot smarter now.

Check out Emily on social media:

Emily Lang

How long have you been quilting? 
I’ve been quilting for about 8 years. I’ve been sewing since I was a child.

For you, what is the hardest part of quilting?   
Having the time to sit down and sew for a span of 3-5 hours. Enough time to get into the zone and flow.

What is your favorite part of making a quilt?  
The flow. Finding flow. (Csikszentmihalyi) Getting in the project so deep that the rest of the world falls away. Making decisions in the moment. Just enough challenge to keep my interest and keep me present. Math. It’s like doodling that has a use (doodles are stuck on a paper, quilts are warm). I love all the parts: design, cutting, piecing, basting, quilting, binding.

How would you describe your style?
Free, changing, emerging. I love precision and free piecing. I love executing a plan... yet the unplanned sewing makes my heart sing. I think my style is a curious balance between planned and unplanned. I love writing a pattern and then sewing it, and I love sewing something and then mathing it out to write instructions for what I did (which was unplanned). I don’t think we really know our style except for in retrospect. It is always emerging, changing, forming. I allow myself the freedom to not be tied to any one technique / style / etc. I sew quilts that I want to sew.

For you, what is the most important quilt you've ever made? 
Modern Robin. Friendship. Learning to work with different colors. Using a limited color scheme. Growing. Sharing. Learning. Friendship. My Modern Robin quilt is a project I worked on with Emily Bruzzini a few years back. Although this quilt still remains unfinished, it has been the most important quilt. Emily and I each started with a center block, and then swapped projects each month, adding a border to the projects. So half the work on my quilt is my own, and half was done by Emily. The plan-as-you-go process was great, but much more this project helped me overcome a sense of wandering that I’d had for a long time. Moving to a new city as an adult, I had had a hard time finding real friends - through Chicago MQG and through Em and I’s Modern Robin project I finally felt like I had found real friendships again. And on top of that I was left with a fantastic quilt! The reason it isn’t finished is that I’d really like to have it custom long-armed, and I’m afraid to relinquish control of this last step!

Check out Emily on social media:

Sarah Shulman
A photo posted by Chicago Modern Quilt Guild (@chicagomqg) on

How long have you been quilting?
I started sewing clothing at 10 or 11 years old.  My mother taught me so much more than I learned in home economics. I made forays into quilting in the 80's and 90's, especially after going to the quilt show in Paducah several times with friends who quilted. I made a few small quilts in that time before starting up again in earnest about 10 years ago after discovering blogs and the modern quilting movement.

For you, what is the hardest part of quilting?
Making decisions. About everthing. The story of my life. I need a second opinion about color and fabric choices, layout choices, quilting choices My sweet dog Rosie is no help though, and she's often the only one around.

What is your favorite part of making a quilt?
1. Playing with fabric, especially piecing and watching a quilt come together on the design wall. I love that moment when it really looks like what you imagined!

2. Giving the quilt to someone I love.

How would you describe your style?
1. Try all the things. Make things to try a new technique or pattern or build my skills. I love everything from the precision of paper piecing to improvisation, though I need to learn to let go to get better at that. If I don't like something I don't have to do it again. Which leads to...

2. Do what you like. I'll use a pattern or not. I'll use a single line of fabric or not. I'll join a sew along or swap if I feel like it. I prewash my fabric because I like to. Do what you want. I'm not judgmental.

3. Make things for people I love and give away most of the things I make. I make what fits the style or personality of those who receive my quilts, so I don't always have a signature style. And I'm okay with that because I love giving quilts.

For you, what is the most important quilt you've ever made?
The most important quilt category, because there isn't just one, would be quilts I've made for comfort and healing. In the last few years there have been many of them, and I know they've been important and special for the recipients.

Anything else you want to share?
The Chicago MQG has made a huge difference in my work and my life. I know I wouldn't be the quilter I am today without the support and inspiration of this group. My family is very encouraging and understanding. As my daughter says, I'm a poster child for people with hobbies in their fifties.

Check out Sarah on social media:

A very special thank you to all of our trunk show participants, they all did such a great job presenting and were very inspiring!

- written by Erin D. and Holly H.
- posted by Erin D.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

On the Blog: Chicago Modern Quilt Guild Pincushion Swap! Details & Sign Up Here

It’s time to sign up for the guild pincushion swap! If you’d like to join us in this swap, then follow the link below. Chicago Modern Quilt Guild members only, please!  Sign up deadline is January 29th.

Sign up here: Swap Sign Up

Swap Rules:
o Don't let your partner know who you are! They will find out when they receive your pincushion. o Please don't use crushed walnut shells to stuff your pincushion. Let's just avoid any possible allergy issues! o Do good work. Make something you'd be happy to receive. o No extras, please. Just your awesome pincushion. o Have fun!

Important Dates:
January 29: Last Day for signups
January 31: Receive partner information
March 20: Pincushions due at meeting. Please bring them wrapped, and with a note to your partner.

Please make an effort to “stalk” your partner on social media, if you are able to do so, to find out about their likes. If you aren’t a social media person -- and that’s ok! -- please make sure to give as much information as possible for the last three questions on the sign-up form. That way, your partner will be able to make a pincushion that is to your liking.

Handy Links and Other Ideas:

Chicago MQG Pinterest Board - Lots of examples of different types of pin cushions here! Or use a tiny leftover block for your pin cushion!
Emery Sand - This was the best price found when searching. Since it’s a fine material, you will need a bit more than you think you might for filling your pin cushion. Go in on a purchase with someone else, if you want to share the materials.

  • Rice makes a good weight for a large pincushion, like the Carry All Pincushion (see Pinterest pin), if you choose not to use another filler.
  • If using a filler other than fiber fill/polyfill - create an insert that’s the same shape/size as your pincushion, fill that with your filling, sew closed, and then insert inside your pin cushion. This way, your filling is contained and is likely not to leak out of your pincushion. Scrap fabric or muslin works great for this!

Any questions, feel free to contact Kristyn or Amy through the guild email at chicagomodernqg@gmail.com

- written by Kristyn J.
- posted by Erin D.

Monday, January 18, 2016

"Mod Squad" - IQF Call for Entries

Great Opportunity for your modern quilts to hang in Rosemont!

You've already probably read on this blog about the Modern Dunkard's Path challenge at the IQF Chicago show. Maybe you are already working on your quilt? But maybe you read all the requirements and didn't have it in you to start something new to fit the specific requirements? Well, we have some GREAT news for you!! 

The organizers of IQF Chicago announced a brand new special exhibit EXCLUSIVE to the Rosemont show in April focused on modern quilts!

The Mod Squad special exhibit has very simple and very broad requirements: the quilt must have been made within the last three years and must be at least 36" square. Plus entering is FREE and if you get in, you can drag your family and friends to see it! And if you have entered a quilt into QuiltCon this year (or even last year depending on when it was made), you already have the pictures formatted and ready to go! 

You can enter up to two quilts. And I have seen a ton of amazing quilts at show and tell in my almost two years in the guild, and I would love to see them again hanging up at Rosemont!

Click on the following link to be directed to more information, the complete call for entries as well as the links to enter:

Entries due February 12, 2016.

- written by Heather K.
- posted by Erin D.