Saturday, April 5, 2014

April: Announcing our new meeting space!

It's been clear for a while that our group has outgrown our meeting space.
We've moved around a bit, and thanks to work of our Board, found a new space that looks to meet our needs for space, light, comfort (electrical outlets) and easy access.

We will be meeting in a new location, the Centennial Room on the 2nd floor at  Oak Park Rush Hospital

The hospital main entrance is at 520 S. Maple Ave. There is a parking lot directly across the street, and additional parking in the professional building lot and in a parking garage on Wisconsin Ave. The hospital is also near both the CTA green and blue lines
If you need to drop off supplies use the driveway to the main entrance and then park.

Once inside the main entrance look for a CMQG member or ask at the information desk for directions to the 2nd floor Centennial Room

This month, our meeting will be Demo Days, with members presenting techniques and tips for finishing your quilts. Learn ways to help you finish some of those UFO's!
RSVP is especially important this month as we transition to this new space; Please let us know if you'll be attending on the CMQG group page of the MQG website.

We will also be distributing fabric packs to members who signed up for the MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge. If you signed up, but cannot attend, please let a board member know. You may arrange to have another member pick up your fabric.

Don't Forget:  Our April meeting will be on Sunday, April 27, one week later than our usual date due to Easter Sunday.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

March Meeting(s) Recap: How to Quilt in Two States at One Time

This month, the Spring CMQG Retreat fell on the same weekend as the regular guild meeting.    Being in two different states did not stop our guild from putting our skills together for a special service project.    

Members in Racine, WI sewed right along with members in Chicago to create over a dozen
quilts for families with infants needing intensive care services at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital NICU.

In Chicago, Treasurer-elect Louise Gates demonstrated a clever and simple  block.  Guild members  worked as a whole group with the cutters and pressers  helping all the sewers.
When the meeting was over, members left with all the blocks sewn for six quilts.  

It was a fun and chatty meeting and we even had a couple newbies there for the first time!


In Racine,   members broke up into groups and assembled blocks, then rows, and even some complete tops.With a coordinated assembly line process, quilters sewed strips, ironed, cut and re-sewed.    Below are some sneak peek views of the quilt tops.

These quilt tops will be completed and donated to the NICU at Lurie Children's Hospital in June.

We have finalized arrangements for our new meeting place.   Our April meeting will be held in the lew location at Rush-Oak Park Hospital.   Watch for details about how to find the correct room.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What's Coming Up in March: The Temperatures, We Hope!

Here's a rundown of what you can expect at our March Meeting.  While some members will be at the Spring CMQG Retreat at Siena Center,  there is a lot of fun to be had for members planning to join us here in Chicago!

We will having a simultaneous sew-in, with members in Chicago sewing right along with members in Racine, WI!   Our project this month will  be working on NICU quilts for Lurie Children's Hospital.     These quilts mean a lot to families with infants who meed to stay in the NICU for extended periods, so lets try to complete as many quilts as possible!

Member Terri Karls will demo a strip pieced block, and we will have  2 1/2" pre-cut strips for you.  We will be working in groups as electrical outlets are limited. So bring your machine! And your creativity!  The March meeting will be held at the  Park District of Forest Park once again.

For this sew-in, similar to other sewing events, we will need several sewing machines, irons/boards and cutting mats/rotary cutters.    Please indicate if you are bringing these supplies when your RSVP for the meeting.  Basic sewing supplies such as thread, pins and scissors should also be brought along, but batting and backing will be supplied.     The guild owns electrical extension cords, but it never hurts to have extra.

If you prefer to bring your own fabric - destashing maybe? - you'll need a variety of coordinating 2 1/2" strips.

And, in other news......The anticipation over our first official MQG event is running high!

Fabric for the Michael Miller Challenge will be on it's way and we anticipate distributing it at the April meeting.  Members who have RSVP'd for the challenge can pick up their fabric at the April meeting.  For those who cannot be there or,  want the fabric immediately (who wouldn't??), please bring a pre-addressed manila 8 1/2 x 11 inch envelope with pre-paid postage of $2.50 to the March guild meeting.
We will put fabric in the mail to members who have both RSVP'd via our MQG page & provided a postage paid envelope as soon as it is received and cut for distribution.

Please remember to consult our blog or our MQG portal for up to date information, especially meeting location as we transition to a newer, larger and more comfortable meeting location!

And, in more other news......don't forget that the deadline for submission of  the IQF challenge quilts is March 17!
Details on the ?Modern in the City" Challenge can be found here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Meeting Recap: Gwen Marston

We were lucky enough to host Gwen Marston at our February meeting. She was so inspiring. Her quilts speak for themselves, but it's so fun to get some inside perspective from Gwen about her creative process.

Gwen took us through the process of her quilt making, from fabric selection to whole quilt - big or small! 

Gwen was so active during her lecture - it was hard to get a single decent picture. She is surely as full of energy as her quilts are!

"The good thing about having threads on us is that we can find each other!" ~Gwen Marston

During show and tell Debbie shared a "sketch" she finished from a workshop with Gwen earlier in the week. Nice job Debbie!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Are You up to a Challenge Vol 2: MQG's Michael Miller Fabric Challenge 2014

Announcing our very first MQG sponsored event:

Michael Miller Fabric Challenge

The Modern Quilt guild has issued a fabric challenge in partnership with Michael Miller fabrics and as new members of the MQG, we are eligible to enter this challenge.  
To participate, all you need to do is RSVP to this Event via the MQG portal.  CQMG members who RSVP will receive a Michael Miller fabric bundle after the fabric is received by CMQG, we'll let participants know the details as we find out when the fabric will arrive. 
The fabric we will be receiving is Petal Pinwheels by Michael Miller. The challenge runs from March through June 23, 2014.  
Members can make anything they like as long as it is quilted. You can add in solids or other Michael Miller printed fabrics and don't need to use all the fabric you receive. You'll need to upload photos of your completed project to the Fabric Challenge Forum on the MQG Community site.  
There are some neat prizes for the winners of the challenge.
How do you sign up to participate? 
The MQG has asked guilds to get a head count of how many people would like to participate so we know how much fabric to order.  An event titled "Michael Miller fabric challenge" has been created on the Chicago group of the MQG website. 
To participate in the challenge, *simply RSVP for the event by clicking on the orange "I"m going" button by February 27 at 5:00pm.*
If you're not sure how to RSVP for an event on the MQG site, check out the
tutorial here:
On the Chicago MQG page you should see an event titled "Michael Miller Fabric
Challenge - Response Deadline 2/27".  Click the orange "I'm going" box.
We are phasing out BigTent and so it is really important to get yourself
set up on the MQG site so you know what's happening with the guild and so
you can take advantage of great offers like this fabric challenge.

While you're on the site, we recommend setting up your profile to have
your MQG account notify you via email whenever a new discussion topic is
added to the Chicago MQG group.  That way you'll never miss out on any
news!  This is also the way you will register for special events and RSVP
for any guild meetings.  To update your profile to receive email
notification of new discussion topics please follow these steps:

Click the "Profile" tab at the top of the MQG website page.
  • Choose how often you would like to receive email notifications: immediately as triggered, once daily, or once weekly. We recommend once daily to keep current.
  • Click the "Notification settings" tab.
  • Further down the same page you should see "Chicago MQG" listed with a column to the right marked "Send email?" Click to check this box.
Then you should be ready to go and set up to receive any and all news from the Chicago MQG that is posted to the MQG website.
Feel free to contact us with any questions.  
*Please make sure to respond by 5:00pm on Thursday, February 27 if you want to participate in the
MQG Michael Miller Fabric Challenge!*

Thursday, February 13, 2014

MQG Website & The Chicago MQG: How to stay in touch

As members began to use the new MQG website,  user feedback indicated some confusion on how to best use the new platform.  [And by that, I mean I got confused! - Peta].    So, to help members access our guild information, our technical guru Emily L. has put together some illustrated tips and hints for navigating the new platform.

You might have noticed our Chicago Modern Quilt Guild has a group page on the Modern Quilt Guild's website / forum. We will be using this forum page as a means to keep our members up to date regarding our meetings, charity projects, challenges, etc. In order to get the most out of this forum we'll need everyone to go log in!

Here are a few tips for the initial log in session:

1) You should have received an invitation to log in via email. All paid members will be added to this list, and will receive a personal email with a link to log in. These links will expire after a certain amount of time, please let us know if your link has expired.

2) Follow the emailed link and follow the prompts. You'll be asked to submit a user name and password. For the ease of discussion it's always helpful to have part of your name present in your user name. 

3) Locate the Chicago MQG page, and follow it (use these helpful photos to guide you through the process)!

Starting at the MQG home page, click on the "community" tab at the top.

Choose the "groups" tab at the top.

In the "limit to" field, type "Chicago" and hit enter.

The Chicago MQG page will show up below the search bar. Click on the "Follow" button. If you don't follow the guild you won't be able to quickly see updates from our group.
4) When you log in on the site from now on you'll need to seek out the Chicago MQG page, or follow this link to find it directly (be sure you're following us!!).

To briefly overview the uses of the site use the picture below:

(From left - right, at arrows) Task bar: All, Posts, Q & A, Wikis, Events, Polls. Click on each individual title for more. "Posts" is where most general topics and discussions will happen. 

Upcoming Events: This is where the officers will post all upcoming events. Click on the individual event listing to RSVP "I'm Going!"

"I'm Going" means you're RSVP'ing! 

Recent Activity in this Group: This is a good place to check each time you log in. Any updates to group discussions etc will be posted below!

Please take a few minutes to log in and "Follow" our group page in the next week or so. We'll begin to have more tips and tricks here on the blog. You'll be finding more info and discussions happening on the Chicago MQG group forums!

If you have a problem please email Emily L

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Growth Means Change: How to Join the Guild

As most of you know our Chicago Modern Quilt Guild's paid membership voted last fall to become an affiliate of Modern Quilt Guild. As a result we will be making some changes over the next few months.
One of the benefits of becoming part of MQG is the ability to use the website for many of the things that we've been using this Big Tent site to do. Over the next few weeks we will be moving our forum conversations, meeting RSVPs, and members only announcements/information over to the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild's page on the Modern Quilt Guild's website.
This is a change for us: only those who pay dues to be a member of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild will have access to our members-only information through
Our use of our blog, flikr, & facebook pages will serve as our public face for those not yet in membership to learn about who we are, where we meet and what we are up to.
If you are a lurker, we are glad you have kept up with us. We encourage you to come to a meeting and check us out in person! Also, make sure you bookmark the other ways that you can continue to keep up with our guild:
-- our blog:
--facebook: search "The Chicago Modern Quilt Guild" on FB
Quilters wishing to become a paid member of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild, may join at any time.   Payment can be made at any guild meeting, or until further notice, by check to out treasurer.

Dues are $55 per year for new members.  If you were a paid member in 2013, your dues for 2014 are only $45. This difference in cost is due to joining the MQG and the change to our fiscal year.  If you have questions about this, please contact our treasurer, me, Sarah Evans at with the subject "CMQG dues question".
If you choose to mail your dues, in addition to your check made out to the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild, please include:
  1. Your first and last names*
  2. Your snail mail address
  3. The phone number the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild can use to contact you if needed
  4. The email address that you wish the Modern Quilt Guild to use to give you access to your membership benefits.*

Only #1 & #4 will be shared with the Modern Quilt Guild*. Your snail mail address & phone number will only be used by the Chicago Modern Guild & will not be given to any outside parties.
Mail the above to: 
Sarah Evans/CMQG
P.O. Box 2814
Chicago, IL 60690
We are looking forward to an exciting year with great speakers, local challenges, and exploring all the connections being an official member of the Modern Quilt Guild gives us.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February Speaker Gwen Marston: Abstract Quilts in Solids

The February 16 CMQG meeting will feature a lecture by well known quilter
and author Gwen Marston. We are so fortunate to have her visit our guild as
she is such an inspiration to modern quilters.

Marston,  a professional fiber artist and author, has taught quiltmaking for nearly 30 years.   She has written 26 books, two of which have won awards: "Mary Schafer: American Quilt Maker" won a 2005 Michigan Notable Book award, and "37 Sketches" won a 2012 New York Book Show award. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, and was featured in AQS 2012 National Show, Spontaneity in Medallion Quilts:45 quilts from "Liberated Medallion Quilts".

She will talk about "Abstract Quilts in Solids".  Quilts made in solids have an impressive history. They were the first quilts to be taken seriously as art. In 1971, Amish quilts from the collection of Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof constituted the first major museum exhibition of quilts shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. 

Using her new abstract quilts as examples, Gwen discusses her work in solids and points out some of the great characteristics inherent in solids. The lecture is illustrated with quilts from her book *Ideas and Inspirations: Abstract Quilts in Solids*.

New and prospective members are, as always, warmly welcomed.   Members are reminded to RSVP via our new Modern Quilt Guild portal.

   To read more about Gwen, visit her website,

The meeting will be held in a different location than our usual monthly

Park District of Forest Park  7501 Harrison Street - 2nd floor Grand Room
Forest Park, IL 60130   
Guest fee: $10.00

Our meeting will also include some business items: 
  • Modern Quilt Guild membership 
  • Slate of officers for 2014-2015 presented
  • Officers reports
  • Announcements about upcoming meetings and events

Friday, February 7, 2014

Workshop: Sara Lawson's Aragon Bag!

Last weekend we gathered for a workshop with our favorite local pattern maker, Sara Lawson!

We were initially pretty worried about the weather forecast for the day, but thankfully most of us made it without too much extra worry.

Throughout the day Sara lead us through the steps of her Aragon Bag. For many it was the first time attempting a larger bag, a bag pattern, or a zipper! Sara offered us her insight on using interfacing and tips for working with Soft And Stable. I think we all left feeling excited about the last steps of the bag, and inspired by all the great bags being made!

A big thanks to Sara for coming out to teach us, to Beth who provided the delicious catered lunch, and to the officers who helped plan the afternoon!

On a personal note I (Emily L) had a great time as workshop helper - I'm so inspired by all the fabulous fabric combinations everyone came up with! I look forward to seeing everyone's finished bags at our February meeting (Feb 16th).

If you're interested in sharing your Aragon bag with Sara, please email her a photo of your completed bag, she said she'd love to share them on her blog.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Are You Up To A Challenge?

Guild member Emily presenting at the IQF Open Studios last year.

At our January guild meeting we announced a new challenge, quilts based on the theme "Modern in the City". The rules for the challenge are that your quilt needs to be exactly 36 inches on ONE side and 36 inches or less on all other sides.  Your quilt also needs to have a hanging sleeve - here's a tutorial by Jacquie that I use when making quilts for shows, although you can use another method if you prefer

We will be partnering with the International Quilt Festival (IQF) which meets in Rosemont in June as well as Naperville Modern Quilt Guild who will be doing the same challenge as us.  IQF will select a group of quilts, approximately 10-15 from each guild, to be displayed at their show.  The quilts will just be shown at the Rosemont show and will not be traveling to other shows, so you'll get it back at the end of the show.  Of course, you can participate in the challenge without submitting your quilt to the show if you prefer.  

To be considered for inclusion in the show you'll need to fill out their online form which includes information like your contact information, the title of your piece, an artist's statement, a release allowing them to hang the quilt, insurance information, as well as two photos of your quilt (one of the whole quilt and a detail shot), etc.  The submission site is open and active, so you can submit at any point up until the final deadline for electronic submission to the IQF site, March 20, 2014.  We strongly suggest that you submit a few days early so that if you have problems you'll have time to get assistance through the guild forum.  Unlike our challenges with the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo where the guild collected information and turned it over to the show, the responsibility for submission of your quilt is yours as an individual, although guild officers will try to help / troubleshoot if you have problems.

The link for the quilt submission to IQF is :   - begin the form by clicking on the button that says "Proceed to Step One".  Please make sure that you select Chicago / Naperville MQG in the dropdown menu for "Special Exhibit".  You may only submit one quilt for inclusion in the show.  

Unrelated to the challenge, but relevant to IQF, Pokey Bolton also asked me to share that  there are opportunities at Chicago Quilt Festival for both Open Studios where quilt artists/designers can demonstrate for two hours  on the show floor, and Make It University! where quilt artists/designers can teach one-hour make-and-take style classes. These are unpaid positions but provide you with some PR / exposure to the quilting world and an opportunity to share your work.  Pokey is helping to select the artists for Open Studios and Make It University so if you're interested in this opportunity you can email her at with a low-resolution image of your work.

For questions about the Modern in the City challenge, email Jen Benoit-Bryan at