Thursday, June 23, 2016

#QuiltsForPulse - update

A quick update for anyone interested in helping out with the quilt for the Orlando MQG:

We will be meeting on Saturday July 9th from 12 noon to 5pm at Verdun Elementary (631 Rue Melrose, Verdun, QC) to piece the quilt top and baste everything together for quilting.

If you would like to make some blocks but cannot attend on the 9th, that's ok too! Here's what you need to know:

  • We are collecting heart blocks... you can use any pattern you wish for those blocks, so long as the below points are respected. Here are some ideas to get you started
  • Please use a light neutral background color (white, cream, pale grey, low-volume neutrals, etc)
  • The hearts can be as colorful as you like... do rainbows, do patterns, do solids, whatever moves you!
  • All blocks should be 10.5" square... your hearts can take up the entire block or a small part of it, so long as the overall block is 10.5"
  • You are welcome to drop your finished blocks off to us at 12 noon on the 9th, or we can arrange a pick-up beforehand. If you would like to arrange a pick-up, please send us an email so we can arrange it. 
If you have any questions or wish to help out in some other way then the above, let us know in the comments! :) 

Monday, June 20, 2016


The Orlando Modern Quit Guild is collecting quilts to give to the families of the victims and the survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, as well as the police and medics who assisted them. While they are accepting blocks, they strongly encourage donations to be finished quilts so I thought we might be able to pool our efforts and resources and make one to send.

Blocks made by member Mélanie Dorval

If you are at all interested in helping out, here is what we need:
  • Individual 10.5-inch square heart blocks using a white/light grey/neutral background in either solids or low-volume prints. The hearts can be solids, prints, and/or rainbow themed; you can find some examples/tutorials here
  • Backing/binding fabric - this can be any cotton fabric, but a hearts, rainbow or other colorful theme would be nice. 
  • Cotton batting - batting has been obtained!
For the blocks and backing, cotton fabric only, please. I would like to aim for a roughly 70" x 90" finished piece, so we will want to aim for approximately 60 blocks for the quilt top and about 5 meters of backing fabric. If you have scraps leftover from making blocks, we can put that to good use to make the binding, too! 

If you have supplies you'd like to donate, or if you'd like to help out by making a few blocks at home, join us an afternoon to piece the top, or volunteer your services to get the finished piece quilted, please comment below or over on the post in the guild forum so that I can coordinate. Every little bit helps :) 

- steph

Saturday, June 18, 2016

June meeting and end of year wrap-up

Well, our 2015-16 year has come to a close as we had our Annual Meeting and end-of-year potluck. It was a lovely wrap up to the year... I'm already looking forward to next year! ;)

At the meeting, we went over the results of the annual survey (you can find the full text in the Members Only section). Everyone's feedback on the survey was greatly appreciated, as it helps the executive team tailor next year's plans to suit the group's interests. So next year we will be looking into offering a few demos and/or mini-workshops on some of the subjects suggested, as well as possibly a webinar or two. We have an exciting new challenge and a related gallery tour is in the works, as well as the collaborative QuiltCon 2017 charity quilt project, and to kick off what is shaping up to the the 'Year of the Curve' for us, we will be having Cheryl Arkison visit for a trunk show on Friday October 21st and her Perfect (and Improv) Circles and Curves workshop on October 22nd. The enrollment for this workshop is full, however there is a possibility we will have another workshop (by a mystery teacher! *mysterious finger wiggle*) in the spring, so stay tuned! We will also be looking into planning a few social gatherings throughout the year as well.

We had the annual financial report from Michele, and all is looking good there. On the subject of finance, we discussed the dues for the upcoming year and due to the U.S. exchange and the growing size of the guild, we voted to increase the dues for the 2016-17 year to $35. We also held the vote for next year's executive team, which will remain largely the same as this year with a few small changes:

  • President - Stephanie Baldwin
  • Vice-President - Isabelle Jean (with Manda Elias as understudy)
  • Program Coordinator - Joanna Lemon (with Stacy Pomerleau as understudy)
  • Social Media - Fiona Nanson and Manda Elias
  • Treasurer - Claudia Pedroso

Stacy Pomerleau will continue as our photographer, Josee Carrier will continue as our registrar and Michele Fitzgerald and Lily Lam will be the charity challenge coordinators.

Once the business was out of the way, we got down to the fun stuff. We have been giving out raffle tickets throughout the year to everyone who wore their name tag to the monthly meetings, each ticket being a chance to win one of two goody bags. The grand prize winners were Maggie Hobbs and Manda Elias and the goody bags included:

Instagram photo courtesy of Amanda

  • Four fat quarters
  • A charm square pack
  • Printed quilt label fabric
  • A printed pattern
  • A journal with quilted cover and pencil
  • Gloves (for use in free-motion quilting)
  • A magnetic needle minder
  • A dish (for holding pins, bobbins, etc)
  • Beeswax (for conditioning thread for hand sewing)
  • A package of tape measures
  • A seam ripper
  • A tin of loose tea
  • Candy (because why not?)

We also had a few individual items donated by Fiona that we then raffled off individually.

The June meeting was also the deadline for the Molinari Challenge quilt tops, so we all shared our finish tops (sorry, no pictures, they're still top secret!) and discussed our plans for how they would be finished. Some of us had a plan, while others of us (myself included) are still struggling to figure out how to finish them. Still, it was great seeing the progress and how different people focused on different aspects of Molinari's work. The September meeting will be the final deadline for the finished pieces, so I wish everyone luck over the next few months in getting theirs finished! Joanna and I will also be following up with the Fondation Guido Molinari about the possibility of collaborating with them on a show of the finished quilts. We will share more info on that as it develops.

And finally we briefly discussed the Twist Fibre Festival which we will be attending in August. We are still looking for volunteers to help us staff the booth on either Saturday August 20th or Sunday August 21st, or both. Volunteering at our booth will get you free admission to the festival, and we are planning a collaborative project for the public to participate in! It is shaping up to be a fun weekend, if you are interested in joining us, please send us an email.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday September 13th at 7pm... until then, I wish everyone a wonderful summer!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Member Spotlight: Agnes Wong

Welcome to another installment of the MMQG Member Spotlight!  This month, it is our pleasure to introduce a long-time member: Agnes Wong.  Enjoy!

Your social media coordinates (blog/website, Facebook, Instagram, etc):

What did you study in school and/or what do you do for a day job?
I graduated with a Masters degree in Ecology at University of Alberta. I worked in an aquatic ecology lab as a Research Technician, managing projects, analyzing ecological data and writing research papers. Then we spent a number of years in the western US as part of an academic gypsy family. We settled in Montreal in 2012 and I am currently a Grants Officer for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Team in the Office of Sponsored Research at McGill University.

How long have you been quilting?
I have been quilting since 2010. I used to be highly productive but recently I’ve learned to slow down and delve deep into more complex projects such as curves and applique. I’m trying blocks that are outside my comfort zone.

What first got you interested in modern quilting?
I started quilting shortly after the birth of my second daughter. At the time, I was desperately trying to find something to satisfy my creative side, something I had never before paid too much attention to. I started with sewing simple items, doll-making, needle felting, kids clothing.One day spring day in 2010, I stopped by a local fabric shop, Piece by Piece (Eugene, OR) to buy some fabric. The ladies were so friendly and supportive of my newbie endeavours. I decided to take an intro to quilting course and I’ve been hooked ever since.

How did you find the MMQG and why did you decide to join?
Shortly after taking the quilting course led by the talented Kelly Duke, the Eugene MQG opened its local chapter with Jessica Bobrowski at its helms. I immediately joined and found my tribe. It was an exciting time for everyone involved. So much inspiration and enthusiasm! I had never been surrounded by so many people with a similar passion for this craft and it was amazing.

Do you have any favorite quilting related social media accounts that you follow?
There are so many great quilters on social media, it is hard to pick a favorite. Notably I follow Carolyn Friedlander, Luke Haynes, Tara Faughnan, Mary Dugan, Libs Elliott..

Where do you look for inspiration or ideas for your quilting projects?
I look for inspiration mainly from quilters on Instagram or Pinterest boards. Metro stations and random architecture are also a great source of inspiration!

What is your favorite project that you have completed? Why is it your favorite?
I love the juxtaposition between very traditional blocks against a minimalist background. My favourite types of quilts are the ones that tell a story - an engagement story (NYC quilt), memory quilts, fabrics from a specific place and time. I think most of my quilts chronicle some chapter in my life.

What would you consider to be your quilting ‘superpower’?
This is a tough question as I don’t consider myself having any superpowers! If I had to make one up, it would be ‘fearless’. I like to try new techniques and I’m not really afraid to make mistakes as it is part of the learning process. Improvisation was one of the hardest mental hurdles for me but it is such a liberating experience to not have to think about rulers and precision cuts.
While I tend to over-think fabric choices and colour palettes, I’ll make an honest attempt at a new technique and try to make it work for me. I like to tinker with methods. In the end, I’ll still have a quilt that will keep me warm on the couch.

What is your favorite part of the quilt making process? Why?
My favourite part is the learning process - whether it is Y-seams, curves, free motion, improvisation, hand applique, sashiko, it really makes me explore and improve different skills. While there may be some mild frustration if I can’t meet my expectations but with practice, I find much satisfaction in seeing improvement. My next favourite quilting past time is ‘fantasy quilting’ which is basically my bucket list of all the quilts I plan to make in the next year or two or three. Usually these fantasy quilts contain certain skills that I want to learn or improve at. It also enables me to stock my growing fabric stash in anticipation of making these fantasy quilts into reality.  :)

What project or technique is next on your “to try” list?
My next project will be learning the Winding Ways block c.1924 (Ladies Art Co., St.Louis), later known as the Wheel of Mystery c. 1930. It produces such a nice depth and complexity.

What is the best bit of quilting advice you’ve ever received?
I have had the honor of learning from so many wonderful teachers in both US and Quebec.  I think the best advice is to just go for it. In the end, you will still have a functional quilt and you will learn something from every quilt you make. Or more succinctly:  “A finished quilt is better than a perfect one.” - Angela Walters

Describe your creative process in three words:
Explore. Learn. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Reminder: June Sew-Out

Just a quick reminder... our usual location was not available today, so we have decided to take advantage of the nice weather and change our Sew-In to a Sew-Out! This will be our last Sew-In before the summer break, so why not make it a fun one.

We will be having a Sew-Out/picnic at Parc Angrignon today, Saturday June 4th, from 10am until... well, whenever! We will be meeting at the picnic area near the parking lot at Boulevard de la Vérendrye and Chemin du Parc Angrignon (map:

You will need to bring:
- Your lunch and drink
- Something to share (snacks, dessert, drinks, etc)
- A blanket or chair (optional: picnic tables are available, though space may be limited)
- Your work (we will be unplugged and enjoying the outdoors, so bring something relaxing to work on that does not require electricity)
- A hat, umbrella, and/or sunblock... bonnets optional.

As we will be at the park, you are also welcome to bring along children and/or significant others :)