Friday, September 30, 2016

Curves tutorial by Lily

Tomorrow we are meeting for our October Sew-In to start work on the QuiltCon charity challenge quilt. If you aren't able to make it to the meeting for the demonstration but still want to help out and try your hand at sewing curves, Lily has kindly put together a detailed tutorial on how to create the blocks that will make up our finished quilt.

You can find both parts of the tutorial in the Members Only / Membres Seulement section of this blog (password required, see your Welcome Packet email for the current members' password), under the section: 2016-17 Challenges and Swaps / Défis et échanges 2016-17.

Remember we are using specific fabrics donated for this project and each participant will choose a specific block to make, so if you have to miss the Sew-In, please speak with Michele at the October meeting for more info.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

QuiltCon 2017 Charity Challenge - Part 3: Design

For the challenge, Michele and I have been collaborating to move it forward. It’s been rather fun fitting things in with our summer activities. Now comes time to take stock of our progress and our plan how to move forward with the help of other guild members.

The theme is Scale. We took the original design suggestions from Josée and Cinzia and decided to create a big flower from pieced blocks of different dimensions using improvised curve piecing.

Josée did a sketch and after some discussions among the four of us, we ended up with the outline sketch with the block numbers as indicated. This sketch defines the basic grid for the quilt top. The finished dimension of the top will be 72” x 92”.

Next, I elaborated the design by rendering this idea into a scaled mockup on paper on top of the defined grid in pastel, taking into consideration the colour palette we must conform to for the project. At this point, I made small a design change by replacing the top row of rectangular blocks by 2 rows of complete and partial 16” blocks. We now work with complete or partial square blocks of dimensions are 8”, 12” and 16”. There are 42 blocks in total.

Superimposed on the pastel mockup, we drew in curve lines that became the guides for the improvised curve piecing used to construct each of the blocks.

To take the proof of concept one step further, I decided to make an actual scaled mock up using my stash of scraps into a wall hanging 27” x 35”. I picked through my stash for scraps in a palette similar to that of the project and pieced away.

The technique I used is a version of foundation piecing using the ‘stitch and flip’ method. In this case, I use paper as the foundation. First, I prepared a complete set of paper blocks from the drawing, adding seam allowance around each block. The paper blocks are numbered, adding curve guide lines and colour/value information. I then construct each block by pulling fabric spontaneously from the selected collection of fabric pieces and stitching the pieces directly onto the paper. (A discussion giving details of this technique will be described separately.)

I think this technique lends itself well for this project for several reasons:

  • The project is divided into self-contained work units with the essential information encoded on the paper block. 
  • Each block is made with the freedom to improvise and adapt. 
  • The paper stays on as the block is made, facilitating the handling of the blocks and the final assembly of the blocks into the whole top. 
It is by design that curve lines do not have to match across blocks and curve guidelines need not be followed exactly. As show in my finished wall hanging sized mock up, the way the blocks come together gives a rather organic charm to it.

Once the fabric selection for our project was finalized, Michele and I worked to prepare for the actual project. Learning from the experience of the mock up and working with the full scale of the final quilt top, we made simplification and fabric assignment to come up with our final design drawing. We are getting ready for the October Sew-in. We want to invite as many of you as possible to share this fun and worthwhile learning experience. Believe me, it’s easier than it looks and a great way to built confidence working with curves.

Next, I will write about what you will be working with and more details on the ‘spontaneous paper piecing’ technique that I mentioned earlier. Please stay tuned.

- Lily

Monday, September 26, 2016

September Meeting Minutes

Minutes from September 13, 2016 meeting of the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild

Welcome back everyone!

Points of business
  • New members welcome - a welcome package is available. 
  • Modern Quilt Guild is an open membership guild. Come one, Come all. 
  • We try to limit the business aspect of meetings so please watch the blog to keep up to date!
  • Fees for this year are $35, please pay Josée
    • note: fees are prorated for new members who join later in the year.
  • Volunteer sheet being passed about. Please sign up to bring snacks, to help set up and/or take down the room for meetings.
  • Cheryl Arkison workshop reminder
  • Swaps and projects will be discussed throughout the year. Please watch the blog for updates.
  • Please wear your name tags.  
    • There will be a raffle at the end of the year for name tag wearers. Each meeting you will get a ticket for the raffle if you have your tag. 
    • If you are new, lost yours, or just want another please find someone to make own for and who will make one for you….or make your own. 
  • Please keep your broken and worn out pins and needles, we will be having a Hari-Kuyo celebration at the February meeting. Some containers available.
  • As requested, we will create a list for those who wish to exchange services (binding, cutting, etc.) for those who wish to share their talents. Please see the MMQG forum for a link

  • 2016/2017 Molinari quilt Challenge Wrap-up
    • Amazing projects! Photos will be available soon with a summary of artist and names of quilts.
    • Update on locations to show works based on Molinari works
      • no space at the Molinari gallery until 2018. 
      • working on other ideas (community center, libraries, combined show with Molinari quartet). We will keep working on it.
    • Please keep your finished quilts available in the event we arrange an exhibition.
  • Metro 2016/2017 challenge 
    • with the anniversary of the Montreal Metro, MMQG is embarking on a project to use a metro station in the city to influence a quilt. See Joanna's recent blog post for details.   
    • to look at some of the stations a guided tour of some of the downtown stations will be arranged (postponed until October). 
    • Watch Facebook and the blog for inspiration and links to the history and art of the metro

  Show and Tell – wow, what talented bunch we are!
  • Please note only one project per show and tell.

Charity Project for QuiltCon 2017
  • Michele and Lily – flower design with curves. 
  • fabric donated from Camelot Fabrics –Thank you!
  • each participant will be given a square from the design and the corresponding fabric. The quilter will be then asked to make a quilt block using the design as a guideline, only using the provided fabric. All the blocks will be then assembled into a modern quilt. 
  • This will be started at the October Sew-in.

  • MQG post on copyright and derivatives:
    • Question remains what is derivative and how do you tell? 
    • Our representative on the Board of Directors is Julie McMahon (Australia) - she would like our feedback on the subject

Next Meeting
  • October Sew-In – October 1, 2016 10:00-16:00, CRCS St-Zotique. Bring; machine and supplies, project(s), lunch and snacks. If working on the Charity quilt, fabric will be provided. 
  • October meeting – October 11, 2016, 19:00-21:00 CRCS St-Zotique. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

2016-17 MTL MQG Metro challenge

2016 is the 50th anniversary of the Montreal Metro system! We use the metro for our commutes, to get to special events, or just passing through to get from A to B… but not many of us give much thought to the stations themselves.

For this challenge, choose one metro station that holds some meaning for you: one that you go through every day on your commute, one that you lived near it when you were little, one that you take to visit a friend, one that has a piece of art or a particular aesthetic that you particularly enjoy, etc. Pick an aspect of that metro station and create a quilt based on it.

While there is a lot of art in the stations themselves that can certainly be a part of the quilt (shapes, colors, etc), the goal of this challenge is not to recreate an existing piece of art in quilt form. Instead, try to focus on the 3 dimensional space of the station itself (such as the shapes and materials used), as well as the character of the neighborhood it inhabits and the feelings the station evokes for you. Spend a bit of time in and around the station observing the space and the people making use of it. Take pictures (without being creepy), pay attention to the shapes, colors and patterns that make up these utilitarian spaces. Look for unusual points of view.

The usual challenge rules apply… 30”x40” in either horizontal or vertical orientation, or 40” square. Include a hanging sleeve and a quilt label on your work. The label should include a title, your name, the date and the name of the metro station you chose, either in the title or in addition to the title.

A sign-up sheet is posted so everyone can choose their station. No more than two people per station, please:

We will also be conducting a walking tour of a few of the metro stations (time, date, etc to be determined, though likely in November) to give you some background on some of the stations and their artworks, as well as offer some ideas and suggestions for translating a 3 dimensional space into a quilt.

I will be posting a tutorial on making your own viewfinder, in case you want to take your own tour, in the mean time.

Also, here are a few links with useful info on the stations and the artworks in them:

Metro de Montreal -
STM: Art in the Metro -
STM: List of artworks -
MTL Blog: 14 breathtaking metro stations:
MTL Blog: Metro art explained:
CBC Arts: Instagram artist in the metro:
CBC News: Hétitage Montréal tours:
Chris M. Forsyth: The Metro Project -

Reminder - October Sew-In

Our first Sew-In of the year will be taking place on Saturday October 1st! We meet between 10am and 4pm at the CRCS St-Zotique... please bring along a project to work on, your sewing machine (if necessary), and a snack or lunch of your choice. We will have hot drinks available, just bring your travel mug!
Quilting bee in Central Park in June of 1973.

This month we will be starting work on the QuiltCon 2017 charity challenge quilt (presented by Michele and Lily at the September meeting). This challenge is a collaboration by the whole guild, so if you would like to participate please join us on the 1st for a demo of the techniques involved and to get started on making a block!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Metro tour - postponed

Just a quick reminder, the walking tour of the metro has been postponed until after our October meeting! We will be discussing it at the October 11th meeting to decide on a better date, so if you're interested in going make sure you join us at the meeting. Once we've got a date chosen we will repost the details on the blog and on Facebook :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The year ahead...

Thank you to everyone who came out to our first meeting of the 2016-17 year tonight! It was nice to see everyone back together after the summer break, and nice to see a few new faces as well! Our little family continues to grow. :)

Tonight's meeting was a little hectic with so much to take care of for the start of the year, but I want to promise you that the rest of this year will be much more laid back. We have some awesome things planned, including technique demonstrations, swaps, our metro challenge, some social events and of course lots of time for group discussions and show & tell. I am keeping the agendas intentionally light so we can relax and enjoy our meeting time!

As I mentioned tonight, we will be celebrating Hari-Kuyo, or the Festival of Broken Needles, at the February meeting, so please save up your broken or worn out pins and needles to bring to the celebration. We will take some time to thank our needles for their service.

We will be posting the minutes from tonight's meeting soon, and if you registered with Josee tonight you will be getting an email with the welcome packet (and the new password for the Members Only Section of the blog). Looking forward to October!

- stephanie

Monday, September 12, 2016

Member Spotlight: Stacy Pomerleau

Our 2016-2017 year is kicking off this week so we thought it would be a good time to get our Member Spotlight going again!

This month, we feature our very own Stacy.  This year, Stacy is a member of the Executive Committee and will act as our official photographer and assist Joanna with programming.

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 like to learn, but the structure of school isn’t my thing. I do have a Visual Arts DEC from Dawson College, but I spent some time in the Industrial Design and Illustration and Design programs. My current job is as the manager of an electronic cigarette shop in St. Henri. A completely different field, but I do get to talk to people and help them troubleshoot their devices or help them get set up to start vaping (Remember, vaping isn’t smoking!)

Besides from my day job, I run an online craft supply shop called Craft De Ville. Craft De Ville was started to fill a bit of a void for good crafting supplies in Montreal. We launched on line shortly after Garnitures Dressmaker on Ste Catherine closed. It was a landmark shop that opened in the 1940s, that I had a chance to work at for about 3 years in the 2000s. Craft De Ville stocks a variety of supplies for beaders and sewers, with an increasing amount of quilting supplies, based on requests and feedback from fellow Guild members!  

What first got you interested in modern quilting?

I am not sure there was an exact moment that I became interested in modern quilting. I grew up in the country and had a very crafty grandmother who was part to the local Cercle des Fermières. She did loads of sewing (garment and quilting) as well as weaving and other crafts. My mother learnt to sew from her; (she was my mom’s mother in-law). As a kid, she sewed most of our clothes (I have 2 older sisters). Sewing in some form has always been a part of my life!

How did you find the MMQG and why did you decide to join?

I think I first heard about the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild though Emmaline and Annabelle’s Sew Lounge in NDG. I finally took the leap to join in January 2013. I joined with Betsy, who is my partner for Craft De Ville, which we launched in the fall of 2012. By joining we wanted, in part to be inspired, as well as be involved in the community! The guild is a great resource. There is so much happening in all the different crafting communities. Hearing about what inspirations others, discovering new fabric and pattern designers and seeing in progress and finished works by other members is insightful and delightful!

What is your favorite project that you have completed? Why is it your favorite?

I have only completed 2 projects (I don’t count a few mug rugs, name tag, and mug cozies) The first was a baby quilt for my niece Emma, who lives in Spain. It started before I knew she was on the way. A fellow member, Agnes had showed me @Bad Skirt Amy’s X and + block. I thought it was interesting block. I pulled some cotton from my stash (I had been making some zipper pouches and small purses) and just started making blocks. Practice and learning was my goal. When I found out I was going to be aunt again (3 nieces and a nephew already) I thought “Perfect I already have a head start. Counted my blocks and I was halfway there!” Oh I learned a lot! My seam allowances were not accurate enough! 2 of my rows were almost 2“ short! Another reason I love the guild. I was able to share my problems and got a bunch of solutions!

My second completed project, was the Weight of Love quilt, a workshop by Libs Elliott hosted by the guild in the spring. I finished it to be a large (smaller than twin) throw. I call it my TV quilt, but I’ve been sleeping with it since it was finished at the end August!

For my new projects, I think I am going to try to get 2 Star Wars quilts for my Mr.’s nephews done by Xmas. I have the fabrics picked, but haven’t gotten any farther than that. I have also matched some solids to Tamara Kate’s Pirouette (a print from her Helen’s Garden collection), but I’m not sure where I’m going with that either! My projects seem to be fuelled by the fabrics themselves.

What would you consider to be your quilting ‘superpower’?

I think my superpower might be choosing colours or matching colours. People seem to compliment me on my choices! Because it is my “superpower”, it is also my favorite part of the quilting process!

What project or technique is next on your “to try” list?

Working on my Molinari project is making want to explore different stitching techniques. Currently my “go to“ for quilting is straight line. I feel like I need to push myself a bit out of my comfort zone! I love the results I see on other people’s projects.

What is the best bit of quilting advice you’ve ever received?

I think some of the best advice I have seen circulating is a finished quilt is better than a perfect quilt! Encouraging people to finish a project instead of just having a bunch of WIP (works in progress).