Sunday, June 11, 2017

Final meeting reminder

I'm not entirely sure how we got here so quickly, but the final meeting of the 2016-17 year is this coming Tuesday June 13th at 7pm at the CRCS St-Zotique.

We will be wrapping up the year and discussing plans for next year. Claudia will give the treasurer's report and we will discuss final steps of the #QuiltsforQC project. We will also be raffling off some goodies from Craft de Ville, QuiltCon and Quilt Market, so make sure you wear your name tag for one last entry in the draw.

It will also be a potluck, so if you will be bringing something to share, make sure you put your name and what you're bringing on the sign-up sheet. We will wrap up the year with a nice, relaxed meeting and start off summer vacation in style! Look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, June 02, 2017

UPDATE! June Sew-In

Due to the cool and rainy weather, we will be holding our last Sew-In of the year at Atelier Fiber Arts (3993 rue Wellington, Verdun) tomorrow June 3rd from 10am to 4pm. 

Everything else stays the same for the sew-in, just the location has changed. And the fact that you won't need sunscreen. ;)

Remember, if you'd like to help with the #QuiltsforQC binding, please either join us tomorrow to work on it, or swing by to pick up a quilt and some binding to work on at home. This is your last chance to help out before we wrap up the project at the June 13th meeting! Hope to see you tomorrow!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Meeting reminder!

Our final sew-in of the year will be a Sew-Out! Weather permitting, we will be holding our sew-out this coming Saturday, June 3rd from 10am to 4pm at Parc Du Square Sir-George-Etienne-Cartier, the park directly in front of the CRCS St-Zotique where we normally meet.

Parc Du Square Sir-George-Etienne-Cartier

Please bring with you a picnic lunch, something to sit on and a project to work on that does not require electricity. If you don't have a project to work on, you are welcome to help do some binding on the #QuiltsforQC quilts. The forecast currently shows sunny weather for Saturday (here's hoping), but if for some reason it rains, Amanda has kindly offered to host us at Atelier Fiber Arts in Verdun. If that happens, I will post both here and on the Facebook event page about the change of venue.

If you want to help with the binding but can't stay for the sew-in, I will have all of the quilts and supplies with me, so you are welcome to swing by and pick up some to work on at home. Just remember that we need them all back at the meeting on June 13th. We will also take the opportunity to photograph some of the finished quilts, so if you have any that are ready please bring them by so we can document them. All of the quilts for #QuiltsforQC must be turned in by the June 13th meeting... no exceptions! We will be making plans to deliver all of the quilts in late June or early July, and of course we will post photos of all the finished quilts here once we are done. :)

And finally, our last meeting of the 2016-17 year will be on Tuesday June 13th from 7-9pm at the CRCS St-Zotique. We will be having a potluck, so if you would like to bring something to share, please add your name and what you'll be bringing to the sign up sheet in the Members Only section of the blog. We will be wrapping up the year, discussing plans for next year, and we will be raffling off some goodie bags! Hope to see you there.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Metro Challenge - Complete!

So at our May meeting, we finally had the presentation of the Metro Challenge quilts! It's been a long time coming, and while some of them were still in the process of being finished up, it was lovely to finally see them all together.

If you want to know more about the challenge itself, you can read the original blog post here. And with no further ado... the quilts!

Marlise tackled Lucien-L'Allier station. She did a beautiful job of capturing the monumental interior spaces of the station and depicted them using material from men's shirts. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Member Spotlight: Nathalie Forget

Pour le mois de mai, notre membre vedette est Nathalie Forget.

1. Vos coordonnées de médias sociaux (blog/site web, Facebook, Instagram, etc):

Je n'ai pas de blog et je ne me sers pas beaucoup des médias sociaux pour publier ou communiquer. Je les utilise plutôt pour m'inspirer. Mes adresses:

2. Qu'avez-vous étudié à l'école et/ou que faites vous comme travail?

J'ai complété un baccalauréat en sciences informatiques en 1984. J'ai travaillé par la suite au développement et à la gestion de solutions informatiques pour plusieurs entreprises, mais surtout pour une institution financière. J'ai pris ma retraite et suis revenue à Montréal en mai 2015 après 29 ans d'exil à Toronto.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Canadian modern quilting resources

We get a lot of questions about where to shop for fabric or quilting supplies here in Montreal, both from visitors and locals, but sadly, there aren't many local options for us. We have two chain fabric stores, Club Tissus and Fabricville, and a few independent shops like Craft de Ville and Effiloché, and even Atelier Fiber Arts and La Société Textile which are maker spaces for sewists/quilters.

Beyond those few though, options for Montreal-area modern quilters are rather sparse and most of us end up shopping online. Luckily, there are a number of online Canadian shops (woohoo, no exorbitant shipping costs, exchange rates or duties!) sprinkled across the country. Below is a list of the Canadian modern quilt (or at least modern-adjacent) shops I have come across online... if you know of one that isn't included, feel free to share it in the comments!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wavy line quilting

To those of you who 'adopted' one of the #QuiltsforQC quilts at Tuesday night's meeting to take home, there were a lot of questions about how best to quilt them. You are welcome to be as simple or as complex as you like with the quilting on these quilts; it can be simple straight lines or it can be decorative free-motion quilting. it is really up to you and your comfort level. The only thing that we ask is that you keep the quilting no more than 3" apart. We want these quilts to be sturdy and long-lasting, so they need to be able to stand up to wear and washing.

The quilting needs to be completed and the quilts brought to the May meeting so we can move on to the binding stage; if you find yourself unable to complete your quilt in time, please let us know as soon as possible so we can find a solution.

For those of you who were asking about the wavy line quilting, there are two ways to do it. Personally, my sewing machine has a decorative stitch that comes in handy when I don't want to be fussy with the quilting: 
The 'wave' decorative stitch

I select the wave stitch (above), put the stitch length on the longest setting and the stitch width on the widest setting, and it gives me a nice, gentle wave. 

Otherwise, if you do not have that kind of stitch on your machine, you can imitate it by simply moving the quilt itself as you quilt, as demonstrated in this video: 

Izzy uses this technique on her straight-stitch sewing machine and the results are fantastic! 

Good luck and we look forward to seeing the quilts at the May meeting!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 2017 Meeting Minutes

April 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes
Tuesday April 11, 2017 at 7pm at CRCS St-Zotique
  • Quilts for Quebec: 
    • It looks like we will have about 45 finished quilts for the mosque.
    • We have 20 or so ready for quilting - we need quilters! 
    • A few are ready for binding.
    • We might be organizing another basting party over the next few weeks once we have all the tops pieced as well as backing for everything.
  • Visit to the McCord Museum to see the Expo 67 Exhibit:
    • We will meet in the lobby of the museum at 6 PM on Wednesday, April 19.
    • The cost on Wednesday evening is $9.50 per person.
    • For those interested, we will most likely have dinner and a drink after the visit.

Show and Tell:
  • Francine: Fancy Forest quilt based on the Elizabeth Hartman pattern.  This is for her 2nd grandson's room.
  • Maurice: Showed off his amazing Monopoly quilt top - all made to scale. 
  • Nathalie: Worked on a Quilt of Valor with two other members of the South Shore Guild. All black and white flying geese with pops of red.
  • Patti:  Patti not only made blocks for the CQA bee, she put them together in a massive quilt top.
  • Marie-Eve: Made a quilt for a friend - all purple and yellow HSTs arranged in a gradient layout. She quilted it with the Ultra Wavy quilting tutorial by Better Off Thread.
  • Isabelle:  Showed a beautiful reverse appliqué and hand quilted mini.
  • Jen: Completed a cute baby quilt with squares and wonky stars.

Next meeting: 
  • May meeting  - May 9:
    • Garage sale: bring anything you would like to sell, swap or give away.
    • Metro Challenge quilts are due
    • We will discuss the results of the survey
    • We will also reveal plans for the June "sew-out"

Monday, April 10, 2017

Annual Survey - last call

If you have not already filled out the annual member survey, please take a moment to give us your feedback. It is anonymous and helps us plan activities and improve the guild for next year! 

The survey will be closing tonight, so last call for responses! And thank you to those of you who have already filled it out... we will be going over the results at the May meeting. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Meeting reminder!

Our April meeting is coming up next Tuesday, April 11th at 7pm at CRCS St-Zotique.

Cinzia will be giving a talk on quilt labels, and we will be finalizing the details of our next social outing - a visit to the McCord museum to see the Mode Expo 67 exhibit. It is also the deadline for filling out the Annual Member Survey, so if you have not yet filled it out, please take a moment to share your feedback!

Looking forward to seeing everyone next week!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Member Spotlight: Cinzia Allocca

We are back with another Member Spotlight!  This month, we give you the co-founder of the Montreal MQG: Cinzia.

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

IG: @2psquilts

What did you study in school and/or what do you do for a day job?     

I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and worked as an educator in a daycare for several years (I also like to say that I have a ‘secondary’ degree in art as I took as many art classes as I could throughout my school years).

For just over a year now, I have been working for Camelot Fabrics in merchandising and product development.

How long have you been quilting?    

I made my first quilt about 19yrs ago, by copying a store bought one. I had some sewing experience and decided to try making a quilt. A couple years after that, I took a quilting class at a LQS.

What first got you interested in modern quilting?    

Like most people, I suppose I first ‘discovered’ it online through blogs and flickr.  It was refreshing to see quilts made with fresh colors, clean, minimalist looks, and improv (and SOLIDS!!! Which I first saw on Discovering improv gave me the permission to do things my way. It allowed me to make something that was completely my own. It’s not just the ‘making’ part that I like about quilting. To me this is just my medium of choice through which I explore my creative ideas. I love the freedom.

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

Josee and I ‘met’ online and we were both looking for a local group of modern quilters. Since there wasn’t one, we decided to start a guild. What really gave me the push to do so was the announcement by the MQG about the first Quiltcon. I knew then that this was going to be more than a trend and I wanted to be a part of it. It’s one of the best things I ever did! I love my peeps!

Whose techniques/style/philosophy do you most admire in the modern quilting community?  

My favorites are Gwen Marston, Sherri Lynn  Wood, the Gees Bend Quilters

Where do you look for inspiration or ideas for your quilting projects?    

Lately I have been very interested in modern, abstract and minimalist art. I am currently crushing on the work of Paul Kremer (@paulkremer if you wish to follow him). He is Texas-based painter. He plays a lot with bold shapes and colors and negative space.

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

My favorite is usually the last big project I’ve completed. My current favorite is “Finding Harmony”. It’s one of those rare projects that I’ve enjoyed making every single step of the way. It holds a lot of meaning for me. My quilts are like my journal through which I work out my innermost thoughts and feelings. I worked through a lot with this one.

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

Binding!!! I love making and applying it. I can hand sew a pretty good and fast invisible stitch! I find it very relaxing.

And I can thread and knot 25 needles in 6min.44seconds. Anyone want to challenge me?

What is your favorite part of the quilt making process? Why?   

I love starting something new. The best is when inspiration strikes suddenly and I happen to have a couple of free hours to get it going and things start to flow freely. There always comes a point where I start to struggle/question where I’m going, but I’ve learned to push through. 

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

I am currently working on a series of small abstract quilts. A series is something that I have been wanting to try for a long time – to explore a single technique/style/color scheme through many works. In my series, I am delving into my improv strip-piecing technique. I want to see how far I can take it. 
I have also always want to make a large whole cloth quilt. All hand quilted of course. 

What is the best quilting tip or technique you’ve discovered?     

Don’t worry about perfection. Especially when learning something new. Just do. Over and over again, and you will get better.  I promise! 

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

Do it because you enjoy it! I decided to ‘give-up’ machine quilting large quilts because I just didn’t enjoy it. But not before I gave it a good chance. 

And the second is to slow-down! When we are constantly on social media seeing what everyone is making, we are under the illusion that everyone is more productive than we are and that we somehow need to keep up. I’ve learned that I would rather make less but more meaningful pieces. It gives me the chance to be more intentional with what I make and have a closer connection to my work. Most of us are doing this as a hobby anyway, so what are we trying to keep up with anyway? 

I try to apply this to my life in general too – Simplify, simplify, simplifly (or maybe I should say “Play, Explore, Edit” see next question). 

Recommended reading/viewing: 
  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (written by Greg McKeown)
  • The Art of Stillness : TED TALK by Pico Iyer
  • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (yes, she is a little, shall we say ‘out there’, but she makes some really good points). Get rid of stuff!!!  Unclutter your space, your mind your soul!!! 
Describe your creative process in three words:  

Playing, exploring, editing. 

Describe/share pictures of your creative space:

I recently moved into a new home, and although this home is smaller than my old one, I have the basement all to myself! It did take awhile to get accustomed to a new space. I found that, as it has a different layout than what I was used to, my flow was interrupted.

Sewing Station

My cutting table is an old drafting table that I scored at a garage sale. Pegboards are great for organizing tools/notions!

I couldn’t live without my design wall. It’s where I audition all my ideas!
I have a desk area where I work on my laptop. A radio for good music! Can’t live without it!
I love that I have room to keep my large quilting frame assembled at all times. I can switch from machine work to hand quilting as the mood strikes. And, yes, I have been known to sneak in a power nap in my little corner there!
I feel blessed to have this space and the time (however limited it seems sometimes) to pursue my passion. Thank you for letting me share it! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 2017 Meeting Minutes

March 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes
Tuesday March 21, 2017 at 7pm at CRCS St-Zotique
  • Anyone interested in any of the executive positions?  If anyone is interested in the future, please don't be shy to approach us.
  • Quilts for Quebec: 
    • We have at least enough for 40 finished quilts so far, still waiting on QuiltCon box and a few other quilt tops and finished quilts from other guilds. 
    • Due to larger than expected turnout, we may end up spending all donations received on batting and backing, but if anything is leftover we will be donating it to the mosque along with the quilts.  
    • Next steps: we need volunteers to sew together remaining quilt tops. 
    • We will be doing basting at the April 1st sew-in and possibly plan another meet-up to finish. 
    • We will also need volunteers to quilt (does not have to be fancy or complex!)  
    • Josée will design labels and we will get them printed on Spoonflower.
  • The annual survey was sent out this week.  Please fill it out by the April meeting.
  • CQA slab blocks are due at the April meeting.
  • Social meet up for March: 
    • We would like to organize a group visit to the McCord Museum to see the Expo 67 Exhibit.  
    • Vote on the date you prefer on (Email sent)
  • Mad About Patchwork bundle raffle:  Jessica won the bundle
  • Room for meetings: for next year, we might be renting one of the bigger rooms downstairs (we think it's $10 per month)
  • Charity Quilts: we are thinking about not participating in the Quiltcon charity next year. No objection from the members. Instead, we would like to do a skill builder BOM and perhaps use some of the blocks to make quilts for charity. More details to come soon!
  • Metro Challenge deadline is now the May meeting.
Show and Tell
  • Cinzia:  Bag for her quilting hoop and beautiful quilt top made from pink strips.
  • Steph: Quilts for Quebec top
  • Claudia: Jacquie Gering inspired quilt top using the stitch & flip method
  • Shannon: Quilt top for Quebec (a big one!)
  • Tamara:  3 quilts made with her newest fabric collection for Quilt Market 
  • Izzy: Mystery quilt made from a Cheryl Brickey pattern
  • Diane: Quilt top for Quebec (another big one!)
Next meeting: 
  • April sew-in - April 1 from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • April meeting  - April 11 - Cinzia’s quilt label discussion

Sunday, March 19, 2017

#QuiltsforQC - phase 1 complete!

So the first phase of our #QuiltsforQC project, collecting house blocks, is now complete! We've received over 1,000 blocks from all over the world... thank you SO much to everyone who has contributed to this project!!! We will, of course, continue to post photos of our progress over on Instagram (@mtlmqg) and updates here on the blog.

One of the finished quilt tops

If you wanted to help with the project but didn't have time to send us a block, are just hearing about it, or just want to help a bit more, we are still accepting donations to purchase batting and fabric for the backing and binding of the quilts. We have more than double the number of quilts we had expected to donate (which is amazing!), so every little bit helps. We have a PayPal account set up specifically for this project (email: or if you are local and have some fabric or batting to donate, you're welcome to drop it by Atelier Fiber Arts in Verdun.

Our next step is to gather up all the supplies needed to finish the quilts while some of our helpers finishing piecing the remaining blocks into tops. If you are interested in lending a hand with the basting, quilting, or binding please drop us an email and let us know. We will likely plan a few meet-ups to work on things like basting and binding, so watch this space for updates!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Meeting reminder!

Quick reminder that our postponed March meeting is taking place on Tuesday March 21st at 7pm. The forecast looks much better than last week! ;) Hope to see you then!

Monday, March 06, 2017

March meeting reminder

Our next meeting is coming up next week on Tuesday March 14th at 7pm at the CRCS St-Zotique.

If you have made any quilt blocks or quilt tops for the #QuiltsforQC project, please bring them (or send them with someone) to the meeting... we want to collect up all of the stragglers so we can move on to the next step of getting the quilts finished. Likewise, if you have any supplies to donate (batting, backing fabric, tread, binding, etc) please turn them in so we know what things we still need to purchase.

At the meeting we will be raffling off a 'Spring Forward' FQ bundle from Mad About Patchwork, which was curated by Izzy for the month of March. Each month they will have a bundle curated by a different Canadian Modern Quilt Guild, and this one was inspired by our guild's logo. If you don't want to trust your luck, or you simply can't wait that long to get your hands on some, you can order it directly from Mad About Patchwork... but don't wait too long! They only have a few bundles left (one less now because I just ordered mine!)

Spring Forward bundle available at Mad About Patchwork

We will also be discussing plans for our next social meet-up, so bring your ideas and suggestions! We will post the details once they are finalized.

Our demo this month will be a walking foot demo courtesy of the talented Debby Soll. Many of you have oooh-ed and aaah-ed over her work at Show & Tell, now is your chance to see how she does it! ;)

Hope to see you next week!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

#QuiltsforQC - progress report

We had our first sew-in for the #QuiltsforQC project this past Sunday and it was a great afternoon! So far we've received more than 400 house blocks, one completed quilt, and various other supplies (batting, backing fabric, binding, etc) from people near and far. We have had kind-hearted locals show up with donations and we have received amazing packages from as far away as Germany, Italy and Australia! We've had blocks from people who have never sewn a quilt block before, and from people who have been quilting for decades. The response to this project has been truly incredible... thank you to everyone who has participated so far.

Many of the packages have included lovely notes, such as this one from @winkowl :

Our helpers spent a little time visiting...

Smiling helpers and a peek at Craft de Ville's new space

And then got down to work! In total, we put together 4 complete quilt tops and another 4 went with people to be finished up at home. We are awaiting the blocks collected at QuiltCon, and a few other guilds are putting together quilt tops or completed quilts to send!

One of the finished quilt tops

The quilt tops are amazing... they are sweet little villages with hearts everywhere you look! We will, of course, continue to post updates and photos of our progress.

Our next steps will be another sew-in to put together the next batch of quilt tops and once we get the quilting done, we will have a get together to do some of the binding. If you are local and would be interested in attending one of the sew-ins, keep an eye on our blog and/or our Facebook events page where we will post details.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Big stitch quilting tutorial by Cinzia

Cinzia's tutorial on big stitch quilting is now available under the Members Only section of the blog!

Photo by Cinzia

For those of you who missed her demo, or for those of you who were bitten by the hand-quilting bug and want to give it a try, go grab your copy now. Happy stitching! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 2017 Meeting Minutes

February 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes
Tuesday February 14, 2017 at 7pm at CRCS St-Zotique

  • Welcome - reminder to be careful where you park because of snow removal
  • Feb sew-in this coming weekend: Sat Feb 18th, 10-4 at Maplewood Presbyterian Church, 215 McLeod, in Chateauguay, carpools can be arranged if needed
    • Work on any project you like, but will be demoing the slab block for the Canadian Quilt Bee if you want to participate.  We also may start some working on some of the house quilts.
    • Please bring scraps in any colour but red, turquoise, white/off-white or grey will match the required Canada pieces for the Quilt Bee blocks
    • Normal sew-in rules apply: Bring sewing machine, all tools needed to do your work, plus bring a lunch and a coffee mug (coffee will be available)
    • Lots going on. Email if you need help with transportation.
  • Metro challenge due dates is being pushed back to April meeting because there is a lot going on with the Quilts for Quebec Project.
  • Any interest in VQF submission? Need 18-20 quilts, deadline March 1st for submitting a letter of intent. Stephanie will contact to see if we can display our Molinari challenge quilts even though the size is not the sizes asked for. Bigger might be difficult to get 18-20 together quickly. Email if you are interested though.
  • Quilts for Quebec (#quiltsforqc)
    • The response has been amazing all of Canada, many states even Italy. The goal is for 12-25 quilts we think. But as many as we can. 
    • We need 12.5” house blocks, any style; no humans or animals in prints please. The ones we have received are exquisite. Amazing work.
    • We are also accepting donations of batting and backing fabrics, we have some from Fabricville.  Some people have donated money to help buy supplies.  Stacy will be able to get some things at cost. 
    • Anyone wishing to help with construction or quilting please let us know.  The Ottawa guild is interested in quilting.  Michelle B is interested in helping with her longarm.  So amazing what people are willing to do
    • There is a Sew-in on Sunday Feb 26th from 12-5pm in Verdun to start putting the blocks together.

  • Show and Tell
    • Izzy – Bed runner in black and white with a little red. 12” x 12” blocks 3 x 8 blocks.
    • Marlise - Silk men's tie star quilt – would back it maybe as the silk was difficult sometimes.
    • Snezana Quilted picture frame, challenge because of the size
    • Tamara whatever the weather the quilt along can be seen on the janome life site and some secret projects…Shhhh
    • Melanie – cars with a play mat back using green squares with black sashing so the owner can drive on the sashing. Also, a home quilt for the Quilts for Quebec project that a was quilted on a longarm solidifying the need for one. (thank you!!!)
    • Michelle B. Animal made with made Tamara Kate Fabric, elephants, giraffes and peacocks all with Tamara’s fabulous fabric
    • See the photos by Stacy on Instagram or the blog.
  • Ugly Fat Quarter swap
    • Wow some of the pieces are interesting.
  • Discussion: Hari-Kuyo celebration
    • See the history below
  • Demo: handwork by Cinzia
    • Important take away points:
      • Quilting hoop is needed.
      • Quilt towards you for ergonomic reasons.
      • Use pearl cotton, size 8 and embroidery needles size 6-8.
      • Advantages of handwork are that it is portable, you have greater control over the stitches, it creates a bright effect and it is very relaxing, almost meditative.
      • It is important to use even stitches, using an almost rocking motion.
      • Please see the members section on the blog for more specific notes and pictures.
Next meeting: March 14th 19:00, CRCS St-Zotique - walking foot demo by Debby, social meet-up in March maybe?

Monday, February 13, 2017

#QuiltsforQC at QuiltCon

It's official! The organizers of QuiltCon East have very kindly offered to help us out by having a drop-off location for #QuiltsforQC blocks at QuiltCon! The drop-off box will be at the registration area, so if you have some blocks to send us you can drop them off there from Thursday Feb 23rd through Sunday Feb 26th.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February meeting reminder

Just a quick reminder on what's coming up, as we have a lot going on in the last half of February... 

Our next monthly meeting takes place on Tuesday February 14th at 7pm at the CRCS St-Zotique. We will be having our Ugly Fat Quarter Swap, we will be celebrating Hari-Kuyo so remember to bring your worn out and broken pins and needles, and we will be starting to collect blocks for the #QuiltsforQC project. Our demonstration this month will be a handwork demo by Cinzia. If you would like to participate, please bring the following with you:
  • quilt sandwich (two fat quarters and batting) 
  • quilting/embroidery hoop 
  • Perle cotton embroidery thread (size 8) 
  • Embroidery needle: size 6, 7 or 8 
  • thimble to fit middle finger of dominant hand 
  • fabric marking tool (optional) 

Our February Sew-In will be taking place on Saturday February 18th from 10am to 4pm at the Maplewood Presbyterian Church, 215 McLeod, in Chateauguay. We will be having an inter-guild meet-up with the Chateauguay Valley Quilters Guild; we will be working on slab blocks to donate to the CQA's Big Quilt Bee, house blocks for the #QuiltsforQC project, or you can bring your own project to work on. We will be arranging carpools at Tuesday night's meeting, so if you need a ride but can't make it to the meeting, please get in touch via email. The usual sew-in rules apply, please bring anything you need to work on your project of choice (sewing machine, cutting/marking tools, etc), as well as your lunch and a coffee mug (coffee will be available there). 

And finally, on Sunday February 26th from 12 to 5pm we will be hosting a sew-in for the #QuiltsforQC project at Atelier Fiber Arts (3993 rue Wellington in Verdun). There will be snacks and drinks available, and this event is open to all. We will have sewing machines and materials on hand for anyone who wants to sew some blocks (patterns and assistance are available if you need them), and if you have completed blocks or other materials to donate, you are welcome to drop them by. 

I think that's everything... see you Tuesday evening!

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

#QuiltsforQC update

I'm not usually one for quotes, but this past week I've had one going through my head repeatedly:

“Whatever you do will be insignificant,
but it is very important that you do it.” 

In the grand scheme of things, sewing a few pieces of fabric together feels very insignificant, and yet it feels very important that I do it. Based on the messages we have been getting this past week, I think a lot of others out there feel the same way.

We have begun to receive people's blocks in the mail and we are gearing up to start putting quilt tops together. For those of you still working on your blocks, don't worry you still have time... we would like all blocks to be in the mail to us by March 11th

If you're still looking for inspiration, or just want to browse, I encourage you to check out the #QuiltsforQC hashtag on Instagram or Facebook, there are some amazing blocks being posted!

For example, on Instagram Johanna made these adorable blocks: 

Photo and block by Johanna

Then she kindly posted a diagram of the block and the dimensions she used so others could make them too... if you'd like to make one, you can find her diagram here.

Fellow MMQG member Shannon of s/f Designs has created a beautiful house block that is available for free download over on Craftsy:

And if you're looking for more of a challenge, Victoria from made up this stunning mosque block:

If you have finished and mailed in/dropped off your block but still wish to do more, there is another initiative under way that is looking to make and donate quilted prayer rugs to various mosques in Canada and the States. Unfortunately, there have been a number of acts of vandalism and hatred directed at various mosques recently, and similar to us, the organizers of the prayer rug project want to reach out to those affected and offer support.

Also, the Quebec City mosque accepts donations through its website, if you would like to donate to them directly. You can find more information (in French / en francais) on their website:

We will continue to post updates and pictures as things progress... thank you to each and every one of you who have contributed!!! :) 

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

#QuiltsforQC Sew-In

On Sunday February 26th from 12 noon to 5pm, Atelier Fiber Arts will be hosting us at their shop (3993 Rue Wellington, Verdun, QC H4G 1V6) for a sew-in afternoon for the #QuiltsforQC project.

Photo courtesy of Julie

We will spend the afternoon making house blocks for the project and starting construction on the quilt tops. There will be drinks, snacks and a lot of good company.

If you have completed blocks you are welcome to drop them by. If you'd like to make a block but don't know how or need a machine or fabric to work with, we've got you covered. We will have everything you need to make a block available, including help for those who are new to sewing. If you know how to make your block but just want to do it in the company of some fellow quilters, come join us! :) Also, if you have scrap fabric you'd like to donate, bring it on by and we'll put it to good use.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Responses to #QuiltsforQC

House block by Rebecca

We have been receiving some amazing emails from people all over who want to help with this project, but this morning I received one in particular that I thought it was important to share:

"I am a Muslim American in the US and am soooo touched that you have started this project. My dream is to do something like this for the Syrian refugee families coming in also. We have a couple of families in the area that barely have living arrangements.

I hope you can spread along my sincere thanks and appreciation to the organizer and all those that helped in any way. Having 5 generations of my family in the US, I often wonder how many more will I need before I am considered “American” by some. Its so disheartening the rhetoric that has been allowed since the new Presidency."

As I said in an email yesterday... we may not be able to fix the world's problems with quilts, but that doesn't mean we can't try. :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

#QuiltsforQC - update

What we thought would just be a small local project seems to be gaining strength quickly... it is fantastic to see so many people who want to help! Our goal is to make a quilt to be given to each of the 6 families who lost a loved one, and to each of the people injured in the attack. For full details on the project and what we need to accomplish that, please see the original post.

House block by Maggie

I have had a few people ask if they could include notes of support with their blocks... absolutely! If you wish to include a card or note of support for the recipients, we will pass along any we receive with the finished quilts. If you would like to reach out to the mosque to offer support directly, you can do so through their website, Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec

For those of you who are local, you are welcome to drop completed blocks off in person at Atelier Fiber Arts during their business hours. We may also be planning a block-making session in the coming weeks; we will post details on that once we know. 

We will post updates here as things progress. If you have any questions, or would like to help out in some other way, please feel free to send us an email at: 

Whether you contribute a pile of blocks, a single block, or just help spread the word by sharing our post with your friends, we are very grateful for all of your help!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Call to action - Quilts for Québec

Updated to add: We have received all the quilt blocks we need for this project - thank you to all who contributed! If you would like information on how else you can help, please see our most recent blog post

Yesterday there was an attack made on members of our community... a gunman entered a Quebec City mosque during prayers and opened fire, killing 6 people and seriously injuring at least 5 others.

Intolerance and hate have no place in my definition of 'Québecois(e)' or 'Canadian', and as our Prime Minister recently said, "Our diversity is our strength." With that in mind, this act of terrorism simply will not stand and in the hopes of sending a little comfort and strong message of support to our neighbours in their time of need, we are doing what we do as a quilt guild - we are making quilts. 

We will be collecting house quilt blocks to make quilts that remind the recipients that this is their home, that they are an important part of this community and that we, their neighbours, are here to support and protect them. We would like to have at least enough for the families of each of the victims who lost their lives in the attack (6 so far), and ideally enough for those who were injured as well, although we do not yet know the final number. 

Image courtesy of Craftsy

If you would like to make a block (or many), here is what we need:
  • blocks should be 12.5" square
  • solid and non-figurative print fabrics are best (ie: no images of people or animals)
  • it would be nice to have the background fabric be a light neutral (white, light grey, cream, low-volume prints, etc) if possible  
  • the house can be as simple or as complex as you like, feel free to improvise and customize (examples and tutorials below)
  • bring your completed blocks to our Feb 14th meeting or to the Feb sew-in on the 18th
We would like to start constructing the quilts after our meeting later this month, and for those mailing their blocks in, please try to have them in the mail to us by March 11th.

Also, we invite you to share pictures of your blocks on social media, and please include the tag #quiltsforqc so we can see your wonderful work! :)

We are also accepting donations of backing fabric and batting for finishing the quilts, or money to be put towards the purchase of those items, if that's more your speed... please send us an email ( and we can arrange something that works for you. :) 

As for the blocks themselves, there are many different kinds of house blocks you can make ranging from simple to complex. We want our quilt villages to be beautiful and varied! Below are some house block tutorials to get you started; you can also do a search for "house quilt block" on Pinterest or Google, and if you have an idea or tutorial to share, post it in the comments!
I know quilts can't fix everything in this world (wouldn't it be wonderful if they could?), but it never hurts to remind people that they are a valued part of their community, and that their neighbours support them. We appreciate any help you can give us in sending that message! :)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hari-Kuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles

Hari-Kuyo is the Buddhist and Shinto Festival of Broken Needles which is celebrated in parts of Japan on February 8th. For the past 400 years, kimono makers, seamstresses and homemakers have gathered at shrines to thank their bent pins and broken needles for the hard work and faithful service they have provided over the past year. They express their thanks by holding a small memorial service and putting the pins and needles to rest in a block of soft tofu or jelly. It is also an opportunity to pray for improved sewing skills in the year to come.

Image courtesy of

Why hold a memorial for pins and needles? In animist cultures it is believed that objects have souls, so this ceremony was a way for those whose livelihood relied on the humble needle to pay homage to that soul. After a year of rough treatment, the pins and needles are given a soft, luxurious resting place at the end of their 'lives'. It is also, on the most basic level, a way to simply acknowledge the importance of these tools that so often get overlooked.

Also central to the festival is the concept of 'Mottainai', which roughly means a sense of regret concerning waste. (The philosophical concept behind it is of course more complex, if you'd like to learn more about it, Wikipedia has an excellent entry on it) Being a quilter who tries to make use of every last scrap, and a sewist who tries to live by the "Make do and mend" motto, this strikes a particularly strong chord with me.
Lastly, there is an intensely personal layer of meaning to the festival. Historically, it was women who worked with pins and needles, and when those women carried painful secrets that they could not share with others, they would instead share them with their needles while they worked. Then at the end of the year, they would put those needles, and the secrets they carried, to rest in the hopes of being free to move forward. I think all of us have experienced that meditative connection with our work at some point; it can be a wonderfully therapeutic practise for anyone who picks up a needle.

As a sewist and quilter, I found the concept behind the festival so wonderfully reverential to one of the most necessary tools of our trade that I wanted to join in the celebration. I always try to be sensitive about cultural appropriation, so while I come from a different cultural background, my needles work as hard as anyone else's and I hope the powers that be don't mind that I celebrate Hari-Kuyo in my own little way.

At our February meeting on the 14th we will be celebrating the Festival of Broken Needles... please bring along any worn, bent or broken pins and needles that you have so we can thank them for their service, give them their well-earned rest and look forward to the next year of sewing and creating!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

January Meeting Minutes

January 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes
Tuesday January 10, 2017 at 7pm at CRCS St-Zotique

The Business Section:

  • New members – Please see Claudia as she represents Welcome Wagon.
  • Saturday Jan 28th at 5-7pm at Benelux brasserie 4026 rue Wellington, Verdun (de l’Eglise metro)
  • Feb sew-in, Sat Feb 18th, 10-4 at Maplewood Presbyterian Church, 215 McLeod, in Chateauguay,
    • If needed we can arrange car pools
    • This will be inter-guild meet up with Chateauguay Valley Quilters Guild
    • Please bring your lunch and snacks
    • To celebrate Canada's 150th CQA is collecting Canada themed slab blocks for the Big Quilt Bee
    • We will have a demo of Cheryl Arkison's slab block technique
    • We have the required charm square started, you just need you to bring along some scraps to finish the 12 1/2" blocks.
    • The required fabric is has the following colours. So, scraps in black, cream, grey, red or turquoise will match the charm pack.  However, any fabric will work. 
    • This is 100% voluntary and you are absolutely welcome to bring along any other projects you wish to work on.

·         Remember our declutter theme this year?  February’s swap is Ugly Fat quarter swap
o    Please bring an Ugly (or just not your taste) fat quarter in a paper (opaque) bag.  We will do a blind swap next meeting.

  • Code of conduct reminder: In short, be kind to everyone.  We are a diverse group, with different skills, interests and experiences.  We don’t have to be always “hugs and butterflies” but we do require respect.  If you have any questions please consult our code of conduct found in your New Member Packet emailed when you signed up: “Members will treat each other with respect and courtesy at all times, both at guild events and within our larger community. Members who are disrespectful of another member, whose actions reflect negatively on the guild, or whose behavior is excessively disruptive may face disciplinary action, up to and including revocation of guild membership.”  See attached copy for more info.
  • Mason jar raffle – Amanda and Francine are the winners.  More raffles in June.
Show and Tell
    • Stephanie – Plaid – The Al Borland flannel plaid quilt
    • Marie – Love Notes
    • Melanie – RB challenge Diamond shaped quilt
    • Jose – RB challenge Arbre
    • Maggie – Monkey theme baby quilt
    • Fiona – Metro teaser
    • Izzy – Word wall hanging declutter
    • Jen – Sorbet Sea – wedding quilt
·         Charity quilt
o    Completed, thanks everyone for their hard work. 
o    Josée for the original design
o    Lily and Michèle for all their organization putting it together
o    Francine for Quilting the final quilt
o    Everyone who added a square and helped contribute to the project.
o    Beautiful work.
  • Twist festival – Stacy attending.  Please see her for details and possibilities of selling quilts -
  • Long-arm quilting with Francine – See notes below.

  • For next meeting remember:
    • Bring broken pins and needles we will be having a Hari-Kuyo celebration.
    • Bring your Ugly fat Quarters for the swap
    • We will have a demo of Handwork by Cinzia an email will go out with what to bring if you want to participate. 

For other updates please check
The blog