Monday, October 23, 2017

FULL: Memory quilt workshop with Suzanne Paquette

On November 25th, we will be hosting a workshop by Suzanne Paquette. She will be teaching us how to turn textiles with a sentimental value into a modern heirloom quilt, using an original pattern of her own design:
Autrement/Otherwise by Suzanne Paquette

We will learn various techniques for working with difficult fabrics, such as baby clothes, vintage ties and concert t-shirts (to name just a few) and how to incorporate them into a modern quilt.

We have opened this workshop to the public, so you do not have to be an Mtl MQG member to participate. The cost is $30 for Mtl MQG members and $50 for non-members; spots are limited to 25 participants. Full details on supplies and workshop pre-work will be provided upon registration.

EDIT: This workshop is now full, we have no more spots available. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Quilt binding tips

At our last meeting, we discussed different ways to finish/bind a quilt. There about as many ways to finish a quilt as there are quilters, and everyone has a preferred method.

Some of us use a physical tool, like the Binding Tool, while others prefer just a ruler and a few calculations (see the Members Only section for both Melanie's and Cinzia tutorials on quilt binding methods and measurements).

There is also a "no math" method that Nicole shared (you can skip to 2:50 for that specific technique):

How to Bind a Quilt by Heirloom Creations

I'd never seen this one before... I will have to try it on my next finish! At the end of the tutorial, she also explains the "puffy binding" technique that Stacy was talking about during our discussion.

Do you have a binding technique that you love? Share it in the comments! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Swap: 1-hour basket

As announced at our meeting last night, our first swap of the year will be... the 1-hour basket! Standard swap rules apply... if you wish to participate, simply sew up a basket and bring it in an opaque bag (brown paper, gift bag, etc) to the November meeting. Everyone who comes with one gets to leave with one!

These baskets are super quick and simple to whip up and are great for storing just about anything. All it takes is two fat quarters of fabric, some interfacing (or fusible fleece, or quilt batting, or canvas, etc) and about an hour of your time. If 3-dimensional objects aren't usually your thing, don't be intimidated! This pattern is totally accessible for all skill levels.

You can purchase the pattern here ($1.25 Cdn) and you can browse examples of the finished baskets on Craftsy and on Pinterest.

The variations are endless, although bear in mind once you start getting fancy with your basket, we can't promise it will still only take an hour to complete ;)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Skill Builder 2017-18 - Nine Patch block by Cinzia Allocca

The nine-patch block is one of the most recognizable patchwork blocks, the origins dating as far back as the 18th century.

In its simplest form, a nine-patch block is made using light and dark fabrics laid out in a checkerboard fashion:

The nine-patch block can either be assembled by sewing small squares together (making it conducive to working with scraps or charm squares) or, as we saw with the Rail Fence block, by using the strip-piecing method.

Let’s start with some simple quilt math:

To figure out the width of your strip or size of square you need for your block, begin with the finished size of block you want to make, divide that number by 3 and add a 1/2in. seam allowance (1/4 in. each side).


For the charity quilts, we want a finished block size of 12” x 12”:

12 divided by 3 = 4 + 1/2 = 4 -1/2” strips or squares.

Cut (3) 4-1/2” x WOF (width of fabric) strips of each color.

Sew (3) strips together in alternating colors. Make one set light-dark-light and a second set dark-light-dark, as shown below.

Cut each strip into several 4-1/2” pieces.

Sew three pieces of alternating sets together from left to right.

Alternate the order of the sets if you are going to sew the blocks side by side:

A nine-patch block however, does not need to be made up of simple squares. It can also be made up of pieced squares as we see in the following traditional blocks:

Examples of quilts that apply Modern Quilt Characteristics to the Nine-Patch block:


Modern Traditionalism (Modern variation of the Traditional Irish Chain):
By Mtl MQG member Tamara Serrao

Playing with Scale:

One giant Nine Patch block!
By Victoria van der Laan

Changing the scale of the patches:

For her “Stretched Shoo Fly Quilt”, Mtl MQG member Josee Carrier played with the scale of the patches within the block and varied the scale of each block.
By Mtl MQG Josee Carrier 

Improvisational Piecing: (by yours truly!)

I cut my strips free hand to create my improv blocks. The result is that each block in my quilt top is unique!
Finished Quilt Top: Nine-Patch Variation by Cinzia Allocca 

To see more:

I created a Nine-Patch Pinterest board:

For Quiltcon 2017, American Patchwork and Quilting sponsered Nine-Patch Challenge. Click here to see winners of the challenge:

If you choose to make your own version of the modern Nine Patch block, be sure to share it on Instagram with the hashtags:

#mtlmqgskills and/or #mtlmqgskillbuilder

Happy Sewing!!

October 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes

October 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes
October 10, 2017 at 7pm SouthWest Mission, Verdun, QC

Quick points of business:
  • Seating arrangement, comments welcome. Trying new things with the fridge making too much noise.
  • No one answered for last call for being paired up to make name tags, so if you want one please make your own.
  • Membership dues are due by November meeting.
  • Only a couple left FQ Mtl Fat quarter bundles left at Clinton Modern, order them asap if you want one.
  • Please be aware that the room accoustics are terrible so please listen when someone is talking.
  • Remember we are a welcoming, collaborative and often rule breaking modern quilt guild ….. compliments, suggestions and ideas are always welcome. Be careful to phrase them with kindness and openness ….. quilt rules demanders and quilt police, please keep your comments to yourself. 

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Member Spotlight: Stephanie B.

Here we go with another year of Member Spotlights!  For our first spotlight this year, I'm super happy to have our very own guild President, Ms Stephanie B!


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?
My school years were spent studying art... originally I had wanted to study history, but I have such a bad memory for names and dates, I figured that probably wasn’t a good fit for me. So instead I went into art, eventually ​finding my way to photography. This was in the very, very early days of digital photography and editing software so most of my work was done on film and in a darkroom... I enjoyed it, but it also made me deeply appreciative of the “Undo” feature in Photoshop! ;) I still have a soft spot for black and white photography.
My day job is an unexciting office job, doing scheduling for a large call centre. Completely unrelated to what I studied, I work a lot with Excel, formulas and reports... everything is digital and every Monday I start the process all over again. I think that is why I have come to enjoy sewing and quilting so much. It exercises my creative muscles, I have something tangible to show for my time and once a quilt is made, it stays made! Until I come up with an idea for the next one... ​

How long have you been quilting?

I first tried my hand at quilting about 13 years ago, and I was horrible at it. I mean, _really_ terrible. It was for a fibre arts class I was taking at Concordia, and it was such an unpleasant experience I swore off sewing completely for a few years. Then in 2007, I wanted to make a handmade Christmas gift, and I decided to give quilting another try. That one didn’t turn out so great either, but I stuck with it and after a lot of YouTube videos and trial and error, I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.

What first got you interested in modern quilting?

I was drawn to modern quilting pretty much from the start. I can appreciate the skill and technique of traditional quilts, but I just can’t get excited about all that beige or tiny floral prints. ​Sashing isn't my idea of a good time. ​
So when I came across Elizabeth Hartman’s Tokyo Subway Map quilt (sometime in 2010?), I knew that was the kind of quilting I could get into. Then when I saw the Gee’s Bend quilts for the first time, I was absolutely blown away, and I knew I had to learn. Being self-taught, it was a little intimidating at first, but I love that modern quilting embraces and celebrates the off-kilter and the imperfect​ - that suits my style just fine.

How did you find the MMQG and why did you decide to join?
I don’t remember exactly, but I came across the MMQG online… probably searching for quilting resources around Montreal. At the time the guild was meeting up in Laval, which was too far for me to get to after work in the evening, so I kept an eye on the blog and when they moved the meetings to St-Henri in 2013, I decided to go check it out. I didn’t know anyone, but the group was so nice ​that ​I joined and have been a member ever since!

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

I don’t have a particularly strong opinion when it comes to technique or style, ​I have lots of different things I like. In terms of philosophy, however, I am firmly in the camp of Maddie Kertay. She a former quilt shop owner who champions inclusiveness and support in the quilting community, and has a great post called “You can have sex on my quilt” that wonderfully sums up my thoughts on the quilting process and end product. (Plus she has a cat named Ruth Bader Kittensburg).

Do you have any favorite quilting-related social media accounts that you follow?
I really enjoy following Amy Ahlstrom, Libs Elliott, Katie Pedersen, and the Social Justice Sewing Academy… their Instagram account is incredible, I love their use of quilting and sewing in their activism.

Where do you look for inspiration or ideas for your quilting projects?
If I am looking for a pattern to work from or a technique to learn, I enjoy browsing Pinterest or Instagram. There are some incredibly talented designers out there and sometimes its fun to buy a pattern and just follow instructions. If I want to come up with an original design though, I tend to just look around. I have an hour commute to work each day, so I spend a lot of time people watching and looking out of windows. I get ideas from the architecture, patterns and colors I see… Montreal is a great city for design inspiration.

What is your favorite project that you have completed? Why is it your favorite?
Usually the current project I'm working on is my favorite, but of all the quilts I've made I think my first quilt (unofficially named the 'Tim Burton quilt') is my favorite. I still sleep with it every night (as do the cats) and it has become very soft over the years of washings. It is a bit wonky, there are parts I would do differently if I were to make it now… but looking at it I can still see every design decision I made and every seam ripping lesson I learned, and I love every stitch of it.

What would you consider to be your quilting ‘superpower’?
Pro-craft-inating… is that a superpower? I can get an amazing amount of crafty/quilty things done when I *should* be doing something else.

What is your favorite part of the quilt making process? Why?
I actually really like collecting (hoarding?) patterns, ideas and supplies. It might not be part of the quilt making process, per se… but when inspiration strikes, I really love to sit down and pull a project together using what I have on hand. Piles of books, patterns and ideas, and a healthy stash of fabric waiting to be turned into a quilt… I love that. There’s so much possibility there!

What project or technique is next on your “to try” list?
I think it’d have to be free-motion quilting. I usually do straight-line quilting, but I’m getting a bit bored with the same few patterns, I need to branch out and do something more interesting. I just need to find the right project to practice on.

What is the best quilting tip or technique you’ve discovered?
Nesting your seams! While I’m totally a fan of improv and imperfection, I also find it incredibly satisfying to sew a perfect corner. When I’m trying to pull off a nice, sharp corner on a block, I use the nesting seams technique I learned from Sew Can She. Total game changer, for me.(

What is the best bit of quilting advice you’ve ever received?
​Patience. I hate that word and I am possibly the least patient person in the world, but I have to grudgingly admit that it comes in handy from time to time. My tendency is to rush through the making process to get to the end product (and then move on to the next project), but I have learned that I'm not happy with the end product if I rush the process. So, quilting has taught me to slow down and take my time; also to enjoy the process rather than just get through it. Yes, I may have to rip out that whole line of quilting or redo some seams, but in the end I'm so much happier with the end result, so it's worth it.

Describe your creative process in three words:

(Well, okay, *mostly* nothing ;)

Describe/share pictures of your creative space:
I use half of our spare room for my sewing space. It can be a bit tight when working on a big project, but it works. ​

I recently got some bins to try and organize my fabric a bit better... all it has done is made me realize what colors I am lacking and go buy more ;)

And a few of my quilts:

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Meeting reminder

Just a quick reminder... our next meeting is this Tuesday October 10th at 7pm at the SouthWest Mission in Verdun.

We will be discussing the details of the memory quilt workshop in November, Stacy will be announcing our first swap of the year, there will be a demonstration of quilt binding techniques, and Cinzia will be presenting our next skill builder block, the Nine Patch.

So grab your favorite autumn-themed beverage and join us for the evening on Tuesday! Hope to see you there.