Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy holidays!

No matter what/how/if you are celebrating as 2018 draws to a close, we want to thank you for quilting with us this past year and to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2019!

May the coming year be full of exciting new projects and lots of quilt-y friends to share them with! We look forward to seeing you in January... happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Handmade gift ideas

We had our mid-year raffle at our meeting last night which included some small handmade items. I had so many questions about where I found the patterns/tutorials for them, I thought I would put together a little round-up of some quick and easy handmade gifts. As most of us have a little extra fabric hanging around, you will need very little (if any) extra supplies to make the following items:

Your phone deserves a nice place to rest
Phone pillow - For those of you who like to watch tutorials (or Netflix) or listen to podcasts on your phone or tablet while you sew, this little pillow is great for keeping your screen in a visible position. Put it near an outlet and it also makes a great spot to charge your device, as well.
(The above link is a video tutorial, if you prefer a written tutorial, try this one instead)

Cozy tutorial by Melissa Loves Color
Mason jar cozy - 'Tis the season for warm drinks and an easy gift for the office gift exchange or your child's teacher is a mason jar and a Cuppow with a custom cozy (maybe throw in a Starbucks or David's Tea gift card as a little extra)! These work equally well in summer for your iced drinks.
(If you have a tapered cup/mug, you can use this tutorial to accommodate that curve.)

Punny gift tag optional
Microwave bowl cozy - Much like the jar/mug cozy, now is a great time to make a microwave bowl cozy that can go in the microwave with your bowl of soup or stew and keep you from burning your fingers or dropping your bowl when it comes out hot.
Bonus: these bowls can also be used on their own to wrangle keys, sewing notions, TV remotes and just about anything else you can think of.

A great gift for that 'pain in the neck'
Neck pillow - I swear by these pillows and have made many as gifts. I also keep one on the couch at all times for myself; they are perfect for resting tired neck muscles after too many hours hunched over a sewing machine, and also for lower back support to encourage good posture while sitting on the couch doing handwork!

Tutorial by Montreal's Closet Case Patterns
Beeswax food wraps - These eco-friendly food wraps are handy for keeping food fresh. They are washable and reusable, as well as extremely easy to make. Considering that a set of 3 sheets will run you around $20 in the store, this is a great way to turn a bit of cotton fabric (extra brownie points for organic cotton) and some beeswax (available online as well as at Bulk Barn and Marche Tau) into an impressive and useful gift. Plus they smell great!

From our autumn 2017 swap 
1-hour basket - The tried and true 1-hour basket is popular for a good reason... they are infinitely useful in just about every room of the house. They make a great gift just as-is, but they also make a great gift basket when filled with goodies.

Burly man to do the toting not included
Firewood tote - This tote is extremely simple to sew (sturdy canvas or denim is recommended) and makes a really useful gift for anyone who is stuck with the job of carting wood in from outside during the winter months.

Heating pad or hand warmers - And after schlepping all that firewood inside, what better way to soothe tired muscles and/or warm those cold hands than with some scrappy hand warmers or a heating pad? A great stash buster, you simply fill them with rice for weight, moldability and heat retention and you can add things like essential oils, dried lavender flowers, herbs, or ground spices for a little aromatherapy to boot.

Channel your inner sewing goddess!
Wild Woman - These awesome little figures are by Incipient Madness and the pattern includes 6 different 'poses'. The fabric and bead combinations are almost endless, and if you're really in a hurry, there is even a Stuff and Go kit that cuts down on the making time even more!

If your significant other needs help filling your stocking or you're just looking for a little treat for yourself after all that gift sewing, don't forget Shannon Fraser's Holiday Gift Guide for quilters.

Beautiful and reusable
And finally, don't forget the eco-friendly and reusable fabric gift wrap!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather just some items I have had good experiences with gifting in the past. If you have a favorite item/pattern/tutorial, feel free to share it in the comments below!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Meeting reminder

Just a quick reminder... our December meeting is tomorrow night! We will be meeting at 7pm at the SouthWest Mission space, as per usual.

Ornament tutorial by Amy Smart

Have you made your ornament for the swap? If not, there is still plenty of time to whip one up... check out our Pinterest board for some inspiration and tutorials.

We will also be having the mid-year raffle (yes, you must be present to win) and a holiday potluck - please bring your favorite seasonal treat to share! We will get the business stuff out of the way quickly and spend the rest of the meeting on Show & Tell and socializing.

Take a break from all the things you need to do and join us for a relaxed evening of quilt-y goodness! See you tomorrow evening...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Deux-Montagnes exhibition UPDATE!

So, here's some news. The Deux-Montagnes guild had their own meeting last night, and they voted to reduce our contribution. They are now requesting 15 quilts, so I have adjusted the signup sheet. You can get to it here:

Also, the size limit for the quilts is 96" x 96".

Hope this helps!

Joanna L.

December Ornament Exchange


Spread a little holiday cheer that won't have you driving under the influence (at least not the ingested kind, just that of receiving something made by someone else) through our ornament exchange at the December meeting.

If you would like to participate, please make a holiday or seasonable ornament of a size reasonable to tang on the branch of a tree, in a window, or on a door. It must be made, at least in part, of fabric. It must also be wrapped in a brown paper bag, or some other form of opaque covering. A reusable fabric bag would not be amiss.    ;-)

If you are in need of some inspiration, have a look at our Pinterest page of tutorials:

Or some of these (sorry there may be duplicates):

Keep your spirits up in this season of dwindling light by making some fabulous ornaments! And don't forget the December Pot Luck!

Joanna L.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Metro Quilt Challenge redux

For the new members (or those who would like a refresher) here are the links on our Metro Quilt Challenge from 2016-17:

*NB: Admittedly, a number of these are out of date, but there are some cool images anyway...
  1. Challenge issued! This includes the original signup sheet, so you can see what stations people chose from the beginning. 
  2. Tours postponed
  3. Making a viewfinder
  4. Walking tour
  5. Tour reminder
  6. Final post, with photos of completed quilts

This is a possible topic if you would like to submit a quilt you have yet to finish for the Deux-Montagnes and/or Quilt Canada exhibitions. I hope this (re)inspires people! And the tour was a lot of fun!

Joanna L.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Call for Modern quilts

The Guilde de courtepointe des Deux-Montagnes is having an exhibition in May 2019. They have rented a large space, and have offered for us to show 20 - 25 quilts.

They want to distinguish our works from their own, so to be eligible, these quilts must be clearly Modern. If I understand correctly, they will be borrowing the quilt racks from the Beaconsfield Quilt Guild, so if your quilt is oversized and wouldn't fit on a standard rack, there won't be a possibility to include it here. I have asked whether or not the quilts can already have been show, and am still waiting a response, so to be safe, we have to assume that the answer will be that the quilts must be un-shown.

We need to supply a minimum of 20 quilts, maximum 25, and we need it to be a firm commitment, so if you aren't sure, please don't sign up. If we agree to accept their offer, we can't turn around and let them down. To give everyone a chance, I've included a wait list on the signup sheet for anyone who wants to submit a second or third quilt. The link for the list is here.

The hiccup is the deadline. Deux-Montagnes needs to know our commitment ASAP, so the deadline to sign up is November 20.

This is a great opportunity to bring Modern quilting to a broader audience, as well as to build connections with our local quilting community. I can't wait to see your quits on display!

Joanna L.

Friday, October 05, 2018

"Your Personal Approach to Quilt-Making" - A Group Discussion

Hi Members!

For our upcoming October meeting, we thought it would be fun to have a discussion about our personal quilting practice and to share our approach to quilt-making. This is meant to be a fun/light discussion and we think it will be a great way to get to know each other a little more. In preparation for the discussion, please look at the questions below and be ready to share!

Do you pick the fabric or the pattern first?
Do you pick a palette to fit a pattern or a pattern to fit a palette?
Are you inspired by a pattern, a desire to learn a new technique, or practice a new skill?
Do you choose everything in advance (palette, pattern, quilting, etc) or decide as you go?
Do you shop from your stash or do you buy just what is needed for each project?
Do you make quilts that make a statement - political or otherwise?

In addition to these questions, we will be playing a game of "Would You Rather" as it relates to quilting.

Looking forward to a fun and dynamic discussion! See you Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Building Relationships

We are looking to develop relationships with our local communities, for support and potential exhibition spaces.

Patti will be the contact when dealing with the support aspect. For ideas of companies that might be approached to help support our activities, through supplies, funding, publicity, etc., you can post your suggestions below, or give the information directly to her at a guild meeting.

I will be working on building a list of possible venues for exhibiting our work, and/or presenting the principles of Modern quilting. These could be municipal centres or libraries, private exhibition spaces, public museums, local coffee shops, restos, or any other ideas you may have. If you have ideas to pass on, again you can post below, or give the info directly to me at a meeting.

This is a long-term project, so we'd appreciate it if you keep your eyes, and mind, open to possibilities.

Thank you all!
Joanna L.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

10 foundation paper piecing tips

At the best of times, foundation paper piecing can produce beautifully crisp and accurate seams or points, and at the worst of times it can make you want to flip your sewing table over and walk away. 

For a beginner FPP can be a daunting technique, but with a few tips and tricks you can stack the odds in your favor to get fantastic results. Below are some of the tips we went over at the Sew-In on Saturday:
  1. Sit near a bright window or a bright lamp… holding your work up to the light can help you align your seams and check your coverage as you work.
  2. When first learning, use your default stitch length as you will likely have to seam rip at least once (and that’s ok!). Reducing the stitch length can help with seam stability and clean removal of the paper later on, but it can also make seam ripping very difficult, so choose wisely.
  3. Backstitching is important, especially with short seams. However, much like the stitch length, backstitching can be a pain to rip out if you make a mistake, so be careful.
  4. Trim your seam allowances after each seam sewn, this helps reduce bulk. Scant seams are good, but don't cut it too close - you don't want the seams unravelling. 
  5. Measure multiple times and cut once. Seriously. You are bound to make mistakes when first learning, but cut yourself some slack and take your time - you'll get the hang of it.
  6. Solids are a good place to start when first learning FPP. Working with patterned fabrics (especially directional patterns) can be maddening and give you results that might not live up to your expectations. Solids take the pressure off of having to figure out not only the technique but also the direction of the print. Then again, sometimes a chaotic arrangement of a pattern can create a nice secondary design!
  1. On larger, more elaborate blocks, it is helpful to have a color image of the finished block to refer to, digital or paper. When you are dealing with multiple sections or lots of tiny pieces, having a point of reference to look at can be very helpful to keep you on track.
  2. Most FPP patterns will have a code indicating what section of the pattern to start with… follow these instructions! There is usually a particular order the fabric needs to be sewn on in order to give the desired end result, so ignore the patternmaker's directions at your peril.
  3. Press often (ideally on each seam sewn) and do so with a dry iron. Steam, sprays, or moisture of any kind will cause your foundation paper to warp. 
  4. When tearing out the paper, be gentle. It is exciting to be finished, but if you have used a normal stitch length and/or if you have short seams in your block, excessive force or tugging can rip or warp the seams.
Have any FPP advice of your own? Feel free to share it in the comments below!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Andrea Tsang Jackson workshop and trunk show

In November we will be welcoming Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop to Montreal for a trunk show and day-long workshop. Attendance for both events is open to the public, see below for details:
Photo taken by Kitty Wilkin for The Quilter’s Planner 2019

The Trunk Show will be taking place on Friday November 23rd from 7pm to 9pm at the SouthWest Mission, 631 rue Melrose in Verdun (the location of our regular monthly meetings). Entrance is free for workshop participants, and $10 for the general public (cash only please, pay at the door). Refreshments will be provided.

Andrea will spend the evening with us, presenting some of her modern quilt projects and discussing her quilting inspiration, philosophy and techniques.

On Color, Transparency and Background

The Transparency and Gemstones workshop will take place on Saturday November 24th from 10am to 4pm at the CRCS St-Zotique 75 Rue du Square Sir George Étienne Cartier, Montréal (the location for our sew-ins). Cost to attend the day-long workshop is $92 and includes a gemstone pattern with extra templates.

During the workshop, Andrea will introduce participants to advanced paper-piecing and conduct an in-depth discussion about transparency effects in modern quilting. There will also be a discussion on how to size up and down paper piecing templates. Pre-registration is required to attend, so if you would like to register or if you have any questions, please contact us at

Friday, September 21, 2018

Sew-In reminder and some FPP resources

Just a quick reminder that our first sew-in of the year is tomorrow, September 22nd from 10am to 4pm. We will be meeting at the CRCS St-Zotique, check the board at the entrance for our room number. There will be some road closures on Saturday due the construction (surprise surprise) and the Montreal Marathon, so check your route before heading out!

Quilt by Adaire Schlatter

We will begin work on the QuiltCon 2019 charity quilt, so if you were interested in helping out with the layout/design, now is your chance. We are still looking for fabric/scraps to use for the negative space in the quilt, so if you have some to donate, please bring them along. Solids and tone-on-tone prints in white or off-white are what we are looking for.

Stephanie will also be doing a Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) demo for those of you who are curious and/or want to try it before the November workshop with Andrea Tsang Jackson. If you would like to sew along, please bring an FPP pattern of your choice, your sewing machine and some fabric scraps to work with.

If you can't make it but still want to try your hand at FPP, here are a few resources for getting started in foundation paper piecing:

Angela Walters tutorial:

Beginner-friendly foundation paper piecing:

FPP for Beginners:

Monday, September 17, 2018

September 2018 Meeting Minutes

September 2018 Mtl MQG Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, September 11 at 7pm, SouthWest Mission Verdun

Quick points of business:
  • Welcome back! Exec team for the 2018-19 year are: 
    • President - Stephanie 
    • Vice-president - Izzy 
    • Treasurer - Claudia 
    • Secretary - Fiona 
    • Registrar - Josee 
    • Programming - Joanna, Stacy, Cinzia 
    • Assisting - Patti
  • Dues for 2018-19 = $40, see Josee to complete registration
  • Snack volunteers, send around sign up sheet (list complete)
  • We will continue to collect donations for the mid-year raffle (December) and end of year raffle (June) like we did last year. If you have something you would like to contribute, bring it to a meeting. To participate in the raffle, you simply need to wear your name tag during our regular meetings and see Izzy to get your raffle ticket at the break.
  • LDH ( had donated some scissors which we will be raffling off at the December meeting
  • Collect Palliacco quilts -
    • Total of 15 quilts being donated, Debby has them and will be delivering them soon. 
    • Thank you to everyone who contributed!!! This was a great turnout for a great cause.
  • Collect QuiltCon challenge blocks, we may have enough for more than one quilt
    • Next steps: design/layout will begin at the September 22 sew-in, you can bring more star blocks to the sew-in if you still wish to contribute
    • Volunteers for finishing: Patti, Shannon S., Josee, Izzy and Nicole (quilting), Michele (backing), Cinzia and Stephanie (binding).
    • Our deadline for finishing the quilt is December so it can be shipped in time for QuiltCon
  • MQG released new version of website, be sure to set up your new profile and join the Montreal MQG Circle. If you have any difficulty, there is a 'Help' section specifically for new website 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

October Mug Rug Exchange

As announced at the meeting yesterday evening, for the October meeting we will be doing a mug rug exchange with the theme of October, so your choice of Halloween, Harvest, and/or Autumn. Let your imagination run wild (appropriate to the season ;-) ), or be inspired by some of the links at the end of the post!

  • Large enough to be a coaster for a mug, but not so big that it gets in the way of whatever you are doing while drinking from your mug.

  • Quilted and bound, single block in autumn colours of any abstract pattern (rail fence, nine patch, etc.)
  • Foundation, or English, paper pieced object related to one of the themes.
  • Regular or improvisational piecing or appliqué of an object related to one of the themes.
  • Non-pieced, but quilted, themed fabric.
  • Any other quilted method I haven't yet mentioned... :-P

  • If you bring one to the October meeting, you will leave with one!
  • None
  • Paper bag, or other opaque wrapper, so that what the recipient will have a pleasant surprise.
  • The addition of candy is not discouraged... ;-)

All photos were sourced from the following links:




Here are a couple of links of resources about foundation paper piecing:

Joanna L.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September meeting reminder

Tonight is our first meeting of the 2018-19 season! The rain should be clearing up in time for our 7pm meeting at our usual spot, the SouthWest Mission in Verdun (corner of Verdun and Melrose).

A few things we will be discussing:

  • Collection of dues for the new year ($40 per member)
  • Collection of the completed Palliacco quilts
    • Guild labels will be available for application at the meeting. If you wish to use one, please bring a waterproof marker and white thread and needle. 
  • Collection of the QuiltCon 2019 charity challenge blocks
    • We will be discussing next steps in the process.
  • Andrea Tsang Jackson workshop
  • Announcement of a swap (yay!)
  • Lots and lots of Show and Tell :) 
Bring a coffee, bring some handwork and join us for a relaxed and quilty meeting. Looking forward to starting a new year with you all, see you tonight! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

September meeting

Don't freak out!!! Summer isn't over just yet... we still have weeks of lovely warm weather ahead of us. But... September is just around the corner, which means our meetings are starting back up soon!

Our first meeting of the 2018-19 year will be Tuesday, September 11th at 7pm in our usual meeting space at the SouthWest Mission, corner of rue Melrose and rue de Verdun in Verdun. We have updated the guild's Facebook Events page with all of the meetings and sew-ins for the year, and as always you can find the agendas for each meeting in the Members Only section of the blog. (The new year's password will be given out at the September meeting :)

We will be collecting the finished 2017-18 charity quilts, if you have done one please make sure you bring it. We will be arranging delivery of the quilts to Palliacco after the meeting, so September 11th is the firm deadline. Don't forget to label your work! Also, as discussed in June, we will be collecting the wonky star blocks for the upcoming QuiltCon 2019 charity quilt. If you haven't made any up yet but still want to contribute, there is still time... please see the blog post for the guidelines and bring your finished blocks to the meeting. If you are interested in contributing to the 2019 quilt in a different way (basting, quilting, binding, etc), let us know!

We will be devoting as much time as possible at the meeting to show and tell so everyone can catch up on what they did over the summer break. Bring along those projects to show off! Looking forward to seeing everyone! :)

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Reminder - Charity Sew-In August 11th

Just a quick reminder, we have our final Sew-In for the QuiltCon 2019 Charity Challenge coming up next Saturday, August 11th from 3pm to 7pm at Craft de Ville (2065 rue Parthenais, buzzer #557).

Block and photo by Diane Cote

Materials and refreshments will be provided, or you can bring something to share. This is a great scrap-buster project, so raid those scrap bins! Remember, the theme is small piecing, so no scrap is too small to be included.

It will be a fun afternoon of socializing and sewing for a good cause. You can check the Facebook event for more details, to RSVP to the event, or to ask questions. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

QuiltCon 2019 Charity Quilt Challenge

At our June meeting the other night, we had a lively discussion regarding next year's charity project and what we wanted to do for it. After much debate, we agreed we would be participating in the MQG QuiltCon Charity Challenge in 2019!

The theme this year is Small Piecing, and we thought that might suit us well as it would allow the participants to work on their contributions over the summer break, rather than having to hustle when we reconvene in September to try and complete the whole process by January for the QuiltCon deadline. So instead, we ask that those who wish to participate make one or more blocks following the guidelines listed below. The small nature of the blocks allows members to either shop from their stash or purchase fabric (please keep to the chosen color palette) without needing to use a large amount of fabric. This is a great scrap-buster project!

BLOCK: The block we will be making for this quilt is the Wonky Star block, which is an improvisational version of the Sawtooth or Eight-point Star block. It is approachable, forgiving and open to a very wide array of creative variations:  

Wonky star block by Wombat Quilts

FABRICS: The color palette for this challenge is set by the MQG and the palette they have chosen this year is as follows -  

Click to enlarge

For our block, we decided that the background of the blocks should be white or off-white with the stars being any combination of the remaining five colors. You do not have to use all of the colors in the palette! Careful choice of color can be used to make your small piecing really pop. 

Either solids or prints (or a combination of both) are perfectly acceptable. For the background fabrics, we encourage you to choose very low volume or tone-on-tone prints in white or off-white that will lend the finished product a scrappy but harmonious feel.

If you need a fabric-based point of reference, the coordinating solids would be:
  • Kona Cotton : White, Bone, Pool, Honeydew, Petunia, Violet, Purple 
  • Michael Miller Cotton Couture : Bright White, Soft White, Sea Foam, Limeade, Rose,  Lavender, Hyacinth
  • Moda Bella : White, Eggshell, Seaglass, Kiwi, Petal Pink, Amelia Purple, Purple

SIZE: You may choose from a 3 1/2", 6 1/2" or 12 1/2" block. Your block may contain a single star or multiple stars, the star can be centred or offset, it can be laid out horizontally or on point. Regardless of the layout you choose, you must incorporate fabric of less than 1" width as an integral part of your design. Yes, you read that right, less than 1"... the theme is small piecing, after all! The MQG post summarizes it nicely: "Let’s say that small piecing would incorporate fabric pieces that are smaller than 1” in either width or length. So you might picture long, skinny strips, or little tiny squares, for example. [...] Small piecing must be an integral part of the design."

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination, but here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:

Multi wonky star by the Running Thimble

Wonky 9 patch by Nido Quilters
On point wonky star by Melissa Loves Color

If you need a bit more detailed instruction, here are a few tutorials that may be helpful:
If you have a favorite wonky star tutorial or video, feel free to share it in the comments below!

CONSTRUCTION AND DEADLINE: If you wish to contribute a block (or more) to the project, we ask that you make your blocks over the summer break and bring them to the September meeting. We will be collecting the individual blocks at that time so we can move on to design and construction of the finished quilt top so that we have time to get it quilted and finished in time for QuiltCon. 

For those who would like to make use of fabric supplied by the guild for the project, or who would rather work as a group, Craft de Ville will be hosting two 'Crafternoons' specifically for this project, one on July 7th and one on August 11th. You are invited to come by and spend a bit of time socializing and sewing up some wonky star blocks. Supplies will be provided, but you are also welcome to bring along your machine and/or scraps to share with others. 

So there is your homework for the summer break! Raid the scrap bin for the colors the MQG chose and throw together a wonderfully wonky star block. If you'd like to share your blocks on Facebook or Instagram, please tag us so we can see and share your lovely work! 

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

June meeting reminder

F1 is taking over downtown this week, which means summer is about to begin, which means our June meeting is upon us! Our last meeting of the 2017-18 year is next Tuesday, June 12th at 7pm at the SouthWest Mission space in Verdun. 

Mod Melons pattern by Suzy Quilts

We will be wrapping up the year by discussing the results of the annual survey and discussing some of the plans for next year. We will also be raffling off all the goodies we've been collecting all year, having a quilty swap meet and enjoying a potluck. If you plan on bringing something, please take a moment to add your dish to the sign-up sheet. Hope to see everyone next week! 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sew-In Reminder!

Just a quick reminder, our last sew-in of the 2017-18 year will be this coming Saturday, May 26th from 10am to 4pm at the CRCS St-Zotique. The forecast for Saturday shows warm but rainy, a perfect afternoon to stay inside and do some sewing! Bring your projects along and join us for the last sew-in of the season.

For those that are interested, Izzy will be giving a demonstration on free-motion quilting and sharing some of her tips and tricks. If you would like to learn how to do it, or are just looking for some tips or inspiration, join us for her demo after lunch.

Hope to see you on Saturday!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Skillbuilder 2017-18 - Wedding Ring by Fiona Nanson

The Romantic Double Wedding Ring Quilt Tradition 

(Click for a larger version)
Though the pattern was first published in the United States in the early 1920s, the quilt pattern can be found as early as the late 19th Century. The Double Wedding Ring quilt pattern has long been a symbol of love and romance with its interlocking rings symbolizing marriage. The quilt was traditionally made by mothers and grandmothers for their children and given as gifts on their wedding day or anniversaries. Due to the popularity and romantic history of the quilt, many families treasure these quilts and pass them from generation to generation.

Love and Quilting in the Depression Era

The pattern was especially popular during the Depression era, as it could be created using scraps of fabric from unused bedding or other projects. The same method can be used for your modern version if you’re looking to pair down the amount of scraps in your workplace or want to keep the pattern less formal than the more traditional colour scheme.

Regardless of the fabric it was made of, old American folklore suggests that a marriage was blessed if the couple spent their first night together under a Double Wedding Ring quilt, signifying its importance as a traditional wedding gift. It’s doubtful that you’d catch any children playing on such a quilt during this time, due to its importance.

A Modern, Creative Twist on an Old Quilt Pattern

Modern quilters have taken the traditional quilt design and added their own creative inspiration to it. While each quilt still maintains the appearance of the interlocking rings, diverse types and sizes of fabric can create a design that’s unique to the taste of the quilter. Many quilters have also bucked tradition by using a different, bolder colour than white, such as black or blue, for the background. The nontraditional colour choice gives the entire quilt a much quirkier vibe.

(Click for a larger version)
(Click for a larger version)
Due to the complexity of the pattern, the Double Wedding Ring quilt might be a hard one for beginners to attempt. It includes a lot of moving parts and can be frustrating on the first try but if you stick with it, you’ll be left with a gorgeous quilt that you can give as a gift to the loved ones in your life. Some quilters have even pulled together heirloom scraps of baby clothes and other cherished pieces of fabric add another sentimental element to the anniversary quilts made in this pattern.

(Click for a larger version)
(Click for a larger version)
If you’re getting bogged down by trying to create a fresh take on an old favourite, just stick to the original pattern and try out varied colour schemes or pull from your scrap pile. 

(Click for a larger version)
(Click for a larger version)
Regardless of your spin on the design, the circular pattern set against an open background makes for a pleasing piece of patchwork that will be an enduring staple in your home.

For some tips on making a Double Wedding Ring Quilt, check out this post:

Quilt Alliance's Modern Wedding Ring pattern

Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 2018 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes

April 2018 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes

April 11, 2018 at 7pm SouthWest Mission, Verdun, QC

  • Riley Blake fabric challenge: the MQG will mail the bundles to Claudia, but they will not be in time for the deadline.
  • Humboltd Broncos: the Saskatoon MQG is organizing a quilt drive for the people affected by the bus crash. They are looking to collect 200 quilts. If you'd like to contribute or get more information, go to the website.
  • Charity Quilt: our charity quilt from 2 years ago will be donated to the Syrian family during a presentation on April 29 at 12:30 PM. Check your email for all the details.
  • Volunteers for the Executive: we are always looking for people who would be willing to become a member of the Executive Team. Not a huge time investment and lots of fun. If you are interested, please speak to any member of the current team.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Skillbuilder 2017-18 - Drunkard’s Path by Shannon Fraser

Hi my fellow quilters! I'm Shannon from Shannon Fraser Designs popping in to talk about all things Drunkard's Path!!

Being a history buff, the Drunkard’s path block was an interesting past to delve into!

The design is believed to have originated in ancient Egypt but was popularized in the late 19th century by quilters in the American colonies. This is where it gets a little interesting.

One story says that Drunkard’s path quilts were used to help guide slaves to freedom from the Underground Railroad. Different coloured squares would help guide their path to safety. Although this is highly debated.  Another theory is that women used the design during the Women’s Temperance Movement in the early 20th century as a way of making their opinions known and trying to bring influence when they couldn’t vote.

The block itself is even known by many names such a Solomon’s Puzzle, Rocky Road to Kansas, Oregon Trail, with the most popular being Drunkard’s Path. The latter is said to have been attributed as the design of the block looks like a drunk person stumbling home.

Whatever the history, what we can agree on is how fun this quilt block is to play with!


The traditional block design features one “hill” against a solid background. Traditionally, the colours used in this quilt design were blue or red against a white background.

Circles can be a source of stress for a lot of quilters, but piecing the block is quite easy – you just need to take your time with it!

Materials Needed for the Traditional Drunkard’s Path Block

Drunkard’s Path ruler or self-made template
Fabric (1) large square at least 7" and (1) smaller square 5 ½" 
Rotary Cutter

To keep everything aligned, the key here will be accurate cutting and piecing. Plus, pins will most definitely be your friend when piecing the traditional block!

Here’s how to do it:

Start by cutting the “L” shape of your Drunkard’s path block from the 7" block.
Lay the template so it is flush with the bottom left corner.
Carefully cut along the curved edge of the template.
Set aside.

Repeat the same process with the 5 ½" square using the “pie” template.

Fold the “L” and “pie” shapes in half finger pressing, being careful not to pull or stretch the fabric.
Lay the “L” piece on top of the “Pie” shape lining up the folds. Pin.
Now pin each of the corners, making sure to line up the square edges.

Continue pinning in between these pins.
Stitch in place using a ¼" seam allowance. Take your time!
Set your seam with a hot iron, and press towards the “L” shape.

Voilà – you’ve made a Drunkard’s Path block!!

You can add as many “hills” as you want and it’s all achieved using the above method. Once you know the technique, you can apply it to any size Drunkard’s Path block.


To make a really big version, you often won’t find a template large enough for your needs. Nothing a large plate can’t fix!

Materials Needed

Large plate
Fabric (1) 13" square and (1) 9" square
Rotary Cutter

Here’s how to do it:

Start by laying your large 13" square out on your cutting mat. Using a large plate, align the edge of the plate along the 7 3/4" horizontal line on my mat and 8 1/2" along the vertical line. With your rotary cutter, cut along the edge of the plate. This creates your “L” shape.

Use the “Pie” you cut from the “L” shape as a template to cut your “Pie” from your 9” square. Lay the square out on the cutting mat, place the “Pie” on top and carefully cut along the edge.
Stitch together using the traditional pinning method described above.

Square up to 12 ½".

The technique is the same no matter what size block you want to achieve!


What I particularly love about the Drunkard’s Path is approaching it with an improv flare.
This version abandons all use of templates and rulers to rely on your own freehand cutting style (the latter gets developed more and more with practice).

Materials Needed for the Modern Improv Drunkard’s Path Block

Rotary Cutter
Imagination 😉

Here’s how to do it:

I love that this approach doesn’t require many tools. There is no precise cutting here and I forgo any pinning as well. Here’s a video to help show you exactly how you can use this technique too!

To make more at once, I like to stack a couple of fabric squares on top of one another before I start cutting.

Next, using my rotary cutter, I haphazardly cut a semi circle from one edge of the block to the other. Don’t worry if your line is wonky or uneven – that ads to the charm, in my opinion.

Now swap the mini circles with the larger “L” shaped pieces. Always working with the “L” shaped piece on top, line it up with the edge of your mini circle. Take a few stitches and then gently ease the top fabric edge along the curved edge of the bottom piece of fabric.

Go slow here.

You don’t want to pull or stretch the fabric into place, but rather just gently place it in alignment. Take a few stitches. Stop and arrange the fabric. Keep going until you get to the end.
Make sure the top and bottom fabric are flat, so you avoid any puckers.

Since we’re working without templates, we haven’t accounted for seam allowances which is why the edges won’t align (second photo below). Nothing a little trimming can’t fix 😉

When it comes to ironing, I find it best to first set your seam and then press away from the inner circle. I find this always helps ease out any bumps you may have created while stitching.


Now that know how to piece the block, the real fun can begin!

Here is where you need to let your imagination run free and think outside the box.

This is a traditional block with an added “hill”. You can add as many “hills” as you want for a very different look.

A few additional block examples I’ve made:


Now it's your turn to create a modern take on the Drunkard's path block! Share your blocks on Facebook or Instagram, and feel free to tag the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild and/or use the hashtags: #mtlmqgskills  or  #mtlmqgskillbuilder

I've loved walking you through this tutorial. For some more inspiration please check out my Circles and Drunkard's Path board on Pinterest.

Be sure to reach out if you have any questions. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook and over on my site Shannon Fraser Designs.

Happy quilting!