Tuesday, November 4, 2014

October 2014 - Monthly Meeting Recap

The very first Philly MQG Meeting that I went to included a white elephant gift exchange so I went home with a bag of goodies.   At the second meeting I randomly won some Insul-Bright, snagged some fabric for the Riley Blake MQG challenge, and received my snazzy MGQ Pin (I still love it).   I remember thinking, "Whoa!  I just get free stuff whenever I go to Guild meetings."  I was hooked.  (I'm admittedly the same way with cake and cookies.  If you provide either, I'll be back next month.)

But not all meetings can be full of presents & freebies, though this meeting did have cake AND cookies (score!) and I did go home with some fabric (wicked!) for our charity QuiltCon quilt.  (See below.)  During October's guild meeting, we got down to business and hashed out... some things that needed hashing out.

First up!  It was election time and because we are mature adults (for the most part), we held elections in the second-grade format.  You know:  Close your eyes, hold up your hand, trust an honest person (who is also good with numbers) to count and write it down.  And no peeking.  Without further ado, our elected officers for the next term are:

President:  Michelle Kochan
Vice Prez:  Cathy Fry
Treasurer:  Jordyn Rush
Secretary:  Nicole Godshall

First Month of our Guild Bee Blocks:

Our Guild has two separate (and voluntary) bees in progress, with blocks due at the meeting each month.  The only real rule is that block patterns must be freebies.  Elizabeth Timmons and Michelle Kochan's blocks were first.  We love how they turned out!





Mid-Atlantic Mod - April 23-25, 2015: 



What's that you say?  It is "a modern quilting retreat is a modern quilting and sewing retreat organized by the Philadelphia MQG and the Central Jersey MQG.  The purpose of the retreat is primarily to bring modern quilting and sewing enthusiasts together for a weekend of sewing and socializing.  The retreat will include some (optional) workshops and activities, but will focus on open sewing time."  (From the Mid-Atlantic MOD website.)

The inaugural event was held in 2014 and it was a hit.  This year our Guild will be doing a lottery drawing for interested members who want one of the coveted spots.  So much goodness, not enough room!  This year it will be held April 23-25th in Lancaster.

Fall Fabric Frenzy: 
Photo Courtesy of The Quilt Block Inc. (Exton, PA)
It's back again this year!  The Fall Fabric Frenzy Shop-Hop is happening November 7-10th.   Passports are $5 and can be picked up at any of the participating shops.   I popped into The Quilt Block this past weekend (to pick up some Aurifil), and chatted to Cathy Lynch (Byrne Sewing Connection) at our meeting, and the shops are ready for action!   Each day during the Shop Hop, each of the seven participating shops will award door prizes to one lucky shopper (28 prizes in all!).  If you visit each shop (and get your passport stamped) you'll be in the drawing for some pretty sweet grand prizes.  (Are you feeling lucky?)  The passports include loads of coupons as well!

Support your LQS!  (And possibly win some fabulous door prizes in the process.)  Quite a few of the Philly MQG members will be hoping from shop to shop over the weekend.

Charity Quilt for QuiltCon:

As a Guild we decided that we wanted to go for a "liberated block" look for our quilt, inspired by Jackie Gering's style.   Many of our members attended her workshop in August and fell in love with her style of quilting.   We hope to get the quilt pieced at our Fall retreat in November.   Sarah Bond passed out a few prints from to get us all started.

A lovely collection from Sarah!


This Month's Challenge - Go Minimalist!

Pres Andrew says, "make whatever you want and interpret minimalist however you want!"  We'll be having a contest and a general show-and-tell session for our minimalist creations.  Now the question is, just how minimal are you gonna go?  I know I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Show-Offs:

And we mean "show-offs" in the best possible way!

 Last, but not least, here are some of the quilts that were shared at October's meeting.




Want to learn more about who we are and what we do?  Check the FAQ!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thomas Knauer visits the Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild

As a kid, my Dad would take me to stock car races, and I would always pick the prettiest car as the one to cheer for.  Driver stats?  Who cares?  If it was purple (and especially if it had glitter paint), it was the car for me.   And occasionally the pretty purple cars won.  But not often.

I approach the quilts I chose to make in a similar fashion.  I'm not ashamed to say that I often just pick quilt patterns based upon what is aesthetically pleasing to me.  (And thankfully, unlike a race, everyone is a winner when a quilt is finished.  I win!)

However, there is something to be said about finding deeper meaning in our craft, and that's why Thomas Knauer's visit to the Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild (for our September meeting) was so refreshing.  (And inspiring.)


To say his quilts have meaning is the understatement of the year.  His quilts ooze with little details that make them special.  Aesthetically, they're beautiful, but when you hear the backstories, they really come alive.  From the buttons that attach his Reunion quilts (symbolizing eternal family bonds, even when he is physically separated from his wife and children) to the fact that you can actually scan his In Defense of Handmade quilt with a barcode reader, his quilts were downright fascinating.  The stories that they each carried were almost as important as the stitches.   One of our guild members referred to him as a "mad quilt genius" (see below) and I agree, wholeheartedly.



He starts his book with, "I think of a quilt as bringing an idea to life, making that idea pat of a home.  The concepts embedded in the making of a quilt become part of someone's life, something they literally wrap themselves in.  As such, quilts are somewhat unique objects, ones that are fundamentally interactive."  (Modern Quilt Perspectives, 2014)  To Thomas, quilts are more than just the fabric and stitches that bind them - they are alive with stories and shared memories.   After his presentation, we are all itching to do a workshop with him.  Come back soon Thomas!  (Please.  No, really, PLEASE!)



Our guild members speak about his presentation:

Sarah Bond:   "I was so fascinated by his approach because it is so connected to words and language. My process is so much more ruled by shape and color and often difficult to articulate in words. And yet I felt such an affinity to his concept of quilts connecting time and space."

Andrew Joslyn:  "Is it just me or is he kind of a genius?"

Stephanie Wood:   "I love that he was first inspired to "make" by his daughter. And... so much of his art is from the heart and the soul and then he obsesses & it takes a turn toward the philosophical/academic."

Sheila Randall:  "I loved the love he gave to his quilts...especially the 4 that connect, shows heart."



Pat Deck:  "The thought behind his quilts is astounding. I was also quite taken with Lisa Sipes' quilting. You can tell theirs is truly a collaborative relationship. My fave was the rainbow quilt quilted with a traditional double wedding ring design."  (Pat was referring to Palimpsest (Pride Flag)

Laura Moore:  "It was really awesome. He thinks about quilting in a different way. Seriously, but creatively.  Sort of a mad quilt genius."

And then we got deep....

Bobbi Penniman:  "I'll feel like a shirker when my next quilt is just a quilt without any subtext and meaning. Then I'll tell myself that's ok, not everything has to have that depth, it's ok to be pretty, serviceable, etc"

Pat (put it in perspective) Deck:  "Sometimes a song is just a song. Not everything needs to have an academic subtext to be of value and worth."

Kathy Bryson: "I thought he was awesome. I was tearing up several times. Gave me new thinking when I look at art."

The conversation that flowed in our private Facebook group was awesome!   Thomas really got us talking about what our own quilts mean to us, why we quilt, and what inspires us.



I cannot recommend his book enough.   Many of the quilts he presented are featured in the book, however seeing the quilts in person was magical.  Thomas also designs fabric and teaches regularly.



At Next Month's Meeting:
Guild Elections
First Month of our Bee Blocks Exchange
Charity Quilt - QuiltCon

Want to check out the Philly MQG and join us for a monthly meeting?  Learn more....


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jacquie Gering Visit

Hello!  We are writing today to let you know that this Saturday, August 23rd, Jacquie Gering will be presenting a lecture to the Philly MQG at the Upper Dublin Lutheran Church.
Though she has been sewing all her life, quilting is a newly found passion for Jacquie. The improvisational spirit of the quilts of Gees Bend inspired her to make her first quilt and the improvisational approach provided the freedom she craved and the opportunity to explore her creative potential. Jacquie's quilt designs fuse her Mennonite background and respect for tradition with her modern design aesthetic. Jacquie is co-author of the fantastic modern quilting book called "Quilting Modern, Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts."
Jacquie is a leader in the modern quilting movement. She serves on the Board of Directors of The Modern Quilt Guild and is one of the founding members and former president of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.  Jacquie teaches and talks quilting across the country and shares her designs and quilting knowledge on her popular blog, Tallgrass Prairie Studio. She lives in Kansas City with her husband, Steve, and her black lab, Bruno.
This event is open to the public, but seating is limited.  Please send us an e-mail (see the right hand side of our website for the address) if you are interested in attending the lecture.  We will be selling tickets in advance via PayPal for $6. Tickets will also be available at the door on a first-come-first-serve basis (exact change only).  The lecture will begin at 7 PM at the Upper Dublin Lutheran Church located at 411 Susquehanna Road, Ambler, PA 19002.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 2014 Meeting

We had a great time a the May meeting this week. We started with a quick ice breaker: What is your favorite treat, chocolate or non-chocolate and moved on to sharing our favorite or newest quilt book.

There were a lot of upcoming dates and exciting events discussed, be sure to check Bigtent for the minutes for those details.

We had a huge show and tell with a lot of inspiration and color. I am going to just do a quick photo dump because there were so many wonderful things to share.