Monday, March 19, 2018

The Goddess of Small Things

Mathematician, color junkie and small piecer extraordinaire Chawne Kimber spent a sunny Saturday teaching a group of quilters from the Philly and Lancaster Modern Quilt Guilds to push boundaries, and think big by thinking small. 

some of Chawne's impressive work
We were enthralled by her adventures in tiny piecing, and gasped at each mini quilt Chawne sent around the room. Myriad colors and textures made both perfectly aligned and intentionally wonky blocks. The details were incredible, and the expertly pressed quilt backs were beautiful too. Chawne works with cotton, as well as denim, hand dyed fabrics and silk. Some pieces in her blocks were 1/8 inch wide, and Chawne pushes the envelope by shrinking traditional blocks smaller than anyone could imagine. Her mathematical mind gives her precision in piecing, and her creativity takes this to the next level. 

look at those seams!

We were given the option of piecing a Roberta block, a square made of 27 smaller squares, that are three different sizes. The smallest Roberta block was just 2.5 inches - that's a 2.5 inch square block containing 27 pieces. But we also had free reign to attempt anything else, as long as it was small. And when we had chosen just how small it would be, Chawne came around to each of us to convince us to scale it down further.

Piecing was fiddly at first, but once we had the hang of it, and used leader pieces of fabric, with much squinting and hunching over our machines, we all produced tiny little quilt tops. It was a wonderful, inspiring day with a thoroughly entertaining and talented quilter. Thank you to everyone for showing up, excelling at their piecing, to everyone who organized the day, and to Chawne.

-Hayley Crawford
(all photos taken by me, the last pic is my work)

Friday, February 23, 2018

Philly MQG Welcomes Latifah Saafir!

We were lucky enough at PMQG to welcome Los Angeles quilter, Latifah Saafir to chilly Philly for a Friday evening lecture and an all-day Saturday workshop featuring Latifah's Glam Clam.

There was capacity crowd on Friday, with happy quilt enthusiasts from Philly and around PA & New Jersey crammed in to hear about Latifah's quilt journey. A lifelong sewist and crafter, she came to love quilting for its endless possibilities of cutting and combining, color and composition. As an early lover of "modern" quilting, she and some fellow quilters in Los Angeles founded the Modern Quilt Guild nearly ten years ago, and as we all know, it's blossomed into a worldwide organization with hundreds of chapters. She shared photos of her early quilts and the early days of the MQG, along with some of her quilting philosophies and what modern quilting means to her. She also brought many quilts to share with the eager crowd, and we were able to examine the colors and fabulous quilting up close. She very kindly dressed to match a particularly fabulous black and white quilt :-)

Saturday's class was also sold out, and we enjoyed a happy Saturday learning some very useful techniques as the winter sun streamed in the windows. Latifah is a fun and engaging teacher, she had loads of great tips & strategies for us, and was great with layout and assembly advice. Shameless plug: if you're unfamiliar with Latifah's Glam Clam quilt, do check our her website. She has patterns and also Clammy templates in three sizes, and the patterns are well illustrated & detailed with all the tips - almost as good as being there. The templates also include markings for Orange Peels and full/half/quarter circles. Super useful!

All of the quilters were able to get a few rows into their Clammy quilts during the class, and I'm sure we will see some very Glam Clams show up at Show & Tell in the coming months.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Broadway Challenge

Broadway Challenge

Our most recent guild challenge was to interpret a Broadway show as a mini quilt. There were no other restrictions so, as you can imagine, these quilts were “show-stoppers”! 

Here are 3 entries from the Broadway Show Challenge: 

Helen Marie Marshall machine appliquéd this jovial quilt, based on the original cartoon Annie.
Broadway Challenge by Helen Marie Marshall

Maryann Wilson made this mini quilt based on the Broadway musical, The King and I.

Broadway Challenge by Maryanne Wilson

Tricia Scott made this quilt based on the Broadway musical, Mary Poppins. Everything is appliquéd using wool. As the finishing touch, Tricia quilted the phrases "Supercalifragilelisticexpialidocious” and “a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down” into the background!

Broadway Challenge by Tricia Scott

"Spoonful of Sugar" is machine quilted into the background.

"Supercalifragilelisticexpialidocious" is machine quilted into the background.
We can't wait to see what amazing pieces our next guild challenge will bring!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Haikus, Mug Rugs, Group Hugs & a Big Bug

Haikus, Mug Rugs, Group Hugs & a Big Bug 
by Danielle Gallagher, PMQG Member

PMQG held its annual fall retreat in the Poconos in early November, & in spite of a few "Fawlty Towers" moments with the venue (under new management and experiencing some transition issues), a wonderfully stitchy time was had by all. After all, what could be better than a whole weekend with nothing to do but sew?

Friday night was basket exchange night - just a couple of the beauties!
Busy worktables of fabulous creativity
Our lovely vendors!
A fraction of the amazing work being done
people really come prepared...

Some drool-worthy stashes
The other kind of stache
Retreat fashion
Haiku poets in action

Mug rug exchange
Snacks, shopping about town, a few snow flakes, and a rather large visitor
a big group hug to thank the amazing organizers - Jordyn & Nicole. They did a wonderful job!