Friday, November 22, 2013

November Spotlight: Nancy Stevens

On Tuesday we had the pleasure of having Nancy Stevens in the spotlight. She showed us three baskets full of beautiful quilts. I asked her to tell me a little bit about her quilting.

"I fell in love with quilts around the time I fell in love with my husband -- his grandmothers were quilters and I was smitten with what I found at their homes. My first quilt was a simple 4-patch for my first baby. About twelve years later a relative took a Quilt In A Day class and taught me to make a log cabin. I've never looked back. I seem to go through periods or phases, i.e., I seem to be done with 30s repros (though they make really great baby quilts) and took a pledge a few years back not to make quilts from a single line of fabric (they are too matchy, matchy for my taste). I don't think I've ever met a basket block that I didn't like and I'm on such intimate terms with William Morris that I call him "Bill." I'll never have enough batiks. In the past couple of years I've discovered the Kaffe Fassett Collective and have cautiously ventured in... Next up is to get better at machine quilting; I've only just begun to do that."

Thank you so much Nancy for sharing your quilting history with us. Your work is beautiful! Check out the slide show below to view Nancy's quilts.

And to think that her Home Ec teacher told her that she couldn't sew!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Riley Blake Challenge + A Giveaway!

•• Edited 11/11/13 to announce the winner. Giveaway is officially closed but the discount code is good until the 15th! ••

The MQG Riley Blake Challenge is officially underway and our guild members received their challenge fabric at the October meeting. Riley Blake Designs generously provided each MQG member 6 fat eights from their Basic Category.


The PhillyMQG is hosting our own challenge in coordination with the MQG. The PhillyMQG details are:
  • Members can make anything, but it must be FREE MOTION quilted.
  • Follow all other parameters as outlined by the MQG (below). 
  • Due at the February meeting, 2/18.
  • (if member's would like help submitting to the MQG contest, bring your pieces to the January meeting).
PhillyMQG members: if you didn't get your fabric bundle, please contact

The National MQG is running an official challenge, complete with prizes! The National MQG details from their newsletter:
  • Completed photos must be posted in the MQG FINISHED forum (located here).
  • Members can make anything as long as it is quilted.
  • Add in any solids fabric or Riley Blake printed fabric.
  • You do not need to use all of the fabrics given to you.
  • In progress photos can be shared in the Fabric Challenge Forum on the Community Site here.
  • Don't forget to use the #mqgrileyblakechallenge on Instagram and Twitter!
  • Deadline: February 17, 2014
    • Ten finalists will be announced on February 19, 2014.
    • Riley Blake will pick three winners and announce the winners on February 24, 2014.

In celebration of the MQG Riley Blake Challenge the PhillyMQG has partnered with the Fat Quarter Shop to give away a Riley Blake Shuffle fat quarter bundle. To enter, use the Rafflercopter below for your chance to win. A winner will be randomly selected on November 9, 2013 from all entries received.

Edit: The first PMQG giveaway is complete and our Rafflecopter widget has randomly selected Kathryn Cummings as the winner! Congratulations Kathryn, keep an eye on your email for details!

Do you need any Riley Blake fabrics to add to your Riley Blake Challenge piece? The Fat Quarter Shop is generously offering our readers 20% off of all purchases over $50.00 using 
coupon code: 


until November 15, 2013. 


The giveaway is open to US residents only. The giveaway winner will be announced on an edit of this post and the winner will be contacted via email.
(Coupon Terms: Coupon can only be used once and is good on purchases of $50 or more. Your discount is not combinable with any other offer and is not applicable to clubs, programs, or purchase of gift certificates. It cannot be applied to previous orders.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mid-Atlantic Mod

Open registration for the Mid-Atlantic Mod has begun! Join us, the the Central NJ MQG and the DC MGQ for a weekend of quilting and fun.  Details are below.

See you in April!


Details (from the Mid-Atlantic Mod website):

Mid-Atlantic Mod: a modern quilting retreat is a modern quilting and sewing retreat organized by the Philadelphia MQG, the DC 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.


Dates:  From 1:00 PM on April 3, 2014 to 9:00 PM on April 6, 2014

Location:  Doubletree by Hilton in Lancaster, PA.  Please click on the Location link at the top for more details.

Cost:  $90 for members of the guilds above; $115 for non-members  (all registration fees are non-refundable, but registration can be transferred for a $15 fee)

Lodging:  Room rate is $129 per night for single or double occupancy.  Reservations should be made on your own (details will be provided once you complete the registration form). For attendees who do not reserve a room in the group block, an additional $35 fee will be required for registration.  UPDATE:  We can no longer accept registrations for people who do not wish to stay at the hotel due to our room block requirements.  If you complete the registration form and indicate that you will not be staying at the hotel, then we will put you on a wait list. 

Food:  Food catered by the hotel is very pricey, so we have opted to NOT include food in the costs.  There is a restaurant in the hotel and numerous other restaurants nearby.  Please see the Location link at the top for more info about the area.

Workshops:  Not everyone wants to take workshops, so to make the event more affordable for all, we have NOT included workshop fees in the registration cost.  We are looking into adding workshops if there is enough interest and these workshops will be offered a la carte for an additional fee.  More details will be posted to the News page above when available.

Activities:  We are contemplating various activities including: shop hop, virtual shop hop, progressive quilt, inter-guild swap, and others.  Please check the Activities page for details. We will update this page as we add activities.

Sponsors:  If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact us by clicking here. We have a variety of options for sponsorship.  All sponsors will have the opportunity to provide a logo that will be displayed prominently on this website (with a link to the company website, if provided) and in the welcome materials provided to all attendees.

Please use the Contact Us link if you have any further questions.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tote Bags

Our members are currently busy making reusable tote bags to donate to the Waldorf School of Philadelphia for their holiday sale room. This is a sampling of what was turned in at the October meeting. The tote bags are our way of saying thank you to the Waldorf School for allowing us to use their classroom as a meeting space.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Round Robin Challenge

For the October meeting we changed things up a bit and instead of a member spotlight we focused on showing off our Round Robin Challenge pieces. Each participant created a center block or blocks and passed it onto another quilter who added onto the center in any way they wanted; then it was passed again. The images below speak to the creativity, talent and imagination of the Philly MQG members.

The challenge is ongoing and members can choose to pull their pieces when they feel that it is complete. Members - feel free to jump into the challenge at any time, just bring your starter block to the next meeting!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

September Show and Tell

As always, we concluded the September meeting with a bit of member show and tell. Here are a few highlights as I didn't get photographs of everything.

"Monica's Flower Garden" by Tricia

Kari's quilt

Quilting detail

Andrew's finished quilt top made partially from fabric discarded in the White Elephant Exchange

Nancy's quilt for her son's first home.

Monday, October 14, 2013

September Spotlight

At the September meeting we spotlighted Danette, a Montana native. As she was growing up, everything was crafted for a useful purpose, they were technicians rather than artists. Many of her early quilts were hand tied following that mindset. She shared her first sewing project, a green corduroy jacket that she made in her high school home ec class (it still fits!).  Her first quilt, shown below, was made for her best friend in high school and was fashioned from Danette's grandmother's quilting supplies and old clothing. Amazingly, her friend now lives in New Jersey and Danette was able to share the beautiful quilt with us.

Her first quilt
First quilt, detail

Danette shared this amazing sweater, which she knit for her son.

As her children began to wear out their clothing, she decided to jump back into quilting, this time using fabric from outgrown and worn out jeans. The result, below, is years in the making but it is so expertly put together that it was worth the wait. 

Denim quilt, detail

After some time, her mother began quilting and started pushing Danette to pick it back up again. 

Danette was attracted to quilts that had a geometric/Asian feel. She made (and shared with us) a stunning brown and turquoise Japanese inspired quilt with a giant kimono pieced on the back. It was while she was at the fabric shop for this quilt that she bumped into Anna, who introduced her to the Philly Modern Quilt Guild.

Back of quilt

Danette shared a number of amazing quilts, including a curved piece quilt, a scrappy "trip around the world" quilt, and a double disappearing nine-patch quilt. Danette is very interested in color and how it works and finds her time designing quilts focused on the colors.

Thank you Danette for sharing your amazing work! A huge thanks to Sara Hodsen as well for taking notes for the blog post.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Announcing Mid-Atlantic Mod: a modern quilting retreat

We are thrilled to announce that the Philly MQG will be hosting a joint retreat with the DC MQG and the Central Jersey MQG.  The retreat is called "Mid-Atlantic Mod: a modern quilting retreat."  This retreat started as an idea more than a year ago and a lot of behind-the-scenes planning has gone into bringing this event to you!  The Mid-Atlantic Mod website has launched and you can find it here:

Mid-Atlantic Mod

The retreat is focused primarily on meeting new friends and hanging out with existing friends, so lots of open sewing time and socializing events are being planned, rather than workshops.  We have designed the event to hopefully be affordable for most people by setting the prices to reflect our actual cost to hold the event. To that end, we have also decided not to organize an "all-inclusive" event that includes workshops and food, but instead we have arranged for food to be "on your own" (which provides attendees with more flexibility regarding their meals) and we will be focused on inexpensive social activities (e.g., inter-guild swap, progressive quilt, informal shop-hop, mini-workshops, etc.).

Your attendance fee will cover open sewing time in a large conference room.  Each attendee will get his or her own table for the entire 4-day retreat.  All attendees will also have the option of participating in an inter-guild swap, joint show-and-tell, short skills workshops (additional fees will apply, details to be announced later), and more.  Activities will be announced on the retreat website once the details are confirmed, so make sure to check that page periodically.

For Philly MQG members who completed our pre-registration questionnaire several months ago, early registration is already open.  You should have received an e-mail with instructions on how to register.  Your "early registration" deadline is Tuesday October 15th.  If we have not received your registration AND payment by that time, your spot will be made available to others.  For the rest of the Philly MQG (i.e., current members who did not complete the questionnaire), you may complete the registration form in advance of our October meeting (the registration link will be sent out through BigTent) and, if there are spots available as of October 15th, you will be able to complete your registration by submitting your payment at the meeting or later.  If you have any questions, please contact Andrew through e-mail or on BigTent.  Registration will open for the general public on November 1st at 9:00 AM Eastern Time if there are still spots available.


The following information is from the Mid-Atlantic Mod website–feel free to look around or click on the contact us link on that website if you have any questions. 
Mid-Atlantic Mod: a modern quilting retreat is a modern quilting and sewing retreat organized by the Philadelphia MQG, the DC 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.
Dates:  From 1:00 PM on April 3, 2014 to 9:00 PM on April 6, 2014
Location:  Doubletree by Hilton in Lancaster, PA.  Please click on the Location link at the top for more details.
Cost:  $90 for members of the guilds above; $115 for non-members

Lodging:  Room rate is $129 per night for single or double occupancy (meaning ~$65/night each). Reservations should be made on your own.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Member's Spaces

Today we are rolling out a new monthly feature, Member's Spaces, where our guild members can show off their quilting rooms, studios, or spaces.

Kicking us of is member Miki of Sparrow Quilt Co!

Technically, I have an entire room (previously a formal living room) to house my craft/candy/netflix habits. Of course, my supplies tend to find their way throughout the entire house, but the main hub of quilting activities happens here. 

We bought three simple desks at Ikea and my helpful hubby bolted them all together to create this giant work space. One side holds the computer and business side of my quilting adventures (including filing cabinets for tax documents, etc), and the other two desks comprise my cutting and sewing space. It's pretty much always a mess, so you can never see what a great space it is in theory.

For the most part, I have to lay out my quilts on the floor, since I haven't found a good place to set up a design wall yet. Blasted windows are in the way!

This is a portion of my fabric stash. Originally organized by color, with bins to hold quarter yards or smaller, and plastic baggies to hold scraps by color. Over time it has gotten more and more disorganized, but I will go through it all again soon and have it looking lovely. 

I try to keep my room themed for its purpose. 

But it also showcases family photos and my love for antiques.

It also houses our resident school of Celestial Goldfish. Google it, they are hilarious.
In the future, we may change up what room I work in, since the living room was originally supposed to live there. Time will tell, maybe I will take over the whole house! Muahahaha!

A huge thanks to Miki for starting us off and generously showing off her quilting space. Philly MQG members, feel free to email us your photos and details! You can find more information on the Bigtent forums.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spotlight on Sarah Bond

At August's meeting we had a spotlight on member Sarah Bond. She brought in her first quilt which was a "Goose in the Pond" pattern.

The next quilt was a family quilt from her Grandmother called Carolina Lily.

After making her first quilt she realized she didn't know anyone else that quilted. She decided to start teaching quilt making in order to meet other quilters! The first pattern she taught was this Underground Railroad.

Her next class and quilt was the Seminole quilt. (notice how the quilt edges are different?)

Then she made a Lone Star for a family member who requested muted colors.

This Lone Star experimented with stripes and dots.

A close up...

From there she moved on to the Pickle Dish.

and the New York Beauty.

And then the Orange Peel!

She made this ribbon quilt with different solids pieced into strips and then cut and re-pieced.

A second ribbon quilt.

The next two star quilts are heirlooms from Sarah's grandmother.

Next Sarah shared the story of her great grandmother who was a slave. She showed photos from a book of her great grandmother and the white woman who quilted with her.

At a family reunion auction she was able to acquire one of her great grandmother's quilts.

Finally she shared this quilt which is an original design. She made this for a competition that is being sponsored by local quilt shop Round Bobbin.

Thank you Sarah for sharing your talent and your family history with us!