Friday, May 4, 2018

Philly MQG Spring Retreat

Written by Hayley Crawford, PMQG member

Twenty-five sewists from the Philly Modern Quilt Guild descended on a hotel in Warminster, PA, for a weekend of uninterrupted sewing, shopping, and communal creativity. As early as 9am on Friday morning, sewing machines were set up and humming, and pieces of fabric were appearing on the design walls. As members trickled in the room warmed up with excitement, productivity and laughter.

Nicole and Jordyn planned a great event - the hotel was wonderful (with a great breakfast), the sewing room was bright and spacious, the snacks were plentiful and the Chipotle buffet dinner on the first night was awesome. A masseuse joined us for two days, which was a well-deserved treat for our aching shoulders and backs.

Members started working on their PMQG mini challenge quilts, as well as the group quilt. We also put together fabric postcards to send a member who recently left our guild to be closer to family in Seattle. Many members visited the local quilt stores for, more, essential fabric. And late on Sunday afternoon, we disbanded.

It was a fun, inspiring, chilled weekend. Thank you to our group of wonderful women, and thanks to Nicole and Jordyn for organizing.

Here are some photos from the weekend, contributed by our PMQG members. Enjoy!

Debbie's Glam Clam quilt, pattern by Latifah Saafir
Photo by Danielle Gallagher

Kari's "assistant", Snuggle Kitty
Photo by Deirdre O'Brien

Monica's fan block, pattern by Sarah Bond
Photo by Monica Conrad

Holding up Danielle's quilt- her original pattern!
Photo by Monica Conrad

Admiring Bobbi's quilt top- from her Bee Block group!
Photo by Danielle Gallagher

Hard at work at the retreat!
Photo by Danielle Gallagher

Karen's rainbow Lone Star quilt
Photo by Danielle Gallagher

Stitchin' & Bitc*in'
Photo by Danielle Gallagher

Beautiful strips and stripes!
Photo by Danielle Gallagher

Grys's signature color palette!
Photo by Danielle Gallagher

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Unforgettable Rituals with Meg Cox

We ended the meeting "with a bang"!
It was a packed house at April's guild meeting, when we welcomed Meg Cox, author, quilter, and traditions expert. Meg spoke to the Philly MQG about Unforgettable Rituals. 

Meg is a powerful communicator who speaks from the heart. She shared many personal stories that illustrated the healing power of traditions, and encouraged us to create new traditions and rituals in our own lives. We learned that rituals are powerful when you are playful, go with the flow, combine words with actions, pre-plan the unexpected, and make the experience as personal as you can.

Thank you, Meg, for an evening full of life and laughter!

A crowded guild meeting with Meg Cox!
Words are powerful!
Meg's beautiful memory quilt
A sentimental reminder of home.

Meg shared personal stories about creating traditions

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

SONGQUILTS: A Celebration of Stitch and Song

SONGQUILTS: A Celebration of Stitch and Song

an MQG Creative Webinar by Eliza Hardy Jones, PMQG Member!

When: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 1:00pm EST
What: Join PMQG member, Eliza Hardy Jones for a webinar that combines quilting, culture, music, and rich regional history from around the world.

Stitching and songs collide in Eliza Hardy Jones’ latest project, entitled Song Quilts. Song Quilts visually interprets folk music from four distinct regions of Russia and the United States: Appalachian Mountain Music, Cowboy Music of the Western Plains, Moscow Music, and Music of the Russian Arctic.

Eliza spent a year travelling across the United States and Russia to interview women about their regional folksong traditions. These songs have been transcribed into fabric and thread, as a visual piece of sheet music representative of folk tradition.
Registration is free for MQG members. To register, and for more information, visit

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!