Sunday, July 27, 2014

July Meeting Notes

At our last meeting on July 13, 2014, we spent time hand sewing hexies outside at the Pittsburgh Project.  Some people worked on projects they had already started and others learning english paper piecing for the very first time!  We also discussed the following business items:

  • The Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild's 2014 outreach project will be a guild quilt to be donated to the Pittsburgh Project for their annual holiday party silent auction.  There is no design theme to follow, but we ask that your finished size is a multiple of four (4"x4", 4"x8", 8"x12", etc.)  The Color theme is Pittsburgh: gray skies, green space, trails, blue/green rivers, industrial past, mixed nationalities, yellow bridges, home.  Color palette to be posted soon!
  • The rest of the year is looks as follows:
    • August is our all-day sewing retreat.  We will spend a bit of time brainstorming about our outreach quilt.  
    • September's meeting is piecing our outreach quilt squares.
    • October we will piece together our outreach quilt top.
    • November we are making a bag together.  Do you have a tote that you have been wanting to try?  Let us know.
    • December will be our Holiday Party!  Location TBD.  Come with your leadership team nominees!
  • Dues are due!  $35 up tip the retreat on August 9th.  After August 10th, the dues amount increases to $40.
  • PghMQG Retreat will be held August 2nd from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm at St. John's in the North Hills.  Free to members, $10 for non-members, and bring money to buy lunch.  Feel free to pack a lunch and/or snacks for the day!
  • We received a $50 gift from the Spectrum Charter School for our help with their student quilt!  Pictures to come soon.
  • We are looking for a location for a 2015 quilt show.  Do you have any ideas?  Let us know!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

July Meeting Reminder

We hope you are having a wonderful summer so far!  Thanks to all who attended June’s PMQG meeting.  We would love to see what you made in Lauren's workshop, so please bring projects, completed or not, to our July meeting.

July’s meeting will be held on Sunday July 13th from 1-4pm to avoid conflict with the 4th of July holiday.

We are planning a fun, relaxing outdoor sewing project for our next meeting.  Bring a cool drink and join us in the Pittsburgh Project Courtyard for a few hours of hand sewing!  Our focus will be English Paper Piecing.  If you haven’t tried this yet, you will soon be hooked!!  You will just need a few basic supplies and some fabric scraps and you will be ready to go.  Following is a supply list and some great links to look at before our session.

EPP Basic Supplies

  • fabric scraps            
  • needles
  • templates            
  • thread        
  • scissors
  • glue stick
You can purchase templates online for EPP or you can generate and print your own.  These websites are helpful:
Printing either on card stock or regular printer paper works great! We will be demonstratinging EPP using 1” hexagons (these are 1” on each side).  If you want to follow along, you’ll need to cut your fabric scraps to 2.5” square.  PLEASE BRING TEMPLATES WITH YOU!

Optional Swap

We will also conduct a 2.5” square fabric swap for all those interested!  Sharing small scraps is a fun way to try a variety of combinations and a great way to use up our scraps!  If you want to participate, bring as many as you wish to swap! 

Membership Dues

We are approaching another great year for the PMQG.  Dues are being collected at the July meeting.  Membership fee is $35 for returning members if paid before our August meeting.  Fee for returning members is $40 if paid after the August meeting date.  New members will remain at $35.  Please bring cash or checks made out to our treasurer, Lauren Jonkman.  Thanks again for being a part of our guild! 

Looking Ahead

Just a reminder that in lieu of an August meeting we will be holding our first annual retreat at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Saturday August 2nd (311 Cumberland Road, Pittsburgh PA  15237 - right across from Northland Library; accessible from McKnight Road or Perry Highway).  This will be a FULL day of sewing and idea sharing with our group! Our sewing retreat will begin at 9 am and sew on until 9 pm.  Bring a project, your sewing machine, and iron.  We hope you are as excited as we are to have a full day to sew!!!  The retreat is FREE for members and $20 for non-members.  If you would like to order lunch and dinner, please bring cash ($10-15 per meal) or you are welcome to pack a lunch and drink as well!  NON-MEMBERS NEED TO RSVP

English Paper Piecing Information

If you want to read ahead… To begin English Paper Piecing (EPP), it is helpful to find a good tutorial online and read/watch:


There are many different patterns for EPP.  Hexagons are the most common, but there are others . . . :)


Diamonds, Kites, and Stars
Star Blossoms

A clever, non-traditional way to finish your quilt:

Finishing Your Hexagon Quilt:

Free Patterns:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

June Meeting

Join the Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild on Sunday, June 1, 2014, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Pittsburgh Project for our June Guild Meeting!  We had an exciting May (including the amazing workshop) and are looking forward to continuing the momentum into the summer!

Lauren will be guiding the group through making a needlebook for those portable summer projects.  Supplies are listed below.

Finished book is 5"x4” or 6"x4.25”

  1. Outer cover – 6x8.5” OR 6.5x9.25”: This can be one single piece of fabric or you can piece something ahead of time. Be creative!
  2. Lining fabric – 6x8.5” OR 6.5x9.25”: I would suggest just a single piece of fabric.
  3. Pocket fabric – 6x10” OR 6.5x10”: this will make a lined pocket
  4. Accent fabric – 2x6” OR 2x 6.5”: this covers the exposed seam from the pocket

Other supplies:
  1. Batting scrap – 7x9.5” OR 8x10”
  2. Zipper – at least 8” long
  3. Your closure of choice:
    1. Snap
    2. Hook and eye
    3. Button and thin elastic hair band or 3" long thin elastic
  4. Felt– 4.5x7.5” OR 5x8” (need 1 or 2 piece depending on your desire, these are the "pages" of your book)
  1. Materials for machine quilting – free motion foot or
  2. General sewing materials: machine, scissors, thread, iron/pressing board, pins, etc
  3. Hand sewing needle for closing opening + thread to match the exterior fabric
  4. Hemming gauge (optional, but useful if you can’t guestimate ¼”
  5. Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler walking foot, pins or spray baste, thread, etc.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Meeting Announcement

This month, The Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild will be making a scrap buster mini-quilt!  Join us on Sunday, May 4 from 1-4pm at the Pittsburgh Project to make the “Starburst” mini-quilt (18”x18”).  Our meeting will also explore how to hide knots when quilting and techniques for binding your quilt.  Materials are listed below.  Directions for cutting are also included so that you can cut the pieces at home (if you would like to) and be ready to sew at the meeting!   Looking forward to seeing everyone in May!

- Sewing machine (w/quilting feet), scissors, cutting mat, rotary cutter, iron, ruler, needle(s) (for binding)
- Thread for piecing and quilting, pins, basting and marking materials
Please bring whatever additional tools you use when piecing and quilting

- Four fabrics (or however many you decide to use – be CREATIVE and MODERN) cut the following:
1. Fabric A – 4 rectangles, 3 ½” x 6 ½”
2. Fabric B – 4 rectangles, 3 ½” x 6 ½”
3. Fabric C – 2 squares 4”x4”; 2 squares 3 ½”x 3 ½”
4. Fabric D - 2 squares 4”x4”; 2 squares 3 ½”x 3 ½”
5. Background:  20 squares, 3 ½” x 3 ½”; 4 squares 4”x4”; 1 square 6 ½” x 6 ½”

- 2/3 yard (or a bunch of scraps to piece together) for backing (at least 21”x21”)(*** if you would like to pre-sew the backing at home as well, go for it:)
- 21”x21” cotton batting
- ¼ yard for binding

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Reminder: Sign Up for the Modern Wedge Workshop

The upcoming Modern Wedge Workshop with Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession is nearly sold out!  Sign up before the workshop fills up - click here to reserve your space now!

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Modern Wedge Workshop with Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession

Join us for an exciting day of quilting with Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession!!

We will be taking reservations online - please click here to view the event page and reserve your place.  Please keep in mind that we are not accepting online payment - please bring your check to the April meeting or contact us for an address if you wish to mail payment.

Space is reserved for members only through April 6; following our April meeting, we will begin accepting registration from non-members. 

We are very excited for this event and look forward to seeing you there!

Workshop: The Modern Wedge
Date:  Saturday, May 10th
Time: 10:00- 4:00
Fee:  $40 for members, $60 for members
Lunch will be provided or feel free to pack

Supplies required:
  • Book:  Making Quilts or Adding Layers by Kathy Doughty
  • A selection of fabrics at least 10-12" wide
  • A wedge ruler: 10, 15, 18 or 22 1/2 degrees
  • Basic sewing supplies such as scissors, pins, sewing machine
  • Applique supplies: chalk pencils, needle size 9-11, applique pins
  • If you have an iron and portable board please bring them.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

April Meeting - Quilt Journal and an Outreach Project

Please join us at 1:00 pm on April 6, 2014, at the Pittsburgh Project for our monthly meeting.  The Pittsburgh Project is located at 2801 North Charles Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15214.  At the April meeting, we will be introduced to the Quilt Journal.  Following the presentation, all are welcome to stay and help piece a special project.

Quilt Journal

In this first session we will lossen up and use found images to inspire sketches and design exploration emphasizing shapes, patten and compoistion.  This fun exercise will allow us to fill the first few pages of our journal and may just lead to new quilt ideas!


  • Sketchbook (size can be 6 x 8, 7 x10, 9 x 12) 
    • examples:
      • Fabriano soft back 5.8" x 8.25" blank sketchbook (available in art section at Michael's)
      • Moleskin blank journal (not lines)
      • Any spiral or soft back sketchbook (Amazon) 
      • Blank journal 
  • Sketching pens 
    • examples: 
      • Sharpie ultra fine point (note: these will bleed through paper)  or "no bleed" sharpies (any office supply store) 
      • Faber Castell Pitt Pen (try different point sizes to see what you are most comfortable with) 
      • Micron pens (Michael's) 
  • 1-2 pencils 
  • Colored pencils or markers 
    • basic set of 12-24 pencils (Michael's, Local Art Store, Amazon have student grade sets ...nothing fancy required) 
    • Markers can even be Crayola (i.e. Supertip set of 20); Michael's, Target or any art store also have well priced sets
  • 1-2 glue sticks
  • 1-5 images from magazines, catalogues, personal photos, online images showing design, shape, color combination or compositions that is pleasing to you.  (These will be used for the first exercise on exploring shape and composition) 

Color Exploration 
Time permitting, we will begin to explore this exercise at the first workshop session.  The journal/sketchbook work will be an ongoing series of prompts and ideas so we will continue color in the following month.

Supplies above along with:

  • 1-5 scraps of fabric or images of color combinations that you would like to explore in a quilt  (can be actual fabric scraps or:  patterned paper, even print outs of fabrics you like but have not purchased yet, magazine or catalogue cuts that show interesting color schemes, a photo of nature...any thing goes here) 
  • Once you have some color inspiration, take a trip to Lowe's or Home Depot and grab some paint chips that match your inspiration image(s).  TRy to find chips that match your colors and also pastel and shade versions of the palette....also, select a range of whites and gray chips!  

A note from Gina: I sometimes sew paper and/or fabric scraps into my journal.  I save a machine needle for this purpose (when dull or ready to be changed for regular fabric sewing).  If you would like to try this at our first session, please bring your machine and needle that can serve for all paper sewing.  Any color thread is fine.  It helps if your sketchbook/blank journal is flexible enough and not overly large to be able to sew directly onto a page.

Spectrum Quilt

Pam M. is working with a  special education school in Monroeville (Spectrum) that is in the process of creating a quilt to hang in the entrance to their school. A group of about 40 students between the ages of 17 and 21 who are on the autism spectrum with widely differing abilities and interests have been working hard to get the quilt in the works!

The school received a small grant to fund the project and bought digital cameras for students to take pictures of things related to the school. The photos have been taken and printed on fabric. Now the quilt is ready to be assembled!

The PMQG is helping Pam with this wonderful endeavor! During our April meeting, anyone interested in helping piece a portion of the quilt can jump right in!!

We look forward to seeing all of you for an afternoon of happy sewing!!