Wednesday, October 22, 2014

November Meeting - Star Quilt Assembly

It's hard to believe October is almost over and we are approaching our November meeting.  We will meet, as usual, at the Pittsburgh Project from 1-4 on Sunday, November 2. 

At our October meeting, we worked on assembling our quilt for the Pittsburgh Project.  We learned a few lessons along the way and hope that assembling the Quilt Con quilt at the November meeting will be a little smoother!

If you would like to contribute to the Quilt Con quilt, please bring a wonky star block that fits the Quilt Con color scheme.  You can also whip one up quickly at the beginning of the meeting if you don't have time before then!

Quilt Con Color Scheme
Quilt Con Color Scheme
Quilt Con Color Scheme

We need more small blocks than anything, so please keep your stars on the smaller side.  They can be any even finished dimension up to six inches (2.5", 4.5", and 6.5" unfinished).

We envision the quilt having a lot of white space in one corner, grading to a more dense field of stars in the other corner, similar to the Bloom quilt by V and Co shown below.  Please keep this in mind when deciding what size to make your stars - we need lots of white space and are shooting for a twin-size.

The stars should float in a field of low-volume prints and solids in light grays, light neutrals, and white.  Please bring any extra fabrics that fit this description or fit the color scheme for use in assembling the top.

We hope to assemble the entire quilt top at the meeting - it would be nice if we could get the back assembled simultaneously and someone could make the binding.  Melissa has volunteered to quilt the finished product - it has to be completely finished and mailed to Austin before our January meeting, so hopefully you will get to see the finished product at our holiday party.

Bring sewing machines, coordinating thread, irons, ironing surfaces, cutting supplies, and your creativity!  See you next weekend!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

PghMQG Charity Quilts!

At our September meeting, we discussed our upcoming charity quilt opportunities and finalized our vision for the quilts.  We are really excited to complete these projects together!

Pittsburgh Project Donation

We have decided that since the quilt for the Pittsburgh Project has to be completed for their fundraiser in early December, we should focus our efforts on it.

The palette is shown below - the corresponding Kona names are shown on last month's blog post, but you don't have to use Kona or solids at all!  Feel free to pull from your stash.

This quilt will be a modern sampler - make any modern quilt block you like!  All blocks shall match the palette selected above and the finished size shall be a multiple of two inches (i.e., unfinished sizes such as 2.5"x10.5", 6.5"x6.5, 8.5"x10.5", etc) up to about 12".

Please bring your completed blocks to the October meeting so we can begin piecing the quilt.  If you cannot make it to the October meeting, please arrange to send your blocks to the meeting with another member.  If you haven't had a chance to make your blocks by the October meeting, feel free to work on them first thing at the meeting as we begin arranging the finished blocks.  Please bring any leftover fabric matching the palette so that we can fill in the blanks between blocks.

We plan to piece the quilt top at the October meeting and hope to have it quilted by the November meeting, at which time we will bind the quilt and prepare to present it to the Pittsburgh Project!

Quilt Con Charity Quilt Challenge

The MQG has issued a challenge for guilds to complete a quilt for a charity of their choice (discussed in last month's post).  As this quilt must be completed by January 3, 2015, we realize that it may be ambitious to complete two charity quilts during the busy fall months and holiday season.  The guild has been registered to make one quilt that will be displayed at Quilt Con this spring and then returned to us for donation to a charity of our choice.

At the October meeting, we decided to make a modern star quilt using the Quilt Con Challenge palette shown here.  The background fabric should be the white/gray (light colors) and the stars should be made with the bolder colors.  Stars should be finished sizes in multiples of two inches (like the Pittsburgh Project quilt).

This quilt may require a little more time outside of the regular meetings for assembly as we are quickly running out of meeting time before the deadline.  Please consider helping out with this quilt, but we do understand that it may be difficult for everyone to participate due to the time crunch.

October Meeting Supplies

Please bring your sewing machine, leftover fabrics matching the color palette(s), and any ancillary sewing supplies you might need to help us piece to top or create additional blocks (iron, rotary cutter and mat, rulers, scissors, etc).  If you have an extension cord, please bring it, too as outlet space is at a premium.

As you finish up your blocks, don't forget to post them to our Flickr group!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

September Meeting Announcement and Charity Quilt Update

Thanks to all PMQG members who attended the August Quilting Retreat!  12+ hours of piecing, sewing, quilting, collaborating and enjoying the company of quilting friends – it was a lot of fun!

The September meeting is our starting point for organizing and beginning to piece together blocks for our Outreach Quilt.  

Coinciding with our guild’s collaboration, the Modern Quilt Guild has also issued a “QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge”. Hmmmmm . . . this presents a great opportunity for the PMQG to collaborate on a bigger scale!  So, should we try it – two challenge quilts?

Here are the details:

1.  Color palette for QuiltCon:

2.  Color palette for PMQG (all referenced to Kona Solids - you don't have to use Kona though!):

Pewter - 1470

Graphite - 295

Medium Gray - 1223
Windsor - 1389
Cadet - 1058
Blue - 1028
Sage - 1321
Peridot - 317
Tarragon - 316
Deep Rose - 1099
Punch - 447
Zucchini - 354
Buttercup - 1056
Canary - 26
Snow - 1339

3.  We will use our September, October and November meetings to collaborate, design and sew our quilts.

4.  One quilt will go to QuiltCon and one will be auctioned off at The Pittsburgh Project.

Take time to read the Modern Quilt Guild’s posting  for more details.  There have been a few posts about alternate gridwork and where to get bundles of the colors for the quilt if you don't already have them in your stash.

For the September meeting, attendees should plan on bringing the following:
  • fabric that fits the color palette(s) provided – solids AND prints
  • ideas for quilt design(s)

We will discuss the challenges as a Guild at the September meeting.  Looking forward to seeing you all!

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