Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wexford Drygoods Fabric Sale on Saturday

Hello, everyone!

We have learned of another fabric sale happening this weekend.
Wexford Drygoods will have 20% off fabric this Saturday!

As many of you know Wexford Drygoods has a great boutique collection of modern fabrics, including a great selection of solids. The story behind the store can be found here.

Looks like Western PA quilters are going to have a good weekend!
Happy shopping!

Cheers- Jodi

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

February Meeting Cancelled

Due to Super Bowl Sunday and two fabulous game day sales, the Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild members have determined they would like to cancel the February meet-up previously scheduled for February 3, 2013 and go shopping! Piecing it Together and Quilters Corner are having sales on fabric. It's an opportunity our members apparently can't refuse! Please see details below.

Piecing It Together on Babcock Blvd - 30% off everything in store (Noon-4:00 PM)
Quilters Corner in Finleyville - 25% off everything in store (Noon-5:00 PM)

Our February presentation on quilting and social media will be added to the March meet-up, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 3, 2013. We will meet at our usual time in our usual location.

Please feel free to drop us a line between now and the March meet-up. Hopefully we will see some of you out shopping on Sunday!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Madrona Road Fabric Challenge - Lauren

Is everybody ready to see the Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild's Madrona Road Fabric Challenge projects?  First up is Lauren's lovely quilt!

Lauren's Madrona Road Challenge Quilt

I was really thrilled to get the opportunity to participate in the MQG Madrona Road Challenge.  I'm new to quilting but was really inspired (and jealous) of the last challenge using Jay McCarroll's Habitat line last year. Originally, I had planned to make an elaborate zigzag quilt inspired by this rug  in my Crate and Barrel catalog.  So I started cutting, having no real idea on how to make it work, and made a couple zigzag elements.  Unfortunately, my plan pretty much failed miserably and I had to start again from scratch.
In my original plan, I wanted to use a lot of coordinating solids and solid-like fabrics for additional texture.  So for plan B, I decided to just start cutting all of my fabrics into random width strips.  I pieced all these strips into slabs roughly 13"x 22."  I pulled out my trusty 12.5" square ruler and cut wonky squares from each of the slabs (realizing at this moment that I just wasted a ton of fabric). For the front, I started laying my squares out alternating directions (you can see my initial plan on our Flickr page).  When I looked at it all laid out I thought it read somewhat flat and boring.  I pulled out my stash of solids and started seeing what each solid would do.  I posted this photo to flickr as well for advice.


After several days and great feedback from my flickr peeps, I decided to change up my setting using some diagonals and alternative sashing techniques.  I also added in one plain block to give the eye a little bit of a break.  I think the final project looks interesting and dynamic and I'm super happy with it.
For the back, my goal was to use up some of my wasted scraps from the front.  I started with the big pieces left over from the fabric I received in the challenge and then overlaid with some of my left over pieces from the front.  I tried to add some additional interest and contrast by using different values and some additional pops of color.  Piecing this puppy was a little bit of a challenge, but I decided to tackle it in sections adding white and trimming the entire time.  In the end, it turned out just as I had hoped.

A lovely improvised quilt back

I always have a tough time deciding on quilting.  I generally like all-over designs that add a lot of texture.  In the end I decided on this design from Oh, Fransson!  From the beginning I planned to use the memoir text print for my border but didn't have quite enough - I used some of the bright colors to bring the length up to size.  Finished size is 36" square and I love it to bits!

The lovely quilting on Lauren's Madrona Road quilt

Thanks for sharing your quilt with us, Lauren!  Check back again soon to see the rest of the challenge quilts - there are four more coming up!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How Much Do You Love Kaffe Fassett?

Don't forget to have your Kaffe Fassett essay done by the 25th to be eligible for some great prizes!  The MQG posted a reminder today! 

And stay tuned for the Madrona Road reveals - we will have one for you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Some Love from the MQG Blog

Yesterday we were delighted to see that the Modern Quilt Guild featured a Madrona Road Challenge quilt from Pittsburgh on their blog!  Melissa's quilt City of Bridges was shown along with a few other projects from challenge participants. 

City of Bridges - Madrona Road Challenge Quilt by Melissa

Be sure to check out the Pittsburgh MQG Flickr Group to see the progress our group is making on their challenge quilts and other projects members are working on.  At our February meeting, we will be discussing how to use Flickr to display your work and gather inspiration!

Stay tuned for more Madrona Road as participants finish up their challenge projects!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January Meeting Highlights

The Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild welcomed Ginger Krenn as a guest speaker at the January 6th meeting. Ginger shared her extensive knowledge and experience of sewing and sewing machines. Topics discussed included proper machine maintenance and cleaning techniques, proper needle selection, types of thread and best use of thread, and important criteria to consider when purchasing a new machine. Ginger also provided Guild members with reference guides to use when choosing the most appropriate needle and/or thread for sewing and quilting. Members were encouraged to ask questions both during and after the presentation.

Thank you Ginger for an informative and interesting presentation. We are so lucky you are a part of the guild!

Ginger demonstrating the proper way to clean a sewing machine
After the presentation the PGH MQG’s Mission Statement was reviewed and reaffirmed. It was unanimously decided that the Mission Statement would remain the same as originally worded. The Mission Statement would also be prominently located on the blog in order to communicate the purpose of the guild. Overall, going forward the guild decided we would have a much more casual approach to our existence. Those present at the meeting acknowledged what we enjoyed the most about our group: making, learning, creating, and slowly developing our local modern quilt commmunity. Although we have bylaws we will not spend time scrutinizing them. They are to be considered as guildlines, but the guild will function organically and ultimately membership will make the big decisions. As the guild grows we will determine as a group how the guild will evolve.

As well, starting in February the guild meetings will be less formal. There will be an opportunity for business during the first fifteen minutes, but the focus of the meeting will be about learning, making, and sharing our love of modern quilting. At this time, the Guild recognizes the following leadership: Jodi /President, Gina/Vice-President, Lauren/Treasurer and Melissa/Social Media Coordinator. Kathy volunteered to provide a monthly meeting recap for the blog as it was decided we currently do not need a Secretary or formal meeting notes.

The meeting concluded with a show-and-tell session. The PMQG’s Austin Children’s Shelter Quilt was displayed for Guild members. Jodi also shared her modern quilt (Housewarming) that was accepted into the QuiltCon Quilt Show. Guild members shared WIP’s and finished quilts.

Present: 10 Guild members and two guests

Next PGH MQG meeting scheduled for Sunday, February 3, 2013. There will be a presentation on using Flickr and a Show and Sew*.

(*A Show and Sew is an opportunity for modern quilters to show off their latest projects, present WIPs and ask for advice from the group, and work on current projects. Bring your sewing machine, whatever you are currently working on, and an extension cord.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Urban Stitches is Seeking Donations

Are you looking to de-stash sometime soon?  Consider donating some of your stash to Urban Stitches!
Urban Stitches is a youth sewing instruction program which serves Pittsburgh area teens aged 12-18.  Its mission is to satisfy the need for impressionable young people to receive arts training, gain life skills, and provide a safe environment for them to gather, learn something new, and have fun.  Spearheaded by Tameka Reed, a Pittsburgh native and former Clarissa School of Fashion Design student, the Urban Stitches program is designed to fill the void created by area schools when traditional home economics programs were cancelled. 

Sewing instruction in any school curricula these days is increasingly rare. Traditional home economics courses have been replaced by what are perceived as more critically needed subjects such as drug and alcohol abuse prevention, parenting skills and technology instruction.  However, the disciplines taught by learning to sew also extend themselves into other areas of life, including patience, the ability to follow instructions, math and mechanical skills, independence, self-confidence, and creativity.  Sewing also leads to the development of career skills such as tailoring, alterations, custom made clothing and home d├ęcor.

Over the last several years sewing and crafting have been on a steady comeback, and there is a constant demand for learning them. However, at present no area community or trade centers currently offer a structured youth sewing program at an affordable cost.  As such, classes are currently held free of charge for teens 12-18 at George Westinghouse High School in collaboration with the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. 

Ultimately, the goal of Urban Stitches is for young people throughout the city to have the opportunity to learn to sew irrespective of their family’s financial status, and its instructors are eager to pass on the love of sewing as well as the enjoyment of imagining, discovering and creating on to the next generation.

Tameka indicated that they are in need of anything and everything - sewing machines, notions, patterns, fabrics, zippers, buttons, etc.  Classes begin in February and they've already got 10 girls signed up for the first class!  They will soon have a blog so you can follow along and see what they are up to!  If you've got anything to donate, please contact Tameka - your generosity will help introduce a new generation to sewing!

Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day

This year, January 24 is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day!  There are a couple of local shops listed on the website, but visiting any shop that day is a good idea!  Visit the site to search for participating shops and to find out about the photo contest - you could win a Brother sewing machine and a $500 shopping spree to the shop featured in your photo.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Accepted for the QuiltCon Show!

One of our talented founders, Jodi, entered a gorgeous modern quilt into the inaugural QuiltCon Quilt Show...and it was accepted!

Jodi and her QuiltCon entry, Housewarming

The name of the quilt is "Housewarming." It was the first thing I made specifically for our house in Pittsburgh. Not all, but some of the scraps fabrics used as insertion strips have come from quilters I have met since I moved here. Other scrap pieces are from other projects made for friends and family or from vintage, recycled fabrics I have found on my travels since we moved here. It's essentially an improvised story of my life since June 2011.

Congratulations, Jodi!  The Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild is so proud to have one of our own represented at the show.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pile of Fabric's Block of the Month

Looking for a new Block of the Month (BOM) follow along? Never participated in a BOM, but have always wanted to try your hand at it? Looking to improve your quilting techniques in 2013? Well, here is your chance...

Alyssa Lichner is a quilt blogger out in sunny Arizona. I first found out about her on Flickr and started following her. She recently announced she will be hosting a BOM for 2013. More information is available on her blog. When you click on the link you will find an explanation or the BOM and have an opportunity to sign up to participate.

Are there any other interesting BOMs or quilt-alongs you are planning on being a part of in 2013? If so, please post a comment below and let us know!

Monday, January 7, 2013

For the Kaffe Fassett Fans Out There

Last week the Modern Quilt Guild announced an essay contest. Interested participants are asked to answer the following question in 500 words or less:

How has Kaffe influenced you in the past and how will that help you grow as a quilter in the new year?

The deadline is January 25, 2013. Visit the Modern Quilt Guild website for more information.
If any members of our guild participate please share your essay with us!

Austin Children's Shelter Quilt sans Binding

ACS Quilt sans Binding by Pittsburgh MQG
ACS Quilt sans Binding, a photo by Pittsburgh MQG on Flickr.

We revealed Ruth Ann Lowery's beautiful quilting at our January meeting. Now all that is left is the binding. Soon this beautiful quilt will reacy to ship for QuiltCon.

Many, many thanks, again, to all that have been involved in putting the ACS quilt together.