Wednesday, February 27, 2013

March Meeting Announcement

The March meeting of the Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild will be held on Sunday, March 3 from 1-4 pm at the Pittsburgh Project (our usual meeting location).

QuiltCon Best in Show: Victoria Findlay Wolfe's Double Edged Love

We have an exciting, information-filled agenda to share with you this month! Here is what we will be covering:
  • QuiltCon: Jodi just returned from Austin and will be sharing her amazing experience with us!!
  • Social Media: Many members have expressed interest in learning more about social media and how to use it as a modern quilting tool.   Melissa and TaMara will be doing a quick presentation about social media in modern quilting including a look at our Guild's social media, how to use Flickr, and a group discussion about blogs.
  • Modern Mood Quilt: We will also be introducing this as a future guild project.
  • We will have our usual show and tell at the end of our meeting.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Monday, February 18, 2013

2013 Three Rivers Quilters Show

If you are thinking of entering a quilt for this year's Three Rivers Quilters show, make sure you get your entries post marked by tomorrow!  This year's theme is Tessellations and the show will be held March 21-23, 2013.  There are several categories - you probably have a quilt that will fit into one of them!  The show entry form is available on their website.  Hopefully we'll be seeing some of our members' work on display at the show!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Madrona Road Fabric Challenge - Jodi

Today we'd like to share one final Madrona Road Challenge project with you - Jodi's lovely quilt inspired by shadows cast from a Pittsburgh bridge.

Jodi's Madrona Road quilt
The "image" of the quilt originated from a photo of the shadow cast by the Smithfield Bridge. When we discussed our challenge theme I read the story of Madrona Road. Violet Craft, Madrona Road designer, has had many journeys including a compelling one that led her to design this fabric line. We have all been on many journeys, and I thought about the ones I have been on in my life. I contemplated- do I focus on retelling past journeys or examine the current journey of my life? Do I look at the future and imagine where my family and I will go? I decided the focus on the present- this amazing, fortunate life I have been given in Pittsburgh. Everyday I am reminded about my first visual impression of Pittsburgh as I cross the bridges traveling to and from my daily destinations. It almost always calls me back to the first time I drove through the Fort Pitt tunnel and popped out to see this almost magical, buzzing city of Pittsburgh connected by these distinct, colorful and powerful bridges. At that time I marveled at the city's history, design and ability to grow and evolve through times both good and bad. The bridges are more than connections to get from place to place. They help tell the story of Pittsburgh. Each car, train, bike, foot traveler that crosses them is a contributing factor to the city's story, and we are all literally and figuratively on a journey together or apart whether we know it or not.
Jodi's Madrona Road quilt - quilting closeup
Another quilting closeup
The quilt is far from perfect, but my life is not perfect either. I enjoyed the process of making this quilt and will likely continue to reflect on my time in Pittsburgh any time I look at it. I'm thankful for this opportunity to grow as a quilter with other quilters I greatly admire, too.


Close-up of the back

Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt with us, Jodi!  The random straight line quilting is fabulous!

The winners of the challenge were announced on the MQG blog last week and unfortunately, none of the quilts from Pittsburgh made the cut.  But there are some gorgeous projects that were selected - keep an eye out for them at the Michael Miller booth if you're going to Quilt Con.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Blog Roll Call

Are you a member of the Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild?  Do you have a blog?  We'd love to give you a little bit of publicity by linking up our members' blogs!  Just leave a link to your blog as a comment on this post and I will link them up. 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Madrona Road Fabric Challenge - Melissa

Today we are featuring my Madrona Road Fabric Challenge quilt, City of Bridges.

I took the "Roads and Bridges" theme pretty literally in my quilt!  Being a bridge nerd, I've had some ideas for bridge quilts floating around in my head for a while.  My initial thought was to do something with curved applique "vines" inspired by the Smithfield Street Bridge.  Well, I've never successfully done anything with applique, so I didn't want to spend the time/waste the fabric trying it out right now.

City of Bridges
I spent some time brainstorming with a friend and we came up with a sketch based on some photos of art deco details on the Golden Gate Bridge.  I made a dimensioned drawing based on the sketch and tried planning out what colors would go where - Gina helped me make some decisions and adjustments and then it was time to start cutting!  

City of Bridges - Back

The mostly yellow portion at the top is made up of improv-pieced strips.  This was new for me - just slapping something together is pretty scary at first, but I love the way it turned out!  Everything came together quickly, dimensions were adjusted on the fly, and fabric was auditioned as it was cut.  It was so neat to see something come together so well even though it wasn't spelled out step-by-step. 

City of Bridges - FMQ

Much of the quilt has dense parallel line quilting.  Instead of appliqueing the main cable, I quilted it in a darker thread.  The suspenders are quilted in matching thread to let them fade back into the quilt.  One of my current goals is to improve my free motion quilting.  What better way to practice than quilting some swirling fog in the background??

City of Bridges is probably my favorite quilt I've made yet.  The quilting really does the trick for me!

Four down, one to go!  We'll be featuring Jodi's Madrona Road Fabric Challenge quilt next. 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Madrona Road Fabric Challenge - Gina

Today we bring you Gina's Madrona Road Challenge quilt, Journey to a Simpler Life.

Gina's Madrona Road Challeng Quilt - Journey to a Simpler Life

This was my first challenge quilt and I am thrilled that I did it! It got me over my "fear of submitting my work" and now I am eager for the next challenge!!

After reading the story behind the Madrona Road collection, my focus became a "journey to a simpler life".  Images of rural land and uneven roads were the inspiration for my schematic sketches and layout for the quilt.

Journey to a Simpler Life

I started with my sketch of improv pieced field and road bands, quickly realizing that I didn't have enough fabric!  After adding a bit more fabric to my pile, I begin playing around with wonky 9-patch blocks.  My thought was to combine strips of improv piecing with these 9 patch blocks...The final layout ended up quite different and more "structured".

I used the wonky nine patch blocks on the back of the quilt and really like the way it turned out!

Wonky Nine Patches

I maintained my original idea of a pieced field but chose to use one earth-tone color instead of multiple neutrals. This allowed for better contrast with the "paths".  Piecing the neutral field was tons of fun and I love the visual texture it added to the piece!!

Front Detail

Working with this more subdued palette was a challenge for me, but it felt good working with colors I don't typically use!  What are challenges for right! 

Thanks for sharing your gorgeous quilt, Gina!  The quilting really brings everything together!

Stay tuned for two more Madrona Road Fabric Challenge reveals.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Moda Friendship Quilt Along

Moda's designers will be hosting a Friendship Blog Hop!  They will be sharing 9" friendship blocks from February 18 through March 1.  The official announcement and schedule can be found here

If you are participating, don't forget to share your blocks on our Flickr group!


We Have an Essay Finalist!

As announced yesterday on the Modern Quilt Guild's blog, our very own Kathy is one of four finalists in the Kaffe Fassett essay contest!  Congratulations, Kathy!  The grand prize winner will be announced on February 15.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Madrona Road Fabric Challenge - Dia

Today, we are sharing Dia's lovely Madrona Road Challenge quilt with you!  Her quilt is called Journey.  It measures 37" x 43" and her favorite elements of the quilt are the words inset into the binding and the cobblestone quilting.


This was my first Guild Fabric Challenge.  It was bound to be an exciting adventure. We chose Roads and Bridges as the loose thematic for the challenge. This was derived from the narrative on the fabric Memoir by Violet Craft, for the Madrona Road line.

Journey - Quilting Textures

Journey detail

City Weekend

I loved the story from the fabric and knew that my quilt would be a literal interpretation, about a journey and pathways.  I began my quilt journey by dreaming big. I was going to draft the quilt using a centre point in a kaleidoscopic like fashion with connecting colours and negative space to express pathways .  Then there was the reality check on the yardage of fabric that I had to work with and the intricacy of drafting the pattern, figuring out seams and a short production window. That mission was aborted and gave birth to what I have. 

Block Layout

I incorporated paper piecing patterns by  Cyrille Zellweger  Little Red Riding Hood (“the little Gypsy Girl”) and Grandma’s House (“the place to call home”)  and Liesl Gibson’s City Weekend.   I had some concerns that my quilt would not read “modern” and may be boring.  While I liked it at this stage, I wasn’t sure I was in love with it. I mimicked the city weekend pattern by using 5” x 5” White Square and setting the “ roads” in using the challenge fabrics. I wanted that gypsy girl to be on a journey and I wanted those roads connected.

The Little Gypsy Girl

Like any journey this quilt had a few bumps in the road. There were the many redesigns of the quilt top, paper piecing techniques that usually come easy were a struggle, the binding… I thought it would be really fun to inset specific words into the binding, from the memoir.  It looks cool but it was challenge. Even under the wonderful guidance of some excellent quilters. The biggest hurdle was the quilting, as the top came together. I knew that my quilting skills and time frame, were not going to be able to do justice to the quilt and I consulted my Longarm Quilter for advice and assistance. Together we planned the quilting, I still had mixed feelings about but the quilt but it turned out spectacular. The quilting really brought it life. 

Journey - Back

Journey - Binding Detail

Thanks for sharing your project with us, Dia - it is lovely!  Stay tuned for three more lovely Madrona Road quilts!