Friday, December 18, 2015

January meeting announcement

The new year is upon us! Soon! Please join us on Sunday, January 3rd 1:00-4:00 for our first meeting of the new year. We will be meeting at the usual location, The Pittsburgh Project (2801 N Charles St, Pittsburgh, PA 15214). 

We will be holding leadership elections, discussing program planning for the next year, and coloring! We will have some beautiful coloring books and colored pencils on hand, but also feel free to bring your own! If you have any thoughts on what you would like to learn, experience, or explore in the coming year please bring those ideas as well. Feel free to bring any sewing projects that you may want to work on after the business meeting and of course we want to see those show and tell goodies!

If you have been thinking about joining, your first meeting is free and we would love to see you!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December meeting recap

Thank you to everybody who came out to the December sew-in and meeting this past Sunday. It was great to see you all and what you are working on! About 18 people joined us for the meeting portion of the day. Some stayed all day, others part of the day and some joined us for talk, food and discussion.

Some highlights from the meeting:
  • The proposed changes to the by-laws were voted on and unanimously approved. The major changes involve rearranging the guild leadership organization. Going forward, the leadership positions will consist of a President, VP of Programming, VP of Membership, Treasurer, and Social Media coordinator. By now everyone should have received an email describing the duties of each position and calling for nominations. Elections will be held at the January meeting. Pam is acting as the election official and you may email her your nominations. Thanks, Pam! 
  • Melissa stated that we would be sending our national dues this month.The membership is currently at 33 members. We have grown a lot over the past year and are now at the high end of our membership category.Welcome to all the new members! :) 
  • Sarah showed the finished quilt that we donated to the Pittsburgh Project’s auction. Sarah pieced our blocks and Sandy did the quilting. Great job, ladies! We would really like to thank Sarah for taking the reigns on this project and getting it done! The quilt raised $85 for TPP. 
  • Our raffle quilt raised $320 and Mona’s friend Robin M.was the winner. Mona will arrange to get the quilt to Robin. Thank you to everyone who sold and bought tickets!  

PghMQG quilt donated to The Pittsburgh Project

  • The next quilt to “oh and ah” about was our entry for the QuiltCon charity quilt challenge, which is currently kicking up a social media sensation. :) It's awesome how all the individual blocks came together so cohesively! Amanda did an amazing job of conceiving of the idea, organizing the work into manageable blocks, and encouraging everyone as they worked. Thanks, Amanda! Most people agreed that the project pushed them out of their comfort zone and they enjoyed the results. There was also agreement that the sewing day together was really important. It enabled people to get guidance and encouragement, but, more importantly, allowed everyone to feel like part of a community (a great result from the combined synergy of our guild). Amanda has discussed some possible names: "33 Sisters" or "Sum of Its Parts". The quilt is currently with new member, Nikki, for quilting! Thanks, Nikki! 
PghMQG QuiltCon charity quilt challenge project
  • After show and tell (pics below and on the guild's Flickr page and Instagram, @pghmqg) we drew tickets for door prizes. There were several fat quarter packs and tickets to the “Knit and Crochet” show in March. Please share photos of what you do with your prizes, ladies! Don't forget to tag your photos with #pghmqg so we can all see each other's lovelies!
Show and Tell:
Gerry's almost finished pieced from the Sherri Lynn Wood workshop

Michele's stunning two sided beauty!

Pam's festive pot holder!

Another holiday inspired piece from Cheryl!

Vivian wowed us with this colorful piece

Sandy has been on trend for years apparently, having shown us this lovely she made some time ago!

The next meeting will be Sunday, January 3rd at 1:00pm. Look for the meeting announcement to be up in a few weeks, but be prepared to bring colored pencils and some pretty coloring books if you have any! Once again, please consider running for a leadership position for 2016! It's looking to be a fun year and we need a few good (wo)men. 

See you soon!

Monday, December 7, 2015


I don't know if you know this or not, but this thing is going viral. 

Our quilt top for the 2016 QuiltCon charity quilt challenge is complete and off to the quilter (new member, Nikki Maroon)!

This quilt was improv pieced (pieced without following a pattern) by many members of the PghMQG. An image of the iconic Roberto Clemente bridge was blown up to quilt size by member, Amanda Hancock, and then broken down into individual blocks. Each member who participated was given a copy of their portion of the image, a bag of small pieces of fabric (no bigger than an eighth of a yard, mostly small strips), and one main instruction: make it.

In the end, Amanda put all of the blocks back together, and, man, it turned out great. This beauty will be sent to hang at the QuiltCon exhibit in Pasadena Feb 18-21st along side the work of many other guilds who participated in this challenge. In the end this quilt will be donated to a charity (TBD), but we are interested in showing it off around town a bit first. If you think you can help with this, please email the guild! 

We would like to thank everybody who is giving this quilt their love! We are pretty proud of it! 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

December meeting announcement

It's getting to be that time of year again! We have arranged to have the Guest House at The Pittsburgh Project from 9:00am-5:00pm on Sunday, December 6th so you can work on your holiday projects, or any project really, surrounded by all your fellow guild members. The Guest House is down the alley a bit from the main hall, where we usually meet. We will have signs posted, and, look, here's a map:

Members should have received an eVite in their email last week. Please bring a potluck item to share for lunch, and note in the comments of the eVite what you are bringing. Also, don't forget your supplies for whatever project you are working on (plus extension cords, etc).

We will have our usual business meeting at 1:00 pm and will be addressing the following topics:
  • The winner of the raffle quilt will be chosen randomly
  • Bylaw changes (VOTING)
  • New leadership (NOMINATIONS)
  • January/February programming suggestions
  • Show & Tell
  • The QuiltCon top will be at the meeting. Ooooh. Aaaah. You want to see this thing. Seriously. 
Feel free to drop by just for the meeting if you can't stay all day!

We have four more copies of Sherri Lynn Wood's book - if you'd like to buy a copy to support the Guild, they are $20 each.  Surely someone you know would LOVE to get a copy for Christmas! 

You will also have a chance to win some wonderful prizes! Guys! PRIZES!

See you in December!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November meeting recap

Thank you to every one who came out to the November meeting! We welcomed two new members, Hannah and Angela. Please take a moment to say hello to these lovely ladies at the next meeting! We also met two new friends, Susan and Nikki, who we hope we will be seeing more of in the future!

There was quite a bit of business to review at this meeting:
  • We will be voting on By-Law amendments at the December meeting. The following changes have been proposed to increase the organization of the guild as we continue to grow:
    • The creation of two new leadership positions: Vice President of Membership and Vice President of Programs. 
    • The removal of the leadership position Vice President (split to the two positions mentioned above) and Secretary (responsibilities absorbed by the Social Media Coordinator)  
    • Further clarification of the Treasurer's duties to facilitate maintaining the guild bank account appropriately
  • You can review the current By-Law document here and the proposed changes here. We will be voting on this Dec. 6th at 1:00pm. You must be present to vote. Please contact the guild if you have further questions or suggestions. 
  • New officer nominations will be held in December with voting occurring at the General Meeting in January. Please review the responsibilities of each position in the proposed By-Law document linked above and consider if you may want to run this year! Pam has graciously agreed to act as Elections Official. She will be taking names for nominations. You may nominate yourself or another member (we will confirm that the other person is interested in running though!). 
  • Mona has put together a thank you card for Mrs. Paul, the lady who generously donated all that fabric to the guild in the Spring. The quilt and card will be sent out to her soon.
  • Melissa read a thank you card from Sherri Lynn Wood to the attendees regarding the recent workshop.
  • We are still selling tickets for the raffle quilt. The quilt is being moved to Spool this month and the winner will be chosen at random on Dec. 6th. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.
  • The QuiltCon challenge quilt blocks were collected at the meeting. There are still a few that need to be turned in, so let's get those done!
  • The next meeting will be an all day sewathon (exact hours to be posted soon) held in the Guest House of the Pittsburgh Project. The official meeting announcement will be up soon!
 There was some awesome stuff displayed at show and tell this month!
Mona displaying her finished project from the Sherri Lynn Wood workshop and the first quilt she ever made!

Melissa's Charley Harper baby quilt

Amanda's bright and cheerful Ohio Star for her Grandma and the paper pieced Polaroid quilt that she completed over the summer

Lauren's Carolyn Friedlander hand sewn project that is so dynamic and two pieces that she was binding
New member, Hannah's, super fun quilt top!

Please check out the guild's Flickr page for all the photos from the meeting! 

Melissa taught a great skillbuilder detailing the ins and outs of machine quilting after the business  meeting . She demonstrated the use of both the walking foot and the free motion foot. There were a lot of good tips on logistics of getting that quilting done, and she had a lot of helpful doodles detailing different quilting motifs that can be used. We also discussed a lot of the products on the market that can help with FMQ. After the discussion she let a few people try out her machine and give it a go.

Hannah hard at work. Such focus. Determination. You can do iiiitttttt!
Michele, lookin' like a pro!
Mona's practice on her name! Keep it up, lady!

Whew, that was a lot of stuff. I need a nap just thinking back on it all. Stay tuned for December meeting deets!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

November meeting announcement!

The November meeting is coming up on Sunday, Nov. 1st, 1:00-4:00pm, at the usual location (The Pittsburgh Project, 2801 North Charles Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15214). 

This meeting will feature a New Member Open House! What fun! We have recently welcomed a lot of new members, and this is a good chance for everybody to schmooze a little. Also, hey, if maybe YOU or someone you know has been toying with the idea of checking out the PghMQG, this is a great time to do that! Bring yourself! Bring your friend(s)! Bring a neighbor! There is no obligation to join, and if you decide to come you can attend your first TWO meetings for free. Woah. (After that you will be asked to pay $5 a meeting or $40/year for full membership). So, please, come take advantage of this opportunity to find out what the heck this guild thing is all about. Feel free to bring some of your completed or in progress quilty projects to show off at Show and Tell!

Some other things happening at the November meeting:
  • QuiltCon blocks are due! This project is really coming along, guys! Amanda will have the currently completed blocks on hand so we can get a sneak peek.  
  • Fat Quarter Club payment ($12) is due for December if you are participating this go 'round. Michele will be picking the fabric this time.
  • We will be discussing proposed By-Law changes that will be voted on in December. A copy of the propose changes will be posted on the blog after the meeting.
  • Raffle tickets are available! The raffle quilt will be moved to Spool in November, and we also have tickets if you want to sell any yourself ($1 each or 6 for $5). Remember, the funds we raise will be used to provide interesting content for the guild. So every dollar raised helps.
  • And, finally, Melissa will be discussing machine quilting as our skill builder this month. 
Melissa says:

This skill builder will be appropriate for quilters of all skill levels.  We will practice using the walking foot (which is a great starting point if you’ve never quilted anything on your own) and also the quilting foot which allows you more freedom but will take some practice if you have never quilted before.  We’ll work through a few simple patterns, discuss tips and tricks, and spend some time honing our skills.

If you are an advanced machine quilter, feel free to bring an actual quilt top to quilt during the session.  If you want to try something a little more advanced but don’t want to take a chance “ruining” your quilt top, you could bring a panel to quilt (Angela Walters came out with a few good “modern” ones).  Regardless of your skill level, a quilt sandwich made with scrap fabric and batting will be appropriate for this class.  I recommend at least a 12”x12” square so you have some room to work.

Supplies if you want to try it out:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Walking Foot
  • Quilting (Darning) Foot
  • Practice Quilt Sandwiches (about 12”x12” or larger should suffice)
  • Contrasting Thread
  • Sewing Tools (as needed, screwdriver for swapping out feet, etc)
Optional (the only one I strongly recommend is a pair of gloves)
  • Quilting Gloves (Machingers, Steady Betty Bands, Latex/Nitrile Gloves - this will help you grip the quilt as you move it)
  • Supreme Sliders/Silicone Spray
  • Quilt Halo
  • Magic Bobbin Washers

See you next Sunday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October meeting/QuiltCon Sew-in Recap

What a productive day we had on Saturday, eh? Thank you to everyone who attended the QuiltCon charity challenge sew-in at The Quilt Company! The project is coming along beautifully, and at least half of the blocks are completed so far. Don't forget to finish up your blocks and have them ready for the next meeting on November 1st. A few tips if you are still working on yours: relax, deep breaths, don't stress, and just sew! We also would like to thank The Quilt Company again for being our gracious hosts. What a great meeting space! 

 Please visit the Flickr page to view all the photos from the event!

Cheralee hard at work, for once! ;)

Jan's completed road block (see what I did there?)

Oh yes, this is going to be simply delightful.

The October business meeting was also held on Saturday during the sew-in. Some highlights:
  • The November 1st meeting will feature a new member meet and greet, stay tuned for the meeting announcement with further details to appear here soon.
  • We will be voting on by-law amendments in December. The proposed changes will be available for review soon!
  • Leadership elections are coming up in December! Please think about whether you might want to get more involved. We will discuss nominations at the next meeting.
  • Michele will be choosing our FQ Club goodies for December. Payment ($12) if you want to join will be due at the Nov meeting.
  • Sandy has volunteered to quilt the Pittsburgh Project quilt. Thanks, Sandy!
  • Mona has completed the "thank you" crazy quilt for the gracious lady who donated all that fabric to the guild back in the Spring. Take a look!

Good job, Mona!
Get those QuiltCon blocks done! 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October meeting announcement

The October meeting will be held this coming Saturday, Oct 17th, at 1:00 during the QuiltCon sew-in at The Quilt Company. This will just be a brief business meeting so we will not be holding show and tell this month. We hope you can join us for the sew-in! The sew-in runs from Noon-4:30. Please feel free to come by even if you have finished your block. We still have four unclaimed blocks for the QuiltCon project if you want to pitch in or team up with others. Bring your machine and basic supplies if you want to help out!

See you Saturday!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Modern Block Improv Workshop Recap

We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who came out this past Saturday for the Modern Block Improv Workshop, especially our fantastic teacher, Sherri Lynn Wood! Thank you, Sherri Lynn, for fitting us into your busy schedule! I think we all learned some valuable techniques, and even maybe some things about ourselves and our individual creative processes. To view all the photos from this workshop please head to guild's Flickr page, but some sneak peaks are below.

Sherri Lynn Wood explaining the process for improv piecing traditional blocks

So many color choices!
Thirty minutes of improv piecing! Woah!

Oh hey! The Beaver Valley Quilt Show is running this Thursday through Saturday. All the details can be found here. If you are heading out, keep your eyes peeled for some quilts being shown by our very own Gerry Benton (Iris, iris, iris and Batiks Everywhere) and Amanda Hancock (#nofilter). 

We hope you can join us for the QuiltCon project sew-in at The Quilt Company coming up on Saturday, Oct. 17th from Noon-4:30. If you are coming, please RSVP to the Evite that went out last week so we can get a head count for the shop by the end of this week. If you didn't get the Evite, please email the guild and let us know if you are coming. The October meeting will be held at 1:00 during the sew-in, but we will not be holding show and tell to keep it brief.

See you soon!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sherri Lynn Wood workshop

Please join the Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild in welcoming Sherri Lynn Wood to teach a one-day workshop on Modern Block Improv. Registration is now open to the public!

Note that registration is a two-step process.  First, proceed to the Eventbrite page to register.  After you have registered, please pay the workshop fee via check or with the PayPal button on this page.

The goal of improvisational patchwork is flexible patterning.  Participants will start with a favorite fixed or "traditional" block pattern and gradually transform it through a series of repetitions and variations.  Without the use of rulers, templates, or instructions, to guide them, they will gain a deeper sense of how patterns evolve, while learning ruler-free patchwork and composition techniques along the way. This workshop is appropriate for all skill levels from beginner to advanced.

The workshop fee is $75 (or $77.50 if you would like to pay via PayPal) for members of the Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild and $100 (or $103.50 if you would like to pay via PayPal) for non-members.  The workshop will be limited to 25 participants.  Registration deadline is September 18, 2015.  The workshop fee is transferable but not refundable.  Please head over to the Eventbrite page to complete registration and for additional payment information. 

Here is a useful link for paying by PayPal (please also register on Eventbrite to secure your seat and get your printable ticket)!

Please choose your membership level from this drop-down menu

Though not required for the workshop, we will have copies of Sherri Lynn Wood's book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters available for sale the day of the workshop at a discounted rate.  No other books, notions, or other supplies will be available for purchase.

Tools & Equipment

  • Sewing Machine
  • Extension Cord
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Cutting Mat
  • Hand sewing needles and thimble (optional - just in case)
  • Straight pins (lots of them)
  • Tailor's chalk/marking tools
  • Medium gray spool of thread


  • A well-balanced spectrum of solid and print fabrics, including neutrals and a variety of values (light to dark).  Throw in a couple of zingers.
  • There is no set amount of fabric to bring.  In determining how much material to bring, consider how fast you sew and if you want to work on something big to finish later or something mini as a sample.  Bring enough quantity for creative freedom, but probably no more than five yards is necessary.  Don't worry, whatever you bring will be enough to make do with!
  • You don't need to spend tons of money on new fabric for this (unless you want to - it's a good excuse to buy more fabric), scraps and other fabric from your stash will work.

If you have questions, please contact us at

Saturday, September 26, 2015

September meeting recap

The beginning of Fall seemed to bring new and old members to the September meeting. Twenty people were in attendance. After introductions the meeting proceeded.

Amanda has done a great job breaking down our QuiltCon challenge project into manageable blocks for the members to complete. Packets were distributed to all who felt that they could contribute. The packets included fabric, a portion of the bridge to be represented and hints on how to do this. There are a handful of blocks left to be claimed, so please email Amanda if you would like to help out. There will be a sew-in at Quilt Company on Saturday, October 17th from Noon-4:30 to work on these blocks together. More details about this will be coming soon! The finished blocks are due at the November meeting.

Kathy delivered the PghMQG raffle quilt to Quilter’s Corner who will display it and sell tickets for the month of September. Quilt Company will do the same for the month of October, and we are still seeking a storefront to host it in November. The drawing will be held at our December meeting. Tickets are $1 each or 6 tickets for $5. This is a fundraiser for our guild, so please see Kathy about picking up tickets to sell to your family and friends. 

PghMQG 2015 Raffle Quilt

Quilter’s Corner also donated 6 yards of solid fabrics to the guild as a “Thank You” gift for the pillow cases that members donated at the August meeting.Thank you to everyone who participated in this worthy cause!

Mona and Stephanie distributed the September offering of the Fat Quarter Club. Head over the FQ Club page on this site to check out their cool selections. We are looking for a volunteer to choose fabric for the December offering.

Show & Tell:   

Gerry showed a small quilt that she had made after our paper piecing meeting. Don't you love how that white pops? So fresh!
Melissa, a brandy new member, showed a lovely quilt top using circles. So cool!
Karen showed Lauren the bag that she had made using several of the pieces of fabric that Lauren had shared with those at the July meeting.
Lauren showed us her Carolyn Friedlander Collection Quilt BOM that she is working on.  She is using distinctive fabrics that she has collected on her many trips to far and distant places.
Sally showed a table runner made using Aboriginal fabrics. This color combo is so great!

To see all the photos from show and tell please check out the guild's Flickr page.

The skillbuilder for this month was Alternate Grids, led by Sally. The discussion began by looking at the quilt that Gerri made using the blocks that she won at the May retreat.
Her approach was to use a design wall and then arrange her blocks in positions that she liked. From there she determined how to frame them with background fabric to produce the final quilt top. 

Gerry' s alternate grid placement

Sally showed a more systematic approach where a grid is in fact created and marked out using tape. The blocks are then placed within the grids in different positions. The grid can then be shifted to achieve the desired look.   

Sally's grid placement in progress

The blocks are then created using the focus block and the background fabric. Cut a piece of background at least ¾ of an inch greater than the distance measured from the focus block to the outer boundary of the grid block and the length of the focus block. Proceed in this way, almost log cabin style, until you have a block the size of the grid block made of background and focus block. 

Here is the completed piece. Neat!

Attendees then played with the block for the upcoming Pittsburgh Project charity quilt.  We looked at several possible arrangements, and Sarah will now put it together!!
Playing with layouts (Psst, the first one, amirite).

The group then headed out to the opening of the new fabric shop Spool located 816 E Warrington Ave, Pittsburgh 15210  (Allentown). The store was very active and has a very modern vibe. It's a small store, but has lots of great offerings for the modern quilter.  Our members seemed to find quite a few irresistible pieces. The cookies were to die for!


Sunday, October 4th: 
Noon-7:00pm, Sherri Lynn Wood workshop at the Pittsburgh Project. A few spots are still available.  Check the website for details.

Thurs-Sat, October 8-10th: 
The Beaver Valley Quilt Show, check out their website for all the details. Several members will be showing! 

Saturday, October 17th
Noon-4:30, Sew-in for the QuiltCon project at Quilt Company (3940 Middle  Rd, Allison Park, PA 15101). The regular October meeting will be held during the sew-in.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Spool storefront opening! September meeting time adjusted!

Local Pittsburgh fabric shop, Spool, is having the grand opening of their first brick and mortar store on Sunday, September 13th from Noon-4:00. "But wait!", you say. "The PghMQG September meeting is at the same time! Oh noes! How do I decide?". Well, now you don't have to! We are moving the time of our meeting up to Noon-2:00. After Sally has presented the skillbuider on Alternate Grids we invite you to take a field trip with us to the new Spool storefront at 816 E. Warrington Ave, Pittsburgh PA. You can check out Spool's website and look for them on Facebook for more information.

We look forward to seeing everybody at the meeting and don't forget to sign up for the Sherri Lynn Wood workshop! Registration closes on Sept. 18th! 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

September meeting announcement

Hello, friends! 

Back to school time is upon us, and the September meeting is right around the corner! Please note that we will be meeting at the Pittsburgh Project on Sunday, September 13th due to the Labor Day holiday. 

Some highlights from the upcoming meeting include:
  • The September FQ Club fabric will be available 
  • Quiltcon charity challenge quilt bundles will be up for grabs (please email Amanda before the meeting if you cannot attend and would like to participate, so she can set aside a bundle for you)
  • The skillbuilder this month is Alternate Grids with Sally. 

Sally says:

We will explore alternate grids to make a table runner or a small quilt (or larger if you want)! 
Prepare 10 or more blocks of varying sizes but no larger than 7” square. If they end up larger – which happened to me- we can make adjustments. This is a great opportunity to use up your scraps and orphaned blocks. I made improv nested squares but you may use any block.  You can check out June’s block of the month for inspiration. There is a link to 42 possibilities. 
Bring at least 1 yard of a solid fabric for sashing that will show off your blocks.  If you want something larger than a table runner then bring a larger piece of solid.  Don't forget your machine, cutting board, rotary cutter and the usual supplies.  Make sure that you bring an extension cord.

Alternate Grids with Sally

Sarah is still collecting 12x18" blocks in grey/greens/blues for the Pittsburgh Project charity quilt. Please consider donating one at the meeting!

Some of the charity quilt blocks collected so far

Our BOM for September is Flying Geese. This is a great block for using as filler when doing alternate grids. Check out this website for four different methods of piecing your geese.

Some reminders: if you have not paid your dues for this year, please bring your payment to the meeting. Dues can also be paid by PayPal now. See the "About Us" page on this website for the link to do so.

Also, space is filling up for the Sherri Lynn Wood workshop. Don't forget to register! All of the details are available here

Fyi, the Beaver Valley Quilt Show is coming up soon! Entries are due by September 7th. The theme this year is Paper Piecing. You can find all the details on their website. Let us know if you are entering so we can keep an eye out for your work!

See you in September!