Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jan/Feb 2016 meeting announcement

Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild February Scrap Swap

Don't Forget!  The February meeting has been moved to January 31st!

Because we all love fabric and appreciate a good deal, the February meeting has been changed to Sunday, January 31, 2016.  The time is 1:00-4:00 and we are still meeting at the Pittsburgh Project.  Click the link for directions.  The original meeting date coincided with Super Bowl Sunday as well as several great sales at local shops.  A list is being compiled for distribution at the meeting.

We're going to:
  • get updates on some programming ideas that are in the works
  • brainstorm on a chance to work with other modern guilds
  • collect money for the FQC (Fat Quarter Club)

Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild Fat Quarter Club

After the business portion of the meeting, we want you to share any recent fabric or pattern purchases you have made and how they inspire you.  If you want to clear the decks to make room for those new ideas, we are also having a scrap swap!  Bring a gallon-size plastic bag full of your extra bits.  You will get the chance to stuff your bag with other members' scraps!  Maybe something new will stir the creative juices!  

If you have larger pieces (yardage) to purge, we'll have a separate table for those.
Anyone bringing scraps gets first dibs - leftovers will be available to the rest of the group after all participant picking has been done.

The time remaining after the scrap swap will be devoted to a free sew and working on any projects you want to bring.

Remember, the first meeting is free if you have been thinking about joining.  Come on out!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

35 Sisters (aka "The Bridge")

Our submission for the QuiltCon 2016 Charity Quilt Challenge is complete and has been shipped off to Pasadena!

35 Sisters
Back view! 
When the color and challenge themes (Improv with Intent) were announced for this year's QuiltCon Charity Challenge it seemed like the perfect opportunity to represent our fair city! Pittsburgh is well known for the beautiful golden steel bridges that surround the downtown skyline. Three of the most iconic of these bridges are affectionately termed "The Three Sisters". 

For this challenge we expanded an image of one of these sisters to quilt size (70"x90") and then deconstructed it into 24 manageably sized blocks. Guild members were then given these block images along with packets of fabric that were no bigger than fat eighths (and were in fact mostly small strips) and instructions to improv piece their block using the image portion as a reference point (meaning no pattern or template was to be used). In the end the blocks were put back together to reconstruct the bridge in its entirety. The final effect is a cool, impressionistic image of the bridge which is at once cohesive and also evocative of the individuals who contributed to the effort. 

We were lucky in this endeavor to have had Sherri Lynn Wood visit us while we were working on this project to lead a workshop on improv piecing. Many of the members have expressed their gratitude for this opportunity, and we all agreed that the concepts and skills learned during the workshop were instrumental to our success with the challenge. 

Initially, many of us felt nervous and apprehensive about the project. How would it turn out? Would it look crazy? What if my block doesn't look like her block? What if the lines don't match up! How do I even do that curve?! However! Many agreed in the end that it was a very freeing experience to shake off all the rules, lay the apprehensions aside, and just make. Many are even asking when we can do this again! 

Overall, the experience really brought us together as a guild. We are, as of this blog post, a guild that is thirty four women strong. We named this piece "35 Sisters" as a nod to both the bridge itself and the hands that constructed this version of it. 

Ultimately this quilt will be donated to charity, but, as of yet, we have not identified which charity. We would like to donate it to an organization that can perhaps auction if off to raise proceeds to maximize its potential impact for the greater good. If you are interested in receiving this donation please contact the guild via email.

The quilt will be hanging at QuiltCon in Pasadena, along with many amazing entries from other MQG chapters from around the world, February 18th-21st. After it arrives back it will be on display at The Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival (March 4th-6th in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center), and we have submitted it to the Three Rivers Quilt Show (March 17th-19th at The Circuit Center) as a group entry. 

Many thanks to all of the guild members who contributed to this effort, especially the QuiltCon committee (Amanda, Lauren J., Gerry, and Michele) for their organizational prowess, and to Nicole for her incomparable quilting. 

UPDATE: This quilt was donated to the Heinz History Center, a local affiliate of the Smithsonian, in 2017 where it may be displayed at a future date. 

Here are some closeups of the quilting (front and back):

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 2016 meeting recap

Before we get into the nitty gritty regarding the January meeting, please note that the February meeting is being moved to Sunday, January 31st due to Super Bowl Sunday and all the amazing lqs fabric sales that are expected! Look for the official meeting announcement to be up on the blog soon!

We were happy to see so many smiling faces at our first meeting of the new year! We welcomed a new member, Barbara, and quite a few first time visitors. We hope you will all be back next time! We had to meet in the schoolhouse at The Pittsburgh Project due to a heating issue, but we do normally meet in the church building for all of you new faces.

Melissa, our outgoing president, led the meeting. Thank you for all of your guidance this past year, Melissa! It was a great year of growth and exciting opportunities!

New officer elections were held and our 2016 leadership lineup (followed by their brand spanking new guild email addresses) is as follows:

President: Amanda
VP of Programs: Sally
VP of Membership: Michele
Treasurer: Lauren
Social Media Coordinator: Cheralee

If you need to get in touch with any of these fabulous ladies, please use the email addresses above (also found on the "About Us" page of this website).

After elections, ideas for upcoming meeting topics were discussed. If you have any ideas or suggestions please feel free to email the guild or grab one of the new leaders at the next meeting! A request for a membership roster to be sent out to all the members was made, and we are working on that. Look for it soon!

Nikki, who is in the process of quilting the QuiltCon quilt, brought it with her to show off the progress. It is pretty stunning! The quilt will be sent to California prior to the next meeting, but it is expected to be at the March meeting for viewing and we have submitted it to the Three Rivers Quilt Show in the Group category. 

The quilting really pops on the back of the quilt! Nice job, Nikki!

New membership cards were handed out for 2016. If you did not get one please email Michele, the new VP of Membership. 

A lot of stunning pieces were displayed at Show and Tell:

New member, Barbara, showed off this stunner that she designed herself! Wow!

Lauren did some cool thread painting!
Aimee's Exploding Block quilt top that she is making for her daughter

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

The rest of the meeting time was spent coloring and chatting. 

This is Amanda signing off as social media coordinator. I look forward to serving as president in the coming year! :)