Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Journey of a Quilt

photo by Ashleigh Marie
I am here to tell you the story behind the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild’s 2016 Quiltcon Charity quilt.  This quilt’s journey started back in April of 2015, when The Modern Quilt Guild announced its Quiltcon Charity Quilt Challenge. For this year’s challenge we were instructed to create a quilt with the theme of Improv with Intent. They also gave us a colour palette of Red, Blue, Yellow, White, Off White, Grey and Black. These were the perfect colours for us here in Calgary, since they are the colours of our city. 

This is where I enter the story. I took up the challenge and proposed to the guild that we accept this challenge from the Modern Quilt Guild. The Guild was with me. We mulled over ideas throughout the summer. But it was after Rachel Elliott saw another member’s photo of the Tipis at the Stampede Indian Village that is was finally decided on. Our theme was to be Tipi. This subject has great resonance in this city, because Stampede is a festival held here every year and the Indian Village has always been a large part of it. We also have several First Nations near Calgary. 

At the end of summer I was also privileged enough to take a class on Improv Quilting with Intent from Cheryl Arkison. She helped me come up with some ideas of quilt blocks and quilt designs for this quilt. 

So by fall of 2015 we had everything we needed to start creating this quilt.  With help and advice from Bernadette Kent, I created kits that the members could take home and create blocks. We also arranged sew days that members could attend. But it really came down to November’s sew day-- that is when the quilt really came together with the help of Philippa Gelinas, Jodi Antoniuk Tse, Kathy Tims, Diane Lehodey Amundrud, Kelly Kay Spurlock and Rachel Elliott, who banded together to create the binding, sew more blocks, and help design the final quilt layout. 

Once we had a finished quilt top it was ready to be put into the hands of our excellent long-arm Quilter, Mary Dylke Nee Parkinson. She really knocked it out of the park for us. The quilting was a perfect complement to the quilt top that we had created. 

The next stop on this quilt’s journey was to Rebecca Cleaver Burke, who applied the binding by hand and it's hanging sleeve. 

Once the quilt was complete, it was time for its photo shoot. Erin Cavallin, Ashleigh Marie, Philippa Gelinas, and I headed out on one of the coldest days in January 2016 to photograph our completed quilt.  

The next step on the journey of this quilt was a big one. It was off to Pasadena, California. That is where it was displayed along with other Guilds’ Quilts from around the world for 4 days during The Modern Quilt Guilds’ Quiltcon Show and Conference. 

Once the quilt was back home, it started on its journey to raise money. We ended up pairing with Ghost River Rediscovery. This organization works with First Nations youth, and helps them reconnect with their heritage. The best way to do that for them was to hold a raffle. We had 36 members selling tickets all over town. We attended the The Calgary Pow Wow and had great support from the First Nations people there. The quilt was even entered into the 2016 Calgary Stampede creative arts and crafts competition. It received a first place ribbon in its category of Modern Quilts pieced by entrant, quilted by a second person.

And now this quilt’s journey is almost finished. On Thursday, September 15, 2016 all 1460 raffle tickets were collected into one box and the drawing was held. One of our members, Becca Cleaver sold the most tickets, 100! The lucky winner was declared Lisa Kampel. She isn’t a member of our guild but does do some sewing and quilting herself. One of our members, Julie Vine, is her co-worker and was able to deliver it to her the very next day. Julie told me that Lisa was over the moon about winning this quilt. This quilt’s journey has ended.

Photo by Julie Vine
I am so happy that we were able to raise $2920 for Ghost River Rediscovery. It also makes me very happy that the owner of this quilt loves it. 

Thank you!

Jera MacKenzie

Thursday, 15 September 2016

October Block Lotto - Wonky Quarter Log Cabin

We took a break from block lotto over the summer, but now that September is here, the kids are back in school and dear I say it, the leaves are starting to change colour. It's time to rev things up again!

First things first - the colour palette.

  • Medium grey right through to charcoal, and maybe even touches of black.
  • teal
  • mustard
  • This palette does have an overall darker feel, so try not to get too many lights in the mix.
  • It's ok to mix a few solids in with those patterned fabrics

I have chosen a really simple block, so all levels of quilters can jump right in.
Wonky Quarter Log Cabin - John Q.  Adams  aka Quilt Dad

  • Start with a centre in the 3-4 inch range 
  • I cut my strips approx 2-4 inches wide
  •  The blocks don't need to have a ton of wonky, but a bit will make them interesting.
  • Trim finished blocks to 12.5 inches square.
Blocks are dues at October meeting 

General Block Rules are here 

Wondering which hashtags to use on IG and social media?
#quarterlogcabin #calmqgblocklotto are great choices. #calmqg and #calgarymqg are good too!

Monday, 12 September 2016

September meeting

This past week has been quite a busy one for me. As some of you may know, I have a son who is now in the 4th grade. With school starting back up it has been a very busy time for me. Sometime I can't believe how hard it is for us to get back into that school time routine.

With the kids back in school and the Holiday season upon us, there was some interest in our last guild meeting about having a discussion on the value of a quilt. There are many blog post across the quilting community on this subject that you may have read. So this month we asked Susan Madu to help lead us on a talk and discussion on this topic.

This Thursday's meeting is also the draw for 2016 Quiltcon Charity Quilt, so please make sure and return all tickets to us.

We also have 2017 Quiltcon Charity Quilt in the works. We will be needing to get all kits back either at the meeting on Thursday or the Sew Day on Saturday, September 17.

Last but not least is the Summer Challenge! I can't wait to see all the beautifully worded creations.

The schedule is:

  • Greeting and updates
  • Talk on The Value of a Quilt
  • Summer Challenge show
  • Show and Tell
  • 2016 Quiltcon Draw

Please bring:

  • Raffle tickets
  • 2017 Quiltcon Charity block kits
  • 5" squares for charity quilts
  • Summer Challenge project
  • a modern quilt for show and tell
  • name tag
Our meeting are held at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre Bay 4, 2915 19th St. NE from 7-9pm on September 15th. Our next Sew Day will be on Saturday, September 17th at the same location as our meetings.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

August Meeting

August's meeting is almost here, which means summer is almost over and school, fall and the holiday season is getting closer. How do you approach your  sewing? Do you have specific projects in mind? Do you just jump on the latest designs? Or do you have no plans at all and just sew what you feel like sewing in that moment. Maybe you do a little of everything. 

Me, I am kinda all over the place right now. Too many projects and not enough time. So hopefully this Thursday's meeting will be enlightening. 

Thursday's meeting topic will be Goal Setting and Motivation for your sewing! 

The Schedule is:
  • Greetings and updates
  • Goal setting and motivation
  • Show and Tell
Please bring
  • notebook and pen
  • A modern quilt for show and tell
  • Raffle tickets back
  • Quiltcon Charity Quilt kits back
  • 5" squares for charity quilts

Our Meetings are held at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre Bay 4, 2915 19th St. NE from 7-9pm on August 18st. Our next Sew Day will be after August's meeting, on Saturday, August 20th.

Monday, 18 July 2016

July Meeting

What a crazy July we are having. I hope you all have been staying dry in this crazy weather and got to enjoy Stampede a little. We had a few members enter their quilts into the Creative Arts and Crafts Competition. We even had a winner or two. Most excitedly our Quiltcon Charity Quilt 2016, Tipi, won 1st place in the Modern Quilt - Piece by entrant, quilted by a second person. Yeah to Us!

So on to what you can expect for July's meeting. We will be having a Prosecco and Chocolate pairing with Invisifil and Decobob.  Bernadette will have an appliqué hand stitching kit for everyone attending the meeting. So, it will be important to confirm your attendance on Facebook event page. Everyone will need to bring their hand stitching supplies - needles, scissors and small pins.  An Invisifil or Decobob thread sample for stitching will be provided.

The Schedule is:
  • Greetings and updates
  • Thread pairing and demo
  • Show and Tell
Please bring:
  • needles, scissors, and small pins
  • A modern quilt for show and tell
  • 5" squares for charity quilts
Our Meetings are held at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre Bay 4, 2915 19th St. NE from 7-9pm on July 21st. Our next Sew Day will be after August's meeting, on Saturday, August 20th.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

QuiltCon 2017 Charity Quilt Challenge Begins!

As we ramp up our 2017 Quiltcon Charity Quilt Challenge project I wanted to send out a little information about the project. Every year this is a BIG project and our guild always rises to the occasion to create an amazing quilt. This year my goal is to involve more members than ever in the process! At our last meeting we revealed the project. This quilt at Heritage Park by Vanecea Greene inspired our charity quilt for 2017. The design concept
Vanecea Greene's Orange Peel Quilt inspired
this year's charity quilt.
this year is “scale” so we decided to adapt this concept into a flying geese quilt. We will be using two yellow shades and the two blue shades to wrangle this palette a little more!

Here is our timeline for the project

July 9
Making kits for distribution at the July/August meetings
July/August Meetings
Kit Distribution – Read below for details
August 20 Sew Day
Making blocks
September Meeting
Kits due back
September 17th Sew Day
Top assembly/planning
October 22nd Sew Day
Top assembly/planning/
November 19th Sew Day
Final sew day – hopefully the quilt is done at this point
Early November
Off to the quilter!
Binding and Sleeve attached

Right now it feels like we have all the time in the world but that is definitely not true! It all happens so quickly and there is a lot of work to do!

There will be 32 kits to make blocks for the quilt. You can get them at the July/August meetings and in August if I am around I can do some delivering. We are going to ask that you give us a $5 deposit to take a kit. When you return the blocks completed you will get your $5 back – we promise! This year we opted to purchase fabric for the quilt rather than asking members to share their stash with us. We did this for a couple of reasons, the first being that it’s faster to get fabric at a store rather than waiting until the next meeting to gather stash and hope we had enough. This allows us to get the project moving a whole month faster than we could have if we waited a month to gather fabric from all of you. We also thought that the design needed a certain level of cohesiveness as well as variety – we hope we achieved that when we went shopping! We can’t afford to lose any fabric and we are hoping that the deposit prevents this.

Each kit makes this set of blocks (well you will make just one more block than this) and it takes about an hour and a half to assemble all of these. It’s pretty quick sewing because most of it can be chain pieced. In the kit you will get instruction so hopefully the process is fun and painless for everyone! I am hoping to do a little sew day tutorial at one of our August sew days.

Perhaps making a kit is not your style. That’s OK! There are lots of jobs to do! At our September 17th and October 22nd sew days you can come and help assemble the quilt top. It’s going to be a HUGE undertaking to get all of these little blocks in their places, many hands will make light work on those days. Bring your machine, or set up a pressing station, or get your math hat on – we will take all the help we can get!

If you are a longarmer – we are currently looking for someone to do that job! For the past two years Mary Dylke of No Rules Quilting has graciously done this job and she is willing to do it again but just in case someone else feels passionate about contributing their skills in this area I am throwing it out to all of you! The quilt should be ready by early November which would give you about 3-4 weeks to complete the quilting. You can contact me on facebook or catch me at a meeting to let me know that you are interested in doing the quilting.

But maybe your favourite part is the binding?! And the sleeve?! Well we have the perfect job for you. With luck, the quilt will be quilted by the end of November or early December and ready for binding and attaching the sleeve/label. If you know that you will have time to do this work in December please let me know!

Phew! If you are still reading I am impressed! The end goal is to ship the quilt in the second week of January so that we know it will arrive on time for the February 3, 2017.

You can download a copy of the instructions to the blocks here.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Some upcoming Sew Days

It's July! We are ready to do some summer charity sewing. Please come join us at WonderFil Threaducation Centre on Saturday, July 9 and Wednesday, July 13 from 10am to 5pm. Then again in August on Wednesday, August 17 and Saturday, August 20 from 10am to 5pm.

We have lots of different projects you can help us out with. We have lots of fabric to be cut whether it be for our Quiltcon 2017 Charity Quilt or 5" squares for our Sonshine charity quilts. If you want to sew we already have a lot of 5" squares already cut out and ready for you to sew together. I also have 2 quilt tops ready to be quilted, so if you want to try your hand at longarming we can set that up also.

So depending on what you want to do please bring either a large cutting mat, ruler and rotary blade for cutting fabric and/or you sewing machine.

We would love to see you all!

Jera MacKenzie