Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Skill Builder 2017-18 - Log Cabin block by Isabelle Jean

The Log Cabin quilt pattern is one of the most beloved and recognized of quilt designs. Log Cabin quilts first made their appearance in the United States in the 1860s during the Civil War.
Early Log Cabin blocks were hand-pieced using strips of fabrics around a central square. In traditional Log Cabin blocks, one half is made of dark fabrics and the other half light. A red center symbolized the hearth of home and a yellow center represented a welcoming light in the window. Some stories have also been told which suggest that during the Civil War, a Log Cabin quilt with a black center hanging on a clothesline was meant to signal a stop for the Underground Railroad.

How to sew a Log Cabin Block
To sew a traditional log cabin block, start with a square. Sew "logs" to each side of the block going clockwise (or counter clockwise) until you reach the size needed.

You can choose to make your logs any size you want and you can pre-cut each piece before you start sewing, or you can cut as you sew.

To make a 12.5" traditional log cabin block, start with a 2.5" square and sew 1.5" "logs" to each side until you have a 12.5" block. Remember to piece your block so that one half is dark and the other light.

Once your blocks are done, you can choose from a wide variety of layouts.

To modernize the log cabin block, you can:

Play with negative space
By Pasqualina at pasqualinathisandthat.blogspot.com

Play with bright solids
Periwinkle Quilting and Beyond
Play with improv
By Izzy (me!)
For more log cabin inspiration, check out the Pinterest board I created.
Another one by me
If you choose to make your own version of the modern Log Cabin block, be sure to share it on Instagram with the hashtags:

#mtlmqgskills and/or #mtlmqgskillbuilder

Monday, November 13, 2017

November meeting reminder

Just a quick reminder... our next meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday November 14th at 7pm.

If you are participating in the 1-hour basket swap, please make sure to bring your finished basket in an opaque bag for the blind swap. Bring a basket, leave with a basket!

We will be having a talk by Cinzia on quilt labels, and we will be wrapping up the Square/Strip-based block section of the skillbuilder challenge with a presentation from Izzy on the Log Cabin block. If you have blocks to contribute to the charity quilts, please bring them to turn in.

Tomorrow's meeting is also the deadline to pay fees for the Memory Quilt workshop... if you have signed up for the workshop but not yet paid your fees, please make sure you do so before leaving.

Hope to see you tomorrow! :)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Member Spotlight: Fiona Nanson

Here we go with another Member Spotlight! This month, we are featuring our Guild Secretary: Fiona Nanson.

Your social media coordinates (blog/website, Facebook, Instagram, etc):

Fi Nanson on Instagram and Facebook. No blog or website.

What did you study in school and/or what do you do for a day job?

I studied Neuroscience. I teach and research Psychology and Neuroscience specializing in autism.

How long have you been quilting?

A long time…but off and on…I made my first quilt about 16 years ago. I made a denim and flannel rag quilt (my ex still has it).  I made a whole bunch of rag quilts, while I was working on my thesis. I made a Christmas tree rag quilt, a Mickey Mouse rag quilt and a strawberry rag quilt to name a few. Then I made a quilt for my ex brother in law's wedding gift. It was a pixelated sunset. It was beautiful. I cannot for the life of me find a photo of them. Following the sunset, I didn’t make another one for a number of years. I make a lot of clothes from wedding dresses to skorts and PJs. I often have a list that has been requested that tends to push my quilt projects down the list.

What first got you interested in modern quilting?

I was looking for inspiration to get back to quilting and stumbled on to a modern quilting magazine. I liked everything in it.

How did you find the MMQG and why did you decide to join?

I was looking for a quilt class in Montreal in English that wasn’t too traditional. I found the website and the rest is history.

Whose techniques/style/philosophy do you most admire in the modern quilting community?
I love bright colours. I love the idea that you don’t have to follow the rules when you are making something. I adore the creativity. The idea of taking something that has guidelines and rules and making it your own.

Do you have any favorite quilting related social media accounts that you follow?

Honestly, no. I follow several but I don’t have a favorite other than the people from our guild. I know those people so those are more interesting.

Where do you look for inspiration or ideas for your quilting projects?

I make quilts for other people. I have never kept one for myself. I know silly but true. So when I start, I have an idea for that person.

What is your favorite project that you have completed?

I love my Eskimo quilt. I love Inuit art. My mother has a have a collection of sculpture and Inuit art that she has bought and been given. I adore all of her pieces. I made the Eskimo quilt for her after we visited an artist in the north. It means a lot to both her and me.

What would you consider to be your quilting ‘superpower’?

Procrastinating…..I have so many things planned, started, but unfinished it must be a super power.

What is your favorite part of the quilt making process? Why?

The planning and design, the finding the fabrics. I love drawing them out planning them but, I have a hard time finishing….I get there but it tends to take me a long time… I think I hate binding so much that that is really what holds me back.

What project or technique is next on your “to try” list?

I am working on a “dimensional quilt”. It is like paper origami. All the shapes are squares it is enterally created by folding and the squares into curves, triangle and rectangles. It is fun, confusing but fun. I am also going to hand quilt something I have been working on for a number of years. It is all being done by hand and I hope to have it finished this winter.

What is the best quilting tip or technique you’ve discovered?

The binding techniques from our guild members. If I had not learned from Cinza I would never have bound the quilts. I am looking forward to adding the new ones from the last meeting to my next finishing…when I get there.

What is the best bit of quilting advice you’ve ever received?

Mistakes are just a part of the design. It has helped me with so many projects. I am a perfectionist 99% of the time and learning to accept errors as part of the quilt.

Describe your creative process in three words:

Embrace the entropy.

Describe/share pictures of your creative space:

Nope…I moved this summer it is not set up in a way that I feel I can show to others.

Monday, October 23, 2017

FULL: Memory quilt workshop with Suzanne Paquette

On November 25th, we will be hosting a workshop by Suzanne Paquette. She will be teaching us how to turn textiles with a sentimental value into a modern heirloom quilt, using an original pattern of her own design:
Autrement/Otherwise by Suzanne Paquette

We will learn various techniques for working with difficult fabrics, such as baby clothes, vintage ties and concert t-shirts (to name just a few) and how to incorporate them into a modern quilt.

We have opened this workshop to the public, so you do not have to be an Mtl MQG member to participate. The cost is $30 for Mtl MQG members and $50 for non-members; spots are limited to 25 participants. Full details on supplies and workshop pre-work will be provided upon registration.

EDIT: This workshop is now full, we have no more spots available. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Quilt binding tips

At our last meeting, we discussed different ways to finish/bind a quilt. There about as many ways to finish a quilt as there are quilters, and everyone has a preferred method.

Some of us use a physical tool, like the Binding Tool, while others prefer just a ruler and a few calculations (see the Members Only section for both Melanie's and Cinzia tutorials on quilt binding methods and measurements).

There is also a "no math" method that Nicole shared (you can skip to 2:50 for that specific technique):

How to Bind a Quilt by Heirloom Creations

I'd never seen this one before... I will have to try it on my next finish! At the end of the tutorial, she also explains the "puffy binding" technique that Stacy was talking about during our discussion.

Do you have a binding technique that you love? Share it in the comments! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Swap: 1-hour basket

As announced at our meeting last night, our first swap of the year will be... the 1-hour basket! Standard swap rules apply... if you wish to participate, simply sew up a basket and bring it in an opaque bag (brown paper, gift bag, etc) to the November meeting. Everyone who comes with one gets to leave with one!

These baskets are super quick and simple to whip up and are great for storing just about anything. All it takes is two fat quarters of fabric, some interfacing (or fusible fleece, or quilt batting, or canvas, etc) and about an hour of your time. If 3-dimensional objects aren't usually your thing, don't be intimidated! This pattern is totally accessible for all skill levels.

You can purchase the pattern here ($1.25 Cdn) and you can browse examples of the finished baskets on Craftsy and on Pinterest.

The variations are endless, although bear in mind once you start getting fancy with your basket, we can't promise it will still only take an hour to complete ;)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Skill Builder 2017-18 - Nine Patch block by Cinzia Allocca

The nine-patch block is one of the most recognizable patchwork blocks, the origins dating as far back as the 18th century.

In its simplest form, a nine-patch block is made using light and dark fabrics laid out in a checkerboard fashion:

The nine-patch block can either be assembled by sewing small squares together (making it conducive to working with scraps or charm squares) or, as we saw with the Rail Fence block, by using the strip-piecing method.

Let’s start with some simple quilt math:

To figure out the width of your strip or size of square you need for your block, begin with the finished size of block you want to make, divide that number by 3 and add a 1/2in. seam allowance (1/4 in. each side).


For the charity quilts, we want a finished block size of 12” x 12”:

12 divided by 3 = 4 + 1/2 = 4 -1/2” strips or squares.

Cut (3) 4-1/2” x WOF (width of fabric) strips of each color.

Sew (3) strips together in alternating colors. Make one set light-dark-light and a second set dark-light-dark, as shown below.

Cut each strip into several 4-1/2” pieces.

Sew three pieces of alternating sets together from left to right.

Alternate the order of the sets if you are going to sew the blocks side by side:

A nine-patch block however, does not need to be made up of simple squares. It can also be made up of pieced squares as we see in the following traditional blocks:

Examples of quilts that apply Modern Quilt Characteristics to the Nine-Patch block:


Modern Traditionalism (Modern variation of the Traditional Irish Chain):
By Mtl MQG member Tamara Serrao

Playing with Scale:

One giant Nine Patch block!
By Victoria van der Laan

Changing the scale of the patches:

For her “Stretched Shoo Fly Quilt”, Mtl MQG member Josee Carrier played with the scale of the patches within the block and varied the scale of each block.
By Mtl MQG Josee Carrier

Improvisational Piecing: (by yours truly!)

I cut my strips free hand to create my improv blocks. The result is that each block in my quilt top is unique!
Finished Quilt Top: Nine-Patch Variation by Cinzia Allocca

To see more:

I created a Nine-Patch Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.ca/2petitessouris/nine-patch-quilts/

For Quiltcon 2017, American Patchwork and Quilting sponsered Nine-Patch Challenge. Click here to see winners of the challenge:


If you choose to make your own version of the modern Nine Patch block, be sure to share it on Instagram with the hashtags:

#mtlmqgskills and/or #mtlmqgskillbuilder

Happy Sewing!!
October 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Mintures
October 10, 2017 at 7pm SouthWest Mission, Verdun, QC

Quick points of business:
     Seating arrangement, comments welcome. Trying new things with the fridge making too much noise.
     No one answered for last call for being paired up to make name tags, so if you want one please make your own.
     Membership dues are due by November meeting.
     Only a couple left FQ Mtl Fat quarter bundles left at Clinton Modern, order them asap if you want one.
     Please be aware that the room accoustics are terrible so please listen when someone is talking.
     Remember we are a welcoming, collaborative and often rule breaking modern quilt guild ….. compliments, suggestions and ideas are always welcome.  Be careful to phrase them with kindness and openness ….. quilt rules demanders and quilt police, please keep your comments to yourself. 
     Once again, bad people in the world have made for people to call for quilts of comfort.  If you wish to make a quilt for the #QuiltsforVegas drive can make use of the mid-arm machine at Atelier Fiber Arts for free contact Amanda for details.  Stacy is looking into the shipping costs if you want to make a square and send it. Vegas is asking the quilts and squares if you want to send them them asap. 
     Skill builders can be displayed at the front of every meeting and on Instagram and Facebook.  We are trying to make sure the show and tell is not all skill builders.   
     Charity project this year.  Lap quilts or bigger for Palliacco. http://www.palliacco.org/en/  if you are making skill builders and do not want them for yourself, please keep to the Guild logo colour pallet and the blocks will be collected and made into charity quilts.
     Fall workshop - Memory quilts (clothing) with Suzanne Paquette
     Nov 25th 10am-4pm at CRCS St-Zotique
     Cost $30 per person, payment due by Nov meeting
     18 people registered, 7 spots left.  If it doesn’t fill with members, we will open it to other guilds.
     Details on workshop/pre-work will be emailed to those who have registered.
     Reminder to check blog for important info.
     The Sew-in for December will be at Atelier Fiber Arts (3993 Wellington in Verdun)  due to space restrictions, it will be members only.
     Check out the bio of our fearless leader on the blog.
     Sewn Item Swap
     1-hour basket swap.  If you wish to participate, make a basket, place it in an opaque paper bag and bring it to the November meeting.  If you bring one you will leave with one. 

     Show and Tell
     We will hang works on the divider for people to browse during the break
      First time project quilted pillow
      Wonky pink star
      Slab quilt red black and white
      Sshhh it’s a secret
      Sasquatch quilt (all pieced even the hands)
      Descending triangles
      Cool and warm half square triangles
      The practice quilt
      The navy blue mystery quilt
      Yellow on point half triangles
      Memory t-shirt quilt
      3D cubes.

     Demo – Binding Demo
     Measuring the tail of the binding to make a perfect (ish) finish.
     Melanie, similar concept with measurements.  See only members section for instructions (en français) Demo of measurements
     Cinzia’s method is also amazing, see the handout is on the blog in the members only section.
     Remember; we are all here to learn from each other, there are many roads that lead to the same place.

     Skill builder block of the month - the Nine Patch:
     FYI we have some small FQ bundles available for those who wish/need fabric for charity quilts.  As this was purchased with donated money, it must be used for the charity quilts.
     Remember that blocks/techniques can be combined! Don’t be afraid to mix and match blocks and techniques.
     Cinzia - Nine patch blocks
      From humble beginnings, in the 1800s families could not waste anything and making quilts reused fabric.  The 9 patch may be one of the oldest quilt patterns.  Children as young as 3 and 4 began to learn to sew using the 9 patch…now for the modern twist.
     Coming up:
     Next meeting - Tuesday November 14th at 7pm
     Memory Quilt workshop November 25th CRCS St-Zotique

     Next sew-in - Saturday Dec 2nd 12pm (Atelier Fiber Arts)