Sunday, August 07, 2016

Twist Fibre Festival - August 20th and 21st

The Montreal Modern Quilt Guild will be taking a break from its summer vacation to attend the 5th annual Twist Fibre Festival in Saint-Andre-Avelin, QC the weekend of August 20-21!

We have a booth for the weekend and will be there with samples of our work, quilting demos, finished items and quilting supplies for sale and a fun collaborative project for the public to participate in! Swing by to see us and say hi! :) 

Also, we were recently interviewed by La Presse about the modern quilting movement and the full article is now available in the La Presse+ tablet app. It was a fun interview and a lovely article; if you'd like to know more about what we do and why we do it, make sure you check it out! (La Presse+ Édition du 5 août 2016, section PAUSE, écran 2

Thursday, June 23, 2016

#QuiltsForPulse - update

A quick update for anyone interested in helping out with the quilt for the Orlando MQG:

We will be meeting on Saturday July 9th from 12 noon to 5pm at Verdun Elementary (631 Rue Melrose, Verdun, QC) to piece the quilt top and baste everything together for quilting.

If you would like to make some blocks but cannot attend on the 9th, that's ok too! Here's what you need to know:

  • We are collecting heart blocks... you can use any pattern you wish for those blocks, so long as the below points are respected. Here are some ideas to get you started
  • Please use a light neutral background color (white, cream, pale grey, low-volume neutrals, etc)
  • The hearts can be as colorful as you like... do rainbows, do patterns, do solids, whatever moves you!
  • All blocks should be 10.5" square... your hearts can take up the entire block or a small part of it, so long as the overall block is 10.5"
  • You are welcome to drop your finished blocks off to us at 12 noon on the 9th, or we can arrange a pick-up beforehand. If you would like to arrange a pick-up, please send us an email so we can arrange it. 
If you have any questions or wish to help out in some other way then the above, let us know in the comments! :) 

Monday, June 20, 2016


The Orlando Modern Quit Guild is collecting quilts to give to the families of the victims and the survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, as well as the police and medics who assisted them. While they are accepting blocks, they strongly encourage donations to be finished quilts so I thought we might be able to pool our efforts and resources and make one to send.

Blocks made by member Mélanie Dorval

If you are at all interested in helping out, here is what we need:
  • Individual 10.5-inch square heart blocks using a white/light grey/neutral background in either solids or low-volume prints. The hearts can be solids, prints, and/or rainbow themed; you can find some examples/tutorials here
  • Backing/binding fabric - this can be any cotton fabric, but a hearts, rainbow or other colorful theme would be nice. 
  • Cotton batting - batting has been obtained!
For the blocks and backing, cotton fabric only, please. I would like to aim for a roughly 70" x 90" finished piece, so we will want to aim for approximately 60 blocks for the quilt top and about 5 meters of backing fabric. If you have scraps leftover from making blocks, we can put that to good use to make the binding, too! 

If you have supplies you'd like to donate, or if you'd like to help out by making a few blocks at home, join us an afternoon to piece the top, or volunteer your services to get the finished piece quilted, please comment below or over on the post in the guild forum so that I can coordinate. Every little bit helps :) 

- steph

Saturday, June 18, 2016

June meeting and end of year wrap-up

Well, our 2015-16 year has come to a close as we had our Annual Meeting and end-of-year potluck. It was a lovely wrap up to the year... I'm already looking forward to next year! ;)

At the meeting, we went over the results of the annual survey (you can find the full text in the Members Only section). Everyone's feedback on the survey was greatly appreciated, as it helps the executive team tailor next year's plans to suit the group's interests. So next year we will be looking into offering a few demos and/or mini-workshops on some of the subjects suggested, as well as possibly a webinar or two. We have an exciting new challenge and a related gallery tour is in the works, as well as the collaborative QuiltCon 2017 charity quilt project, and to kick off what is shaping up to the the 'Year of the Curve' for us, we will be having Cheryl Arkison visit for a trunk show on Friday October 21st and her Perfect (and Improv) Circles and Curves workshop on October 22nd. The enrollment for this workshop is full, however there is a possibility we will have another workshop (by a mystery teacher! *mysterious finger wiggle*) in the spring, so stay tuned! We will also be looking into planning a few social gatherings throughout the year as well.

We had the annual financial report from Michele, and all is looking good there. On the subject of finance, we discussed the dues for the upcoming year and due to the U.S. exchange and the growing size of the guild, we voted to increase the dues for the 2016-17 year to $35. We also held the vote for next year's executive team, which will remain largely the same as this year with a few small changes:

  • President - Stephanie Baldwin
  • Vice-President - Isabelle Jean (with Manda Elias as understudy)
  • Program Coordinator - Joanna Lemon (with Stacy Pomerleau as understudy)
  • Social Media - Fiona Nanson and Manda Elias
  • Treasurer - Claudia Pedroso

Stacy Pomerleau will continue as our photographer, Josee Carrier will continue as our registrar and Michele Fitzgerald and Lily Lam will be the charity challenge coordinators.

Once the business was out of the way, we got down to the fun stuff. We have been giving out raffle tickets throughout the year to everyone who wore their name tag to the monthly meetings, each ticket being a chance to win one of two goody bags. The grand prize winners were Maggie Hobbs and Manda Elias and the goody bags included:

Instagram photo courtesy of Atelier Fiber Arts

  • Four fat quarters
  • A charm square pack
  • Printed quilt label fabric
  • A printed pattern
  • A journal with quilted cover and pencil
  • Gloves (for use in free-motion quilting)
  • A magnetic needle minder
  • A dish (for holding pins, bobbins, etc)
  • Beeswax (for conditioning thread for hand sewing)
  • A package of tape measures
  • A seam ripper
  • A tin of loose tea
  • Candy (because why not?)

We also had a few individual items donated by Fiona that we then raffled off individually.

The June meeting was also the deadline for the Molinari Challenge quilt tops, so we all shared our finish tops (sorry, no pictures, they're still top secret!) and discussed our plans for how they would be finished. Some of us had a plan, while others of us (myself included) are still struggling to figure out how to finish them. Still, it was great seeing the progress and how different people focused on different aspects of Molinari's work. The September meeting will be the final deadline for the finished pieces, so I wish everyone luck over the next few months in getting theirs finished! Joanna and I will also be following up with the Fondation Guido Molinari about the possibility of collaborating with them on a show of the finished quilts. We will share more info on that as it develops.

And finally we briefly discussed the Twist Fibre Festival which we will be attending in August. We are still looking for volunteers to help us staff the booth on either Saturday August 20th or Sunday August 21st, or both. Volunteering at our booth will get you free admission to the festival, and we are planning a collaborative project for the public to participate in! It is shaping up to be a fun weekend, if you are interested in joining us, please send us an email.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday September 13th at 7pm... until then, I wish everyone a wonderful summer!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Member Spotlight: Agnes Wong

Welcome to another installment of the MMQG Member Spotlight!  This month, it is our pleasure to introduce a long-time member: Agnes Wong.  Enjoy!

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

What did you study in school and/or what do you do for a day job?
I graduated with a Masters degree in Ecology at University of Alberta. I worked in an aquatic ecology lab as a Research Technician, managing projects, analyzing ecological data and writing research papers. Then we spent a number of years in the western US as part of an academic gypsy family. We settled in Montreal in 2012 and I am currently a Grants Officer for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Team in the Office of Sponsored Research at McGill University.

How long have you been quilting?
I have been quilting since 2010. I used to be highly productive but recently I’ve learned to slow down and delve deep into more complex projects such as curves and applique. I’m trying blocks that are outside my comfort zone.

What first got you interested in modern quilting?
I started quilting shortly after the birth of my second daughter. At the time, I was desperately trying to find something to satisfy my creative side, something I had never before paid too much attention to. I started with sewing simple items, doll-making, needle felting, kids clothing.One day spring day in 2010, I stopped by a local fabric shop, Piece by Piece (Eugene, OR) to buy some fabric. The ladies were so friendly and supportive of my newbie endeavours. I decided to take an intro to quilting course and I’ve been hooked ever since.

How did you find the MMQG and why did you decide to join?
Shortly after taking the quilting course led by the talented Kelly Duke, the Eugene MQG opened its local chapter with Jessica Bobrowski at its helms. I immediately joined and found my tribe. It was an exciting time for everyone involved. So much inspiration and enthusiasm! I had never been surrounded by so many people with a similar passion for this craft and it was amazing.

Do you have any favorite quilting related social media accounts that you follow?
There are so many great quilters on social media, it is hard to pick a favorite. Notably I follow Carolyn Friedlander, Luke Haynes, Tara Faughnan, Mary Dugan, Libs Elliott..

Where do you look for inspiration or ideas for your quilting projects?
I look for inspiration mainly from quilters on Instagram or Pinterest boards. Metro stations and random architecture are also a great source of inspiration!

What is your favorite project that you have completed? Why is it your favorite?
I love the juxtaposition between very traditional blocks against a minimalist background. My favourite types of quilts are the ones that tell a story - an engagement story (NYC quilt), memory quilts, fabrics from a specific place and time. I think most of my quilts chronicle some chapter in my life.

What would you consider to be your quilting ‘superpower’?
This is a tough question as I don’t consider myself having any superpowers! If I had to make one up, it would be ‘fearless’. I like to try new techniques and I’m not really afraid to make mistakes as it is part of the learning process. Improvisation was one of the hardest mental hurdles for me but it is such a liberating experience to not have to think about rulers and precision cuts.
While I tend to over-think fabric choices and colour palettes, I’ll make an honest attempt at a new technique and try to make it work for me. I like to tinker with methods. In the end, I’ll still have a quilt that will keep me warm on the couch.

What is your favorite part of the quilt making process? Why?
My favourite part is the learning process - whether it is Y-seams, curves, free motion, improvisation, hand applique, sashiko, it really makes me explore and improve different skills. While there may be some mild frustration if I can’t meet my expectations but with practice, I find much satisfaction in seeing improvement. My next favourite quilting past time is ‘fantasy quilting’ which is basically my bucket list of all the quilts I plan to make in the next year or two or three. Usually these fantasy quilts contain certain skills that I want to learn or improve at. It also enables me to stock my growing fabric stash in anticipation of making these fantasy quilts into reality.  :)

What project or technique is next on your “to try” list?
My next project will be learning the Winding Ways block c.1924 (Ladies Art Co., St.Louis), later known as the Wheel of Mystery c. 1930. It produces such a nice depth and complexity.

What is the best bit of quilting advice you’ve ever received?
I have had the honor of learning from so many wonderful teachers in both US and Quebec.  I think the best advice is to just go for it. In the end, you will still have a functional quilt and you will learn something from every quilt you make. Or more succinctly:  “A finished quilt is better than a perfect one.” - Angela Walters

Describe your creative process in three words:
Explore. Learn. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Reminder: June Sew-Out

Just a quick reminder... our usual location was not available today, so we have decided to take advantage of the nice weather and change our Sew-In to a Sew-Out! This will be our last Sew-In before the summer break, so why not make it a fun one.

We will be having a Sew-Out/picnic at Parc Angrignon today, Saturday June 4th, from 10am until... well, whenever! We will be meeting at the picnic area near the parking lot at Boulevard de la Vérendrye and Chemin du Parc Angrignon (map:

You will need to bring:
- Your lunch and drink
- Something to share (snacks, dessert, drinks, etc)
- A blanket or chair (optional: picnic tables are available, though space may be limited)
- Your work (we will be unplugged and enjoying the outdoors, so bring something relaxing to work on that does not require electricity)
- A hat, umbrella, and/or sunblock... bonnets optional.

As we will be at the park, you are also welcome to bring along children and/or significant others :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Member Spotlight: Suzanne Paquette

We are back with another member spotlight!  This month, we are happy to present Suzanne Paquette who is a new"ish" member of the Guild.

Photograph by Vivian Doan Photography

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

You can find me online at:

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

In university, I studied fashion design and earned my BAA (Bachelor of Applied Arts) from Ryerson University in Toronto. Pretty In Pink was one of my favourite movies as a teenager and my plan at that point was to become a fashion designer. One thing led to another and I went from designing clothing to costume design, then to millinery (hats). I opened a retail store in Toronto on Queen St. West called Six Degrees and eventually moved to Montreal to work for Cirque du Soleil. Over my 13
years at Cirque, my roles within the merchandising department varied from buyer and product
developer to creative direction and project management.

In 2013, when I left Cirque, I took some much needed time off, and then decided to start my
second business – Atelier Six. In addition to doing design and business consulting work, I design
quilt patterns, and make modern memory quilts for clients.

How long have you been quilting?

I have been quilting for 3 years. Though I have sewn for most of my life (and still have and sew
with my very first portable sewing machine – a Kenmore – that I got for my birthday when I was
14), I just started quilting in 2013. Learning proper garment construction techniques, pattern
drafting and design fundamentals in university, as well as experience in costume construction has
really served me well in my quilting projects. There is still so much to learn for quilting specific
techniques and I’m always interested to see how different quilters approach their projects.

What first got you interested in modern quilting?

When my son was born in 2008 I knew I wanted to save his baby clothes to make a quilt. Up until
then, I had only seen traditional t-shirt quilts, which were not aligned at all to my personal
aesthetic or design style. I wanted to make a quilt that not only had great personal meaning for
me and my family but that also had a modern aesthetic that worked with our home. Around the
same time that I was thinking that modern memory quilts could be the focus of my new business,
a friend gave me one of Denyse Schmidt’s books for my birthday. Once I saw her designs, I knew
there was a place for me in the quilting world. Modern quilting was exactly what I wanted to do.

Photograph by Vivian Doan Photography

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

I don’t remember exactly how I found the MMQG, but I think it might have been after I found the
MQG, and realized there were local modern quilt guilds. I looked up Montreal and found the
MMQG. I wanted to join to meet other local modern quilters.

Whose techniques/style/philosophy do you most admire in the modern quilting community?

I greatly admire Carolyn Friedlander’s architectural influence in her work – both her quilt designs
and fabric. I also admire all of her needle-turn appliqué, which is the polar opposite of my own
personal approach of sticking more to machine work.

Luke Hayne’s figural work on traditional quilt block backgrounds is very impressive. His work
really shows off his artist sensibility in the choices he makes, and it’s what I appreciate most
about his work.

Valerie Goodwin and Leah Evans both make stunning map quilts, something I would like to
explore more myself.

Yoshiko Jinzenji has a unique approach to quilting that I am drawn to. The second quilting book I
bought was her book ‘Quilting Line + Colour’. I love her technique of using organza as the top
layer of a quilt. It brings such dimension to her work and I was lucky to hear her speak and see
her work up close at QuiltCon in 2015.

Photograph by Vivian Doan Photography

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

I follow a whole bunch of quilting related Instagram accounts. Some of my favourites are:

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

Inspiration for quilts for me comes from everywhere. It’s easy for me to get caught up in a theme
and once I have an idea for a quilt, I research ideas obsessively. With Pinterest so accessible
and easy, I do tend to start there and I will generally search for references outside of the quilting
world. In the ‘old days’ I used to build inspiration boards from magazine tear sheets, then that
moved to saving files in a folder on my computer. Pinterest facilitates a lot. I take a lot of photos
as well and use things I see out and about as inspiration. There always comes a point though in
the design process when I stop looking at my references and let the design go where it needs to

What is your favorite project that you have completed? Why is it your favorite?

My favourite project that I have completed is the first quilt I ever made with my husband’s clothing
and my son’s baby clothes. The pattern is called “Modern Arrow”. I love seeing all of my son’s
little baby clothes everyday. So many great memories. I can tell you that it was very hard to cut
into that first piece of baby clothing. Measure twice, cut once never felt so important as in that
moment! It’s much easier to cut into someone else’s baby clothes. ☺

There is a video about the making of that quilt here:

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

I would say that my quilting ‘superpower’ is composition. Though I love asymmetrical quilts (and
asymmetrical design in general), it has to be balanced. Tension and balance go a long way to
making design successful I think.

Pattern called "Pique Nique" designed for Robert Kaufman.  You can download
it for free on the Robert Kaufman website.

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

Piecing is my favourite, probably because it is a continuation of the design process. I generally
design my quilts in Illustrator before cutting anything out…especially since many of the quilts I
make are with other people’s clothing (which can’t be replaced). With my clients I want to avoid
major surprises with the finished quilt. But even once the design has been set on paper, there is
still some designing that happens during cutting and piecing. Seeing it life size calls for some
adjustment to the original plan.

Though I have a tendency to plan first, I also like improv quilting. I’m always looking for more time
to play with improv. Some really great things can happen spontaneously.

Photograph by Vivian Doan Photography

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

I’d like to play around with the ‘flowering snowball’ block and the ‘orange peel’ block. I haven’t
done a lot of quilting with curves, but I feel like it would be a lot of fun for me. Hat patterns are all
about sewing curves, so I feel like this is something that would feel familiar. The challenge of
using colour in an interesting way is also something that is appealing.

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

Generally, I do all my binding by machine, and my favourite technique for getting perfect mitered
corners is this one:  I use this technique along with sewing the binding to the back first and then top-stitching the binding on the front of the quilt.

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

The best advice was from Gwen Marston, which was basically “Make quilts your own way.”
When I saw her speak, she talked a lot about her own experiences of learning from more
experienced quilters, and then throwing caution to the wind and making quilts in the way that felt
right to her. It’s a good reminder to have faith in your own abilities and that you can carve your
own path, while still learning from other quilters around you.

Describe your creative process in three words:

Inspiration. Ideation. Edit + Refine. (OK, I cheated…4 words).

Describe/share pictures of your creative space:

We moved last August and my new (bigger!) workspace is still in the process of being set up.
These are photos of my previous workspace, which was part of our guest bedroom. It was small,
but effective. Large quilts were basted on the living room floor. And I really loved having a
mezzanine with 17’ ceilings in the living room – a great place to take quilt photos!

Photograph by Vivian Doan Photography

Thank you so much for playing along Suzanne!  I just loved getting to know you a little bit more.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Quilt blocks for Fort McMurray

The Ottawa MQG is organizing a collection of Maple Leaf quilt blocks to be put together into quilts and donated to those affected by the Fort McMurray fires.

Photo credit:

The blocks should be made using blue, yellow, green, and/or red (the colors of the Alberta flag) on a light neutral/low-volume background. You can use solids or patterns, whatever you prefer, but please make sure the finished block is 12.5 inches square - it is important that all blocks are a uniform size so they can be put together easily. If you'd like a tutorial, SLO Studio from the OMQG has put one together here:

I would like to call on everyone in the Montreal MQG to make one block to donate. If you wish to make more, or if you have quilt-y friends outside the guild who would like to donate, please feel free to do so! We will be collecting blocks at the May and June meetings.

Let's make this happen!!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

QuiltCon Charity Challenge 2017, part 2

As outlined in our first Charity 2017 blog post, Michèle and I are trying to motivate as many of you as possible to participate in whichever way you choose in this project. Together, we will create a memorable quilting experience together.

You can see in this year’s challenge rules that the color palette is predominantly blue, ranging from teal to indigo, with its complementary colours in yellow and shades of golden yellow, possibly accented with pink. The only neutrals permitted are snow white and silver gray.

The design challenge is to play with scale. A few examples of directions to explore on design include going very big to very small, or mixing several scales of a chosen design motif, as well as going for pixelation.

I suggested to Michèle to look at Ruth McDowell’s book ‘Pattern on Pattern’ as an interesting way of manipulating scale. Michèle will be bringing her copy of the book to the May meeting. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend, but my sketches and suggestions for an approach will be present. So bring your ideas and help map out our basic choice for motif. Each person can then develop her block or section individually into contributing components for our quilt top.

Then, in order to keep the creative juice for the project simmering over the summer, we are proposing two follow-up challenges to you:

Challenge 1  Color Play: Go through your stash and pull out prints that coordinate with the colours in this year’s palette in preparation for our first sew-in this fall. The posting QuiltConCharity Challenge: COLOR! for last year's challenge gives a very good tutorial on how to go about doing this.

Challenge 2  Design Exercise: Based on the scale and shapes decisions reached at the May 10th meeting, try your hand at sketching some possible overall quilt designs that could highlight the notion of scale by combining the different blocks or sections: try interlocking large and small scales of the selected motif and placing them using Alternative Gridwork. Get inspiration from the McDowell book, and take another look at this posting QuiltCon Charity Quilt: Alternative Gridwork for a refresher on gridwork.

May to August will be our Brainstorming phase:
  • Tell us what inspires you and what you have discovered. (All members) 
  • Tell us what expertise you like to contribute or new skill you like to learn by doing it for this project. (All members) 
  • Solicit vendors for material donation. (Anyone with good connection) 
  • Pick out prints from your stash that might work well with the palette of this year. (All members) 

Let’s have fun together!

- Lily

Friday, April 22, 2016

QuiltCon Charity Challenge 2017

We want your opinions for making this Quiltcon 2017 Charity Challenge fun! No sewing is needed before the fall, but a lot of thinking needed now...

The theme for this year's challenge is Scale; the approach for Mtl MQG might be Pattern on Pattern and we are thinking we could use HST's (half-square triangles) within rectangles or another proposed shape, depending on your suggestions. We thought you might want to pick a buddy to work with and inspire you.

Read the rules at the QuiltCon 2017 Charity Challenge website, and rummage through your stash for some prints that coordinate with the challenge's palette:

Then think, think, think and bring your ideas to the May 10th meeting (or post them below in comments). Tell us what you might want to learn, contribute or help us provide for this challenge.  

- Lily and Michèle