Sunday, May 14, 2017

Metro Challenge - Complete!

So at our May meeting, we finally had the presentation of the Metro Challenge quilts! It's been a long time coming, and while some of them were still in the process of being finished up, it was lovely to finally see them all together.

If you want to know more about the challenge itself, you can read the original blog post here. And with no further ado... the quilts!

Marlise tackled Lucien-L'Allier station. She did a beautiful job of capturing the monumental interior spaces of the station and depicted them using material from men's shirts. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Member Spotlight: Nathalie Forget

Pour le mois de mai, notre membre vedette est Nathalie Forget.

1. Vos coordonnées de médias sociaux (blog/site web, Facebook, Instagram, etc):

Je n'ai pas de blog et je ne me sers pas beaucoup des médias sociaux pour publier ou communiquer. Je les utilise plutôt pour m'inspirer. Mes adresses:

2. Qu'avez-vous étudié à l'école et/ou que faites vous comme travail?

J'ai complété un baccalauréat en sciences informatiques en 1984. J'ai travaillé par la suite au développement et à la gestion de solutions informatiques pour plusieurs entreprises, mais surtout pour une institution financière. J'ai pris ma retraite et suis revenue à Montréal en mai 2015 après 29 ans d'exil à Toronto.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Canadian modern quilting resources

We get a lot of questions about where to shop for fabric or quilting supplies here in Montreal, both from visitors and locals, but sadly, there aren't many local options for us. We have two chain fabric stores, Club Tissus and Fabricville, and a few independent shops like Craft de Ville and Effiloché, and even Atelier Fiber Arts and La Société Textile which are maker spaces for sewists/quilters.

Beyond those few though, options for Montreal-area modern quilters are rather sparse and most of us end up shopping online now and then. Luckily, there are a number of online Canadian shops (woohoo, no exorbitant shipping costs, exchange rates or duties!) sprinkled across the country. Below is a list of the modern quilt (or at least modern-adjacent) shops I have come across online... if you know of one that isn't included, feel free to share it in the comments!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wavy line quilting

To those of you who 'adopted' one of the #QuiltsforQC quilts at Tuesday night's meeting to take home, there were a lot of questions about how best to quilt them. You are welcome to be as simple or as complex as you like with the quilting on these quilts; it can be simple straight lines or it can be decorative free-motion quilting. it is really up to you and your comfort level. The only thing that we ask is that you keep the quilting no more than 3" apart. We want these quilts to be sturdy and long-lasting, so they need to be able to stand up to wear and washing.

The quilting needs to be completed and the quilts brought to the May meeting so we can move on to the binding stage; if you find yourself unable to complete your quilt in time, please let us know as soon as possible so we can find a solution.

For those of you who were asking about the wavy line quilting, there are two ways to do it. Personally, my sewing machine has a decorative stitch that comes in handy when I don't want to be fussy with the quilting: 
The 'wave' decorative stitch

I select the wave stitch (above), put the stitch length on the longest setting and the stitch width on the widest setting, and it gives me a nice, gentle wave. 

Otherwise, if you do not have that kind of stitch on your machine, you can imitate it by simply moving the quilt itself as you quilt, as demonstrated in this video: 

Izzy uses this technique on her straight-stitch sewing machine and the results are fantastic! 

Good luck and we look forward to seeing the quilts at the May meeting!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 2017 Meeting Minutes

April 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes
Tuesday April 11, 2017 at 7pm at CRCS St-Zotique
  • Quilts for Quebec: 
    • It looks like we will have about 45 finished quilts for the mosque.
    • We have 20 or so ready for quilting - we need quilters! 
    • A few are ready for binding.
    • We might be organizing another basting party over the next few weeks once we have all the tops pieced as well as backing for everything.
  • Visit to the McCord Museum to see the Expo 67 Exhibit:
    • We will meet in the lobby of the museum at 6 PM on Wednesday, April 19.
    • The cost on Wednesday evening is $9.50 per person.
    • For those interested, we will most likely have dinner and a drink after the visit.

Show and Tell:
  • Francine: Fancy Forest quilt based on the Elizabeth Hartman pattern.  This is for her 2nd grandson's room.
  • Maurice: Showed off his amazing Monopoly quilt top - all made to scale. 
  • Nathalie: Worked on a Quilt of Valor with two other members of the South Shore Guild. All black and white flying geese with pops of red.
  • Patti:  Patti not only made blocks for the CQA bee, she put them together in a massive quilt top.
  • Marie-Eve: Made a quilt for a friend - all purple and yellow HSTs arranged in a gradient layout. She quilted it with the Ultra Wavy quilting tutorial by Better Off Thread.
  • Isabelle:  Showed a beautiful reverse appliqué and hand quilted mini.
  • Jen: Completed a cute baby quilt with squares and wonky stars.

Next meeting: 
  • May meeting  - May 9:
    • Garage sale: bring anything you would like to sell, swap or give away.
    • Metro Challenge quilts are due
    • We will discuss the results of the survey
    • We will also reveal plans for the June "sew-out"

Monday, April 10, 2017

Annual Survey - last call

If you have not already filled out the annual member survey, please take a moment to give us your feedback. It is anonymous and helps us plan activities and improve the guild for next year! 

The survey will be closing tonight, so last call for responses! And thank you to those of you who have already filled it out... we will be going over the results at the May meeting. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Meeting reminder!

Our April meeting is coming up next Tuesday, April 11th at 7pm at CRCS St-Zotique.

Cinzia will be giving a talk on quilt labels, and we will be finalizing the details of our next social outing - a visit to the McCord museum to see the Mode Expo 67 exhibit. It is also the deadline for filling out the Annual Member Survey, so if you have not yet filled it out, please take a moment to share your feedback!

Looking forward to seeing everyone next week!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Member Spotlight: Cinzia Allocca

We are back with another Member Spotlight!  This month, we give you the co-founder of the Montreal MQG: Cinzia.

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

IG: @2psquilts

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

I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and worked as an educator in a daycare for several years (I also like to say that I have a ‘secondary’ degree in art as I took as many art classes as I could throughout my school years).

For just over a year now, I have been working for Camelot Fabrics in merchandising and product development.

How long have you been quilting?    

I made my first quilt about 19yrs ago, by copying a store bought one. I had some sewing experience and decided to try making a quilt. A couple years after that, I took a quilting class at a LQS.

What first got you interested in modern quilting?    

Like most people, I suppose I first ‘discovered’ it online through blogs and flickr.  It was refreshing to see quilts made with fresh colors, clean, minimalist looks, and improv (and SOLIDS!!! Which I first saw on Discovering improv gave me the permission to do things my way. It allowed me to make something that was completely my own. It’s not just the ‘making’ part that I like about quilting. To me this is just my medium of choice through which I explore my creative ideas. I love the freedom.

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

Josee and I ‘met’ online and we were both looking for a local group of modern quilters. Since there wasn’t one, we decided to start a guild. What really gave me the push to do so was the announcement by the MQG about the first Quiltcon. I knew then that this was going to be more than a trend and I wanted to be a part of it. It’s one of the best things I ever did! I love my peeps!

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

My favorites are Gwen Marston, Sherri Lynn  Wood, the Gees Bend Quilters

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

Lately I have been very interested in modern, abstract and minimalist art. I am currently crushing on the work of Paul Kremer (@paulkremer if you wish to follow him). He is Texas-based painter. He plays a lot with bold shapes and colors and negative space.

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

My favorite is usually the last big project I’ve completed. My current favorite is “Finding Harmony”. It’s one of those rare projects that I’ve enjoyed making every single step of the way. It holds a lot of meaning for me. My quilts are like my journal through which I work out my innermost thoughts and feelings. I worked through a lot with this one.

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

Binding!!! I love making and applying it. I can hand sew a pretty good and fast invisible stitch! I find it very relaxing.

And I can thread and knot 25 needles in 6min.44seconds. Anyone want to challenge me?

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

I love starting something new. The best is when inspiration strikes suddenly and I happen to have a couple of free hours to get it going and things start to flow freely. There always comes a point where I start to struggle/question where I’m going, but I’ve learned to push through. 

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

I am currently working on a series of small abstract quilts. A series is something that I have been wanting to try for a long time – to explore a single technique/style/color scheme through many works. In my series, I am delving into my improv strip-piecing technique. I want to see how far I can take it. 
I have also always want to make a large whole cloth quilt. All hand quilted of course. 

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

Don’t worry about perfection. Especially when learning something new. Just do. Over and over again, and you will get better.  I promise! 

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

Do it because you enjoy it! I decided to ‘give-up’ machine quilting large quilts because I just didn’t enjoy it. But not before I gave it a good chance. 

And the second is to slow-down! When we are constantly on social media seeing what everyone is making, we are under the illusion that everyone is more productive than we are and that we somehow need to keep up. I’ve learned that I would rather make less but more meaningful pieces. It gives me the chance to be more intentional with what I make and have a closer connection to my work. Most of us are doing this as a hobby anyway, so what are we trying to keep up with anyway? 

I try to apply this to my life in general too – Simplify, simplify, simplifly (or maybe I should say “Play, Explore, Edit” see next question). 

Recommended reading/viewing: 
  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (written by Greg McKeown)
  • The Art of Stillness : TED TALK by Pico Iyer
  • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (yes, she is a little, shall we say ‘out there’, but she makes some really good points). Get rid of stuff!!!  Unclutter your space, your mind your soul!!! 
Describe your creative process in three words:  

Playing, exploring, editing. 

Describe/share pictures of your creative space:

I recently moved into a new home, and although this home is smaller than my old one, I have the basement all to myself! It did take awhile to get accustomed to a new space. I found that, as it has a different layout than what I was used to, my flow was interrupted.

Sewing Station

My cutting table is an old drafting table that I scored at a garage sale. Pegboards are great for organizing tools/notions!

I couldn’t live without my design wall. It’s where I audition all my ideas!
I have a desk area where I work on my laptop. A radio for good music! Can’t live without it!
I love that I have room to keep my large quilting frame assembled at all times. I can switch from machine work to hand quilting as the mood strikes. And, yes, I have been known to sneak in a power nap in my little corner there!
I feel blessed to have this space and the time (however limited it seems sometimes) to pursue my passion. Thank you for letting me share it! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 2017 Meeting Minutes

March 2017 Mtl MQG Meeting Minutes
Tuesday March 21, 2017 at 7pm at CRCS St-Zotique
  • Anyone interested in any of the executive positions?  If anyone is interested in the future, please don't be shy to approach us.
  • Quilts for Quebec: 
    • We have at least enough for 40 finished quilts so far, still waiting on QuiltCon box and a few other quilt tops and finished quilts from other guilds. 
    • Due to larger than expected turnout, we may end up spending all donations received on batting and backing, but if anything is leftover we will be donating it to the mosque along with the quilts.  
    • Next steps: we need volunteers to sew together remaining quilt tops. 
    • We will be doing basting at the April 1st sew-in and possibly plan another meet-up to finish. 
    • We will also need volunteers to quilt (does not have to be fancy or complex!)  
    • Josée will design labels and we will get them printed on Spoonflower.
  • The annual survey was sent out this week.  Please fill it out by the April meeting.
  • CQA slab blocks are due at the April meeting.
  • Social meet up for March: 
    • We would like to organize a group visit to the McCord Museum to see the Expo 67 Exhibit.  
    • Vote on the date you prefer on (Email sent)
  • Mad About Patchwork bundle raffle:  Jessica won the bundle
  • Room for meetings: for next year, we might be renting one of the bigger rooms downstairs (we think it's $10 per month)
  • Charity Quilts: we are thinking about not participating in the Quiltcon charity next year. No objection from the members. Instead, we would like to do a skill builder BOM and perhaps use some of the blocks to make quilts for charity. More details to come soon!
  • Metro Challenge deadline is now the May meeting.
Show and Tell
  • Cinzia:  Bag for her quilting hoop and beautiful quilt top made from pink strips.
  • Steph: Quilts for Quebec top
  • Claudia: Jacquie Gering inspired quilt top using the stitch & flip method
  • Shannon: Quilt top for Quebec (a big one!)
  • Tamara:  3 quilts made with her newest fabric collection for Quilt Market 
  • Izzy: Mystery quilt made from a Cheryl Brickey pattern
  • Diane: Quilt top for Quebec (another big one!)
Next meeting: 
  • April sew-in - April 1 from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • April meeting  - April 11 - Cinzia’s quilt label discussion

Sunday, March 19, 2017

#QuiltsforQC - phase 1 complete!

So the first phase of our #QuiltsforQC project, collecting house blocks, is now complete! We've received over 1,000 blocks from all over the world... thank you SO much to everyone who has contributed to this project!!! We will, of course, continue to post photos of our progress over on Instagram (@mtlmqg) and updates here on the blog.

One of the finished quilt tops

If you wanted to help with the project but didn't have time to send us a block, are just hearing about it, or just want to help a bit more, we are still accepting donations to purchase batting and fabric for the backing and binding of the quilts. We have more than double the number of quilts we had expected to donate (which is amazing!), so every little bit helps. We have a PayPal account set up specifically for this project (email: or if you are local and have some fabric or batting to donate, you're welcome to drop it by Atelier Fiber Arts in Verdun.

Our next step is to gather up all the supplies needed to finish the quilts while some of our helpers finishing piecing the remaining blocks into tops. If you are interested in lending a hand with the basting, quilting, or binding please drop us an email and let us know. We will likely plan a few meet-ups to work on things like basting and binding, so watch this space for updates!