Friday, November 20, 2015

SFMQG New Website

We've moved!

We now have a new home at

This site will no longer be updated, but will remain as an archive until the entire history has been transferred to the new website.

Please come and join us at


Friday, November 13, 2015

Quiltcon Charity Challenge Update

Fabric bundles were mailed out last week to our members who are participating in the group improv for the national MQG Quiltcon 2016 Charity Challenge, and this week everyone received a set of guidelines for creating their block.

We are doing "improv with intent" which is a process wherein you set some guidelines, or limitations, to help achieve your desired result. The steps we are using for this are

  1. Find inspiration. We are going to use images and memories of Florida sunsets.
  2. Curate your fabrics. We have chosen to use five of the colors allowed by MQG for this challenge: off-white, sunflower, tomato red, light teal, and black.
  3. Set limits. We are limiting our selves with our palette choices, and how we define our process. 
  4. Define your patchwork process. We are going to outline a few parts of our process in order to lead ourselves in achieving a group result that makes a pleasing quilt.
We will all work individually to create a block from the same series of steps, but because we are not using a pattern, everyone's work will be different. The common factors - our inspiration of a Florida sunset, our color palette, and our patchwork process - will help to guide us all.

Our participants have been given some guiding steps to help them create their block, and we look forward to seeing everyone's progress in our Facebook Group or here on the blog. We are going to collect blocks at the November meeting, and work on putting the top together at the December Sewcial.

We are still looking for people to help assemble the top, construct the backing, baste, quilt and bind our quilt. We need to finish up by early January so that we can deliver our quilt to Pasadena for the Quiltcon exhibit.

I hope everyone has fun with this challenge!

Allison Schnackenberg
VP of Administration

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November Meeting Topic - Modern Fabric

As members of SFMQG we are all undoubtedly interested in the modern quilting movement and we are all eager to learn about modern design techniques. But what about fabric? We know that using modern fabrics can make a traditional quilting design look fresh and modern. And it follows that the wrong fabric choices can make even a modern design look dated. How do we recognize modern fabrics and choose wisely when we are aiming for a modern result? For November’s special topic we will try to answer these questions as we look at fabric design and fabric choices in modern quilts.

Remember your Holiday Swap item!

Sorry there won't be a Sewcial after the November meeting.

Because of the holidays in December and knowing that many of the members may have plans we have decided to have a short business meeting followed by a Big Stitch Sew-In. If you can attend bring something to big stitch. There will be some extra quilt sandwiches with quilt design ideas and thread/needles if someone forgets. Holiday goodies to share would be welcome - yum!

Working on the schedule for 2016. If you have any special requests please let us know.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

QAL update

Hello Quilt-A-Longers! This is IT!! The link to our sixth and final block in our first SFMQG Quilt-a-long! Kerrilyn O'Rourke and Patti Moore Auten would like to thank you in advance for playing along - don't forget to bring your block to the next meeting in November so you get credit. Everyone who has completed five out of the six blocks will get a surprise! See you then!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

October Meeting Recap

Happy Sunday, Quilters!

Our October meeting was held last Saturday, the 17th at StitchCraft. Thank you to all members and guests who joined us.

Monthly Topic:
The monthly topic for October was Handwork, specifically English Paper Piecing (EPP) and Big Stitch Hand Quilting.

Nicole started off with a presentation on EPP, and a demonstration to show how she finished her EPP Hexagon Table Runner.

Kate gave a presentation on Big Stitch, followed by an interactive lesson in hand quilting.

We are excited to see our members try these new techniques! They're great projects to have for our Sewcials, or sewing on-the-go.


Our block of the month for October was Eastern Sunrise, in the Tequila Sunrise Color Palette. The winner of the drawing was Penny Stern.

Our next block of the month (for November 21st) is the Checker block from Elven Garden Quilts.
Sneak Peak of our Upcoming BOMs for November and December.

Our Quilt Along is in month 5. We'll bring out final blocks (#6) to the November meeting, where we'll also talk about how to put the blocks together. Some of our members have started working ahead, and have been putting their quilt tops together. It has been fun to see these quilts progress, and we can't wait to see the finished quilts!

Workshop Recap: 
In September, Patti gave us all a presentation on Modern Traditional piecing and quilting. She gave members 9-patch blocks to take home and "make modern." The results were fantastic, and will be assembled into a charity quilt top.

We also got to see some of the beautiful results from Patti's Modern Traditional workshop at the beginning of the month. These quilts and quilt tops are beautiful, and we hope to see them in our upcoming exhibits!
Here is LoriAnn's finished quilt top from the Workshop.

Marianne (who wasn't able to attend) also finished her quilt top.

Marilyn also brought in her (nearly finished) quilt top from the workshop.

Patti's finished quilt, made from her blocks from the workshop.

Allison gave us an inspiring presentation on our QuiltCon Charity Quilt, to hang in QuiltCon in Pasadena. The colors and inspiration photos are beautiful, this is sure to be an amazing quilt! This will be a great opportunity for all of us to come together and put the techniques we've been learning to good use. We hope her presentation inspired you to join us! If you want more details, please read this post. WE CAN DO THIS!

Charlotte did a "progress check" on our Negative Space Challenge. The Challenge isn't due until July 2016, but it doesn't hurt to get a head start. Many of our guild projects (QAL, BOM, Workshop Quilts) could be turned into quilts that use negative space. This is a great way to finish up one of your WIPs and enter the challenge! Please share your progress on facebook and instagram with us. As an incentive to use social media about your Negative Space Challenge entry, each time you post to Facebook or Instagram or Flicker about your progress using hashtag #sfmqgnegchallenge you will get an entry to win something. We all want to hear about what you are doing and share the fun!

Don't Forget! We also have our holiday swap coming up at the November meeting. These tutorials are fun and easy to make. This is also a great opportunity to get ideas for your other holiday gifts!

Show and Tell:
We started our show and tell with some examples of EPP and hand quilting:
Debby's EPP in Progress

Patti's StitchCraft Challenge, with big stitch accents

Penny's StitchCraft challenge, made with EPP Hexagons

Close-up of Swig's big stitch hand quilting

An example of Big Stitch hand quilting from Swig.

One of Swig's WIPs with big stitch hexagons.

Wanda's Kaffe EPP bolster.
General Show and Tell:
Marilyn's Shadow Quilt

Monica's Audrey Hepburn mini-quilt

Monica's Tolkein inspired quilt.

Pam's Trees quilt (made from Carolyn Friedlander pattern)

Pam's finished quilt from the Improv Round Robin workshop in September.

Patti's improv with curves quilt.

Meryll brought in two finished BOM Sampler quilts!

Lisa showed a quilt where she used glue basting to finish the binding.

Other News and Reminders:
We have quite a few quilt events and exhibits coming up. Charlotte gave us a reminder and additional details on some of our upcoming exhibits. More details can be found on the blog. We really hope to see our members submit quilts to our Modern Quilting exhibits next year! This is a fun way to show off your work! Many of your quilts made from the workshops, BOM, and QAL would be a great addition to our exhibits.

Elections! Our first elections are coming up in November (will be done at November meeting). Kate gave an update on the nominations, and the members who are standing for these positions in our elections:
  • President: Allison Schnackenberg
  • VP of Programs: Charlotte Noll
  • VP of Projects: both Patti Auten and Rose Parsons are standing
  • Secretary: Debby Schindall
  • Treasurer: Abbie Bill
Voting will take place at our November meeting. Prior to the meeting, we will send out a final list, along with statements from those interested in running for a contested positions. Stay tuned! 

Thank you again for joining us last Saturday! We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting, November 21st!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Quiltcon 2016 Member Charity Challenge

Now is the time to sign up to help us make our group improv quilt.

“Improv is more than sewing together random bits of fabric. You can take an idea, an image, or an object and translate it into a block or quilt via improvisational piecing.” - Cheryl Arkinson

If you missed the meeting last Saturday, you will have missed my brief presentation about our plan for the Quiltcon Charity Challenge. We will be participating as a guild, and it's our task to put together a group improv quilt. We have recently seen some amazing work by our members who have thrown themselves into improv either individually, or as part of our Round Robin and Modern Traditional workshops. So this is going to be a piece of cake for us!


The Challenge gives us a palette of up to six colors to work with: white, off-white, sunflower, tomato red, light teal, grey and black. Looking at the palette, if we eliminate the white and grey, we have a group of colors which to those of at the meeting, really were evocative of Florida. In particular, Florida sunsets.

Our inspiration, and our palette.

Now that we have this beautiful inspiration, and a color palette, we are half way there!

Improv with intent is about working with some guidelines to create something without a pattern. The steps could be defined as
  1. Find inspiration.  (Done!)
  2. Curate your fabrics. (Done for us!)
  3. Set limits. (We are limiting ourselves to a palette of five colors, as a starting point.)
  4. Define your patchwork process.
We are going to define our patchwork process by guiding ourselves with a series of steps. The steps will also form part of our limitation. We will all work individually to create a block from the same series of steps, but because we are not using a pattern, everyone's work will be different.  The common factors - our inspiration of a Florida sunset, our color palette, and our patchwork process - will help to guide us all.

As an example, our first steps will be
  • Yellow fabric - cut out a four sided shape, with one side being at least five inches long.
  • Red and yellow fabric - cut out a variety of four sided shapes ranging in size from one to three inches tall. Assemble the shapes into two larger four sided blocks.

... and so on.

Every single member of our guild is capable of participating in this, and I sincerely hope that you all decide to participate. You will have plenty of support, and no judgement. Think of it as a special BOM. 
SFMQG will provide any member who wants to participate with a bundle of solid fabrics in the palette we are working with. The guild will pay for the fabrics. We will be asking everyone to complete one block by the beginning of December. We will then assemble the blocks into a quilt top, and then a fully finished quilt.

If you would like to participate, please check your inbox for a message from SFMQG and respond to that to sign up. Then watch your inbox for further instructions.


This is going to be so much fun!

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

November BOM: Checker

Our November BOM is a block designed by Jess of Elven Garden Quilts for the Bee Hive. The Bee Hive is the brainchild of Alyce Blyth of Blossom Heart Quilts - it’s a year long series of block tutorials designed with online quilting bees in mind.

Checker block from The Bee Hive
Our color palette this month is a beautiful jewel-toned collection. Kona solid matches would be Lipstick, Mushroom, Bordeaux, Old Green, Everglade and Wheat.
Our November palette

The block we are doing is called Checker and the tutorial is on the Blossom Hearts blog. It’s a simple and speedy block to construct. When put together in groups, Checker can form many different secondary patterns, and for this reason it’s important to pay close attention to your fabric choices.
One example of a secondary pattern you can create when laying out these blocks

Shelly’s advice on constructing this block is:
  • It’s important to make your rectangles from lighter colors
  • Make your cross from your darkest color
  • The half square triangles should be half dark and half light
  • Placement of the half square triangles is important so pay attention to the photographs!

As usual there is a lovely bundle of curated fabric available at a 15% discount from Stitchcraft for guild members. Just ask at the counter!

We look forward to seeing your blocks in November. Remember, the more you make, the more chances you have of winning. These blocks will make a really stunning quilt for the lucky lottery winner!

We also look forward to seeing the completed quilts of previous winners at our Show & Tell. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

October Meeting Topic - Handwork

QuiltCon West 2016 Category definitions:
Handwork – Quilt includes at least one element of handwork including, but not limited to: hand piecing, hand quilting, embroidery, redwork, cross stitch, crewel, etc.

The Slow Sewing handwork resurgence has a big place in the Modern world.
Carolyn Friedlander in her MQG webinar says Handwork is Fun!
You can listen to the recorded webinar on the MQG website. As with most webinars they have a slow start. I like to have something else to do while I'm listening - maybe some handwork.

Martingale Publishers blog article summarizing the 2015 Spring Quilt Market Top 10 Trends states that "Handwork is hip. Embroidery and English paper piecing continue to capture the attention and imagination of quilters."

Checkout Plaid Portico's blog entry where she has full and detailed pictures of the QuiltCon 2015 Handwork Category Quilts.

Following are the two specific Handwork topics for SFMQG meeting on Saturday Oct 17th 2015.
We will be covering several other handwork elements in later months.

English Paper Piecing EPP presented by Nicole Kaplan
When Nicole showed her big hexie quilt at the September Modern Traditional Show & Tell, I heard everyone take a breath and then ask questions about how she made it. Nicole will be discussing Modern EPP styles and also talk more about how she made her quilt.

Hand Quilting - Big Stitch presented by Kate Yates
See her amazing improv inspired StitchCraft Challenge Quilt which was hand quilted with the big stitch. You might have seen her working on it at one of our Sewcials after the general meeting.

Everyone would love to see your Modern Hand Quilting and/or EPP quilts - please bring them to show & tell. Even if we have seen them before or you are not quite done with them we’d like to view them again as they relate to the topic.

Stay tuned for details about Handwork workshops we are currently planning for 2016.

Please stay for the Sewcial after the meeting to work on your handwork project and see what handwork projects members are working on.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

SFMQG Quilt Show Exhibits

At the September meeting we announced exciting news about some forthcoming exhibits that SFMQG has been invited to participate in -- and we promised you more details.

There are local and national quilt shows in Florida for which we are organizing a South Florida Modern Quilt Guild Exhibit. We really want to show Florida what Modern Quilting and our guild is all about!

Jan 7-9 2016 - Mancuso World Quilt Florida - Orlando - confirmed.

Feb 12-13 2016 - Ocean Waves Quilt Guild - Quilt South Florida - Miami - under consideration.

March 18-19 2016 - Palm Beach Quilters - West Palm Beach - confirmed.

Charlotte Noll will be the chairperson for these exhibits. She has experience organizing Mancuso and BQE exhibits.

So now we need Modern Quilts to exhibit!

What a amazing and popular exhibit we had at BQE 2015

SFMQG exhibit from BQE 2015

We are a talented group of quilters!

Please get together your favorite modern quilts and take some pictures. Your pictures don't have to be fancy - one of the whole quilt and one detail picture would be great. Email the photos to Charlotte along with the following information in the text:

Your Name:
Quilt Title:
Quilt Story:

You can enter more than one quilt (and we encourage you to enter as many as you can) but please send a separate email for each quilt.There is no size restriction - big or small quilts welcome - a mixture like we had at the BQE show would be wonderful.

We are going to try to mix up some of the quilts in each exhibit so we will need lots to choose from.

Deadline for consideration in the Mancuso show is Oct 25th 2015.

If you wish you can bring the quilt(s) to the October meeting and we'll take pictures after the meeting so you'll have to stay later.

Please email Charlotte if you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing your quilts!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October BOM: Eastern Sunrise

Our October block is Eastern Sunrise. When all the blocks are sewn together it creates a striking braid pattern.

The color palette this is month is tequila sunrise.

This is a paper pieced pattern and is very easy to make.  It is important that the background is off-white or crème colored and that all places marked background (BG) are placed exactly as marked on the pattern to create the proper effect of the pattern.  Your pieced block will be reverse of the pattern.  Ellison Lane has a great paper piecing tutorial if you need help with paper piecing.
Please bring your finished block (or blocks!) to our meeting in October!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September Meeting Recap

Greetings from the South Florida MQG! We hope everyone is enjoying the nice autumn weather in South Florida :)

Our September meeting was held on Saturday, September 19th at StitchCraft.

Another packed room for our general meeting.


Patti and Kerrilyn talked about our Month 4 blocks from the Improv QAL. We love watching these blocks come together! It's fun to see everyone's different versions from the same tutorial.

Beautiful QAL blocks!

Monthly Topic : Modern Traditionalism

Patti gave a great presentation on Modern Traditionalism.

Part of Patti's talk on Modern Traditionalism

She also invited members to join her for a game of 9-patch password, where they got to try to make 9-patch blocks more modern.

Marilyn junps in to try out Patti's interactive demo.

Mini Challenge: Everyone got to take home a 9-patch block, and instructions to make it more modern. We'll bring in our new, modernized blocks to the October meeting to show off!
Patti showed how we can make a traditional block look more modern.

Patti will also be teaching a Modern - Traditional Workshop this weekend at StitchCraft. Those who join her will learn how to make a modern quilt top like this:
A sample of the Modern Traditional workshop methods.

Logo Competition:

Our members voted on the two finalists for our log competition. Congratulations to our winner, Alyson! (Alyson's logo is on the top). We had many wonderful submissions to vote on, thank you to all who participated, we're very excited to have a new logo!
Logos by Alyson and Charlotte made it to the final vote!

Block of the Month:

Our September block was the sunrise block in low volume prints. Diane Moss won the BOM lottery!
Lots of beautiful BOM blocks in our "Sunset" color palette this month.

We also got to see our upcoming BOMs for October and November. October's block will be paper pieced, in a beautiful, autumn color palette:
Upcoming BOM blocks for October and November.

Show and Tell:

This month, we had a lot of extra projects to show off in Show & Tell.
To start, the participants in our improv workshop showed off their progress on their improv round robin quilts.

yes, that is Patti on the left with a completely finished quilt!

Tonya also used LoriAnn's blocks to show us some ideas on how to piece them all together:
LoriAnn's blocks from the Improv Round Robin workshop

Many of our members brought in some of their Modern Traditional Quilting Projects for Show & Tell
Nicole showed off this modern EPP Hexi quilt
Patti brought in a Modern Traditional star quilt
Rose brought in this supersized log cabin quilt top
Rose also brought in this large star quilt top
Another beautiful quilt top by Rose
Pam brought her Michael Miller challenge quilt from last year
Pam brought this fun quilt, made from a charm pack!
Pam also showed off this quilt, made with improv pieced slabs.
Ivy brought in this modern tumbler quilt
Here's a photo of the back.
Monica made this mini Bee quilt
Kerrilyn brought in this paper pieced butterfly quilt

  • Andrea, from the Nominations Council, gave us a progress update on the nominations leading up to our first election, this October.
  • Allison announced our opportunity to make our first QuiltCon Charity quilt, as a guild, and enter it in QuiltCon next year. We'll be working on this together for the next few months.
  • Charlotte announced 3 upcoming quilt shows (which we'll have exhibits in), more details will be sent via email.
  • We are having a Holiday Swap in November, where members will make a small gift and swap during the meeting. Details were sent to members on the 20th, we hope to see you all participate in this fun swap!  

We also had our monthly Sewcial, after the meeting. This is a great opportunity to socialize, get to know some other guild members, and enjoy some hand sewing!

Other News:
Thank you again to all who joined us, can't wait to see you again in October!