Thursday, July 30, 2015

Improv Quilt-A-Long Block 3

It's Quilt-A-Long Thursday!

Hello dear quilty friends! This is Kerrilyn and Patti, bringing you the latest link for Block #3 of the Quilt-A-Long. We have been so impressed with how diligent and dedicated our QAL participants have been so far! (Check out the photo at the end of this post to see a bunch of the blocks at July's SFMQG meeting.)

Here's the link for Month/Block 3 (bring to August's meeting)!

This block has a little more "curvy" curve – but don't stress! Some people will feel comfortable pinning the curved pieces, but some of you daring gals may want to try minimal pinning – it's easy peasy once you get the hang of it. Just remember you need to keep a 1/4 inch seam allowance so you will need to line up both pieces with the 1/4 inch seam allowance on the right side of your presser foot and sew SLOWLY, keeping the seam allowance consistent and gently easing the fabric (don't overstretch). After finishing, clip the curve and press and your curve will be awesome.

We're looking forward to seeing your blocks at the August meeting! Make sure to check off your block so it counts! Also, we love seeing your blocks posted on Facebook and/or Instagram!

We can't wait to see you all at the next meeting! Have a great day!

Improv QAL blocks from July's SFMQG meeting

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Improv Workshop led by Tonya Ricucci

Improv Round Robin Workshop: 5th September

led by Tonya Ricucci, aka The Unruly Quilter, author of Word Play Quilts.

We are very pleased to announce our first workshop, what we hope will be the first of many. 

The South Florida Modern Quilt Guild presents an adventure in improvisational quilting!
Tonya with one of her quilts at our July meeting.

Our instructor for this workshop is Tonya Ricucci, aka The UnRuly Quilter. Tonya has been quilting since 1987 and considers her style to be liberated and "non-traditional traditional" (think Gwen Marston, Gee's Bend, and string quilts). Tonya's popular website, Lazy Gal Quilting, full of tutorials and inspiration led to her equally popular first book, Word Play Quilts, which focuses on creating improvised words and numbers. 

In our workshop, participants will learn how to start a quilt using improvisational methods. They will then pass their beginning, and their fabric, to others to work on, one at a time. Each person will add a little piece of a "signature" fabric to their contribution, as a way of "signing" their work. Each person will build on each patchwork as it passed around, seeing the patterns that are emerging and building on it in their own unique way. The goal is to be responsive to whatever the patchwork is saying and to add to it in a cohesive way. 

The beauty of group improv is that it opens you up to ideas and “conversations” with other quilters as you work together and let the fabric flow. Participants will take their original starter block home, along with any additions to the quilt made by others. This will be the basis of a quilt which can be completed at home. This workshop is an excellent introduction to working with “improv with intent” and to understanding how to let your wonky side run wild. 

Participants will need to have good basic sewing skills and be familiar with how to operate their machine. Beginning quilters are welcome! Full details are below. 

Hope to see you there!

Allison Schnackenberg 
VP of Administration

Improv Round Robin Workshop with Tonya Ricucci Details
  • Location: General Provision, 525 NW 1st Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. 
  • Time: 10am-4pm
  • Space limited to 22 places. Register now to avoid disappointment.
  • Cost: $50 ($40 for SFMQG members). 
  • Early registration for SFMQG members only 23rd - 28th July.
Workshop requirements:
  • A working sewing machine that you know how to operate.
  • Basic sewing supplies = scissors, rotary cutter, seam ripper, thread etc.
  • Fabric sufficient to make a quilt top approximately 50 x 65 inches
  • A basic knowledge of sewing = straight lines, seam allowance, pressing and quilt construction.
  • Beginning quilters are welcome!
Please note: early registration is open for SFMQG members only from 23rd-28th July. Non-members may register during this period; you will be placed on a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis.

All registrants will be sent an invoice for the workshop fees, payment can be made via Paypal. You do not need a Paypal account, payment is by credit or debit card.

A full supply list will be sent to all registrants once payment has been received.

Register on our website.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July Meeting Recap

Thank you to everyone who attended our July meeting last Saturday!

Topic of the Month:

The biggest highlight of our July meeting, was the mini-lecture, by Tonya Ricucci, on Improv Piecing.

Improv Pieced Houses
Tonya showed us many of the improv-pieced quilts she has made, and talked a lot about her inspiration and some of the techniques she's used.
This was one of Tonya's Halloween themes quilts, made using the improv-pieced house technique
Another of Tonya's Halloween quilts.


This quilt was made with improv-pieced letters and strips.

This was an example of  a scrappy improv pieced quilt
The back of the quilt was just as beautiful as the front!

Block of the Month:
Our block of the month (BOM) for July was scrappy applique circles. Patti Auten won the drawing!

Our BOM for August is Wonky Pinwheels:
Shelly's example of the Wonky Pinwheel block, and her Jelly Roll Strips for the Raffle.
Quilt Along:

This was the 2nd month of our QAL. It has been a lot of fun to see everyone's version of these blocks!

We can't wait to see how these finished quilts look!
Show and Tell:
Nicole showed a boxy pouch, made from a tutorial by Kelby Sews.
Joanne brought in her Jelly Roll quilt, made from Anna Maria Horner's fabric
LoriAnn brought in this baby quilt.
Other News:

Allison announced our first workshop, which will be held on September 5th! It will be an improv round robin workshop led by Tonya Ricucci.  Details and information regarding how to register was sent to members this week, and will be sent to non-members next week. If you're interested in joining us, be sure to sign up soon, before all spots are filled!

Ivy announced that SFMQG is now part of  the Modern Quilt Guild (as a starter guild). The Executive Council has completed the work necessary to become a non­profit organization under the MQG umbrella. Beginning 1st August, annual dues will be charged at $50. Dues will be prorated, so our dues for the remainder of 2015 will be $21. Information about how to register was emailed to all members on the mailing list earlier this week. If you didn't receive the email, and wish to register as a member, you can do so by clicking on this link.  


Our first election will be held this November. We are currently looking for volunteers to stand for the Executive Council. If you're interested in running, please read our policies and procedures if you're interested in reading more about our Executive Council Positions. We are also looking for volunteers for the Nomination Council (which will oversee the nominations leading to our election in November). If you're interested in volunteering for either the nominations council, or executive council, please email us as Additional details about both councils can be found on our policies and procedures page.

We are very excited about how our guild is growing, and we are happy that you all are a part of it. If you have any questions about the changes that have taken place recently, please feel free to contact us any time at, or you can ask any of our executive council members.

Next Meeting:

We're looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meeting on Saturday, August 15at 10:00am!

We'll also be holding our first SFMQG Sewcial (Sewing Social) following the general meeting at StitchCraft, starting August 15th. Free to members and paid general meeting guests. Just bring your lunch, hand sewing/quilting and get to know everyone better. If you don't have a hand project there will be scraps to improv piece! Bring your in-progress projects to share and/or get advice on. Thanks to StitchCraft for allowing us to use the room the whole day, we hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

August BOM - Wonky Pinwheels

A dip in the pool with a tall lime drink is just what we need to beat the heat, or just make our August block for a refreshing change.

Our August BOM is wonky pinwheels by Greenleaf Goods, in the refreshing hues colorway from Design Seeds.

Here are some tips from Shelly: The tutorial is well written but make sure you follow the directions exactly. I tried improvising and had to cut additional fabric. Make four blocks and sew together to make 12 1/2" block.  Use her diagram to layout your block. If all blocks are laid out like hers, it creates a nice secondary pattern in the quilt.
Additionally, she calls for neutral fabric for the background, but you should use the light green or blue instead. The colorway is called refreshing hues.  
You are welcome to use your own modern fabric stash to make this block. If you don't have fabric in these colors, or if you just want to add onto your stash, bundles in this colorway are available at Stitchcraft. Bundles have 5 fat quarters of modern fabric, and are offered at a special discounted guild price of $12.50 for members (regular price is $15.00).
These bundles are a great modern stash builder! They also make it really easy to make sure your BOM (and jelly roll strips) fit in with this month's color palette.
As a reminder, you can make as many BOMs as you'd like to enter in the BOM lottery. The winner of the BOM lottery gets to take home all of the blocks!
Our August meeting will be at Stitchcraft on Saturday, August 15th from 10am-12pm.

Monday, July 20, 2015

A new chapter for SFMQG

Many of you have been attending meetings with South Florida Modern since way back in 2011, when Nicole Kaplan, after relocating to Florida, took the initiative to organize a group for modern quilters, much like the one she helped to found in her former home in New York. For many years the group met on a monthly basis, and remained an informal group, with Nicole handling all of the organizational responsibilities. In early 2015, Nicole, expecting her second child, decided that it was time to hand the reins of the group over to other people, and she asked for volunteers to form a board and take the guild forward.

I was a member of that group of volunteers, and we got together to talk about what our shared vision for the guild was. We agreed that we wanted to introduce more activities, like workshops, sew days, challenges and swaps, lectures, exhibitions and charity work. We looked to other modern quilt guilds for inspiration, and found ourselves truly excited by the possibilities. As one of our first actions, we took a survey of our existing members. We polled everyone who had recently attended a meeting, as well as anyone who had ever signed up for our mailing list. We asked where our members were located, what their quilting skills were, what they were interested learning about quilting, what kind of activities they were interested in. We asked what they wanted from a modern quilt guild. And we asked how they felt about paying dues to assist in the guild’s growth.

We had a tremendous response, and we learned so much about our members in the process.

We then felt informed and able to take the necessary steps to formalize the guild. We knew that registering as a non-profit association would open a lot of possibilities for us: access to free/cheap space for meetings, workshops and exhibitions, the opportunity to assist the community via funds and volunteer work, access to government-sponsored and private grants and loans, reduced rates for services and postage, the ability to accept financial donations to further the guild’s work, tax exemption, limited liability, and increased credibility within our community. We felt that the best way for us to achieve a non-profit status was to apply under the umbrella of the national Modern Quilt Guild. By joining the MQG we would also be able to provide our members with the additional benefits that national guild membership offers, and give our guild the opportunity to work alongside and with many other local modern guilds around the world.

Formalizing as a guild, becoming part of the national MQG, and applying for non-profit status has required a lot of administrative work and preparation. We needed to create Bylaws, register with the IRS, open bank accounts, and fulfill the MQG requirements for starter guilds. We are pleased to say that most of this work is now complete.

As the officers of the fledging Executive Council, we talked a lot about what the guild’s purpose should be, and how we would like to see the guild organized. One aspect we really wanted to tackle was how to make our guild as open and accessible as possible. Through experience, many of us knew that serving on the Executive Council of a guild could be a daunting task. We wanted our members to be able to contribute to the guild actively and have an influence the guild’s work without making the year-long commitment of serving as an officer. We also wanted to make the job of serving as an officer of the guild as rewarding and manageable as possible for those members that do make that commitment. We decided to follow the example of the Austin MQG and form a number of activity councils which allow all of our members to participate in the guild’s organization by contributing to the aspects of our work that they are most passionate about.

I know that I speak for the rest of the Executive Council when I say we are so very excited about what lies ahead for us. We are massively inspired by the possibilities and the opportunities that are opening up for us. We believe that SFMQG will be a wonderful guild because we have wonderful members. We look forward to the journey ahead - to becoming stronger as a group, to the bonds of friendship, to our individual creative growth, to our education, to new members, to contributions to our local community and to the international community of modern quilters. It’s going to be a fantastically fun and ridiculously rewarding trip.

Here's to our future!

Apply for membership

Thank you!
Allison Schnackenberg
Vice President of Administration

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July Meeting Reminder

We are looking forward to our general meeting this Saturday, 18th July! As usual, the Executive Council have put together a fun-packed agenda.
  • The Block of the Month lottery!
    This month we are doing Scrappy Applique Circles in the fresh picked hues color palette. You can find a tutorial on the SFMQG web site, and some lovely examples made by our members below. Don't forget there is a discount for SFMQG members available on FQ bundles in our color palette available at Stitchcraft.  Remember, the more you make, the greater your chances are of winning the whole pot!
  • Topic of the Month will be a mini-lecture on Improv Quilting by author, quilter and SFMQG member Tonya Ricucci, aka The UnRuly QuilterTonya has been quilting since and considers her style to be liberated and "non-traditional traditional" (think Gwen Marston, Gee's Bend, and string quilts). She has a popular website, Lazy Gal Quilting, where she posts tutorials and inspiration, and her first book, Word Play Quilts (available at Stitchcraft), focuses on creating improvised words and numbers.
  • The second month of our Improv Patchwork QAL! Details and tutorials were sent earlier this month, you can also find everything on our blog. Please bring your second block to the July meeting!
  • Show & Tell: We love the see the modern quilts our members make! Please bring in modern quilting projects for Show & Tell.
  • Door Prizes!  We have jelly rolls, books and notions up for grabs this month!

What to bring to the meeting on July 18th

  • Make sure to wear a name tag!
  • July BOM BlocksScrappy Applique Circles. The more you bring, the more chances you have to win!
  • Block 2 for the Improv Patchwork QAL
  • Jelly Roll strips to contribute to August's raffle prize: 2.5 inch x 18 inches (or longer) in Fresh Picked Hues: lime green, yellow, orange and red.
  • Show & Tell: Bring your modern quilting projects to share.
  • Project Linus donations: fabric, batting, orphan blocks all accepted. Crochet and knit blankets too.
  • A creative spirit and an interest in modern quilting!

Our meetings are still free for all to attend. 

See you Saturday!

399 S. Federal Highway
Boca Raton

Monday, July 6, 2015

Logo Contest

Hello, Modern Quilters! 

As mentioned at the June meeting, we are having a contest for a new SFMQG logo. The logo we—and you, our members—ultimately choose, will represent us on a national scale. We may, at some point, be able to put the logo on T-shirts, mugs, and the like and sell them as a fundraiser.

Ideally, you should submit your design in a jpg, png, or eps format, with a resolution of 300 dpi, and 6 inches on the longest side. However, if you can’t do that, it’s not a problem. Hand draw it and we’ll accept it as well.

Either bring your design (or designs) to the July meeting or scan it and email it to us.

Submission deadline: Saturday, August 15
Winner announced: Saturday, September 19

Here's some eye candy to whet your appetite and inspire you to create!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July Block of the Month

Our July BOM is appliqué circle blocks based on the demonstration that Shelly Recicar gave at our May meeting. This block actually combines Shelly's appliqué method with the strip piecing method demonstrated by Kate Yates in April. 

Our colors for July are the "freshly picked" palette – don't forget you can buy a lovely fat quarter bundle in those colors from Stitchcraft, with a special SFMQG discount of 15%! 

Shelly's demo blocks.

Shelly gave us a handout at the meeting with some written instructions for creating the appliqué circles block, but if you missed that meeting, or (like me!) misplaced your handout, here are the instructions for you!

  1. Make a 10 inch background using the strip method demonstrated by Kate in April. There is a step by step tutorial available on her blog. 
  2. Cut a 10 inch piece of light grey fabric. Trace a dessert plate or any other circular object on the back of the fabric. You want the background fabric to show.
  3. If the circle is grey on your block, 
    • Cut a large ¼ inch outside of your drawn line on grey fabric
    • Trace the plate on poster board or a food box such as cereal box. Cut the circle on the line.
    • Prepare fabric, using this tutorial.
  4. If the circle is a color and the background is grey,
  5. Freshly Picked, our July palette.
    • Cut a large ¼ inch inside your line on the gray fabric. Clip from cut inside edge to seam line (¼ to ½ inch) . Do not cut through the seam line. Stop just short of the seam line.
    • Trace the pattern on poster board or a food box. Cut the circle on the line. You will need the outside edge of the circle so go ahead and cut into the circle.  You will not be using it.
    • Prepare fabric using this tutorial.
  6. Sew circle onto background fabric using a buttonhole or zigzag stitch. Use grey thread that matches the fabric.  The circle can be placed anywhere on the fabric.  You can even place only part of the circle on the background and trim the excess off the block.
  7. Trim block to 9 1/2 inches.
Many thanks to Shelly and Kate for the demos and instructions.

Don't forget, the more blocks you make the more chances you have to win. Let's hope Jennifer gives the rest of us a chance this month! LOL. Can't wait to see your blocks at the meeting on the 18th July!

Changes to the Board

Hello, South Florida Modern Quilt Guild Members! We have news for you! First, we have restructured the board as follows:
  • Ivy, President
  • ___, Treasurer
  • Kate, Secretary
  • Allison, VP of Administration
  • Charlotte and Debby, VPs of Programming
  • Patti, VP of Projects
Nicole is a founding board member, which is an honorary position.
Why have we restructured the board? We’re so glad you asked! To make a more streamlined compact board—in part because we are a compact guild We are a work in progress, like many of our sewing projects. Our structure can change as our size grows. It also opens up more opportunities for members to participate via committees—either by heading them or simply working on them. And committee leads report to board members. 
You may notice that, as noted above, we are looking for a TREASURER! If you have any bookkeeping experience at all and can donate some time—not a lot—to the position, we would love to have you! Please email us at Thanks!
Also, and this is even BIGGER news, we’re going to hold elections! Since we merely volunteered ourselves into these positions, we are going to hold formal elections in September. Who knows? Maybe one of YOU would like to throw your hat in the ring? 
If not, have no fear: there will be several committees for you to choose from (to lead or participate in) so everyone gets a chance to contribute. They are as follows:
  1. Challenges and Swaps
  2. Block of the Month
  3. Quilt-a-Long
  4. Special Events
  5. Community Service
  6. Education
  7. Historian
  8. Meetings
  9. Membership
  10. Teaching
More information on how and when elections will be held, and how to sign up for committees, is right around the bend.
Lots of exciting stuff is happening in the next few months! Stay tuned! :)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Improv Patchwork Block 2 (for July Meeting)

Hey Hey Hey Quiltalongers!
Congrats for making it through the first month of the Quilt-A-Long! We were so excited to see so many of you participating and bringing your first month blocks to June's SFMQG meeting! It's so fun and interesting to see YOUR different interpretations of the modern improv block.
Please note – there's a bit of a gentle curve in this block! (easing us all gently into the land of curvy piecing). Also, as noted in the directions, Patti had to "add" a section onto the side of her block to make it big enough. So start your project larger than you think. Those seams will add up over the course of the block.
Any questions? Problems? Suggestions? Please contact Kerrilyn or Patti! We would LOVE to see your blocks posted on Facebook or Instagram (#SFMQGQAL or just #SFMQG if that is too many letters!) and of course, bring them to July's SFMQG meeting for credit (remember, complete and bring five out of six blocks to our meetings and you get a special prize, along with all the oooohs and aaahhhs!)