Friday, November 18, 2016

December Swap - Lined Drawstring Bag

It's time for the last Challenge of the year, so let's make it a Swap!

I have chosen the fabulous Lined Drawstring Bag by Jeni Baker from In Color Order

Jeni first shared her tutorial in 2011, and it has proven to be very popular. A pattern has since been published that includes EIGHT sizes, but we will be doing the size in the free tutorial. There are now also tutorials on her website to add pockets, make it stripes or patchwork, and a video on how to do the gusset. Be sure to check the video out if you need help!

This bag is all about the fabrics, and I'm sure you will have fun  choosing them. Be sure to keep your choices modern.
Christmas fabric is not a requirement,  in fact something that could be used all year round is a really good idea! 

Yes, You can make more than 1, because I know someone is going to ask!


Bag on right by member Julie Vine.

Jeni Baker Flicker album 


Monday, November 14, 2016

November Meeting

Well it is that time of year again. For Elections!! All positions are open every year and they are as follows:
  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Charity
  • Block Lotto/Swap/Social
  • Volunteer/Quilt show

We will also be starting to collect dues for the 2017 year. The dues cycle is January-December and they are $50 per person. Members who join after June will pay $30. First meeting is free for visitors, then $5 per meeting. Local membership is  $25. This is only open to those that are individual members of the The Modern Quilt Guild. Members of our Calgary Modern Quilt Guild must be members of the national Modern Quilt Guild, or else we can't really be affiliated with the national guild. Any further questions or concerns about this can be directed to Erin at

Payment methods:
  • cash at a meeting
  • credit (no debit) at a meeting + $2 processing fee
  • NO checks/cheques

You can download our membership form here.

The schedule is:
  • Greeting and updates
  • Elections
  • Show and Tell
Please bring:
  • Name tag
  • 5" squares for charity quilts
  • A modern quilt for show and tell
Our meeting are held at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre Bay 4, 2915 19th St. NE from 7-9pm on November 17. Our next Sew Day will be on Saturday, November 19th at the same location as our meetings.

Friday, October 21, 2016

November Block Lotto - Under the Sea Kaleidoscope

This month's Block Lotto block is paper-pieced!  This easy, "no-cost" pattern from Fresh Lemon Quilts  will make for a fun, scrappy quilt for the lucky winner!

We will be using a 12-inch template from Fresh Lemon Quilts.  The template is embedded in her blog post and she has a wonderful paper-piecing tutorial if you missed the October meeting demo.

I have chosen the palette below, I hope you like it!

Photo from Design Seeds:

We are looking for hues of purples, blues, and a pop of orange or sunny yellow.  Our "neutral" will be black and white print in which the lavender above serves as our white.  The black and white print will always be Piece 3 on the template.  Solids are allowed for the colors.  If you only do one block, you don't have to include any of the orange/yellow, thus the pop!

Fabrics 1 and 2 will need to be similar in color for each template.  Fabric 3 is your "neutral", which will be a black and white print.  You will need four templates/pieces which make one block, so just make sure you are not repeating any fabrics within one block.  See my example below where I have labeled which piece is which.

Make sure you leave the paper on your block.  That will be the lucky winner's super fun task!

Bring your finished blocks to the November meeting to be entered in the Block Lotto.

Use the following hashtags on Instagram so we can follow along: #calmqgblocklotto #calmqg and #calgarymqg

Friday, October 14, 2016

October Meeting

Well can you believe it's October! With all this crazy weather we have have been having lately I feel like we skipped Fall altogether and have headed straight into Winter. With all this rain and snow now upon us, I think alot more of us are staying indoors and working on our sewing projects. What projects are you currently working on?

I have been doing alot of paper piecing recently. So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to teach all our members a new technique. This will be a great time to learn about this technique and ask questions on this process. I know a few of you already have some experience with Paper Piecing, other have not. But I am sure everyone can have fun learning something new about this process.

The schedule is:
  • Greeting and updates
  • Demo on Paper Piecing
  • Show and Tell

Please bring:

  • 2017 Quiltcon Charity block kits
  • 5" squares for charity quilts
  • a modern quilt for show and tell
  • name tag

Our meeting are held at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre Bay 4, 2915 19th St. NE from 7-9pm on October, 20. Our next Sew Day will be on Saturday, October, 29th at the same location as our meetings.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Journey of a Quilt

photo by Ashleigh Marie
I am here to tell you the story behind the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild’s 2016 Quiltcon Charity quilt.  This quilt’s journey started back in April of 2015, when The Modern Quilt Guild announced its Quiltcon Charity Quilt Challenge. For this year’s challenge we were instructed to create a quilt with the theme of Improv with Intent. They also gave us a colour palette of Red, Blue, Yellow, White, Off White, Grey and Black. These were the perfect colours for us here in Calgary, since they are the colours of our city. 

This is where I enter the story. I took up the challenge and proposed to the guild that we accept this challenge from the Modern Quilt Guild. The Guild was with me. We mulled over ideas throughout the summer. But it was after Rachel Elliott saw another member’s photo of the Tipis at the Stampede Indian Village that is was finally decided on. Our theme was to be Tipi. This subject has great resonance in this city, because Stampede is a festival held here every year and the Indian Village has always been a large part of it. We also have several First Nations near Calgary. 

At the end of summer I was also privileged enough to take a class on Improv Quilting with Intent from Cheryl Arkison. She helped me come up with some ideas of quilt blocks and quilt designs for this quilt. 

So by fall of 2015 we had everything we needed to start creating this quilt.  With help and advice from Bernadette Kent, I created kits that the members could take home and create blocks. We also arranged sew days that members could attend. But it really came down to November’s sew day-- that is when the quilt really came together with the help of Philippa Gelinas, Jodi Antoniuk Tse, Kathy Tims, Diane Lehodey Amundrud, Kelly Kay Spurlock and Rachel Elliott, who banded together to create the binding, sew more blocks, and help design the final quilt layout. 

Once we had a finished quilt top it was ready to be put into the hands of our excellent long-arm Quilter, Mary Dylke Nee Parkinson. She really knocked it out of the park for us. The quilting was a perfect complement to the quilt top that we had created. 

The next stop on this quilt’s journey was to Rebecca Cleaver Burke, who applied the binding by hand and it's hanging sleeve. 

Once the quilt was complete, it was time for its photo shoot. Erin Cavallin, Ashleigh Marie, Philippa Gelinas, and I headed out on one of the coldest days in January 2016 to photograph our completed quilt.  

The next step on the journey of this quilt was a big one. It was off to Pasadena, California. That is where it was displayed along with other Guilds’ Quilts from around the world for 4 days during The Modern Quilt Guilds’ Quiltcon Show and Conference. 

Once the quilt was back home, it started on its journey to raise money. We ended up pairing with Ghost River Rediscovery. This organization works with First Nations youth, and helps them reconnect with their heritage. The best way to do that for them was to hold a raffle. We had 36 members selling tickets all over town. We attended the The Calgary Pow Wow and had great support from the First Nations people there. The quilt was even entered into the 2016 Calgary Stampede creative arts and crafts competition. It received a first place ribbon in its category of Modern Quilts pieced by entrant, quilted by a second person.

And now this quilt’s journey is almost finished. On Thursday, September 15, 2016 all 1460 raffle tickets were collected into one box and the drawing was held. One of our members, Becca Cleaver sold the most tickets, 100! The lucky winner was declared Lisa Kampel. She isn’t a member of our guild but does do some sewing and quilting herself. One of our members, Julie Vine, is her co-worker and was able to deliver it to her the very next day. Julie told me that Lisa was over the moon about winning this quilt. This quilt’s journey has ended.

Photo by Julie Vine
I am so happy that we were able to raise $2920 for Ghost River Rediscovery. It also makes me very happy that the owner of this quilt loves it. 

Thank you!

Jera MacKenzie

Thursday, September 15, 2016

October Block Lotto - Wonky Quarter Log Cabin

We took a break from block lotto over the summer, but now that September is here, the kids are back in school and dear I say it, the leaves are starting to change colour. It's time to rev things up again!

First things first - the colour palette.

  • Medium grey right through to charcoal, and maybe even touches of black.
  • teal
  • mustard
  • This palette does have an overall darker feel, so try not to get too many lights in the mix.
  • It's ok to mix a few solids in with those patterned fabrics

I have chosen a really simple block, so all levels of quilters can jump right in.
Wonky Quarter Log Cabin - John Q.  Adams  aka Quilt Dad

  • Start with a centre in the 3-4 inch range 
  • I cut my strips approx 2-4 inches wide
  •  The blocks don't need to have a ton of wonky, but a bit will make them interesting.
  • Trim finished blocks to 12.5 inches square.
Blocks are dues at October meeting 

General Block Rules are here 

Wondering which hashtags to use on IG and social media?
#quarterlogcabin #calmqgblocklotto are great choices. #calmqg and #calgarymqg are good too!

Monday, September 12, 2016

September meeting

This past week has been quite a busy one for me. As some of you may know, I have a son who is now in the 4th grade. With school starting back up it has been a very busy time for me. Sometime I can't believe how hard it is for us to get back into that school time routine.

With the kids back in school and the Holiday season upon us, there was some interest in our last guild meeting about having a discussion on the value of a quilt. There are many blog post across the quilting community on this subject that you may have read. So this month we asked Susan Madu to help lead us on a talk and discussion on this topic.

This Thursday's meeting is also the draw for 2016 Quiltcon Charity Quilt, so please make sure and return all tickets to us.

We also have 2017 Quiltcon Charity Quilt in the works. We will be needing to get all kits back either at the meeting on Thursday or the Sew Day on Saturday, September 17.

Last but not least is the Summer Challenge! I can't wait to see all the beautifully worded creations.

The schedule is:

  • Greeting and updates
  • Talk on The Value of a Quilt
  • Summer Challenge show
  • Show and Tell
  • 2016 Quiltcon Draw

Please bring:

  • Raffle tickets
  • 2017 Quiltcon Charity block kits
  • 5" squares for charity quilts
  • Summer Challenge project
  • a modern quilt for show and tell
  • name tag
Our meeting are held at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre Bay 4, 2915 19th St. NE from 7-9pm on September 15th. Our next Sew Day will be on Saturday, September 17th at the same location as our meetings.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August Meeting

August's meeting is almost here, which means summer is almost over and school, fall and the holiday season is getting closer. How do you approach your  sewing? Do you have specific projects in mind? Do you just jump on the latest designs? Or do you have no plans at all and just sew what you feel like sewing in that moment. Maybe you do a little of everything. 

Me, I am kinda all over the place right now. Too many projects and not enough time. So hopefully this Thursday's meeting will be enlightening. 

Thursday's meeting topic will be Goal Setting and Motivation for your sewing! 

The Schedule is:
  • Greetings and updates
  • Goal setting and motivation
  • Show and Tell
Please bring
  • notebook and pen
  • A modern quilt for show and tell
  • Raffle tickets back
  • Quiltcon Charity Quilt kits back
  • 5" squares for charity quilts

Our Meetings are held at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre Bay 4, 2915 19th St. NE from 7-9pm on August 18st. Our next Sew Day will be after August's meeting, on Saturday, August 20th.

Monday, July 18, 2016

July Meeting

What a crazy July we are having. I hope you all have been staying dry in this crazy weather and got to enjoy Stampede a little. We had a few members enter their quilts into the Creative Arts and Crafts Competition. We even had a winner or two. Most excitedly our Quiltcon Charity Quilt 2016, Tipi, won 1st place in the Modern Quilt - Piece by entrant, quilted by a second person. Yeah to Us!

So on to what you can expect for July's meeting. We will be having a Prosecco and Chocolate pairing with Invisifil and Decobob.  Bernadette will have an appliqué hand stitching kit for everyone attending the meeting. So, it will be important to confirm your attendance on Facebook event page. Everyone will need to bring their hand stitching supplies - needles, scissors and small pins.  An Invisifil or Decobob thread sample for stitching will be provided.

The Schedule is:
  • Greetings and updates
  • Thread pairing and demo
  • Show and Tell
Please bring:
  • needles, scissors, and small pins
  • A modern quilt for show and tell
  • 5" squares for charity quilts
Our Meetings are held at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre Bay 4, 2915 19th St. NE from 7-9pm on July 21st. Our next Sew Day will be after August's meeting, on Saturday, August 20th.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

QuiltCon 2017 Charity Quilt Challenge Begins!

As we ramp up our 2017 Quiltcon Charity Quilt Challenge project I wanted to send out a little information about the project. Every year this is a BIG project and our guild always rises to the occasion to create an amazing quilt. This year my goal is to involve more members than ever in the process! At our last meeting we revealed the project. This quilt at Heritage Park by Vanecea Greene inspired our charity quilt for 2017. The design concept
Vanecea Greene's Orange Peel Quilt inspired
this year's charity quilt.
this year is “scale” so we decided to adapt this concept into a flying geese quilt. We will be using two yellow shades and the two blue shades to wrangle this palette a little more!

Here is our timeline for the project

July 9
Making kits for distribution at the July/August meetings
July/August Meetings
Kit Distribution – Read below for details
August 20 Sew Day
Making blocks
September Meeting
Kits due back
September 17th Sew Day
Top assembly/planning
October 22nd Sew Day
Top assembly/planning/
November 19th Sew Day
Final sew day – hopefully the quilt is done at this point
Early November
Off to the quilter!
Binding and Sleeve attached

Right now it feels like we have all the time in the world but that is definitely not true! It all happens so quickly and there is a lot of work to do!

There will be 32 kits to make blocks for the quilt. You can get them at the July/August meetings and in August if I am around I can do some delivering. We are going to ask that you give us a $5 deposit to take a kit. When you return the blocks completed you will get your $5 back – we promise! This year we opted to purchase fabric for the quilt rather than asking members to share their stash with us. We did this for a couple of reasons, the first being that it’s faster to get fabric at a store rather than waiting until the next meeting to gather stash and hope we had enough. This allows us to get the project moving a whole month faster than we could have if we waited a month to gather fabric from all of you. We also thought that the design needed a certain level of cohesiveness as well as variety – we hope we achieved that when we went shopping! We can’t afford to lose any fabric and we are hoping that the deposit prevents this.

Each kit makes this set of blocks (well you will make just one more block than this) and it takes about an hour and a half to assemble all of these. It’s pretty quick sewing because most of it can be chain pieced. In the kit you will get instruction so hopefully the process is fun and painless for everyone! I am hoping to do a little sew day tutorial at one of our August sew days.

Perhaps making a kit is not your style. That’s OK! There are lots of jobs to do! At our September 17th and October 22nd sew days you can come and help assemble the quilt top. It’s going to be a HUGE undertaking to get all of these little blocks in their places, many hands will make light work on those days. Bring your machine, or set up a pressing station, or get your math hat on – we will take all the help we can get!

If you are a longarmer – we are currently looking for someone to do that job! For the past two years Mary Dylke of No Rules Quilting has graciously done this job and she is willing to do it again but just in case someone else feels passionate about contributing their skills in this area I am throwing it out to all of you! The quilt should be ready by early November which would give you about 3-4 weeks to complete the quilting. You can contact me on facebook or catch me at a meeting to let me know that you are interested in doing the quilting.

But maybe your favourite part is the binding?! And the sleeve?! Well we have the perfect job for you. With luck, the quilt will be quilted by the end of November or early December and ready for binding and attaching the sleeve/label. If you know that you will have time to do this work in December please let me know!

Phew! If you are still reading I am impressed! The end goal is to ship the quilt in the second week of January so that we know it will arrive on time for the February 3, 2017.

You can download a copy of the instructions to the blocks here.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Some upcoming Sew Days

It's July! We are ready to do some summer charity sewing. Please come join us at WonderFil Threaducation Centre on Saturday, July 9 and Wednesday, July 13 from 10am to 5pm. Then again in August on Wednesday, August 17 and Saturday, August 20 from 10am to 5pm.

We have lots of different projects you can help us out with. We have lots of fabric to be cut whether it be for our Quiltcon 2017 Charity Quilt or 5" squares for our Sonshine charity quilts. If you want to sew we already have a lot of 5" squares already cut out and ready for you to sew together. I also have 2 quilt tops ready to be quilted, so if you want to try your hand at longarming we can set that up also.

So depending on what you want to do please bring either a large cutting mat, ruler and rotary blade for cutting fabric and/or you sewing machine.

We would love to see you all!

Jera MacKenzie

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer Challenge 2016 - Summer Word Play

It's summer.  The days are long, the weather is nice, and we have decided to issue a wordy challenge!

We are keeping the rules simple.
  1. Make something quilted. Any size.
  2. Must contain a word or combination of words.
  3. Must be made during the challenge.
  4. Due at our Sept 16th meeting.
Please use these hashtags on Social Media.
#summerwordplay #calmqgwordchallenge #calmqg #calgarymqg

credit Charla MacPhee

Here are a few of our entries...

Philippa G                                                                                   Julie V

Tamara K

Friday, June 10, 2016

June Meeting

It has been a busy month. Now that Heritage Park Festival of Quilts is over, Stampede is almost here. If you are interested in participating in the Western Showcase  you will need to do so by June 23rd. Creative Arts and Crafts Competition.
We have an exciting opportunity to take part in the Family Day Festival & Pow Wow on June 25th, to celebrate aboriginal awareness. We will have our 2016 Quiltcon Charity Tipi quilt on display, and will be selling raffle tickets. We are still in need of volunteers to man the table. If you are able to help out, please see our facebook page and sign up for a shift.

Tickets will also be available on Saturday June 18th at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre from 10am to 4pm. This is our Sew Day. Please come and join us.

Bring your own projects to work on or you can help with our charity projects. This month we will be having a summer pot luck social meeting, so bring an appetizer to share.

Here is the Schedule:

  • Greetings
  • Updates
  • Block Lotto
  • Summer Challenge
  • Show & Tell
Please bring:
  • an appetizer
  • a modern quilt for show & tell
  • 5-5" squares for charity quilts
We will be having a Sew Day this month on Saturday June 18th at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre from 10am - 4pm. Our Meetings are held at Wonderfil Threaducation Centre Bay 4, 2915 19th St. NE from 7-9pm on June 16th.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2016 Charity Quilt Raffle

Our 2016 Charity Quilt Raffle is well underway so I wanted to post a few updates! And because I am a teacher we are going to do this using the 5 W's (and an H)!!!

What is the charity quilt?!
The 2016 Charity Quilt was a collaborative effort within the guild. Every year the Modern Quilt Guild designs a challenge for guilds to create a quilt that is displayed at Quiltcon in February. This year's challenge was improv and the colour palette was set by the MQG. Our guild chose a design inspired by the teepees in the Indian Village at the Stampede. At the time the Reconciliation Commission was also underway and we wanted to make a quilt to honour Canada's First Nations and that could raise funds/awareness of aboriginal issues stemming from our dark history with residential schools. You can read more about the quilt and its process here.

Who will this quilt benefit?! After some research and discussions with charity organizations it was decided that this year's quilt would benefit Ghost River Rediscovery. This organization provides summer camps and after school or evening programs for youth. Many of the youth are of aboriginal descent but the program may be accessed by any child. The organization aims to reconnect youth with nature and aboriginal teachings to develop self-esteem, leadership qualities, and a connection to nature. Ghost River Rediscovery offers scholarships to children who cannot afford to attend camp and the funds we raise will go towards providing camp experiences for these children. Of course you know that this year Calgary is seeing a steep rise in unemployment which means that many charities have lost revenue sources. Ghost River Rediscovery has been affected by this and they are counting on our raffle to support their efforts.

When: The draw will take place on September 15 at our guild meeting.

Where is the quilt now?! Most of the time it is with me (Rachel) and I am happy to bring it to events that you might be involved in! Perhaps your neighbourhood has a Stampede breakfast where tickets could be sold - I can bring the quilt to you! I can even supply tickets. 

Where can I get more tickets?! From me (Rachel)! I have all of the tickets safely stowed and I can bring them to you, meet you at Wonderfil on sew days, or give them to you at meetings. Once you sell your tickets you return the stubs and money to me at a meeting. This part has to be done at a meeting because it requires a deposit from our treasurer.

Why do we participate in charity work?! Well basically because quilts are awesome and gifting a quilt is like gifting an everlasting hug. And also because the MQG's mandate includes providing quilts to support communities during transitional times. I can tell you from personal experience that charity work makes a difference in the lives of those who receive it. Women at Sonshine (our other charity project) receive our quilts as their first possessions in a new life and children who attend GRR camps connect with friends, elders, and nature in ways that can't be done in other settings. 

How can I be more involved in the charity work at the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild?! There are so many ways! Right now our big focus is on selling raffle tickets for the 2016 quilt. We have 2000 tickets and it would be AMAZING to donate almost (we have to deduct the cost of the tickets) $4000 to Ghost River Rediscovery. If every single member sells 30 tickets we will be able to do this. Tickets are only $2 each and when people see the quilt they often jump at the chance to buy multiple tickets. Many members have sold tickets to coworkers, family, friends, and neighbours. As I mentioned - I can bring the quilt and tickets to special events. There are so many ways!

You can also come to sew days to make quilts for Sonshine and help us plan the 2017 charity quilt! There are so many ways to get involved in the charity work we do. If you aren't sure how you can help just ask!

I really hope this helps everyone see the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild Charity Vision.