Friday, May 10, 2019

May Meeting Details!

Please join us on Saturday May 11, 2019 at Rockville Memorial Library from 10:30am to 4:30pm for a back to basics, no frills added, straight-up sew day.  We have no scheduled tutorials or special activities planned for today. Bring you machine, power cords, extension cords, ironing board/iron, cutting mat, portal design wall, projects, whatever you need to enjoy a full day of sewing!  The room is large with good lighting. We will be in the upstairs meeting room.  When you enter the library, take the elevator up to the second floor and the meeting room is right there!  There are many, many food options right within the square.  We will have a business meeting at 1:30pm.

Don't forget to bring your April Third Thursday block challenge!

Workshops with Timna Tarr

We are so excited to welcome Timna Tarr to the DC area! We will host Timna in Bethesda, MD for 2-6 hour workshops on June 29 and 30. Workshop registration will open to members on Mother's Day, Sunday May 12, at 8pm. Any remaining spots will be made available to the public on Sunday May 26 also at 8pm.  Tickets are $90/each for members, $115/each for the public. Hope to see you there! Visit for registration details.

About Timna

Timna Tarr comes from a long line of quilters but did not begin quilting until after studying art history in college. She bought her first longarm in 2001 and began quilting clients' quilts shortly thereafter. Since then she has custom designed and quilted thousands of quilts. Timna’s own nationally award-winning quilts are in private and corporate collections and have been seen in numerous exhibits, quilting magazines, and books. She is an in-demand speaker and teacher throughout the northeastern United States and is a member of her local guilds, Hands Across the Valley Quilters Guild and the Northampton Modern Quilt Guild.

Stitched Mosaics - June 29, 2019, 10am-4pm

Create photorealistic quilts one square at a time in this one-day workshop. Learn the techniques that make up Timna’s Barnyard Series of animal quilts. Using a photo and kit provided in class, learn the process of making a fabric mosaic using turned edge machine applique. We will break down the construction process, explore color and value as design elements, and learn how to choose the right fabric for the right location.

Kit Fee: $45. Kit includes fabric squares needed for the top (finishes 11”x11”), photo, and assorted notions.

Map Making with Fabrics - June 30, 2019, 10am-4pm

Use fabric to capture a special location. Maybe it’s your favorite vacation spot, your neighborhood, or your hometown. Over the course of the workshop, participants will learn both pattern-making and improvisational quilting techniques to create personal map quilts. Bring a large paper map of a location you would like to replicate (approx. 24”x36”), your favorite fabrics and threads, and a willingness to experiment. Mark your place in the world!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

QuiltCon 2019 Recap

At least 20 of our members went to QuiltCon.  Here are three reports back from the convention.

From Ann LaVigna

My second Quiltcon! Now having gone twice, I can see how it will never get old. There are too many quilts to see, and seeing them all in one place gives a person perspective of what is being created right now, up close and in person. A favorite is “Shirt off His Back” by Lorraine Woodruff-Long (@quiltinginthefog) – I went back to look at that one again and again.  On the vendor side, the Ruby Star Society had some sewing machines set up in their booth and allowed us to create a Make and Take project with their new (unreleased!) fabric line. Shelby and I broke the rules and made a mini together instead of one of the three or four patterns – very fun

I left Quiltcon armed with new inspiration, and am itching to try out some of the things I learned. Heads up – if you have an opportunity to take a workshop from Timna Tarr (and you will DCMQG) take it! Favorite thing about Nashville? The Murals. When I first heard about QuiltCon I was interested, but then when I learned that it was in Nashville I knew I had to go. A couple of my oldest friends are in Nashville. I couldn't imagine anything better than a weekend of quilts and best friends!

From Emily Adaoag

This was my first time attending QuiltCon and I was definitely blown away by all of the talent on display.  I signed up late and missed getting into workshops, so instead I did the 4-day all day lecture pass.  Each day I went back and forth between the lectures and the exhibit hall.  It was perfect to explore the quilt show and vendors in small bits of time, since it was easily overwhelming to try and do it all at once.  They did have a board of class postings that people were trying to sell, however I really was enjoying the lectures and taking my time with the quilts.  Maybe next year I'll try a workshop but even if I don't, I still would love to do the lecture pass again.  I learned so much about the history of modern quilting, elements of design, piecing and technical skills, and even best ways to store and preserve quilts.

And from Dara

I attended my first QuiltCon in Savannah in 2017 and felt refreshed and inspired for months later, so knew immediately that I would be attending this year in Nashville. Due to only being there for 2-1/2 days instead of 4, I decided to stay in a hotel close to the show and take just one class plus purchase a lecture pass for Friday to maximize my floor time. Although I was looking forward to learning new techniques and getting inspiration from gorgeous quilts and speakers, I was pleasantly surprised to find how much time I spent reconnecting with friends and acquaintances and making new connections, all part of a rich, diverse, talented community of makers.
Due to the snowstorm on Wednesday, we ended up taking an earlier flight which allowed us to share a fun Craft South shopping trip and delicious lunch with 3 DCMQG pals. If you’re ever in Nashville, Craft South is not to be missed. It’s beautifully displayed and filled with so much good stuff! And definitely stop next door for a meal at BarTaco. After checking in at the hotel, we queued up in a serpentine line that wound around the hallway of the exhibition hall to wait for our turn at the registration desk. It was a great opportunity to meet and chat with new people, check out some of the charity quilts, and say hi to those we’d crossed paths with before. After getting our swag bags (fat quarters, charm packs, calendar, magazine, some other things I'm forgetting, all in a Ruby Star Society bag), some of us were tempted by the MQG wares for sale and decided to shop a bit, meeting the rest of the group later at dinner.  Nashville is definitely known for its food and there were plenty of great places within walking distance of the convention center.
The show!
My strategy (stolen from Nancy) was to check out the vendor booths first (as they have finite quantities), then see the show. Plus, I had no plans to purchase anything (stop laughing). I’d made it out of Savannah with only a $10 enamel pin and thought I could do the same here – wrong.
Highlights of the vendor booths:
Fish Museum and Circus – I couldn’t even get close enough to admire the whimsical pincushions and other ceramics due to a line 25 people deep! They were mostly gone by afternoon.
Crimson Tate – pure sunshine, positivity, and fun – plus Heather gives the best hugs! I am a huge fan of Heather’s Paper Obsessed and Literary fabric lines, and also love her two new ones.
Victoria Findlay Wolfe – great colors, quilts, patterns, and tools.
Ruby Star Society – the founding members of Cotton+ Steel were showing their new designs which will be available later this year. Such a delight to talk to them. Although I enjoyed their make and take at Savannah, I never found a spot this time – it’s was super busy!
Web Fabrics – we love going there at retreat, and her booth is just as much fun as her shop.
Fabricworm – Nancy helped me track down those elusive cardinals by Charly Harper – a fat quarter bundle later….
Daylight Company – great lamps and magnifiers. Yes, I bought one – eek! But now I can do handwork without taking my glasses off, so yay.
Sawyer Creek Artistry – beautiful hand-carved seam rippers (I should have bought one – my most-used tool!)
Vera Bradley – this was definitely their demographic!
Craft South – yes, I had just bought a half yard of Friedlander fabric there the day before, but – scrap bags (insert heart eye emoji). I lucked out and got a bag with over 100 charms and 100 mini charms – all AMH and Kaffe. Stay tuned for the plan.
The exhibits – I cannot believe I didn’t see the whole show. I confirmed with a QC staffer that yes, it was bigger than Savannah - more quilts, more attendees. There were loads of special exhibits, plus one by the keynote speaker, Sherri Lynn Wood, that was kind of a retrospective. I spent a lot of time in front of some of the quilts, and missed whole sections of others. Still others I walked by during my final half hour there, stopping only to snap a pic of the quilt and artist statement, hoping the memory of how it affected me in person is still there when I go back to spend time with the photos. I still haven’t fully digested everything, but my takeaway was that there seems to be some moving away from the purely solids look that I’m used to seeing with modern quilts. I like that. And, that everything was not completely perfectly stitched or lined up – the human element was evident, which made the show more enjoyable for me.
Being able to drop things off at the hotel, freshen up, and have lunch was great. I came back over for my afternoon class with Timna Tarr on Designing With Flying Colors. Ann and her daughter took the class, too. The only prep was to bring 15-5” squares. We piled them all on the table, messed them up, then sorted them according to color and then value, then chose one we would have difficulty using plus 2 that would work with it. These were all auditioned on the design wall and rearranged as needed. So cool to see how an "ugly" fabric was transformed by the colors that surrounded it. This was interspersed with examples of Timna’s quilts, a peek inside her process (very liberating!) and the ability to use different tools to help us with value and finding complementary colors. She was a very engaging teacher and I can’t wait to take another class from her.
The rest of Thursday and most of Friday was unexpectedly social for me – between dinner with my friend Luana, meeting Sara Trail from the Social Justice Sewing Academy, meeting for a group photo at our charity quilt, visiting with members from the CCTMQG (my guild-away-from-home), running into my Beatles swap partner from several years ago, reconnecting with my former assistant principal/now professor at Vanderbilt, and seeing some more of the show, I only managed to attend one lecture and missed the one I’d had my heart set on. All in all, it was a good tradeoff.
On Saturday, I was pleased to find out I had had the foresight to sign up for the keynote address, but sad that we would have to leave before it was over. I  got to exchange mini quilts with my partner since I wouldn't be there for the big swap that evening. Then I raced around the show, trying to see as much as humanly possible before the keynote. Fortunately, I received a text from Southwest - once again, the weather gods were on our side, delaying our flight by 40 minutes so we could enjoy the entire lecture! I got so much out of Sherri Lynn Wood’s workshop with us last year, so really loved hearing her stories and seeing her progression of quilts – especially when she was an artist in residence at SF Recology.
I hope everyone gets the chance to attend QuiltCon at some point. Whether it’s Austin next year or Atlanta in 2021, I would highly recommend a visit, even if you don’t get into a class.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Third Thursday Challenge

In 2019 we are sewing along with each other as we build a sampler with some of our favorite blocks from the MQG archives. By bringing your block to the next monthly meeting, members are entered to win a monthly prize, and by completing all 12 blocks and they are entered to win a GRAND PRIZE. 

January's Third Thursday Challenge block was Boomerang by Mitzie Schafer, a member of the Greenville MQG. Blocks (and quilts) were made by Lynne, Alyson, Ann L, Dara, Emily A., Jill, Mindy and Robin. Mindy won the prize for this month!

February's Third Thursday Challenge block was Sparrow by Heather Black, a member of the Inland Northwest MQG. Blocks shown here were made by Lynne, Ashley, Dara, Alyson and Ann L. Ann won the prize for this month!

March's block is Harlequin by Juna Carle, an individual MQG member from California. You can find links and challenge details  here: and in your March 14 Thursday Stitch. Remember to bring your block to the April 13 meeting to be entered to win this month's prize!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Workshops with Amy Friend

Portrait of Amy FriendAmy Friend will join us for two workshops and a lecture on April 27 and 28, 2019!

Workshops cost $90 for members, $170 both. Registration for members is
OPEN NOW. Non-member registration will open on Wednesday, March 27 at 8pm, $115 for one lecture, $220 for both. Use code 2AMYWORKSHOPS in the shop to receive the $10 off when registering for both.   

The lecture is free for members, $5 for non-members. Tickets for the lecture will be made available in the shop at the same time as non-member registration opens. Amy's books are also available for pre-order for $23 in the shop.

Saturday, April 27, 10am-4pm: Intentionally Pieced Large Scale Paper Piecing workshop

We'll use the Crazy Eights pattern as a great introduction to modern, large scale paper piecing. Paper piecing with larger pieces of fabric is in many ways more difficult than paper piecing with small pieces that are more easily handled. Learn some new tricks to make large scale paper piecing work while also learning to place your fabric intentionally to enhance the pattern design. Explore various layouts for a unique quilt top.

Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 4:30 pm – 5:30pm: Alternate Gridwork and Negative Space lecture

An hour long trunk show will help define alternate gridwork and negative space, two principles of modern quilting. I will share quilts that show how I have played with these two ideas in different ways over the last few years—from just a touch to bold. I hope this gives you some ideas when it comes to planning your quilt layouts.

Sunday, April 28, 2019 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm: Improv Paper Piecing workshop

This workshop is based on one of the three design approaches that I share in my second book, Improv Paper Piecing: A Modern Approach to Quilt Design. This class is technique and design based, all about approaching your paper pieced block designs improvisationally. You will design and sew your own block and work on a quilt layout using alternate grid work, negative space and other elements of modern design.