Utility Apron Swap at the PNW MQG Meetup


Karen with her craft apron

Clever Karen made a craft apron for the swap as her MQG Michael Miller Challenge project, photo by Michelle McLatchy

We’ve decided to do a brown-bag swap of utility / crafting aprons at the PNW MQG meetup happening in Vancouver this weekend. We announced this on our meetup page over a month ago, but thought we’d blog about it here as well in case anyone wanted to whip up a last-minute apron. You totally have time to do it!

The swapping will happen at the sew-out/potluck dinner at Trout Lake Park on Friday night to get the meetup started! This swap will be similar to the tote bag swap at the 2013 PNW MQG meetup that the Portland MQG hosted — you can make an apron and bring it to the meetup wrapped or in a brown bag. Make sure you enclose a card with contact info so your swap partner can thank you! Bring an apron / take an apron — a blind swap.  Participation is optional.

Utility apron by Dionne (dinglebobbins)

Utility apron by Dionne (dinglebobbins)

These will be small, waist-down only aprons meant to be worn while sewing or crafting. As they are a garment, you may want to consider pre-washing your fabric, but it’s not mandatory. We’ve created a Pinterest board with some ideas to inspire you!

August 18th meeting reminder

Our next meeting is 7:00pm, Monday, August 18th

It’s nearly time for our August meeting! We’re happy that our guild has grown rapidly lately and we want to get to know all of our new members. To that end, we’ll be doing a favourite tools mixer to start our August meeting. Please bring in your favourite/most unusual/most unconventional tools and be ready to share why you love them!

Mini quilts made by VMQG executive members, photo by Stacey Murton
Mini quilts made by VMQG executive members, photo by Stacey Murton

Our August meeting agenda also includes the much-anticipated reveal of the mini quilts we’ve been making for our secret partners within the guild. We can’t wait to see them all!

Upcoming VMQG Events
1) PNW MQG Meet-up: Friday, August 22nd-Sunday, August 24th, various locations in Vancouver. Members of several regional MQGs are coming together for a potluck, apron swap, sew-out, viewing of the Common Threads Indigo Quilts, tour of local quilt stores, and more! Check out the meet-up page for up-to-date info.
2) Teeny Weeny Swap with Greater West Sydney MQG: Fill out your questionnaire by Monday, August 25th to sign up. Details on the blog.
3) Local pattern designer Tasia St. Germaine of Sewaholic 
will be at our September 15th guild meeting with a presentation and pop up shop.
4) Paper Piecing Workshop with Stacey Day, Sunday, September 28th, Croatian Cultural Centre $45 ($50 non-members), includes pattern for block.
5) Knit City Fibre Festival, 10-6 Saturday, October 4th & 10-6 Sunday, October 5th at the PNE Forum. The VMQG will have a booth and we’re looking for volunteers for half-day shifts. Sign up at break at the meeting!
6) Executive elections at our October 20th meeting, watch the blog for a nomination form.

August Meeting Details
 Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild Meeting

When: 7:00-9:00pm, Monday, August 18th, 2014
Where: Hewett Hall, Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 W 49th Ave, Vancouver (at the NE corner of W 49th Ave and Oak St).
Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lot. Street parking is also available.
Transit: The 49 and 17 buses run along 49th Ave and Oak St respectively. The Canada Line has a station at Cambie and 49th.
Guests: If you’re a guest, we’d appreciate it if you would email holly@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca to RSVP so we can know to expect you. Your first meeting is free and subsequent meetings are $5 until you become a member.

What to bring:
- 2013/14 membership card, completed membership form and $25 dues for 2013/14 (cheque or cash, membership valid until Oct. 31, 2014) or guest fee ($5)
- calendar to record upcoming events
- cash, chequebook, or credit card to pay for events
- modern quilt to share at Show and Tell
- wrapped mini quilt (include a note or business card) if you’re participating in the swap
- Round Robin kit if you are participating
- your name tag
- a mug (none will be supplied)
- treats are welcomed, please email Heather at secretary@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca if you plan to bring something.
- door prizes: Please bring donations to the meeting and sign up at the door prize table.

Agenda:- sign up for show and tell, drop off mini quilts
- Welcome
- Favourite Tools Mixer
- Show and Tell
- Break (eat treats & socialize!; swap mini quilts, sign up for workshop, sign up to volunteer at Knit City)
- August Challenge
- Guild Business
- Mini Quilt Show and Tell and group photo
- Door Prizes

Note: Members are welcome to request copies of the minutes from previous meetings by emailing Heather at secretary@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca.
See you there!


Vancouver MQG – Greater Western Sydney MQG


Having made connections with some fabulously talented quilters in Australia via Instagram, I (Berene) thought a little guild swap would be fun. And by little I mean Teeny Weeny! I contacted Lorena (http://ikwilt.blogspot.ca/) from the Greater Western Sydney MQG  and she got the Ozzie girls on board. So please sign up to join in as I think it’s going to be fun.


The concept for the swap is “Teeny Weeny” and by that we are referring to the size of the pieces in the piecing, not necessarily the finished item. Think zakka-tastic! As per the rules below, your project must be pieced. Machine appliqué is not permitted for this swap. Using modern fabric choices, your item may be patchwork pieced, paper pieced, hexies, improv pieced or needleturn hand-appliqué, but we ask that your pieces are small. It’s a great opportunity to use up your scraps and also to have fun fussy-cutting your pieces.


This will be a secret partnered swap. You will receive your partner’s info and make something specifically for them. Someone will receive your info and make something specifically for you. You aren’t necessarily sewing for the person who’s sewing for you, and you’ll keep it a secret until the swap items are received.


Partner info will be sent via email sometime in September, and the finished items will be due in November.


Here is a mosaic of inspiration that the girls in Sydney put together:



You can reduce any pattern in size to make it teeny. However here is a list of patterns and tutorials that might come in handy as they are already small:













1. Teeny weeny is the theme of this swap and this refers to teeny weeny piecing, which is obligatory in this swap. It can be paper-pieced, patchwork piecing, English paper pieced, improv pieced, hexies, needle-turned hand-appliquéd, but it must be pieced in some way – machine appliqué is not permitted. The overall look and feel should be intricate, cute and “zakka-tastic.”  (See pics in the mosaic provided for inspiration.)


2. To sign-up please fill in the online questionnaire HERE  by Monday August 25, 2014

3. Participants choose an item (or a choice of items) from the list provided. Maker makes ONE of these items.

  • Pouch (Could be zipper / snap frame / flex frame etc – maker decides on closure)
  • Needle book
  • Sunglasses / Spectacle case (recommended size for most specs: 3” x 6.5”)
  • Collapse-able Thread Catcher (No pin cushions attached please)
  • Trivet/Mini Mini Quilt, max size of 8”x8” (Could be heat-proofed with something like Insul-Bright – specify if you would like yours heat-proofed)
  • Passport Cover  (Specify your passport dimensions if this is your choice.)

4. Deadline for VMQG members is November 17. Each guild will mail one box with all the submissions. If you sign up you are committing to make an item for your partner, and you must make the deadline that your guild sets.


5. Stay connected via social media:

A private Facebook Group will be set up so that you may communicate and share with the group. If you join the swap and are on Facebook, please include your Facebook details so that we can invite you to the group.

Flickr Group for this swap:  https://www.flickr.com/groups/2713420@N21/

Instagram hastag: #teenyweenyswap

6. Feel free to post the button for the Facebook page on your blog if you are participating.


7. Items should be flat for shipping purposes.

8. Note there are to be no extras with this swap – in order to keep shipping costs down. A wee card or note however would be lovely. Your partner would like to know who made their gift!


 9. When you are done please wrap your “Teeny Weeny” project up, and label it with your partner’s full name and email address. Then hand it in to either Berene (VMQG) or Lorena (GWSMQG) by the deadline.

10. Most of all have fun and make something beautiful for your quilty “cousins” abroad.


PNW MQG Meetup update – social mixer tickets on sale!



August 22-24, 2014 in Vancouver

Edited 6:30pm, August 11th

The VMQG is thrilled to be hosting this year’s PNW MQG meetup! In just two weeks, members of modern quilt guilds from all over the Pacific Northwest will be visiting our beautiful city and we can’t wait to welcome you!

We’ve kept our plans for this event fairly casual so that you can choose your own adventure. Join up with the group for a sew-out at the park on Friday night, then spend Saturday exploring our city, and meet up again for a social mixer on Saturday night. It’s up to you!

NEW! Buy a ticket to the Social Mixer on Saturday night! Edit as of 6:30pm, Monday, August 11th: We are no longer selling tickets to this event as we won’t be able to meet our minimum. Stay tuned for possible alternate plans for Saturday night. We will be in touch with people who purchased tickets to refund your money.

Speaking of the social mixer, we need to have a minimum of sixty tickets sold so that we can go ahead with this event. We opened up ticket sales in person at the July VMQG meeting and also have a PayPal button on our website. If you’re planning on attending, please buy your ticket (see button below) by midnight on Monday, August 11th so we know we have enough interest. If the event is a go, we’ll continue to sell tickets over the next couple weeks, but don’t hesitate to buy yours asap!

The details: We will be hosting a social mixer from 6:00-9:00pm on Saturday, August 23rd at Rainier Provisions in Gastown. Rainier Provisions is located in a beautiful heritage building with 16 foot ceilings, big period windows, original tile and hardwood flooring, and its own bar and sound system. A variety of appetizers will be served. Cash bar. Tickets are $15.00 CDN and can be purchased on PayPal (use button below) or in person at a VMQG meeting. The venue can accommodate 110 people, so buy your ticket now and make sure you can join in the fun!

A September visit from Tasia, owner of Sewaholic Patterns and author of The Sewtionary

sewtionary cover

I’m thrilled to announce that Tasia St. Germaine, owner of Sewaholic Patterns, author of the newly released The Sewtionary and blogger of Sewaholic, will be visit us at our September guild meeting!

You can read more about Tasia at the bio on her blog!

tasia portrait

Here’s a little bit more information about Tasia’s presentation to the guild:

Meet Tasia from Sewaholic! Ever wondered what it’s like to design sewing patterns for a living? Tasia from Sewaholic Patterns talks about how she got started, what it’s like to run a pattern company, and answers any questions you might have! Peek through her samples and patterns and check our her new book, the Sewtionary.

Tasia will of course be having a pop-up shop (cash only please) for selling her book ($30), patterns ($10 – an amazing price) and maybe labels ($5) if she has any in stock.

sewaholic patterns

We can look forward to Tasia sharing her time with us during the meeting and depending on time, the pop-up shop may run for a short while before and after the meeting but will be open during the break.

We look forward to meeting Tasia in September!

Round Robin: August Borders

In the home stretch now! This month, we’ll be adding:

  • 4″ finished (4½” unfinished) borders on all four sides;
  • with 1 to 4 cornerstones;
  • based on the theme: curves

RR August

I hope you’re having as much fun with this as I am! I (Felicity) won’t be at the August meeting, but I’ll make sure someone is there to help with the collection and redistribution of Round Robin kits.


July 21st meeting reminder – see you at the park!

Our next meeting is 7:00pm, Monday, July 21st

VMQG meeting at Trout Lake Park
We look forward to seeing you on Monday for our guild meeting! We’ll be meeting at a different location than usual so we can enjoy the summer weather at Trout Lake Park. The forecast is showing a mix of sun and cloud and a high of 22C on Monday, so hopefully we’ll have a lovely evening at the park!

Inclement weather plan: If it should rain, we will meet in Room 112 at the Renfrew Community Centre at 2929 East 22nd Ave, Vancouver (where we had our March meeting). If the weather is looking iffy, watch your email and the blog. If we decide to change venues, we will let you know by 5pm on Monday.

We will be sharing our Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels Challenge projects at this meeting and we’d like to ask people who have already shared their completed projects to bring them back for a group photo. Since we expect lots of challenge participants, we’ll have limited time for our regular show and tell this month (however if you have something time-sensitive to share, for example, a UFO Challenge project that’s being given as a gift before our August meeting, bring it along and we’ll do our best to squeeze it in!). Members with completed challenge projects will each receive a ticket towards a random prize draw.

What: Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild Outdoor Meeting
When: 7:00-9:00pm, Monday, July 21st, 2014 Come early and bring a picnic dinner! We’ll start our meeting around 7pm as usual.
Who: VMQG members, guests, and families. You are welcome to bring your families and friends along. There is a nearby playground if children get restless during show and tell.
Where: The grassy area near the concession stand at the south end of Trout Lake in John Hendry (Trout Lake) Park, East Vancouver. The nearest intersection is BC Parkway and E 19th Ave. The closest parking lots are at BC Parkway just off of E 19th Ave (smaller lot, but closer to the meeting place) and Trout Lake Community Centre (larger lot, entrance at Victoria Dr and E 15th Ave, five min walk from site).
Note for those who attended in 2013: we are attempting to avoid the bluegrass convention and are meeting across the path at the site where we met in 2012.

Map of covered area at Trout Lake Park
Transit: The #20 bus goes down Commercial Drive and takes you within a few blocks of ourmeeting place.
Questions: Check in with our facebook page or twitter account if you need help on the night of the meeting. Holly will be monitoring the pages on her phone.

Upcoming VMQG Events

1) Friday night Sew-in on Friday, August 1st at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 6:00pm-11:00pm for $10 (priority registration for VMQG members).
2) Paul’s Wedge Workshop, Sunday, July 27th, Croatian Cultural Centre $55 ($60 non-members), includes wedge ruler. If you already have the ruler, the price is $43 for members, $48 for non-members. (one space remaining!) Email amy@vancouvermodernquiltguild.cato register.
3) PNW MQG Meet UpFriday, August 22nd-Sunday, August 24th, Vancouver. See VMQG website for more information.
4) PNW MQG Meet Up Social Mixer at Rainier Provisions 6:00-9:00pm, Saturday, August 23rd, tickets available at July 21st meeting. $15 each.

What to bring:
- 2013/14 membership card, completed membership form and $25 dues for 2013/14 (cheque or cash, membership valid until Oct. 31, 2014)
- calendar to record upcoming events
- chequebook, cash, or credit card so you’re prepared to sign up for fun events
Petal Pinwheels Challenge project (even if you’ve already shared!)
- modern quilt to share at Show and Tell (time permitting)
Round Robin kit if you are participating
- your name tag
- a mug (none will be supplied)
- treats are welcomed, please email Heather at secretary@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca if you plan to bring something.
- door prizes: Please bring donations to the meeting and sign up at the door prize table.

Agenda:- sign up for show and tell
- Welcome
- Essential business
- Petal Pinwheels Show and Tell & Group Photo
- Break (eat treats & socialize!; sign up for sew-in/workshop/meet up social mixer)
- Recap of ongoing swaps and challenges
- Guild Business
- Show and Tell
- Door Prizes

Note: Members are welcome to request copies of the minutes from previous guild or executive meetings by emailing Heather at secretary@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca.
See you there!

Riley Blake Basics Challenge – Recap

One of the great benefits of belonging to the VMQG is the opportunity to participate in the MQG fabric challenges.

Late in 2013, MQG announced Riley Blake Designs as the sponsor of the 3rd annual MQG members fabric challenge.  At the December 2013 VMQG meeting, our members received a bundle of fabric containing fat eighths of 6 Riley Blake Basics fabrics.  The rules were to make a quilted item using these fabrics, any other Riley Blake prints and/or any solid fabrics.



There were 2 deadlines for this challenge.

The first was in February 2014 – the MQG deadline for the competition to win fabric prizes from Riley Blake.  Ten finalists were announced, then 3 winners were were selected by Riley Blake.   One of VMQG’s members, Jade Prosser, was one of the 10 finalists – of nearly 400 entries!  (You can see the other finalists here: MQG blog.)



The second deadline was the VMQG March guild meeting.  Members who brought a completed project to the meeting were entered into a random drawing for a prize.

We had great participation, and a wonderful variety of entries.  Here’s a group shot of all the participants and their beautiful creations.

VMQG Riley Blake challenge


The lucky winner of the random draw was Christina, seen below on the right with her challenge pillow.  Her prize was a gift certificate generously donated by Cedar & Needle Quilting Fabric.

VMQG Riley Blake random draw winner

Friday Night Sew-in August 1st

Our next sew-in is happening in three weeks and there are several spots open! We’d love for you to join us on Friday, August 1st from 6:00-11:00pm at Holy Trinity Anglican Church (details below).

We love how spacious the church hall is for basting and layout

Enjoy open sewing time with your VMQG friends! Baste a quilt on the large raised table! Cut out your next quilt using the large cutting mat! This is a great time to work on your UFO Challenge in the company of fellow quilters.

We supply the tables and chairs, irons, cutting mats, and tea. Donations of treats are always welcomed!

You need to bring your machine (don’t forget the foot pedal!), supplies for your projects, extension cord, power bar, tools, and dinner.

Krista's selvage quilt

Krista H. basted her gorgeous selvage quilt at our last Friday night sew-in

The Details

Holy Trinity MapWhen: 6:00-11:00pm,
Friday, August 1st, 2014.

Where: Parish Hall, Holy Trinity Church, 1440 West 12th Avenue at Hemlock Street, Vancouver. Enter through the main doors on the south side of West 12th and go up the elevator to the second floor.

Cost: There is a $10 fee for this sew-in if you pre-pay before the sew-in day (you can pay via PayPal if you like) and a $15 fee at the door. Members get first opportunity on the 12 or so spaces available. If you are not a VMQG member, consider joining or email us to see if there is space available for you.

There is a kitchen at Holy Trinity, so you will be able to heat up your dinner if you wish.
Parking: There is a small parkade off of West 12th Avenue with about ten spaces however most of them are marked small car only. Parking is limited on street. There are three spaces in the alley behind the church and they access the Parish Hall through the alley (a phone number will be posted on the door if the doors are locked).
How do I sign up? You can sign up by paying $10 at our meeting on Monday, July 21st, by paying via PayPal, or by paying $15 at the door.

Please contact Holly (holly@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca) to register or with any questions.

See you there!

Mini Quilt Tutorials

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m super excited about the mini quilt swap!

mini examples
(mini quilt examples made by several different people)

Partner info will be going out shortly, but before you get carried away brainstorming fabric and pattern combinations, I wanted to share some links to tutorials that you might find helpful.

(Sonja’s peacock feather mini from the Michael Miller Cotton Couture challenge)

All quilts in the swap need to have some sort of hanging mechanism, so a few tutorials on how to hang your mini quilt might be helpful. This link from the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative shows you different ways to hang a quilt, especially a mini.

(Paula’s mini using circles she created in the Cheryl Arkison workshop last summer)

The simplest technique is with two or four triangles on the back. We talked about this briefly at our last meeting. VMQG member Laurraine has posted a tutorial on her blog, and there’s also a tutorial from the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative. I especially like how both of their tutorials use 4 triangles, which is great for helping a heavily quilted quilt hang straight!

(Holly’s “Memories of QuiltCon” mini)

If you’d rather a more traditional quilt sleeve, Tall Grass Prairie Studio has a great tutorial.

(Stacey Day’s mini using the CQA challenge fabric)

If you haven’t made many mini quilts before, you might be surprised to realize how fiddly binding a smaller quilt can be. Very Kerry Berry has a tutorial on single fold binding for small quilts like mug rugs or minis that you might want to check out.

(Terry’s mini practicing her circle technique)

When you’re making a quilt with straight edges and 90 degree corners, straight grain binding will be fine, but just in case you feel like make a circular or curved quilt, here’s a great blog post about bias binding from Craftsy.

(Heather’s petal wall hanging from the Michael Miller Cotton Couture challenge)

Or if you get inspired to add a few interesting angles, i’ve found this tutorial at Trends & Traditions to be really helpful.

(Arita’s table runner/wall hanging from the Riley Blake challenge)

Another thing you might not have come across before is blocking your quilt. Blocking will be familiar to needleworkers, especially knitters and crocheters, but it’s pretty foreign to most quilters. When you’re making a baby quilt or a lap quilt, you don’t need to worry about the quilt hanging straight on the wall, but when you’re making a wall hanging, it’s a good thing to keep in mind. Bias piecing, improv, or heavy quilting can all alter the way a quilt lays, and blocking is pretty magical in how it can fix that! Blocking should preferably be done before the binding is applied, but if you don’t realize how wonky your quilt is until after you’ve done that, you can block a finished quilt as well.

holly cathedral windows
(Holly’s cathedral windows mini for an online swap)

There are numerous tutorials about blocking out there, and i’m going to link to a few, since they’re all a little different. Leah Day from The Free Motion Quilting Project has several great posts about blocking, her original post here, and then a post specifically about finishing a mini wholecloth quilt where she uses elastic strips to stretch the quilt.

gaye hsts
(Gaye’s HST mini for the Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels challenge)

Kathy K Wylie shows you how she blocks large quilts on her living room floor, Quilt Me Happy uses laser levels while blocking a large quilt (which is way more than you need for a mini, but cool to learn about!) and this post by Sylvia Landman at Academy of Quilting talks about the differences between dry blocking and wet blocking, which none of the previous links bring up.

(Rebecca’s diamond mini from the Michael Miller Cotton Couture challenge)

When you’re blocking a quilt, just like when you’re blocking crochet or knitting, it’s really important to use rust-proof pins. (ask me how i know! dozens of white crocheted baskets, covered in rust marks…) Most good quality pins are rust-proof, but it’s worth testing the pins you use most frequently in advance. The other thing that none of these posts mention is how awesome cheap foam floor tiles are for blocking small projects. You know those primary coloured interlocking foam tiles they sell for kids playrooms? they’re so awesome! they’re waterproof, and thick enough to pin into, and you can buy a four pack for a couple of bucks at the dollar store.

(Samantha’s mini for an online swap)

(photos of guild members showing their minis during Show and Tell graciously taken by Stacey M)