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 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
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 ( 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)

Book Review: Playful Petals

Hello my VMQG friends! Stacey Day here, with another book review for you! Please enjoy responsibly!

Yesterday I sat down and pulled out my copy of Playful Petals by Corey Yoder. I love applique, and I love orange peels so of course I was keen to dive in. I was definitely curious as to just how many projects could be made using a single shape. Quite a few would be the answer. You can find some great pictures here on Corey’s blog.

Playful Petals

Corey uses the single petal shape in lots of fun, innovative ways. The book includes both quilts and matching pillows, which is fun if you want to have matching throw pillows with your lap quilt. (I can never have enough!) The quilts use a combination of piecing and fusible web applique to keep things interesting, and to save you from the monotony of just press, peel, stick, press, repeat. There are multiple petal templates included, so you could scale down a project if you wanted by choosing a different petal shape. Most of the projects are pre-cut friendly, and will tell you which precut in the fabric requirements, so getting started is as easy as grabbing that fat quarter bundle or layer cake that has been languishing in your stash and put it to good use. The petals are also scrap friendly. What a beautiful way to use all those little bits and pieces!

The writing is easy to read and understand. She outlines her process and includes a fun bit of history as to how she got started quilting and why she centered on applique. She explains her method and shows you different options for stitching the applique pieces to the background fabric. The stitching instructions also include tips for perfect stitched petal points. She also gives you a layout for optimal petal placement that you can refer back to at need. Her method uses less fusible web than you might think, and ultimately creates less layers to sew through in some of the multi-petal patterns. She also gives you tips on picking a good fusible web, choosing threads and the effects they have, and some tips for using pearle cottons and decorative stitching.

Scattered Blossoms
Scattered Blossoms 

Corey also includes a great section on precuts and fabrics. Each of the common precuts has a small overview, and then she goes into other printed fabrics and how to use the different scale prints to your advantage. The fabric section may be a bit small, but it is to the point and includes all the information you need to help pick fabrics for the included projects.  The finishing section is complete and her techniques are pretty standard, but she has included a fantastic pillow cutting chart! It gives you the backing sizes to cut for square pillows from 12″-24″, and a rectangle pillow as well. It’s super helpful when you want to resize your pillows.

Daisy Feilds
Daisy Feilds

This book is definitely beginner friendly. The technique is easy to learn and remember, and it can be applied to any shape not just petals. The patterns aren’t over-complicated, but they are fun! You could easily make a quilt in a weekend, and the pillows could be done as a same day gift for sure. The written instructions are very easy to understand and follow. The quilts are made of blocks with applique that are sewn together, making construction easy. It also makes it very easy to resize a project by adding or subtracting blocks.

My favorite quilt in the entire book as to be the cover quilt, Rainbow Petals. It is so fun and cheerful, the petals are plump and can only be described as jaunty!  I can see myself making this to use in my nook (aka the armchair in the sewing room) to read under.

Rainbow Petals
Rainbow Petals

Second upon my favorites list, and another want to make, is Tossed Petals. This reminds me of a garden path strewn with petals. There are hundreds of cherry blossom trees in Vancouver, and the streets would be littered in blossom petals in the spring. This would be very fun to do with  bright petals and a low volume background. The block is easy to construct and the layout is straightforward.

Tossed Petals

The tossed petals block is my favorite petal block in the book, so I decided to whip up a pillow following Corey’s instructions to the letter. I have been doing fused applique for years, I made my first quilts with fused applique and almost no piecing, and I still found some tips and tricks that make the construction that much easier.

PLayful Petals Pillow 009
My Scattered Blossoms Pillow

PLayful Petals Pillow 011

I picked some of my favorite blenders and prints for the petals, and I used a pair of fat quarters in Kate Spain’s Cuzco for the back and binding. That bright pink is my favorite! I used a simple orange peel motif for the quilting, and using Corey’s suggested sewing lines I quilted the entire thing without backtracking once. I chose to use a raw edge straight stitch to secure the petals. Mostly because it was way too late to pull out mymulti stitch machine. It came together easily and I love how it looks!

Overall these petals certainly live up to the description of Playful. It is beginner friendly and has some tips and tricks for the experienced quilter as well.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!


*I would like to note that it was next to impossible to find stock photos to use here. I finally stumbled across some on a Pinterest board that linked back to a file on Connecting Threads. I do not know the origin of the photos, but can only assume they were taken by the photographer who shot the book.*

Photos reprinted from Playful Petals by Corey Yoder.  Published by CT/Stash Books.

Round Robin: July Assignment

Hello Round Robineers! We’re in the latter half of this lovely project and I hope you’re still having fun.

The quilts are growing, and there is a lot going on in them, so for this month, the assignment is:

  • two 2″ finished (2½” unfinished) borders on adjacent sides
  • theme: breathing space

There are different ways to achieve breathing space – keeping the borders unpieced (i.e. a single piece of fabric), choosing solid or near-solid fabric to add in to the overall mix, etc.

As always, the diagram is just a guide (this month’s borders shown in yellow). Your borders should go on the two sides that work best with the quilt you’re working with.

Round Robin July

Go ahead and comment on this post if you’ve got questions. And as always – have fun!

Book Review – Make & Love Quilts by Mary Fons

Review by Pam Pollock.

My hero has a book that came out June 1, 2014. I read everything this person writes as it all contains great heart, a quirky way of looking at the world and thought provoking tidbits that I chew on for the rest of the day.

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 1.04.04 PM


Our Modern Quilt Guild was asked to review Make & Love Quilts by Mary Fons and I put my name forward.  I, however, could not wait and downloaded it as an ebook this morning.

OOOOOhhhhhhh, I am in heaven. Should I flip right through it and get to the gorgeous pictures? No, It was with great anticipation I read the dedication, the acknowledgements, the introduction, the notes on this book, and a brief history of quiltmaking. I wanted to be in the correct space to see the quilts. Did I say I love everything Mary writes? She may not know it, but I feel we are on a first name basis. She invited me to her book opening! Well, me and everyone who reads her column. I thought about using my aeroplan points to go.

My favourite quilt is in the book — the one that is on all the ads — My Dear, the nine patch with the wonderful row of rolling stone blocks. Oh and I want to make the 25 square block, Hello, There, and the flying geese quilt, Northbound, that is on the cover. And because I was reading and savouring every word I am not even through the book yet. Oh, I can go home and look at more!!!!

My Dear Pattern

My Dear Pattern

Okay, the nitty gritty. I am following the pattern for My Dear. I am making a quilt for my cousin with leftover fabrics from her mom. Her mom was a quilter; she made a quilt for my daughter when she was born. Our grandmother also quilted. See? Mary and I have a lot in common; we come from a family of quilters. I am hopeful this pattern will work with various sized scraps. Not too much commitment from any piece of fabric. Just need a minimum of 4 squares.

I read all Mary’s suggestions for choosing fabrics and pared down my original selection. I kept with the blue and red material. I may branch out if I run short. Not sure what colours I will make the rolling stone blocks.

Pam's fabric selections

Pam’s fabric selections

Here are my sample blocks. I am in love with this quilt. The instructions are clear, if Mary has suggested a way to do something she always references back to the instruction and page number, and the numbers are correct; love that. I am enthused! Cut all the fabric!

Sample Blocks pamsampleblock2

I am paring down the size of the quilt for my cousin. Most of the quilts in this book are queen or king size. As Mary says these quilts are a commitment and you will not be able to finish them in a weekend. That is okay! I am savouring the journey. Each step of the process is to be celebrated and enjoyed. “Quilters are impatient people” but we do love each part of the quilt making process.

As I sew up this quilt I remember the strong wonderful women in my family, the pioneer women who created quilts that were utilitarian and beautiful, and the new generation of quilters starting out. My cousin will be able to wrap herself in this quilt and feel all the love I have for her. Mary Katherine Fons “Make + Love” —  yes it is in every stitch, a complete gift, and a beautiful and thought provoking book.

Photos reprinted from Make + Love Quilts by Mary Fons.  Published by CT/Stash Books.

Mini Quilt Swap!!

We’re super excited to announce a new swap! We’ve done quite a few swaps with other guilds, but it’s been a while since we did one just within our group.We see so much amazing work within our guild (that’s why our Show and Tell rocks), it’s about time we shared that with each other!

so! a Mini Quilt Swap!

vmqg mini quilt pinterest board(Heather’s started an inspiration board on the VMQG pinterest account, be sure to check it out!)

here’s the details:

- this will NOT be a blind swap. when you sign up, you’ll fill out a questionnaire. when you’re assigned a partner, you’ll be sent their questionnaire. this means that you’ll get something made specifically for you, taking your likes and dislikes into consideration. awesome!

- sign ups will start today, June 16, 2014, and will go to June 30, 2014. that gives you two weeks to get your booty in gear!

- sign ups will be ONLINE. this will let Amy email your questionnaire to your partner without having to retype it all and try to decipher your handwriting.

- partners will be assigned by July 7, 2014 at the latest

- you’ll bring your finished mini quilt back to the August guild meeting, on August 18, 2014

- that gives you 5 weeks to make something amazing!

- mini quilts will have a minimum perimeter of 50″, and a maximum perimeter of 100″. that means length + length + width + width will add up to at least 50″, but no more than 100″. you can make your mini any shape you like, as long as it fits within 50″-100″ perimeter.

- quilts should have some sort of hanger attached. this can be a sleeve, triangles in the two upper corners, whatever works best for the quilt you make.

- there will be no extras in this swap. when you bring your quilt back (wrapped and labeled with your partner’s name), the only thing in the package should be the quilt.

- this is a members-only activity. supporting your guild has its perks!

- please keep your summer schedule in mind when signing up. if you’re so busy that you might not get your mini finished in time, it might be better to wait for another swap. finding swap angels or dealing with late packages is no fun for your partner or for the organizer!


interested? fabulous! sign up here!


if you have any questions, please email Amy

amy AT vancouvermodernquiltguild DOT ca

She’ll be out of town for part of the sign up period, but due to the wonders of technology, she’ll still be able to respond to you (give her a day or so though, she might be on the beach!)

Book Review – Civil War Legacies II by Carol Hopkins

Review by Parm Gosselin


Are you into creating miniature quilts? Well, this book may be for you. This book is comprised of 17 projects made from scrappy reproduction prints. This is Carol Hopkins second book on Civil War Quilts. Carol Hopkins has designed many quilts using reproduction fabrics.

Gettysburg Sun Quilt

Gettysburg Sun Quilt

Most of the quilts are small approximately 28 inches by 34 inches, block sizes average 3 inches. Two quilts are of medium size, 51 inch square, and 44 inch square, respectively. Each quilt has detailed instructions on how to piece the blocks. A brief introduction related to the Civil War describes the quilt pattern in each chapter.

Lillies for Connie Quilt

Lillies for Connie Quilt

With no previous experience in making miniature quilts, I decided that I would review this book and create a miniature quilt. I chose the Bonnet Ties quilt pattern. The quilt measures 27” by 33”, and the blocks are 3”by 3”.

Bonnet Ties Quilt

Bonnet Ties Quilt

This was also the first time I constructed the pinwheel block. Fabrics used in my version of the quilt were from the modern trend versus the reproduction fabrics used in the book.

The vibrant modern colours gave the quilt a different feel about it. Lesson learned during the quilt making process is that miniature quilts take much longer to complete than bed size quilts, and there is no room to make mistakes! After all blocks were sewn together, the quilt came to life.

Bonnet Ties (modern fabric version made by Parm)

Bonnet Ties (modern fabric version made by Parm)

The attributes of vintage quilts change when using modern fabrics instead of reproduction fabrics.

So, if you would try a hand on miniature vintage quilts with a modern flair, this book may be for you!


Book photos reprinted from Civil War Legacies II: 17 Small Quilt Patterns for Reproduction Fabrics by Carol Hopkins. Photos by Brent Kane; Published by Martingale.