Round Robin: Final Assignment

We’re here! Working on the final Round Robin borders. The quilt tops are looking amazing – I can’t wait for everyone to see theirs next month!

For our final round, we will be adding TWO 6″ (6½” unfinished) borders, placed in whatever way works best for the quilt top. This month’s theme is: contrast.

I’ve illustrated the borders on adjacent sides, but use your discretion.

Round Robin FinalHave fun! See you in October for the big reveal!

Book Review – Kitchen Stitches – Compiled by Karen M. Burns

Review by Heather Campbell

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 12.56.54 PM

This particular book, while not a quilting book, is full of sewing projects for your home, many of which are quilted. The focus is on the kitchen, and editor Karen Burns has compiled quite a selection of projects. There’s a nice 2 page write up at the back of the book with details about the contributors: Natalie Barnes, Lindsay Conner, Melissa Corry, Jenifer Dick, Amy Ellis, Linda Turner Griepentrog, Kim Niedzwiecki, Kari Ramsay, Missy Shepler, Rebecca Silbaugh, Amy Struckmeyer, Heather Valentine and Jackie White.

The book is divided into three sections: “Get Cooking”, which has projects like aprons, casserole cozys, pot holders, etc; “Set The Table”, which has table cloths, napkins, placemats and more; and “Add A Little Spice”, featuring things like a coupon keeper, fridge magnets and a message board.

The projects in this book are all relatively small and quick makes, which means they would make excellent hostess gifts, wedding shower presents or door prizes.

One thing that makes this book particularly lovely to look at is that all the pages are printed in colour, even the instruction pages, and it’s filled with little colour diagrams of the assembly steps. Makes it really easy to follow along, especially for those of us who are visual learners.

The pattern for the casserole cozy and matching double-handed pot holder has a cool, vintage-inspired-modern-execution feel to it, and designer Natalie Barnes provides instructions for adjusting the casserole cozy for a baking dish of any dimensions. There are plenty of other pot holder, tea towel and cozy patterns in this section, with plenty of tips on resizing, using orphan blocks, and repurposing old materials.

In the “Set The Table” section, I absolutely fell in love with the Circle Blooms tea cozy and place mats designed by Amy Struckmeyer. I was actually in dire need of a new tea cozy and this one appealed both visually and also gave me an opportunity to try a new technique — reverse applique!

Here’s the completed cozy and the one from the book. Applique is NOT my strong suit and I have never done reverse applique. Amy S. made the instructions VERY easy to understand and the reverse circle applique went off without a hitch. Lots of mini-diagrams on this pattern too. Mine was made with very fine wale black corduroy instead of the linen used in the book.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 1.16.15 PM

I finished off the placemats as well… not exactly sure how smart corduroy placemats are but they look cute as anything. I used black double fold bias tape to bind the edges instead of her method of sewing the front and back right sides together and turning. I also quilted some straight lines as they are thick-ish made with corduroy.

photo 2

Also in this section is a really lovely quilt-as-you-go table runner using improv piecing by Missy Shepler. I don’t have a table big enough to warrant this but it’s a striking piece and has matching placemats with cool little pockets for cutlery. The instructions are good and you should be able to follow along even if you’ve never done QAYG or improv. There is a super section with variations for different types of improv.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 12.56.26 PM

Amy Ellis fans will like her paper-pieced table runner and napkins featuring an octagonal/spider web shape.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 12.56.37 PM

Not all the projects in this book are ultra modern — some are what I would consider “contemporary” and some I think would not appeal to a modern quilter — but there is definitely a wide selection to chose from and enough information about modifying the projects that I think there really is something for everyone.

Book photos reprinted from Kitchen Stitches compiled by Karen M. Burns. Photos by Brent Kane; Published by Martingale. Project photos by Heather Campbell.

September 15th meeting reminder

Our next meeting is 7:00pm, Monday, September 15th

Tasia St. Germaine
We’re looking forward to hearing from local pattern designer Tasia St. Germaine at our meeting on Monday! Tasia has recently released “The Sewtionary: An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques and Definitions” and will have copies of her book and patterns on hand. We’ll be happy to welcome you to Tasia’s pop-up shop at 6:30pm (cash only, please!). We’ll be setting up shop before 6:30pm, so no earlybirds, please!

This will be our last meeting before our Knit City booth, so we’re collecting quilts for our display. Please email Sunday Hawthorne at to sign up for a half-day volunteer shift for October 4th or 5th. More details on our blog.

Upcoming VMQG Events
1) Paper Piecing Workshop with Stacey Day, Sunday, September 28th, Croatian Cultural Centre $45 ($50 non-members), includes pattern for block.
2) 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!
3) Friday night Sew-in, 6:00-11:00pm, Friday, October 17th, Holy Trinity Church Hall, $10
4) Executive elections at our October 20th meeting, see nomination procedure on blog.
5) Friday night Sew-in, 6:00-11:00pm, Friday, November 14th, Holy Trinity Church Hall, $10
6) All-day Sew-in on Sunday, November 23rd at the Croatian Cultural Centre  9:00am-9:00pm for $20 (priority registration for VMQG members).
7) Improv Piecing Workshop with Krista Hennebury, Sunday, November 30th, Croatian Cultural Centre $50 ($63 non-members)

September Meeting Details

What: Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild MeetingWhen: 7:00-9:00pm, Monday, September 15th, 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 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 for Tasia’s pop-up shop
- cash, chequebook, or credit card to pay for VMQG events
- modern quilt to share at Show and Tell
- quilt/s to display at Knit City (see Sunday at the meeting)
“Scattered blocks” challenge blocks for block lotto
Round Robin kit if you are participating
- your name tag
- a mug (none will be supplied)
- treats are welcomed, please email Niki at if you plan to bring something.
- door prizes: Please bring donations to the meeting and sign up at the door prize table.

Agenda:- 6:30pm, shop in pop-up shop, sign up for show and tell
- Welcome
- Tasia St. Germaine’s talk
- Break (eat treats & socialize!; shop for books & patterns, sign up for workshops/sew-ins, sign up to volunteer at Knit City)
- Guild Business
- September Challenge
- Show and Tell
- Door Prizes & Block Lotto

See you there!


Ready for another local event celebrating all things crafty?!

On October 4 – 5 the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild has been asked to join the folks at Knit City Vancouver to set up a booth and spread the word about our guild. We will be decorating the booth with quilts to show attendees what it is that we make and talking to people interested in joining our guild.

photo (1)

MakerFaire 2014 booth

What is Knit City?

Knit City is an event at the PNE Forum that in the past has been exclusive to knitting/knitters vendors around BC but this year they are opening up the Forum to other fiber artist like Quilters!

Knit City will also be hosting many different knitting classes for those who are knitters.

Where is Knit City?

Knit City is located at the PNE Forum at 2901 E Hastings St in Vancouver.

We encourage you to bike or take public transit however if you need to drive you can purchase general parking pass at $10/day, with no in/out privileges. But if you are planning on attending both days a 2-day parking pass is $20 which allows in/out parking access.

How can I help?

We need volunteers to man our booth, set up and take down.

If you have already signed up please  email me, Sunday, to confirm that you are still available to volunteer. My email is

Set up time: Friday October 3rd. We think it should take about two hours, please be ready to go at 5pm

Take down: Knit City ends at 6pm on Sunday Oct 5th and we will begin to do take down at that time. We expect at most two hours.


We are decorating our booth with quilts much like we have with Mini Maker Faire in the past, so we strongly encourage members to lend the guild your quilt for the weekend to show attendees what it is we do.


We would really like if people would bring these quilts by the September 15th meeting.

We strongly encourage you to lend us a challenge quilt so we can show interested people the many things you can do with the same fabric and one of the many bonuses of being a guild member.

Call for Nominations for 2014-2015

Are you looking for a way to become more involved in the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild?  We’re looking for members who are full of great ideas about how to better serve our members and who would like to help make our organization grow and thrive!

Here are two ways you could contribute to the running of our guild:

  •  nominate yourself for a position on the Executive
  •  volunteer for one of our committees



All Executive positions are for a 1 year term, so we are seeking nominations for all positions.  (There is no limit to how many consecutive terms a member may serve.)

All applicants should be able to make the time commitment to attend the monthly guild meeting, a monthly Executive meeting, as well as time for the individual duties of each position.  If you have any questions about one of the positions, please feel free to contact any one of the current Executive members.

We have changed the titles of some of the Executive positions to better reflect the duties being performed by Executive members.

These are the Executive positions for 2014-2015:

  • Co-President
  • Co-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Membership
  • Social Media
  • Workshops
  • Speakers

Terry Aske has decided not to submit her name for a position on the Executive for the coming year, so she will be acting as our Nominating Committee.

To apply for an Executive position, please send the following information to before October 5, 2014.

Position(s) applying for:
Phone Number:
Qualifications/Why you would be a good fit:

All nominations received by midnight October 5th, will be posted on the blog.  This will give all of our members plenty of time to consider who they want to vote for at the October 20 guild meeting.

At the October 20th meeting, we will also call for nominations from the floor, and we will hold elections for the 2014-2015 Executive positions.


Another way to contribute to your guild is to volunteer for one of our committees.  Committees meet as required and submit reports to the Executive.  Committee members are appointed by the Executive.

These are the committees for 2014-2015.  All will have committee chairs; some will have additional members.

  • Sew-ins
  • Swaps and challenges
  • Refreshments
  • Special Events (e.g. Maker Faire, Knit City, PNW meet-up)
  • Quilt Show
  • Retreat
  • Photography

If you’re interested in volunteering for one or more of the committees, please send an email to before midnight October 18th.  Your information and area(s) of interest will be provided to the 2014-2015 Executive.

Position(s) applying for:
Phone Number:
Qualifications/Why you would be a good fit:


We encourage every member to consider submitting your name for an Executive or Committee position.  Also, please note that sitting on the Executive does not preclude you from being on a committee, and vice versa.  If you have the time and energy for two positions, we encourage you to submit your name for both.


Your 2013-2014 Executive:

Felicity, Holly, Heather, Niki, Amy, Michelle, Jo-Anne, Terry

Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels Challenge – Recap

The most recent fabric challenge we participated in through the MQG was the Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels challenge.


Our members received their bundle of fat eighths at the April and May guild meetings.  The challenge was to make something quilted with some or all of the fabrics, with the option to add any other solids or other Michael Miller print fabrics.

The big reveal was at our July outdoor meeting at Trout Lake.  Wonderful entries!  And, this wonderful photo appears on the cover of the MQG 2013 Annual Report – we’re famous!

VMQG members with Michael Miller Challenge projects


We held a random draw for everyone who brought a finished challenge piece.  The lucky winner of the random draw was Eileen, who won a gift certificate generously donated by Stitch and Bobbin.

Many of our members also posted their entries on the MQG site.  Although none of us won, it was fun and inspiring to see the hundreds of entries from around the world.  You can see the MQG winners here.

Congratulations to everyone who participated!


Book Review – Strip Savvy: 2 1/2″ Strip Quilting Designs by Kate Henderson

Review by Niki Storr.
strip savvy cover

You know how it is, when there are several enticing options making a decision becomes more difficult? That’s where I found myself dithering over where to start with Strip Savvy. The many excellent photographs show Kate Henderson’s quilts made with the textured modern fabrics that I am into these days. Then other VQMG challenges intervened (Michael Miller, UFOs, round robin), until it came time for the mini quilt swap.

I learned by creeping my partner on Pinterest that she likes house blocks and white. Unfortunately, reviewing possible options online I found that house blocks can range from fussy to twee. That was not the look I was after, as we are the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. Then remembering my lapsed book review, I re-visited Strip Savvy and the stars aligned because Kate Henderson had a house block on a white background. A cute, simple & modern one!

photo from book strip savvy
I re-read the author’s general instructions. Everything was clear and concise, with frequent illustrations for us visual learners. Yet, the pattern for “Little Houses” involves flying geese blocks. Ha! Me & flying geese are not on friendly terms. Maybe it’s from sewing on the bias, but I often have trouble losing the points and getting the sizes accurate. Re-visiting a nemesis was going to be a true test of this pattern.

And, Henderson’s instructions work! My points did not disappear into the seam allowance. She even had me pressing my seams open, which I tend not to do, but I followed her to the letter and it worked. These blocks strip-piece in a flash and are a great way to use up some smaller pieces of fabric. With all this success I got cocky and put away the pattern thinking I could fly these geese on my own to finish my mini version of “Little Houses.” I sewed the strips of house blocks in even rows only to find that they did not quite line up. After having a heart palpitation or three, I had another look at the pattern (whenever in doubt, read the instructions!) and clever Kate had staggered her strips so that any tiny variance in block size is rendered moot. I did, however, take the liberty of making all my rows facing the same direction. As well, I started with three, but then it just didn’t look like enough so I expanded my village into a sub-division with a faced binding. My mini quilt grew into a midi quilt.
IMG_0249 IMG_0244
Thanks to That Patchwork Place/Martingale for sharing Kate Henderson’s Strip Savvy with the VMQG. I look forward to making more quilts from it and posting the results!
Book photos reprinted from Strip Savvy by Kate Henderson. Photos by Brent Kane; Published by Martingale. Project photos by Niki Storr.

Scattered blocks challenge

Apologies to the early birds for my delayed block challenge post. – Niki
Amy and Niki with blocks
This month’s block lottery is based on the Scattered Blocks tutorial that our quilty neighbour, Lisa in Seattle,WA, posted on her blog Shiner’s View back in January 2012. We don’t forget a good thing!
However, since we can never leave well enough alone: For the VMQG block challenge we are going with solid centers of your choice of colour and low volume backgrounds. Low volume being white or cream with a subtle pattern that reads from a distance as a neutral. The effect should be to give the finished top some texture and depth. As I was making my samples I found myself slipping into Cheryl Arkison’s improv slab technique, which I think will works well with Lisa’s scattered centers.
Scattered blocks challenge
Finished blocks should be trimmed to 5.5″ squares. They chain-piece like a dream so make lots to increase your chances of taking them all home at our September 15th meeting. One block = one ticket to win the lot!

Round Robin: September Assignment

We’re in our penultimate month of the round robin! Exciting!

This month, we’re doing something a bit different with borders. We’ll be adding two borders, not necessarily adjacent, but in a placement that works with the quilt top as is and with its owner’s preferences (i.e. it’s an opportunity to help ensure the centre block ends up off-centre, if that’s what the maker stipulated).

  • first border: 6″ finished (6½” unfinished)
  • second border: 2″ finished (2½” unfinished))
  • theme: flying geese must appear in at least one of the borders
Borders shown adjacent as an example only.

Border positions are an example only.

Have fun and as always, please comment here or email me (felicity DOT quilts AT gmail DOT com) if you have any questions.

PNW MQG Meetup Sunday schedule



August 22-24, 2014 in Vancouver

The VMQG is thrilled to be hosting this year’s PNW MQG meetup! We’ve had a great time so far and are looking forward to one last day of fun!


Sunday, August 24th

11am – 12:30pm Tour of Granville Island, Vancouver tourist hot spot and home of a variety of crafty stores. The Cloth Shop is one of Vancouver’s longest-running LQSs. The Netloft contains many interesting shops such as Maiwa Supply (where Jessica gets her indigo dyeing supplies!), Paper-Ya, and Beadworks. No meeting place to start, just arrive at your leisure and make your own way around Granville Island’s shops. We’re planning to meet around 12:30pm outside Roger’s Chocolates (between The Cloth Shop and the Granville Island Public Market) so we can travel to the Food Cart Fest together. One option is the Aquabus ferry in False Creek. The ferry travels from Granville Island to Spyglass Place, the closest dock to the Food Cart Fest. It’s cute and it has a rainbow on it!


1pm – 3 pm - Food Cart fest for lunch/snacks. 215 West 1st Avenue (between the Cambie Street Bridge and the Olympic Village). The site is next to the Seawall and a short walk from the Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station, the Aquabus’ Spyglass Place Dock, and major bus routes along Broadway, Cambie, Main, and West 2nd Avenue. Admission is free for Modo and Vancity members, $2 for everyone else. Choose from over 20 food carts!

Transit info: when travelling from the Food Carts to Fabrics Etc, walk east on E 1st Ave four blocks to Main and E 1st (this route takes you past Mario’s Gelati). Catch the #19 bus eastbound (it runs every 12 minutes) and get off at the Kingsway and Gladstone stop (a 16 minute trip).

1pm – 4 pm - Fabrics Etc, a new fabric store at 2162 Kingsway, will be opening just for us! (just Southeast of Kingsway and Victoria Drive). 

Transit info: To get from Fabrics Etc to Spool of Thread, hop back on the #19 bus, westbound this time, and backtrack to Kingsway and Fraser. This is a 10 minute trip.

konas at spool of thread

Spool of Thread’s Kona selection is second to none in Vancouver!

4pm – 6pm - visit Spool of Thread (649 E 15th Ave at Fraser St). Check out their modern quilting cottons and nearly the full range of Robert Kaufman’s Kona cottons! Spool of Thread can be tricky to find, and you should know that E 15th Ave is a one-way street (traffic flows west). Street parking on 15th is limited, so you can always look for a spot along Kingsway or around nearby Robson Park.  Spool of Thread’s Sunday hours are 12noon-6pm.

6:00pm – And that’s a wrap! Check back for more news about next year’s meetup in Seattle!

Note: We’re continuing one of the hashtags from last year’s event, so please tag your photos with #pnwmqgmeetup!