Author Archives: amydame

More Workshop Spaces Available!

The interest in Marianne Haak’s Quilt As You Go workshop has been fantastic!

As a result, the workshop on Sunday May 25th filled up very fast, and we had a number of people on the waiting list.

Marianne has graciously agreed to teach for two days in a row, so WE ARE ADDING ANOTHER WORKSHOP!

In addition to the Sunday workshop, there will now be a workshop on Saturday May 24th at the Croatian Cultural Centre. A full description of the workshop can be found on the previous blog post here.

Please email Amy at to sign up for the Saturday class.

Log Cabin Blocks

Rachel's Quilt

Creating Large Working Small: Discover the advantages of Quilt as You Go with Marianne Haak

Date: Saturday May 24th, 2014

Time: 9:30am – 5:30pm

Place: Room B, Croatian Cultural Centre

Cost: $60 for VMQG members, $65 for non-members

Sign-up: Sign ups are open for everyone. Please email Amy at to sign up.

Payment: Since we won’t have a guild meeting before the workshop, payments will need to be sent electronically or through the mail. To pay using Paypal, please send a payment of $62 (members) or $67 (non-members) to

We’d prefer that payments be made via Paypal, because the workshop is coming up fast, but if you need to mail your payment, please send a cheque with a note that it’s for the workshop to:

Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild
PO Box 78037 RPO Grandview
Vancouver, BC V5N 5W1

Not So Negative


Come join the fun!

Upcoming Workshop with Marianne Haak!

We are very excited to announce this upcoming next workshop!

Marianne Haak, who blogs at The Quilting Edge, will be coming to Vancouver to teach us a QAYG (quilt as you go) workshop on Sunday, May 25th.

Marianne is a Canadian quilter who divides her time between Edmonton and Victoria, and we are lucky enough to catch her while she’s on the West Coast. Marianne has embraced QAYG (despite owning a long arm!), and creates the most incredible quilts using this technique. You may be familiar with her quilt Colour Shot, from The Blogger’s Quilt Festival last year. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

Colour Shot

The workshop is titled Creating Large Working Small, and here’s what Marianne had to say about it –

Discover the advantages of Quilt as You Go!

Log Cabin Blocks

Quilting an eighteen inch block, as opposed to quilting a larger sized quilt, has some real advantages. The obvious one being that everything fits under the machine during quilting, resulting in less swearing whoops, I meant to say less frustration in the sewing room. QAYG also lends itself very well to improvisational type quilting; I almost like to think of it as Design as You Go. I plan to share with you some of my design process using QAYG.

• Creating a QAYG Block….Wonky Log Cabin
• Joining the blocks with narrow joiner strips
• Joining the blocks with wide joiner strips
• Adding QAYG Borders
• How to quilt a spiral

Rachel's Quilt

Wouldn’t you love to learn how to create quilts like this in a small space?

Creating Large Working Small: Discover the advantages of Quilt as You Go with Marianne Haak

Date: Sunday May 25rd, 2014

Time: 9:30am – 5:30pm

Place: TBA (Vancouver)

Cost: $60 for VMQG members, $65 for non-members

Sign-up: Sign ups are now open for members of VMQG. We will open sign ups for non-members (space permitting) on April 14th. Please email Amy at to sign up between meetings.

Payment: Please pay at the meeting when you sign up, send a payment of $62 (members) or $67 (non-members) to via PayPal, or send a cheque with a note that it’s for the workshop to:
Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild
PO Box 78037 RPO Grandview
Vancouver, BC V5N 5W1

Not So Negative

Holiday Ornament Swap!

Happy December everyone!

The holidays are rapidly approaching, which means our December meeting is coming soon too! We’ll be posting about the meeting itself, but we wanted to give you a bit of time to get started on a special activity that we’ll be doing at the meeting. We’re bringing back the holiday ornament exchange that we did for our first festive season together, back in 2010, and we’d love it if you joined in!

The swap is simple – bring a handmade ornament, and you’ll get a handmade ornament in exchange. Easy-peasy!

Your ornament can be of any style, as long as it’s handmade, so feel free to bust out your yarn or your sequins, if that’s how you celebrate the holidays.

We’ll be swapping one ornament per person (it’s not a block lotto!), but if you get carried away, ornaments make great gifts or door prizes.

Looking for inspiration?

Back in 2010, Amy blogged links to 50 fabric ornaments on her personal blog.

Since then, she’s created a pinterest board of Holiday Tutorials, most of which are ornaments.
If you’re comfortable with winging it, she’s also created a board of Holiday Inspirations – no tutorials, but some great ideas!

And if you’d like to check out our first ornament swap, there are some pics in our flickr group here.

Go forth and create – we can’t wait to see what you make!

To Boston With Love – shipping info

Edited May 29th, 2013 to remove shipping address as the deadline to send flags has passed.


Are you a keener who’s already made a bunch of flags? That’s awesome!

But now what? How are you going to get to them to Boston?

That depends if you’re in a Modern Quilt Guild or not.

If you’re in a MQG that is participating in the project, your guild will have chosen one or two people to collect the flags, tie them together (see Step 5 in the basic flag tutorial), and mail them off. Check with your guild to see who you have to get your flags to, and when the internal deadline is.

If you’re in a MQG that IS NOT participating in the project, ask yourself why?! Have you not forwarded the info on? Does someone need to step up and be the coordinator? Maybe that person could be you!

If you’re not in a MQG, or your guild isn’t participating, you can still participate by yourself! To make it easier for final assembly, and to encourage more folks to make flags, we suggest asking friends to join you, and mailing your flags in together, tied together as described in Step 5. But if you make flags all by your lonesome, that’s cool too!

If you’re a quilter, but you’re in a traditional guild, that’s okay! Your guild doesn’t have to be modern in order for you to make a great block. We just ask that you use modern fabric choices bearing the colour palette in mind, and create a somewhat modern design.

All flags need to be in Boston by MAY 31 MAY 21, 2013.

Please note that there is a REVISED DEADLINE. Discussions are in the works with a very prestigious Boston institution, who have requested an earlier deadline, so that the flags might be part of a very special Memorial Day celebration. As a result of this, if your flags are to be in the exhibition opening, we will need them to be in Boston by no later than May 21, 2013. If flags arrive after this date, they will still be added to the exhibition, however will obviously miss the opening event. And we need as many as possible for the opening to make a great impact.

We realize that this will be an inconvenience for some, however we believe that their reasoning for this deadline is good, and that the event will be far beyond what we had originally imagined it to be. So please keep up the enthusiasm and get them to us as soon as possible.

For VMQG members, your deadline is still the May 20th meeting for now. Please hand your flags in to Berene at the meeting. If you are unable to make the meeting please find someone else who can bring it in for you.

If you live outside of the United States, please keep postal times in mind when mailing your flags. You’ll have to mail them a bit earlier, but you’re probably used to that!

SHIPPING DETAILS have been removed as the deadline has passed. The exhibit has been installed and we are no longer asking for flags. Thank you to everyone who participated!

REMINDER: the DEADLINE is MAY 31 MAY 21, 2013.

Once you have a flag count, if you could let us know how many to expect, that would be helpful in planning the space required for the installation. This is especially relevant if you’re collecting flags from a number of people! Please contact Berene Campbell with your numbers.

To Boston With Love – tutorials and inspiration

It’s been so exciting to see the response to the To Boston With Love project!

The flickr group is getting full of fabulous flags, and individuals and guilds alike have been spreading the word via blog posts.

Please continue to spread the word, the more flags the merrier. If you’d like to blog about the project, or add this button to your blog, here’s the code for the button.

To Boston With Love

Were you thinking about making a flag, but weren’t sure where to start? Berene has kindly has put together patterns for two flags, her LOVE flag, the very first flag made, and a fabulous strippy heart.

The LOVE tutorial/pattern can be downloaded HERE.

And the Strippy Heart tutorial/pattern can be downloaded HERE.
Please Note: You may post a link to these patterns on your website, but you may not post them as free downloads on your or any other website. Thank you.

And if you’re looking for even more inspiration, there are tons of tutorials out there to chose from! We’ve compiled a list below, but if you have any more suggestions, or you’ve made your own tutorial, let us know and we’ll add them in. Keep in mind that unlike Berene’s patterns, these tutorials aren’t specifically for the flags, so you might need to resize them.

improv hearts (super scrappy!) (strip pieced!)

Click through for paperpieced hearts, patchwork hearts, applique hearts and more.

Meet Up and Sew In with Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild!

This Saturday, January 19th, is an exciting day!

VMQG will be meeting up with the FVMQG to have a sew in and spend the day with our closest MQG friends.

We’re meeting part way between both guilds, so the sew-in will take place at the Surrey Public Library City Centre branch. This is a gorgeous new building, located right next to the Surrey Central Sky Train station, and easily accessible from the highway. (scroll to the bottom of this post for directions)

The physical address of the library is 10350 University Drive, Surrey, BC and we’ll be using Room  120, a big brightly lit room on the ground floor, just to your left when you walk into the library.

The sew-in starts at 10:30 and will go until 4:30. The library opens at 10am and Amy will be there setting up from that time on, so feel free to come a bit early to help move tables!

Like all of our sew-ins, the cost is $10 in advance and $15 the day of, and if you’d like to pay in advance, you can pay via paypal to

We’ll be doing a quick group project that is completely optional, but we hope you’ll join in. If you’re on instagram or flickr, you might have seen the Scrappy Trip- A-long blocks that are taking modern quilters by storm? Yep, we’re joining the craze! Everyone who participates will make one block at the sew-in, and at the end of the day we’ll have a block lotto and one lucky person will win all of the blocks, and will have a fabulous start on their own Scrappy Trip Around The World quilt.

You can see the instructions we’ll be following here, though Amy will have a copy of the instructions at the sew in as well. For an example of finished quilts, check out the flickr group that’s exploding with amazing versions!

If you’d like to play along, bring 6 strips of modern fabric cut to 2.5″ x 16″. The strips can all be the same or they can all be different, but they don’t have to coordinate. We’ll be swapping strips before we start sewing, so you’ll have an extra excuse to chat with your neighbours.

Here’s the rest of the details:

–  there is free parking for 3 hours, but after that there is pay parking nearby

– bring a lunch (there’s a kitchenette attached to the room we’ll be in), or go offsite to pick one up (there are tons of places around)

– bring a treat to share if you’d like (if you can, e-mail Amy to tell her in advance)

– bring a door prize if you’d like (if you can, e-mail Amy to tell her in advance)

– there will be 2 full sized irons, and that’s all we can have, so if you’re doing a project that needs a lot of ironing, you might want to bring a mini iron (if you have a kickass iron that you’d be willing to bring and share, please e-mail Amy)

– we’ll be swapping our Travel Swap items, so don’t forget them!

– there will be several large cutting mats, but you are welcome to bring a smaller one if you’ll need it.

– wear your nametag, you’ll be making new friends!


It’s going to be great!! If you have any questions, e-mail Amy at



The library has limited transportation info on their website (pdf), but here are some more details.


Put your sewing machine in a rolling suitcase or cart and save on gas and parking! Take the Expo line and get off at Surrey Central Skytrain. Walk through the bus loop to University Dr and turn right, the library entrance is partway down the block. You can see  a map of the Skytrain station here (pdf). 

If you’re driving from Vancouver:

If you take Highway #1 from Vancouver, you’ll have two options, the Port Mann Bridge, which is a toll bridge, or detouring through New Westminster.  

If you take the Port Mann, there is an introductory rate of $1.50 per crossing. After crossing the bridge, take the exit for 152nd St/Surrey City Centre/108th St. Google says that the exit is #48. The exit will take you onto 152nd St. Turn right onto 104th St, continue past King George Blvd and turn left on University Dr. The library is on your left, and the parking lot is a block from the corner on your right.

If you go through New Westminster, take Brunette South (exit 40A) from Hwy #1. Continue on Brunette and the road turns left at a light, continue to your left and you’ll be on E Columbia St. Take the ramp on your right for the Pattullo Bridge. Once over the bridge, you’ll be on King George Blvd. Continue on King George and turn right at 104th Ave. A few blocks later, turn left at University Dr. The library is on your left, and the parking lot is a block from the corner on your right.

If you’re driving from Abbotsford:

Go down Highway #1 from Abbotsford and take Exit #50, which is labeled as 160th St/Surrey. The exit is right after the Pedestrian Overpass, earlier than you’ll expect it to be. Luckily, there are repeated signs warning you that it’s the last exit before the toll bridge! Once you take the exit, stay to the right and follow the signs for 104th Ave West. Go through the light and follow the curve in the road and you’ll be on 104th Ave. Stay on 104th, continue past King George Blvd and turn left on University Dr. The library is on your left, and the parking lot is a block from the corner on your right.

 If you’re driving there is an Impark lot for library staff and visitors on the corner of 103 Ave and University Drive and you can park there for 3 hours for free. After 3 hours you’ll have to move your car to one of the pay lots in the area.



The VMQG and the FVMQG are swapping!

In honour of QuiltCon, the theme of the swap is “Travel”! That can be anything from a cosmetics bag or jewelery case, a neck pillow or a luggage tag, or even something to keep kids occupied while on the road. You’ll be assigned a partner, and you’ll be expected to spend a minimum of 5-6 hours on item(s) for your partner. You’ll get a copy of your partner’s questionnaire so that you can make something expressly suited to them.

Swap sign ups are November 9th to November 25th, to give both guilds plenty of time to sign up. Please e-mail Amy your completed questionnaire at amykinsATshawDOTca

Partners will be assigned by November 30th, and Amy will send you an e-mail with your partner’s information by that date.

This is not necessarily a secret swap – if you need more information to create something perfect for your partner, feel free to contact them. If they’ve given you enough info on their questionnaire and you don’t need to contact them, that’s cool too.

Your swap packages are due at the VMQG/FVMQG Sew-in/Meet-up on January 19, 2013. If you are not attending the meet-up, you will need to get your package to Amy beforehand, or send it with a friend. FVMQG folks can bring their packages to the meeting on January 10th and VMQG folks can drop theirs off at the Friday night sew-in on January 11th.

Wanna play along? Here’s the questionnaire to complete!

Swap Questionnaire

Amy’s Bigger List of Non-Zipper Closures

Are you excited about making a pouch yet? After you check out all of these links, you’re going to want to make tons of pouches!


First, some eye candy –

(wanna see the inspiration pics closer up, or see who made them? check out the mosaic on flickr for links!)

There are tons of wonderful pouches made without zippers, and there are so many different closure options out there. As I was saying at the guild meeting, using an alternative closure often means that the closure is more of a design feature than it would be with a zipper. While a zipper sort of fades into the background, buttons or frames can really make a statement!


Metal Snap Frames are super trendy right now, and they’re not nearly as scary as you think they are! This is a rather long list, but they come in different shapes and sizes, and the square ones are a bit different from the rounded ones. If you’re using a metal frame, open up the package first thing! Most frames come with a pattern that will fit the frame perfectly, but you might not realize it until you get to that step!


Another fun option is a magnetic snap, which you would use with a flap. Magnetic snaps can be purchased at  fabric stores, and even at craft stores. They’re really easy to put in, and have a very finished look.


Flex Frames can be really great, and they’re so easy to install. If you know how to sew a drawstring casing, you can make a flex frame pouch! (using a metal tape measure instead of a purchased flex frame)


And speaking of drawstrings, they’re a great pouch closure too!


Buttons are awesome closures, because they give you the opportunity to really showcase a gorgeous vintage button. If you don’t have any tucked away in your stash, new buttons are great too! Button, Button is a great source for fancy buttons, but I’ve been surprised by how pretty some of the buttons at Fabricland are as well. And of course, there’s always Dressew! Dressew also has a very good price for large covered button kits, which are a great way to showoff a small piece of gorgeous fabric.


If you’re not so comfortable with buttonholes, buttons work great with loops of cording or elastic too.


A less commonly seen button closure is with a piece of ribbon or cording that is wrapped around one or two buttons, like a folio.


And let’s not forget about the lowly snap! As you can see in the mosaic above, they make great closures.

Though the snaps should come with instructions, reading about other people’s techniques can be helpful.


Make a sample of your pouch before you make your fancy swap pouch, so that you can try out your technique in advance. That will also give you a chance to perfect your pattern without ruining anything that you’ve put a lot of work into!