Category Archives: Block Lottos

Details of the monthly challenges

November Block Challenge – Crop Circle Blocks

As revealed at the October meeting we are using the tutorial of our own Krista Hennebury, a.k.a. Poppyprint, to make some crop circle blocks. They involve some fusible interfacing and sewing curves, but don’t be intimidated as this is pretty darn easy. The link to her tutorial is here.

Crop Circle Block

For our challenge, please make your circles in patterned fabric 4.75″, which is the size of a CD, and attach it to an 8.5″ square of a solid colour that makes your circle pop.

(Tip: cut your square slightly larger than 8.5″ then trim after you’ve appliquéd the circle).

My sample is of pink owls on a blue background, and full disclosure: I made it after coming home from a four day trip and had about an hour to prep for the guild meeting so wasn’t looking forward to doing something too fussy. And it’s not! However, with me being slightly OCD, I might go back and top-stitch around the edge of the circle for some extra security. 

Each block = one chance to win the spotty lottery, so let’s make lots of dots!
Post written by: Niki.

Halloween Block Lotto!

Halloween just wouldn’t be Halloween without the annual VMQG Halloween Block Challenge! Can you believe this is our fifth time doing the Halloween Block Lotto? We’re getting all grown up!


(photo by Michelle McLatchy)

Size guidelines are the same as in previous years – multiples of 6″ finished. So that means unfinished blocks of, say 6½”x 6½”, or 12½” x 12½”, or 6½” x 18½”….you get the picture! The only fabric/colour guidelines are to make your block(s)Halloween themed. If you don’t have Halloween fabric in your stash, that’s okay, you probably have some great solids in Halloween colours! Or maybe some modern tone-on-tones?

block lotto examples

(photo by Stacey Murton)

There are lots of great Halloween block patterns out there, and of course, any quilt block can be made Halloween with suitable fabrics!

This blog post links to a whole bunch of Halloween patterns, and Fandom in Stitches has a number of vampire paperpiecing blocks that could be used for Halloween. Or how about these super cute ghosts? Just keep in mind that we’re going for Modern, and that you might need to adjust the cutting directions or add a border or two to bring your block up to size with a few of those.


(photo by Stacey Murton)

Every block you make will be considered an “entry” into a raffle to win packs of blocks. The more you make, the more chances you have to win some blocks!

So start digging through your stash to find the perfect fabrics to make your Halloween Challenge Block(s), then bring them to the October meeting. See you there!


(photo by Stacey Murton)


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!


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!

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

June Block Lotto!

At our May meeting I showed samples of Wonky Cross blocks that will be the block lotto for June.

amy and felicity

They’re super beginner friendly, and they’re quick to whip up, but they look fantastic once you have a bunch of them together. I made 8 in just a few hours, so even though we’re late posting this (June snuck up on me!), you’ve still got time to participate!


(thanks Stacey for taking pics!)

The nitty-gritty:

– the palette for the block lotto is AQUA, GREY, YELLOW and WHITE.

colour palette

(all fabrics shown are currently available at Pink Chalk Fabrics, in case you fall in love with any of them!)

– stick with solids and tone on tone prints, or prints that use the palette colours. (ie, a yellow and white print is great; yellow and red won’t match very well!)

– blocks can be any width you like, but they must be trimmed to 10.5″ tall. this will make them all fit together nicely while still having some visual variety. did your block end up too small? just sew another strip of background fabric along the top!

– make as many blocks as you like. every block you bring to meeting is an entry to win all the blocks! (if we have more blocks than needed for one quilt, we’ll draw two winners)

How to make the blocks?

There are two different ways to make Wonky Cross blocks. One way uses two squares of fabric the same size, and in the end, you’ll have two blocks that are the reverse of each other. There’s a great tutorial for this technique HERE.


The second way to make Wonky Crosses uses one square for the background and 2 strips for the cross, making one block at a time. I seem to have a lot of strips in my scrap stash, so this works better for me. Here’s a quick tutorial on this technique. 

Step 1: Take your background square and slice it down the middle. You can angle it as much or as little as you want. I try to alternate my angle for each block so that i don’t end up with them all the same.

 wonky plus block 1

Step 2: Take a strip and sew it along one edge of the slice you made. Make sure that your strip overlaps a little on each end. The more angled you cut the background, the more length you’ll need.

wonky plus block 2

Step 3: Sew the other edge of the strip to the remaining cut edge of your background. Press your seams and lay the block back on your cutting mat. Cut a horizontal slice across your block, and insert the second strip the same way you did the first.

wonky plus block 3

step 4: Press your seams again, and trim your block to 10.5″ tall. You’re done!

MQG Challenge: Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels

The Modern Quilt Guild has announced the 4th annual fabric challenge, this time sponsored by Michael Miller!


This time, members received a bundle of Fat Eighths of six prints from the Petal Pinwheels collection.

All of the challenge guidelines are listed here, including how to enter the Modern Quilt Guild contest which is well worth an entry – read about the chance to win A Year of Free Fabric. Basically, you make something quilted with some or all of the fabrics, and if you want to add more, please use only solids (any) or other Michael Miller fabrics.

Fabric was made available to eligible members at the April meeting, and will be available until the end of the meeting break at the May 26th meeting, after which we’ll make any remaining bundles available for sale to anyone interested in obtaining more.

Deadlines: the MQG deadline to submit your project on the community forum has been extended to July 25, 2014 so the VMQG deadline has been extended too – to the July 21st meeting.

Use the hashtag #mqgfabricchallenge on social media, and have fun!

Block Challenge and Lottery – Converging Corners

This month’s block challenge is called Converging Corners, based on a tutorial by Ashley at Film in the Fridge.

When the blocks are put together, a fun design is created where the corners converge!  It’s a great way to use up scraps and strips!

The details:

  • The block pattern is Converging Corners by Film in the Fridge
  • Make one or more blocks, 12″ finished size (12 1/2″ square)
  • Use the same color scheme in the tutorial : solid white for the background, bright (saturated color) prints or solids for the rest. Use a large, fun print for the center square.
  • Bring your block to the April meeting.  Each block will give you one ticket for the block lottery.

The finished quilt by Ashley at Film in the Fridge:fitf_convergingcorners


Blocks made by the Great Lakes MQG (where I first spotted this idea):Great Lakes MQG Converging Corners blocks


My sample blocks (I just had to make 4 blocks, so I could see the corners converge!):DSCN3407


My tip – mark the center of a 12 1/2 inch square ruler to help you keep your center square near the middle of the block:DSCN3422



VMQG Member is a Top 10 Finalist in the MQG Riley Blake Basics Challenge!

Huge congratulations to member Jade Prosser whose beautiful Riley Blake Challenge quilt has been selected as one of the top 10 finalists (of nearly 400 entries!).


See the other finalists here: MQG blog. Three winners will be announced on February 24th. Good luck, Jade! We’re rooting for you!

A new quilting event, a new quilt exhibit, and an opportunity for free fabric!

A brand new event from the organizers of International Quilt Festival and Quilt Market – Quilt! Knit! Stitch!™ – will debut in Portland, Oregon, August 14 – 16, 2014.  More information about the event can be found here.

And to go along with this brand new event, is a brand new quilt exhibit – Modern Metallic will showcase modern quilts made by members of Modern Quilt Guilds in the Pacific Northwest. Quilters are encouraged to feature the use of metallic design details including but not limited to fabric, thread, and themes.  

Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen Metallic in Ash

Robert Kaufman Quilter’s Linen Metallic in Ash

Robert Kaufman is offering participating guilds gorgeous fabric from their new Quilter’s Metallic Collections: Quilter’s Tussah, Quilter’s Linen, and Quilter’s Burlap.  If you plan to participate and would like some of the fabric, you must email by February 23rd.  Please note that including the Robert Kaufman fabric in your quilt is optional.


Details about eligible quilts:

  • You may submit one or two quilts.
  • There is no “made after” date requirement.
  • Maximum size: 48” x 48”.
  • There is no minimum size.
  • Any fabrics can be used.

Follow this link for more information about the exhibit, and information about how to enter:


Important dates:

  • February  23 – deadline to send an email to if you want some of the Robert Kaufman metallic fabrics
  • April 4 – online registration opens
  • May 2 – online registration closes
  • June 6 – notification of selected entries
  • July 8 – selected pieces arrive in Houston by this date
  • September 2014 (unless traveling) – pieces returned to owner