Sunday, December 15, 2013

LOVE-ly Little Pouch Swap

I know it isn't even Christmas yet, but Valentine's Day is coming, and it's time to get ready to share the L<3VE. Our guild swap for January will be a L<3VE-ly Little Pouch Swap.

Here's a pouch I made for a swap last winter
Haven't made a pouch before?  Afraid of the zipper?  No worries.  One of the reasons for doing these swaps (besides the fact that they're fun!) is to learn new skills.  There are some great tutorials on the net.  Here are a few:

Photo courtesy of KelbySews
My favorite is from our own Kelly Bowser: and if you check her blog, she even has a video tutorial on putting in zippers.

Photo courtesy of La Bella Colori
And here is another tutorial from our own Kira Bell:

Here's a free scrappy pouch tutorial by the ever-helpful Noodlehead: 

Photo courtesy of Noodlehead
And another Noodlehead tutorial for a pouch that opens completely:

Photo courtesy of A Quilter's Table
And if you're a zipper over-achiever, here's a tutorial for a triple-zip pouch:

Photo courtesy of American Sewing Guild SLC
And if the idea of zippers still leaves you thinking "I can't do this", here's a tutorial for a snap tape pouch using a metal tape measure as a closure:

And just a word of caution... if you choose this method, do not take husband's tape measure and cut it up (you know how you feel about your scissors, right?)

There are dozens more tutorials on the web.  As you can see, little pouches are limited only by your imagination. 

To play along in the Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild L<3VE-ly Little Pouch Swap, sign up in the comments below.  Be sure to tell us:

1.  Your name
2.  A color scheme you would like your partner to use - red and pink for Valentine's Day maybe?
3.  Your idea of the perfect L<3VE-ly Little Pouch
4.  The best way to contact you (you might leave your email address as  your name {at} so that spam-bots can't pick it up... Or say Facebook or Google Plus...  I had a lot of trouble with this during the last swap, so it would be helpful to know how best to contact you).

Sign ups will be open until December 25.  Partners will be assigned on December 26, so you should have 3 weeks to make your pouch.  Pouches will be presented to partners at the guild meeting on January 11, 2014.  

And now for the quilty fine print:

1.  Please use modern quilt shop quality fabrics.  (No Jo-Ann's, Hobby Lobby or other Big Box store fabric, with the possible exception of fabric by modern designers.  Jo-Ann's for example, has fabric by Denyse Schmidt, Patty Young, Juliana Horner, ModKids and Cloud 9.)  Careful fabric selection is key - we are a MODERN quilt guild, after all.

2.  Make your item the best you know how.  Be sure to make something you would like to receive.

3.  Stretch yourself a little.  Maybe try a new process or technique.  We would love to have this little swap expand your quilting horizons a bit.

4.  Be sure and say "thank you" when you receive your gift.  It's only good manners, after all.

5.  Have fun!

Comments for this post are now closed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Swap Update

Hi again!  Wendi Mihalik here with the ECMQG Swap announcement for December.  We want to make sure there is always something FUN going on in the guild.  (Of course, it's up to you whether you play along or not.)  

For December, we're having a Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap.  Everyone who wants to play will bring one handmade Christmas ornament to the Christmas party/social on December 13, and take home a fabulous handmade ornament made by another guild member.  No other rules, just handmade by you.  And no partners this time....  We will simply exchange amongst those who bring an ornament.  This promises to be lots of fun, and I'm sure that we will see (and covet) some a-may-zing ornaments made by guild members!

And, looking ahead...

 In January, we will have the big reveal  in the MQG Riley Blake Challenge

And for February, be thinking of sharing the LOVE!

ECMQG Swaps are open to all guild members in good standing.

Have fun!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

January 2014 Block Lottery - Modified Churn Dash

Welcome to the January 2014 version of our monthly block lottery.

If you are new to the group, or our blog, you can read the general information here and see past lottery blocks and the winners.

Digital mock-up of Modified Churn Dash

To start off the new year, for the January 11th meeting we are making a 12.5" (unfinished) modified Churn Dash block.  Also known as the Monkey Wrench and Hole in the Barn Door, it originated in America some time between 1800 and 1849 (go here for more history). The block is a variation of a basic Nine-Patch block that uses a combination of HST (half square triangles) and rectangles.

This is modified so that the HST corner points do not end at the edge of the block (see the red arrows). This makes for a more forgiving block and creates a floating effect. No way to mess up those outside points - isn't that great!!

This block is a very traditional quilt block, but... 
Let's play with the Modern-Traditional style by using 'Pure Saturated Color' for the Churn Dash and 'Low Volume' fabrics for the background in this block.  

You ask what are 'Pure Saturated Color' and 'Low Volume' fabrics? Well...

Pure saturated colors can be intense, vivid jewel tones and rich colors that stand out. They are not always bright fabrics, but they are definitely not pastels or washed out colors. Look for fabrics that pop or draw your eye to them and have very little or no white. Please no solids.

Low volume fabrics usually are have white or very pale neutral background, and very little contrast between the colors in the prints. They can be graphic prints, but read as a neutral when next to a pure saturated color fabric. Please no solids.

Pure saturated color fabrics seem to shout, whereas low volume fabrics whisper!

The rules are simple:
  • The Lottery is open to all ECMQG members in good standing.
  • Please use only quilt shop quality fabric.
  • The aesthetic is ALWAYS MODERN
  • Take your time and effort to construct your block well, and use 1/4" seam allowances (unless the tutorial states otherwise). 
  • Blocks should be the correct size, within about a quarter of an inch.
  • Each block + $1 is one entry in the drawing.You may submit as many entries as you would like.
  • Please label your block with you name, either within the seam allowance on the back or an address label stuck to the back.
  • Past winners can still contribute, but please understand until we see a finished quilt from your win, allow someone else the thrill of winning.
  • If you have any questions please contact Kira or leave a comment below.

With that business out of the way let's have some fun!

This tutorial makes one 12.5" block. 

For a 12.5" (unfinished)  block you will need:
  • Saturated Color Fabric
    • Four - 4" by 4" squares
    • Two - 2.5" by 10" strips
  • Low Volume Fabric
    • Five - 4.5" by 4.5" squares
    • Two - 2.5" by 10" strips
*Hint - you can make two blocks from two fat quarters if you are careful when cutting the low volume fabric pieces.

Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the four 4" by 4" squares.

Arrange the 4" squares on top of the 4.5" squares with right sides together, make sure the line runs diagonally and two sides on one side of your drawn line are aligned as in the picture above (I know it looks funny right now but this is how we make the block float).

Example modified HST units
A digital image to better explain how you line these up. There should be 1/2" over hang to one side of the drawn line. You are going to sew on the drawn line.

Place the 2.5" by 10" strips right sides together. 

Sew on the drawn line on the squares and sew the edge of the strips using a scant 1/4" seam allowance.

When trimming the HST blocks make sure you trim the lined up corner off as in the picture above, 1/4" away from your stitching line. A good thing to remember is that the low volume fabric peeking out will be under your ruler when cutting.  Go ahead - you can ask me how I learned  this trick  :) 

Then Press all four HST seam allowance towards the dark fabric. Check and make sure they are 4.5" by 4.5" square, trim if needed.

Press the strip seam allowance towards the dark fabric.

Trim the strips into 4.5" by 4.5" squares (as above). 

Lay out your pieces, and sew the blocks together to form rows. Sew the top left HST to the block below it, sew the top center block to the center square and sew the top right HST to the one below it. 

For the outside rows press towards the HST, for the center row press towards the center square. This way you have alternating seam allowances.

Continue on by sewing the bottom blocks to the rows until you have rows as in the picture below.

Assemble the block by sewing your rows together. When sewing you may want to pin at the intersections to keep everything lined up. After stitching press seam allowance towards the center. 

Time to step back and admire your pretty block!

Looking forward to seeing all the beautiful blocks in January!!

Good luck,


ECMQG Block Lottery Captain 

Kim's quilt:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Quilt Challenge Accepted!

Good evening it's KaSandra Lee & this is my first ever post!  

I have volunteered to be ECMQG's newest Charity Gal, heading up our Quilt of Valor efforts which we talked about during October's meeting.  Actually, Marcy asked us, challenged us, to assist our local QOV chapter in completing 100 quilts by 1 December to donate to Florida veterans.

So many of us in ECMQG have ties to the military.  All branches.  All ranks.  Active duty, retired, or reservists.  We are civilians who work for and with the military, or we're dependents, or military members ourselves.  This challenge is a perfect fit for us.

While that is a short time-frame, I'm confident with your enthusiastic response, we can complete several.  Through our active Facebook users, we even have several ideas in the works, including a new Pinterest board for inspiration!

Any quilt that fits the guidelines set forth by the national QOV organization will be accepted.  However, we are a MQG affiliate, and our group quilts will reflect that aesthetic. 

A few options for those that are able to make some blocks by our 9 November meeting are:  red, white, and blue HST to make a quilt similar to this modern traditional quilt.

photo by
Keep in mind the QOV guidelines for no star burst patterns and all of your fabric selections should be "high quality 100% cotton quilting weight fabric appropriate for an adult".

1.  4 inch unfinished HSTs like the ones pictured above in a white/blue or white/red color combo.  
2.  I will piece blocks at our next sew-in, so please keep blocks in their unfinished size.

The second quilt I'm requesting blocks for looks like the ones in these quilts made by Sewing Summit 2012 attendees.  

Photo by
Notice how these blocks are scrappy, in either a red or blue colorway, with a white center star.  Blocks should be 12.5 inches unfinished.

A third quilt idea uses scrappy string blocks, just like the ones we made for our first block lottery, only these will be red, white and blue!

Photo by
Please use 12 x 12 paper (scrapbook paper) as your foundation.  The center string should be white - at least 1.5 inches wide.  One side of your strings will be scrappy and red; the other side will be scrappy and blue.  

I can collect blocks as you complete them, or at our next meeting on 9 November.  I plan to spend the sew-day portion piecing blocks so they can be quilted - I do own a longarm - prior to 1 December.

If you are going to help in this wonderful charity, please post in the comments section as we did for the Christmas Swap.

1 - name
2 - block design(s) because it helps to know which layout(s) I'll be working with. 

Because this will be an ongoing ECMQG community outreach and service project, just like our Project Linus efforts, Cindy suggested naming this project HONOR.  I have to agree with her choice!

I just love and appreciate that word like no other.  As I put on my uniform each day, I am truly honored, and happy, to serve our nation these past 15 years (and counting).  

Let's make our mark and show our gratitude to the wonderful service men and women who have, and still are, protecting this wonderful nation!

Thank you for your time and efforts on behalf of veterans everywhere!

ECMQG Charity Captain for Project HONOR

Monday, October 21, 2013

Christmas Swap Anyone?

Christmas pot holder - Fabric:  12 Days of Christmas by Kate Spain (2010)

Hi!  Wendi Mihalik here saying "Merry Christmas!"  Well, maybe not yet.  But as the Spook-y Swap participants presented their goodies at the October 12 meeting, there seemed to be interest in a Christmas-themed Swap too.

To sign up to participate in the Christmas Swap, leave a comment below and tell us:
1.  Your name
2.  3 colors you would like your partner to use 
3.  One or two ideas about some cute quilty thing you would like to receive.  I've listed some ideas below, but the possibilities really are endless...

Sign ups will close Thursday, October, 24.  Partners will be assigned by Saturday, October 26 so you will have two full weeks to create your item. Be ready to present  your gift to your partner at the next ECMQG meeting on November 9. (This is a very short time frame, so you will want to plan your project accordingly.)

Christmas Stocking - Fabric:  Flurry by Kate Spain (2011)

Mug Rugs
Tree Skirts
Mini Quilts
Fabric Baskets 
Table Runner
Something else I haven't thought of?

Christmas Tree Pants (because not every tree wants to wear a skirt!) - Fabric:  Flurry by Kate Spain (2011)

So, here's the fine print:

1.  Please use modern quilt shop quality fabrics.  (No Jo-Ann's, Hobby Lobby or other Big Box store fabric, with the possible exception of fabric by modern designers.  Jo-Ann's for example, has fabric by Denyse Schmidt, Patty Young, Juliana Horner, ModKids and Cloud 9.)  Careful fabric selection is key - we are a MODERN quilt guild, after all.

2.  Make your item the best you know how.  Be sure to make something you would like to receive.

3.  Stretch yourself a little.  Maybe try a new process or technique.  We would love to have this little swap expand your quilting horizons a bit.

4.  Be sure and say "thank you" when you receive your gift.  It's only good manners, after all.

5.  Have fun!

I can't wait to see all the wonderful things you will create!

Happy Swapping!

EDIT:  Comments/Sign-ups are now closed.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October was a Busy Month

To continue where I ended the last post...

Marcy and Kelly had bundles of goodness waiting for everyone participating in the MQG Riley Blake Basics Challenge.
Other than the national MQG rules, we dubbed ours as the New Year, New Skills Challenge.  Try something new.  Something you've avoided.  Something you think you can't do.  You'll be pleased how fast that word - can't - is eliminated from your vocabulary and way of thinking.  

If you're a precise piecing type of quilter, try improv.  If you're an improv piecing type, try precise piecing.  If you're afraid of the zipper, make something with a zipper.  If curvy piecing intimidates you, try curvy piecing.  Not a hand quilter?  Here's your opportunity.  Are you a straight line only quilter?  Try free motion quilting.  Just try something new.

Projects are due at the January meeting. 

Marcy, through another local guild, had an urgent request for Quilts of Valor.  There was a little bit of discussion as to what the requirements were, but we all agreed modern QOV could be done.  More on this opportunity to help is in the works.  However, start pulling from your stash, MODERN fabrics that are obviously, red, white, or blue, but also light gray. Our members from A&E - Liz, Rosemary, Glenna, & Rhonda - graciously agreed to quilt and bind it for us if we made the blocks and quilt top(s) .  

Show & Tell.  This is the highlight of our meetings.  All of your creativity on display.  Stories about how the quilt came about and who it was made for.  Details of the piecing and quilting processes.  What you liked or didn't like.  What you'd do differently.  What you learned.  Color.  Fabric.  Design.  Texture.  Sharing.  Learning.  Inspiration.  I love it all.

Let me apologize in advance for failing to get pictures, let alone details, of your quilts.  I was too busy talking and handing out Riley Blake bundles!  Also, some of the pictures are blurry.  :(

Here is Wendi's quilt top from the Wonky-Cross Block Lottery she won last month.  Beautiful.

Crazy colorful string block madness.  Wavy organic wood-grain quilting.

Another of Wendi's beauties.  Her Bow Tie Quilt.

Quilting detail.  They look like sand dollars, although I believe she said they were daisies.

I have no idea who's this is.  But, look at the dogwood quilting and the star & moon!

Marcy's Black, White, & Turquoise quilt created for another guild's challenge.  Of course, Marcy put a modern edge to that challenge with her fabric selection and quilting designs, especially the pebble quilting.  

Back of Marcy's Black, White & Turquoise quilt.  The pebble quilting is more apparent on this side.

Bev's quilt.  (Apologies, I have no details.  Please let me know and I will edit this post accordingly.)

 Up close detail of Bev's quilting, albeit a bit blurry.  

Leslie's, aka The Purple Bug, color-blocked, improv pieced, I-Cleaned-&-Organized-My-Stash quilt.  Just look at the texture.

Up close detail of Leslie's quilting.  She "played" with Marcy's longarm one day.  Awesome!

Melissa J's low volume Modern Maples WiP.  With a seven-month old, I think we understand how finding the time to quilt is a luxury.  

Cindy's Make Them Go Away scrappy ROYGBIV Circle of Flying Geese envelope pillow for a friend.  The combination of improv and traditional paper piecing equals one crazy busy pillow.   

I believe that wrapped up the Show & Tell portion of our meeting.  If I failed to photograph your item, please let me know.  I am more than happy to edit and include what I missed.  

While everything else was taking place, Gina, was organizing and setting-up our mock booth for the upcoming St. Simon's Craft Fair.  Again, apologies for no pictures.  Sigh.  So much going on.  Which really is a good thing.   Please contact Gina directly if you have items to donate or, if you'd like to volunteer to sit at our booth for several hours during the event.  

The remainder of this post is for your viewing pleasure.  Just pictures of what happens during the Sew-Day portion.

Beautiful.  Creative.  Inspiring.  Fun.  Friendly.  Modern.  

What will you create until the next time we meet?

ECMQG Secretary