Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fractured Curves - June 2017 Block Lottery

Greetings Modern Quilters!
I’m Natalie and here is this month’s block lottery. 
I drew upon two awesome creators for this block, Carole Lyles Shaw and Anne Deister at SpringLeaf Studios.
We are having some improv fun this month with a beautiful block that Carole Lyles Shaw developed for the 2016 Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop called Fractured Curves. Carole describes herself as a modern quilt designer, author, and workshop instructor. She takes a modern, improvisational approach to her quilting projects and enjoys the free expression and individualism that modern quilting embraces. You can find out more about Carole at her website
We are also experimenting with an analogous color scheme and Anne Deister of SpringLeaf Studios wrote a blog with a great visual of all the analogous combinations on the color wheel we are studying, along with stunning photos that are helpful. With a background in graphic design, Anne confesses a love for combining fabric patterns and colors and her obsession is now a full-time pursuit. You can find out more about Anne at her website
With this block, we will explore two different skill sets – improvisational piecing with drunkards path blocks, slicing, rearranging, adding – AND the analogous color scheme with a 4 step value change.

Each block requires 4 – 10” square pieces.
One 10” square must be EITHER – Kona, Bella, Blake, Miller WHITE OR Alison Glass Abacus Carved in Charcoal
Before choosing your next 3 fabrics, read through Anne’s blog post Analogous Colors (November 27, 2015) Analogous Colors blog by SpringLeaf Studios

The remaining 3 fabric 10” squares must be SOLID, Moda Grunge, or Moda Grunge Hits the Spot in any combination you choose. They must represent an analogous color scheme – meaning they are right next to each other on the color wheel. You may choose 1, 2 OR 3 colors. Regardless of how many colors you choose, you must have 3 different values represented. Use the mono or black and white setting on your phone and select a light, medium, and dark value. 

You will also need 2 pieces approximately 4”x7.5”. You won’t use these until the very end so don’t cut these out yet - see Tip for Step 11.

Carole created a free detailed tutorial for the block
·       Starch those 10” squares before cutting. Because we are working with curves, there is a tendency to stretch the fabric on the bias which makes wonky things happen. Starch will help the fabric retain its shape.
·      In step 2, Carole cuts from R to L going down – it was easier for me to go from R to L in an upwards direction.
·      In step 3, I placed my top fabric away from the edge about ½” – 1” and continued sewing. My result was more balanced. 

·      In step 4, I ironed out toward the “L” shape regardless of light or dark. There was less bunching of the eased-in fabric. 
·       At the end of step 9 – you could be finished, the block looks pretty cool, but keep going!!!
·       In step 10, I cut through the block on the diagonal right through that very middle seam where the 4 different fabrics intersect – the 5” measurement didn’t work for me for some reason. Use whatever angle you want here as long as you cut through that intersection.

·      In step 11, for the 4” x 7.5” pieces you have 3 choices:
o   Continue to follow Carole’s directions,
o   Make your own scrappy fabric from your trimmings,
o   OR choose a single piece of fabric in one or two of your 4 colors. I like this one best.
·       In step 14, trim to 12.5” square. YOU decide what sections to keep and what sections to cut off. The best part, SAVE what you cut off. If you turn in these final trimmings in with your block you receive two tickets, WOW!
Remember to use hashtags for our social media friends
@carole_lylesshaw #fracturedcurves #springleafstudios
Have fun sewing improvisationally!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Hidden Gems - May 2017 Block Lottery


I’m Jill and I’m leading this month’s block lottery!

I chose a visually stunning paper pieced block from Diane Bohn of From Blank Pages. Diane's been blogging for more than seven years, began quilting while pregnant with her first child, (because you know, a baby needed a quilt), and designed her first pattern in 2011. To say I love her patterns is an understatement! 

Diane originally wrote Hidden Gems for The Bee Hive. It's a modern geometric block with killer points that are hard to come by with any method other than the precision paper piecing allows. What I love most, is the secondary design once all of the blocks are assembled.
Hidden Gems is available on Diane’s pattern page, here. She provides two options for printing - either legal sized or letter sized. I recommend choosing the larger legal sized paper in order to avoid taping pieces together.
Diane's step-by-step instructions are a great resource, as are the included coloring pages (for visualizing that secondary design) and cutting templates (especially good if you are fussy cutting or are using lovingly hoarded fabric).

For our version, please use yellow, blue-green, and navy.  The Background fabric is a low volume that reads white (can include some grey or black, but no tan or browns).

Note: The pattern pieces are lettered (A & B) and numbered (1 - 12) because they are mirror images. I made a little cheat sheet to help with color organization.

Low volume: 1, 4, 9, 12
Yellow: 2, 5, 8, 13
Navy: 3, 6, 11
Blue-green: 7, 10

Finally, before you start, here are my top paper piecing tips:

1 - Print accurately. Do not use the "print to fit" option. Templates should be actual size! Double check that the 1” line on the pattern really does measure 1 inch. Believe me, there is nothing worse than realizing after you’ve done a significant amount of sewing, that your block is the wrong size!
2 - Label your paper with the colors before starting. It’s so easy to mix up which color goes where and end up with a mess. Once you've printed the templates, take a few seconds to look at the cheat sheet and label each shape with the corresponding fabric color.
3 - Shorten your stitch length; it is much easier to rip out the papers later. If you want to be extra careful to make sure your fabric will line up right, use a normal stitch length or even slightly longer, to sew the fabric once. Then, after verifying that points match, seams match, etc., sew back over the line with a much shorter stitch length.

Now, you’re ready to sew!

Be sure to tag your social media pictures with #ecmqg #ecmqgblocklottery #fbppatterns #fbphiddengems.

Thanks for sewing with us. See you in May!


PS. You know I really want to win these blocks!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

You Showed Us - March 2017

Jo shared her denim woven purse - upcycled - the sides made from the hems of the jeans.  Wonderfully, creative, Jo!         


Marcia had two upcycled denim blanket/quilt tops that have a home on bunkbeds in her house.  These were from her daughter's jeans.


Mary had a very busy February and early March, creativewise.  Here's the beginning of a pillow made from our block lottery Letha's Electric Fan.

The fabric she bought from our Donation Table last month turned into a couple of Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered pouches and a pillow top.  

Mary's last project was a quilt, like the one we made and donated to the Ronald McDonald House last year, from a stack of 3.5" squares Cindy had gifted her.  Both quilts were scrappy versions of the Reverse Rainbow Star.  

Wendi had two old UFOs completed.  The first was her Fresh Flowers quilt.  

The second was her Spools quilt, orginally started at Stash Bash several years ago.  The pattern is from Camille Roskelly of Thimble Blossoms and is jelly roll friendly! 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Feeling Swappy, Anyone?

Are you feeling like it's time to swap something?  Well we've got just the thing!  Two things, in fact!

Thing One.  Moda Grunge F8 Swap.

First up, it's a Moda Grunge fat eighth swap.  Natalie suggested we each swap a warm color, a cool color, and one of the newest, Grunge Hits the Spot (any color).  That way, we'll get a great variety of modern basics in our stash.  There are more than a hundred different colors, so duplicates shouldn't be a problem.

Grunge is a really unique basic fabric because it's dyed first, then printed to give it a textured look.  The color variations add a lot of depth and interest to your quilt projects.

As always, you can swap up to three one-yard pieces (each choice must be one yard).  Cut them into modern fat eighths, fold them individually, and put them into a zip top bag labeled with your name.  Bring your bag(s) of fabric to the May 13th meeting where our swap team will sort and return to you, eight different Grunge pieces.  Please sign-up in the blog comments section, or our Facebook group, with your color choices because we want to reduce duplication.  
Need to know how to cut a modern fat eighth?  It's easy-peasy!  This blog post will walk you through it.

Thing Two.  One Hour Basket Swap.
Photo courtesy of
Next up for the June 10th meeting is this cute, fast, and useful (utilitarian even, to use Cindy's new favorite word!) basket to swap.  

This fun little basket is Kelly Bowser's 1 Hour Basket (original size) available on Cratsy for $1.  She's updated the pattern with multiple sizes.  (Fun Fact:  Did you know Kelly was a founding member of ECMQG??  Yup!  It's true.)

Here's the way this swap will work.  Everyone who wants to play will make a basket and add a few favorite things valued at NO MORE THAN $10.  Items such as candy, a piece of fabric, a sewing tool, a couple of lottery tickets, some homemade caramel corn, etc.  You get the idea.  It's your choice to make either the basic basket, or jazz it up any way you want.  Search the web or Instagram for ideas - there are hundreds of these easy baskets out there!

Then, at the June meeting, we'll number each basket received, set them out for display and oohs and ahhs, everyone who made a basket will receive a number, (only not the number that matches the basket you made), our Super Secret Basket Team will put each in a brown paper bag, and finally, randomly draw participant names.  

So choose some pretty, modern fabric and get cracking on a One Hour Basket.  Your quilty ECMQG friends will thank you.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Modern Flying Geese - April 2017 Block Lottery

We've made flying geese in the past, but never have we made them modern.  That's changing with the block lottery for April.  

Not only are we stepping into the improv dimension, we are using ALL solid fabrics and there is a color challenge involved.  Let's be honest, more ECMQG'rs are comfortable making modern traditional blocks and quilts.  This month we're asking you to step away from that zone.   

Loree's idea, inspired by Pinterest images, comes from blogger (pattern designer, author, editor and QUILT MAKER) Jenifer Dick.  

Jenifer's blog, 42 Quilts .com, hosted a regular weekly feature, Modern Monday, that began way back in 2011 when blogging was hot, Flickr was hotter, and few modern quilt guilds existed.  Each Monday for 62 weeks, Jenifer shared her method for making some pretty awesome modern quilt blocks improv style!  Every Tuesday, those same blocks were made traditionally.

Our block lottery is improv flying geese, Block 18 in Jenifer's series. Her method and tutorial can be found here.

Remember, it is improv.  You will loose a few points.  Don't be concerned. 

For us, please use Kona Medium Gray as your background.  ANY solid colored fabric will make up your geese.  Ideally, the width of your "block" will fall somewhere in the 5.5" to 7.5" range.
The color challenge, if you choose to accept it, is based on the second part of the Color Theory program Natalie presented - color value - which refers to lightness or darkness.  

Here's an example of a four step value change.  Note:  Not all of the geese are even in the same color families.  :)  That's okay.  

Here's an example of a five step value change.

We encourage you to try these techniques - improv and playing with color value.  Whoever wins these blocks is going to have a pretty amazing quilt

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

February 2017 Meeting Minutes

February 11th brought us together for our second meeting of 2017 in our regular meeting place, First Baptist Church of Crestview.  Cindy promptly began the meeting at 10:00am, welcomed our members and guest, and asked the energy, thoughts, or prayers from our opening moment of silence be directed to several of our current and past members who were in need.

The first order of business was distribution of the awesome packets of Riley Blake Designs Creative Rockstar fabric to those who signed-up for the latest MQG fabric challenge.  

Just because the MQG bundles have been distributed, doesn't mean you can't participate.  You can!  Simply purchase fabric from your favorite retailer, submit pictures and details of your quilted item by April 30, 2017 to be in the running for prizes. (Here is the submission link.)  Remember to post pictures on social media using the #mqgfabrichallenge hashtag. 

Savannah, GA and QuiltCon were discussed.  So many ECMQG’rs are attending for the first time!  We hope everyone returns with ideas and inspiration to share!! 

Cindy let us know our QuiltCon Charity Quilt would not be displayed because it was not representative of the talent within our guild.

February door prizes were F8 bundles of coordinating Cotton + Steel fabrics purchased from one of our favorite online shops, Westwood Acres.  

Wendi and Cindy selected these fabrics to show the diversity and coordination of the various Cotton + Steel lines across collections and designers.  Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets; our winners were Bailee, Mary, Loree, Jill, Wendi, Maureen, Kim, and Cindy.  

Introduction to Color Theory was the program segment Natalie prepared and which she’ll continue to present, in small amounts, over the next several months.  This time, the basics were given including the 12 main color families and their associated names, and explanations of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. 

Before Laraine could talk about the March Block Lottery, Natalie issued this color challenge – use your color wheel; attempt to keep the five pieces of the fan blade arc in the same color family. 


Laraine showed us the first glimpse of the chosen tutorial for March’s block lottery, Letha’s Electric Fan which uses the Pantone Color of the Year, Greenery.  You can use as little, or as much, of the color as you want.  Her sample blocks were made with that in mind; the color in her Kona solids stash was Sour Apple.  All of the block lottery details can be found in this post.

25 You’ve Got Mail! blocks were received from Natalie, Faye, Bobbi, Cindy, Wendi, and Jill.

Before we could choose a winner (or two), Cindy showed us her quilt top made from the Foldstar lottery (November).

Natalie showed her top from the Umbrella lottery (July).

Laraine showed her table runner from the Transparent Play lottery (October).

After eligibility had been established, Jill’s and Wendi’s names were drawn.  Congrats ladies!

2017 Program Captain, Loree, provided an overview of programs through July, deliberately leaving the calendar for the last half of the year open-ended until she (and the other ECMQG’rs) returns from QuiltCon.  She is tapping into the interests (the survey passed around last month) and talents of people within the guild.  Please see her with your suggestions and ideas.      

Next month March begins a three-part program/mini-workshop series that delves into rulerless improv strip piecing using all solid fabrics!  Diane and Natalie will share presentation duties.  You can find full details and a supply list here.  The guest and non-member fee for each session is $15, payable at the door.

Mary shared a charity request for Pillowcase Dresses and Curtain Rod dresses on T.J's Site.  Please see Sherri, our Community Outreach and Charity Captain to coordinate giving efforts.  She told us she'd have some names of organizations for us at the March meeting.

Mary generously shared her construction expertise for the yoga mat bag planned for the Sit and Sew.  Thank you!

Cindy reminded us to save our selvages – 1.25” to 1.5” wide - because of an upcoming project Laraine’s proposed.  You want that little extra bit of color and pattern attached.

The beautiful Carolyn Friedlander F8s were distributed thanks to Natalie’s mad sorting skills!  Remember, if your bag(s) had Amy 1 and/or Amy 2 tickets in them, see her at the March meeting to receive your F8(s). 

Show & Tell wrapped up the meeting with more than half of the group sharing 12 projects (not including the block lottery insta-quilts shown in the middle of the meeting). 

Travels kept Jo, our Hospitality Captain, from being with us but her idea (thanks to Pinterest!) for a Perfect Pairs potluck lunch was a hit!  Just ask Natalie's dog.  :)
Respectfully Submitted,
Roxie Tew
ECMQG Secretary