Saturday, July 23, 2016

Central Florida MQG in the News!

Quilters involved in making #QuiltsforPulse were recently interviewed, photographed, and videotaped by The Villages Daily Sun. Here's the video clip shown on Comcast Channel 2.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Part 1: Introduction, QuiltCon East Charity Quilt Challenge

Our chapter is participating in the MQG 2017 QuiltCon East Charity Quilt Challenge. Becky is our Project Manager, and is being assisted by Linda H.

This post is to introduce the challenge, and explain our members' role in making the quilt.

Quilt Colors
These are the colors to used in the quilt. No additional colors may be added.

Our quilt finish at twin size: no smaller than 68" X 88", and no larger than 72" X 92."

"Scale" is the theme chosen by the MQG, so our quilt design will focus on scale and three Florida elements: sun, sea, and sand. 

Our improv quilt will follow techniques suggested in Sherri Lynn Wood's book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. Refer to pages 98-99 for information.

For members' use, we have each of the challenge fabric colors in solids, including different brands of yellow from Kaufmann, Michael Miller, Free Spirit, and Windham.

Members should add print fabrics. Be sure the print matches the solid color.

The print may not include any additional color such as red, purple, orange, etc. that is not on the challenge color palette. 

Making Blocks
The entire quilt is improv, so put away all rulers when cutting fabrics. Use only a rotary cutter and mat to cut fabrics. Also, do not trim blocks when finished!

Basically, three different block styles will be made. From the quilt top to the bottom, they are:
  1. improv fans, for the yellow sky
  2. improv curves, for the blue/green sea
  3. straight improv, for the sand
Of the three block styles, improv yellow fans are most needed. 

To make improv fans for the yellow sky, refer to Part 2.

To make improv curves for the blue/green sea, refer to Part 3.

To make straight improv for the sand, refer to Part 4

Part 2: Citrus Improv Sky

How to Make the Yellow Improv Fan Sky
Please read through all instructions before beginning. If you have questions: email

Sky blocks are due before our September 10 Sew-In.

Use this color shown as Kona Citrus.

A small amount of Kona White may be added to these blocks.

Rough-cut two squares or rectangles in the size of your choosing. Stack them with right sides together. Cut as shown, being sure to allow slightly more than 1/2" width (for seam allowances) at the narrowest end.

Repeat with additional fabrics. You may also cut wedges from 2-1/2" wide jelly roll fabric, or scraps. Arrange as desired. 

Also make fan "blades" from fabric scraps. 

Press open seam allowances. 

Trim fan blades along the sides, so blades may be sewn to one another. 

Arrange as desired. 

Press open seam allowances. Note: it's helpful to spray starch when pressing. Use Faultless or Mary Ellen's Best Pressed.

Make fans in a variety of sizes.

Do not trim blocks to square up! Leave all edges uncut. 

Part 3: Ocean Improv Sea

How to Make the Blue/Green Improv Curves Sea
Please read through all instructions before beginning. If you have questions: email

Sea blocks are due before our September 10 Sew-In.

Use these colors: (left to right) Kona Ultra Marine; Kona Hyacinth; and Kona Ocean

A small amount of Kona White or Kona Silver (gray) may be added to these blocks.

With right sides facing up, slightly overlap two fabrics. Cut a curve. Place right sides together and sew the curve to join fabric 1 and fabric 2.

Cut a curve on one side of fabric 1 or fabric 2.

Place the cut curve on the right side of fabric 3.

From fabric 3, cut a curve to match. With right sides together, sew to join fabric 3 to fabric 1-2.

Continue in this manner, creatively inserting fabric scraps to make original blocks. Small amounts of white or Kona Silver (gray) may be added to these blocks.

Press seams to one side, all the same direction. Note: it's helpful to spray starch when pressing. Use Faultless or Mary Ellen's Best Pressed.

Make square and rectangle blocks in a variety of sizes.

Do not trim blocks to square up! Leave all edges uncut. 

Part 4: Yarrow Sand

How to Make the Straight Improv Sand
Please read through all instructions before beginning. If you have questions: email

Sand blocks are due before our September 10 Sew-In.

Use these colors: Kona Yarrow, occasionally inserting only a small amount of Kona Pink.

Not much explanation is needed to make sand. Simply sew together a variety of fabrics in narrow strips. Small amounts of pink may be inserted, and scraps joined to make longer strips. 

Slight curves may be made to give the impression of shifting sand.

If piecing is mostly straight, press seams open.

If piecing is mostly curves, press seams to one side, all going the same direction. Note: it's helpful to spray starch when pressing. Use Faultless or Mary Ellen's Best Pressed.

Make sand blocks in a variety of sizes of squares and rectangles.

Do not trim blocks to square up! Leave all edges uncut. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 11 Meeting

It was a small, summertime group that turned out for our July 11 meeting with 20 in attendance. One quilter is a new member, and the other quilter visited for the first time. Welcome to them! It was great seeing friends and talking quilting!

We appreciated a well-planned bias tape program by our own Lora Douglas, who spent considerable time and effort putting together a thorough review and demonstration of numerous ways to make and apply bias tape.

Her on-the-wall projection allowed everyone to better see what she was doing at the cutting table and sewing machine.

Of great interest was how Lora made bias tape that she wove to create a block that she'll sew into a pillow or tote bag. Fabric is "Flow" by Zen Chic

Lora gave away four door prizes: three sets of pretty, fabric-decorated cork circles used as hot pads and coasters, and Lapel Stick that she likes for adhering fabric to cork or Bosal In-R-Form or SF101 when making round placemats.

Our Challenge Chairs, Betty and Donna, showed two in-progress quilts being made with blocks collected last month in our Make It Modern Challenge. These quilts will be given to charity. Special thanks to Carole Lyles Shaw who donated a block. Carole represents our region on the MQG Board of Directors. Her multi-colored improv block is in the second row from the top, second block from the left.

Central Florida MQG members are making quilts to be given to the Orlando MQG who is collecting 102 quilts to be distributed to families of the June victims of the attack on the Pulse nightclub. More information is here.

Linda H. showed the 60" X 70" quilt top that's being made by eight of our Central Florida MQG members.

Karen E. is putting together this quilt... 

...and enough blocks have been collected for a third quilt. 

And this quilt made by Jodie has already been finished and sent to the Orlando MQG.

Great work, members!

Any member participating in making blocks, or contributing in any way to the QuiltsforPulse project, receives a pin for their name tag. Pins were designed and donated to our chapter by Allison Schnackenberg, a member of the South Florida MQG.

Linda explained and shared how Central Florida MQG members can participate in making a quilt for the 2017 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge. Our project manager is Becky, who is being assisted by Linda.

Members can soon expect a blog post with details about how to make easy-sew improv blocks at home. Blocks are due by our September 10 Sew-In.

Cindy and Maria shared during Show and Tell.

Cindy made "Cosmic Stars," a lap quilt pattern from Love of Quilting magazine using the split recs ruler. She quilted it with a walking foot on her domestic machine.
Marie made foundation paper pieced blocks for a sewing machine cover and a bag. Both were domestic machine quilted with a walking foot.

Next Meeting
Monday, August 8, 6:30 pm at North Lake Presbyterian Church
Program: Fibonacci by Karen Estep
Karen will explain the mathematical Fibonacci principle - also known as the Golden Ratio - and how it can be applied to modern quilting. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June 14 Meeting

We want to invite and encourage all quilters who read this blog to respond to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild's request for blocks and quilts to give to victims, families, and first responders of the horrible June 12 attack at the Pulse nightclub.

The Orlando MQG is asking for blocks made using the CluckCluckSew 10" heart pattern. Choose a rainbow of brightly-colored fabrics for hearts, and neutral for backgrounds. Thirty blocks are needed for the smallest quilt; more for larger quilts.

Read more about the request here. Information about where to send blocks and quilts will be provided as soon as it becomes available. Thanks for contributing!

June 14 Meeting
Our Monday meeting saw 30 in attendance with two visitors.

Make it Modern Challenge
Betty led us as members showed a photo of a traditional block, and their modern interpretation of the same block. This is Sue's modernization of a churn dash block.

Frances made this improv block, but said it turned out with only not-so-sharp points.

Here are some of the traditional blocks and pictures of them.

And these photos show the modern interpretations of them. 

Jamie led a demonstration and explanation of the 10-inch slicer (ruler), and the smaller 5" version. Both rulers are designed by Crafty Gemini.

Using the 10" Slicer, Jamie made a sampler quilt that shows a variety of layouts and unit sizes that can be made. 

She quilted this on her home sewing machine.
Jamie with her Slicer quilt, and "Fiery Windmill," her entry into the last MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge.
Monique and two quilts that will be donated to Project Linus.
Kathy with two quilt tops (denim quilt, and tumbler quilt), a tote, and finished Hugs and Kisses quilt.
Patriotic wreath made by Judi using bandanas.
Frances with two finishes. Both quilted on her home machine. 
Linda T. wins for overachieving, with four completed quilts and a wall hanging. Designs are: "Morley the Moose;" "Igloo" from Modern Patchwork magazine; a design adapted from a Craftsy pattern; "Bricks and Mortar" (pink quilt);  and "Chopsticks" by Jaybird Quilts. All were quilted by Linda on her home machine.
Mary and her original designs: a Dresden plate, and "My Red Hat." Both were quilted by Mary on her home machine.
Lora and her 40" X 50" "Take 5" quilt. She quilted it with a walking foot.
Lynne's quilt on the left is based on a quilt in "Sunday Morning Quilts" book. Both were longarm quilted by Kelly.
Linda H.'s 71" X 71" all solids "Rebel" quilt is a design by Libs Elliott. Linda quilted it on her home machine.
Coming Up!
July 9 - Sew-In at Belleview Public Library
If you haven't signed up already, do so here.
Members are reminded to bring to the Sew-In or the July 11 meeting, any stashed print fabrics that match those required for the QuiltCon East Charity Quilt Challenge.

July 11 - Regular meeting at North Lake Presbyterian Church
Program: "Bias Basics and Beyond: Cool Things you can do with Bias" by Lora Douglas
Lora will share interesting information about bias cut fabric, including how to identify the bias, ways to cut fabric on the bias, how to make perfect bias binding, and project ideas.