What would a group of quilters be without a quilt?

As we talk about modern quilting; we talk about the nuances of color, the subtly of shapes and the voice we find in pieced works. As we started this group, I thought it important that we use that voice in our collective projects.  We talked with others about what it meant to be in a quilt guild and what they hoped to get out of GWSMQG. Inspiration, ideas and community were the prevalent notions.

As we explored our guild logo and chose colours, the idea of a membership quilt naturally evolved.  By creating a membership quilt; we hope to make  a growing, visual representation of the community within our guild.

How it will work…

Members have the opportunity to contribute a block that represents modern quilting to them.   The blocks will be pieced together to create a patchwork quilt top. Over time the membership quilt will grow as new members join and make their contribution.

This is not a challenge about who can make the best block or the most detailed block. This is simply a chance for members put their mark on a project which we hope represents our guild in the years to come. The membership quilt is about coming together as a community and being a part of something more.

At this stage, we don’t an envision an end moment as to when it will be quilted. It might keep growing, or as a group we might have a collective feeling that the time is right. For now, it will be a growing historical representation of wonderful people who have come together to share their passion for quilting.

The membership quilt and corresponding signature quilt (described below) will both be brought to meetings and photographed periodically to show others how our guild is growing.

On fabrics…

In order to bring continuity to the project, we ask that you work from a Kona color pack which will be available for purchase at guild meetings. These packs include a fat eighth of each color in our logo, along with some snow. For many, these solids will be all you need to make a modern block.

Others may want to add a small piece of another fabric to personalize their contribution. That’s certainly welcome, but  not a requirement.

You may use all of the colors provided in the color pack or you might chose to work with just one or two of them. You decide! Remember that this quilt is not about standing out or making the best block, it’s about being part of the community.

On block type…

You can select any block style that signifies modern quilting to you.  We’ve avoiding giving you specific examples, so you can use this project as a time to explore and learn more about modern quilting. For inspiration, feel free to visit The Modern Quilt Guild blog. There will be plenty of patchwork books at Sunday Sewalongs to flip through as well!

On piecing…

Your block can be handpieced, machine pieced or appliqued; as you prefer.  As the quilt top will be brought out to display at each meeting, please make sure your seams will hold up to a bit of handling. If you’ve got quite a few seams that are likely to thread, then it wouldn’t hurt to spritz a bit of fray check or similar to the back.

Your block should be 8″ finished.  That means the block you turn in will be 8 1/2″ unfinished including  a 1/4″ seam allowance all around. If you are uncomfortable trimming the block to the right size, we can trim it for you when we are ready to add it in. 8″ finished is a bit small, but that makes it a manageable size as our group grows.

On embellishment…

Each block style chosen will be different. Often the piecing speaks for itself, but a few will shine with the addition of handstitching. You are welcome to add this type of embellishment, of course.  As we do not yet know how and when it will be quilted, we suggest avoiding the addition of bulky items.

On signatures…

As a general rule of thumb, signatures directly on blocks would detract from their modern composition. Yet, we find it important to keep a record of each member’s contribution. Instead of signing our blocks, we have decided to create a smaller signature quilt. The layout of the names in the signature quilt will mirror the larger membership quilt. As each contributor returns their block, they will be asked to sign a signature blocks which will in turn be joined onto the signature quilt. The signature quilt will have a simple layout which doesn’t require too much additional time or work to maintain. Our first idea for this is sketched below. If you have a modern suggestions that works with time restraints,  feel free to jump in with a suggestion as I’ve never made a signature quilt before.

I’m currently picturing the names against Kona snow with the coloured portions coming out of our scrap baskets. If you have any scraps that would work, feel free to bring them to the next meeting.  My ears are open here, as many of you are far more experienced with signature quilts than I am.

For those who aren’t familiar, signature quilts have traditional roots and have been used as a way to document membership and attendance for centuries.  To see a wide variety of them, you can visit The Quilt Index galleries.

Who is looking after the project…

At the moment, Amy is looking after collecting and assembling the quilt blocks.  Help would certainly be welcomed. You can pick up a pack of fabrics from Sheridan at the next meeting.  They are currently $7 which worked out to the be local costing for Kona fabrics. If you have any questions about the project, don’t hesitate to ask.  Feel free to leave your questions below as comments in case others have the same questions!

It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm for this idea from those at our first Monday meeting.  We can’t wait to see this project come to life.

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  • Hi Amy

    I love the yellow metro dot you have put in the photo above. If I choose to add a fabric of my own, does it need to be in the guild colours?


    • badskirt

      Hi Dolores! Great question. If you add a fabric it does not need to be in guild colors. The only thing we ask is that you only add small pieces to ensure the block does not “sore thumb.” We want this block to reflect your feelings on modern quilting. If someone is unsure about a fabric addition, we’re happy to offer suggestions as well. Personally, I am likely to pick a print that matches the guild colors because that is my interpretation of modern. Each of us will have a different point of view which is what will make this quilt a joy to look at.

  • What a wonderful idea! We are just starting a guild in north Louisiana (USA) and I think our members would be very excited about a project like this. I plan to share your link on our guild page. (www.nelamqg.webs.com) If you object, please let me know.

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