2016 QuiltCon Charity Quilt: NYE at the House

Improv quilting isn’t new, I reckon it is possibly the oldest form of quilting as fabric scraps and woollen off cuts were patched together to make the earliest form of quilts. And then there’s the fabulous improv quilts of Gees Bend, Nancy Crow and Gwen Marston. But improv with intent, is that a fairly modern concept in quilting? It relates to abstract art and music where the intent to convey an idea, image or concept drives the design process.

This year’s QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge was “to work collaboratively to create completed quilts using a predetermined color palette and improv with intent”. With that in mind we set about choosing fabrics and coming up with a design for this group project.

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2016 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Colour Palette as set by The Modern Quilt Guild

We then brainstormed some ideas and finally settled on the iconic image of the Sydney Opera House sails and then decided that by adding the black as a sky colour and the brights as fireworks we could capture the magic of New Year’s Eve fireworks at The House. We looked at several images of the Opera House and tried to pick a minimalist composition that could be pieced.

We had several sewing days where members contributed improv blocks for the night sky with sparks of fireworks and the long improv braids from the neutral tones.

And then the real hard work of turning piles of blocks into a quilt top began! It wasn’t easy, group work often isn’t when there are many different approaches and ideas.

SydneyMQG charity quilt progress

At one stage it didn’t look like it would be done in time, but as is also usual in collaborative group work, a few people drive the project and get it done. Just in time!

Congratulations to all the members who contributed blocks, fabric, thread and time towards this project. Extra special thanks to Kathy Thorncraft who took on the mammoth job of quilting and Catherine Butterworth for her super human effort to bind and prepare the quilt for display.


We are very proud of our efforts and look forward to seeing NYE at The House hanging at QuiltConWest, Pasadena from the 18th – 21st February along with all the other amazing MQG charity quilts!

Check out the stunning quilts made by some other Aussie Modern Quilt Guilds:

Brisbane MQG 2016 QuiltCon Charity Challenge Quilt

Melbourne MQG 2016 QuiltCon Charity Challenge Quilt

Tasmanian MQG 2016 QuiltCon Charity Challenge Quilt

And the #quiltconcharityquilt hashtag on Instagram for further inspiring work, well done everyone!


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Sydney Quilt Show 2015

It’s that time of the year again- the 2015 Sydney Quilt Show has come and gone, faster than you can say “wait, they’re selling rotary cutters for how much?” Run by the Quilter’s Guild of NSW at Sydney’s temporary exhibition centre on Glebe Island (which is neither in Glebe, nor an island…) the event was, once again, a landmark event on the Sydney quilting calendar.


GWSMQG made a strong showing, with nine member quilts and one group quilt hanging in the show, and four members were rewarded with six prizes, most notably Catherine, who won three prizes: second prize in the ‘Traditional’ category, the ‘Creative Use of Colour’ Award and the ‘Best Original Interpretation of a Traditional Quilt’ Award for her riotously colourful ‘Carnaby Street’ quilt.


Lorena won first place in the ‘commercially quilted’ category with her beautiful ‘Wingdings: a variety of symbols’ quilt, a red and white vision of Chuck Nohara’s patterns (custom quilted by Michele Turner), while the teal version of her Opal Essences quilt, ‘Under the Sea’ was also hung.

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Louisa, a first-time entrant, won third prize in the same commercially quilted category with her ‘Stargarden’ quilt, (quilted by GWSMQG member Jane Davidson), while her ‘Chardonnay and Shiraz’ quilt, made from the ‘Hexagons and Stars’ pattern by Catherine Butterworth was also hung in the red and white display.

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Junior Member Sofia won fourth prize in the Junior Quiltmaker B (years 7-12) category with her ‘Itsy Bitsy Hexie Quilt’.


The red and white quilts category this year attracted a number of our members to enter the show for the first time: Hilary McFarlane showed her very modern quilt, while Kathy’s ‘Subdivision Quilt’, which you may remember having seen in black and white next to Ginevra’s colourful version at the Modern Quilt Show in Kiama recently, flew the modern quilting flag in red and white.

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Sue displayed a fantastic large-scale gradiated chevron quilt, and the GWSMQG group quilt, ‘Break from tradition’, (made from foundation paper-pieced diamonds and custom quilted by Jane Davidson), attracted lots of compliments from show-goers.

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GWSMQG members were also staffing a number of the stalls: Sue Miller with her Fabric Garden store, while Caroline Gunn and Narelle Morris were winning over hearts and minds (but perhaps not wallets) at the Handiquilter stand, where many members were spotted trying their hand at the Avante machine.

It’s always fantastic to see quilts that we’ve seen progress and develop over the year at our Sunday Sewalongs and Monday Meetups hanging and being admired by the general public. Congratulations to all entrants and award winners! And to all our members: now is the time to start planning for next year’s show!

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MQG Riley Blake Challenge!

One of the wonderful benefits of joining our guild is that we are affiliated with The Modern Quilt Guild, and by joining, you also gain membership to the modern Quilt Guild in the states, which connects us to other guilds and provides discounts on MQG shows (including discounts and special offers from MQG sponsors). Last year, MQG an Riley Blake teamed up to create a wonderful competition open to all MQG members called the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Challenge. Our guild decided to both participate in the competition, and make it interesting within our guild by creating a mini challenge. The rules were:

  • Produce a a 24” mini quilt, using ALL of the Riley Blake fabrics provided, and any solid of your choosing.

The due date for our challenge quilts is Sunday the 16th of February, which happens to coincide with our Sunday Sit n Sew day! The categories are as follows:

1) Best use of the Riley Blake challenge fabrics
2) Best use of quilting
3) Best piecing and construction techniques
4) Members’ choice award
5) Best use of every scrap of fabric

We have some wonderful prizes that were generously donated by local quilt shops Kim Bradley Creations, Kate Quilts,  PolkaDot Tea Fabrics, and Quilt Jane, as well as prizes thrown in by guild members. We are so lucky to have access to such wonderful shops, so please remember to buy local and give your support to the wonderful  Aussie quilting community!

  • $50 gift voucher and an English Paper Piecing Kit featuring Kim’s fabulous “Holey Peepers”, papers, Bohin #9 straw needles, Sewline glue pen, glue refills and a quick unpick. Value $100 from Kim Bradley Creations http://kimbradleycreations.com/
  • Two mini charm packs, Botanics and Kona Cotton Solids as well as Superior Threads Frosted Donut 2. Value $50 from  Guild member Jane Davidson http://quiltjane.blogspot.com.au/
  • A “Radiant Orchid” FE Bundle from Guild member Sheridan.
  • A $25 gift voucher at Kate Quilts (also a Guild member) http://www.katequilts.com/
  • A selection of rulers and fabrics from Guild members Lorena and Sophia
  • Two metres of any Cotton Couture Solids inc. shipping from Polka Dot Tea Fabrics on Etsy Value $26
  • A jar of Lorena’s Spicy Mango Chutney (it’s worth it’s weight in gold!).

Sarah Fielke has also thrown in a generous prize that includes a copy of her book Hand Quilted with Love (available at Kim Bradley Creations!), and a bundle of fabric. She would like to pick the quilt she likes the best.

The finished quilts must be uploaded onto the MQG Riley Blake forum, via the MQG community site by the 17th of February this year. I’m aware that not everyone is up to speed with technology, so I have a little tutorial on how to upload your finished quilt!

First of all, you must make an account with the MQG. Link is here. Once you’re logged in, you can click through to the community stuff. The community area is located at the top of the MQG page, or just click on this link, which will take you straight through to the Riley Blake forum. To go in the running to win with the MQG, you must enter a picture of your finished quilt into the forum titled FINISHED Riley Blake challenge photos. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, until you see the comment box. In the comment box at the far right, you’ll see a tiny icon of a mountain. Click on it to upload your photo, then follow the instructions.

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Once you’ve submitted the photo into the comment box, you can simply click the Post button, but I think it might be nice to mention that you’re a member of GWSMQG, how big the quilt is, and what solids you used. I hope this mini tutorial was helpful!

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Sunday Sewalong is on this Sunday!

Please come along and join us at another fabulous Sunday Sewalong this Sunday, 11 November!

The Details

Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm
The Board Room at Waterview Dooley’s
Silverwater at the  cnr Clyde Street and Silverwater Road, Silverwater
Dinner, snacks and drinks are available at Dooley’s


We invite you to join our Facebook group and please RSVP at the relevant Facebook event page.

We have a limit on the number of people legally allowed in the room, so please RSVP so we know that you’re coming! If you don’t Facebook, then please send us an email at gwsmodernquiltguild@gmail.com to RSVP.

About Dooley’s

Waterview Dooley’s is a social club adjacent to parklands on the Parramatta River. Access is free for those who live outside a 5km radius of the venue. If you are within the 5km range, then membership is required but is a low $5.50/year. With membership, you are entitled to a 20% discount on food and a 15% discount at  the bar. We plan to meet there regularly, so it may be worthwhile to join, if you plan on attending more than one meeting.   Dooley’s serves a wide range of club food. You’re welcome to sit down and enjoy a dinner out with us while we meet.

Getting There

Waterview Dooley’s is located in Silverwater at the cnr of Clyde St and Silverwater Road.  We know many of you are coming from various parts of the city. We invite you to use the Facebook Group as a way of arranging carpools and ride shares.

We look forward to seeing you!

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Monday Meetup!

It’s that time again! Our October Monday Meetup managed to sneak up on us! We’re meeting again on October 22nd at Dooley’s Waterview. You’ll find all of the details in the Events section of our Facebook group.

This month, our theme is my favourite pattern. We’re asking members to bring a long a pattern they love. It can be any pattern – something they’ve made, something they’d like to make, something in a book.  Any pattern that they’d like to talk about! We like to keep things open and see where the conversation takes us. Last month, it took us all the way to Europe as we talked about gorgeous thread. With the pattern theme in mind, we reached out to a few pattern designs in the hopes they could share one of their patterns with us. They went overboard each offering multiple prizes! Oh my!  We can’t thank our sponsors enough. We’ve intentionally reached out to independent designers this month to celebrate the personal side of quilting.  Don’t forget to visit their websites and let them know how much we appreciate their kindness.

It’s a whirlwind global tour at October’s Monday Meetup!   And we start off right here in NSW with Janelle Wind of the Janelle Wind Collection. Janelle’s style combines a mix of vintage and modern with a bit of whimsy.  We asked if she could spare one pattern, and then she donated four of her designs and a signed copy of her book!

Forest Hill is one of her latest designs,  a single bed quilt pattern with matching tree shaped cushion

And what little kiddo wouldn’t love her R is for Robot quilt and cushion pattern

Or you could make something for yourself with Thelma’s Day Out  bag and journal cover pattern

Or dress up your sewing room with the Sassy Sewing Set pattern including sewing machine cover and stitcher’s pouch. That pouch would come in handy at guild meetings!

And of course, her signed book, Pieces of Me which we’ll feature and offer as a prize next month!

Our next stop on the global pattern tour takes us to Colorado to see Penny of SewTakeAHike. Penny designs patterns independently at SewTakeAHike and collaboratively at Sew-Ichigo.  Penny is a gem who shares so many techniques and offers inspiration at her blog.

One lucky winner will get a Funky Peppermint table runner pdf which, I used one with some elephant fabric. It’s a modern playful design which would also look great in quilt, pillow or bag!

And from Sew-Ichigo, one winner will get the Latte to Go pattern which is shown below whipped into a to mug rug and gift certificate sleeve.

Which brings us over to Leila of Where the Orchids Grow. Leila is relatively new to the pattern design scene, but has graciously be sharing inspiration and tutorials on her blog. She’s go a wonderful quilt tutorial coming out this month as part of the Value QAL. She’s offered two winners their choice of any of her three patterns.

Home, Sweet, Home with her White Picket Fence pattern

Sit back and relax with a little Green Tea

And you’ll never want to lose your keys again, when you add this beauty, her Scrappy Leaf Key Fob pattern

If that isn’t enough incentive to visit us on Monday, I’m not sure what is?! Thank you so much to Janelle, Penny and Leila. Our jaws have dropped at your kindness.

Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild is an open organization and we welcome new members of all skill levels. Whether you’ve been doing patchwork for thirty years or haven’t braved your first quilt, we invite you to come along. Laugh, share and learn with us!

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Monday night meetup reminder and a giveaway!

Just a quick remind to RSVP for September’s Monday Meetup which will be held at Dooley’s Waterview. You can find all of the details on our Facebook Events page. Monday Meetups are held in alcove by the Board Room at Dooleys and are a casual, social meetup where we plan guild business and talk about what’s new in Modern Quilting.

This month’s theme is my favourite thread. Be sure to bring along an interesting spool or skein, and tell us all about it.  Speaking of thread, we are very lucky to have Aurifil as a sponsor for Monday’s event.  They’ve generously donated one of their Simply Color skein sets.  This set has 12 gorgeous colors of Aurifil’s 50wt cotton thread in colours that match Moda’s Simply Color modern fabric.

Simply Color. Simply Awesome.

GWSMQG Giveaway!

It’s been tempting to steal it! I feel quite lucky to have it as eye candy in the house this week. You may have to pry it out of my hands. Come along on Monday to win!

If that wasn’t enough, Kate of Kate Quilts upped the ante for us and has donated a Simply Color charm pack to go along with it!  Kate’s a member of our guild;  and she is always happy to answer questions about upcoming fabric ranges, thread and more. We’re lucky to have her!

Without pulling out the calculator, I can assure you that’s a whopping wonderful prize pack!  Those of you who were there last week know that Kate surprised us with a charm pack of Chicopee which we gave away at our Sunday Sewalong along with more Aurifil!  Thank you, Kate and Alex!

We know that not everyone can make it to each meeting, and we didn’t want anyone to be left out so we have five Aurifil thread packs which members can win by right here on the blog!

If you aren’t familiar with Aurifil threads, they have several varieties. Whether you like to hand piece, machine piece, hand quilt or applique; they have a thread type and weight to work with. These five spool packs are a great taster for you to try out the cotton in 12, 28, 40 and 50wt. There’s also some 12wt Lana Wool to play with. Colour in the packs vary, but all include at least one Aurifil variegate. (Apologies for any drool that I’ve left on the spools. I’ve tried to mop it up.)

Spool heaven!

We’ll have some on hand on Monday for you to have a squiz at. We’ll also have Aurifil cards with us on Monday night, so you can see the full range of colours!

On to winning!  It’s as easy as leaving a blog comment. You are welcome to leave a comment here letting us know of a fun theme for the guild meetups or you can leave a comment on Jenna’s member spotlight .   Make sure we have a way of getting a hold of you to let you know that you’ve won!

(One entry per person. Entries will be combined from both posts. Winners drawn at random. Winners will be selected on Friday Sept 21th, noon Sydney time. Please note that prizes will be available for pick up during any future guild meeting. We love your smiling face, so you must come in person to a guild meeting to pick up your prize.)

Thank you to Aurifil and KateQuilts for supporting Greater Western Sydney’s Modern Quilt Guild.

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