GWSMQG Membership Quilt

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.

Our First Sunday Sew Along!

Join us for our inaugural Sunday Sew Along!

A Sunday Sew Along is a chance to bring along some of your projects and work on them with other likeminded modern quilters. Feel free to bring a machine if you wish!

Until we find a more permanent venue, we’ve decided to use The Board Room at Dooley’s Waterview in Silverwater for a comfortable day of sewing.

The Details

Sunday 9th September, 2012, 10:00am to 4:00pm
The Board Room at Waterview Dooley’s
Silverwater at the cnr Clyde Street and Silverwater Road, Silverwater
GWS MQG – Sunday Sew Along cost = $10
Lunch, snacks and drinks are available at Dooley’s or BYO lunch.

About Dooley’s

Waterview Dooley’s is 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 beverages. 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.


We have a limit on the number of people legally allowed in the room. You must RSVP for this event, and I urge you to only RSVP if you are absolutely sure you are coming along. If you need to pull out before the day, please un-RSVP on Facebook or send us an email immediately, so that we can offer somebody else your place. For the lovely ladies not on Facebook, please RSVP to

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.

What to Bring

– Sewing projects! One or twenty!
– All your supplies that you will need
– Sewing machine (if you wish)
– Packed lunch (if you wish – food is easily available at Dooley’s).

We are really excited about our first Sunday Sew Along! Hope you can join us!

Recap: Our First Meetup

This recap of our first meeting is a bit longer than most will be.  We passed along quite a bit of general guild information and want to make sure that those who couldn’t attend understand how the guild is structured. 

Can you believe it?!  Our first meetup had 22 people in attendance! It all kicked off at Dooley’s Waterside at 7pm with a bit of chitchat and getting to know each other.  Food was eaten, beers went down easily and the coffee was given high marks. The board room made for a great private space to kickstart The Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild.

Sheridan kicks off the meeting.

Sheridan kicked off the meeting off by introducing the organizing committee and explained the roles each committee member is tackling. As of yet, we haven’t given ourselves official titles or launched into elections.  Once we understand the needs of the guild, we’ll revisit positions more formally.

Sheridan of Chaletgirl is looking after most of the administrative tasks. She’ll be managing venue bookings, keeping the treasury,  managing finances; as well as tackling our email, blog and Facebook group.

Amy of Badskirt will tackle guild management from the creative side of things. Along with guild graphics, She’ll be pitching ideas to keep the group fun including our membership quilt, future challenges and swaps. She’ll look after inter-guild tasks including liaising with local and international MQGs. She’ll also start developing industry relationships to raise awareness of our guild. You’ll also find her helping with our social media sites and Twitter.

Dolores tells us about her joy with modern quilting.

Dolores of A Labour of Love rounds out the organizing team.  She’ll be looking after membership and new members. She’s also helping with our publicity drive, as well as helping out with everything listed above. We’re all hands on deck at the moment.

As the group develops, these roles might shift a bit. If you aren’t sure who to ask about something, you can always drop a line to our email at

Next off the ranks was an overview of Modern Quilting. We are an affiliate chapter of the international group, The Modern Quilt Guild. TheMQG has over 100 chapters including 11 in the Australia-New Zealand region. Modern quilting is making a big impact. New members can pop over to The Modern Quilt Guild for brief description of Modern Quilting.  We recognize there are many forms of quilting that all have common ties.  While our focus is modern quilting, GWSMQG has a healthy respect for all quilters. We want this to be a supportive and encouraging group whether you are a new quilter or an expert. We’re coming together to celebrate quilting.  There’s only two simple rules for the group – Have fun and check your cattiness at the door.

We’ll be following a meeting structure similar to other MQGs guilds. Our Monday meetings  will cover the social side of modern quilting and ‘guild business’ like our membership quilt and future meetups. Sundays will be our sewing days.  More details about both are coming soon. 

Sheridan briefly touched on dues. Unfortunately Sydney is an expensive town when it comes to securing venues, but we are working hard to make this an affordable group for those who want to attend. We’ll be running costs on a meeting-by-meeting basis for a few months and will launch a guild membership due structure towards the end of the year. We are keeping accounting records by the books and doing our best to keep costs at a minimum.

The last bit of guild business is the announcement that we are making a guild membership quilt. Using solid fabrics in our guild colors as a base, members are invited to contribute a block that represents modern quilting to them. As blocks arrive, we’ll piece them together. The growing sampler will be a visual representation of the our growing community. We’ll also maintain a signature blocks  pieced in the same layout as a historical record of our membership. The quilt will return each meeting for members to take in. Packs of fabrics were available for purchase at the meeting and more are available. Check our blog within the week for a post that details the size requirements and offers inspiration for those who aren’t sure where to begin.

Shirley’s Quilt As You Go Project

After talking everyone’s ear off about the guild, we got to the fun part of the meeting. Dolores led introductions that included lots of great interaction. We talked about what interested us in modern quilting, what our backgrounds are and what our favorite sewing tool is.  It was great to see such a wide range of experience in our group.  We had some members who were working on their first quilt and others who had been sewing for over thirty years.  We had members relay wonderful stories of their workshops with Denyse Schmidt; while others told us about what drives them to create.  We had a vast amount of experience in the room including several sewing teachers,  longarm quilters and those involved with quilting retail. Despite all that experience, everyone was friendly and approachable.

Lorena’s Little Apples Quilt

Talk of favorite quilting tools were met with roars of approval.  You need only visit our Facebook page to see that gals have rushed out to build their notions stash.  Among the tools getting top marks are Clover’s open tip adjustable thimble, hera markers and fork pins.  Applique glue also had a big “ahhhhhhhhh…”  of excitement.

Munaiba’s Travelling Quilt

With chit chat out of the way, we launched into Sew and Tell.  You’ll find some of the quilts on this post. Please pop over to Facebook and see our photo gallery for many more photos from the night. There was so much inspiration and each quilt had such a great story behind it. There was a story of a quilt lost to a long-gone boyfriend; stories of quilts made in groups; stories of friendship formed through quilting; and even a story of  patchwork that became dresses which went full circle to become a quilt again.  We took away joy and inspiration in seeing the quilts, but we’ve built bonds by sharing their stories.

Peta’s progress on a project from Material Obsession 2

As Dooley pulled down their shutters, the time for goodbyes arrived too quickly.  Though it was only our first meeting, GWS MQG looks to have launched on a high note. Our Facebook group is already buzzing with activity.  We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again soon, as well as welcoming newcomers!  We’ll have details about the next meetup for you soon.

Thank you, ladies, for an outstanding night.

Reminder! We are meeting tonight!

Don’t forget, the very first meeting of the Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild is on tonight!

You can find all the details on the previous post here.

All welcome! We’d love to meet some new modern quilters, so please come along tonight and find out some more about this new group.

We have a few lucky door prizes to give away, and lots of friendly faces happy to talk all things fabric and quilting. What could be more fun?

Please RSVP at the Facebook event here, or email us at

See you tonight!




Our first Monday Meetup!

Our first meeting will be a Monday Meetup. As described in our intro post, Monday Meetups are your chance to come and chat about all things Modern Quilting. You get to connect with other quilters in the community, as well as having an opportunity to ‘Show and Tell’ some of your current projects. As this is our first meeting, it’s also an opportunity to provide input about what you’d like to get out of the Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild.

For the first meetup, we’ve booked a private space in The Boardroom at Dooley’s Waterview in Silverwater. This venue will allow us a quiet space to discuss ideas and get the group rolling.

The Details

Monday 20th August, 2012, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
The Board Room at Waterview Dooley’s
Silverwater at the  cnr Clyde Street and Silverwater Road, Silverwater
GWS MQG – Meeting Cost $10*
Dinner, snacks and drinks are available at Dooley’s

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 beverages. 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!


To help us estimate numbers and ensure we have capacity for everyone, we invite you to join our Facebook group and please RSVP at Facebook Event Page. If you don’t Facebook, then please send us an email at to RSVP.

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.

What to Bring

Monday meetings are all about the social side of Modern Quilting. Please bring along Show and Tell which may be an ongoing or recently completed project. It doesn’t matter what level of quilter you are, we’d love to see your projects!  For this meeting, the monthly theme is craft books, so please bring along one of your favourites to show off to the group.  You are, of course, welcome to bring along anything else that you are excited about that would appeal to the Modern Quilting Group.

*The Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild is currently pursuing not-for-profit status. All dues collected will be used to  fund the running costs of the group including venue hire. Final due structure will be announced once our Sunday Sewalong venue is confirmed and we have a better estimation of group numbers.

Welcome to the Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild!

Sydney is a big city! Don’t we all know that!

Did you know that the Sydney urban area actually covers almost 1800 square kilometres? And the population is about 4.5 million people? With that in mind, and with the existing Sydney Modern Quilt Guild concentrating their efforts in the north of the city, Amy and I have been working behind the scenes to set up another Modern Quilt Guild in Sydney.

We present to you the Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild!

We’re hoping to attract modern quilters from the western, south-western and north-western suburbs of Sydney, but anyone interested in modern quilting is very welcome to attend!

You might have some questions about what is modern quilting? I cannot answer it any better than the Modern Quilt Guild has already done here! Please go and have a read if you have any queries.  We’ve got some fantastic ideas about how to make the GWS Modern Quilt Guild a really fun organisation, and I hope you’d like to be a part of it.

Our plan is to have two regular meetings a month:

– Regular monthly meetings on a Monday evening, approximately 2 hours long. We will discuss the ‘business’ side of the guild, and much more interestingly, ‘Show and Tell’ your quilting efforts. This is your chance to come and chat about all things Modern Quilting. To spice up the conversation, we’ll have monthly themes and encourage you to bring along items that fit the theme. For example, “Show us your favourite craft book” or “Show us a handy craft tool”.

– Regular monthly meetings on a Sunday where we just sew, sew, sew. Bring along your machine, your hand stitching or your quilting and enjoy some dedicated sewing time amongst like minded quilters.

Where are we going to meet? It’s a good question. Sydney is big. We have concentrated our efforts around the geographical heart of Sydney, in an area that provides reasonably easy access from all the western suburbs.

I am still trying to secure a suitable venue for the Sunday Sewalong, but whilst I do that, we will start our Monday Meetups shortly!

Leave us a comment if you have any questions, and we’ll reply in the comments, so make sure you come back and check!