The Niagara Modern Quilt Guild is proud to present its’ entry for QuiltCon 2016. QuiltCon is an annual conference of the Modern Quilt Guild located in the United States with a membership of Modern Quilters from all over the world.
QuiltCon2016 made a Guild challenge to make a Charity Quilt that will be given to the charity chosen by the participating Guild. We have chosen Project Smile Niagara – a Niagara based organization that makes quilts for children with life threatening illnesses at Hamilton McMaster Children’s Hospital and Toronto Sick Kids Hospital.
In keeping with our Canadian roots we chose to make a hockey themed quilt and named it Hockey, Eh !
This is the reflection of Tania Denyer, one of the Guild members, on the exciting journey we took to make the quilt!
How To Represent our Canadian Modern Quilt Guild to the World!?!
I had only recently joined the Niagara Modern Quilt Guild, perhaps attended a meeting or two when the topic of a charity quilt came up. I had been involved in guilds before and with charity quilts however this was to be a totally different game! I had no idea, nor I suppose did any of us, what a wild ride this quilt would be.
Our group was led by the indefatigable Tara. She deciphered the challenge details for us, timelines, colours, stressing the IMPROV nature of the work… and kept us on track. Before I knew it I had agreed to longarm the quilt too, I was swept up in the creative energy that our guild generates when we get together.
The materials for our quilt were generously donated by a local quilt shop The Modern Bee. Our Guild President, Susan Bowslaugh, obtained the fabric and had it cut and ready for us to get to work. The game had just begun.
The first challenge came when deciding what the theme of our quilt would be. Quilters do get along generally but even with our fairly small guild we had more ideas than we knew what to do with. We started a page on Pinterest in order to have a space to gather ideas… and there were plenty to go around… Canadian inventions like light bulbs, Robertson screws, zippers, snowmobiles… to wine and grapes (we are a Niagara Guild after all)… inukshuks, beer bottles, donuts, Mountie hats… we have more than enough ideas for a lifetime of charity quilts!
Eventually we settled on hockey. We are a proud Canadian Modern Quilt Guild and how better to represent ourselves than by using the theme of our national game!
Ah but how to improv on a hockey theme? Again Tara came to our rescue with a fabulous tutorial on her blog… quiltersstash.wordpress.com, if you would like to check it out! She was gentle with us. Suggesting only a simple hockey stick from each member knowing perhaps that once we had mastered stick handling we would move on to greater things… like improv hockey words, goalie nets, goalie mask, hockey jersey and yes even our Stanley Cup! We used our Facebook page as we created, the stakes in this hockey game going up with each new image posted.
And finally the blocks were complete. We had made it to the year-end tournament but our hardest game was before us.
We met at a “sew -in” thinking perhaps, well at least I did, that this part would be simple and quick. I even brought additional projects for when we were done the improv quilt… ever hopeful.
As with so much in quilting, it often takes longer than you think and in this case we barely made it. It took a concerted effort and again the guidance and patience of Team Captain Tara, who worked magic with only a taped out quilt perimeter on the floor and a tape measure to hand. We were stitching mismatched block sizes together until the very end of our sewing day.
Next the longarming, which was where I came in. How to quilt something so unique? A challenge to be sure. As I love to add words to quilts, we had decided… I think on our facebook group again this time (and I believe by a non member no less) that we would add the words to The Good Ol’ Hockey Game by Stompin’ Tom Connors to the quilt. Now what to add to quilt to allow the words to be read but not overtake the entire piece? I decided on a modern squares pattern that sort of reminded me of the skate marks on a hockey rink.
After quilting we had it bound by Heather and labelled and more photographs taken, quilt packaged and ready for its American tour. So many steps and each time a guild member there to pick up the puck and pass it on.
Last was the task of writing a story of our quilt, and well here we are. It certainly was a challenge, it pushed us all to try something new and best of all work with no rules… no pattern! We had no idea how this game would end but happily we were all thrilled with the result. We made it through the season to the tournament and now our quilt is off to the finals… at QuiltCon 2016!
Hope you enjoy our quilt… proudly Modern Quilters and always Canadian!
#quiltcon #mqgcharityquilt #quiltconcharityquilt #duringquiettime