Defining Modern Quilting 2: Improv & Buttons

Ah, July ! One of my most favourite months because of the warmth and the nice weather. And those are 2 things we’ve had plenty of lately. Summer months call for a different kind of quilting and this months focus was on Improv Quilts. More to follow below about that subject! 

Our meeting opened with Tara letting us know that she has sent an updated members list to everyone. We ask that you keep it current because if we need to reach you because of inclement weather ( and other special things ) then a current email address and phone number are essential. 

We have 6 spots left in the Cheryl Arkinson workshop happening in November and then the list will be opened up to other Guilds for quilters to sign up. It sure looks to be an exciting class. 

Susan reminded us that the QuiltCon Challenge is still open if anyone would like to head that up. This years challenge is Small Piecing . We have our 2018 quilt back from Quilt Canada in Vancouver. Our “There is no Planet B” quilt was juried into the show, however we did not win a ribbon. This quilt be donated to the ALS Society and is patiently waiting for Jennifer to pick it up and to deliver it !

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This months Challenge was Buttons and we sure did have an assortment ( no pun intended lol ) of them. 

Up and coming Challenges are :

September – Negative Space/ Improv Quilts

October – House Block Lottery


Susan: This is made from Bead Soup – a mixture of beads and buttons. It took 10-12 hours of beading to be made. It will be layered and quilted. 

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Jayne: This wall hanging with a Dresden Plate orange Sunflower is using up lots of buttons to make the vase. A bit of sunshine on the doily in the corner makes this piece glow !


Sylvia: The quilt name is Frogs. I was waiting for spring to start so I put it on my table for some colour. The blocks are from an elephant quilt I had just finished.


Debbie: This is a layered quilted rug that I made into a wall hanging. It’s from a course that I took from Al Cote and I  love this method of sewing! 


We have renewed our contract with Bethany Community Church, where we hold our meetings, and also set at that time were our future Sew-In Dates. We will be having our next  Sew-In this October 20th. and the next one after that will be March 30th – 2019

We also discussed our Dye-In Day that is planned for the month of August, since we don’t have a regularly scheduled meeting. Again this year Lindsay’s parents have graciously offered their beautiful yard for the day. Along with having more indigo dying we are going to try a few more new methods. Some with spices, some with vegetables and what ever else we can come up with. Tentatively we are looking at August 18th or August 25th. Please email Debbie with ideas or dyeing that you would like to see. There will be a $5 fee to cover supplies, it’s a potluck lunch and last year we had so much fun and laughter that this promises to be another fantastic day. Let’s start doing the No Rain Dance now, because if we get rained out we don’t have another date. 

We don’t have anyone set for September or October to be our Featured Quilter of the Month. If you’d like to volunteer that would be fantastic because we love sharing ideas and quilts!

Tara did an awesome presentation last night about Improv Quilts and some of the executive brought in a few quilts to give some ideas. Stephanie had also prepared another great slide-show of Improv Quilts.  Tara spoke of the fact that in improv quilts there are no rules and no Quilt Police. There is no matchy matchy of fabrics and different size pieces are the IN thing to do. Improv is a PROCESS of making a quilt in order to get the end product. As paper-piecing and following a pattern. 

Jacquie Gering said : The purpose of ‘project improv’ is to support each other in our goal to quilt improvisationally, to quilt outside the lines and to find our own voice as quilters.

Sherri Lynn Woods  – The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters  said: 

So when you are improvising, try your best to let go of any preconceived outcomes. Often we judge our results as failures, only because they don’t match our expectations.

If you are predicting a negative outcome, or any outcome before you even begin, first remind yourself that you can not predict the future. Then sit down at your sewing machine and get comfortable with being at the edge of the unknown by getting curious.  Ask yourself, “I wonder what will happen if  I do this? or this?” and so on. A beginner’s mind is a curious mind.

Improv Quilts

38D2D88E-851D-454A-9EF1-C679C8E1B2AA  BD5091DC-B615-46FF-977D-3CB349A7FD78  1A6C1E46-BD7A-45D9-9A62-690FA9737E4C  D508134A-4198-4315-8681-750F4A83B6FC  0DA288EB-0947-438C-BA20-530A597FDE8D  DD07ADAB-7FAE-438B-A45C-C00D60CECAB7  D4B05CE5-D751-4B6C-9DD9-7F3C23ED5CB2



Show & Tell

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Jan – This first quilt is a “cheater” quilt that is made with a panel * it sure doesn’t look like that *. I finished it with solids. The Second quilt is a wall hanging that I made for my home with traditional blocks. 

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Jayne: This first quilt is called Courting the Mare. The pattern Source is Silver Linings and was made from my stash materials and it’s paper pieced. I started on the project at a retreat and I ended up with 1 horse having 5 legs that were all black. I had to redo parts of it lol . I enlarged the pattern at Staples.  The second quilt is a collage horse that I made at our Collage Sew-In with this group. * note that the noses of both horses are with velveteen fabric so when you touch the horses nose it feels just like a real horse. 

The third quilt was a Stitch and Flip Triangle Challenge with lots of blank space. I started small and it grew into a lap quilt. All the coloured fabrics are thin strips from Connecting Threads except for one solid green fabric. * Note that Jayne did double the batting for this project because she wanted a higher loft in the quilt. 



Barb – My great grandson just turned 2 so I made this growth chart for their wall. 


Donna – The name of this quilt is Polka Dot and I made this table runner for a Polka Dot Challenge

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Kathleen – This mesh bag is finished with a quilt theme. It’s a Pat Anderson tutorial and it was my first time working with mesh.  The second bad is a Noodlehead Hanging made with Tim Holtz Fabrics. I was commissioned by Lindsay of Sew Fresh Fabrics to make it for a store display. 

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Dorothy – Chaos, this is a result of a workshop with Libs Elliott. I introduced an ” unexpected guest” ( the pink fabric ) to give the quilt a focus. I made this bag while my granddaughter was visiting because “everyone can use another bag”

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Brenda- I fell in love with a quilt in a magazine by Thomas Knauer. I made it in 2017 with for a Pantone challenge. It’s partly an Eye Spy quilt and was quilted by Audrey. 

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Kelly – This is my first time using minky fabric as a backing. The quilt is for my daughters and she loves the warmth of the backing. In my second quilt I was attempting a modern quilt. the denim backing make it so heavy and cozy!


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Leigh – The name of this quilt is City Lights. I made it from Tula Pinks 100 Modern Blocks book and I used an alternate background layout to finish it.  * Editors Note – WOW, this quilt just drew people into it when Leigh unfolded and showed it. It is truly a work of art and we all encouraged her to enter it in a show because it’s just outstanding !!! *


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