Milwaukee-Madison Modern Quilt Guild

After taking a very deep breath and questioning whether it was wise to commit to something else when I haven’t been very good at following through on my existing commitments…

… I joined the brand new Milwaukee-Madison Modern Quilt Guild. I’m member number 10.

I’ve been seeing these Modern Quilt Guilds pop up all over the place – not just the country, but the WORLD. I think what’s so appealing about them is the emphasis on a more youthful style of quilting. I am a traditional quilter, and I love doing traditional piecing. But I also love the idea of a fresh, young, modern style, with fabrics that are a little out there.

Since this is a VERY new guild, I’m not sure how it’s going to play out, but I welcome the opportunity to learn from another type of quilter. My family quilting group is fantastic, and I learn so much from them as well – we have a range of experience levels and styles, especially color choices – but I’d love to try something new, too.

So, does anyone else in the southeastern – south central Wisconsin area want to come play? And if you’re not in the area, check out the main Modern Quilt Guild page and find one in your area – or start one yourself.

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Buttercup’s Morning Workout

I had to share this video of Buttercup. She has a thing about glass surfaces, and she’ll do this for minutes at a time. She especially likes the patio doors, Mom’s mirrored closet doors, and the glass topped coffee table.

Listen for her huff about five seconds from the end. I just love that!

Quilting Gallery Weekly Themed Contest

Weekly Themed Quilt Contests

Have you checked out the Quilting Gallery yet? I joined over a year ago when I first started blogging, and thought it was a nice little resource for finding other quilting blogs. You can search by location, or just check out the newly added blogs. Since I joined, Mishka has turned it into a full blown resource site with blogs, a chat room, a quilt shop locator, contests, sponsors, swaps, charity opportunities – everything you could dream of. There are ads, but it’s tastefully done, and extremely “quilting appropriate.”

I just entered my Icicles quilt in the Weekly Quilt Themed Contest – this week’s theme was “Winter Fun.” I figured with a name like Icicles and fabrics from a line called Let It Snow, it qualified. Voting starts tomorrow, and the winner gets a copy of the Quilter’s Cookbook. You know I’d love that! You can also enter to win a copy by leaving a comment here. Be sure to stop by and vote for your favorite quilt – you can get to it by clicking the picture at the top of the post. Don’t forget to check out the future themes – you may find one that’s perfect for something you’ve already made, or one that triggers an idea for a new quilt. The list of themes can be found here. Themes are listed through the end of the year, so pick a future theme and start working on your entry!

Crafters for Haiti

Quilters and crafters are a giving bunch, and this tragedy in Haiti has us all wanting to do something to help. In almost all cases, sending “stuff” will not benefit the people affected by this earthquake; instead, we are encouraged to send money. So how can we put our passion for crafting to use and still contribute? Try one of the options below:

Craft Hope has organized an Etsy shop and will sell your donations, with the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders. Check out the Craft Hope website for details, and go to the Craft Hope for Haiti Etsy store to buy something.

Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio is auctioning three Neighborhood quilts, with the proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross. She’s even going to match the donations! Check out the quilts (and bid on them!) here.

Indie Fixx is doing a silent auction of donated items over several days, and will send the proceeds to the Red Cross. They are no longer accepting donations, but you can learn more here. To bid, click the link at the right of that page – each day’s auction will have a new link.

There is a group making heart quilts for the children of Haiti. They have a person in Haiti who can distribute the quilts. Check out Hearts 4 Haiti if you’d like to participate.

Even before the earthquake, there was an organization using quilting to help the women of Haiti. The Peace Quilt Project trains and organizes women in communities around Haiti who then produce incredible art quilts for sale. The women earn a wage plus a portion of the sale price of the quilts. PeaceQuilts sells the quilts, accepts monetary donations, and accepts donations of quilting supplies. Right now they are putting together a relief/rebuilding fund, so check out the website and see how to help.

If you’d rather make a donation directly to a charity but you’re concerned about finding a reputable one that will use your money appropriately, there’s an excellent website called Charity Navigator that has a list of charities helping Haiti with an explanation of what they’re doing with the money. It also gives suggestions for how you can help. The website is a great resource for any charitable decisions, not just Haiti relief.

If you know of other craft related programs that are organizing funds to help the people of Haiti, please post them in the comments.

Paper Pieced Heart Blocks

So now that I’m back to the blog, I noticed a new link to it from some people looking for heart blocks. Hmmm… Valentine’s Day is coming up! I happen to have foundations for paper pieced heart blocks on the right side of the page (scroll way down!). I thought I’d upload the photos so the links weren’t just descriptions, to make it easier to see. And, to make it even easier, I included the blocks at the bottom of this post. Click on a block for a PDF of the foundation for a 6″ finished heart. If you’ve never foundation pieced before, give it a try – it’s much easier than you might think. Here’s a tutorial for my favorite foundation piecing method, which uses freezer paper. The best part is, you can reuse your foundations several time (as many as 10, depending on the complexity of the block and how much you iron it). You can buy freezer paper in 8 1/2 x 11 sheets that will go through your printer – check your local craft or quilting store, or go online. You can also trace the block onto freezer paper, or use a “regular” paper piecing method where you tear out the paper after sewing through it. If you want blocks larger than 6″, you can enlarge the foundations with a copier. As long as you enlarge them CONSISTENTLY (use the same copier, same settings), it doesn’t matter what size they actually are, just that they are the same. If you want accurate 6″ finished blocks, be sure to check your settings when you print the block. In the Page Scaling box, make sure it says NONE, not Fit to Printable Area or Shrink to Printable Area.

Basic Heart Short Striped Heart Striped Heart Rays Heart Rail Fence Heart Log Cabin Heart Horizontal Heart Crazy Heart Braided Heart

Family Basket Quilt

Well, I just completely abandoned the blog here, didn’t I?! I don’t know if it was the holidays or just general busy-ness, but I need to do some catching up. Most of that will happen – you guessed it – later. More importantly, I’ve added several new basket blocks to the sidebar. Here are the new blocks:

Block 6
Block 6

Block 7
Block 7

Block 8
Block 8

And to make up for my lateness, here’s NEXT month’s block:

Block 9
Block 9

Also (you gotta love EQ6), here are some possible settings. Some have the patches and blocks outlined in black, but a couple don’t because the black lines made it difficult to see the pattern.

Quilt 2

Quilt 6

Quilt 14

Quilt 16

(The last three are all the same layout, but the color placement makes them look quite different.)

Quilt 7

Quilt 18

Quilt 17

Okay, gotta go – hopefully I’ll be back in less than three months!