Thursday, July 2, 2015

June 2015 Meeting Highlights

Our June 13th meeting, at the WFPL Main Library in downtown Pensacola was called to order by VP Natalie at 10:35 with 28 members and two guests. 

After asking for a moment of silence for members who were facing difficult situations, we began the day with a our little birthday tradition - singing and a FQ fabric lollipop!.  We were unable to celebrate June birthdays as they were absent, but we were more than happy to sing and celebrate two belated birthdays (May) for Deb R and Eliana.

Next on the agenda was the lottery drawing for the wonky ROYGBIV log cabin blocks.  
 18 colorful blocks were created and submitted.
Wendi was the lucky winner!!

Elaine and Susan presented the block of choice for July which is the Blooming Star Block.

Click here for the color inspiration, tutorial links, pictures, and sewing tips.   

Next we moved to easily our favorite activity - fabric swap!  Where else can you bring in one yard of fabric, and leave with eight different fabric pieces?  The Tula Pink F8 swap was a resounding success.  Many thanks to Cricket and Nona for sorting and organizing all of these pretties! 

The group effort for this years Fisher House Charity Quilt yielded 16 completed Dutchman's Puzzle blocks.  Open sewing time was devoted to sewing additional blocks as the completed quilt needs to be presented in August.       

Our first Quilt of Valor is complete for 2015 and it is stunning!  (Currently, it is displayed at A&E Fabrics)  We began collecting the x + blocks for this quilt last August and with the combined efforts of many guild members - Kim, Bobbi, Whitney, Kira, Jennifer, Cindy, Becky, Donna, Kira, Kassie, & Rachel - more than 30 blocks were contributed.  Natalie pieced the back; Kira quilted and bound it.  Thank you to everyone who made this possible!

We have a small collection of blocks for future QOV quilts, but definitely need more.  Current in-the-works projects are an Origami Star quilt, a Reverse Rainbow Starburst quilt, and a Hearts quilt.  Please contact Cindy for specifics. 

Marcy provided an update on our retreat, which will be September 11 & 12, at the church.  There is no regular meeting in September.  The plan, as it stands now, is for several full day classes, as well as several half day classes.  There are also plans for free demonstrations, door prizes, open sewing time, etc.  Discounts will be available for members for classes and the open sewing time, and class sizes will be limited.  More details to follow.  Please contact Marcy with ALL offers of help!  

Natalie will be teaching us how to make this fabulous bag at our Retreat in September
Subject to change, classes currently scheduled are:  clam shell with Gina,  improv with Cindy and Diane, free motion quilting with Wendi, pixelated quilts with Kira, a purse/bag with Natalie, scrap lab with Marcy, paper piecing with Susan, and beginning quilting with Jean.  

Door prizes were won by eight lucky ECMQG'rs!  How can you go wrong with F8 bundles, charm packs, books, and these quilt themed note cards?   

Show and Tell

Ten members presented quilts and other creations for show and tell.  Completed block lottery quilt tops were presented by Cricket and Natalie.  Several other quilts were gifts for family, friends, and grand babies.


 1.  The St. Simon's Craft Fair will be held November 6-7, 2015.  Kristy Shaffer has procured two booth spaces for ECMQG use at a cost of $320.  This fee was paid, in advance by the guild.  A percentage of individual sales, as well as items donated and sold, will reimburse this fee.  The space will be decorated with a modern aesthetic.  Gina will be giving a demo on gift ideas for members to make for sale/donation at the July meeting.  A volunteer list will be made available at the October meeting.  

2.  The July 11th meeting will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 1800 E John Sims Parkway, Niceville, Florida because of a previously scheduled church event.    

3.  Early details for the Chautauqua Quilters Guild Quilt Show - Quilting with the Stars - February 12-13, 2016 in DeFuniak Springs, Florida were presented.  We are the guest guild!  This is not a judged show.  The theme is stars.  If you have a quilt you are considering for display, it must have a sleeve on the back.  Natalie has volunteered to help those who need a sleeve on their quilt.  This is a great chance for the guild to learn about hosting quilt shows without stress. 

4.  The MQG Riley Blake Challenge is due July 31, 2015.  Our "show and tell" for this challenge will be at the July meeting.
Our program, "Social Media and the Modern Quilter," was presented by Wendi.  Subjects covered were:  Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram (IG), the MQG website, Facebook, and the ECMQG blog.  For those who were still confused at the conclusion of the program, Wendi assured them that help was available!  

Our program, "Social Media and the Modern Quilter," was presented by Wendi.  Subjects covered were:  Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram (IG), the MQG website, Facebook, and the ECMQG blog.  For those who were still confused at the conclusion of the program, Wendi assured them that help was available!  She and Natalie are available to help with questions at the end of the meeting.  There will be a detailed presentation on each of the social media mentioned on the ECMQG blog.

Thanks to everyone who helps.  We can't do it without a little bit from everyone.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

See You In Three Years

This Tuesday evening, we'll hope you'll join us in saying a temporary goodbye to ECMQG's founder, Kelly S.  As most of you know, Kelly and family are heading to Germany for their next USAF adventure.

We picked one of Kelly's favorite local restaurants, Cactus Flower Cafe for her send off.  

Shops of East Hill
3425 N 12th Avenue 
Pensacola, Florida 32503

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
6:15 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Come for appetizers and a drink.  Come for dinner.  Or come for dessert.  

Kelly is the reason the greater Pensacola area (and parts of southern Alabama) is part of the vibrant, supportive, creative modern quilting community.  We are going to miss her!

See you Tuesday night.

Kira, Natalie, Cindy, Wendi, and Nona
ECMQG Board 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Blooming Star Block Lottery

July is the first full month of summer.  June may herald the beginning, but it's July, in all of it's steamy glory, that brings the onslaught of 31 hot sultry days and nights.  

Late afternoon skies crackle with lightning flashes and the rumble and booms from pop-up thunderstorms.  Often, nighttime is filled with those same sounds and sights, although it could just as easily be from fireworks set off in a flurry of patriotic revelry as it could be the storms.  

July is the month of picnics, family reunions, lazy beach days, and festivals and celebrations honoring our nation's history.  All of which are perfect opportunities to spread a quilt on the ground, surround yourself with those you love and laugh with, and create memories.

Because it's summer, the block lottery for the month embraces all of those things mentioned above - intensely colored blooming stars that remind you of fireworks, or perhaps, a garden of crayon box colored zinnias, centered within a border of either red and white HSTs or blue and white HSTs that immediately make you think of the Fourth of July.

It is another block that allows you to burn up (Catch that heat and fireworks reference?) some of your modern scrappy prints which are hanging around. 

The aesthetic is modern.  Always.  Please use quilt shop quality fabrics for your blocks.  Sew with care and intention, as well as attention to detail.  Susan and I  are here to help with any questions.  You can also read about ECMQG's block lottery guidelines here.  

The free tutorial, found here on the Craftsy website, from Erin and Jeanette, aka the Piper's Girls, is so well written and easy-to-follow, I am only showing you the pictures I took during the construction of two blocks.  I'll also give you a few tips I think might be useful.  This is a fun 10.5" block.  It only looks complicated.  

1 - Start with a selection of modern red and white prints, some Kona White, and a bunch of brightly colored scraps.

2 - Follow the cutting instructions and sewing directions per the tutorial.  I did find it easier to cut and piece two blocks at once.  I was able to chain piece to save time, and I was able to add more variety to the block centers.

Here is where I depart from the instructions:  When pressing your A & B blocks, PRESS IN THE SAME DIRECTION v towards the dark fabric.  If you do it this way, your seams will nest.

Also, I found a SCANT 1/4" seam makes for an extremely accurate block.   When I used a normal 1/4" seam, my rows were a wee bit on the short side.

The last thing, which is a departure from how we've done the block lottery in the past, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR BLOCKS UNTRIMMED.  Starched and pressed is fine.  Untrimmed allows the winner(s) a little more wiggle room to play with your beautiful blocks.

Happy Sewing!  Happy Summer!  


ECMQG Block Lottery Committee 2015 

PS.  Craftsy is a free site, that MAY require registration to access the pattern.  If you are not currently a member, your screen may look like this when you click the pattern link.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Quilting With the Stars - Chautauqua Quilt Show 2016

The Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild has been invited to participate in the 2016 Quilt Show hosted by the Chautauqua Quilters Guild.  The show is Friday, February 12th and Saturday, February 13th, from 9am to 4pm each day at the DeFuniak Springs Community Center, 361 N. 10th Street, DeFuniak Springs, FL.  

The show theme is "Quilting With the Stars."  

We hope many of our talented, creative ECMQG'rs will enter MODERN quilts!

Scary?  Maybe.

Fun?  Definitely.

Worthwhile?  Most definitely!

Here is some information to help with your planning:
  • There is no limit to the number of quilts eligible for entry.  The fee for ECMQG, as a guest guild, is $5 per item.
  • There is no individual theme, and there are no restrictions as to when the quilt was completed.
  • The maximum size of any quilt is 96" x 96".  
  • Large quilts will need a hanging sleeve.  Small quilts (less than 36") do not need a hanging sleeve.  
  • Each quilt must have a fabric label stitched to the back of the quilt that contains the quilter's name and the name of the quilt.  
  • Quilts must be delivered to the DeFuniak Springs Community Center on February 11, 2016.  Cindy will be delivering quilts to the venue for us. 
  • This is NOT a juried show.  Viewer's Choice ribbons, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, will be awarded in three areas:  Large, Medium, and Small items.  
  • Entry forms will be EMailed to ECMQG'rs.
Wouldn't it be fun to see a large collection of modern quilts at the show?  What will you make?

We are in the planning stages of our group themed effort - Wonky Stars - but whether it's in the form of a fabric challenge or a group quilt, we don't know.  
EDIT:  For a little starry-eyed inspiration, check out our Pinterest Board, A Sky Full of Stars here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

2015 Riley Blake Challenge

Riley Blake Cottage Garden by Amanda Herring - photo courtesy of the Modern Quilt Guild
As requested at our meeting Saturday, here is the information about the latest Riley Blake Fabric Challenge hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild.  (Note that you must be signed in to the MQG website to follow the link.)

Riley Blake made 1500 fabric bundles available to MQG members, and each member had to request the fabric on their own.  It took only 8 hours for all 1500 bundles (6 FEs each) to be taken.  However, if you wish to participate, you may purchase fabric to use for your challenge.

Here is the challenge: 
  • Make something fantastic that is quilted.
  • Make something you've never done before.
  • Challenge yourself to learn something new.
  • Use only Riley Blake Cottage Garden fabrics and coordinating Riley Blake basics and solids.  [You may use any Riley Blake basic solid or shade to compliment the Cottage Garden Fabrics. (Riley Blake Basic, solid or shade are generally coded as C100 or C200), suggestions were C100-1, C200-3, C100-12, C200-43, C100-40]
  • The challenge runs from March until July 2015. 
  • Tag all your photos on Facebook and Instagram with #mqgfabricchallenge

Photo courtesy of

If you didn't receive fabric directly from the MQG, you may purchase fabric in any colorway to participate in the Riley Blake Fabric Challenge.  Some prints are available locally at A&E, or you may wish to purchase your fabric online.  A quick check showed fabrics available at Hawthorne Threads,, and Missouri Star Quilts.

The deadline for your quilted creation to be uploaded to the MQG Facebook page, the MQG website or on Instagram is July 31, 2015. You must use the hashtag #mqgfabricchallenge to enter.  I recommend, however, that in addition to posting to FB or IG you upload your photo to the MQG Website here.

ECMQG will be having our own Riley Blake mini-challenge as well.  Bring your creation to the July ECMQG meeting on July 11, 2015 and share your "something fantastic that is quilted" with guild members.  One plus is that if your creation is finished by July 11, it will be done in time to enter into the MQG challenge.

Happy creating!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Introduction to Social Media: The ECMQG Blog, Facebook and the MQG Website

If you are reading this, you have obviously found our ECMQG blog.  The ECMQG Blog is our official communication tool for our membership.  While we try to send emails and update Facebook, the blog is the place where you can find in-depth information about what's happening in the guild.

Parts of the blog are still under construction, but here are some things you can find on the blog:
  • Our meeting schedule:  See the "Meeting and Sewing Schedule" tab under the blog header.
  • Instructions for the current Block Lottery Block.  And check the "Block Lottery" tab for links to past blocks
  • Information about Swaps and Challenges:  Also check the "Swaps and Challenges" tab for info about what we've done in the past.
  • Our charity and outreach work.  Charity and outreach is one of the main goals of our guild.
  • "Quilty Goodness" is where you can find photo inspiration - quilts made by our guild members.
One feature of the blog to be aware of is the blog archive.  Click on any month in the blog archive and a list of posts for that month will appear.  Just click on the post you are interested in to read that post.
Another way we communicate with our members is via the Emerald Coast MQG group page on Facebook. 

Facebook is a great place for members to share information with one another, ask questions, and interact with other members of the guild.  Our Facebook group is a closed group - in general, only members of the guild are admitted to the group.

Every member of ECMQG is automatically a member of the Modern Quilt Guild.  We would love for every ECMQG member to take advantage of the information on the MQG website.

Naturally, the first step is to accept your invitation to join.  You should have gotten an email with log-in information shortly after you joined ECMQG.  If you have lost your email or have trouble logging in, please contact Wendi Mihalik, Cindy Marvel, or Kim Godwin for assistance.

To access the member features of the MQG website, choose "Community" once you have logged in.

The next page shows current events and announcements.  You may choose to see the most recent posts from all over or only the groups you follow.  If you choose groups you follow, you should see ECMQG's information.  Now choose "Resources."

There is a wealth of information available to our membership here, including access to the Block of the Month, access to Creative Webinars, and access to Business Webinars, for those who want to make quilting a business.

Social media is a huge part of Modern Quilting.  Try it!  Explore!  I hope you will be inspired as you find new sources of inspiration and new outlets for your creativity.