Kim’s Challenge Quilt

MM MQG fabric challenge KSimpson
With the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller fabric challenge over, congratulations to our members who pulled together some fabulous quilted pieces by the deadline of 25 July.  However the biggest shout out goes to Kim Simpson who made the final 9, as selected by the Modern Quilt Guild.  So while she didn’t make the lucky group of 3, who win a year of free fabric, this is a magnificent achievement, particularly since Kim took the place of a member who could not meet the deadline, and whipped up her fabulous quilt “Squadron” in less than a month.

We asked Kim to tell us about her entry and having to meet a very tight deadline:

‘Originally I planned to make a quilt using all of the challenge fabrics with a lot of grey negative space and improv piecing.  I didn’t like all of the fabrics as I find multi coloured fabrics difficult to use in a modern quilt.  I chose to keep the coral and the grey print as they were strong, and to adhere to a limited palette. The navy and white are Riley Blake solids and I have a lot of these to hand so I could play and not worry about running out.

I use EQ7 quilting software which makes it so easy to choose, re-size, colour and rearrange blocks as much as I like.  I decided on the Flying Goose block fairly quickly as triangles are a theme I’m enjoying at the moment (I’m sure in a few months it will be something else).   I decided on the block size based on the most efficient use of the grey print for the middle triangle. The coral is such a great contrast with the navy;  it was perfect forthe pop of colour that was needed. Using white as the background/negative space gave the quilt the clean graphic look that says ‘modern’ to me.

The short timeframe actually worked well for me as I had no time to second- guess myself. I finished the binding 2 hours before the cut-off time;  I was very glad of the time difference!  I received an email from Jen Carlton-Bailey of the MQG at 2am on the 30thJuly …I did not go back to sleep! I was really surprised to make the top nine, and as I didn’t even expect that, not making the top 3 wasn’t a disappointment. The 3 that won are wonderful quilts and are well deserved winners.

The blocks are 10 inches square and the quilt measures 60.5 x 60.5 inches. It is quilted with vertical lines spaced 1.5 inches apart and the binding is machine sewn. The backing is Widescreen in Grey by Carolyn Friedlander.’

Once again, well done Kim.

July Sit and Sew Day

Kapow! Quilting.


There were some quilting superheroes at July’s Sit and Sew Day at GJ’s Fabrics.   We had a good group of familiar faces, and we also welcomed new member Beverley.

As always, Show and Tell was a highlight, we love seeing these Works in Progress take shape – sometimes they even get finished!

Anna showed us her finished top, from the Maze and Vale Freeform workshop earlier this year.

Alys’ whimsical quilt for her baby due in the new year (who is tentatively named Chambray Velveteen). 


Bronwyn’s low volume loveliness!

Bronwyn low volume

Many hands make light work basting this beauty!  Yes, that’s a pieced front AND back!


July Super Saturday Sewing Retreat

A marathon effort of quilting from 9am – 9pm is not for the faint hearted, but it was a full house at July’s recent Super Sewing Saturday Retreat at GJ’s Fabrics!
As always, there were some amazing quilts being made, and a lot of finishing touches on quilts for the MQG Michael Miller Challenge as members were racing to meet the 25 July deadline – go MMQG!!

We were treated to a fantastic trunk show and talk by Emma Jansen,who wowed us all with her stunning quilts, mostly using fabric of her own design.  It was great to see fabric that clearly had been designed with quilters in mind.



Her trunk show took us through vibrant quilts in bold colours,


as well as a (healthy) obsession for rainbow motifs!


Emma did also spend some time admiring members’ quilts, and took a particular shine to Janine’s beautiful quilt made from old floral bedsheets.

All members who attended also received a lovely wee sample pack of Emma’s new Terra Australis fabric line, so we look forward to seeing that pop up in future creations.

The next Super Sewing Retreat will be held in October, but there’s plenty of events before then to get us through the winter!  Bookings for the Super Sewing Saturday event on Sat 2 August are open now.


Committee Vacancies

Interested in helping Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild behind the scenes?  We currently have two vacancies in the Committee, for a Secretary and Challenges, Bees & Swaps Coordinator.
The Secretary is the Executive Officer for MMQG Inc and is responsible for agendas and minutes, event administration and management of incoming and outgoing correspondence.  This position was until recently fulfilled by Catherine, and we thank her for her contribution.
The Challenges, Bees & Swaps Coordinator is responsible for this aspect of the Guild and also contributes the overall management of the Guild.  Mary-Anne has filled this role for years, and will be greatly missed on the committee.  She is taking a break from the Guild to focus on her new ‘Work in Progress’ – an addition to her family, due in October.  Congratulations MA!
Committee members help to oversee the direction of the Guild and meet monthly and then spend a few hours each week working on Guild matters online.
Anyone interested should contact by Friday 18 July.  We’d love to hear from you!

Super Saturday Sewing Retreat!

Always a popular event with our members, our next Super Saturday Sewing Retreat will be held on 5 July at GJ’s fabrics. Held from 9am to 9pm, this event will be fun filled quilting marathon!

We are pleased to announce that Emma Jean Jansen will be joining us as our guest speaker. Formerly of Ballarat Patchwork, Emma is a fabric and pattern designer and has just launched her Terra Australis ranges. She’ll share her experiences and provide inspiration for us!

Bookings open on 1 June and registration for this special event is $30. Members attending this event must be financial for the 2014-15 financial year. Please let us know if you’ve not yet received your invoice. To book please go to If you have any questions please email us at

May’s Sit and Sew Day

A small and committed group of members braved the blustery weather to attend the May SASD; to start new projects, continue works in progress and of course enjoy each other’s company. As the cold weather sets in, what better way to spend your day than quilting?
There was some great progress made throughout the day too.

Mandy has finished her bento box top.


Anne has completed a stunning quilt top made of fabrics she dyed herself along with some B&W accents.


Alison showed us her double sized quilt, as well as a finished quilt which she quilted on her machine in an awesome spiral pattern.

Alison Alison Alison

Kristy finished her cushion cover which she hand pieced with English paper piecing.


Anna is continuing her inspiration from the recent Maze&Vale workshop with some freeform patchwork.


The next Sit and Sew evening is at GJ’s on Friday 16 May, Social Stitching event is at Ashburton Library on Tuesday 27 May, and the next Sit and Sew day is at GJ’s on Saturday June 15.

Meet your new committee members

It’s an exciting time of growth and change at Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild and we have recently had some changes to our Committee.

We farewell Mary Jane and Cathy M who have resigned as committee members but remain active and committed members of the Guild. In particular, we’d like to note that MJ was a founding committee member and both have been instrumental in the significant work undertaken to restructure the Guild in the last year.

We are pleased to welcome our new Committee members: Catherine J, Alison and Sara-Jane, who have been familiar faces at Guild events and are looking forward to furthering their involvement in the Guild behind the scenes.

The Committee now consists of:
President: Louise
Vice President: Sara-Jane
Treasurer: Andrea
Secretary: Catherine J
Membership Secretary and IT: Alissa
Charity and Monthly Sewing Event Co-ordinator: Alison
Challenges, Bees & Swaps Co-ordinator: Mary-Anne

With the printable version of the Guild logo now complete, we now have our membership cards, will have the name tags shortly and are about to place an order for the Guild fabric. We are expecting the MQG challenge fabric to arrive shortly and are brainstorming ideas for what our Guild will do as part of this exciting opportunity. Keep your eye out on the blog for further updates.

Maze and Vale Workshop

The first MMQG workshop was held on Saturday 5 April and what a day it was.  Leslie Keating from Maze and Vale first showed us how to make simple hand carved stamps and very quickly the girls were up and running with their own creations.

Maze & Vale workshop

Maze & Vale workshop

The designs that evolved were amazing and included knitting wool and needles, rascally rabbits, cute cats, themes from nature and striking geometrical patterns.  There were lots of colour and fabric options for using the designs and the morning sped by.

IMG_1283 IMG_1281

Maze & Vale workshop

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After a short break, Leslie took participants through her free form patchwork design principles and provided lots of gorgeous fabric as inspiration as well as the opportunity to use the fabric created in the morning session – after a quick setting of the fabric ink using an iron. Leslie’s technique is sometimes called impromptu piecing because there is no quilt pattern or plan. Sounds a bit scary for some! But it’s easy – just join similar sized squares or rectangles together in pairs then press and join your pieces in pairs again… and so on … and so on. This builds up the quilt top at a lightning pace and is very freeing – as there are not rules! It’s a great way to highlight fabrics and let them be the main design feature. Participants had a fabulous time letting go of preconceived ideas and just sewed up a storm!

Maze & Vale workshop

Maze & Vale workshop

For more info and photos see Leslie’s blog

and the MMQG Flickr group

April Social Stitching Evening

Our second Social Stitching evening will be held on Thursday 24 April at Ashburton library’s gorgeous meeting room, 154 High Street, Ashburton, from 7-10pm. Entry costs are $2 for MMQG Inc. members and $5 for visitors, payable by cash on the night.

No sewing machines please, just bring hand-stitching or even just yourself! Tea and coffee will be provided, if anybody would like to bring a small plate of supper to be shared that would be lovely.

No need to formally register for this: just rock up and relax!

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

On Saturday March 1, MMQG Inc. kicked off the first Super Saturday Sewing retreat for 2014, and what a fabulous day it was! With 28 attendees it was the largest event we have held to date, and the new tables and table arrangements set out by Georgia and Sue allowed plenty of room to sew, baste and lay out blocks to tweak and re-arrange.


We were each greeted with a sweet little stripy goody bag containing a Moda Candy charm pack, a quilting pencil and a box of pins for our stash (godsend!). Several members brought an array of delicious treats to share, and Hellenic Republic came to the party again with their yummy and wallet-friendly lunch.


The highlight of the day was a presentation of our guest speaker Andi Herman of “Patch Andi” Andi talked about her quilting journey, entertained us with stories of her quilts and their role and meaning in her life. Andi demonstrated her new pixellation program “Youpatch” and showed us how easy it is to create pixelated images as detailed or minimalistically stylised as you wish. Andi showed us her wonderful quilts featuring pixelated images of Groucho Marx, Marilyn Monroe and a cute rabbit.

Show and tell was eye-popping fun with members unveiling their latest projects and show-casing their talents with colour and design. Many members have resolved to complete their UFO’s in 2014, and are already displaying their productivity!


Several members brought their latest book purchases, (which were arranged on a table near the yummy baked goods!) creating a special Book Corner, where a few quiet minutes could be spent with a coffee, topping up our quilting mojo with fresh ideas. And a yo-yo or two!


Siska and Caroline suggested we go Indonesian for dinner, and very kindly went down to Sydney Road to collect menus for everyone to peruse. A magnificent meal was delivered : too easy! Thank you so much Siska and Caroline for organising this, we all loved it!

A final special thank you must be made to Alys, who kindly donated a $30 GJ’s voucher to be raffled, which was won by a happy Anne.

To sum up, this event was a highly enjoyable way to greet the cooler weather and augurs very well for some fabulous sewing and friendship for MMQG Inc. in 2014!

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