September Sit and Sew Day

Our first spring sewing session for the year had a magnificent turnout, with 22 ladies ready to go.  It was a very productive day and Beverly really helped Ssu Yuan and Andrea with their basting.    Kelly worked on her crochet and, as usual, there were tasty treats to share – Andrea would have brought a lemon cake if her Dalmatians hadn’t decided to have it for Saturday night supper (long story).  Kirsty brought a long a couple of quilts, one being her Grandmother’s Beauty quilt, which was her entry in the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller Challenge.  15198796146_d646832782_o
Anna has finished Ben’s superhero quilt15221820955_510f8bc1b2_o
and Trish had some cute children’s quilts to show us.  15035218478_b2828f404a_o
We were very impressed with Beverly’s graduated pinwheels quilt which is ALL HAND PIECED!  15198785466_8cdc795f4a_o
We loved Mandy’s gecko 15218733091_152049cba1_o
and admired Kay’s cushion cover.15218727031_d67e6450a0_o
Finally Ssu Yuan showed us her mother-in-law quilt15218712831_e6f4d2c21a_o and we were able to present her with her Mark Lipinksi Aurifil thread collection for being runner up in the MMQG Michael Miller Challenge.  Thanks to Always Quilting for donating this prize and for the reels of thread presented to other entrants.15221793635_bd38d82ae0_o

Our next event is the Social Stitching Evening on Thurs 25 Sept at Ashburton Library, and then the countdown to the October Super Sewing Saturday begins…..

Make Modern with Make Modern

Make Modern is a new Australian online quilt magazine, for quilters, by quilters.   We caught up with its editor, Jane, to find out more about this new publication.


Can you tell us a bit about how Make Modern came about?
Kristy and I are in a real –life quilt group together and one meeting we started chatting about how there was a lack (particularly in Australia) of magazines that cater to the modern quilter. I have a background in magazine journalism and Kristy has a lot of blogging/design experience, so before we knew it we were standing in the car park for an hour after quilt group discussing our idea. Then we brought in Lara, one of our very good online quilting friends, to round out the business side.

We decided to publish digitally because we believe the online community is a huge part of the modern quilting movement and most of our demographic are in tune with digital. It was also more accessible internationally.

Can you tell us about the very first quilt you made?
I’ve been quilting a very long time… my first quilt was a picnic quilt made from navy, red and hunter green plaids in 1995, when I was 21 (just so you don’t think I’m ancient!). I took a break from quilting for a few years, but was drawn back in about four years ago by all the inspiring new fabrics and blogs, and by the whole modern quilting movement. I think it’s brought a new lease of life to the quilting industry.

Can you tell us about your most recent Work In Progress?
Hahaha… are you implying I might only have one work in progress? I have a zillion things on the go, I really need to finish some off! But right now, I’m thinking about how to quilt a mini that will be featured in our next newsletter and I’m about to baste a paper pieced quilt for the next issue of Make Modern, it’s all about the purple, since it was the year of Radiant Orchid (and it just happens I have a child who is obsessed with purple and is waiting to claim it).

There’s a lot of debate out there as to what exactly makes a quilt ‘modern’.  What do you think defines modern quilts, as opposed to more traditional quilts?
Oh, isn’t that the million dollar question!! I talked about that on our blog recently.  I think it’s a combination of things, and like any aspect of quilting, it’s very personal.  The use of more modern fabrics, maybe heavier use of solids or low volumes (though I am starting to think the solid trend is waning and was a reflection of fewer awesome fabrics being available when the movement first started). There are so many amazing fabrics available now, we are very spoiled for choice.

Design is certainly an element, and a lot of the time that’s setting – we’re not hemmed in by rows of blocks with sashings and borders, and it makes for more interesting design possibilities. Colour wise I think modern quilters tend to use more vibrant colours, though the last couple of years we’ve seen more pastel and darker hues in fabrics, which is really useful when exploring value. Sometimes it’s the element of surprise – like a pop of orange in an all blue quilt, or one different block. The use of negative space is also a factor.

Ultimately, I think if a quilter identifies as a modern quilter, then they are. Some of my quilts are more modern than others, that’s for sure. But I choose to label myself as a modern quilter.

And I think it’s important to note that it’s not a case of ‘modern vs traditional’ – one is not better than the other, one does not require more skill than the other, there is room in the world for both modern and traditional, and art quilts and whatever else one wants to do with fabric. Having a viewpoint of ‘all quilter are awesome’ is important if the industry is going to stay strong.

What do think defines modern quilters, as opposed to more traditional quilters?

Mostly I think it’s a mindset.

Modern quilters might be more likely to break rules, or try new things. Part of modern quilting is definitely testing the waters, trying something new.

The internet has been invaluable in the development of modern quilting – though this is probably not only relevant to modern quilters. It is certainly far easier than it was when I first learned to quilt, with a mentor and a few good books. I think it has been much easier for modern quilters to connect with each other on a large scale through blogs and Instagram, which has built that strong community.

Do you see any unique attributes in Australian quilts/quilters?
Not hugely, because a lot of what we are influenced by comes via the internet which is international. But I think Australians have a different sense of humour that comes out in some of our work.

I love that there is some Australiana creeping into modern quilting, like Emma Jean Jansen’s Terra Australis fabric lines, cat&vee’s Australian animal panels, and our Kristy’s Aussie animal paper pieced patterns.

With all the magazines, books, blogs, podcasts, webinars out there about modern quilting, what makes Make Modern stand out?
One of our big goals at Make Modern is to create community, so while a lot of what is out there on modern quilting is about what individuals are doing, we’re bringing together a group of great contributors each issue, we’re reporting on things happening in the quilt world, we’re providing information that helps readers get into the modern quilting community. We really want the magazine and our associated social media to be a place where quilters can contribute and be heard.

We also have a strong Australian focus. While our content will never be 100% Australian, we recognise that there is a lot of amazing stuff happening in the Australian modern quilt world and we want to share that more widely with our readers.

A quilt made by MMQG member Melissa features on the first edition of Make Modern.  Can you give us some information about how our members might be able to contribute to future editions of Make Modern?
We love contributions and we want to have a wide range of contributors, so we would definitely love to hear from your members if they have any ideas. It does not matter if you’ve been published before. We are looking for original projects with a modern twist, and everything from bed quilts to wall hangings to cushions to bags to softies etc.  We are always looking for interesting people to profile too. You can view our submissions guidelines here:!submissions/cczt

Or email Kristy – for a full submissions package and to talk projects.

How can we purchase our very own digital edition of Make Modern?
You can purchase single issue, six month or one year subscriptions at our shop:!shop/c1cgf
When a new issue is available you will be notified by email and can then download the PDF copy.

You can also take a sneak peek at the first issue here:

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Michael Miller Challenge winner!

The Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild recently ran a Challenge within the Michael Miller fabric Challenge. 

Voting has now closed and we are pleased to announce that the winner of the first prize, a $100 voucher from our Guild sponsor Polka Dot Tea is Amanda.

AmandaCfront  AmandaCback

The Runner Up, receiving Mark Lipinski’s Aurifil thread pack “I can fly” generously donated by  Always Quilting is Ssu-Yuan.

The following entrants have won a spool of Aurifil thread in any colour they like, as long as it’s Medium Orchid 2479: Anna, Kristy, Mandy, Marilyn, SJ, Maryjane, Andrea M, Alison H and Cathy B.

Prizes can be collected at our next  Sit and Sew Day  on 7 September, or we will contact you to make alternative arrangements.

We would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support, and also our wonderful members who took on the Challenge.

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.

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