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Welcome to the Modern Quilt Group April 2018 Newsletter
A big Mod-Q Group welcome to our new co-ordinator, Collette Howie
A word (or two) from the Editor
Enjoy the Journey I was interested to read Stuart Hilliard's regular column in Popular Patchwork this month where he answers a question
from a reader with limited time to quilt (sound familiar?) on how she can speed up the process! Stuart made several suggestions, some involving quite
expensive equipment, but his last paragraph was the important one. He talked with feeling about enjoying the process and taking time over things, a
sentiment with which I thoroughly agree. Yes, time is precious and occasionally we need to make a 'quick quilt' (my heart sinks when I read that phrase)
however anything worthwhile is worth spending time over. Most of us who are seriously addicted to quilting, whether hobbyists or professionals (yes,
you will find most professionals are addicts too - it isn't just a job, it's a vocation!) will make more quilts in our lifetime than we ever need. There
are only so many beds within our reach. So what's the rush? Limited time to quilt, to me, just means that things will take a little longer to finish.
course there is a place in the quilting world for simple quilts and with the Modern ethos of LOVE IT, USE IT, WASH IT things still have to be made to
a good standard.
Well, I would like to thank all of you who have supported and joined and enjoyed the Modern Group under my care and
(slightly erratic) control. I've had fun, and worked rather hard, and I'm sure all will continue in Collette's tender care
(see below for an introduction from her). My Summary of the first four years is also below. I hope that all of you will Keep
On Sewing, it's the Very Best Thing.
Summary - What We Did on Our Hobby-daysWhen Heather and I turned up at Festival of Quilts in August 2014, we had absolutely no idea whether anyone would be interested in joining our new Group within the Guild. I had a terrific response from a small mention in The Quilter, but... Until the Thursday morning, when I walked across the Guild stand and handed our two subs to the membership table, there were no official members. The rota for the stand was, Me and Heather. The 5000 leaflets and the Greetings quilt we had made, and the hand-crank sewing machine, and the table full of yes-you-can-touch-these quilts were a fantastic success. We had a tiny space, which never emptied for a moment during all four days. There were highlights - after a good many people joining the group, and some joining the Guild in order to join the Group, someone re-joined in order to be a member. We bounced and squeaked! And, much to the horror of some of the more precious onlookers, I had a happy half-hour explaining my Tiger quilt to Thomas Knauer, in the middle of the stand, with the quilt on the floor..
Some of the things I feel I have done well
To outreach beyond the membership (the newsletter list is well over 1000 and the postcards have reached so many people) this has had a good start and will continue.
To make a more generous and accessible (and up-to-date) educational response - with Tutor Boxes, patterns on postcards, free online resources, pattern packs for members, examples, demonstrations, tutorials, and projects - these will be a continuing resource, and I plan to carry on making these things - it's most important for me to sew, and I want everyone who wants to stitch to have good information. Not everyone wants a City and Guilds course, almost everyone likes to make a good project that is easy and fun...
To open up the competitions at FOQ - I spent the winter of 2015/2016 arguing (as I thought, fruitlessly) with Upper Street Events about adding a Modern category to the competitions. After spending a lot of energy and having been turned down many times, when the competition schedule came out, there it was. And the first year's entries (78 quilts) were stunning. More last year, I expect there will be even more this time.. Enter! It's fun! You get to see people admire your work and without the quilts, of course, there's no show... The winners in both years were inspiring and all the quilts were great...
To have an open newsletter, which is only possible because it is virtual. The cost of paper newsletters is crippling for the Specialist groups and the sheer labour of publishing, printing, envelope-stuffing and posting is frightful. Most SG newsletters are quarterly. Our monthly newsletter has been relatively easy (not least because HB has been so good at poking me to provide content). It means we don't have to search for advertisers and can be pretty immediate. If you have an exhibition, an event, or a workshop, we can list it here and are happy to do so for any quilt or textile-related jolly...
There's much more. I've sat behind a lot of tables explaining Modern quilts, demoing blocks, engaging with non-quilters, playing with my handcrank machines, and rolling home after 3 or 4 days wrung dry. I've sat up a lot of nights writing.
What have I done particularly badly?
I suffer fools not at all. I'm rubbish at paperwork, constantly in trouble for late expenses claims, and I won't be sad not to have to do that any more. I dislike narrow-mindedness and I'm inclined to be blunt, but I do try not to make insulting remarks unless they are absolutely called-for. There are some things which the other Groups do which I have ignored - I dislike big rotas and tend to run stands with a small-but-efficient staff. I really didn't want a Suitcase Collection, so I've avoided the subject. I'm a serious deadline queen, so lots of things got done at the last minute. I don't plan to change this last...
Now, I need a rest. I have said, firmly, that I won't be volunteering for anything more exotic than a raffle prize for a few years. Mind you, I have promised patterns to a couple of Groups, and there's the Young Quilters stuff, and so on.. Oh, damn.
Most of all, sitting on stands talking and sewing and laughing, we have had a deal of fun...
Having fun on the Cottonopolis Stand, FOQ 2017
Thanks for reading, playing, sewing, and eating chocolate...
Contact me on email@example.com uk
HEP CAT by Helen Howes
QUILT STORIES: Headline NewsHep Cat: How to make (at least) four versions of the same quilt while attending to categorisation
by Helen Howes
Red Cat (link to pattern) was made from leftovers. I sent it to West Country Quilt Show as a Cot Quilt, and we made a free pattern. I now think this is
DATA PROTECTION ACTIn order to comply with the new Data Protection laws we will shortly be sending out a separate email asking you to re-subscribe to the MOD-Q Newsletter. If you wish to stay on our list, please complete the instructions on the email. If you do not click through, your name will automatically be deleted from the list, so please look out for this email. There will be a free pattern available to download for all who re-subscribe! Many thanks, AitchBee
SEWING MACHINES FOR BEGINNERS (and more advanced students!)by Helen Howes NEW SERIES: PART 7 - One Extraordinarily Useful Tool - the Stilletto
Now, no matter how sophisticated your machine, and however much time you have spent in front of it, sometimes you just need a helping hand. I use these little pointy-tools all the time - the one on the right is my go-to whenever I have a seam allowance that needs persuading, a thread to pull up, or an annoying student to poke... The middle one is a hat pin. And the one on the left is a tapestry tool which fits on a finger - quite ingenious.
If you cannot bear the thought of metal so close to your needle (and, yes, it takes practice) then use a bamboo kebab stick - this is cheap, will not break your machine, and is long enough to keep your fingers safe... At one time these were part of every machine's tool-kit, along with good screwdrivers.. They should come back.
Photo by Susan Briscoe
SHOW REPORT: Quilters' Guild AGM - Newcastle upon Tyneby Helen Howes
This was my fourth Conference and AGM as Modern Co-ordinator, but I have been to several as a punter before. Not every year, some were too far away and some were just too much at the time. This was by far the best of my four 'in office'. We (the Specialist groups) were in the main hallway where everyone could find us, in a light and airy space, with quilt stands, good tables, nice chairs, and near the loos. Can you tell what was wrong before? (Grin). The whole weekend was gloriously sunny and warm, I was in a great hotel with a friend, and I think just about everyone now knows me, which makes life easier.
And I took my usual collection of quilts-for-touching, old sewing machine, demos, postcards, and giveaways. It's not hard to make friends with a postcard or two and a few free patterns.
This time I made a set of quilts to take with me which made explaining the 'what is Modern' thing easier too - my Red Cat is a Contemporary cot quilt. Trad Cat is the same exactly, but in soft flowery colours, so 'Traditional'. And Button Down (Also known as Hep Cat) is bigger, more spacious, I played with the colour placement on the blocks. It's Modern. I had a pattern for all of these for handing out (and it's on the Patterns page, too) And while I was there I made a new one - Titchy Kitten - a true miniature... Did I say I'm a member of Modern, Contemporary (should be called Art), Minature and Traditional groups? Why draw lines... I'm a Quilter, not ashamed to say that.
The Civic Centre was interesting, an odd sort of 70s building with fantastic style and rather peculiar layout. Good carpets; a bad cafe. Lifts all over, but well-hidden and oddly marked for floors (get in at Ground, get out one floor up at Ground...). The AGM itself was not as tediously businessy as in some years, and the whole thing was very well-attended. The organisation was great, and the volunteers had particularly pretty black-and-white sashes. The building also had nice little signs in Geordie everywhere, so my language skills have improved a tad.
Would I recommend going to a Conference? Yes, it's sociable, you get to meet lots of fellow-quilters and see interesting talks and can do workshops. I find the whole programme a bit overwhelming, and I have noticed a tendency for the lectures to be rather close together, which makes it hard to see everything and not suffer from thirst, but you don't have to do Everything. This time there was a Carousel - lots of teachers around a big room doing demos and little hands-ons, with a rotating audience. A big success, but over-subscribed to a degree. I would be much happier to see more short 'taster' sessions and small workshops, and for more to be made of demos - my first Conference had big tables with 'why not join in' and some of the later ones have had nothing apart from me...
Still, great fun all round. And next year, I'll be teaching and speaking, so actually getting paid to go!
FORTHCOMING EXHIBITIONSIf you would like us to include the details of your forthcoming exhibition, please forward details to me on firstname.lastname@example.org
ABINGDON QUILT EXHIBITION: 14th & 15th April 2018The Manor Prep School, Shippon, Abingdon. OX13 6LN
Lots of Quilts, competitions, tombola and fantastic raffle prizes
Contact JUDY HARRIS on email@example.com for more details
CONTEMPORARY QUILTERS WEST: Unfolding Stories IIIApril 27th - May 3rd 2018
Harbour House Centre for Arts & Yoga
Kingsbridge, Devon. TQ7 1JD
CLICK HERE to visit the CONTEMPORARY QUILTERS WEST webpage
CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOMEIt is quite hard to generate enough copy to produce a newsletter every month, and I am sure you will be getting bored with seeing the same few names cropping up over and over, but the truth of it is that unless we have contributions from other readers it comes down to the sames old few!
I would welcome input from fellow group members ? photos, words, ideas or questions ? a big part of ModQ is sharing and teaching. Please send anything you would like to share to
Anything you want to share with the MOD-Q group? Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
by Eleanor Marsden
by Helen Clark
by Pauline Stevens
CHALLENGE 2018 - FOOLING THE EYELooking forward seeing your entries for this year's challenge for all things that fool the eye.
Please send yours to:
4, The Raveningham Centre,
Beccles Road, Raveningham, Norfolk
NOTE: Please remember the follow challenge rules
Size: 20 x 20 inches including the finished edge (binding or facing)
Sleeve: 4 inch hanging sleeve is essential
Labelling: Please include on the back - Your name, the quilt's title, date, contact email address.
CLICK HERE to see the latest crop of pictures and to read all about it