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Welcome to the Modern Quilt Group August 2018 Newsletter

header august 2018
With Festival behind us we are looking forward to the West Country Show and seeing all the challenge quilts!

A word (or two) from the Editor

NO REST FOR THE WICKED? I don't know why I should be surprised, but this year's Festival of Quilts was the best ever as far as Modern is concerned. Not only did we get to meet so many of our members there, but there were ninety-four quilts entered into the Modern category - a truly amazing feat for a category that has only been in the competition for three years! In addition I am pleased to report that of those ninety-four, twenty of them were by Modern Group members - that's an astounding proportion. A special mention must go to our superstar prize winners: Kathy Moore with "Back to Black" (second prize) and Abigail Sheridan de Graaff with "Maxi to Mini - Churn Dash" (Highly Commended). Photographs of every members' quilt along with their words of wisdom from the show catalogue can be seen on the Festival of Quilt page (CLICK HERE to view them all, or click on the images below), and I am sure you will agree that the judges must have had their work cut out for them when presented with this little lot. Thanks, too, to Anne McS. for getting back to us so quickly with the piece about her quilt (see Quilt Story) if any of our other members would like to share the story of their quilt, we would love to tell it here.  

Ever onwards! We had only been back from Festival for a week (hardly time to catch our collective breath) when our entries had to be posted to Bristol for the West Country Quilt Show. That done in good order, we started preparing for the next show. Printing more free postcards and patterns (we gave all we had away at Festival!) Getting more demos ready, finalising the challenge quilts (which look stupendous, and will go up on the Website before the end of the West Country Show) and generally compiling another 'idiot' list.  We have done this quite a few times, as you know, but we are always refining our systems and coming up with new ideas and improved ways of doing things. So if you are in the Bristol area next week - come and see us. The show is at University of Western England (UWE) Thursday 30th August to Saturday 1st September and a do have a few spare tickets (strictly first come first served) email me if you need one.

Anything you want to share with the MOD-Q group? Contact me on

Back t Black
Back to Black by Kathy Moore - Second Prize!

churn dash
Maxi to Mini - Churn Dash by Abigail Sheridan de Graaff

Co-ordinator's Letter

Dear Members,
Greetings from your interim Co-ordinator. Unfortunately, Collette has had to stand down as Co-ordinator of our Group but we have found someone to take over the role - Angela Daymond - a member of the Guild for several years now and a former Young Quilters lead. She is a presenter on Hochanda and the author of books on kantha - particularly hares - so brings a huge range of skill and experience for which we are most grateful. Angela will be taking up the reins of Coordinator around the end of October so I am simply here to keep the seat warm in the meantime.

Didn't we have a great Festival in Birmingham this year. So many super quilts and my sincere congratulations to those who showed their skills. There was a much larger entry in the Modern section than in previous years and that must be at least in part due to the promotion of the group, My congratulations to our hard working committee and thanks also to Helen Howes for leading the group from infancy to toddler state - not the time to misbehave but simply time to spread our wings and go for it!

Next up is the West Country show - thanks to Helen Howes and Helen Butcher for trekking cross country to lead our display. I call on all members to consider sharing the load of manning stands at these exhibitions. It's a very enjoyable thing to do as members of the public are genuinely interested in what we do and how we do it and you are the practitioners; it's just like chatting to a pal about your interests and you get to see the work of other members up close and personal. The more members who participate the less onerous it is.

I also call for contributions to the newsletter. Helen Butcher does a great job in sharing news and views but we need to raise our game and so I am asking you to speak up! The committee has discussed having an expanded newsletter/magazine (still on-line) and we welcome your views; what would you like to see? What would you be able to contribute? Reviews of shows, books, exhibitions? Meet makers - leading quilters share their skills? We will be issuing a survey later in the year seeking your views on the next stage for our group. What will make you stay with us? What do you want to get from your membership? Start thinking now - and feel free to drop us a line to assist our thinking too.

So that's it for now. I look forward to catching up with you next time and in the meantime enjoy quilting!

Marion McCrindle
Interim Coordinator.

MQG Pin Badge

It was marvellous to meet so many of the Modern Group's members at Festival of Quilts! We were able to hand out over 100 pin badges which meant we must have met over a third of the current members, not including all the lovely people who joined during the show - Welcome to you too, hope you enjoy the fun!      We will have the pin badges with us again at the West Country Quilt Show (30th August to 1st September) do come and see us there if you didn't catch up with us at Festival.      After the Bristol show our esteemed membership secretary will be sending out badges to the remaining members - watch the post for yours!

An Autumnal Aura
An Autumnal Aura by Anne McSkimming

QUILT STORIES: Headline News

An Autumnal Aura
by Anne McSkimming

A Scott Henson pattern taken from Simply Moderne magazine. His quilt used floral fabrics and I had originally intended to use fabrics from Kaffe Fassett but was not happy with my choices. I found the background batik (off white with small green splashes of colour) and had lots of the brown and yellow batiks in my stash but of course I had to get some extras 'just in case'. I finally decided on these colours as autumnal colours were my mother's favourites. She would have loved them.

My quilting is usually fairly basic in the ditch or simple meandering. I have recently taken part in an Angela Walters online quilting challenge and was thrilled that for the first time I have quilted something using different techniques that I feel are appropriate for the design. I was really chuffed with the end result and hence entered it in FOQ!!

tutor box - marbles


There are a couple of new designs in our ever popular TUTOR BOX range, click on the image above to see what's new. Handling samples of any of the designs shown are available for anyone to borrow for just the cost of the postage whilst you can download instructions and teaching notes from the website. Contact Maria Spiller to check availability


One of the regular questions we were asked at Festival was 'Is there a Modern Quilting group local to me?' If you are thinking of starting a local group - let us know and we will pass the word around!

10 Modern Quilts
Simply Modern Patchwork Quilts
book review 2
Simply Modern Patchwork Bags


Thank you to everyone who entered their name into the raffle to win one of Janet's marvellous Modern Quilting Books!
We are pleased to tell you that the books were won by Debbie Carney (Patchwork) and Jane Wray (Bags)- Well done girls!



by Helen Howes

If I had discovered quilting rulers earlier, I think the whole of my sewing and making life would have been easier. There is no quantity of rulers that is too many in my workshop However Buy from one maker - as you may see I started with Creative Grids rulers and I have stuck to them pretty much - these will be consistently the same measurements and set-up and this saves time and swearing. Choose a style you like and stick to it.

Use the smallest ruler for the job - so, if cutting 4 inch squares, a 22-1/2 inch square is Too Big. On the other hand, if you are cutting across folded fabric, a 24-1/2 inch ruler is ideal.

Rulers need to be totally 'on the mat' - if the edge is off the table towards you it will be a disaster sooner rather than later Keep your rulers in a safe place - they really dislike being thrown on the floor, and can lose corners if you do that. Most have a hole for hanging up, so I do, and I keep the little ones in a flat drawer.

Use the ruler, not the mat - mats are inconsistent, inaccurate, and immensely variable even across one mat, as they are screen-printed. You can square up with a mat, but accurate measuring needs a ruler every time

ALWAYS cut away from yourself.

Make sure your blade is upright, so it makes a good and precise (and safe) contact with the ruler And DON'T scrape the fabric away from the ruler with your blade.. Hard on the mat, the blade, and the world?

I don't usually like 'special purpose' rulers, but my triangular 60 degree ones get a lot of use, and I would consider one if I was making hundreds of one special block, or cutting a lot of jelly-roll pieces or the like.. I thought my 12-1/2 inch ruler was an extravagance, for about 5 minutes?

And, they don't last forever. The ones I first bought are now entirely unreadable.. Buy new ones!

Helen Howes

modern at FOQ17


It 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

bloomfield coverlet
The Edwin Mary Bloomfield Coverlet, The Quilters' Guild Collection


Here's something for you to think about! Next year's challenge is a joint challenge throughout all the Specialist Groups of the Quilters' Guild and entrants will have to chance to have their work exhibited at 2019 Festival of Quilts. We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Quilters' Guild and are looking for Modern interpretations of a historical quilt from the Guild's collection (please see above).

Here at Modern we will be aiming for our 20 x 20 inch format inspired by the original coverlet, it's history, story, design or construction.

CLICK HERE to go to the Guild Website and read more about the coverlet.

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