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Welcome to the Modern Quilt Group September 2017 Newsletter

header september 17
MOD-Q are out and about again, bringing Modern Quilting to the masses at Hever and Bristol, to great acclaim!

A word (or two) from the Editor

Now you might be surprised to see the above quilt featured as this month's header since the observant amongst you will have realised that this was the winner of the Traditional Category at this year's Festival of Quilts. We were thrilled to see that this glorious quilt was made by one of our Modern Quilt Group members, Annelize Littlefair, and you can read about Annelize's quilting journey below. There is no denying that this is a Traditional quilt, and therefore correctly entered into that category and judged accordingly. However, we at MOD-Q had lengthy discussions with various people throughout the Festival about quilts and their categories. Members of the public were interested enough to ask why some of the quilts in the Modern section looked as if they would have been better placed in other categories, and vice versa; some quilts elsewhere would have been more appropriate in Modern. The answer to this comes in two parts:

1. You can only enter one quilt per category at Festival so, for example, if you have two Modern quilts, you might choose to enter the second one into another category (as I did myself - my second Modern quilt went into Contemporary) However, your quilt will be judged according to the rules of that category.

2. Festival of Quilts is an open competition, every entry received is hung (with a very few exceptions) and they are reliant on the individual entrant's understanding the criteria for each category and entering their quilt into the appropriate one. They have no remit to change an quilt's category once they have seen it, they do not curate the exhibition in that way. If the entry is wildly out of category, you might find the judges notes reflect this.

What all this discussion goes to prove is that Modern are making an impact! People are looking at quilts in a different way, and making their own choices about what is Modern. Last year's most popular question "What's the difference between Modern and Contemporary?" has moved on to "Why wasn't this quilt in the Modern category?". I do hope we have answered that one, but it is marvellous to think that the public have cottoned on to the Modern ethos so quickly, and have their own opinions about what is and isn't Modern.

I must admit that I just make quilts without much regard for rules and categories, so when Festival entry time comes round again next year, I will look at what's nearly finished and enter them somewhere. Personally I am so pleased, and proud, to see my quilts hung at the NEC that I shall continue to enter multiple categories hoping to meet the criteria as near as I can. HB

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

Helen's Ramblings

Well, we survived Festival of Quilts, and look below for reports, retorts, and the Cottonopolis Raging Success..

And the usual Old Sewing Machines, new ideas, and the most gratifying response to all our teaching and outreaching ideas. I spoke to several ladies from Australia who wish to use the Tutor Box ideas, make their own samples, and start a similar thing on the far side of the World. I am anticipating images returning sometime…

And, we could not have done it without all the wonderful helpers - all those who sat at the sewing machines, admired the quilts, stood on ladders, wielded drills, looked and sewed and explained, and not least, made all the lovely quilts…

So, without much ado, see below for all manner of goodies and goodness-me’s HH

Contact me on uk

wcqs from this
West Country Quilt Show: from this...
wcqs to this this in a few short hours

wcqs 2017 stand
Causing a stir and having fun with Modern Quilts

wcqs hb drilling
Who let HB loose with a drill again?
wcqs hh wins
A win and a grin - HH justifiably proud of her rosette

Hever 2017 show

Hever 2017 show Quilt by modern member Mary Cunningsworth. Red crosses part of the exhibit to commemorate the huge number of disabled people killed by the Nazi regime.

HEVER 2017: Show Report

by Jackie Norris
A truly amazing location where Modern makes a real impression even attracting new members, with double the space as in 2016 there was enough room for 2 tables, covered with some beautiful quilts Heather and I not only interacted with many visitors but did lots of demonstrating, some hands-on sessions and even found time for a stroll round Hever castle, with a steady flow of visitors over 3 days Region 2 put on a fantastic display of quilts, including a Guest Quilter and Specialist exhibit and of course essential retail therapy opportunities.

Magenta Hot ot Not

Magenta Hot ot Not

QUILT STORIES: Headline News

The Trouble with Magenta, Hot or Not
by Annelize Littlefair

I was inspired to make this quilt after a discussion my family had over dinner one night, having looked at a brochure for a new car. One of the colours was “Hot magenta”.. When discussing this, I realised that everyone had a different opinion (and everyone was right of course) about what exact colour it is. I then set out to use two colours of fabric, cranberry and aubergine, and with threads in all the colours everyone thought made up magenta, do some altering of the underlying fabric, to demonstrate just how using different density in quilting can alter the colour on the quilt.

The quilt design is my own and started as some doodles on a piece of note paper. The entire quilting design was drawn out full scale on paper before I started quilting it. This builds not only muscle memory but also confirms whether the different quilting designs work together and if the scale is correct.

The outline design was quilted using Glide threads and then all the fine detail was stitched using Wonderful Invisafil, Kimono silk thread and also Superior Bottomline. The fabric is Robert Kaufman Radiance fabric, which is a blend of cotton and silk, which is easier to work on than pure silk. Because of the sheen, you get a different colour when looking from different angles, which suited the title. I have used my Handiquilter Avante for the quilting, using rulers to stitch out the main design and the rest was stitched out free motion.

red cat 1

FREE PATTERN:RED CAT Cot Quilt by Helen Howes

As seen at West Country Quilt Show in Bristol: RED CAT by Helen Howes.
Pattern available as a free download (pdf).
CLICK HERE to get your copy

dusk 1

MODERN SAMPLER Designed by Helen Howes

This marvellous sampler quilt has been designed for the Guild's QUILTER magazine and will be appearing as a part work in the next four issues. (You will need to be a member to access this pattern). It was made in Oakshott ARUBA and white CLICK HERE to visit Oakshott's site

Siblings Together 1
Minty the cat inspecting a finished quilt for SIBLINGS TOGETHER

Siblings Together 2


by Jennifer Ladbrooke
Fancy being part of a friendly and welcoming charity bee for Siblings Together? Then if so this is for you.

Many of you will know about Siblings Together a wonderful charity that brings together brothers and sisters separated in the UK care system for a holiday to build lifelong relationships and memories together. A highlight of these holidays is that each child is given a quilt as a memento. These are hugely appreciated by children who often have few possessions and will probably have never been given anything handmade before.

I am involved in one of the bees that supports the charity and we are looking a little thin on numbers having lost a few members in the last couple of months. What is involved is making a couple of relatively simple blocks each month usually geared to using scraps. We also urgently need monthly mamas who are the people who specify the blocks to be made and and then make it up into the quilt for that year's holidays. Above are some examples of quilts produced by the bees, all from straightforward blocks.

Contact Jennifer on

2016 agm

JOB DESCRIPTION: Group Co-ordinator

I’ve been doing a lot for this (and everything at beginning), most of which has now been taken over admirably by a whole team of competent, adaptable, and amusing people. So, it involves

Paperwork from the Guild - forms for the Committee once a year, short reports on Events Attended, and forwarding of Membership lists to the Membership Bod.

In theory, Committee meetings - I have been pretty informal with these, and have run the decision making entirely online

Writing a Ramble for the newsletter once a month

Attending the AGM, for which you get a free ticket and travel costs

Attending the Festival of Quilts at least part of the time, for which you also get expenses

Working with the Exhibitions Officer on future projects

After that, it’s up to you. The stuff I have done so far (postcards, tutor boxes, patterns, website, old sewing machines) may suit you, or not, and I do not intend to dump any of these things on anyone who cannot or doesn’t want to do them.. Your style rules..

The Guild wants me to go in April next year, so I’ll be at the AGM, then hope for a few days of sewing..

Contact HelenH on uk

Facebook Logo

facebook & Yahoo!

Our esteemed membership secretary, Alison Mayall, has asked me to remind you all that if you want to join the Modern Quilt facebook or Yahoo groups, she will need to send you an invitation.

Contact Alison on

 Tutor Box 12


One of the things we are asked at shows is "Is there a local Modern Group" and we are trying to set up a network of regional contacts who are willing to liaise between locals in order to set up such things.

CLICK HERE visit the contacts page on the mqgb wesite

dusk 1


As seen on the Modern Quilt Groups’ stand at Festival: DUSK by Helen Howes.
Pattern available as a free download (pdf) for one month only. (ETA, now gone, sorry)

Eternal triangle


A chance for you to play with all things illusionary or 3-D

CLICK HERE to see the latest crop of pictures and read all about it