December Happenings!

Better late than never…here’s what is going on December. Details are on the Calendar page.

Dec 7 – Sew-In at Running Stitch

Dec 13 – Holiday Party and Sew-In at the Greenwood Senior Center

This is a private party for Seattle Modern Quilt Guild members. Sorry, no visitors or guests at this event.

Please bring a potluck to share and, if you need an extension cord for your dish, bring that, too. The Guild is providing all the necessities like plates, cups, and napkins.

As for sewing necessities like heavy duty extension cords, irons, and ironing boards, you need those, too. There’s an RSVP and sign-up on our MQG group (linked above).

Also, the awesome and amazing $2 discount for paying 2015 member due by check continues at the party. 2015 dues paid past Decmber 13 will be $50 plus $2 PayPal fees.

  • 12:00 Party On!
  • 1:30 Bring your wrapped (but not externally labeled) nice modern swap to the swap coordinator.  An enclosure card helps your recipient know who to thank. Hint, hint…
  • 2:00 My MODERN Exhibit quilt entries are due (have you entered yours?)
  • 2:00 Holiday Swap with dirty Santa stealing
  • 4:00 Sew-and-Tell
  • 8:00 Party’s Over

December 27 – Sew-in at QuiltWorks Northwest

We hope to see you at one of the events and that you enjoy the peace and joy of the season.

Happy 5th Birthday Seattle Modern Quilt Guild! Let’s Celebrate! A letter from President Chandra Wu

Editorial Note:  The following is a guest post from our President, Chandra Wu. Woo!

I am so happy for each and every quilty moment the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild has shared with me this year and hopefully in many future years, and I want to take some time to reflect on that as my term as your guild president draws to a close. However, have you heard the social media expression “tldr” before? It means “too long, didn’t read” and it applies to blog and message board posts that are too long so people stop reading them! So before you read any further into my report, please check out the link below to sign up for our holiday party Saturday, December 13, 2014 at the Greenwood Senior Center, from 12-8pm! I am especially interested in knowing if you plan to stay all the way until 8pm so we can plan clean up accordingly. Last year things quieted down a lot around 6. Melinda Blom, my fabulous roommate at the Fall retreat, has offered to coordinate and review the signups, so if you want to review the results and contact her with any questions or offers, please go for it!

December Holiday Party RSVP link!

I am especially excited to be “sewing-in” with my Seattle Modern Quilt Guild friends one last time this year because this year has been an incredibly challenging one for myself as a quilter. It has helped me develop some discipline around making time for my craft even as the time available for my craft got scarcer. Of course this also makes me want to gush happy tears that I have seen on a few other fellow guild members cheeks as well this year when we have shared just how personal, pleasant, and rewarding it is to connect with other like-minded (Modern?) quilters. I volunteered to help organize the guild into a non-profit in 2013 precisely because I felt that way about the Vancouver MQG and I wanted to share that same connections with other quilters when I moved to Seattle.

Fortunately in January 2009 Katie Pedersen began to organize the first meetings right around the time LA, Portland, Vancouver, Kansas City and other MQGs began to form. So the first in my list of thank you’s this year goes to Katie, our first president and one of the founders of the guild. She gave us a lot of her time in 2012-2013 as we sorted out structure, governance, and those pesky and particularly un-quilty activities like reviewing and writing bylaws and agendas. And yet she still managed to make quilt making her essential act and made lovely quilts while serving our guild. Katie also introduced me to several tasty joints like Joule on Stone Way and Bastille across from the old Drygoods location in Ballard that helped me re-introduce myself to Seattle and gave me an excuse to get out in the evenings.

But for me, the absolute best thing she and Sandie Holtman, our past VP of Membership gave me this year was much more than their legacy as founders, they started the 2014 SEAMQG block of the month! I was really excited to use the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Block of the month on more than one occasion as an excuse to sew in a busy month. Sandie also did an incredible job turning us over into membership in the national MQG when they became established and she got our memberships into their system in January so we all got our 2014 cards and pins. The VP of Membership job is a lot of small jobs that can be quite frustrating as times when you would rather be sewing or even, I don’t know, paying your taxes? But it was Sandie and now Martha Petersen who was elected to replace her on the board in 2014 that help keep track of you and your national MQG membership. It is a really big job and I’m glad Sandie was able to support Martha this year and still do our block of the month as well. I knew it was going to be a challenging year for me as a quilter even before I was recruited back into employment and began teaching, but knowing the block of the month was out there helped me plan ahead for a baby quilt for my newest nephew who was just born last month! I think Grace posted a photo of me on Instagram sitting in front of that quilt top at a sew-in at Quiltworks Northwest this summer. Thanks Sandie and Katie!

Martha Peterson has been a fantastic addition to our board even though I know she and I agree Sandie did a lot for the guild and those were some big shoes to fill. Martha began serving as our VP of Membership and had to hit the ground running with our new national MQG membership and a transition to Paypal for membership payments. She has an excellent quilter’s precision for organizing data, sticking to agendas, and reeling me back in when I get lost on a tangent. It shows in her quilts, and I love how she has applied her interest in Modern quilting to explore graphic design and Bauhaus aesthetics. Martha was one of the Seattle Modern Quilt guild members whose quilt “Annie Alber’s Orange Chair” got into the fall International Quilt Festival at Houston Modern exhibit. That means it is one of three member quilts going to Quiltcon in Austin in 2015! There is one more aspect of the VP of Membership position and her Welcoming Committee that I have to mention, she also filled Sandie’s shoes very well by donating our second in-kind donation to the Greenwood Senior Center’s memory loss group where they are able to auction or raffle the quilts to pay for programs to support victims of memory loss and their families. This donation also results in a more affordable venue for our December End of the Year party! Thank you so much Martha for all that you have done for us and will continue to do as you serve again as VP of Membership in 2015, but most of all thank you for supporting me so much during a challenging year and helping us welcome so many new members in 2014!

While I am recognizing returns to service, Becca Jubie served on the original Bylaws committee, served as our first Secretary after incorporation in 2013, just before we all went to the first Quiltcon in Austin, TX. It was an exciting year and she put a lot of time in. Her notes are as well-written as her blog posts and I always enjoyed reading her “voice.” I appreciate her willingness to serve in a second year and continue to take notes even as I became chair and struggled not to jump around on my own agendas at board meetings and general meetings. She has a good sense of the bigger picture (and a healthy sense of humor, which is needed after 20+ board meetings with me!) and always paid attention to what was going on with the National Guild, had great feedback after events for how to improve them the next time around, and she also volunteered to work with Kristen Ballou to be featured in Australian Patchwork and Quilting! Kate Barnet, who shared just how modern a double wedding ring can be when she brought her first quilt to her first meeting, has agreed to be our new secretary in 2015, Kate, we look forward to reading you. Becca, I hope I served YOU well enough in 2014, I enjoyed writing about you when you were considering being a Regional Board Rep and I really do love your quilts! I’m looking forward to celebrating at our final board meeting brunch next week!

Patricia Curry also volunteered to serve a second term as our Treasurer and we really appreciate her attention to detail. She has been very reliable and trustworthy even when she couldn’t attend meetings. We appreciate that Megan Vanderburg began shadowing her in 2014 in order to fill in for her when she had to be away. Our money has been in great hands as our membership nearly doubled and we transitioned away from checks. Martha and Patricia will appreciate if I remind you to bring your membership renewal CHECK to the party next Saturday if you don’t want to pay the PayPal fee in 2015. Plus you will make it much easier to renew as we are noticing that our mother guild is starting to tighten up on their renewal dates and we want to be ready to support them promptly in 2015. On a more personal note, I am sorry to hear that Patricia is a maker of quilts that are primarily gifts, so that she didn’t enter her Estonian flag quilt into Quiltcon. We need to work as a guild to get her to enter a quilt next time! I enjoyed sewing late into the night with her at our first retreat and our chats when we carpooled to board meetings. And thanks to Patricia and her generous friend, I am now the owner of my first Singer featherweight which has gotten some use this week while my machine went in for service. Patricia, you have become a great friend and I hope that we continue to see each other and sew together even as we step away from the board in 2015.

During my transition from VP of Programs in 2013 to President in 2014, I handed off the leadership of our first Guild retreat at Camp Burton on Vashon Island to the amazing Kristen Ballou and our fabulous retreat committee. It was a beautiful weekend, lovely sun even in the last week of January, a fun trip to Island Quilter, and I had a wonderful time sitting across from Season as she hand-quilted, Charise as she paper-pieced and next to Lynne who was piecing blocks. Season, thank you for staying connected and thank you to Noelle for the orange scraps, the stories and the fantastic Manhattan you made me at Berachah! We are such a diverse group and it is fun to share and celebrate that. I totally scored a lovely Flea Market Fancy (“FMF” – quilters have some wild internet acronyms now too!) pouch from Grace and enjoyed some tender moments responding to each other’s work during our mini-improv round robin. I tell you so much about the retreat because it was an awesome feat of organization and I had very little to do with that after our first meeting in 2013. This amazing committee continued to work together to serve up a SECOND retreat at Camp Berachah in Auburn this past October and I really appreciate Kristen’s leadership in holding up so many little and not so little committees that keep this guild up to its ears in Programming with new celebrity (our guild will certainly continue to create its own celebrities in 2015) lectures and workshops in store for 2015, a new PNW meetup, and an exciting upcoming 5th Birthday celebration “My MODERN” show at Island Quilter this January! The work Kristen has done this year is too numerous to list, but she is a pro at swag and negotiating some awesome opportunities for our guild through the many Committees from Sew-Ins to Challenges to Quilt Shows and Workshops and…. You get the idea right?

Our guild participated in 5 Quilt shows in 2014: our own Island Quilter Show, our second appearance at NW Folklife, Quilt! Knit! Stitch! in Portland, the Bainbridge Island Quilt show, and our exhibit at the NW Expo show. Kristen is always problem-solving and she is full of ideas as she juggles all these opportunities and dates. She has been a great friend to chat way to long into the evening with at times which has made up for my poorer attendance at sew-ins, where it seems like we are learning is where a lot of decisions get made. Maybe the board should schedule themselves for quarterly sewing together and reduce board meetings? Kristen will probably be there making one of her distinctively Northwestern modern quilts, many reflecting the natural landscape of Puget sound either in their blended palettes of NW blues and greys if not being downright nautical. Or maybe I am just saying that so we can have another meeting on her boat someday, that was a truly memorable beautiful evening, right down to the lightning on Lake Washington! Allison volunteered again and again to support Kristen in Programming, taking the lead on organizing the submissions for NW Quilt Expo. I know she will do a great job filling Kristen’s role as VP of Programs. Kristen has always been quick to point out how healthy and thriving our guild is, we beat the national guild to non-profit incorporation and we had two successful retreats as our neighboring guilds put together their firsts….this is always good for us to remember because as we become more establish hopefully we not have to keep reinventing the wheel and some of these amazing Programs will get easier to plan and prepare for as we gain experience and experienced volunteers. Kristen implemented the “mini-workshop” portion of our meetings for our members to share their skills and practice teaching and leading and I hope this can continue in 2015 as the business-y stuff takes a backseat.

This transition was made incredibly transparent with our first balloted board election. The nomination and election was conducted and planned this year by Lynne Shandley, Michelle Honey, Grace Lainhart, and Jessie Keating. I know it was challenging to take leadership of a Committee that hadn’t existed before in order to interpret and implement the bylaws, but I really appreciate the discussion and innovation that the Nominating Committee brought to our Guild. I will offer to serve under Kristen on a Personnel or future Nominating Committee if needed in 2015 now that I am no longer a board member.

But don’t shed any tears for me! I was so well-supported I am relieved to have gotten through a challenging year for me personally that did not leave me with nearly enough free time to dedicate to the guild as I had in the past and the 2014 board conducted itself really well under my sometimes scant contributions. It is thanks to all of your presence, enthusiasm and joy that I was driven to complete 3 quilts in 2014 and I hope to finish 2 more before year’s end. Are you still trying to finish your My MODERN quilt submission for our birthday show at Island Quilter in January? Please I look forward to celebrating our work and seeing some finishes at next week’s party. Please don’t forget to scroll back up to the top of this post and RSVP if you haven’t already! I know that I will need even more members to lend a hand in 2015, in particular I know we need help planning the Seattle PNW Meetup and helping plan better presentation and even a possible raffle quilt at Folklife. Could you consider becoming a volunteer in 2015? It is a great way to make new connections in the guild and I know Kristen will make it fun to be a part of our guild in the new year.

Kristen, thank you for consenting to serve the Seattle Modern Quit Guild as President in 2015, we appreciate it.   I hope that the same thing Katie told me is true for you, it is actually a little less work (ssh, hopefully Allison thought this was tldr) than the coordination required of our VP of Programs and probably the VP of Membership role too, but you are bravely serving as the face of our guild during a big year.


Congratulations Seattle Modern Quilt Guild, now we are 5!!!


Retreat Report!

Editorial Note:  The following is a guest post by our very own Vicki. Thanks, Vicki!

Approximately 40 Seattle MQG members met up November 7-9 for a weekend of quilting at beautiful Camp Berachah, located in Auburn, WA. The weather was chilly and drizzly, and we had a wonderful time.

The sewing room at Camp Berachah was well-lit and very roomy; each of us quilters had our own entire table to set up and sew for the weekend. We had a snack table in the sewing room; bedrooms in the same building as the sewing room and meals in a nearby building.

Snack table and a view of part of the sewing room.

Snack table and a view of part of the sewing room.

We had some fun scheduled retreat activities: the quilted gift swap was a big hit. We played dirty Santa style (you could steal an already opened gift, or unwrap a new one), which was pretty fun. Some of us also swapped Christmas fabric charm squares and UFOs.

Gift swap table

Gift swap table

Swappers with gifts

Swappers with gifts

On Saturday night, we had a fun campfire complete with s’mores and the creation/performance of a very funny quilting campfire song. I’m not sure but there might be video of the song online somewhere…. (editorial note: oh, yes there is! Sing along with us...”My bobbin lies over the ocean…”)

What is quilt camp with a campfire and s'mores? And a quilty shanty....

What is quilt camp with a campfire and s’mores? And a quilty shanty….

We also had a free motion quilting demo by Vicki Christensen. She showed us how to get started with FMQ and then went around and helped out and encouraged those who were practicing their quilting. We have some very talented new free motion quilters in our group!

Matt's free motion quilting hands

Matt’s free motion quilting hands

Megan practicing her free motion quilting

Megan practicing her free motion quilting


Our swag bag team with all the goods

Our swag bag team with all the goods

The swag bags for retreat attendees were amazing! Swag bag goodies were procured by the retreat committee, with items for the entire group provided by the following companies:

Another huge THANK YOU to all those who donated to our retreat swag bags!

Over the course of the weekend, our retreaters worked on so many amazing projects. The gorgeous Seattle MQG charity quilt top for QuiltCon was revealed. Deborah C and Martha completed the backing for this quilt while at retreat.

SEAMQG QuiltCon charity quilt top

SEAMQG QuiltCon charity quilt top

Deborah C and the SEAMQG QuiltCon charity quilt back

Deborah C and the SEAMQG QuiltCon charity quilt back

We wrapped up the retreat on Sunday with a show and tell before cleaning up and heading home. Here are a few photos from the show and tell; check out #seamqgretreat on Instagram for more retreat photos and fun.

Grace with her Flea Market Fancy Plus quilt

Grace with her Flea Market Fancy Plus quilt

Marilyn's awesome quilt

Marilyn’s awesome quilt


Becca’s quilt top

Louise's Bee Blocks

Louise’s Bee Blocks


Martha's quilt

Martha’s quilt

Matt's bias tape quilt with mad free motion quilting skills

Matt’s bias tape quilt and mad free motion quilting skills


Blocks Sandra made with discarded scraps



Kate’s converging corners quilt top



Allison’s animals



Cecelia’s Christmas chevrons

Overall, we had another very successful retreat! We have so many wonderful people in our guild, and retreat is a great opportunity to get to know each other better, to make new friends and grow old friendships. And you get to sew for a whole weekend and not have to worry about anything else from “normal” life. Thanks so much to our retreat organizers, committee members, and everyone who attended, for making this retreat such a wonderful experience! We can’t wait for the next one!


My MODERN: Celebrating Five Years of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild

Island Quilter has invited us to exhibit in their gallery during January 2 – February 5, 2015.  Since 2015 will be our fifth anniversary as a Modern Quilt Guild, we are celebrating what modern means to us with My MODERN.

Seattle MQG Modern Soltice Exhibit at Island Quilter in June 2013

June 2013 Seattle MQG Modern Solstice Exhibit at Island Quilter

As a group we have been learning about and exploring Modern quilt aesthetics. My MODERN is the best of our work showing one or more modern quilt attributes:

  • Use of bold colors and prints
  • High contrast and graphic areas of solid color
  • Improvisational piecing
  • Minimalism
  • Expansive negative space
  • Alternate grid work
  • Modern traditionalism

Need more information on these attributes? Jacquie Gering did a webinar, Modern Quilting: Know It When You See It, which discusses modern quilt characteristics. As an Seattle MQG member, you have access to all the archived webinars on the resources area of the MQG site (another bene of membership!)

Seattle MQG Member Quilts at Bainbridge Island Quilt Festival 2013

Seattle MQG Member Quilts at Bainbridge Island Quilt Festival 2013

Now, on to the details of what you need to do to submit a modern quilt of your own for this exhibit:

  • Quilt does not have to be created solely for this exhibit but should not have been exhibited at our previous Island Quilt shows. Quilts shown at Quilt! Knit! Stitch! or Northwest Quilting Expo may be shown
  • Quilts entered for consideration for QuiltCon may not be entered
  • Quilts of all sizes are welcome
  • Quilts must be labeled with the quilt name, quilter’s name, quilter’s email or phone number
  • Quilts must have a securely attached hanging sleeve (Jacquie Gering’s excellent tutorial shows you how)
  • Submit your quilt in a bag labeled with your name, email address or phone number
  • One entry per member.
  • Entrant must be a current member of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild as of December 13, 2014
  • Quilt must entered on-line using the form below by December 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time
  • Quilts are due at 2:00 pm on December 13, 2014 SEAMQG Holiday Party
  • Quilts will be returned at the February 11, 2015 SEAMQG meeting

Ready to show your quilt? Enter it using the link posted in the Seattle MQG Group within the Modern Quilt Guild (login required).

2014 Holiday Swap

The holiday season is here and that means it’s time for our annual Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Holiday White Elephant Swap!  This swap will take place at the holiday party/sew-in on December 13, 2014 at 2:00pm.

2014 September Secret Sewing Swap

2014 September Secret Sewing Swap

We would like those members interested in participating in the swap to make a small quilted item.  Quilted items that would be appropriate are zipper pouches, bags, mini quilts, mug rugs, or sewing containers.
Pouch made by Allison Dutton

Pouch made by Allison Dutton

Please only bring one item to swap and make sure to wrap it up!  And, since we want it to be a fun secret, please don’t put any identification on the outside of the package (a note from who made it on the inside is great).
Pineapple mini quilt made by AraJane

Pineapple mini quilt made by AraJane

Remember, we are the Seattle MODERN Quilt Guild so please make an item with a modern aesthetic in fabrics with a modern feel.
Sewing basket made by AraJane

Sewing basket made by AraJane

Hope to see you all at our December party!

Reminder – The Annual Meeting Edition

Hello, everyone! This month we have our annual meeting and officer elections. But, don’t worry, there are fun things, too.  And a discount. Read on!

When:  Wednesday, November 12, 2014, from 7:00-9:00. Social time starts at 6:30

Where:  Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St, Seattle, WA 98103

On the agenda:

  • Approve October minutes (on the Meetings page)
  • 2015 Officer Elections
  • Island Quilter Exhibit
  • Committee updates – retreat, sew-in, giving, challenge
  • December holiday party
  • Quilting book swap
  • Sew-and-tell

So, what about that discount? We are offering an early membership discount.  Last year, the Guild absorbed Square and PayPal fees but we have decided to discontinue that practice.  The discount is a limited time offer, two times only – the November 12 annual meeting and the December 13 holiday party. At these two events, renew or join by paying $50 by check and save $2.  The dues for the 2015 membership year are $50 plus $2 for PayPal fees ($52 total) and, after the December 13 party, will be payable only through PayPal.

Pack your bag:

  • Nametag
  • Ballot and pen
  • Checkbook
  • Book(s) for swap
  • Black and white fabric larger than 10 inches x 10 inches for Giving Committee
  • Your latest finish for sew-and-tell
  • November babies – please bring snacks to share

And because a picture is always fun, here’s a view from our retreat over the weekend. A big thank you to the retreat committee for a fantastic time!