Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Highlights from February 2017 Meeting

Seeing is the best way..... to Doing!

We had a rockin' quilting good time Saturday! We appreciate Leslie White, Faye Jones and Cindy Lammon for making this happen! They came prepared for us to SEE fantastic demonstrations -  each showing and sewing a distinctive quilting technique.  For some of us, seeing the visual steps on how to achieve a certain quilted the fuel we need to trying it out on our next quilted piece.

What are some of the quilting techniques they demonstrated for us:

Machine quilting with rulers:

Here we had opportunity to see how the specific brand, a Bernina sewing machine, coordinates with the same brand rulers. Leslie used a specialized footer that sews along side the placement of the ruler on the fabric. She demonstrated several rulers with different shapes - half moon, multiple curves, diagonals -- so we could see the quilting design effect of each. The rulers are very cool tools!

Leslie White demonstration on Machine quilting with Bernina rulers 

Free motion quilting:

This style of quilting defines itself. It is using the free motion capability of your sewing machine to sew - up, down or side to side - creating a customize design. Of course, experienced Faye, made this look effortless and easy. She demonstrated squiggles, echoing, curved lines, connected bubbles or circles, traveling and more. One of her recommendations "for going rogue" with this technique is to begin practicing with fabrics that have a simple design motif such as butterflies, flowers, circles where you sew the outline of the shape to familiarize yourself with speed and fluidity. Great tip!!!

Faye Jones demonstration on Free motion quilting

Spiral quilting:

This design technique begins with a core circle approximately 3" that then becomes the guide for the next circle layer and next and next and so forth sewing out to your desired circumference. Using her circle template, Cindy started by drawing with a washable pencil on her fabric a 3" circle in the desired location she wanted to start. The initial 3"circle required shorter stitches and a little more maneuvering but as she moved from ring to ring the sewing progressively went faster and easier because the circle was larger. The final look spectacular and very effective in showcasing her quilt design.

Cindy Lammon- Spiral Quilting
In addition, we had unanimous approval for our vote to amend Articles 6 -10 of the GMQG By-Laws which included a change in month for officer nominations & election, adding the Membership Chair position to the Executive Board and adding the formation of Standing Committees.

Thanks to Paige Alexander and Nancy DeJong for their GMQG updates on Financials and Memberships.  Nancy reported we had 40 in attendance with 8 guests. As of February, GMQG has 51 members which includes (from this meeting) one renewal and 4 additional new members. ;-)

As we closed the meeting, we had a drawing for three (3) giveaways. Thank you to Cindy Lammon and Marcie Snyder for donating a quilting book and two pairs of rotary cutters. Our three recipients were delighted.

Upcoming GMQG Events:

  • Modern Quilt Guild's - QuiltCon East 2017 is February 23-26th in Savannah, GA...For those of us going, be on the lookout for other fellow GMQGers, quilt entries by Paige Alexander & Cheryl Brickey AND, AND, AND our Charity Quilt. Thank you again Valorie for keeping our group on task to complete this quilt project in January and successfully shipping it on February 1st to QuiltCon. You did a great job for us!
  • April 7-9th: Our guild is having a first retreat at the Wildfires Retreat Conference Center in North Carolina. The details of the event are here on our website.Thank you Sandy Helsel and Faye Jones for planning and coordinating this weekend away. It's not to late to sign up or participate in a carpool. For assistance, email Sandy at
  • May 12 & 13th - Michelle Wilkie Workshop - Modern Quilt Design-Every Day Inspiration. Look for the workshop details on our website. For the Friday night opener, Michelle will speak on "The Skill of Quilt Design" and on Saturday, she will lead a workshop entitled Modern Quilt Design-Every Day Inspiration. Please note: we only have six (6) workspaces remaining for the Saturday workshop. If interested in coming, please do not delay in contacting Dana Blasi at

Upcoming Outside Quilting Events:

Modern Skill Builder - Block of the Month

Look at the response for the January 2017 Block of the Month called Cloud 9 New Block designed by Carole Lyles Shaw (our regional MQG representative). Way to go GMQG in starting the new year off....very impressive.

For February, Cheryl Brickey has an equally challenging design. It is called Ellen's Snowball designed by Cath of Wombat Quilts. The pattern is located at Wombat Quilts
Block name: Ellen's Snowball

Notes for construction details:

The blog post contains a link for 12" block templates. You will have to print out this template page 4 times (for 4 of the "A" template and 4 of the "H" template). Make sure to print at "actual size" or "100%".

For piecing the block:
Use low volume prints for pieces 1 and 6 (try to use fabrics with a white or cream background and white/gray/black print)
Use darker pinks, reds, oranges, and purples for pieces 2, 4, 5, and 7
Use yellow for piece 3

Leave paper on the back of the block when you turn it in.


Faye Jones reported that we had a total of six (6)quilts donated to families whose homes were destroyed by fire in Gatlinburg, TN. Thank you members who supported and donated quilts. We know the recipients receiving these quilts will be blessed.

And, as you know, Faye is challenging our group to bring in quilt squares that never became a quilt. You know the ones......

Then, her challenge to us is to make a philanthropy quilt from one of those squares. Faye's theory is that a hidden away quilt square could be the inspiration to another.

Our goal is to prove her right in April. We have two months to complete our Block Recycle Challenge.

 We look forward to seeing your creativity in this special philanthropy challenge!

Be in the Know:

Johnny McKenzie has volunteered to organize a mentoring program to connect experienced quilters with members new to quilting who need advice and guidance. For more information or to participate in the program contact Johnnie by email at

Johnny McKenzie is also offering free beginner classes in her home for our members. Two classes "Ready, Set, Quilt" and "Quilt Making/Sewing basics" started in January. For more information or to participate contact Johnnie by email at Thank you Johnnie!

Show & Share

Marilyn Hagopian- auction quilts for Mary's House in Easley, SC
Faye Jones- Donation quilt (left) and Competition quilt (right) entitled "Story of the Fires"

Sandy Helsel- Vacation photo reimagined with fabric

Didi Salvatierra - 3 versions of Fidget quilts
Valorie Kasten- Quilt Planner cover (left) & MQG Mini Quilt for QuiltCon Swap

Nancy DeJong- Sampler from the Quilter's Planner (left) & a gift Quilt for family member
Carol Kreson- Quilt design from Simply Modern

Laura Scott- Sampler entitled "Winter Solice" 

Valerie Fitzgerald - Samplers featuring the free motion quilting technique

Next Month

Recaps from QuiltCon East 2017....We hope you will plan to come join us March 11th from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at:

2310 East North Street, Suite A
Greenville, SC 29607


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Plan for GMQG Upcoming "May" Workshop: Modern Quilt Design-Every Day Inspiration

Make your plans to attend the
Greenville Modern Quilt Guild Workshop
with guest lecturer & quilt designer

Michelle Wilkie

Friday, May 12th at 6:30pm
Saturday, May 13th from 10am - 4pm
Bernina Sewing Center
in Greenville, South Carolina

Our feature guest, prize winning quilter, Michelle Wilkie has a love for modern quilting and design, which allows her to incorporate both her passion of art and STEM background. Michelle, who is based in North Carolina, is a regular contributor to Modern Quilt Guild and Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine. She has taught classes for over 15 years to both experienced and newcomers to the art of quilting. Her quilt workshops include Techniques of Quilt Designing, Improvisational Piecing, Hand Piecing and more.

Like many of us, Michelle enjoys challenging herself in quilt design competitions where she has done well. She was the winning entry for the Designer's Choice Award on Threadbias & Penguin+ Fish, Jungle Ave Quilt Design Competition (Sara Lawson @ Sew Sweetness, Quilt Now) and Cloud 9 Cirrus Solids February Block of the Month.

You can learn more about Michelle and her quilt designs through her blog at Factotum of Arts and Instagram.

Workshop Agenda

May 12th, Friday evening 6:30pm
Lecture: The Skill of Quilt Design

Quilt design, like most creative activities, is not second nature to most people. There are several facets to consider when designing, such as how to see and find inspiration, how to take an initial design and edit it, finding your own style then taking it from an idea to reality. 

Michelle will share her discovery and journey of quilt design. She will discuss where she finds inspiration, the importance of visualizing your ideas and how that translates into her quilts.

May 13th, Saturday 10am - 4pm
Workshop: Modern Quilt Design: Every Day Inspiration

Find out more about this photo at the workshop
This class will illustrate and step you through how to create a modern quilt design using inspiration from everyday things around you. Once you have a design, skills to turn that design into reality will be shared.

Class Structure:
  • Introduction
  • Instructor lead topics & exercises (4 topic areas and design opportunity)
  • Making your own block

Workshop Details

  • Friday, May 12th starts with refreshments at 6:30pm and lecture discussion beginning at 7:00pm
    • Lecture is FREE to members & shop employees
    • $5 to non-members. 
    • No need to sign-up. 
  • Saturday, May 13th workshop will be 10am - 4pm
    • $35 for members, payable by check or cash
    • Sign-ups will begin in February - see Dana Blasi
      • Minimum 14 students, maximum is 20
      • You will receive a supply list when you sign up
    • Attendees may bring your own lunch or order an individual lunch with 2 Chefs (more info. to come)
    • After March 11th, we will open it to non-members for a cost of $50 

If you are unable to sign-up at the February meeting, contact Dana Blasi at

We invite you to come join us for this innovative challenge and inspire possibilities in your modern quilt designs.

Friday, February 3, 2017

It's a rockin' Round our next GMQG Meeting on Saturday, February 11th

Come join us.......

You know how your toes tap when you hear the song "Rockin' Robin"... well, we hope you will come to our next meeting Saturday, February 11th for a rockin' "Round Robin" quilting good time.

What does that mean?  GMQG will be rockin' with a Round Robin of not one, not two, but three demo tables where you will be able to go and learn about a distinct machine quilting technique. Our three feature techniques are going to be: Machine quilting with rulers, Free motion quilting and Spiral quilting.

See what I's going to be a quilting good time!  All you need to bring is YOU.

NOTE: If you arrive and the parking lot is FULL remember there is extra parking next door (to the left of the shop if facing it). Our goal is to leave the parking spots directly in front and nearby Bernina doors available to their customers.

  • Bring your Show & Shares, Philanthropy and/or Modern Skill Builder -Block of the Month
  • Members- we will be voting on a By-Law Amendment Proposal that includes Nominations, Executive Board & Committee Formation
  • Do not forget to make your reservation for April's Retreat the 7th thru 9th at Wildacres Retreat Conference Center. The detail information is on the website or see Sandy Helsel at our meeting. 
  • Also, note on your calendar our meeting date change for April. It is going to be the 3rd Saturday, April 15th - same time and place. The change is to accommodate the April Retreat the prior weekend.
  • Save the Dates for our upcoming GMQG Workshop with Michelle Wilkie taking place at Bernina Sewing Center on Friday evening, May 12th and Saturday, May 13th from 10am-4pm.

You do not want to miss....we look forward to seeing each of you next Saturday from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at:

2310 East North Street, Suite A
Greenville, SC 29607


Friday, January 27, 2017

By-Law Amendment Proposal for Nominations, Executive Board & Committee Formation

Dear Members,

At our next meeting on February 11, 2017, we would like to have a vote on the following GMQG By-Law Amendment proposal.  The copy in "red" are modifications and/or new content insertion into the By-Laws. 

As GMQG continues to grow and expand, there are additional valued roles needed for our organization. We appreciate you taking a moment to review and of course, if you have any questions please feel free to contact one of the Board members listed below.

For questions, please contact:

President, Cindy Lammon:
Vice President, Faye Jones:

Thank you for your review and time,
-Marilyn Hagopian

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

GMQG 2017 Retreat

A Quilting Retreat in North Carolina
April 7th - April 9th

All right......get your calendars out because Faye Jones & Sandy Helsel have organized and confirmed our beautiful location at Wildacres Retreat Conference Center.

We invite you to come join us!  Just think "springtime" in the North Carolina mountains...we all know how pretty and inspiring that is!!!!

Here are all the details:

Date*:  Friday, April 7 to Sunday, April 9th
Cost:  $160 (which includes 2 nights lodging (bedding is included) + five (5) family-style meals.
Availability:  30 openings (note: after March 7th, sponsored guests may be invited)
Accommodations:  We will lodge two (2) persons per room. There is a private bath in each room.

*Note: Check-in time will be at 2:30pm on the 7th and check-out time is 10:00am on the 9th  (however, we may continue to use our workspace).

Some additional items to note as you plan are:

  • There are no elevators, so we will have some stairs to our rooms and workroom
  • There are no TV's
  • Cell service is variable
  • Consider bringing snacks (for in between meals)
  • Alcohol is allowed on the premises

What's planned for the retreat:

It's an excellent "Mystery Project" where the pattern and some fabrics are provided, if you'd like to participate. In addition be sure to bring a project or two you would like to work on. Additional tools that will be provided are a couple of large cutting mats, ironing boards and full-size irons.

The supplies you will need to bring are:

  • Sewing machine, cutting & measuring devices
  • 3 extra assorted fat quarters
  • 40" x 40" batting
  • Fun & conversation ;-)

How do you register?  It's easy:

Two ways:

  • Bring a check (made out to Greenville Modern Quilt Guild) to Sandy or Faye at our next meeting in February. 
  • If unable to attend the February meeting and would like to make a reservation, please email Sandy Helsel at or Faye Jones at . 
If you need assistance finding a carpool and/or roommate and/or have any additional questions, please email Sandy.

Thank you Faye and Sandy for planning out all the details for us to getaway for an enjoyable weekend of quilting!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sew In Day January 27th

Everyone is invited! No need to sign up!

This Friday, January 27th is our guild's Sew-In Day. Join your fellow guild members, bring your own project and enjoy some fun, social sewing time.

The Sew-In is at our meeting location - the Bernina Sewing Center. We'll be there from 10-4, but feel free to come for a few minutes or the entire 6 hours. Don't forget to bring your lunch!

We ask that you purchase a half yard of fabric from the store to be given away to one lucky participant.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Highlights From January 2017 Meeting


Sew Charmed by Paige Alexander, Quilted Blooms

We love modern quilts! This month we explored how we can create the modern look in our own quilt designs. After a mini trivia quiz on modern quilt history, we reviewed the design elements found in modern quilts according to The Modern Quilt Guild.

We defined and shared an example of each of the following:
  • Bright and or graphic color palettes
  • Use of negative space
  • Minimalism
  • Lack of borders
  • Improvisational piecing
  • Alternate grid work
  • Asymmetry
  • Modern Traditionalism
Our members then shared their own modern quilts and we had a fun exercise finding the modern elements in each. Hopefully, we all went away with some new ideas on how to add some modern flair to our quilt creations!

Thank you to our 2015-16 President Cheryl Brickey

Cheryl was presented with the finished Spool mini quilt, pieced by our Board members and quilted by our VP, Faye Jones.

QuiltCon 2017 GMQG Charity Quilt

Valorie Kasten presented the finished quilt for this year's QuiltCon charity project. Thank you Valorie for organizing, cutting and quilting this one. Many of our members participated by piecing the blocks, stitching them together and our Treasurer, Paige, finished up with binding. We couldn't be happier with the results! After QuiltCon, the quilt will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Valorie Kasten and Charity Chairperson, Faye Jones

Modern Skill Builder - Block of the Month
Cheryl Brickey will be selecting our monthly block. The blocks will be modern and feature many different piecing techniques. It's the perfect opportunity to learn something new in a simple one block format. You can choose to keep your block or donate it to the guild to be used for charity quilts.

This month's block is Cloud9 New Block designed by Carole Lyles Shaw (our Regional MQG representative)

Find the block here:
and a detailed 12 page pdf tutorial here:

Block size is 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" unfinished.
Fabrics to be used (if submitting blocks to the guild charity): Solid fabrics in blues and greens
Extra note: This block sometimes creates quite large scraps from trimming the block to the finished size. Please bring these block scraps also.

Be In the Know

Quilters of SC Spring meeting is in Aiken on March 25. The speaker is Cindy Grisdela author of the new book "Artful Improv".

Sew-In day is January 27th any time from 10-4 at the Bernina Sewing Center. Bring whatever you'd like to work on and have some fun social time while you sew! Admission is one half yard purchased in the shop. One participant will go home with the bundle!

Retreat plans are still in the works for April. More info to come once we have a confirmation from the retreat center.

We have plans to bring Michelle Wilke (Factotum of Arts), a modern designer and quilter, to Greenville for a lecture and workshop in May. Details are being finalized. Watch for more information on when you can sign up coming soon!

We are grateful for Nancy DeJong, who has volunteered to be our Membership Chairperson. Watch for proposed changes to the Bylaws, which will be voted on at the next meeting.

GMQG now has an Instagram account! We are @greenvillemqg. Be sure to follow us if you're an Instagrammer!

Johnny McKenzie has volunteered to organize a mentoring program to connect experienced quilters with members new to quilting who need advice and guidance. For more information or to participate in the program contact Johnnie by email at

Johnny McKenzie is also offering free beginner classes in her home for our members. Two classes "Ready, Set, Quilt" and "Quilt Making/Sewing basics" will start in January. For more information or to participate contact Johnnie by email at Thank you Johnnie!

Show and Share

So many beautiful quilts were shared at our meeting this month. Eleven of these will be going to charity, several being donated to families who have lost so much in the fires in Gatlinburg, TN.

Michelle Blake donation

Pam Loburk

Nancy DeJong

Nancy DeJong donation

Carol Kreson donation

Cheryl Brickey donation

Johnny McKenzie

Mary Ann

Valorie Kasten center and right donation

Faye Jones center and right donation
Cindy Lammon (top quilt donation)
Next Month
Next month, the focus is on improving our machine quilting skills. We'll have demos of three different machine quilting techniques in a Round Robin format. Hope to see you in February!