Friday, May 29, 2020

Quilt Quark Gallery by Diana Wiggins: My First Quilt!

Ta-da! This is my first official quilt!

Having been a sewer (or as it’s described now, a ‘sewist’) for a lot of years, I had dabbled in quilt-making but never with much intention or good results.  I am taken with modern quilts because of the clean lines, white space, and quirkiness.  So when we decided to live part-time in the SC Upstate, I had to join GMQG!  Since attending my first meeting last December, I have learned a lot from each meeting, from the books I have borrowed, and from many members... thank you! 

This quilt top originally was supposed to be the back of another top I made earlier this year but as I worked with the wonky blocks, I decided to make it the top side instead.  Blocks were all made with scraps I have had for years, and I completed the binding with a Kantha-like running stitch by hand.  I also used echo style machine stitching, one block at a time.  This will hang above one of our guest beds in SC using pockets on the backside to support dowels for stability and weight.  It’s been a lot of fun to see it come together and now it’s on to the next one!  I think this is going to become a habit...

Diana Wiggins

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

June Meeting Notice - zoom, zoom, zoom

We are excited to announce that our scheduled June 6 meeting (1-3 pm) will be from the safety of our homes. 

The ModernQuiltGuild has generously offered guilds the use of their ZOOM account, and as a board we gratefully accepted the opportunity to meet in this new way.

We are also excited about the amazing program that Faye is putting together - “Ask the Experts”.

Two things you need to do this week in preparation for our meeting:

(1) Begin to familiarize yourself with Zoom. You can use Zoom from your smartphone or your desktop. You will want to create an account. There are a lot of tutorials for Zoom found here:

Next week we will send out the Zoom meeting ‘link’ and password via email (not on the blog or social media accounts). 

(2) For our “Ask the Experts” program, we will assemble a panel of knowledgeable experts to answer your pre-submitted questions.

The subjects for our panel will be: 

 #1 Fabric preparation and piecing        

 #2 BOM and modern design    

 #3 Improv           

 #4 Free motion quilting

 #5 Blocking and binding   

 #6 Hand quilting                      

 #7 Miscellaneous and general

Prior to the meeting, please email your questions - specific or general - to Faye @ She will ask the appropriate "expert" to answer live during our first Zoom meeting.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Quilt Quark Gallery by Didi Salvatierra

“MLC #1”    

Made for a 12” Modern Log Cabin Challenge with an out-of-state group.  Fun!

Didi Salvatierra


Please Note: Greenville Quiltfest 2020 has been cancelled. For more information, see the announcement at Mancuso


And a kind note of thanks: 

Sunday, May 3, 2020


While we are in a “downtime” of sequestration, we decided to take a moment to introduce the Board to our fellow members and friends.  To that end, we thought it might be fun and informative to pose the following set of questions to learn something about each other as well as the duties of each position.  The answers to the following questions are below:

Position - Name

What are the duties of your position?  How long have you been a member of GMQG?  How long have you been quilting?  Do you have a favorite tool, technique, resource, or pattern?  Anything else you want to share?

Board of Directors

President – Dagmar Theodore
My primary responsibilities are to MC meetings - help to represent the group as a whole while keeping the meetings on schedule - and coordinate and send out agendas and invitations for board meetings.  I’ve been a member of GMQG since early 2017 and have been quilting for fifteen years.  I love the national MQG member section with their quilts of the month.  Also, the seam ripper and I seem to have a close relationship. :-)  I'm cross-craftual (yes, that’s a word) - I knit and spin yarn too. :-)


Vice President - Programs; Philanthropy Chair; Spring Retreat Co-Chair - Faye Jones
My primary responsibility is Programs (see Cheryl Brickey below).  And as Philanthropy Chair I oversee our charity program, Quilts for Kids, which provides comfort quilts for victims of abuse.  I also facilitate additional charity projects proposed by the national MQG, outside requests, and/or members.  I joined GMQG a few months after it started in 2015 and have been quilting for approximately five years.  My favorite quilting interests are improv-piecing Gees Bend style, free-motion quilting and fabric surface design.

Treasurer – Cindy Lange
The Treasurer pays the bills (rent, national MQG dues, reimbursements for program costs, etc.), deposits our funds (dues, retreat fees), balances the checkbook, prepares tax filings, and maintains accounts in QuickBooks.  Paige Alexander did the job for years and she set me up for success.  I joined the Guild in January of 2019.  I came to a meeting after finding the group online and thought, I have found my people.  I made my first quilt about 35 years ago, a baby quilt for the son of a dear friend.  It wasn’t until 2 ½ years ago, when he and his wife were expecting their first child that I made my second.  I made a small quilt with a Moda jelly roll, a little lopsided, but I was hooked.  My favorite tools include a 9 ½” Square-Up Ruler by Quilt-In-A-Day and the Sewline Air Erasable Fabric Pen.  My favorite resource is the Guild itself.  I love to see what other people are making and enjoy the challenge of the Block of the Month.  I had never made a sampler quilt until undertaking Travis Seward’s last year and with his encouragement, I finished it early this year.  I love Kona cotton solids, and my new favorite place to find beautiful, uncommon international prints is

Co–Secretary; Holiday Luncheon Fundraiser Chair – Dana Blasi
My “co” part of the Secretarial position is taking meeting minutes, writing and editing.  I have been a member of the GMQG since 2015.  I started sewing garments at the age of nine and have been quilting and machine embroidering for eighteen years.  My favorite quilting technique is appliqué while finding a way to incorporate some embroidery (at the very least, with my labels).  Although I love working with my embroidery software, I particularly like the designing phase of creating quilts old-school with ruler, pencil and eraser (lots of the latter).  I am really enjoying the Secretarial position and co-chairing with Emily.  She is definitely the techie brains of the outfit!  The primary responsibilities for the Holiday Luncheon Fundraiser Chair include planning/budgeting/purchasing of the luncheon menu, promotion, decorating, and lottery ticket sales (with lots of volunteer help!).

Co-Secretary - Emily Pitman
According to the Bylaws, we keep and maintain the Guild Minutes.  In reality, we also maintain the blog, email, and social media accounts.  (I am glad there are two of us!)  I have been a member of GMQG for eight months and have been quilting off and on for 25 years.  I love paper-piecing.  My mother tells me this might be an illness, but I love the combination of creating such precise shapes and designs and the sense of solving a puzzle each time.


Membership Chair – Sarah Snider
As Membership Chair I collect annual dues, welcome guests and guide them in (hopefully) signing up as new members.  I take attendance during monthly meetings and update membership with the National Modern Quilt Guild.  I have been a member of GMQG since 2016 and have been quilting since 2013-ish.  I enjoy foundation paper piecing and I love the Add-A-Quarter ruler to help with FPP.  Quilting is a wonderful stress reliever for me.  I thoroughly enjoy it.  Even if I’m not feeling creative, sitting in my sewing room, planning out projects, and organizing my sewing stuff helps my overall mental health!

Committee Chairs

Outside-Speaker Coordinator – Cheryl Brickey
I work with the Vice President (Faye Jones) to select and arrange the annual program and workshop of a visiting, nationally known quilting teacher.  This year we are bringing in Debbie Grifka.  In past years we have brought in Kitty Wilkins and Yvonne Fuchs.  I have been a member of GMQG almost since the beginning, having joined about six months after it first informally originated, and was the president when our guild officially joined the MQG.  I have been quilting for about nine years.  I love EQ8, and I design and render almost all my quilts before I cut any fabric.  I love our guild and how open, sharing, and knowledgeable our membership is.

Spring Retreat Co-Chair and Sew-In Chair – Sandy Helsel
My primary responsibilities for our annual retreat include all reservations and logistics for attending the Wildacres Retreat center in Little Switzerland, NC (registration/ roommate and room assignments; promotion, schedules/activities, small projects).  As the GMQG Sew-In Chair, I am responsible for coordination between our guild and the Bernina We’re-In- Stitches shop to schedule dates for Sew-Ins and tending to the fabric raffle during each session.  I have been a member of GMQG for four years and have been quilting for 30+ years.  My favorite tool is the All-in-One ruler/rotary cutter.

Block-of-the-Month Coordinator – Cynthia Steward
My primary responsibilities include choosing or designing quilt blocks that reflect elements of modern quilting.  I then present them during the monthly meeting to promote participation in guild activities, inspire creativity and encourage members to try different or new techniques. I have been a member of GMQG for two years and have been quilting for over twenty years.  One of my favorite resources is Superior Threads for needles and thread, and one of my favorite techniques is English Paper Piecing.  And I never saw value in pre-wound bobbins until I tried them . . .  was I wrong; they are one of the little things that make quilting more enjoyable.

Facilities Coordinator – Nancy deJong
My primary responsibilities are coordinating with St. Giles Church to reserve the room for meetings and workshops.  I open and prep the room for meetings, return the room to its original order before closing and lock up afterwards.  I have been a member of GMQG since its inception in 2015 and have been quilting for twenty years.  I cannot live without my rotary cutter, ruler and mat!

Librarian – Darleen Sanford
As Librarian I am responsible for bringing books to each meeting and keeping track of those going out and coming back.  In the event books are 4 – 5 months overdue, I send reminder emails to members.  I have been a member of GMQG since the beginning (2015) before we were a part of the National Guild and have been quilting since 2002.  I love to paper piece and am trying to do more improv.  It is not easy for me to just "do it" without instructions.

Friday, May 1, 2020

May Influencers: Amish Quilters, Block of the Month

May Influencers: Amish Quilters - Center Diamond Block
Center Diamond Block

Amish women embraced the American craft of quilting and their focus on simplicity, utility and promoting community is an undeniable influence on the Modern Quilting Movement of the last ten years.  Examples of Amish-made quilts can be found from as early as the mid-1800s but it wasn’t until the 1970s that “Amish Quilts” gained an identity.  Amish quilts incorporate many quilting techniques and patterns.  A simple design aesthetic, which focuses on piecing geometric shapes with a bold use of solid color fabric, is the hallmark of Amish quilts.  This style inspired quilters and collectors in the late 20th century and helped renew interest in quilting.

The large scale Center Diamond (aka Diamond In A Square) pattern is one of the earliest Amish quilt designs.  This month’s block is an updated version of the design with a modern twist.

Click here to visit the blog for the full story and directions from Cynthia.

Click here for a pdf of the directions.

Blocks of the Month are welcome submissions for our virtual gallery (#GMQuiltQuarkGallery). 

And once we get back to meeting in real life, we will be sharing our Blocks of the Month for Show and Share.


Want to get caught up on our beautiful 2020 Blocks of the Month?