Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • February Field Trip Two--Feb 28th from 10-12am at Del Ray Fabrics, optional lunch
  • March meeting--Mar 21st from 10:00-4:00 at Westover Library--bag sewing
  • April Meeting--Apr 19 from 12:00-4:30 at Quilter's Studio in Fairfax--open sew
  • May meeting--May 2nd from 11:00-5:00 at Capital Quilts
  • May 30th--Outdoor Hand Sewing Day at the United States Botanic Gardens
  • June 7th--Denyse Schmidt workshop from 11am to 4pm on the NVCC Alexandria campus
  • June 7th--Denyse Schmidt lecture from 5:30pm to 7pm on the NVCC Alexandria campus, open to the public

Friday, March 6, 2015

Notes from the field: QuiltCon!

Lynne here...So, yes I did go to QuiltCon!  You have probably already seen lots and lots of pics from QuiltCon.  The quilts, the swag, the shopping, and if you check Instagram, the partying! 

The first morning I was signed up for an embroidery class with Alison Glass.  Note to self – next time don’t sign up for a 9AM class when you arrive at midnight the night before!  After a long line for registration, I did get to class on time.  We started this lovely sampler that could be made into a needle case.  I always feel that a class is worthwhile if I come away with some game changers on how I have do things.  I now understand why anyone would want a needle book of any size – to keep all those needles already threaded with different threads, how to make a French knot which I have previously failed to achieve, and the biggie…that you embroider through 2 layers of fabric so that your thread does not show on the back.  I love doing these simple sashiko kits and they come with extra fabric, so now I know…I was supposed to use both!  Here is my progress so far.

That afternoon it was so gorgeous outside in contrast to the weather at home that I went for a run, checking out where I used to run when I lived in Austin 40 years ago.  I returned to the convention center just in time to attend a lecture.  As soon as I entered the large ballroom I saw the DCMQG QuiltCon charity quilt.  All of the walls of this large, large room were lined with charity quilts – all in the same basic color theme, but how different they were!  Ours was right by the entrance/exit door, sure to be noticed J

The first lecture that I went to was by Alissa Haight Carlton about the use of negative space in modern quilts.  I love that she purposely used quilts in the show to talk about the use of negative space.  Not only did I learn from that lecture, but when I went back to look at the quilts in the show, I was able to look at them in a different way.  When I signed up for QuiltCon, I did what they suggested, go right for the things that would fill quickly, and check out.  Since lectures do not fill quickly, I did not select any, and never went back to add any.  Apparently at the last QuiltCon you could purchase a lecture pass, and I would have liked that.  I went to several lectures and most of them were great.

There are many posts which highlight quilts from the show, but I like this one from sew mama sew as it has 4 embedded slide shows with attribution which some posts do not have.  I agree with many others that the way that the show was set up was awkward.  I am pretty good with maps and spatial orientation, and found it hard to find quilts and sections.  I did not take gazillion pics of the show, but here are a few that I did take…

Robin was part of one of the progressive quilts at Mid-Atlantic Mod last year.  It won first place at in the Group Quilt division.  Here is the quilt with four of the eight contributors, Jessica S, Jessica L, Rose and Robin.

And here is Carla’s quilt from her do.Good.Stitches group that was selected to be displayed.  Isn't it wonderful!

I also took a full day workshop with Jacquie Gering.  I loved this workshop as it focused on using the walking foot for quilting.
I have yet to master free motion quilting, or even get it to be a usable skill, but I am on excellent terms with my walking foot.  She was a great teacher and so encouraging.  She also did a mini-trunk show as a way of showing how the quilting works with the piecing and design.  My favorite is her Running Man quilt.
Throughout the convention I talked to lots of people.  Where were they from?  The person that I met who travelled the furthest was from India…is that further from Austin than New Zealand?  And if they belong to a guild and if they did…I had all sorts of questions about their guild.  But that is for another time.  I also talked to people who were regular volunteers and those special folks who were Super Volunteers…some that put the quilts up and all sorts of things.  Although QuiltCon is going yearly, in 2017 it will be on the East Coast in Savannah.  Hmmm….time to think ahead.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blows Me Away

As of January 1st we had about 45ish members of the guild.  Now, less than two months later, we have 66 members!  Isn't that amazing? 

I'd like to ask all members, new and not, to introduce yourself to some fresh faces at the next couple of meetings.  I love how friendly this group is, but don't be shy about including someone new.  If you are one of the recent additions, don't forget to bring an item for show and tell at the next meeting you can attend.  Seeing your work and hearing you explain your inspiration helps the rest of us get to know you better. 

Another great way to get to know one another is on Instagram, Flickr and through member blogs.  Feel free to share your Instagram account or blog link below.  Every member that has a blog and wants to be linked up in our sidebar should be listed there.  If I don't have your blog account listed, let me know and I'll fix it. 

In other news, the DCMQG has a Flickr account if you haven't seen that yet.  For those not on Instagram, I'm uploading any pictures or announcements from IG to Flickr.  I will not be able to keep up with comments on the Flickr pictures, but you can always email me if you have any questions.  The Flickr account name is DCMQG. 

Lastly, I changed the settings here to make adding blog comments easier.  Now you don't have to do any nonsense word/number verification.  I will have to approve comments on posts that are 10 days old so those comments may take a day or two to show up.  I hope that makes communication a little smoother.  Those members that are using mobile devices to read the blog and comment, please let me know if this does or doesn't help you leave a comment on the blog. 

Quilts +Plus+ Inspiration

Hello DCMQG!  Carissa here.  Your VP for 2015.  You’ll be hearing a bit more from me this year as I learn the ropes of blogging and contribute with posts here!  

Truth be told, I do most of my quilting and sewing in my head these days. Hobby time is scarce and, oftentimes, it's easier to daydream about quilting or surf blogs and fabric shops than to log actual time at the sewing machine with two boys under 4 running around.  I decided (quite deliberately) to become a quilter during the bleak postpartum winter after my oldest son was born in 2010.  In years prior, I had devoured the hobbies of knitting and spinning so, when left with zero time in which to accomplish those crafty endeavors, what better to do than…  start a new hobby!  Surfing through inspiring blog posts and Flickr pictures late at night (or whenever I could eek out the time in my sleep-deprived haze), I found a whole new world of color, beauty, texture, and skills to be had in this culture of modern quilting.  And so my latest obsessive hobby was born.  My grandmother was an accomplished sewist and quilter, I had made my own clothes as a kid in 4-H and always loved crafting, but I hadn’t sewn anything in decades.  I had to re-teach myself how to sew and now it was with a bigger purpose.  Lucky for me, when I happened across former guild President and member Katie Blakesly’s SwimBikeQuilt blog in early 2013, I learned of the DCMQG!  Needless to say, I was elated to have found this group.  Right in my backyard, no less! It was kismet.

So what’s been inspiring me lately (other than all the drool-worthy QuiltCon posts on Instagram…)?  I’m really digging all the plus quilts that I’ve been seeing around on social media.

Koi Plus Quilt from C'est la vie

Summer Love Plus Quilt from Blue Elephant Stitches

Luckily one of our very own, Carla, of the blog Modern Bias, has a great tutorial for a modern take on a plus quilt: Cascade (complete with healthy doses of both Anna Maria Horner and low volume prints).  

Carla's cascading pluses

Try it out; give it a whirl!  Or, if you’re like me, add it to your growing list of a bajillion projects you want to make.  Have you already made a plus quilt? Post a picture to share with us on Instagram or in the DCMQG Flickr group.

What inspires you to make quilts?  Did you go to QuiltCon?  Tell us!

P.S. We’ll see some of you out at Del Ray Fabrics this weekend!  Until then, enjoy this last wintery week of February.

Friday, February 20, 2015


  • Five of our members are currently at QuiltCon: Susan, Heather, Robin, Lynne and Phyllis.  That still means that the majority of our membership is at home.  I started a hashtag on Instagram for #SewingatHomeCon.  Feel free to join in on IG or here on Flickr.  Take a picture of any piecing, quilting, apparel projects, bag projects or hand stitching that you are doing between now and midnight on Sunday and post it to share. 
  • Saturday, February 28th is the field trip to Del Ray Fabrics in Alexandria.  This is an RSVP event so we can let Pam know how many people will be in her home.  We will be meeting there from 10-12ish and then going out for lunch in the neighborhood.  So far, I have Jane, Linda F., Dana, Susan, Helen, Leah B., Brigid, Elle, Cathy, Nisha, Jamie + guest, and Anjeanette signed up.  If you plan to attend and are not on the list above, please comment below or email me at dcmodquilts.gmail.com to RSVP.  I'll send out the email with address and directions on Tuesday.
  • We need some volunteers for treats and drinks at Del Ray Fabrics.  Please sign up either by comment below or email me.  I will bring napkins, cups and plates.
  • The pincushion swap is in full swing.  I've seen some cute sneak peeks on IG.  Remember that the mailing deadline is March 2nd. 
  • Our March 21st meeting at the Westover Library will have a bag sewing theme.  We won't have a specific pattern or tutorial because there are just too many cute bags out there to sew.  Instead, those that want to sew bags should pick a pattern and let the group know (here in the comments or over on IG).  Please share bag patterns that you have already sewn, too.  I'd like to try to get people to sit near someone that is working on the same pattern or sit by someone that has sewn that pattern before.  Let's utilize the combined expertise in our group.  If you do not want to sew a bag in March, you should still come and sew with us and do some socializing and show 'n tell. 
  •  Lastly, I'll close with this picture from our field trip to the DAR Museum at the beginning of the month. 
I got to see these 17 beautiful faces at the #DCMQGfieldtrip to the DAR Museum. What a great turn out! Plus we had two brand new members join us and two members that were new from the January meeting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Last Call for Denyse Schmidt Workshop Lottery

Just a quick reminder to sign up for the Denyse Schmidt lottery by TONIGHT (Tuesday, Feb. 17th) at 7:00pm if you're interested in the Pure Improvisation workshop on June 7th!  Use the link provided in your email from last week (sent on 2/10/15) and click "Submit Form" to be entered in the lottery.  The Board will randomly draw 20 names tonight at 8:00pm and notify the participants selected.  Best of luck to everyone!