CMQG Charity Quilt Off to QuiltCon 2018

After one of the Canberra Modern Quilt Guild’s members had seen so many great charity quilts at the previous years’ QuiltCon, she inspired the Guild to create our own version for 2018.

With the theme of “modern traditionalism”, we wanted to use a base block that we hadn’t often seen used in modern quilts. We also wanted a block that everyone in our guild could help with, whatever their experience level in modern quilting.
Guild member Carolyn Goonrey came up with a few designs using the rail fence block. This was refined to the final design, which used space and colour to explore what a fence and boundary means.

This theme and block resonated strongly with our Guild, as planning regulations in Canberra don’t allow front fences. Instead, people find other ways, such as fences made of shrubs, to put in barriers around their houses.

When talking about the theme of fences, we also reflected on the many conversations taking place in Australia around refugees, and the hardline stand that the Australian Government takes.

We called this quilt “Don’t Fence Me Out” to reflect how we want to be more open and inviting to our neighbours and refugees.

Once the design was finalised, Carolyn set up foundation paper piece patterns. This ensured that regardless of different skills, machines or seam allowances, the final blocks would all be consistent.

The first group of blocks were made at our annual Canberra Modern Quilt Guild show to demonstrate the work the Guild does. Blocks were also given to interested members to put together. Our September 2017 sewing day had Guild members working hard to finish the remaining blocks. After a final sewing bee weekend at a member’s home, the top was finished.

To keep with the theme, we wanted to quilt “welcome” in different languages that reflect the heritage of our members, as well as the Ngunnawal and Ngambi peoples – the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land where the city of Canberra was built.

These words were then quilted across the quilt, along with straight lines to reflect the borders and boundaries that are around us all. A floral motif was added to represent the Canberra bluebell, the floral emblem of the Australian Capital Territory.

It was great fun working with the guild to pull this together. After being displayed at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena California, the Guild will use the quilt to support a local charity benefiting refugees.

Canberra MQG Website Updated

The Canberra MQG website has gone under a much needed overhaul. We’ve updated information and tried to make the website so that it will be accurate without needing frequent updates.

We’ll also be updating our Facebook page more often – particularly with notices for meetings and sewing days.

2015 raffle prize winners


I’m pleased to officially announce the following results from the first CMQG raffle. A big thank you to everyone who entered, your support ensures the sustainability of our guild.

The raffle was drawn at 4pm on Sunday the 9th of August 2015 under permit number ACT R 15/00278.

First drawn ticket  #0432 – Denise Carruthers

Second drawn ticket #0402 – Valerie Chisholm

Third drawn ticket #0479 – Lyn Walker

All winners have been notified.


Canberra Modern Quilt Guild has a new home!

Our members enjoying the recent sewing day

As we start a ‘new’ year at the guild, we have found a new home to host our guild events. The Civic Library was great, however we have outgrown the space, and the Downer Community Centre will provide us with more space, better facilities and a place for our sewing days too! The Centre is located in Frencham Place, Downer, with plenty of onsite parking.

Guild meetings:

The guild continues to meet every fourth Thursday of the month from 7:30pm at the Downer Community Centre.

Our 2015 meetings will be held on 23 July, 27 August, 25 September, 23 October and 27 November.

These meetings are a great opportunity to catch up with members, learn a new skill and be inspired by the incredible show and tell that we all love each month. Bring some hand sewing, supper (cake is always welcome!) and enjoy sharing and learning with our amazing community in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Meetings are open to the public and free for members. Want to join us? Visit our membership page.

Sewing days:

Sewing days will be held on the first Saturday of the month from 10am to 3pm at the Downer Community Centre.

Our 2015 sewing days will be held on 1 August, 5 September, 3 October, 7 November and 5 December.

Come to a sewing day and you can hang out with awesome quilty people while you catch up on your sewing projects. Tables and chairs are provided, please bring along everything else you need for sewing, including your machine, power cords, irons and cutting tools.

Sewing days are open to the public and cost $10 for members or $20 for non-members (for more information, please visit our membership page).

Hope to see you soon at one of our upcoming events!

Extension for entry Canberra Modern Quilt show

We have extended the deadline to enter your quilts into the Canberra Modern Quilt Show.  We don’t want anyone to miss out on having their quilts in our first big show.

There is so much talent in our guild, we see it every month at show and tell. We would absolutely love to share as many of the stunning quilts from as many of you as we can.

This is a great opportunity for us to share modern quilting in Canberra. The show is a really important event for us; it is a huge opportunity to publicise our amazing guild to the public.

Remember, your quilts don’t need to be completed to enter, just as long as they are ready by 1 August 2015. The application process is very quick and easy, a couple of questions and upload your photos.

If you would like to participate, complete the online form by Sunday 12 July.

Enter your quilts here!

Canberra Modern Quilt show – call for entries

Canberra Modern Quilt Guild – Modern Quilt Show

We will be exhibiting at the Canberra Craft and Quilt Fair 6-9 August 2015!

This is a great opportunity for us to share with the craft and quilt community Modern Quilting in Canberra, showcase our member’s spectacular Modern Quilts and publicise our fun loving guild to an interested audience. Applications to display your modern quilts in this exhibition are now open.

Regretfully the hanging space available to us is limited and our calculations indicate that we will be hanging 20 quilts. With such a tight limit on the number of quilts to exhibit, the show subcommittee has determined that quilts will be need to be curated by members of the MQG Board, similarly to the those shortlisted for display at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne earlier this year. Accepted quilts will not be judged.

It will be a tough job for the jurors noting the variety of quilts produced by our members. Please don’t feel upset if your quilt is not selected, it is not a reflection on you or your work, it is a product of the jurors having to select a specified number of quilts that best fit the categories.

If you would like to participate, complete the online form by Thursday 10 July.

You will be notified no later than 21 July 2015 if your quilt is selected to hang at the show. All selected quilts will need to be labelled and provided to the subcommittee with the completed entry form by 1 August 2015. Quilts can be provided at our 23 July 2015 meeting, 1 August 2015 sewing day or by arrangement with an exhibition subcommittee member. At this stage, a hanging sleeve will not be required.

Remember, this is a curated display not a judged show. Quilts will be selected by the jurors based on the overall look of the display and categories, taking into account that we are presenting modern quilting to the Craft and Quilt Fair attendees. It is important that members understand that not being selected is not a reflection of the quality of your work, you all make stunning quilts, the size, category and the overall show determine the quilts that will be exhibited.

Please note that the exhibition is open to financial members (paid by 31 July 2015) only.

Challenge Quilts
As part of the modern quilt show, we are also inviting members to participate in the challenge quilts. The theme for the challenge is ‘modern takes on traditional’ – get creative and redesign those traditional quilts blocks! The colour scheme is monochrome (black, white and grey) and your mini quilt must measure 24” square with binding on. We will display these all together in the show as a wall of smalls. Your challenge quilt must be delivered to the show subcommittee by 1 August 2015 with the completed entry form (sections 1, 2 and 3 only). Entries are open to all financial members who have paid their 2015-16 membership fees by 31 July 2015 and will not be undergoing a curation process.

Any questions regarding quilt entries should be referred the exhibition subcommittee.

Enter your quilts here!

Doodling and free motion quilting

The next meeting is this Thursday 22 January, on at the civic library – 7:30pm.

As well as catching up on all the fabulous projects you’d like to bring, we’re going to have a bit of fun doodling. I’ll take people through a few different free motion quilting designs and and we’ll practice them through doodles. Bring plain paper and pencils – lead pencil is fine or some coloured pencils / pens / textas. I’ll also have some spare paper and pencils.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone’s been up to over the break and new year.

Thursday meeting

A reminder that our November meeting is on Thursday – 27 November 7:30 at the civic library.

We have a great stash of quilts to give back to everyone. These were the quilts that were exhibited at Braidwood over the weekend.

Thanks to everyone involved for helping make the show look absolutely beautiful! It was so good to see so many of our quilts together. And amazing to see how a hall full of unmatched chairs and tables was transformed into a quilt exhibition!!


Members spotlight – Danielle part two

Welcome to the second part where we learn more about Danielle. Is there a technique on your list to learn this year? How do you like to learn new techniques?

I would love to do more foundation paper piecing. I have done a few blocks here and there (all bee blocks, I think!) but would love to do something of my choosing and for me. I like to learn by just jumping in, perhaps reading a tutorial or two and maybe having a friend to sew the same thing with so we can help each other and laugh at our mistakes instead of despairing alone. Another technique I’d like to try is top-down or open seam piecing. Sarah Fielke’s quilt In the Night Garden is made using this technique and it’s a stunner!

Where do you find your inspiration?

One of the things I really love about quilting is how there is inspiration everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a pattern on a floor, or a wall, in a building, even on packaging, and thought, that could make a quilt! I love going to friends’ houses who have older style bathrooms because very often there will be an amazing tessellated tile pattern on the floor or walls. I’d love to say that every time I see an object in this way that I rush home and whip up a quilt, or at least draw the pattern and save it for later, but sadly that’s not where my headspace is right now – I’m hoping that in years to come when life is not so crazy that I will have a lot more time to reflect on design and nature and turn my ideas into all the things!

Of course in the meantime there is inspiration non-stop if you choose to engage in social media – sometimes I think there is too much! I’m constantly astounded by how many people just like me there are all over the world, with the same motivation to make beautiful things. It has been wonderful to connect with people long distances away in an instant, and I’ve made some very close friendships with lovely people I’ve met online (and have been lucky enough to meet some of them in real life too, while on holidays in the UK and US).

Who are your quilt idols?
It is hard to narrow my quilt idols to one or two. I’ll start with fabric – my absolute favourite designer would have to be Anna Maria Horner. Her colour palette is my idea of perfection, pretty much anything she brings out I love. First and foremost it’s about the colour, or the combination of colours, but secondly it’s the drawings – Anna is an artist above anything else, and I love that she shares her work and her inspiration on her blog and on Instagram. I also love Denyse Schmidt – I love how she borrows from vintage fabrics and re-interprets them with a modern style and colour palette. And the simplicity and crispness of her quilts make them a stand out for me. Recently I’ve fallen in love with Carolyn Friedlander’s fabrics – Carolyn has a background in architecture and her fabric designs (and quilt designs) very much reflect this; they are very geometric and line-based, in soft but contrasting colours.

Sarah Fielke, an Australian quilter and designer, has been a big influence on me. I love her use of colour, and am a big fan of appliqué and hand quilting, both of which Sarah employs by the bucketload. One of my favourite quilts I’ve ever made is her Millefiori pattern, all hand quilted and appliquéd.

Jen Kingwell, another Aussie, is a big favourite too. As I’ve already mentioned, I’m part-way through making her Green Tea and Sweet Beans pattern, and have several other of her patterns lined up for next year (and beyond). Again I admire her use of colour and envy her ability to throw such eclectic mixes of fabrics together as if they always belonged that way.

What five things or people are inspiring you right now?

1. Antique quilts – People have been making quilts forever – I feel it connects us with the past and I see my quilts as part of my legacy. I love looking at antique quilts in books and online (there is a great catalogue on the Victoria and Albert Museum website), and one day I would like to tackle a reproduction of an epic antique quilt. I’m thinking I might start with the 1718 Coverlet, which is an English quilt, pieced and appliquéd, and recently reproduced and published with its own book.
2. Blue Elephant Stitches – I love Jolene’s quilts – they’re not fancy, they’re just simple, and beautiful.
3. Flossie Teacakes – Florence makes the most beautiful things, she always has some EPP on the go and invariably it involves Liberty. I also love the way she writes – I hope she’ll come out with a book one day! And she has a very cute puppy.
4. Make Something – I’ve followed Karen in Toronto since I rediscovered sewing a few years ago. She makes fabulous clothing (something I would love to do more!) as well as the occasional quilt.
5. Japanese modern quilters – they have a style that is all their own. I’ve recently discovered Patchwork Tsushin magazine, which is a treasure trove of incredible quilts (primarily what we would describe as modern). Unfortunately the magazine is only available in Japanese, but the photography is wonderful and the patterns have clear diagrams and measurements included. Japanese fabric designers are also worth seeking out for their modern fabrics – some of my favourites are Suzuko Koseki (who specialises in modernising retro motifs), Kumiko Fujita, Kei and Keiko Goke.