Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Quilts for Pulse: Charity Block Drive

The Orlando MQG has organized a quilt and block drive to benefit the survivors and victims' families following the tragic event at the Orlando nightclub Pulse. You can find more information about the heart blocks they're collecting here and here. In addition to these heart blocks, the Knoxville MQG will also collect 16.5" unfinished stacked stones blocks to turn into complete quilts. We will incorporate some similarly stacked heart blocks to continue the charity drive theme, but we are not soliciting those blocks in our drive. We plan to finish 1 or 2 quilts and send them to Orlando to ease the efforts of that guild.

For our block selection, stacked stones, you can reference the tutorial found here. But remember, the blocks need to be 16.5" unfinished, so make your blocks wider and longer than the tutorial and then trim down to 16.5". We would like the colored portion of the block to start with red or pink at one end and proceed in rainbow order (ROY G BIV), ending with purple or pink at the opposite end. Use low volume or white for the pieces on either side of the color, and feel free to mix different low volume fabrics together as shown above. This is a great block for your scraps! If you would like to donate batting or backing, please email

Both heart and stacked stone blocks are due at our July 16 meeting.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Traditional Craft, Modern Perspective: A Quilt Show

(photographs by Alison McQuain Photography)

KMQG 2016 QuiltCon Charity Quilt (l) inspired by Sarah Shebaro's original print artwork (r)

After last year's artistic collaboration with Knoxville letterpress studio Striped Light in which the Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild was inspired to create our 2016 QuiltCon Charity Quilt (read all about it here), they were kind enough to offer us a First Friday spot in their gallery for our first official quilt show. An honest-to-goodness modern quilt show had always been a goal of our founding members, and our show, entitled Traditional Craft: Modern Perspective, would not have been possible without the support and guidance of the artists at Striped Light.

wall of mini quilts

Quilt entries were open to all KMQG members and we were able to include all 13 submissions in the show. We also filled a wall with any and all mini quilts made by our members. The quilts featured in the exhibition represent a wide and beautiful range of talents and perspectives within our organization.

created by Melissa Everett (l) and Emily Doane (r)

created by Taylor Opel (l) and Sarah Elliott (r)

A month before the show, members attended a class at Striped Light on modular linoleum block printing using the letterpress. We made geometric block shapes on linoleum and printed beautiful transparent colors to create the background design for our posters. In a second class, we applied the text for the posters, which were posted and distributed around Knoxville. One-of-a-kind posters and prints were available for sale at Striped Light during the show, and the remaining posters and prints will be available for sale via Striped Light's Instagram account (@striped_light) on Thursday, June 9 at noon.

2015 QuiltCon Charity Quilt
The show was advertised through social media, local newspapers and our beautiful posters. We had an amazing opening night for First Friday: May. We received so many encouraging comments throughout the evening, including one visitor who encouraged us to apply for an exhibition at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg.

created by Christy Cooper

created by Michelle Bolt
Unlike many shows, our quilts were not judged. Instead, each participant received a beautiful handmade ribbon made by members Elizabeth Rea and Emily Doane. Our goal is to make this show a true celebration of modern quilting in Knoxville rather than a competition.

Given the success of the First Friday opening and weekend, the exhibition was extended for another weekend to take advantage of Knoxville's Open Streets event, in which Central St. was closed to traffic and people came out to enjoy the arts and local businesses.

created by Pat Pike

created by Emily Doane
We can't say enough about the hospitality of Striped Light founders Sarah Shebaro and Bryan Baker. They have so much knowledge and generosity to teach and help others. Our quilt show would not have been possible without them, and their creativity lit a fire in us for next year's show!

Before the closing of our show, we were already talking about and planning next year's show! You won't want to miss it.  

(l-r) created by Mary Beth Meadows, Jennifer Grace, Michelle Bolt, Rosaline Woodard, Pat Pike

created by Carol Matlak (l) and Elizabeth Rea (r)

Thanks to everyone who came and supported us, who left their email, who told us they loved it, who said that it was the best art show they have seen in Knoxville. Thank you. It feels amazing to have our work be shared with the public and for people to see quilts in a new light, from a new perspective.