Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February 2018 Meeting Recap

The February meeting of the Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild was packed with a lot of great information and new challenges -- plus a few new smiling faces. We're happy to welcome new members, so if you would like to join us, drop us a line at! Dues are $40 for the year and include access to the Modern Quilt Guild website and all the amazing, inspiring resources available there.

Perkiomen Valley blocks for the Ventura MQG collection

After putting out a call for blocks just one month ago, we collected an impressive 20 blocks to send to the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild in Ventura, CA. They've organized a drive to collect blocks and quilts for victims of the Thomas fire and subsequent mudslides. You can read more about their efforts here. Thank you to all the KMQG members who contributed blocks!

Head's up:
  • The 24th Annual A Mountain Quiltfest will hang Wednesday, March 21 through Saturday, March 24 at The LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Information can be found here.
  • The Smoky Mountain Quilters of Tennessee are accepting submissions for their 2018 quilt show through May 7. The show will hang Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 at the Knoxville Expo Center. Information can be found here.
  • Budding designers may be interested in Craftsy's 2018 Quilt Designer Fellowship. The deadline for submission is March 5. Information can be found here.
  • With the impending closure of FreeSpirit Fabric (including Westminster and Rowan), now is a good time to gather free patterns from the FreeSpirit website before it goes dark. The link is 
  • QuiltCon is starting February 22 in Pasadena, CA. If you'd like to follow along on Instagram, check out these hashtags:
    • #quiltcon
    • #quiltcon2018
    • #showusyourmqg
    • #quiltconfromhome
    • #notgoingtoquiltcon

The KMQG supports local nonprofit The Restoration House of East Tennessee by providing quilts to families that graduate from the organization. Our next charity quilt will be Julie Hirt's Color Weave pattern available from Moda Bake Shop.

Members are asked to make one or more blocks from the pattern available here using SOLID FABRICS in the palette below: teal/blue/aqua and neutrals (white/cream/beige/tan/taupe). Note that each block is 10" x 17.5" unfinished, with 1/4" seams. Blocks are due at the May 19 meeting.

And finally (well, finally except for a recap of show and tell), a mini quilt challenge was issued to members. The challenge grew from a study of modern traditionalism and modern art, and we're translating those concepts to mini quilts. The minis must incorporate two fabrics provided -- colors were chosen by the Color Theory class at the UT School of Architecture. Members may add any prints or solids, as desired, and may choose any pattern, design, or shape, as long as it hangs. Quilts must be quilted and bound, with foldover corners ready for hanging, and must measure between 12”x12” and 24”x24”. Minis are due at the meeting on April 21, and members may choose to have their quilts displayed at a small guild show in May (more info to come). Please send questions to

Now for show and tell!

Celia Shanks

Erin Keegan

Elaine White

Christy Cooper

Elizabeth Rea

Elizabeth Rea

Melissa Everett

Rosalind Woodard

Rosalind Woodard

Phyllis Dermer

Gretchen Wilson

Megan Boatwright

Michelle Thompson

Yvonne Fisher

Yvonne Fisher

Cathy Parks

Pat Pike

Antique quilt gifted to Pat Pike

Emily Doane and her quilt (r) that got published in a book!

The book where you can find Emily's quilt

Sarah Elliott

Next meeting: Saturday, March 17 10:15-12:00 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, TN

Monday, February 5, 2018

Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge 2018

One aspect of the Modern Quilt Guild's annual QuiltCon is the Charity Quilt Challenge. Guilds and individual members have the opportunity to make a quilt using the MQG's chosen theme and color palette. For QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, CA, the theme is Modern Traditionalism, and here's the MQG's definition:

"Modern traditional quilts can be made by:
  • Updating a traditional block with modern quilting elements such as (but not limited to):
    • Playing with scale
    • Using negative space
    • Modern color palettes
  • Updating a traditional quilt layout with modern quilting design elements such as:
    • Alternate gridwork
    • Use of negative space
    • Improvisation
  • Using updated quilting motifs instead of using traditional designs such as feathers
Most (but not all) traditional quilts are typically built on a symmetrical grid structure of pieced blocks that are the same size throughout the quilt. Also, many traditional quilt blocks are ‘small’ or made of many small pieces. In addition, there are many traditional quilts that incorporate modern design elements such as Amish quilts or even the random and freeform blocks designs in crazy quilts." 

This is the color palette we were given to work with:

Armed with all that information, the KMQG got to work. We wanted to do something with a connection to Knoxville, East Tennessee, or the Smoky Mountain region, so we did some research on patterns and designs that identify with the area. We found a traditional pattern by Bonnie K. Hunter of a slanted star, called Smokey Mountain Stars, and took it as our inspiration.

Smokey Mountain Stars by Bonnie K. Hunter

Member Jennifer Grace sketched an oversized slanted star made of half-square triangles with a shattered appearance and an ombre color effect, and we were off to the races.

We divided up the star in such a way as to allow members to piece portions of it. Blocks are 6 and 12 inches square depending on placement, so the half-square triangles are only 2 inches finished.

Fabric was ordered, and member Elizabeth Rea cut kits for members to create their assigned sections.

The members' sections were assembled into the large star, which was surrounded by white space.

Member Pat Pike quilted it on her longarm machine with undulating waves to create movement and add texture while not distracting from the design. Melissa Everett added binding, strategically placing color at opposite corners, and a sleeve so that the quilt can hang with others in the charity challenge display in Pasadena.

This quilt and its inspiration reflect our guild’s home in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and the beauty we see here every day. We hope everyone who sees it at QuiltCon enjoys it, and we look forward to donating it locally when it returns.

You can revisit our QuiltCon quilt from 2017 here. And check out our quilt from 2016 here.