Thursday, October 27, 2016

Challenge Yourself! with Bay Area Modern Quilt Group

This past weekend, I presented my "Challenge Yourself!" Lecture/Trunk Show for the Bay Area Modern Quilt Group.  I was really excited to see so many familiar faces in attendance, both recognizable from when I was a member of BAMQG as well some crossover from other quilt guilds.  If you've never attended a BAMQG meeting...you must!  They are an energetic group who manage to pack a lot of activities into the membership year, including lots of philanthropic work!!
Challenge Yourself Lecture/Trunk Show
In my talk, I strive to encourage participation in quilt challenges as I discuss fears, benefits, tips & tricks while sharing my own experiences participating in 40+ challenges.  In many ways, I felt like I was preaching to the choir, as BAMQG routinely offers challenges for its members.  In fact, during the board officer announcements portion of the meeting, they provided friendly reminders for current challenge that is due in November.  So then I adjusted my message and encouraged them to consider entering some of the more traditional challenges which could greatly benefit from the addition of more modern quilt designs!!  

Interestingly enough, I credit BAMQG for being an early influence as I began my love of quilt challenges as I participated in 4 different guild challenges. 

The first was a fabric challenge where the guild provided free fabric from the Lotta Jansdotter Echo collection and we were to create something for ourselves.  I had seen a number of great sewing pouches online and set out to create my own quilter's emergency kit that features my own block designs on the one panel.  Inside, I made pockets for to organize all my tools & notions, as well as a small first aide pocket to store band-aid (which has come in very handy for both myself and my fellow quilters).  This pouch has been my go to for retreats, workshops and sew days, and has received quite a bit of attention from teachers/students.
Quilter's Emergency Kit
We also did a scrap pillow swap where each member packed up some leftover scraps into a bag that were then redistributed and the recipient used them to make a pillow for their partner.  I chose to highlight my partner's scraps in a Cathedral Window block turned into a pillow.  
Scrap Pillow Swap
Another challenge was designing and piecing a block using the guild colors (teal, tangerine and white) for use in a guild banner.  I incorporated the guild's logo into the center of my wonky star.  It was such fun to see this little star incorporated into the finished banner that made its debut with the BAMQG Exhibit within the SCVQA Quilt Show.   
Design a Block Challenge
One of the last challenges I completed through BAMQG was a modern Wholecloth Quilt Challenge.  The challenge organizer reached out to Aurifil thread, who generously donated a case of Aurifil thread that was distributed to participants.  At the time, my quilting skills were limited, but I created a zig zag colorwheel featuring echo lines that were all stitched with the use of my walking foot and blue painter's tape.  Seeing so many beautifully stitched designs done by fellow members really motivated me to step up my quilting game and learn how to free motion quilt.
Modern Wholecloth Quilt Challenge
It is always fun to see how much progress I've made as a quilter, many thanks to being part of wonderful quilting groups like BAMQG, as well as participation in quilt guild challenges.

My sincere thanks to...
  • Joelle, BAMQG president, for being a wonderful host and providing the LCD projector
  • Angela, BAMQG Workshop Coordinator, for coordinating all the logistics
  • Sarah, for helping to capture some pretty funny pictures from my lecture/trunk show as well as helping to hold up some of the larger quilts
And I look forward to resuming the fun with BAMQG on November 12th, as I teach my "Walking Foot WOW!"  Rest assured to those who have signed up for this fun workshop:  our finished wholecloth quilt samplers will be way more exciting and modern than the Zig Zag quilt above!!  ;-)

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