Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lincoln MQG 2018 Charity Quilt

As QuiltCon 2018 draws near, MQG members from all over the world make ready to travel to Pasadena California to attend classes and lectures and to view extraordinary exhibits of modern quilts. One such exhibit is the MQG QuiltCon Charity Quilt exhibit. This is the story of the Lincoln MQG's journey to participate in this special exhibit.

Lincoln MQG 2018 QuiltCon Charity Quilt


designed by Juliette Karjala and constructed by members of the 
Lincoln Modern Quilt Guild

This years theme was modern traditionalism, and when we saw the palette for the 2018 Charity Quilt, we got very excited. It is a beautiful array of colors that would really compliment any traditional block.

A sign up sheet was sent around at our August, 2017 meeting asking for members who were interested in being on the committee.

At our first meeting were myself (Juliette), Sheila Green, Tom Meyer, Jo Jones, Linda Gale, Vicky Bedell and Mary Dittenber. Each of us submitted designs and suggestions for the quilt and I was honored that one of my designs was chosen. I had taken several designs I had done that contained traditional blocks and colored them in the charity quilt palette.

We continued to discuss changes in the original submission and a consensus was reached to create a sweeping arc of varying sizes that would start in the upper right, cascade down the left side and end in the lower right, with blocks growing in size as they went around the quilt.

I did more of a conceptual drawing rather than a step-by-step pattern. The thought was that the quilt would be constructed using an “alternate” grid or no real grid at all. The blocks would be placed in the arcing shape, starting in the upper right, down the left side and ending again on the lower right, the spaces between and the large white space on the right would be filled with tone-on-tone white and off white pinwheels of various sizes creating a modern setting and aesthetic using two very traditional blocks, Friendship Star and Pinwheel.

The first sew day was actually on the guilds normal sew day on Sept 9, 2017 at the IQSCM, International Quilt Study Center and Museum. So many members showed up to help construct the numerous half-square triangles that would be needed to create this quilt. Sheila Green had brought a sheet, folded to the maximum size allowed to give us a frame of reference for placing the blocks as they were constructed. It was decided that we would only make the half-square triangles instead of complete blocks to allow for the nesting of one bock next to another.

( L-R ) Liz Thanel, Sheila Green, Chris Taylor, Tom Meyer, Linda Crump, Kris Jarchow, Jim Kohler, Linda Gale, Nancy Goff, Juliette Karjala, Jennifer VanDyke, Rhonda Eddy.
Not shown: Mary Dittenber, Jo Jones, Brenda Wiseman, Becky Wroghton, Barbara Kitsmiller, Coleen James, Pat Kant, and Meylonie Schatz

Linda Gale, Liz Thanel and Kris Jarchow work on making the half square triangles.

The half square triangle blocks that make up most of the design.

The beginning of the quilt starts to take shape. We eventually went to a white sheet so the design was more visible.

Our second meeting to work on the quilt was also at the IQSCM. As I knew we would have more than enough of the half-square triangles for the quilt, I started pinning them to the sheet. As things progressed it was decided that each size of blocks, both friendship stars and pinwheels, would be sewn together to create a section. One section of 6-1/2 inch blocks, one of 9-1/2 inch blocks, 12-1/2 inch and then finally, the only 15” star on the bottom right ending the arc.

One person would work on each section as it made it simpler to keep track with all the pieces being the same size. With the ½ square triangles laid out in rows for each section, it was a simple process of sewing the rows together. Others would work on the tone-on-tone pinwheels for the “border” and to be used as filler after the sections were completed.

At our final sew day for the construction of the quilt, on Sept 27, 2017, the sections came together. As they did, I would add a block or two to make it appear each area flowed into the next without it looking like separate areas.

The borders were added and we were done. Finally the top was finished

 We also used the extra blocks to create a panel for the back.

Linda Gale and Linda Crump work on the back.

Member Kristine Morrow let us use her lovely studio and long arm so several members could work on the quilting.

It wasn’t until I was asked to write about the design process that I came up with the name for this quilt, Fluidity. While the image was fairly firm in my mind, the process wasn’t and as each sew day came and went, the quilt just came together with the help and suggestions from the members. The entire guild really had a part in making the finished quilt. The construction of the quilt was very fluid minute by minute, hence, Fluidity.

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