Monday, May 7, 2018

Timna Tarr Trunk Show and Workshop

The Boston Modern Quilt Guild is pleased to host Timna Tarr June 16 and 17 for a weekend trunk show and workshop. 

From Timna's website:

Timna Tarr comes from a long line of quilters but did not begin quilting until after studying art history in college. She bought her first longarm in 2001 and began quilting clients' quilts shortly thereafter. Since then she has custom designed and quilted thousands of quilts. Timna’s own nationally award-winning quilts are in private and corporate collections and have been seen in numerous exhibits, quilting magazines, and books. She is an in-demand speaker and teacher throughout the northeastern United States and is a member of her local guilds, Hands Across the Valley Quilters Guild and the Northampton Modern Quilt Guild.

Holyoke 1938 and Fall in the Fall: South Hadley Falls 
Images copyright Timna Tarr

Trunk Show

Our June meeting will feature a trunk show with Timna. This will be held June 16 from 1-3 PM at the Lexington Community Center, located at 39 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA.  


Timna will be teaching her Improvisational Map Quilt workshop on June 17 from 9:30-4:30 on the Brandeis University campus. In this workshop, participants will use fabric to capture a special location. Maybe it’s a favorite vacation spot, neighborhood, or hometown. Over the course of the workshop, participants learn both pattern-making and improvisational quilting techniques to create personal map quilts. Click to see more details on the workshop including the supply list.

Space is limited. Registration is open to guild members only until 19 May when we will open the workshop to the public. If you are not a member and you wish to register before then, you will be placed on a waitlist and given a slot on a first-come, first-served basis at that time. No refunds will be given for cancellations unless a substitute can be found for your slot.

The cost of this six hour workshop is $100.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

January Meeting Recap

We had a fantastic January meeting on Saturday!  We had a number of new members in attendance (welcome!) and we covered a lot of topics.  Peter from Fabric Place Basement gave a talk about his career in fabric and his thoughts about the future of the industry (on-demand fabric printing!) and our show-and-tell featured all kinds of lovely items.

Guild Updates and News

  • If you have not yet paid the final balance for retreat, please do so by February 8th. You can pay via the link at the bottom of the retreat info page on the website. Contact Susan if you can't remember whether or what you owe!
  • If you have not yet paid your 2018 dues, please pay via Join us! on the website. As of January 31, we will drop members who have not renewed from the guild's email blast list.
  • We are losing our meeting and show space at Fabric Place Basement  sometime this spring.  Although the exact date is still up in the air, we assume the February meeting is likely to be our last in this space.  While we find the right new space for our permanent home we may be slightly nomadic, so pay attention to emails and the website for each meeting's location. Amy Kidd will be leading on our space search - please stay tuned for an email and survey from Amy to collect your good ideas for meeting, show, and workshop space.
  • We showed off our two completed charity quilts and voted on which to send to QuiltCon 2018 and which to raffle off later this year. The Log Cabin is going to QuiltCon and the Irish Chain will be raffled
  • Our 2018 mini-quilt challenge will be to create a 30" x 30" (finished) quilt using half-square triangles. The meeting featured demos of several different ways to produce HSTs; Susan made this handy HST quick reference with all the tips and links to tutorials.
  • Don't forget to fill out the skills survey, which we will use to plan content for our Year of Mad Sewing Skills.
  • Emily Hofmann will be manning our new member welcome wagon for the year and our president, vice president, and treasurer are Emily Blatt, Amy Kidd, and Susan McKinney. Send your great ideas for new things we should try at any time!

Upcoming BMQG events 

Watch your inbox and the website for more info about all of these:

  • Our February meeting will be in the traditional time and place at Fabric Place Basement on February 17th.
  • QuiltCon 2018: If you are going to Pasadena for QuiltCon, please email Amy and share your contact info.  Those of us who are going plan to organize a dinner and exchange contact info so we can find each other. (Having BMQG friends to hang out with helped make last year's QuiltCon really fun!)
  • In March, retreat will replace our normal meeting.
  • Our April meeting will be April 21st at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA.  We will have a meeting and admission to the museum will be provided so we can all see the fabulous QUILTS JAPAN exhibit before it leaves.

April Meeting at the New England Quilt Museum

Our April  21st meeting will be held 1-3 pm at the New England Quilt Museum, with museum admission for members covered by the guild. This is everyone's last chance to see the amazing Quilts Japan exhibit, which displays quilts from the 13th Quilt Nihon from Tokyo.  The quilts range from traditional to modern (and beyond).  The workmanship (mostly women of course) has to be seen to be believed.  

Quilts Japan postcard

Pam Weeks, the Curator, has agreed to give us a short talk on the evolution of Japanese quilting, which is a relatively new artistic endeavor in Japan.  After Pam's talk, we will have show and tell.

We will meet in the classroom, behind the elevator, where a second exhibit, by local quilter Gladi Porche of the Cocheco Quilt Guild, is on display.  In addition to amazing traditional quilts, many of her own design, she has a number of Asian-themed quilts that complement Quilts Japan nicely.   

The Museum is located at 18 Shattuck Street in downtown Lowell. For those who are not familiar with Lowell, from Rt. 3 or Rt. 495, take the Lowell Connector exit.  From the Connector, take the Thorndike St. exit and follow that road around until you see the sign on the right at a light for the National Park parking lot (a mile or less).  Grab a ticket, walk through the mill complex, stopping at park headquarters to get it validated, and proceed down Shattuck Street to the museum.  It's less then a 10 minute walk.  There is also street parking ($2 for two hours); handicapped parking is free on the street.

Museum hours are from 10 am - 4 pm so you'll have time to attend the meeting and see the quilts (you are welcome to arrive before 1 to see the museum before our meeting or stay after).  Get to Lowell early and check out the National Park as well.   There are plenty of restaurants where you can have lunch before the meeting or an early dinner afterwards. You can find them online, but we'll supply a list at our February meeting.   

New England Quilt Museum building
For more about the museum, visit their website at
This meeting is free for current BMQG members. Non-members are welcome to attend; we ask that you pay the museum's $9 admission fee.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Join us for a Latifah Saafir workshop!

The Boston Modern Quilt Guild is very excited to welcome Latifah Saafir, co-founder of the national and Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guilds. Latifah is known for her bold and innovative modern quilts. Combining her training as an engineer with her lifelong passion for sewing, Latifah creates designs that are graphic and contemporary, featuring challenging techniques with meticulous attention to detail.

Learn the idiosyncrasies of working with bias tape appliqué as you design your own machine stitched bias tape appliqué quilt. The first part of this class will explore the nature of designing quilts with bias tape, learning the ins and outs of how bias tape works and the things you must understand in order to effectively work with bias tape. You will design your bias tape quilt, transfer the designs to fabric, and start to sew them. Students who want to learn the technique but don’t want to design their own quilt have the option of sewing either the Airshow or No Latitude Quilts.

Date: 5 November 2017
Time: 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM with a one hour lunch break
Place: The Carriage House at the Gore Estate, 52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA
Cost: $125 until 9 October, $150 after that - includes lunch!
Supply list: You will need to bring your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies (be sure your supplies are marked with your name), along with the items on Latifah's supply list here.

The cost of this workshop is $150 and includes lunch!! Registration is limited to just 20, but we still have some openings! Sign up today!

Member Name:
Member Email

Questions? Contact us by email!

Read about Latifah's No Latitude quilt here. Find Latifah on Instagram here.

Monday, October 2, 2017

September Meeting Recap

It was a fabulous September meeting with a JAM-PACKED agenda after the summer hiatus. General updates included:
  • We are gearing up for 2018! There will be a planning meeting at Emily's house on Sunday, October 15 at 10:00. All members welcome and brunch included! Please let her know if you plan to come.
  • The Boston MQG is seeking a candidate for vice president for 2018. This is a two year commitment, the first year as VP followed by a one year term as president. Let us know at bostonmqg at if you are interested or would like more information!
  • Packets for the two quilts we are making for charity were distributed. We are working two quilts, a log cabin and an Irish chain. One will go to QuiltCon, the other will be used for fundraising. Those blocks are in the works and you can see what people are making at our hashtag (#bostonmqg) on Instagram. Don't forget to post your pics! There will be a sew-in on 7 October to start putting those tops together.
  • There are still openings for the LATIFAH SAAFIR bias tape applique workshop being held on 5 November at the historic Carriage House at the Gore Place in Waltham!
  • Our October meeting is cancelled. Join us for the sew-in or planning meeting instead!  
  • Welcome to 2010, Boston MQG! We now have our own Instagram account so start following us today!
The meeting highlight was most definitely the beautiful trunk show presented by Natalie Sabik. So many piles of gorgeous quilts, all with their own story! 

And, not to be outdone by Natalie, here are some of the fabulous quilts of Show and Tell!

Clockwise from top left: Terri's triangles; Patrice and her kaleidoscopic fantasy; Amanda with the result of her lottery block win; Rebecca and the current state of her Sara Fielke BOM project for her daughter

Clockwise from top left: Heidi and her Halloween riot; Emily with her triangles; Amy and her glittering HST composition (more triangles!)Amanda's windows on the world

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Block Lottery - Improv Log Cabin

This block uses whites and creams for one portion of the log cabin and warm colors for the other side. Bring this block to our November meeting.

Start with a square of either a warm color or a cream/white.

Continue adding fabric, working in a circular motion, adding two cream/white fabrics and two warm fabrics as shown below to create a log cabin. Use varying widths and an array of colors to create this block.

Once pieced, trim your block to 10.5" square. The layout possibilities for this quilt are endless and the lucky winner will have a ton of options.

Quick Overview:
November - Wonky/Improv Log Cabin
Colors: Creams/Whites for one side and warms for the other
Size Requirements: 10.5" block
Notes: Start with either a cream or a warm square and build out your log cabin using random width strips with creams on one size of the diagonal and warms on the other side.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Block Lottery - Washi Tape Block

We're starting to get a bit more complicated as we get to our September block. This one is inspired by Washi tape. The colors for this include a white background and a random rainbow of accent colors.

Start by cutting a 12.5" square and a number of strips 1.5" wide by about 12.5" long.
Cut between 5-7 or so small strips of colorful fabric 1.5" wide by between 2.5" - 5" long. Sew them to the top of the white strips you cut. Once sewn, randomly cut the white and sew the cut piece to the top of the color to create strips.

Randomly lay out your strips over your square until you like the layout. Start with pieces that appear to be in the back. In this block, I started with the red, moved to the brown, then the green, purple and navy.

Continue slicing and inserting your strips into your block.

Once your block has been pieced, trim your block to 12.5" square. This will create a fun, colorful quilt that could be arranged in a grid or the blocks could be cut up even further to create a real random effect. A continuous circle could be a fun way to quilt this one.

Quick Overview:
September - Washi Tape Improv Block 
Colors: White/cream background and a rainbow of colors for the washi tape
Size Requirements: 12.5" block
Notes: It's recommended that your washi tape strips are no more than 2" wide before sewing and no longer than 5" before sewing to give the quilt a true washi tape feel. If strips are too wide or too long, they will stand out too much.