Friday, May 11, 2018

KMQG Mini Quilt Challenge Show on June 1

The Challenge

Quilters “paint” with fabric, and as a result, our color palette has historically been limited by the colors available in textiles. Quilt historians have observed that the colors quilters use are often influenced by home design and decorating trends. Excited to try a color challenge, the Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild reached out to students in the Color Theory class taught by professor Ashley Pace at UT’s School of Interior Design. Design students collectively chose one “on trend” color as the main color required in all the quilters’ designs. Then, individual students chose eight other secondary colors for their interesting interplay with the main color and relevance in modern design. Members of the Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild were required to work with the main color Pewter, and then they drew one of the eight secondary colors at random. The challenge asked the quilters to use any quilting method and design of their choice to create an interesting mini quilt (less than 24” x 24”) that incorporates Pewter and at least one other challenge color.

This show displays a variety of piecing and quilting methods, and the quilts are as varied as their makers.

April 2018 Meeting Recap

The KMQG meeting in April was a healthy mix of business and show and tell. First, the business.
  • Blocks for the next charity quilt we'll make for The Restoration House are due by May 19. The requested color palette and link to the block tutorial are available here.
  • The Smoky Mountain Quilters 2018 Quilt Show is June 15-16 at the Knoxville Expo Center. Details are posted here.
  • Member Melissa Everett's show at The Central Collective will be up through May 31 -- go see it! The address is 923 N. Central St. Find out more about Melissa and her work here.
  • Our May meeting will be less of a meeting and more of a workshop to make Tubular Baskets with member Michelle Thompson. A reminder to those who have signed up and paid for the workshop will go out next week.
Now, the eye candy (minus finished pieces from our mini quilt challenge -- more on those soon!)

Maggie Lourim
Maggie Lourim

Jean Bentley
Misty Benson

Joyce Hartley

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.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

January 2018 Meeting Recap

It's a new year for the Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild! We kicked off 2018 with a great meeting in January -- and welcomed a few guests who decided to become members!

If you would like to join the guild, we'd love to have you! Dues are $40 for the year -- contact for information. In addition to early access (and often a price break) for guild-organized activities such as workshops and retreats, membership in the local guild also carries perks of membership in our parent organization, the Modern Quilt Guild. Along with early access and price breaks for the annual QuiltCon convention, the MQG website is full of great resources like webinars, free patterns, and more inspiration than you could ever want. You can find out more about the MQG here.

Speaking of the MQG, the deadline for shipping mini quilts for the swap is Feb 16.

We are participating in a charity block drive that the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild has organized to provide quilts to California residents who suffered losses in the Thomas Fire in December and January. Information about the fire and the charity efforts is available here. The KMQG is collecting the requested Perkiomen Block -- instructions are posted on the Ventura MQG home page as well as here. Blocks are due at the February meeting. Please follow the light/dark color value placement in the illustration.

The KMQG officers are hard at work planning for a great year (and keeping up with all the less exciting guild business) and have decided to organize 4 volunteer committees to help get more members involved and share the workload. Volunteers who signed up for the following committees (thank you!) will work with the corresponding officer: QuiltCon Charity (Jennifer), Quilt Show (Michelle), Hospitality (Michelle), and Programming (Sarah).

And now for some show and tell:

Ginger Swail

Liz Upchurch

Michelle Bolt, for the Whistlestop Quilt Retreat
Elizabeth Rea

Christy Cooper

Jean Bentley, for the Whistlestop Quilt Retreat

Jean Bentley

Cathy Parks

Maggie Lourim

Next meeting: Saturday, February 17 at 10:15 (social) or 10:30 (start) at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Knoxville