On the Blog: May Meeting Recap

May 20, 2016
Our VP, Amy Struckmeyer, presented a walk through on how to access the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild group and forums on the Modern Quilt Guild’s Community website. It’s very important that all Chicago guild members get connected. It’s a way to share information privately and it’s also how registration will occur for our Glam Clam Workshop in July with Latifah Saafir. Which will be on a first come, first serve and online only! Refer to this (this blog postfor information.
Our Vice President, Amy Struckmeyer, striking a pose!

Guild Members Mary Fons, Charity Simpson, and Heather Kinion lead a program called “Design Beyond Patterns”. Mary talked about how you choose to set a block (or many) can widely change your design as well as the fabrics you choose. 

Charity showed us all how to super size a block into a whole quilt, including some tips on how to limit the amount of math involved – 

From Charity:

Using graph paper to design quilts

1) If the quilt only has right angles, it is easy to count squares to determine the size of each piece to be cut. 

2) Determine how many squares per inch. Graph paper comes in many forms, but is commonly found in 4, 5, and 10 squares per inch.

3) Determine the ratio or scale in which you plan to draw your quilt. Typically, a 1″=10″ ratio is sufficient, as a typical 8.5″x11″ piece of paper will allow for the design of quilts smaller than 85″x110″. 

4) Dividing the ratio you’ve chosen to drawn in by the number of squares per inch will give you the dimension each square represents. If drawing in a 1″:10″ ratio on a 5 square per inch piece of graph paper, each square will represent 2 inches (10/5=2).

Taking measurements from your quilt sketch  

2) If you are using a ruler to measure the size of each piece to be cut, take the measurement and multiply by the ratio you drew in to determine the size of each piece. If you measure a piece on your drawing to be 1.25″ long and you drew in a 1″=10″ ratio, the cutting dimension is 12.5″ (1.25×10). 

3) If you have used an engineering scale or architect scale in past, you can take direct-read measurements from your drawing without needing to do any math. There are YouTube videos on how to use the scales if you have any interest in learning how to use one.
Note: The dimensions you are measuring on your quilt sketch are FINISHED dimensions. You must add 0.5″ to the length and width of each piece for seam allowance.

Changing the size of a traditional block or any pattern 

If you would like to increase or decrease the size of a block there is a simple formula for doing so:
(size of finished block as written in the pattern) · X = (size you want finished block to be)
If the pattern finishes as a 6″ block and you want the block to finish at 20″, the equation looks like this:

6X=20   ->->  X=20/6  ->->   X=3.33 

You then multiply the cutting dimensions of each piece of the block by 3.33. 
If you want to reduce the size of the block the formula is the same. If you want the 6″ block to finish at 3″ the formula looks like this:

6X=3  ->->  X=3/6  ->->  X=0.5 

Note: Seam allowance is never multiplied! You must subtract the seam allowance (typically 0.5), multiply the remaining dimension by 3.33, and then add back the seam allowance.

Thanks Charity!

Heather gave us an overview of some free tools that are available to help you design a quilt and calculate fabric yardage needed. She showed us how Pattern Jam (Pattern Jam) can be used to design your own quilt and how tools like (QuiltingCalc(by Robert Kaufman Fabrics) and (Block Fab(by Mary Kay Podlecki) can be used to calculate fabric yardage. She also found (Quilt Faband  (Quilt Ref(both by Mary Kay Podlecki) to be interesting as well.

CMQG Members and guest speakers Mary, Charity and Heather!
The May meeting was also the day where our members brought in their quilts for the University of Chicago’s Healing Arts exhibit. These quilts will be on display at the university’s hospital from June thru August, 2016. This exhibit will be open to the public in a busy corridor link between the Center for Care and Discovery and the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine. I hope everyone will take the time to see this exhibit. All the quilts were STUNNING and I can’t wait to see the show myself. More pictures and a blog post will come at a later time.

Photo courtesy of Emily Lang

We then ended the meeting with some Show and Tell.  Refer to our guilds Instagram account (@chicagomqg or click on the “On Instagram” picture in the right side bar) to see some amazing quilts made by our members.
Announcements from May’s meeting:

  • Our June meeting will be on Saturday, June 18 and will be Sew-In. It will be from Noon – 5:00 pm and will be at Magical Mind Studio. It’s located at 343 Harrison St, Oak Park, IL.
  • Our Charity project will be for Sarah’s Inn located in Oak Park, IL. They provide services for families affected by domestic violence. Our plan is to make pillows and lap sized quilts. Optionally, we can also make pouches for special items like scented soaps. Amy Struckmeyer will be providing more information on colors and blocks shortly.
  • On Saturday, July 16th we will be hosting Latifah Saafir for a Glam Clam Workshop. Find details regarding the workshop and how to register can be found (here.)
  • On Sunday, July 17th we will be hosting Latifah Saafir for a Lecture.
  • Our August, 21st meeting will be a Potluck with details to follow.
  • Quilt Festival Houston 2016 is having a Modern Quilt Guild Showcase and they are looking for modern quilts!!! Deadline for submission is Friday, June 17th. More information can be found here. (http://callforentriesmodernquilts.com/)
  • Quiltcon Magazine 2017 is looking for articles and quilt patterns. Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, September 30th. If interested, you can find more information here. (https://themodernquiltguild.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/call-for-submissions-quiltcon-magazine-2017/)

– written by Dianne B. and Charity S.
– posted by Erin D.

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Photo: Triangles quilt by Erika Mulvenna