Virtual Block Party Challenge with Brewer Sewing: 2021 Winners Announced!

March 13, 2022

The past two years have challenged us in ways we would have never imagined. One positive thing that has stood out is the camaraderie that was created within communities. Communities of artists. Communities of neighbors. Communities of friends. And of course, communities of quilters. It has been awe-inspiring to see the friendships and connections that have been strengthened throughout this time. The blocks that our membership community submitted in response to this years #CMQGBlockParty challenge in partnership with Brewer Sewing are a beautiful example of what community means to each of them. Congratulations to all who submitted blocks and Congratulations to our three winners!

Virtual Block Party

We announced a second collaboration of the Chicago MQG & Brewer Sewing during our December meeting. Our 2021 quilt block challenge partnership with Brewer Sewing focused on being thankful for our CMQG community. We invited members to make an unfinished quilt block – any shape, any size – that depicts “what your quilting community means to you.”

Blocks were submitted with a deadline of January 31, 2022. Members can do anything with their blocks after submission.

Winners were selected through a blind selection process by a jury of some of our Chicago MQG past presidents. We are grateful to them for their time and effort!

Congratulations to our winners:

First Place: Kathy DeVries – Gwen’s Gifts, 20″x20″ – $250 prize

From Kathy: “My first CMQG meeting was Gwen Marston’s lecture and trunk show in Oak Park about nine/ten years ago. I was such a newbie to quilting and really just sat in the back of the room bowled over by the talent, warmth, and encouragement of the entire Guild. I got a quick study in to how Gwen impacted the entire Modern Quilt World. I “sat in the back” for many years with my working career taking so much of my time but still felt that encouragement to try new things and feel my way through my art. 2021 was a breakthrough year for my design voice after pivoting to enroll in Rhode Island School of Design and thus challenging my craft. I designed and created the QuiltCon 2022 Community Quilt Challenge with the love, faith, and help of this amazing Guild! Gwen’s Gifts is my original 2021 Lily Flower Quilt Block with a border inspired by Marston’s signature Sawtooth Triangle patterns. The block is a nod to the path from that first meeting to my own original designs thanks to the inspiration and encouragement of all the fabulous Guild members!”

Second Place: Diane Paquin-Provost – Chicago, 10-1/4″ x 12-1/4″ – $150 prize

From Diane: “What does the quilt community means to me: My quilt community is my therapy, my collection of dear friends of all ages & of all level of quilting experience, my resource for continued learning, my treasury of memories I will cherish for ever and much more.

For this challenge, I was inspired by the logo of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild which is formed by the red diamond shapes in the stars, the blue half square triangles and the white background. As a new member, this is my first challenge/participation with Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. ”

Third Place: Trish De Preter – Dawning of a Knew Day, 9-1/2″x10-1/2″ – $100 prize

From Trish: “Dawning of a Knew Day was an improvised block. Building the block allowed me time to mull over the idea that sewing was something I “knew” I could do but I just spent 40 years of my life avoiding it. Once I found the CMQG I “knew” it was time to start pushing myself creatively through the support of the guild.”

A hearty thanks to everyone else who entered our challenge. Here are the other fabulous entries:

Tanita Abrahamson – Rising Together, 8-1/2″x8-1/2″

From Tanita: “The fabric represents the diverse population of the quilting community. All the new people I have meet and all the things I have learned helps me rise like the appliqué lotus flower.”

Jen Beatty – Community Stable 12-1/2″ X 12-1/2″

From Jen: “Community to me is another extension of my home. This group has been a staple in my life for years. During this pandemic once a month it was encouraging to have an afternoon with my friends and do some stitching at the same time. These meetings are a stable monthly event in my life like a triangle with its three sides as the most stable structure. I chose this house block as it combines my home and the triangle of the roof is my stable group of friends.”

Trish De Preter – Missing Piece, 11″x11

From Trish: “I took a MQG seminar during lock down that focused on mini curves. Now they are one of my favorite skills. A “missing piece” of my quilting repertoire, you could say. The cotton+steel fabric with the sketchy birds is my all time favorite fabric. That piece of the pie (the birds) represents me, flying, diving, soaring, and generally being a totally crazy old bird. The colors match perfectly in the circle so it represents fitting in but still being unique in our quilting community. There is a place, a wedge, for you to fit into and still be different.”

Kathy DeVries – Burst, 24″x24″

From Kathy: “Being a member of the CMQG is like a thousand star bursts of creativity surrounded with such light workers! A star burst is actually a pattern of lines or rays radiating from a central object or source of light. I choose to build upon my Large Zinnia pattern I developed for the 2022 QuiltCon Community Quilt Challenge to reflect the faith, encouragement, and engagement that the entire Guild bestowed on me creating an original design. This is one of a million examples of how this community cares for each other and has allowed me to design and create beyond my wildest dreams. I think we are all bursting with rays of life that radiate to our larger community.”

Adamandia Kapsalis – Coming Together, 12″ x 12-1/2″

From Adamandia: “Paths to community. Braiding of skills. Coming together.”

Lauren Krause – Breadth & Depth, 12.5″ x 17″ (at widest point)

From Lauren: “To me our guild, diverse and inclusive with a wide range of knowledge, interests and experience, is unified in our celebration of fiber, color, and creativity. With one another we find support, encouragement, and answers. Plus, new people are always welcome!”

Carol A Matlak – Pathways, 6-1/2″ x 7″

From Carol: “I thought of what CMQG means to me. For me it is a path for quilting and there are many roads and ways to do so – no Quilt Police. I have been making many improv quilts for the Will County Advocacy Children’s Center and the CMQG has helped me to expand the way I do my quilting. I initially took the solid purple and the colorful batik and decided it need to have more paths added to it, I added more as I reviewed after each addition. I used a different batik as each path you take can be different. What you see is the final product of “Pathways”.”

Rachel Rivera – Retreat Scrap Table, 7-1/2″ x 10-1/2″

From Rachel: “The guild is my group of unique friends & retreat is our special bonding time. My block represents the table at retreat with all of our scraps to share!”

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Photo: Triangles quilt by Erika Mulvenna