We had our first Roanoke Modern Quilt Guild meeting of 2014 and it was (as usual) so much fun. We’re still a pretty small group, but we had FIVE new members join this week! That makes me so, so happy – we’ve come so far! We started out about year ago with only 4-6 members, all of us huddling around this tiny table in my longarm quilting studio. It was so fun back then too, but really, the more the merrier.
As a guild, we’ve completed and donated three charity quilts: one for a children’s shelter, one for the Hopes and Dreams Challenge for ALS, and our most recent one was raffled off for Alzheimer’s research. At our meeting we learned that it brought in over $720! How great is that? I couldn’t believe it! The sad truth is that many times, quilts that are raffled off don’t even bring in enough to cover the cost of materials, so we were super proud.
So far, for charity quilts, we all decide on a type of block, finished size and a color scheme. (For example, we might do 12.5″ finished wonky stars using bright fabrics and a white background.) We all make a couple of blocks and collect them over the course of a few months. Once we have enough for a quilt, we get together to lay it out and assemble the top. Someone volunteers to do the quilting and someone else does the binding. Since we all have different tastes in fabrics, the outcome of these charity quilts can seem a little iffy at first. But once we get it all put together and quilted, they always end up looking fantastic.
This year, to keep everyone inspired and to ensure we each spend at least a few minutes at the sewing machine between meetings, we decided it would be fun to do a block of the month (BOM) challenge. Each month we are required to make one 12″ block and bring it to show off at our meeting. At the end of the year, once we’ve finished our 12 blocks, we will each have enough for an entire quilt. We’re following the Summer Sampler Series that everyone was doing a while back. This month was (appropriately enough) the Star of Virginia. Seeing everyone’s unique take on a quilt block is always interesting and inspiring! I’m probably just going to go with a little bit of this and a little bit of that, sort of a controlled scrappy feel, which seems to be my norm when it comes to fabric selection. I’ll try to tie it all together by using the same background fabric, Painters Canvas in Vanilla, which is a really pretty, not-quite-solid white.
This guild means so much to me. It’s a really special thing to have the opportunity to hang out with so many fun and encouraging people, eat snacks and geek out over fabrics and quilts. I just love it.
If you’re in the Roanoke area and are interested in modern quilting, we’d love to have you join us – beginners are absolutely welcome! Check out the Roanoke Modern Quilt Guild on Facebook.