Our First Quilt Show!


We were thrilled to have been invited to put on a Special Exhibit at the Piecemaker’s Quilt Guild Annual Quilt Show this month.


Our exhibit focused on showcasing key elements of modern quilting:

  • Use of bold colors and prints
  • High contrast and graphic areas of solid color
  • Improvisational design
  • Minimalism
  • Expansive negative space
  • Alternate grid work
  • Updating of classic quilt designs, (“modern traditionalism”)

We received many beautiful modern quilts and we were only limited by space as to how many we were able to exhibit this time around.

The collection included full size and mini quilts, as well as some group quilts made by multiple guild members.

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At the show, members were on hand to share our collection with visitors and represent modern quilting at this mostly traditional show.

In addition to the quilt exhibit, members made items for the show boutique and raised money for the guild!

All in all, it was great to participate as a guild in our first quilt show and we are already  planning our next exhibit!

Our Commitment to Charity

For the 2018 year, we’ve elected to broaden our philanthropic reach by working with multiple charitable organizations to provide quilts to a range of programs helping people in our community and beyond. This has enabled us to accept any size quilt designed for babies through adults. 

Our goal this year is to donate 24 finished quilts. As of June, we are right on target with 12 completed quilts, and many more in progress! All of our finished projects can be seen on our Charity Quilts page.

All types of quilts, many projects

We are lucky to have members that are dedicated to making quilts for charitable causes, but we also always have a variety of ongoing group projects where members can make an individual charity block or take on a task, like binding, to complete a quilt. Projects have included curved block challenge, improv block challenge, arrow block challenge, and color challenge.

Labeling for legacy

We label all of our charity quilts so, no matter where our quilts travel, the new owner can know where it came from. But, we have redesigned our labels to make them easier to sew on, and they now include a QR code. Scanning the code will take you to a page that shows the quilt’s name, when it was made, and who worked on it.

Supporting our community

At a recent meeting, we had a group discussion and took names of charities, or types of charities from members. Suggestions included: foster moms/homes, battered women’s shelters, police or fire department, Shepherd’s Gate, Highland Hospital, Project Homeless Connect, ALS, Quilts for Kids, nursing homes, Alzheimer’s units, Unravel Cancer, Santa Clara Receiving and Assessment Intake Center, Quilts of Valor, SJ Quilt & Textile Museum quilts-for-guns event, Little Brothers / Friends of the Elderly (SF), Homeless Prenatal Program, My New Red Shoes, hospice agencies, Quilters Beyond Borders, Shriners Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Bill Wilson Center. We took those ideas and have actively started contacting these organizations.

Our current list of supported charities includes:

download Bill Wilson Center supports and strengthens the community by serving youth and families through counseling, housing, education, and advocacy.
logo2_20151202075347 Quilts for Kids is dedicated to brightening the lives of children who suffer from abuse or life-threatening illnesses with comforting quilts.
 images Quilt Donation Drive for victims of the Sonoma & Napa fires.
images Ventura Modern Quilt Guild and Superbuzzy fabric store  partnered to create and collect quilts for those affected by the Thomas Fire.
28468679_775227106009171_1215050385545670913_n JMQG of Broward County collected quilts to make “quillows” for the families and loved ones of  victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
projectlinus Project Linus’ mission is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets, quilts and afghans.
SJMQT San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles is joining forces with The Mayor’s office, local City Council Districts, San Jose Police Department, and the Police Foundation to organize a unique gun buy-back program. In exchange for turning in a gun, each individual will receive cash AND a beautiful quilt.
QuiltforCure Quilts for Cure exists to raise awareness about childhood cancer, provide every child in the US being treated for cancer with a quilt, and honor the children who are fighting for their lives.
images-1  The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild collected quilts and blocks for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. Our guild made three group quilts for this cause, plus two additional finished quilts donated by individual members.

If you have any questions or suggestions for charitable projects, please contact our Philanthropy Chair, Rhonda.

Improv Abstraction Workshop


At our recent workshop, Improv Abstraction, Karen Foster showed us how gentle curves can be combined in infinite ways to create one-of-a-kind quilt designs.

Karen teaches a relaxed approach to layout and design, starting with a gentle curve shape to provide a base structure for the quilt. From there we played with the curve blocks and improvised complimentary shapes. We also learned techniques for machine piecing “severe” curves, and even circles.

The class wrapped up with a review of all the unique shape and color combinations we made in creating our overall quilt designs.

Surface Design Lecture and Demo

This month members Jennifer Kloke and Rhonda Rosales showed us techniques for adding screen printed and block printed designs to fabric. They walked us through the process and demonstrated the three different techniques at the meeting. Afterwards, members got to play a little and try their hand at both methods.

Members got to get in on the action after the demo. Take a look…


2018 Fundraising

Members, this year’s fundraising efforts are off to a great start.

We entered the year with funds raised from our mini-quilt raffle at the 2017 Pacific International Quilt Festival. We raffled a total of 8 mini quilts and attracted several new guild members at the show.

As we’ve done in previous years, we reached out to the vendors at QuiltCon 2018 to solicit donations for our fabulous raffle drawings. The first of two drawings was held at our recent Quilt Retreat. Congratulations to all who won! For those of us who didn’t win or weren’t there to enter, worry not! We have six more baskets waiting to be auctioned off at our upcoming fall picnic. (More on that in a minute.)

Our next fundraising event is the upcoming Piecemakers Quilt Show, July 21 – 22. In addition to a mini quilt raffle, we will be selling handmade note cards, mini barn quilts, zippered pouches, project bags and tote bags in the boutique. Please join us for our Piecemakers exclusive Sew Days on June 16th to assemble our sewn items and July 7th to paint the mini barn quilts. Both events will be held at the Google Garage. Tricialyn’s Mini Quilt Texture Challenge is due at the May meeting (Wednesday, May 9th). The idea is for these quilts to be used for the raffle, however if you are not participating in that challenge but would still like to donate a mini-quilt, feel free to bring any donations to our May, June or July meetings. We will be calling for volunteers to man both the boutique table and our raffle table. Look for sign ups coming soon!

Want to learn some tips and tricks for photographing your projects? Want your shot at winning one of our fabulous raffle baskets? Well, mark your calendars for September
8th when we will be having our First Annual Summer BBQ. We’ll enjoy great food and an informative lecture on photographing finished projects by a professional photographer. Bring a camera and your finished quilts and spend the afternoon getting great shots of your best work. Who knows, your project may be selected for publication in our very own SVMQG Quilt Planner!

Yep! You read that right! New this year, is our Silicon Valley Modern Quilt Guild Quilt Planner! Filled with great planning tools and lots of our members’ beautiful quilts, we are out to create the perfect annual quilt planner. Want to help? We are looking for input and ideas on the must haves of the ideal project planner. Please feel free to email me your input at (I’m in the directory) OR email the guild with the subject line of “SVMQG Perfect Planner” and I will make sure to be in touch with you.

Please give a big shout out to our current sponsors! Be sure to tag any projects using these products to let them know we appreciate them. Include our own #SVMQG hashtag so they make the connection of their donation to our guild.

#birchfabrics, #hawthornethreads, #hawthornethreadsfabrics, #backporchfabrics, #fatquartershop, #fqsfun, #fqs, #robertkaufman, #byanniepatterns, #byannie, #soakwash, #aurifil, #aurifilthread, #rileyblakefabrics, #northcott, #northcottfabrics, #thegranary, #thegranaryfabrics, #eddiesquiltingbee, #uppercase, #uppercasemagazine, #cloud9, #cloud9fabrics, #paintbrushstudio, #studio37fabrics, #marcusfabrics, #handiquilter, #schifferbooks, #craftedmoon, #thesewnsew, #nancyrink, #thepatchworkco, #wonderfilthread, #wonderfil, #culcita, #hobbs, #hobbsbatting, #missouristarquiltco, #missouristarquilt, #sewingparty, #pinkdoorfabrics, #pineapplefabrics, #sulkythreads, #colourwerx, #intownquilters, #cloverneedlecraft, #cotton+steel

Amanda Morris
Fundraising Chair

2018 Retreat Recap


For our 4th annual sewing retreat we gathered again at Hidden Valley Music Center in Carmel Valley to sew, dine, socialize, and maybe even do a little dancing. Members were welcomed with guild-themed goodie bags filled with treats from our generous sponsors.

We set up our charity wall again this year with a round robin and 2 different block projects. The first set of fabric was a generous donation from sponsor we met at QuiltCon and we used them to piece together precut fabrics into any shapes we wanted. The other set of fabrics was a defined group of plaid fabrics that we turned into a variety of arrow blocks.

As a group, we finished dozens of blocks, 5 pieced quilt tops, and 2 complete quilts! We were truly amazed at all of the work members did, including piecing backings and making bindings.

As always, we raffled off prize baskets to raise money for the guild. This year the baskets were better than ever, filled to the brim with tons of fabric, notions, patterns, and much much more from our amazing sponsors. The guild received a record-breaking amount of money and 5 lucky winners went home with some amazing prizes. Thank you again to our generous sponsors!

The Scavenger Hunt was a big hit this year, with members accomplishing tasks ranging from sewing charity blocks to teaching each other new skills to posting on social media. It was a great way to motivate us all to get things done, share our work, and just have fun. We tallied up the points and awarded prizes to a few lucky winners.


In the end, we come to retreat to SEW. And our members did a lot of sewing and quilting. As a group, we got a lot done and had so much fun doing it. Check out all of these finished quilts and quilt tops!


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Social Media Guide

At last month’s meeting we wanted to share with our members a handful of ways to keep up with guild news and stay connected with other members. We compiled a list of four key social media platforms you can use to stay informed, get connected, start the conversation, and show off!

Stay Informed – Our Website:

Oh, hey, look! You’re already here! Thanks for stopping by!

Our website is a great place to find all kinds of information about our guild. Our main page (where you are now) is the host of recent blog posts that are based on current events happening within our guild. We try to post a good mix of fun programs we’re running, recaps on classes and workshops we’ve hosted, as well as small insights into other happenings of the guild.

Our Meetings + Events page is host to all of our basic meeting information: where we meet, what time we meet and if our regular meeting day has shifted. We also provide key dates to keep on your calendar for things like Sew Days, Workshops, and more. We keep the running list of each month up-to-date with anything we know of, as soon as we know it.

I encourage you to check out our Programs page where you will find a list of all the fun things we’ve got going on for members to participate in. From challenges to charity programs. It’s all there!

Lastly, as a quick go-to guide, we’ve added a “To-Do” List to our right-hand sidebar. There, you will see a list of items that may be due at any upcoming meetings. You can decide to participate or not, but the reminder is there for you if you want to join in on the many programs and challenges we have running.

These are just some highlights. I encourage you to click around the site to learn more about us. Our Charity Quilts page is also a fun one to look at too!

Get Connected – Our Facebook Fan Page:

Our public Facebook Fan Page is a great space to see all of our posts across our social media platforms in one place. If you’re already using Facebook, you can follow (or fan!) our page and get notifications when new information has been posted. Not on Instagram? No worries! We share that information on our Facebook Fan Page. Not subscribed to our blog here on our website? It gets posted to our Facebook page there as well. So you are never far away from joining in and staying connected.

A great feature we love about our Facebook page is the ability to post upcoming events. We use this feature to post when our upcoming sew days and workshops are. There are descriptions on the event as well as any resources needed (like sign up sheets) to join in on the fun. You will see meeting events and other events we’re hosting that are outside of our monthly meeting.


Start the Conversation – Our Private Facebook Group:

It’s great to stay connected and read up on things happening with the guild but we wanted a space for our members to keep in touch as well so we’ve created a private Facebook group exclusive for our members to join.

This is a great place for members to:

  • ask questions (like recommendations on tools)
  • get opinions (need advice? ask fellow members)
  • show pictures of recent projects
  • tell us about a cool event or workshop you’re going to

Don’t be afraid to start a conversation and have fun building community with fellow members.


Are you a member of the guild? Request to join our group and we’ll add you!

Show Off – Our Instagram Page:

We love to showcase our members’ work any way we can and our Instagram page is the perfect place to do just that. If you scroll through our feed you’ll find pictures from activities and demos we’ve run at meetings, members showing off their work during show and tell and even some pictures of guest speakers we’ve had. We also love to post snapshots from workshops and sew days we’re hosting and for practical needs, we also make sure to post reminders about meetings, workshops, and sew days.

Guild hashtags to follow:

  • #SVMQG – For all things Silicon Valley Modern Quilt Guild related
  • #SVMQGWorkshop – For specific snapshots of workshops we’ve hosted
  • #SVMQGShowAndTell – For our monthly show and tell at meetings
  • #SVMQGChallenges – For any guild challenges we have running
  • #SVMQGCharity – For a look at our philanthropic efforts and charity activities


We hope this post has given you some insight and inspired you to connect with us in different ways. We love our community of members and friends of the guild, so don’t be afraid to like or follow us if you’re interested in keeping up with our group.

For more information on the above information, see our Social Media Guide slide deck we created for our last guild meeting.

QuiltCon 2018 Recap

SVMQG was well represented at Quiltcon 2018 last month; 26 of us traveled to Pasadena to see the quilts, walk the vendor floor, and attend lectures and classes. Our members took over 35 different classes ranging from machine and hand quilting to piecing techniques, from surface design, to fabric dyeing and color theory. (See below for a full list of classes.)

We saw each other in classes and in passing, as we admired all of the beautiful quilts and rubbed elbows with our favorite “sew-lebrities.”

We watched our fearless leader and president of the guild Rochelle Rosales as she participated as a member of panel for a lecture on Secrets of High Performing Guilds.


A handful of us found our QuiltCon Charity Quilt hanging in one of the lecture halls and couldn’t help but strike a pose with it.


We even managed to get most of us together for a group dinner on Friday night where we had a great time sipping champagne and eating delicious food.


It was a great show and our members had a great time attending. We’re already eager for next year’s show in Nashville, TN. The lineup is looking good too!


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Quiltcon 2018 Charity Quilt

The process of making our quilt, Orchard Through Time was collaborative from the start. We formed a committee that came up with the original concept and saw it all the way through to completion.

Our finished quilt, Orchard Through Time

Concept and Design:

We decided from the start that we wanted our quilt to be representative of our area so we chose a traditional block called “Orchard” as the Silicon Valley was once primarily orchards, and is now a modern technology center. After deciding on the block pattern, we decided the overall design would include making the blocks start off in its traditional layout in the upper left, gradually transition to modern prints and, finally, break down into solid free-form blocks in the lower right.

Fabric and Piecing:

We had our members donate traditional and modern print fabrics from their stashes along with modern solid fabrics and some metallics. The idea was to create all the traditional blocks in traditional fabrics and then have it progressively get more modern through the use of modern prints, and ultimately end up in pools of solid fabrics that would blend together to create dynamic free form shapes near the bottom of the quilt.

For easy member involvement, all of the fabric was pre-cut and and kitted into packets of one of the three block types (traditional, modern print, and solid) for members to piece. Packets were handed out at our monthly meeting for members to work on and return, or sewed communally at our open sew days. The only rules to sewing the blocks were that traditional and modern print blocks were pieced in a set layout, while solids were pieced free-form with no layout rules.


For the quilting, we decided to machine quilt simple lines that resemble the traces on a circuit board and added some big stitch quilting with metallic thread for the ultimate “tech” sparkle.


Now that it is assembled and quilted, we love how the finished quilt transitions from traditional to modern. We have been able to see the transition in fabric, tone, and movement within the overall quilt, and we truly think it speaks to the prompt of Modern Traditionalism.
Look out for our quilt at Quiltcon in Pasadena!

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Improv Workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood

Last weekend the guild hosted “Improvising from a Score” with local quilt artist and teacher, Sherri Lynn Wood, where we learned improvisational piecing techniques within a defined framework or “score.”


We started with an extended group discussion about the different aspects of improvisation, and some of the techniques used in improvisational music and theater, and in everyday life.


After a brief meditation period, we sewed in silence, letting our creativity flow without distractions. We set specific limits and then cut and sewed patchworks… abandoning fixed patterns, templates, and even our rulers.

As a group, we reviewed our work in progress and voiced Evaluations of our experience thus far expressing a Surprise, a Discovery, a Satisfaction, or a Dissatisfaction, and discussed where we would go next. Some of the students’ evaluations included:

  • I am surprised by how the different sections are connecting and working together.
  • I discovered I can make a very straight line without a ruler!
  • I discovered I can NOT make a straight line without a ruler… and that’s ok.
  • It is satisfying to move quickly and not to worry about precision.
  • I am dissatisfied by the color I am working with, I will continue to use it and see where it goes.
  • I am surprised by how much I love it.
  • I discovered that I don’t have to love every piece of my patchwork in order to love the whole thing.
  • I am satisfied by how freeing is it to just keep moving forward, without a plan.
  • I discovered that the simple limits we set were just enough of a framework to focus my work.
  • I was surprised that the silent sewing made the decisions come quickly and easily.

Ultimately, we made a lot of progress and gained a broader understanding of the improvisational process. We learned techniques that can be used to create flexible (improv) patterns or to augment fixed patterns and that setting boundaries focuses our work and still leaves us with endless choices and flexibility.


Concepts taught in this workshop can be found in Sherri’s book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously. You can learn more about Sherri Lynn Wood’s projects and workshops on her website