MPD Appreciation Quilt


For the past 2 years, our guild has been hosted at the Milpitas Police Department Community Room for our monthly guild meetings and open sew days. Mid-2016, we lost our meeting space at a local quilt shop, and we struggled to find a venue that met our size, location, and schedule requirements, as well as being within our limited budget. So, we were thrilled when we found all of these at the Community Room connected to the Milpitas PD Station. We are very appreciative that the Police Department makes this space available to us and we wanted to show our thanks in a way that expressed our gratitude and spoke to who we are as a group.

We decided to thank the MPD with a quilt banner. After tossing around a few ideas, we settled on an American flag design using patchwork blocks for the stripes and replacing the stars with a single police badge star.

The project was a true group effort. We asked for fabric donations in a Red, White, and Blue palette, which we curated for the quilt blocks. We then asked members to make 3” finished mono-color blocks, signing out blocks to ensure we had enough of each color for the finished top. Blocks ranged from traditional to improv, which we laid out and assembled into a flag at our guild retreat.


The police department initials were machine-appliqued onto the silver star which was then hand-appliqued onto the blue field of the finished quilt top. Quilting and a faced binding finished the banner.


We presented the banner to the Police Chief late last year and were very pleased with how much the officers liked it. We expected to see it hanging on a wall in our meeting room, or in a corner of their offices. We were thrilled to see that the MPD had mounted and framed the banner with a lovely plaque acknowledging our gift. In February, a group of officers allowed us to enter the station and we were truly honored to see that it was hung in their main hallway for all to see.



Our goal was to express our gratitude to the MPD for allowing us to meet in their Community Room, based upon their response we think we got our point across. We look forward to many more years meeting at the Community Room.

2018 Year in Review

This was a busy year for our guild. We continued to grow our membership, share and learn new skills, and give back to the community.

Founding member Tricialyn led the guild in informative lectures focusing on Design Elements, including Texture, Color, and Scale. These topics were discussed as a group and integrated into guild challenges and activities.

We exceeded our fundraising goal this year, raising money through sponsor baskets, mini quilt raffles, and boutique sales. We are excited about putting those funds back into the guild this year in the form of speakers and activities. Thank you again to all of our generous sponsors.

We also far exceeded our goal for charitable activities, donating 25 completed quilts to 9 different local and national charities. In addition to finished quilts, we donated fabric and quilting materials to local charities and we have a head-start on 2019 with some unfinished quilts. Plus, at the end of the year, the guild made over 50 tote bags for the Bill Wilson Center to be given to at-risk youth throughout the coming year.

Focusing on our commitment to ongoing education, the guild sponsored three workshops in 2018. First, Sherri Lynn Wood taught a structured improv technique in her Improvising from a Score Workshop. Continuing on the improv theme, we learned to piece and layout curves in Karen Foster’s Improv Abstraction Workshop. We wrapped the year up with a Beginning Fabric Dyeing Workshop with Lynn Koolish. Additionally, we held member-led demonstrations throughout the year that included Reverse Applique, Wefty Needles, and Surface Finish Techniques.

On top of all of this, we participated in our first quilt show, showing a collection of modern quilts at the semi-annual Piecemakers Quilt Show! This was a thrill for the guild as we were able to showcase modern quilting at a traditional quilt show. Now that we’ve got a taste for it, we definitely plan to do more shows in the future.

Overall, it was a great year and we are excited for an even better 2019!

2017 Spring Retreat: Special Thanks!

We had a fabulous time at our retreat this past month. It wouldn’t have been possible without our many sponsors who provided so many fun goodies for our members.

A giant thank you to each and every one of you! We appreciate you and your contributions to our guild!


Logos generate in random order and size upon load of page.

Retreat 2017 Recap

We’ve wrapped our third annual quilt retreat and what can we say, it was a great success! This year we filled the extra long weekend (two extra optional days!) with lots of sewing, crafty projects, and relaxation.


We had a lot of opportunities to sew for charity at this year’s retreat. There was a whole wall in the workroom designated to making blocks for three separate quilt projects. By the end of the retreat we had a full quilt top of one quilt and all the blocks made for the two other quilts. In addition to that, our members whipped out binding and pieced backings for the quilts as well. It was a team effort by all our members!

We also had a fun craft project planned to get members up and out of their seats — barn quilts! We saw the idea all over Instagram and knew it’d be a great idea to take over some of the outdoor space at Hidden Valley outside the sew room. The guild purchased the wood boards and members (special shout out to our member Eileen!!) brought in paints, brushes, and tape to share. We picked out our favorite blocks and got to work. The final products were truly awesome!

By popular demand, we splurged this year and brought in a couple masseuses to give chair massages on Saturday afternoon and evening for some extra pampering. Members booked 30 minute time slots throughout the day to take a break from sewing and relax outside in nature. A special thank you goes out to Central Coast Massage for coming out to our venue and spoiling us for the afternoon. 


To keep the merriment going throughout the weekend, we decided to do crafty BINGO. The bingo board was filled with crafty objects we called out over the weekend — as well as fun action items members could cross out on their own if they completed on their own time. These action items encouraged members to pitch in, get to know each other, and have a little fun. Congrats to Bev on winning our craft BINGO prize!


Thanks to Jan for coordinating the retreat, Rochelle for creating the fun goody bags for members and booking the masseuses, and all our members for making it such a fun weekend!

Until next year…


Pam Rocco: Quilts Inspired by Ethnic Models

“Ethnic quilts, broadly defined as quilts produced by people outside of the American quilting mainstream, such as Native Americans or the Amish, or quilts inspired by non-Western art of any kind, have always fascinated me.  I’ve made quilts inspired by cloth, carvings, paintings or petroglyphs made by diverse groups of people from the Andes, the Congo, the Kalahari desert, the Australian outback and many other places.  I hope that the rich world of non-Western art will also inspire you on your quilting journey.”

– Pam Rocco

We were so thrilled to have the brilliant Pam Rocco come speak at our last meeting and share dozens of her amazing quilts with us. We loved hearing about where she gets her inspiration from, her process on coming up with her designs and all the facets of her life that have played a role in her quilt making journey. One of the interesting details she shared with us was her use of non-traditional fabrics, including draperies and clothing.

QuiltCon Charity Quilt 2017

We’re incredibly proud to present our 2017 QuiltCon Charity Quilt which hung at QuiltCon East quilt show in Savannah, Georgia the last week in February.

16788498_1874134382802029_8456118722615050240_nHere’s two of our member’s who attended QuiltCon showing off our lovely quilt!

Our team had a lot of ideas for incorporating the theme of “scale” in our quilt. We quickly decided to use scale to represent a data set. We also knew that we wanted to do something that represented the high-tech industry that dominates the area where our guild is located.

Being a group of women in Silicon Valley, we discussed multiple topics around women in the high-tech industry, from representation in industry leadership and management to pay disparity. Ultimately we chose to represent the disparity of women vs men in technical roles at major Silicon Valley companies.

We were excited to incorporate a theme that reflects our concerns as women, our environment as members of the Silicon Valley community, and our passion as quilters.

A group of us met to discuss the theme and how to implement it into blocks that could be worked on individually and then assembled into a finished quilt. We chose colors from the selection provided by MQG, and decided on 10” blocks because the math for color percentage would be simpler. We distributed fabric bundles and the following rules rules for the individual quilt blocks:

  • 10” finished square
  • Use only right angles (rectilinear); No curved or angled piecing
  • Use of color groups in the specified ratios (can be applied across multiple blocks):
    • 84%: Green, Blue, and/or Dark Blue fabric
    • 16%: Gray, Pink, and/or Yellow fabric (16 sq. inches)

Around a dozen members volunteered to make blocks, and we collected more than the 63 needed for our design. A smaller group gathered for a sew day to lay out and assemble the finished quilt top; we decided to place pieces with larger color blocks at the top and blocks with smaller pieces at the bottom, creating a feeling of weight at the bottom of the quilt. We handed off to a member for quilting and to another member for binding and attaching the label and sleeve. It was a true team effort.

Our theme is represented through the use of lighter value fabrics (yellow, pink, gray) representing the percentage of technical roles occupied by women (16% of the overall quilt top) and the darker value fabrics (blue, green, navy) representing the percentage of technical roles occupied by men (84%).*

We believe the quilt illustrates the imbalance in the percentage of women vs men in these key roles in this industry.

[SVMQG would like to thank Fat Quarter Shop and Hart’s Fabrics for providing discounted fabric for this project.]

*Data source: CNET “Women in tech: The numbers don’t add up”, May 2015

Want to know more about the challenge put on by the MQG? Check out the original challenge information here:

February Show and Tell

Thanks to all who came out in the ghastly weather for February’s guild meeting. We had a great time talking about more of our plans for 2017 as a guild, sharing our monthly UFO finishes, collecting a handful of cool toned color blocks to be made into a charity quilt and even carving out some crafty time to make some cute fabric necklaces!

This was also our first meeting at the Milpitas Police Station and we’re calling it a success! The venue was spacious and even featured a design wall!! 😉  You can catch us there again next month for our meeting on Thursday, March 9 at 7:00pm.

Show and Tell and a continuation of our UFO Program:


Charity Blocks:

You’ll have to forgive our slightly crumpled blocks for January’s “cool toned colored” quilt block challenge. They traveled from their member’s homes through the downpour of rain to be at our meeting tonight. (Aren’t they awesome? 🙌🏼 ) Thanks to all who made it out to our meeting in this crazy rain! Can’t wait to continue collecting blocks to turn into quilts for charity.

Members: If you’d like to contribute a block, you’re still welcome to! We’ll be collecting blocks throughout the year for various quilts that will be sewn together on special Charity Sew Days (dates TBD) and handed off to our charity. The challenge was just to make a quilt block with cool toned colors and which will finish to 10″ when sewn into a quilt (10.5″ when you drop it off with us).