PMQG, It's a Sign (up)...

There are so many great things going on this summer! We thought we'd gather some info all in one place so we can start finalizing details so you can make your plans. Please take a moment to let us know your interest in these up coming events:

Round Trip! Bus to Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, July 13th.
cost $31-$50 depending on how many folks go

PNW Meet up August 15th - 18th, Portland Oregon.
cost $25

And don't forget about our Documentation Day, Saturday June 22nd at MOCC and our PNCA classes, June 29-30 with Eliza Fernand and Cherry House! And the first MQG Sewdown: registration opens June 10th.

Denyse Schmidt class + PMQG giveaway!

I was so lucky to take one of Denyse Schmidt's modern quilting workshops here at PNCA (for the third time - hi Rachel!) this summer with PMQG friends Paula, Rachel and Amy. Each of her classes is different... the first one pushed us to experiment with random-draw improvisational piecing, the second one was about developing intentional pattern through happy accidents in improv, and this third one, Traditional Improvisation Quilting, invited us to explore making a traditional pattern our own through our creativity and choices in color, design, cutting, piecing, and arrangement.

Shoeman's Puzzle in the classroom
photo by Paula

Denyse came to Modern Domestic Friday evening for a lovely book signing and trunk show of four of her quilts from Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration, which a bunch of us made it over to. I got quick snapshots of each of her quilts with their pages.

Hawaiian-Style Applique

Speaking of her book (more on this later, too)... it is beautiful. Denyse offers twenty historical quilt designs, each reinterpreted through her lens, and shares their stories.

Ocean Waves

It was very cool to see these four quilts in person!

Courthouse Steps

Our class started on Saturday morning with a quick round of template-making and then learning to piece the beautiful windmill shapes of the Shoeman's Puzzle block pattern in our chosen solid fabrics. This was my favorite quilt in her book so I was very happy to be working on it!

Shoeman's Puzzle

After we made our blocks, we experimented by ditching the templates and cutting the basic angular lines freehand. Once we had four blocks made, up they went on the design wall. It was very cool to see how two fabrics that seemed so similar (a lot of us were worried our picks were too close to provide much contrast) could work together so well in the design.

Denyse teaching us about the pattern

Denyse encouraged us to keep going with sketches and piecing to make the pattern our own. Some people went in totally new directions, which was very cool to watch. I tried some other improvisational piecing and angles, but ultimately I loved the simplicity of the Shoeman's Puzzle and wanted my "new" design to to stay close to its charm. So I kept working with color - trading one of my greens with Rachel was a nice element - and line by cutting freehand, or mixing layers or tones within a block. This is what I had at the end of the first day.

My first four block sets (16 blocks) at Denyse Schmidt's class

For the second day, we continued working in our chosen block style, with guidance from Denyse, and kept adding to the design walls. We took over nearly all of the walls in the Stagecraft building room (where we usually meet, which was cool!) and everywhere you looked was filled with color. We concluded with a review of everyone's designs, going around the room one by one.

Amy and her blocks
photo by Paula

Amy worked with chocolate browns to create her series of blocks for a quilt she wants to finish for her Mt. Hood cabin... backing it with wool. Her description was so evocative and really brought the design to life.

Paula's blocks
photo by Paula

Paula mixed her soft, subtle cream solids with bold prints for a stunning balance and combination. During the review, Denyse added some tiny, impactful lines of navy blue and suddenly Paula's work was sharpened to lovely effect.

Rachel's blocks
photo by Rachel

Rachel created a vibrant kites shape she said she's long been drawn to in her work, and continued to build her overall design with curves and angles. I loved how she mixed our two traded greens for a fluid effect.

My blocks at the Denyse Schmidt class

My second-day blocks mixed in a few new elements, like Marimekko Appelsiini, Lizzy House's Castle Peeps, and a darker green shot cotton. I also let go of the strict two-fabrics-per-block oppositional patterns and tried to keep my blocks less controlled. (Of course, I have some trial and error blocks made with piecing I didn't love, or colors that didn't end up playing as nicely together, that are going to be great for the back!)

Me, Paula, Denyse and Amy with her book
photo by Rachel

Denyse is a wonderful teacher and her talent for encouraging and inspiring students, while sharing technique really gives her classes depth. The joy of sewing for a whole weekend, finding your own path, and seeing others' work is a gift. Her book is just as charming - its fresh, beautiful take on the most venerable quilt patterns of the last two centuries is very inspiring!

Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration

She has generously given a signed copy of Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration, her new book with STC Craft, to us to give away at the next PMQG meeting - this Thursday evening at PNCA!

Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration

Thank you so much to Denyse and STC Craft for donating the review and giveaway copies! Hope to see you tomorrow night...

Lizzy House Class

Recently I took a class through PNCA, Pacific Northwest College of Art, they kindly host our guild meetings. We have a great relationship with the school including a discount for guild members for classes. The class, Textile Design and Printing was taught by Lizzy House. Before I get started on the class one thing I know you all will love is fabric! Lizzy received Guising her Halloween line in the mail during our first day of class so we all got a peek. I'm a freak for Halloween and am soooo excited to make something with this line. 

Lizzy House Guising Fabric!
I don't have any more photos for you from class, you think I would have at least one of Lizzy but I was so caught up in the class it didn't cross my mind. I think she looks just like her photos though cute in her skirts and her hair up.
 So what did I learn? A LOT we learned the process of making  repeats for fabric patterns and we did block printing and screen printing on fabric. For the block printing we used linoleum blocks and carved our designs with carving tools. To print on the fabric we used an oil base printing ink which you heat set once it's dry.

For the screen printing we drew our images and using a xerox of our drawing we transferred the image using a photo emulsion process to a silk screen. Printing the image on your fabric involves oil based ink again but this time it's squeegeed across the screen onto your fabric. 

 What was really great about the class was all the advice and info Lizzy had for getting into the fabric design world it was a lot to process and she is so positive! Now I have Lizzy saying "You can all design fabric you're amazing" in my head, maybe I'm embellishing with that amazing part but it's what I remember. It was also nice to meet and see what all the other students were coming up with. The group had diverse backgrounds and goals and we had a lot of fun. 

If you are interested in Fabric Design check out Lizzy's book How to Enter the World of Fabric Design: for the Quilting Industry and Kim's book from True Up A Field Guide to Fabric Design. Both are excellent! We'll be doing a Guild review on Kim's book soon and giving away her book at a meeting. Also Lizzy will be in LA in May if you are in the area don't miss her.


an interview with Lizzy House

Fabric designer Lizzy House is coming to Portland to teach a fabulous Textile Printing and Design class at PNCA this weekend, and PMQG got the chance to catch up with her and ask a little bit about her design life and process. Lizzy is a truly fascinating person (check out her blog for more of a peek at her world) and I love sewing with her fabric, so it was really cool to hear a bit more about what makes her tick creatively!

a color crusade
two of Lizzy's collections, Castle Peeps + 1001 Peeps; first four photos courtesy of Lizzy House

Heather: How did you start designing fabric? What was the beginning process like for you?

Lizzy: I started designing fabric because when I was six or seven I decided that I didn't like anything that was available, so I asked my mom how the designs came to be on the fabric. She told me that someone drew it. I then told her I would take over the world. I was, again, six or seven. I started professionally designing when I was 21. It was literally always something that I was working towards, and thinking about. People my own age thought I was crazy town when I told them that I would design fabric. Then I would have a maniacal moment to myself when I knew I would rue the day.

I'm feeling super hero-ish this morning.

building a rainbow

The design process for me usually involves travel. That's just how I get a lot of my ideas, and it's great because I travel a lot. It all works. When I know that I need to produce a new collection, I will start working really intensely for about 2 weeks. Literally just drawing/ writing down every thought no matter how wild or odd, until something starts to rise from it. And it usually does around the middle of the second week. Images and ideas start to set themselves apart, and that's typically how most of my lines start. Those two weeks get a little unkempt. It's like my apartment explodes.

I live by myself.

all the fabric

Petra: With the boom of digital fabric design and new fabric designers, where do you see the industry headed in the next 5 or 10 years?

I definitely see the industry changing, but mostly the pace of things. There is so much that has become instantly available, and I think that has changed the way people think about buying/collecting/using their own fabric. It's like an insatiable appetite. Also the rapidity at which collections are being released now seems dangerously fast to me. I don't see exactly how this is going to pan out, or if it will ever slow down again... but things are definitely changing. I see previews for movies now and I can hardly watch because they are all so intense or in 3D... it's like everything has become so extreme, and it feels like the textile industry is falling into a similar formation. So where does it go when you are on the road to full speed?

marble champ
Lizzy's Marble Champ quilt featuring prints from Red Letter Day

Susan: Your fabric designs are always so striking, from spoons to peeps to pennants, but I love how you've included new colorways of Pearl Bracelet in all your recent collections. That's my favorite print and I'd love to hear a little more about what inspired it... hoping to keep seeing it as you create new lines.

Lizzy: The idea for Pearl Bracelet comes from the basic idea of Red Letter Day, the collection from which it originated. Which is, taking ordinary things or experiences and making them special. An ugly duckling who loves his life because he has no idea he is odd. An unexpected walk in the woods that turns into the best part of your trip. A prize ribbon that made you feel like a winner. Stripes to know that you did it. And of course the Pearl Bracelet. The idea of a gift from someone that you know loves you more than you could measure.

So it thrills me that people love it, and I am so excited for the initial collection of them to be released. There will be 30 total: including the ones that are currently available from 1001 Peeps, Outfoxed, and Hello Pilgrim, as well as the original blue pb. I'm working on some neutrals as well as just some fantastic colors that will fill in your rainbows. So I am super psyched about it. It's always cool when something that means a lot to you, means a lot to other people too.

pearl bracelet pennants
imagine a pennant strand five times this long in 30 different colors!

New stuff! I'm developing some products that I am so excited about, and that's pretty much all I can say. Oh, and of course there is new fabric that will be shown at Spring Market that I am so excited about too.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thanks so much to Lizzy for the interview - I can't wait to see the new collection and all thirty (!) colors of Pearl Bracelet! Her class, Textile Printing and Design, still has just a couple spaces left, if you are free this weekend and looking to learn amazing things. (And don't forget, thanks to their generous sponsorship, guild members get 10% off any one PNCA class.) Petra, who's taking Lizzy's class, will post all about it next week!

Lizzy House at PNCA Continuing Education Day 1
photo courtesy of PNCA

Modern Quilt show in April at PNCA

Exciting news for PMQG members! The Continuing Education program at PNCA has offered to host a show of quilts from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild in Gallery 214 next month. The show will open on first Thursday, April 7th, so put that on your calendar right now!

We are thrilled with this development and we hope that you will submit your modern quilts to be considered for the show.  There is space for up to 15 quilts in the show. The selection process will include both PMQG officers and PNCA staff and faculty. You have two weeks from today to submit your quilts for consideration.


You may submit up to two quilts
The maximum size of quilts is 80" wide by 90" tall
The quilt design must be your own original work, not a pattern of someone else's
To submit a quilt you must be a dues-paid member of PMQG. (If you're not 100% certain you've paid your dues, ask us)
Quilts should be modern

What does that mean? You tell us.

It's clear that modern quilting is personal to each of us, and a bit hard to define. This show offers us an opportunity to share with each other and the community our thoughts on what modern quilting is right now. Be a part of this dialogue by sharing what modern quilting means to you, and discussing what makes your quilt "modern".

Entries are due by midnight on Friday, March 18th.
Please email your entry to
If you are submitting two quilts, please email your entries for each quilt separately. 
Your email should include:
Your name
Quilt name
Quilt dimensions
Your statement explaining what modern quilting means to you, and discussing what makes your quilt "modern".
Up to three photos of your quilt. One photo should show the entire quilt. The other photos may show details or the back, as you desire.

We expect to have final decisions made by March 30th at the latest. Quilts will be due to a designated PMQG contact or PNCA by April 2. We know this will be a tight turnaround for those that are chosen, but we will help you make it work. Cross our hearts. Your quilt will be on display until April 21st or 22nd.

A big thank you to PNCA for kicking it up a notch! We are thrilled with the idea of sharing our members' fabulous work with the community. Ok everyone....get busy on those sumissions!

10% off a class at PNCA

Great News!  I just learned that PNCA is offering all Quilt Guild Members 10% off a class for Fall + Winter (there are the usual fine print:  only good for tuition, only can use once, must be a member to use, must call Cassandra in Registration 503.821.8903 to register)

Isn't that cool! So go sign yourself up for one of the awesome  Fiber Arts classes!
What a great opportunity to grow your skills and learn something new.

Heather Ross!

You love her fabric, you love her designs now come listen to her speak at PCNA!

Heather’s Week

This week Fabric Design with Heather Ross begins!  In addition to her class, Heather will be giving a free presentation about her work, process and approach to design that is open to the community.  

This will be held Friday evening 7:00pm-8:00pm at the PNCA main campus (1241 NW Johnson Street).