Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is it Time to Start a Modern Quilting Guild in Des Moines?


I think I want to start a quilting guild in Des Moines. Actually, I should be more clear by saying that I realize there might already be one, but I want to start a "modern quilting guild". What's the difference, you may ask? Well, thanks to this handy article on Etsy, I learned about the Modern Quilt Guild, an organization made up of chapters of "modern" quilters all around the country. I wouldn't have defined my quilting as modern before today, but I'm certain that these are my people (as far as quilters go) now that I've read through how they were defining the word—and after spending some time on their flickr page. Here's a sampling of some of my favorites from (Gabriel's baby quilt from broadloco is pictured above), along with more info about the MQG:

Concrete garden from Jaybirdquilts

The Modern Quilt Guild is a community of quilt guilds across the country. The online community of modern quilters is thriving and this guild grew out of a desire to also have us meet in person. The founding branch of the guild started in Los Angeles in October of 2009. Through blogs & the internet word spread quickly of the fun they were having and now branches have started popping up all over the country. We are a young organization just getting started with planning, organizing and sorting out all we will do as an association.


NB's Quilt 2 from Kate @ swim, bike, quilt

Modern quilting is a new twist on the traditional art of quilting. This may mean something as simple as using a traditional quilt block and updating it in a fresh fun new way. That includes using modern fabrics, modifying the block arrangement or even the scale of the block.  The piecing could be improvisational and wonky, or it could be very exact and measured, following a pattern or creating your own. The quilting could be traditional stippling, clean straight lines or a very “free” have fun, quilt as you go style. Fabrics could be upcycled vintage sheets, custom digital printed fabric, a yummy selection from one of the new modern fabric designers, or an old fabric from an ever growing stash.

Zig zag from  Lollyquiltz

Modern quilting is also about the attitude and the approach that modern quilters take. It respects the amazing artistry and talent of the tradition of quilting, while allowing the quilter to challenge the “rules”. In fact, if there were one rule in modern quilting it would be that there are no rules.

I think this sounds like it's right up my alley and I can imagine that meeting up with fellow quilters once a month to stitch, share and get to know each other would be really fun and informative. So if you live in or around Des Moines, and you make or are interested in this type of quilts/quilting, let me know. In the meantime, I'm going to investigate starting a chapter.


  1. Hi Amy. You have a fun blog. I was tickled to see my quilt on your site! It made my day...thanks a lot. Yes, you really should start a MQG in DesMoines!! We have had 3 meetings in K.C. so far, with around 70 people the last two meetings...had to get a larger meeting place!

  2. Thanks Carla! I'm working on starting the group- I'm really excited about the potential it offers. And if it doesn't take off, I'll just drive down and come to a meeting in KC, I think!

  3. My co-planner Elizabeth would love to be in a modern quilting group. I'm going to post this on her Facebook. :]

  4. Kelsey is right. I'm really interested in your idea. I like quilting, and I like to twist traditions! -Elizabeth

  5. Hi! I just stumbled across your blog while trying to find some Anna Maria Horner fabric in or near Des Moines. Did you manage to form a modern quilting guild? I just moved here from Minneapolis and I would LOVE to partake... Meghan

  6. Hi Meg! You can see the info here:

    we are currently try to schedule a meet up in Sept!

  7. Thank you, Amy! I am really excited about this! I signed up to join the online group and enjoying looking around the website.

  8. If you'd like, I'd be happy to host a page about the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild on my website.

    You can find the place to add your guild's information here:

    Good luck to you and your guild!

    Julie Baird