Monthly News of the NYC Metro Area Modern Quilters Guild
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Hello Mods!
Welcome to the November newsletter!  This month's meeting was jam-packed with activities, including show and tell, committee group discussions, passing of the coat of arms and of the "ugly quilt" round robin, and, perhaps most importantly, the vote for our new Mission Statement.
As the year has begun to unfold, many exciting changes have been happening in the guild; the committees have each been working to shape our guild into a more cohesive and purposeful organization, the board has been working to provide a more solid and transparent foundation on which we can build, and now the mission statement is in place, so that, as we move forward, our aspirations can be firmly footed in what binds us together--our shared love of quilting and a desire to disseminate our love for the craft to each other and to the communities around us!
November Meeting Events
Voting on the Mission Statement
Based on the responses to a survey previously sent out to all members, three mission statements were selected for a vote.  The statement that most succinctly put forth the guild's intentions and goals won by a landslide.  As of this meeting, we can now articulate that...
"Our mission is to develop and promote the art of modern quilting through cooperation, education, and community."
Thank you to all of you who participated in the survey and voted at the last meeting! 
Highlights of Show & Tell
Greer showing her Red and White "Thank you, Aunt Leslie" Quilt.
Photo courtesy of MadebyChrissieD
Sara Dillon showing her beautiful Ana Maria Horner quilt.
Photo courtesy of Diana Cherryholmes.
Margaret showing her finished Improv Beyond the Bee Quilt!
Photo courtesy of MadebyChrissieD

President's Corner

At the October and November meetings we spent some time thinking about reviving committees (as per our bylaws) and thinking about the activities, focus and direction of each committee by “meeting” in those committee groupings. At both meetings we had groups formed around the following committee topics or scope:

Block Lotto and Challenges

We are hoping to use these smaller groups to help define the direction of the Guild and organize activities in these specific areas of interest, which match not only our Bylaws but our purpose and our newly approved mission statement. 

In terms on ongoing activities, it is my hope that the communities will work closely together and bring to the larger group ideas and plans (and some quick wins). We will look to someone within each group to be the designated representative to communicate to us both at meetings, in-between emails and to Chris Dodsley, who will act as overall committee coordinator. Working with a structure will enable us to coordinate among the committees, report back to the larger group, and craft our direction forward. 

This is a process, and we are building that process step by step and together. Please bring your patience, commitment and best thinking to this transitional organization. I know it’s not easy and I also know that you are full of ideas, are smart and passionate, and are willing to bring your voice and commitment to the benefit of the Guild, your Guild. We will all reap great reward from working together, deepening our connection to each other and extending that connection to the outside world. 

If you have questions or would like to talk with either Chris or myself, please reach out.

Have a wonderful month and see you in December.


Feature News
A New Perk for Guild Members

Thanks to Chris Dodsley, we now have a new membership perk! Cotton Cuts, a new monthly subscription fabric box company, will be giving us guild members a 10% discount on a monthly membership. If you would like to learn more about Cotton Cuts, please see Chris's blog post. Chris will be sending out a flier with the code to you all via email. Look forward to seeing it in your inbox!
A Guild Visit to the American Folk Art Museum

by Greer McPhaden
On Friday, November 18, 2016, twelve members of the guild visited the Education and Collections Center of the American Folk Art Museum in Long Island City.  They had 10 quilts on display this fall, and Stacy Hollander, the museums’ quilt curator and historian gave us a tour.  The quilts were dated from 1831 to 1974 and represented traditions of Amish, African-American, White Work, Crazy Quilts, and Stenciled Quilts.  The quilts were made of silk, cotton, and corduroy, reflecting the economic and cultural issues of their time. There were techniques from trapunto, improvisational piecing, a group quilt like one of our bees.  The quilts are on display until November 30, 2016, and can be viewed by appointment. Call Rachel Rosen at 212-265-0605.

The Hudson River Arts Workshop With Cynthia Corbin
by Cynthia Clark

In late October I had the opportunity to take a 5-day workshop with Cynthia Corbin up at the Hudson River Valley Arts Workshop. For the past three autumns I have been treating myself to a week away quilting and learning, and this year has been the best so far.

The theme of the 5-day workshop was composing composition, and we worked hard each day on different assignments to explore this theme for ourselves:

  • What’s makes a good composition?
  • What’s our process and method for listening to and translating our unique artistic voice to fabric?
  • What’s our individual challenge or breakthrough step in this creative process?

During each class Cynthia made herself available to us for conversation and consultation, offering us an opportunity to explore the direction of our work that day (and in general). As we asked her questions about our work, she would reply “That’s a really good question” and let us move ahead to find our own answer.

The class was fun and productive, with lots of tips and techniques offered, plus the opportunity for each of us to hone how we talk about our work and understanding the importance of this as part of our artist journey. Each day we would do a short presentation of our previous day’s work or the full week’s work. And I noticed how this daily practice helped me see myself in my work and recognize what I am trying to say through it.

What I most loved about taking this class with Cynthia is the deep sense of connection she made with each person. As she told us many times, “It’s not about the quilting.” While she never said exactly “WHAT” it was about, my interpretation and experience of her and this is this: it’s about each of us deeply connected with ourselves in a process of self-discovery that touches every aspect of us – the quilting is the way in and then connects us to each other and the world.

Cynthia is retiring soon and will be doing a couple classes at QBL if you are interested. Last chance to have this most special and wonderful time with her.

Cynthia’s website:
Hudson River Valley Arts Workshop: 

Your Quilt in an Art Show: What I Now Know!
by Cynthia Clark

I recently got up enough nerve to submit one of my quilts to a local art show, and it was accepted. Exciting news, right? Yes and no. This was a curated show of mostly paintings and prints from local artists, and one quilt, mine. What I didn’t know then was that most artists do not really understand the medium of fabric. So, live and learn, that’s my motto! And let me share my experience and some tips with you so you can boldly submit your work to any art show.

The Art of the Quilt. We all know that quilts have a top and a back (or a front and a back). In a show, you usually want the front or top to be displayed. Don’t be fooled! Not everyone knows this☺. When I arrived at opening night of the show to look for quilt, which had been hung and arranged by the show’s curators, I noticed that the back was on display, not the top. When I quickly sought to change this, one of the curators said, “Oh, we liked that side better.” Imagine that and my fury, but I calmly asked them to correct the situation.
Important takeaway #1:  Make sure everyone involved in the show knows which side of the quilt you, as the artist, want the viewers to see.

Hanging. Make your own sleeve and ensure that you have the materials necessary to hang the quilt. Luckily my husband is a woodworker and could assist with providing a piece of wood that could be inserted into the sleeve and then strung with invisible fishing line to hang the quilt. This much I knew: I did not want anyone nailing or taping the quilt to the wall. But then they hung the quilt too high. Again, the curators were looking to balance the wall of art and just didn’t get that the quilt needed to be lower. It was so high the viewers really couldn’t appreciate the work and see the detail.
Important takeaway #2:  Take charge of the hanging method.
Important takeaway #3:  Make sure you are present when they hang your piece.

Identification and Information. Each piece in a show gets a label that provides the viewer with information about the piece and the artist. Well, my quilt label included the quilt name, then the word “Quilt” and my name. That’s it! Oh and yes the “Not for Sale” statement. I never gave this a second thought, assuming . . .  and you know what happens when you do that! So, a few things about this.

Important takeaway #4:  Specify the information (language) you want on the label. Do not leave this to chance or to the presumption that the curators or others hanging the show will know what the label should say.
Important takeaway #5:  Have a sign posted that says “Please do not touch the quilt.” Lovers of paintings and prints know NOT to touch those works of art, but when people see a quilt they want to touch it, and they shouldn’t.
Important takeaway #6:  If you’d like people to see the back and there is no white-gloved quilt turner available or even assigned, hang a photo-quality 8.5 x 11 print of the back next to the quilt. That way, folks can see what’s on the back without touching and turning it. You may even have a photo-quality print of the front too, to offer them the option of seeing some additional detail.

So that’s what I learned and hope it’s helpful. 

As for the rest of opening night, it was fun and thrilling to have lots of people turn out to support me and lots of people interested and loving my quilt. At some point I did have to let go of “everything that was wrong with how the quilt was hung, labelled, etc.” and when I did, I relaxed and enjoyed the evening and experience. Here is “Zebra” in all its beauty, front and back.

Guild Projects - Building an Archive
The Coat of Arms!

Arlene brought the Coat of Arms to the November meeting bedazzled! Though the coat went on a trip to Florida with Arlene, it didn't get out much because of the heat. But it got some new bling! Arlene added the jewels to the yellow hexagon on the right front--a proper medallion,
only appropriate for a Coat of Arms! Our lovely jacket has made its way to Maureen Wirth this month. Maureen's already taken the Coat of Arms to the NYC Marathon! We can't wait to see what you add to our beloved Coat, Maureen!
Round Robin Quilts

We were lucky enough to see both of our current round robin quilts pass hands at our meeting in November! Here's Karen showing off the Ugly Quilt top, which has gone on to
Bernadette also brought back the other round robin quilt, which has gone on to Karen.
In order to give everyone a chance to participate and plan ahead to set time aside to work on our round robin quilts, we will begin keeping a sign-up sheet for both the round robin quilts and the Coat of Arms at the welcome table at meetings. If you haven't had a turn yet, and you would like one, please keep your eye out to sign up in December!
The Bee Hive
A Gentle Reminder about Bee Etiquette: 
  • Please complete each bee block within the month it was received and return your finished block promptly.   If you are unable to finish on time, be sure to contact the queen/king bee to let them know.
  • When you are queen/king bee, please mail our your block instructions so they arrive at the beginning of your assigned month, so everyone can stay on schedule.  Remember to include the necessary fabric (determined by your particular bee), as not everyone has a huge stash to work from.
  • Don't be shy about contacting the queen/king bee if you have a question!
Some blocks Chris Dodsley has received in the Improv Beyond the Bee
Some blocks received by Caroline in the Improv Beyond the Bee
Community Blocks

The Community Outreach Committee is no longer collecting "Man Blocks". Thank you for your many contributions to this collection! 

Current Blocks - Kids' Block!
Our current collection is for the Kids' Block. Here are the instructions:
December Snack Celebration!
We will be celebrating winter and the holiday season together at the December meeting! And every party needs food!
If you would like to contribute something to the potluck party, please follow the following guidelines:
If your last name begins with letters A-M, please bring something savory.
If your last name begins with letters N-Z, please bring something sweet. 
Please be prepared to take home your leftovers.
The board will provide all paper goods. This party will be BYOB.
December Mini-Quilt Swap!
In lieu of a block lotto, we will be having a mini-quilt swap! 
Finished (quilted & bound) 12" x 12" mini quilt
Abstract or realistic, embellished or not
Signed & dated on the back
*Must be gift-wrapped
*Due December 3
*If you choose to make a quilt, you choose to participate in the Mini Quilts Grab Bag at our next meeting celebrating upcoming holidays!
Hayden has created a calendar for the guild so that we can all keep track of what's upcoming and what's ongoing. Until the calendar is embedded in the website, you can click this link to see the calendar:
Do you like what you see in this newsletter? Do you want to see more of something? Or less? We want your feedback--and your news! Please feel free to contact the Membership Committee or Membership Chair about ideas, news, criticism--or contributions! The deadline to be included in the upcoming newsletter is always the second Saturday of the month.  Contact 
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