February 2018


Show and Tell

Update on The Thomas Fire Quilts

By Gail:

I briefly visited a sew in for Thomas Fire quilts yesterday. I went there to pick up blocks in sets to be sewn into tops. They are overwhelmed with blocks. They no longer need blocks. I picked up sets for 6 quilts. I thought I might bring them to Sandra’s class on Saturdays or ? They are now requesting completed quilts, batting or backing. Check out update on Superbuzzy website. Maybe they should back the quilts with more blocks? They have so many potential quilts that they can use machine quilters and folks that will do binding also. Just a brief update.

Block Lotto February 2018

Last month we had a Double Disappearing Nine Patch. Using solids – now “modern”!


Feb Block LottoGifts and Door Prizes

Thanks to Michele and Suzanna for the homemade items and donations of Art Gallery Fabrics (Ann A.) and Cotton & Steel ( Stacey A.) for the fat quarters. Much Appreciation!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

QuiltCon 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Missed QuiltCon or just want to spend more time there? Here is a little slideshow of some of the highlights.


Block Lotto for June/July 2017

EPP Modern Tumbling Blocks

There has been a request to have a Block Lotto using the English Paper Piecing technique.

A common shape for EPP is the ever-present hexagon. EPP is a great way to hand-piece hexagons and other shapes that present challenges to machine piecing, either because of the small size of the units, or because of the difficult Y-seams. Next month we will try a block using machine-stitched Y-seams, but this month let’s try hand-stitched EPP.

Instead of connecting multiple hexagons together into a traditional flower pattern, we are going to create a small hexagon block out of three 60-degree diamond units. By using three different colors (a light, a medium, and a dark) the hexagon will have the appearance of a 3D cube.

When multiple cube-hexes are pieced together, the overall pattern creates the optical illusion of never-ending stair steps. Whether the cubes are right-side-up or up-side-down, whether the steps are ascending or descending, depends only on the viewer’s perception, and can switch in an eye-blink, thus giving this pattern its name: Tumbling Blocks.

We will create a three-inch hexagon out of three 1.75” diamond units.

For each block purchased, the Guild will provide:

  • 3 diamond paper templates
  • a scrap of White Kona
  • a scrap of black Kona

Participants will supply:

  • 1 mid-tone print scrap from their stash


In order for the 3D illusion to persist throughout the quilt, each participant must arrange the light, dark, and mid-tone diamonds in the same placement!

When the hex is oriented as shown above (point up),




Three tumbling blocks together give the illusion of three right-side-up cubes.


1 To find out if your print is a suitable middle tone, lie it out in between the black and white scraps and squint your eyes. If the print blends in or is hard to distinguish from either the black or the white pieces, then it may be too light or too dark. In the sample above, the bird print is nearly too dark, and the geometric print is almost too light. However, as we can see, the 3D effect is still working. These prints pass the test, but any lighter or darker, and the illusion would be spoiled.

2. After auditioning a LOT of scraps from my stash, I discovered that the prints that coordinate best with black and white, are prints that contain black and/or white within them. In order for the end result to be a well-coordinated quilt, try to choose modern graphic prints with at least a little black or white in them. This is just a suggestion! The most important thing is to have fun and choose something you like!


There are as many ways to do English Paper Piecing as there are quilters. Having never tried it before, I used a combination of web tutorials and books to teach me. I share my method here, but please experiment and chose what works for you.


  1. Lay your paper templates on the wrong side of the fabric scraps. Trim the fabric to about ⅜” around the paper. It’s not important for the seam allowance to be perfect. You may choose to use a glue stick or paper clips to hold paper onto the fabric. The paper will be removed later, so if you use glue stick, please use just a dab.
  2. Fold one side of fabric around the paper template and finger press to a crisp line.
  3. Do the same on an adjacent side, tucking the corner.
  4. With a hand needle and thread (knotted at the tail), take a stitch in the seam allowance, biting through all layers of fabric at the corner. These stitches do not need to be pretty or even.
  5. Stitch once more through the same layers, at the same spot. This is a tacking stitch. Fold the next side around the paper, finger press, and tack stitch the next corner.
  6. Continue until all corners have been secured. Take a last tack stitch where you started, feed the thread through to the back of the seam allowance, and cut the thread, leaving a short tail.
  7. Baste all remaining units. It is not necessary to trim the little flags on the corners.


10. Make sure your diamond units are in the correct positions! White on Top, Black on the Right.

11. Hold two units with right sides together, with their edges aligning a closely as possible.

12. With a hand needle and thread (knotted at the tail), whip stitch along one edge of the two units, biting just enough fabric to grab. There is not much fabric excess beyond the edge of the paper template inside, so you can only stitch into a couple threads worth of fabric, which is perfect. Make your stitches about 1/16” apart. Do not sew through the paper! Take special care to secure the corners with an extra stitch, and stitch a knot when you come to the corner. Feed thread through to the back of the seam allowance, and cut the thread, leaving a short tail.

13. Open the two pieces like a book, and insert the third diamond unit into place.

14. Hold the last diamond with its right side flat against the right side of an adjacent unit.

15. Stitch along the edge as before.

16. Open like a book, and align the last two unsewn edges.

17. You may have to pinch or gently bend the paper to get the last two pieces to lie with right sides together.

18. Sew along the last edge, and your block is complete. Give it a quick press with the iron to set the folds and make the edges nice and crisp. Use caution if you have used glue for basting! Make sure it can be ironed without discoloring the fabric!

Here is a helpful tutorial.




May Block Lotto Instructions

Block Lotto

Here are detailed instructions on how to complete this month’s Block Lotto! Thank you Lucinda for coordinating this for the guild. The MQG charity quilt challenge theme is “Modern Traditionalism.” With that idea as our inspiration, this month’s lotto block is a traditional Ohio Star block, shaken up a bit. We’re going to piece it in the traditional way, but instead of placing the colors in the positions that highlight the star shape, we are going to toss them in randomly. We get to practice our HSTs, and some precision piecing, but we’re getting experimental with the color placement.

 There are dozens of Ohio Star tutorials online. This is the one I used. Here’s another good one.

The Ohio Star is a nine patch, made with five solids and four Quarter Square Triangles or hourglass squares.​

To make the block, you will need a total of:
Five 4 1/2” squares, which remain intact.
Four 5 1/4” squares, which form the QTSs.

The block will square up to 12 1/2”. The guild provides a piece of Kona Snow, large enough to make six of the squares, if cut as shown in the photo.

Participants supply the remaining material from their stash (you will need to come up with at least two 5 1/4” squares and one 4 1/2” square). Get scrappy! Use modern prints or solids, as few or as many colors as you wish.

For our remix of this traditional block, we are keeping the star pattern in our piecing, but changing the placement of colors so that the star is still present, but is “invisible”.

Take some care in planning your QSTs. If you pair white triangles with colored triangles, you will end up with the traditional QST hourglass square by default. Try pairing colored triangles with prints, or pairing white with white.

One of the tenets of Modern Quilting is an abundance of negative space.

Those who purchase two blocks will have more white to mix and match with. If you make two blocks, feel free to have more white pieces on one block, and fewer on another. Or add more Kona Snow from your stash if you want even more negative space.

When these blocks are combined, it will be a modern scrappy quilt with a traditional framework.

My process: I made the mistake of pairing my white squares with my prints to make my HSTs, which left fewer options for non-traditional color placement in the QSTs. Four HSTs combine to form four QSTs. Two of my QSTs have traditional color placement, and two are a little different.

Combine four QSTs with five 4 1/4″ squares. I used four white and one with the same low-volume print that I used in the QSTs.

Arrange the squares so that the seams form the “skeleton” of the Ohio Star, but the colors do not appear as a star shape. Choose a pleasing arrangement, and piece them together row by row. Square up to 12 1/2 inches.

April Block Lotto

April Block Lotto

Here are detailed instructions on how to complete this month’s Block Lotto! Thank you Lucinda for coordinating this for the guild.

As a compliment to last month’s “Blue Moon” block, this month’s “Comet” block is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Last month’s solid was white, and it used a pattern, and curves. with an online tutorial. This block uses black, no pattern, and only straight lines, with no tutorial. These instructions are a guide, but there will be some improvisational decisions to make, and some monkeying around to fit the block together. Some may find this bit of freedom fun and easy, while some may find it more challenging.

The Guild provided one 11.5″ square of Kona Black. Participants provide scraps from their stash in three or more shades of a single color. It’s okay to use prints that read as solid. Stitch your gradation of scraps to form a rough strip approximately 3” x 12”. Seams do not need to be straight or parallel to each other.

Cut a long triangle wedge out of the strip. You choose the angles and direction. No need to measure. This is your “Comet”.

block lotto april 1

Cut the black square in two. You choose the placement and the angle of the cut.
block lotto april 2

Insert the Comet between the two black portions.

Take care to ensure that the result will yield at least a 10.5” square.

In order to accommodate the Comet piece, you may need to remove a wedge of black, adjust your angles, or flip one of your black portions over.
block lotto april 3

Sew the two black portions onto either side of your Comet. Don’t panic if the result is not square.

Square up the block, and trim to 10.5″

block lotto april 4

​It’s okay if the point does not meet the edge of the block.

Black backgrounds always seem to make colors glow.

We should end up with a fun collection of 10.5” Comet blocks which can be assembled in any the winner desires.

Have fun with the colors, and don’t sweat the details.

February 2017 Meeting Minutes

OCMQG February Meeting Recap

Thanks for attending our February meeting and thank you Lisa for leading the February meeting! At the beginning of the meeting, Karen A. and Lucinda checked in from QuiltCon via Skype and shared their initial impressions of the conference, thank you both for taking the time to share your experience at the conference!

Block Lotto

Thank you Sandy for organizing this month’s Block Lotto and doing a demo of the pattern—it’s a paper-pieced coffee mug! Those who signed up received a piece of fabric in Kona Silver and RightPatterns (R)’s Coffee Cup pattern (available on Craftsy.com). Pull any fabrics from your stash to complete the coffee mug. Paper piecing the “steam” is optional, you can top the mug with a solid block if you wish. Sandy enlarged the block to a 10” block. The pattern when enlarged doesn’t include the 1/4” seam around the outside so be sure to include the 1/4” seam around the block.


If you would like to volunteer to demo a sewing or quilting technique at an upcoming meeting, let us know!


The 2017 budget was unanimously approved at the meetinng

Volunteer Positions Update

Sandra has volunteered to coordinate field trips and workshops for OCMQG, thank you Sandra! Lisa has also volunteered to help co-coordinate field trips, thank you Lisa!

Mary has volunteered to coordinate the handmade item raffle, thank you Mary! We also had many people sign-up to make a handmade item to donate to the guild for raffles, thank you to our amazing members for signing up! We have enough sign-ups to be able to have a raffle at every meeting through 2017! Raffle tickets will be $1 each or 6 tickets for $5, and proceeds will go to the guild. Each month, Mary will be touching base with the person who has volunteered to check-in on your progress. Bring some cash to the March meeting for raffle tickets.

Scrap Swap

At the meeting, some members brought scraps to donate to the “Scrap Swap.” Elise is coordinating this with the Long Beach MQG, thank you Elise! At the March meeting, Elise will bring back three “scrap bags” and three members will be chosen at random to take a bag home. Those people will select the scraps from the bag they would like to keep, add scraps back to the bag, and bring the bag back to the April meeting. If you donated scraps at the February meeting and are selected, you do not need to add additional scraps. There will be a separate bag of solid-color scraps. Elise will get a scrap bag from at the Long Beach MQG meeting on 3/7 to bring to our March meeting.

Social Break

Our mini Social Breaks are a big hit! Halfway through the meeting, we are taking a break so that members can socialize and get to know each other better.

March Challenge

Quilts for our first challenge of the year are due at the March meeting! Your quilt must be completed including binding. We’re so excited to see what our members have created and hope you are feeling a sense of completion as you tackle those UFO’s!

Staying with the theme of UFO’s, an idea for the next challenge (due in July) is to make a quilt from a pattern that you already own, so start going through all those patterns you’ve bought and never made!

Workspace Tours

Elise had a great suggestion to do a powerpoint presentation of people’s workspaces. If you would like to participate, send Elise some pictures of your workspace and a brief explanation of your setup, organization, or process. This presentation will give members some ideas and inspiration on how they might organize their workspaces better. Elise’s email is elise.a.beck@gmail.com.


The LA Modern Quilt Guild is having a workshop on smallscale piecing with Chawne Kimber on March 11th at Sew Modern in LA. For those of you who attended QuiltCon in Pasadena, you probably remember Chawne’s “I Can’t Breathe” quilt. For more info on the workshop, email Sandra at sandrajohnsondesigns@gmail.com. For more info on Chawne Kimber, go here: https://huntersdesignstudio.com/2016/02/25/important-quilts-meeting-chawne-kimber/

Show & Tell

During show and tell, Julie presented a quilt that had a QR code on the label. Using this technology, Julie recorded herself reciting the poem that is sewn on the quilt. When the code is scanned, it plays back Julie’s voice reciting the poem. What a great idea! For more info on how to add this to a quilt, check out Www.stkrit.com.

Finish up those UFO’s at our next Sew-In, it’s on Sunday March 12 at Cosmic Quilting from 12-4. Our next meeting is on March 30. Happy sewing!

January 2017 Meeting Minutes

<<Hello from the blogger…..! I’m playing a bit of catch-up; 2017 is racing along….>>

Here are the notes from our January 2017 Meeting (Thank you, Dawn H., for writing this up):

OCMQG January 2017 Meeting Recap

Thanks to everyone who came to our first meeting of 2017! It’s always nice to see so many faces—and quilts! We’d like to thank Elizabeth, who donated a gorgeous fat quarter bundle for a future prize. Also thanks to Lucinda for coordinating this month’s Block Lotto! Lucinda has also volunteered to be our new Block Lotto Chairperson, thank you Lucinda!

Speaking of Block Lotto, February’s Block is inspired by Linda Miller’s “Scrappy Lines.” We are changing Miller’s proportions, and using solids instead of prints. Each block is a different shade of off-white, with a single pieced stripe. We are supplying Kona Snow and Moda Eggshell, one piece is 5” x 8.5” and one piece is 2.5” x 8.5”. You will add your own solid-color pieced stripe to the middle of the pieces that were supplied. The strip you will add is 2.5” x 8.5” so the finished square is 8.5” x 8.5”. FYI the pieces we are giving are generously cut. Tip: the pieced strip is the width of a jelly roll strip. Feel free to use pre-cut solids if you have them. Use solids for your middle strip, you can use neutrals or do a pop of color, but adhere to the modern quilting aesthetic.

Inspired by Linda Miller's “Scrappy Lines.”
Pieced by Lucinda Walker

Sandy has volunteered to plan the March block of the month, thank you Sandy!

Dues Renewal for 2017

Those who renewed their dues at tonight’s meeting paid $45 instead of $50! The dues amount will be $50 if you did not renew at tonight’s meeting. The money from dues  goes to the MQG and to the OCMQG, and pays for our membership to the MQG, workshops, the holiday party, block lotto fabrics, Cosmic Quilting space for sew-ins and meetings, and so much more! Our budget was emailed to members, or you can see a hard copy at a meeting—just ask an officer. We currently have approximately $2300 surplus in our budget.

Officer Update

Susie has volunteered to be our new treasurer!! Thank you Susie!!

Sewing Party Block of the Month

Cecile is offering the Delilah Block of the Month from Jen Kingwell Designs! The registration fee is $20 per month including shipping. You will get a pattern and an acrylic template, block sizes are 6”, 9” or 12”. She is going to create fabric selections including three colorways, and she’ll be bringing in some samples. She will make up some kits as well. For more info, contact Cecile at info@sewingparty.com. You can sign up online as well at sewingparty.com.

Quiltcon Charity Quilt

Our quilt is finished and it looks amazing! Thank you Susan for heading up this project and those who helped create and design it. Karen used her longarm to quilt it at Cosmic Quilting, and members who attended the January sew-in had a chance to quilt a few rows. Thank you Karen for doing the quilting of our philanthropy quilt!

Quiltcon is in February, Lucinda has a quilt entered in the show, congratulations Lucinda!

Field Trips and Classes

Sandra Johnson is leading a field trip to Hoffman Fabrics on Thursday, February 9th from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. The tour is FREE! Come and see how they make their fabrics. Bring money to possibly purchase fabric at the end of the tour. Every visitor will get a gift, feel free to bring a friend who would like to get inspired to start sewing! Hoffman Fabrics address: 25792 Obrero Drive, Mission Viejo. Sandra is also offering free sewing/quilting classes in Anaheim Hills on Thursdays from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM at the East Anaheim Community Center. The address is 8165 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim Hills 92808. For more info contact Sandra at sandrajohnsondesigns@gmail.com.

Holiday Philanthropy Quilt

Karen Miller / Cosmic Quilting will be doing the quilting for our holiday party philanthropy quilt and Susan has volunteered to do the binding, thank you Susan and Karen!

Scrap Swap

Elise is the liason between our guild and the Long Beach Modern Quilt Guild. The Long Beach Modern Quilt Guild would like to participate in a “Scrap Swap” with us. Each person donates some scraps, takes the bag home, and picks out some scraps. We will switch bags with the Long Beach guild. Donate “usable” sized scraps. Bring your scraps to the next meeting! More details to come. Elise has offered to teach how to make a skirt at our February sew-in, a supply list and more info will be included in the February sew-in reminder.  The LBMQG meets on the 1st Tuesday of the month at Sew Vac and their next meeting is 2/7. The address is 1762 Clark ave, Long Beach.

At this meting we switched things up a bit and had a 15 min. “social break” during the meeting. Members had a chance to mingle and chat during the meeting. At this meeting, we also gathered feedback from members on what you’d like to see from the guild this year, and things we can improve on. Thank you for supplying feedback, guild officers will take your comments into account when planning our events and meetings for 2017!

Our “icebreaker” at the meeting was: what are your quilting goals for 2017? We had so many great answers, here are some of them. If you didn’t make it to the meeting hopefully they will be an inspiration for the upcoming year of sewing and quilting.

Finish UFO’s — Learn How to Use a New Machine — Sew Your Stash — Make your Own Clothing — Sew More to Post More on Instagram — Downsize the Fabric Stash — Work Less and Sew More — Make Some of the Patterns You’ve Already Bought — Finish Pieced Tops — Take a Class — Quilt at Least a Little Bit Every Day — Watch All the Craftsy Classes You’ve Bought — Use FQ Bundles — Turn Quilting into a Career / Business

Lastly, check out these MQG Perks in January:

See you at the sew-in on Feb 12 or our next meeting on Feb 23. Happy sewing!

March Block Lotto

Traditional Meets Modern – “Blue Moon”

This is a block made up of four Drunkard’s Path units, joined to make a circle.

We are using the free tutorial from Stitched by Crystal

Traditional Drunkard's Path Patter
Pieced by Lucinda Walker

STITCHED by Crystal: Tutorial: Quilting curves – The Drunkard’s Path

The tutorial instructions are thorough, with clear pictures of each step, and the measurements are generous to allow for trimming down and squaring up.

For each block, the guild will provide two 5” squares of WHITE, and participants will use two BLUE (prints or solids) 5” squares from their stash (a total of four 5” squares are needed to complete the block.). Prints with outer space or sky motifs are especially cute and reinforce the Moon theme, but there is no need to purchase new fabric. Any solid shade of blue will also work. Your two blue squares do not have to match. Mix it up!

You will need an 8″ circle to use as a template. Paper templates were distributed at the meeting, but if you did not get one, you can use any means to create a circle with an 8” diameter.

When making my samples, I encountered two points that were not discussed in the tutorial, which might be helpful for first-time curve piecers.

1. One of the steps is to “find the center of each piece and pin them together.” The easiest way to find the center of a curve is to simply fold it in half and make a little finger-pressed crease. Match up the center creases of the convex and concave pieces, keeping right sides of the fabric together. Pin the center first, then pin the corners, and then fill in with as many pins as you find helpful.

2. I found that I was able to get the bias of the curve to stretch more easily when I fed the fabric through my machine with the convex piece on top. The tutorial pictures show the concave piece on top. Try one each way to see which works best for you.

Individual Drunkard’s Path units will be squared up to measure 4.25” each.

Four units will piece together to make a moon block measuring 8” square.

In order to create the Half Moon look, join the units so that they form a white semi-circle.

No one expects perfection! This is a way to build our skills with curves and try something new. Let’s make it fun!



September Block Lotto

For the month of September, we’re doing the Twizzle block by Buttons and Butterflys. (at time of post, this pattern is free from the Craftsy site)



@eyecandyquilts posted her version on Instagram and we decided this would be a fun skill builder block. How many of us have done half-rectangle triangle blocks? Hm?



Here are the blocks everyone made- and congratulations to Karen M on winning these blocks.



October Block Lotto

This month, we’ll be working on curves. But these are gentle curves.

Pieced by Karen M. Example block with solid

Fabric provided by the guild is a light grey Kona solid (thank you, Karen for cutting and making templates). From your stash, use a brightly colored solid to coordinate.

Karen M. picked out this month’s block and was inspired by Verena’s simply colorful blog about her experience with a Quick Curve Ruler.

Picture, piecing, and quilting by Verena at einfach bunt…



Video Instructions:

July Block Lotto – Pluses

First, Apologies for the lateness of this post! This month’s Block Lotto is a nine-patch that’s a PLUS!

Material provided: Kona Dahlia or Kona Heliotrope

Material from your stash: neutral low volume

Finished block size: 12″


Option 1: Low Volume Cross

From purple: cut 4-41/2″ Squares

From low volume neutral: cut 5 – 41/2″ Squares – 0r 4 – 41/2″ squares

Make three rows:

Row 1: Sew Purple – Neutral – Purple

Row 2: Sew Neutral – Purple – Neutral

Row 3: Sew Neutral – Purple – Neutral

Connect Row 1 to Row 2

Connect Row 2 to Row 3

Finished block should measure 12″

To make the cross with Purple cross, reverse directions

Build by Strip Sets: Missouri Star YouTube Tutorial

Purple: 3 strips: 4.5″ x 13.5″

Low Volume Neutral: 3 strips: 4.5″ x 13.5″


Strip Set 1: Purple – Neutral – Purple

Strip Set 2: Neutral – Purple – Neutral

Cut each strip set into three units 4.5″ wide

Arrange the strips so they look like a checker board. Sew 3 units together to make the block.