Central Virginia Modern Quilt Guild

Develop and Encourage the Growth and Development of Modern Quilting through Education and Community Activities

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QuiltCon Charity Quilt – Change the World

The Central Virginia Modern Quilt Guild made a quilt to be displayed at the 2019 Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon Charity Challenge display. These quilts will be hung during the event and afterwards will be donated to the charity of the group’s choosing. It’s a great way to get the name of the Modern Quilt Guild out there and to give back to our communities.


Change the World

Our group decided to donate our quilt to the local organization, Change the World RVA (www.changetheworldrva.org), who helps local homeless high school students. From their website:

Change the World RVA is a 501(c)3 established to support high school and college students in Richmond, Virginia who are experiencing homelessness and housing instability.  We partner with an army of volunteers, churches, and organizations to make a meaningful difference in the lives of homeless youth.  We are an all-volunteer organization.  We are the only organization in the region that specifically addresses the needs of high school and college students facing homelessness.

The theme of this year’s challenge was “small piecing” with the following color scheme:

colors After some great brainstorming, (super big shout out to our Past President Wanda Dotson!!).  Wanda created the “Change the World” pattern which focuses on different sized “flying geese” blocks and was inspired by Change the World RVA’s logo.  We decided to stick with three of the challenge colors, Michael Miller’s cotton couture in “limeade”, “lavender”, and “hyacinth.” Here is the cover of the pattern Wanda created for this challenge!


During our annual quilting retreat, we began assembling blocks and laying out the final layout of the quilt. We had some great collaboration to come up with a fantastic quilt top!

Then our very talented Margaret Griffiths worked her magic on it and through the quilting, really accentuated the flying geese motif that Wanda had started with. She created some additional flying geese through some very clever quilting, along with some straight line quilting.

Then the finished touches like binding, label, and sleeve were added.


It was shipped to QuiltCon where you can see it hang with all of the other fantastic charity quilts made by others in the modern quilting community! Be sure to check it out! February 21-24, 2019 in Nashville.


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James River Association Auction of our QuiltCon Quilt, The James Not to Scale,

We donated our 2017 QuiltCon East Charity Challenge quilt to the James River Association for its auction.

The auction is Saturday, June 3, 2017 as part of the JRA’s Westover Lawn Party. The party is held at the Westover Plantation in Charles City, VA, from 2 to 6 p.m. The live auction commences at 4:30 p.m.



Our quilt is featured in the Auction Booklet:


We were happy to donate our work to support the work of the James River Association. Thanks to our members who made blocks, assembled the quilt top, added the binding and supported this effort. A special thank you to Melanie Leckey of Oh Sew Loved who quilted it.


Fidget Quilt Tutorial

WE ARE making Fidget Quilts for the Memory Center of Richmond. Below are instructions on making these quilts. Also you can download the Fidget Quilts tutorial.

Fidget Quilt example

We have rolling deadlines for members who want to make these:

  • April 4 guild meeting
  • June 6 guild meeting
  • September 5 guild meeting
  • October 3 guild meeting


The purpose of the quilts is to keep residents’ hands busy and their minds active and calm through sensory stimulation. That said, there are some elements to avoid and things to include when making your quilts.

Things to Avoid

1. Please do not include any rough textures. As we age, our skin becomes thinner and more sensitive to rough textures, and sometimes these textures can damage hands. So avoid anything rough, sharp, scratchy, or with jagged or pointed edges.
2. Avoid mirrors or anything reflective. Often Alzheimer’s and dementia patients don’t recognize themselves and seeing a stranger staring back at them can be alarming.
3. Please avoid activities that require fine motor skills: buttoning, lacing, and similar activities. Fine motor skills deteriorate with these diseases and these activities are very frustrating for residents.
4. Make sure your mat is safe: nothing breakable, everything is secured and cannot be pulled off. No choking hazards.
5. We are trying to calm busy minds, so please avoid chaotic patterned fabric and color combinations. I know high contrast colors are an element of modern quilting, but consider this an opportunity to practice low volume color combinations, analogous and harmonious color combinations. Bright colors are fine.

Things to Include

1. Make sure it is washable. Not just the fabric but any other elements attached to it.
2. It should have 10-14 non-rough textures that provide easy sensory input. Soft, fluffy, bumpy, yarn, felt, quilting textures, buttons, bric a brac, zippers, ric rac, pockets, fake fur, felt, fleece, flannel, lace, fringe, etc.
3. Everything should be secured onto the quilt; machine sewing things on is best. If hand sewing buttons make sure they are secure.
4. Design your quilt so that it is well organized and orderly—we are avoiding chaos and bringing order and calmness.
5. Please add a blank label on the back so that the name of the recipient can be written on it. The Memory Center has asked that we include our names printed small on these labels so that families can write a thank you letter.
6. Please attach a strap that can Velcro closed or be tied closed. This will be used to secure the quilt to a chair arm, wheelchair, walker, bedrail, etc to prevent it from falling on the floor (see the instructions).
7. We are making these for men and women. Choose either gender neutral fabric/colors or you can make it highly gendered with novelty prints and gendered colors.
8. Fun! If you have fun making it they will have fun using it.

Try Some New Things

These are small quilts and we are going for texture. So this is a great opportunity to practice your free motion quilting, new quilting patterns, new blocks, new batting fibers, embroidery or machine embroidery and applique. Use the Fidget Quilts to learn something new, try something new, or to practice some skills.


You have 2 size options for these quilts:
• A 2×3’ or 2×2’ lap quilt
• A placemat size quilt, about 12×18”/13×19”


• Top: fabric
–Non-pieced top: a piece of fabric the size of the top you want to make
–Pieced top: any quilt block pattern, single large block, or a few small blocks with negative space the size of the quilt top you want to make (feel free to use your scraps)
• Batting
–Traditional binding method: a few inches bigger than the Busy quilt you will make
–Envelope method: same size as the top
• Backing
–Traditional binding method: a few inches bigger than the Busy quilt you will make
–Envelope method: same size as the top
• Embellishments
— Any soft, fuzzy, tactile fabric: fleece, flannel, fake fur, felt, minky scraps, lace, etc whatever you have in your stash or scraps. Even small pieces of batting are ok
–A variety of trims: braids, brocade, dingle balls, tassels, ric rac, ribbon, yarn, etc

— A variety of accessories: buttons, beads, pockets, etc
–Any fabric to cut into shapes and machine applique on
–If your machine does decorative stitches, consider adding these to the quilt too for an easy embellishment
–Hand embroidery is fine too
• Notions:

–sewing machine, thread for machine sewing and quilting; scissors and rotary cutter, pins, needle and thread if hand sewing buttons or beads, feet for your sewing machine (regular, quarter inch, walking foot, FMQ foot depending on what you will do)

• Strap: woven strap (webbing) about 1-1.5” wide and 15” long, square of Velcro.
• Marking tool (chalk pencil)

You can either do traditional binding or an envelope method.

Traditional Binding

1. Make your quilt top the way you normally would or according to the pattern.
2. Baste and quilt your top as you want. Do not trim or square it yet.
3. Add any machine applique or embroidery that you plan to include.
4. Once quilted, arrange your embellishments on the quilt and either pin or baste them in place.
5. Then machine stitch them onto the top. Make sure they are secured onto the top. If you are using buttons or beads, make sure they will not come off when tugged.
6. Square up your quilt and trim it.
7. Now make the strap. Sew a straight line across the 2 raw ends of the webbing so it doesn’t fray. Fold the strap in half and pin it to the back of the quilt with the fold on the edge of the quilt and the 2 ends lying across/toward the middle quilt. Pin in place.
8. Now pin your binding on going over the fold of the strap. Sew the binding on the way you normally would, making sure to sew over the strap fold.
9. Flip your binding over and machine stitch from the top to secure the back of the binding. (See below for machine sewn binding tutorials).
10. Add the Velcro to your strap ends if needed and attach your blank label to the back.
11. You are done!

Envelope Method

1. Piece your quilt top.
a. If you are going to do any machine applique or machine embroidery you can do this now. I recommend using some fusible stabilizer for the applique then machine stitching around the edge.
b. If you want to do FMQ, you can put the batting on the back and quilt it without a back (like quilt as you go method), or use a piece of muslin
2. Machine sew the label on to your back leaving enough room to do the ½” seam around the edge of the quilt.
3. Lay the back and top right sides together on a table.
4. Lay the batting on top of these 2 layers so it is facing you (skip this step if you did 1b).
5. Pin the layers together or use Clover clips.
6. Using a straight stitch at ½” seam allowance, sew the layers together, leaving an 8-10” opening at one end (do not sew the entire thing up).
7. Trim the layers so they are even, and trim the corners off to reduce bulk.
8. Turn the quilt right side out through the opening and turn the raw edges of the opening under so they are even with the edges of the quilt.
9. Get your strap and stitch across the 2 ends to prevent fraying. Now fold it in half lengthwise so the 2 raw ends are even. Insert the folded end into the opening of the quilt at least 1” leaving the 2 raw ends outside the quilt.
10. Press and pin the opening with the strap inserted; and smooth out the quilt so there aren’t any wrinkles or puckers
11. Top stitch around the edge of the quilt about 1/4” or less from the edge. Sew the opening closed with the strap inserted so it will be secure.
12. You can either straight line quilt this or do some basic FMQ like a meander or wavy lines.
13. Place your embellishments on the quilt, pinning or basting them on. Then use your sewing machine to sew them on.
14. Now add the Velcro to the end of your straps if needed. You’re done!


• Examples of the envelope or serged methods:


Fidget Quilts

• Examples of quilted versions:


• Machine Binding Tutorials

Cluck Cluck Sew http://cluckclucksew.com/2013/01/machine-binding-tutorial.html
Crazy Mom Quilts http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2011/11/one-way-to-machine-bind-quilt.html
Red Pepper Quilts http://www.redpepperquilts.com/2009/11/binding-tutorial.html
Man Sewing you tube video (zipper foot works on this method too) https://www.missouriquiltco.com/land/mansewing/binding-quilt-by-machine/index.html?utm_source=mscom&utm_medium=lp&utm_campaign=tms77

• Making a felt flower:


• Check Pinterest for inspiration, search Fidget Quilts


Thanks to our member, Kelly Feltault, for writing these instructions.


Quilts for Refugees

Our members made three quilts for refugees in 2016. At our December meeting we donated them to Commonwealth Catholic Charities. They will give them to families who have relocated to Virginia.

We used two quilt patterns from the MQG’s Quilt of the Month series.

This is Rally by Melanie Tuazon, the February 2016 Quilt of the Month. It was made by members and quilted by Melanie Leckey of Oh Sew Loved.


Left: Guild President Wanda Dotson; Right: Abubaker Abdelrahman of Commonwealth Catholic Charities

This is Boats! Boats! Boats! By Brenda Ratliff, the July 2014 Quilt of the Month. We made two quilts. This one was made and quilted by Margaret Griffiths of MMG Fiber Designs:



This one was made  by members and quilted by Jennie Wood of The Longarm Network.


Thanks to our members who made blocks, assembled the rows, quilted or bound the quilts. We are so proud to be able to give back to our community and celebrate modern quilting at the same time.

Fantastic job!

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Our QuiltCon Charity Block Guidelines

Time is running out for members to make their background blocks for our QuiltCon East 2017 Charity Challenge Quilt.

Our quilt is inspired by an aerial view of the James River.

–The quilt will measure 72′ by 90″

            Each unfinished background block will be 18.5″ square

–There are 20 blocks



                        –Turn in blocks at October 4, 2016 meeting

For a list of solid fabrics which are compatible with the color palette, go to:

QuiltCon East Quilt Show link



Link below for the pdf of these guidelines:


Our Sew Day is set for October 22, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Holy Rosary Church, 3400 R Street, Richmond, VA 23223.