Way back in January of 2015, two MPS small groups decided to join forces and work on a project together. The members of the group, “Threads of Friendship” and the group, “Quilters on the Edge” entered the planning stages of their “Tula” project which was to begin in April. The project was based around the book, “Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks”. The project was outlined as follows:
- From a pool of pre-arranged colors, each of the 12 members would be assigned one color.
- At the group meeting, which was held once a month, the “star” member would distribute 5 fat-eighths of fabric, in their assigned color, to each of the other group participants. There was a requirement to provide at least one fat-eighth each of a light, dark, and medium value with the other two fabrics chosen at the provider’s discretion. (Since there were twelve members, that meant the provider needed one and a half yards of each of the five fabrics chosen.)
- The “star” member was also to choose 5 blocks from Tula Pink’s book and name each block whatever she wanted.
- During the month that followed, each member used her 5 fat-eighths to construct the 5 chosen blocks. The member was allowed to add fabric from her own stash as she so chose.
- At the next meeting, the blocks would be revealed.
- Over the course of the project, each member would have made 60 blocks.
- Each member would then design and create a quilt from those blocks. The quilt tops were to be shown at the Grand Reveal potluck in August of 2016.
So how did the project go? As a member of the group, I (Dianne) can give it a BIG thumbs-up! It was fun to see how each member interpreted the block design with the fabric they were given. Only a very few times did we have identical blocks from different sewists. And when we did, it was usually Liz and me thinking alike.
The real diversity showed up in our finished quilt tops. Who would have guessed that we would design 12 distinctively different quilts from the same 60 blocks? Some of us went very modern, and some us stayed more traditional in our design.
Becky chose to make her blocks at 3 1/2 inches instead of the original size of 6 1/2 inches. Claudia decided to finish the remaining 40 blocks from the book before she made her top. Jan used her extra fabrics to build every member’s name and then used those names to make her quilt backing. And then there was Michelle. She chose to make her block more dimensional and had to create the same block three times in order to get her hexagon-shaped blocks!
You can get a glimpse of each of the 12 quilts in the top photo. Or maybe you got to see them at the MPS Quilt Show held in March of this year.
Well, the quilts are getting shown again as a Special Exhibit at the Northwest Quilting Expo this coming weekend at the Portland Expo Center. We are thrilled to be included in the Quilt Show this year! We combined the names of our two small groups into one and are called “Threads on the Edge.” The name of the Special Exhibit is, “Friends of Tula”. You can get the details of the expo at the show website, and while you’re at the website, you can check out all the other special exhibits that are a part of this great show.
If you’re at the show, come by and see these quilts up close and personal. For some of you, it might be a second visit. Nevertheless, you just might see something new. Some of us tweaked our quilts after the MPS show in March. Okay, I was probably the only one that added quilting afterwards. Hey–it was hard to know when to stop!
It was a pleasure to work with the other eleven quilters on this project, and I wouldn’t have missed this opportunity for anything! We hope you enjoy the exhibit.
The beauty of our Guild’s small groups is getting to work together on projects while challenging and stretching ourselves as quilters. This works better with a smaller number of people; and the friendships that are developed through these groups are lasting. For those of you not in a small group, you might want to consider joining one in the future. When the dust settles after our current membership drive, we’ll be working to create more small groups within the Guild and we’ll also be adding members to those groups that aren’t full right now. So stay tuned. You’ll be hearing more about small groups in the near future.