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Hello Better New Year Quilting Friends!

The past year was filled with change, and not welcomed change. So this year, let us look at this a little differently. How can we make change for the better? How do we continue to isolate and still be creative, learn, to inspire and be inspired and how to make daily life a little better? I'm not a fan of resolutions but I try to make small changes/improvements/promises that help me and my family grow in some small way. Whether it's pulling out an old or new cookbook and intentionally making five meals from it, or finally using the Singer Featherweight and sewing a quilt top on it for the first time, or taking the online Indiginous Canada course (free at the U of Alberta). So this year, take some quiet time to ponder the question, "How can I make change for the better?" and see what you come up with and where it leads you.
Our next meet-up is Sunday January 17, 2020 at 1-2:30 pm. You will be emailed a Zoom invitation before the meeting.

Agenda for January 17:

  1. Cindy Smyth: WELCOME
  2. Special Guest Bernie Tobisch, presentation on "Building a Better Relationship with Your Sewing Machine" For this presentation, it is strongly recommended that we are seated at our sewing machines so we can follow along with Bernie's instructions.
  3. Holly Clarke: Book Recommendation
  4. Pat Daniels: Upcoming Events
  5. Melissa Marginet: Announce new challenge theme
  6. Cindy Smyth: "Challenge Yourself" Show & Share
    Please email your pictures to by January 16th to get in on the fun. We love seeing what everyone has been working hard on!

Presenting the new Winnipeg Modern Quilt Guild Logo!

The Guild executive team is pleased to launch our official Guild logo. As a way to brand the Guild with its own unique identity, the logo was created to reflect our unique place in the modern quilting community. The initials W and M are presented using triangular patchwork blocks which mirror each other. The colour palette is a nod to the parent guild MQG's branding. We have had the logo printed on tags which we will attach to any of our community projects, such as the Meals-on-Wheels placemat drive or any future group quilts we make and create to share with the community. Special thanks to Melissa Marginet for her creative talents designing the logo. Watch for it to roll out across our social media platforms and website.

At our December meeting, Brandy Maslowski was our guest speaker, with a presentation on Modern Improv. Brandy is a former Manitoban, now living in Summerland, B.C., and can be found online at

For those who have not yet ventured to one of the WMQG meetings on Zoom, I highly recommend clicking on that link to see how easy it is.  In my opinion, one thing the pandemic has taught us is that Zoom workshops with quilters from anywhere in the world are not only possible, but can be quite amazing. Experienced teachers like Brandy (and our own Melissa Marginet) have cameras in their home studios, giving us front-row seats and close-ups as they teach. It’s like having a quilting expert in our own sewing spaces — and unlike Youtube, the live experience allows us to ask questions and have that personal connection.

During Brandy’s presentation, she used scraps from her stash and quilting paper (she recommends “Golden Threads” or tissue paper). Brandy walked us through a simple yet effective technique of improv cutting and piecing strips on the diagonal, using background fabric in the corners. Her tips about suggested strip widths, block sizes, and piecing proposals gave just enough ‘order’ to those who may find improv quilting somewhat intimidating, while still leaving the ‘improv’ in improv quilting, for those already familiar with working organically. One thing I appreciated about Brandy’s demonstration was how prepared she was — having scraps and blocks at various stages of completion, ready to show as she demonstrated techniques. Finally, of course, the magic happens when she put the blocks together with some background blocks. She had a finished quilt top ready to show — just one example of how this simple technique can create a striking, one-of-a-kind modern quilt.

Brandy’s experience as a quilt judge and fibre artist also brought another facet to the discussion — she encouraged us to be brave with our thread choices and our quilting, and not to be afraid of taking traditional principles and ‘blow them apart’ a bit. It was an enjoyable and informative demonstration, and I look forward to following Brandy on social media to see what else she is up to.

— Ann Hodges

Guild Challenges

Melissa Marginet, WMQG member at large, has planned a challenge to boost your creativity. We hope you will join in the fun! If you haven’t joined in the fun yet, it’s not too late. We encourage you to join anytime, share all your photos at the end or every two months when the new theme is announced.

All pieces must be 8.5" x 11". In the end all four challenges must have something to connect them such as colour, texture, shape, or another element that ties them all together.

September - October theme: Modern Traditionalism
November - December theme: Negative Space

Melissa will announce the next challenge theme at the January 17 meet-up. 
Please send your photos to by January 16.
Thank you to those who are making placemats. Just before Christmas, 20 holiday-themed placemats were delivered to Meals-On-Wheels. The organization was thrilled and expressed their appreciation and thanked us. We are still accepting placemats. Drop off (between the doors) will be from February 18 to 28 at the following addresses:
Holly Clarke 497 Waterloo Street, and Cindy Smyth 39 Norilyn Bay 

Book Corner:

At the December meeting, Pat Daniels recommended this informative book that every quilter should read in order to know how their sewing machine works and what to do when it doesn't:

You and Your Sewing Machine by Bernie Tobisch
Do you have a favourite quilting book you'd like to share at an upcoming meet-up? Let us know!

Coming Soon:

Bernie Tobisch presentation on January 17, 2021

"Building a Better Relationship with Your Sewing Machine"
For this presentation, it is strongly recommended that we are seated at our sewing machines so we can follow along with Bernie's instructions.

Do you struggle with accuracy when piecing or quilting? Do your corners or points sometimes not match? Would you like to be able to communicate better with your machine? Would you like to understand what your machine is telling you when you aren't getting the results you want? Join Bernie Tobisch, sewing machine repairman/technician extraordinaire, certified Bernina (and a whole bunch of others) technician, author of “You and Your Sewing Machine” and “Sewing Reference Tool”, for a Zoom chat. This will be an interactive session and he will be happy to answer questions. You’ll be surprised at the things your machine might have interfered with when you’ve thought all along that it was your fault! Don’t miss it!

In the winter 2020 edition of the Canadian Quilter is an article called "Drive-By Quilt Show" by Paul Leger and what a beautiful show. This is a man who is thinking outside the box and doing a little of the "How can I make change for the better". As I was looking through the pictures (pictures first, then reading later) I noticed a picture of Melissa Marginet with her Valour quilt. Congratulations Melissa for being part of the Drive-By. So cool!


February 21 - Paper Piecing vs. Freezer Paper Piecing vs. Stable Stuff Poly demonstration 
March 24, Wednesday at 7pm - Hiroko & Masanobu Miyama presents Pictorial Quilts from Japan 
April 17 & 18 - Peter Byrne Workshop, Hover Quilting 
May 16 - Kellie Kaczmarek,  Quilting Ruler presentation 
June/July/August - No Zoom meet-ups scheduled
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