Block of the Every Other Month – Foreign Language

Our newest block of the month is Foreign Language – designed by our very own Lynne Nostrant. Lynne’s inspiration for this block was “Magic Inch Quilts.” You can see a tutorial from Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle of Modern Quilt Studio to learn how to make similar blocks.

How to get started: 

  • Use the photos and instructions below to make your block.
  • Our color palette for this month is Yellow Submarine. Use solids from the color palette below for your background. Any brand is fine. For the 1″ strip, use Kona Oyster (some was distributed at the meeting.)
  • Complete as many blocks as you’d like.  Each block is an entry into the drawing for the block lotto.
  • Bring your finished block(s) to the March meeting for a chance to win them all during the block lotto!

We can’t wait to see what you make and what unique layout the winner will choose!

Foreign Language Block Instructions

  1. Start with a 7×10 inch piece of your solid background color: Sunflower, Navy, Persimmon, Rose, Emerald. If you plan to make severely angled cuts or curved cuts, use an 8×11 piece as you will lose some when you trim. You will also need a one inch strip of letter fabric for each block. The length of that strip depends on how many cuts you make. Plan on one 1”x 40” for each block and you should be safe.
  2. Starting at least one inch from the sides, make between 1- 5 cuts in the background. (See examples) You can use a ruler or cut freehand.

3. Label the pieces in your preferred manner, thinking about the order you will sew them together, as you will sew the smaller pieces together before the longer ones.

4. Using a one inch strip of the letter fabric (Kona Oyster), sew one side of the strip to piece 1, then the other side of that strip to piece 2. Repeat for successive pieces. Ironing the seam allowance toward the letter fabric will make the letters pop out of the background a little. If you are using an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance, your seams should exactly meet in the middle when pressed flat on the back.

Note: If you will be using curved piecing, you must cut your letter fabric on the bias or your blocks will not lay flat.
  1. After pressing, trim your block to exactly 6.5 x 9.5 inches.
Use painter’s tape for numbering your pieces, always placing the number in the upper left of the fabric for orientation. Just don’t sew or iron over it! For complicated piecing with several cuts, take a picture with your phone for reference. It can be confusing, especially with solid fabric.
Registration marks in the seam allowance help to line up pieces for angled or curved cuts.
You can use a 6.5 inch wide ruler for the first trimming to easily trim both sides. Then turn it and have a straight line to use for finding the 9.5 inch mark.
If you find that your block is a little short, just add in another one inch Oyster strip, followed by at least one inch of your background color.

Block of the Every Other Month – Water Slide

Our newest block of the month is Water Slide, designed by our very own Pam Rocco!

How to get started: 

  • Access the Water Slide Templates and basic instructions written by Pam Rocco. Print the templates for use while making your block. Make sure your printer is set to print with no scaling, or 100% scale to ensure the templates are the correct size.
  • Use the photos and basic instructions below to complete your block.
  • Our color palette for this month is Arctic Winter.  Use solids or prints from the color palette below.
  • Complete as many blocks as you’d like.  Each block is an entry into the drawing for the block lotto.
  • Bring your finished block(s) to the January meeting for a chance to win them all during the Block Lotto!

We can’t wait to see what you make and what unique layout the winner will choose!


Water Slide Block Tutorial

  1. Using the templates linked above, cut your fabrics for one or more blocks.  Be sure to add 1/4″ seam allowance on all sides when cutting your fabrics.


2. Place piece A and B right sides together and sew along the curve using a 1/4″ seam allowance.


3. Press seam to either side.  Congratulations!  You’ve completed one block. Please do not sew blocks together as illustrated on the templates page.


We look forward to seeing your blocks!


2018 QuiltCon Charity Quilt

The South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild Charity Quilt Committee worked together to design, sew, and share a quilt that we are all proud of. The Modern Quilt Guild challenged us to create a quilt that reflected modern traditionalism. The design committee met in early July and decided that the orange peel block would be a fun way to incorporate the theme into our overall design. L to R below: Gabrielle, Tina, Pat, Isabelle, Renee, Mickey, and Karen

We thought it would be fun to use 3”, 6”, and 12” orange peel blocks. The varied sizes allowed us to play with the overall layout and add interest to the design. We chose vibrant colors from the palette offered by the MQG – yellow, orange, pink, magenta, and violet. Our members worked hard over the summer to create many awesome blocks for our quilt. At the September guild sew day, we worked on our layout.

The first weekend of October was our Charity Quilt sew day. The charity quilt committee members worked together to create the final layout and construct the quilt top. We had fun moving the blocks around, playing with color and shape, to come up with just the right layout. Pictured below are committee members Mickey, Laura, Pat, Barbara, Isabelle, Lori, and Karen.

Once the quilt top was complete, it was handed off to Laura Ryle for quilting. She worked over the month of November to add beautiful quilting and texture that perfectly complimented our block design. Our guild president, Chelsea, added a the binding and label and Lynne added the hanging sleeve. Pam Rocco took photos of the finished quilt, then packed it and shipped it off to the MQG for display at QuiltCon!

The charity quilts at QuiltCon are such a beautiful representation of the diverse and talented members of Modern Quilt guilds around the world. Our quilt was displayed in the lecture room, along with many beautiful others.

The 2018 South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild charity quilt was donated to Happiness Is A Warm Hug. The local group collects donation quilts, fabrics, and pillowcases, and distributes them to families that were victims of the 2017 Napa and Santa Rosa fires.

Thank you so much to all the participants of the 2018 Charity Quilt committee, and all those from the guild who participated in creating this beautiful quilt. We hope you’ll join us as we get started creating our quilt for next year!