MQG QuiltCon Community Outreach Challenge

Every year the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG), our national associate, issues a challenge and our Guild loves a good challenge. If accepted the quilt created for the challenge is displayed at the annual QuiltCon, a festival celebrating all things involved with modern quilt making.

2024 Challenge

The Community Outreach Challenge is back for 2024 with a calming palette and the eye-pleasing concept of symmetry. 

Theme: Symmetry

The MQG challenged us to design a quilt around the idea of SYMMETRY. We know asymmetry is a common trait of many modern quilts, but symmetrical quilts can of course ALSO be modern! 

Guilds and Individual Member teams may use 4-8 colors from this year’s palette, with no additions. 

The required palette. 

Striking Strings - 64" by 80"

Traditional string blocks were the inspiration for the STLMQG Community Outreach Quilt Committee's quilt design. The committee discovered that endless symmetrical layouts are possible with just simple string blocks. They experimented with varying the size and color of the interior wedges and, after many iterations, decided on the final layout using all eight colors of the provided palette. Almost 100 members of the St Louis Modern Quilt Guild worked together to make the 6" foundation paper-pieced string blocks. 

Final top construction by Marianne Belcke, Patti Baymiller, and Amy Kerkemeyer.

Quilted by Emily Wall.

Bound by Susan Muszynski.

Committee Members:

2023 Chairperson - Leila Gardunia

2023 Committee - Marianne Belcke, Angie Henderson, Linda Kocher, Amy Kerkemeyer, Laura Cox, Sarah Irvin, Patti Baymiller

The Quiltcon Challenge committee presented their final design to the membership at the August meeting. The quilt will be 60 inches by 84 inches and use 140 string blocks. The design includes two center widths and four center colors. Members are asked to pick up a packet with instructions and fabric and complete the block by the October meeting. The block uses a modified foundation paper-piecing technique and a step-by-step tutorial can be found at this link

The quilt was shown at QuiltCon in Raleigh, NC in February, 2024. This year the quilt submissions were capped at 80. 

2023 Challenge

For this year’s Community Outreach Challenge, MQG is asking members to make quilts that show a color shift, or gradient, in the piecing. Two colorways have been selected to choose from. (Verbiage adapted from MQG site - see here for the full description.)

There are two gradients to choose from for the 2023 QuiltCon Community Outreach Challenge. Several color stops are included along the way from one end to the other. Choose the starting point and be sure to use a total of at least three color stops on the gradient.  

Option 1: Cool colors from Dark Teal to Lime Green

Option 2: Warm Colors from Eggplant Purple to Pink


The QuiltCon Challenge committee chose the cool palette and created a plan. The quilt was designed by Leila Gardunia, note the subtle nod to the St. Louis Arch. Blocks were created by member volunteers; 70 packages with instructions and the fabric needed to make two blocks were passed out during the September, 2022 monthly meeting.

The committee - Leila Gardunia (Designer), Marianne Belcke, Patti Baymiller, Robyn Passig, Candice Marshall, Kathy Leahy, and Octavia Pitts – Board Liaison. Annie Cook is graciously donated the quilting. 

Description on submission - Gateway 60" x 90" The Gateway Arch, designed to represent the "Gateway to the West", has come to embody not only St Louis' past, but also its hope for the future. Members of the St Louis Modern Quilt Guild celebrate not only quilting's historical origins, but also its modern and innovative future. Almost 70 guild members contributed 6" foundation paper-pieced wonky log cabin blocks, designed by Leila Gardunia, to make the Gateway quilt. Annie Cook's custom quilting evokes the wind, sky, and waves of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and is juxtaposed with the linear lines and industrial structure of the Arch and St Louis itself.

This quilt was raffled at the 2024 Quilt Show and the proceeds went to Women's Safe House and Youth in Need.

2022 Challenge

For the 2022 Community Outreach Challenge, the MQG prompt was Angles and this citrus inspired color palette. The quilt had to incorporate at least two of the colors in this palette. Angles was to be predominately featured in the design.

The quilt was a collaborative effort, designed by member, Leila Gardunia and quilted by member, Dottie Vaughn. The quilt was displayed at the 2022 QuiltCon exhibition hosted by The Modern Quilt Guild in Phoenix, Arizona in February, 2022.

The completed quilt was called The Divide and raffled off at the 2022 This is Modern Quilt Show. The proceeds from the raffle was donated to the St. Louis Area Food Bank. The following description was included with the submission.

There are so many things that divide us. The urban vs. rural divide in Missouri and racial divisions in St. Louis are real issues that face our guild members. This quilt attempts to show these divides through color, and the zigzag lines down the middle of the quilt are loosely based on a map showing the racial demographics of North St. Louis County. As you look at this quilt, take a moment to think about what separates you from other people or groups and how you can bridge that gap, build understanding and love, and help move us toward a better future.

2021 Challenge

The MQG prompt for the 2021 Challenge was Curves.

The design focus is on curved piecing. You’ve probably seen the trend, maybe you’re already a curved-piecing master, maybe the thought of sewing a curve has you shaking in your boots. However your team decides to interpret the challenge, we urge you to push your boundaries and use this opportunity to grow your skills.

Whether your curves are large or small, improv or structured, we welcome all kinds of curved piecing.

The required palette -

Our submission description -

Gateway Arches is the collective work of the members of the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild. It is composed of a variety of individual curved blocks, which serve as the “signatures” of all of our guild members. Though simple on their own, their collective voice has great power and speaks volumes about the skill that our guild members possess. It is also a reflection of this year, which has kept us apart physically. But while we may be separated, our shared love of quilting continues to bring us together.

This quilt was raffled at the 2024 Quilt Show and the proceeds went to Women's Safe House and Youth in Need.

Quilted by member, Annie Cook. Committee included members; Jessica Schunke, Linda Caplinger, Susan Muszynski, Patti Baymiller, and Marianne Belcke.

2020 Challenge

The MQG theme  was Text

Quilts incorporating text have been popular in the modern quilt movement right from the start. Krista Hennebury’s quilt, “Fly Blackbird Fly” (pieced with Denyse Schmitt’s letters) won a prize at QuiltCon 2012. Most recently, at QuiltCon 2019, there were a number of quilts exhibited using words. There was the powerful, “Where are all the black women?” quilt by Jessica Wohl. Berene Campbell’s colorful quilts “Brave Brilliant Beautiful Badass” was eye catching as you turned the corner. Bill Stearman exhibited a moving quilt that read “We were wrong. We are sorry. And we will never let this happen again.” And, of course, Chawne Kimber can always be counted on to have a recent text quilt. One of her recent quilts “not showing proper deference to wypipo”, also hung at QuiltC

The required palette - 

Pictured holding the quilt is Rene Shoults on the left and  Terry Darling on the right.

Terry Darling previewed our almost finished QuiltCon charity quilt at the December, 2019 meeting. Quilted by Lilo Whitener-Fey.

St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 216 Parkland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63122

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