A Day at the Museum

Deborah Fisher has tried on many titles over the years, but “maker” fits her best. She is a maker of quilts, textiles, ceramics, and the Bright Hopes Collaborative quilt project, among other things. She is also the “docent and ringmaster” of the Fish Museum and Circus, her company where she sells her handmade creations. The Modern Quilters of Rhode Island got an up-close look at her makes at our October meeting. Deborah shared her creative story—which she attributes to both her mother and her father—and brought along at least a dozen beautiful quilts, including many of the originals from her book, Quilt Giving.

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The quilt below is one of Deborah’s in-progress projects, a compilation of many sample blocks, UFOs and odds and ends. She is incorporating a lot of big-stitch hand quilting.

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After the trunk show, guests were invited to shop! Deborah’s ceramic creations sell out quickly on her website, so it was a real treat to have so many items to choose from and see them in person.

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Medallion Quilt Along: Round 2 Reveal and Part 3 Instructions

Our medallions grew this month with the first round of borders. Everyone followed the same set of “rules” (suggestions) yet the all look so unique!

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Part 3: Due at the November Meeting

  • Make one border that finishes at 4 inches.

  • You may want to include pieced blocks.

  • Cornerstones, asymmetry, and randomness are all suggestions.

As always, these “rules” are just suggestions. You may decide to add more than one border, or it may not be 4 inches. Your quilt will begin to speak to you at this point and give you ideas for this round and the ones after. If you have lots of pattern going on, you may want a “stopper” border before you start the next patterned border, or you may want to use a special print that acts as a bridge between the previous borders and the next ones.

Creativity, imagination, and boldness are your goals. Be daring and try something new!

Quilt Camp Merchandise Available Now!

Guild president Christine Conrad-Lane designed Quilt Camp t-shirts and a tote bag in honor of our fall retreat at Canonicus Camp & Conference Center in Exeter, RI. DO NOT miss out on this adorable design! Choose from three short-sleeved t-shirt colors, a long-sleeved t-shirt, or a roomy tote bag. Order Now

Quilt Camp t-shirts are available in three colors: teal, hunter green, and navy. Sizes small to XXL. $20 each plus shipping.

A long-sleeved option is available in asphalt gray for $25.


This fun tote bag will hold your stuff for retreat, workshop or sewing day! Approximately 16” x 20”. $35 plus shipping.


Medallion Quilt Along: First Reveal and Part 2 Instructions

Center medallions for our medallion quilt along were due at the September meeting. So many beautiful blocks—and so much variety! We can’t wait to see how these evolve.

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PART 2: Due at the October meeting

Instructions for part 2 are to add three narrow borders:

  • 2” width suggested, but any width is fine. You could change the proportions, such as a 1”, a 4”, and a 1” border. They don’t need to add up to 6”, either.

  • They can be all solid, all pieced, or some of each (e.g., the first could be solid, the second pieced, and the third solid).

  • Mitered corners, cornerstones, or lapped corners—whatever you prefer.

  • Use the same or different fabrics as you used in your center medallion.

  • These instructions are just suggestions. Be creative and make something you love!

Lisa Mason Trunk Show

Lisa Mason, otherwise known as the Redheaded Mermaid on Instagram, joined us for our September meeting to share her quilting story and a huge pile of beautiful quilts. Lisa is from Darien, CT and is a member of the NYC Metro Modern Quilters Guild. She is a graphic designer and prolific quilter who grew up, as she says, in a family of “jocks” who often wondered where she came from. We’re glad she persevered!

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Lisa is @theredheadedmermaid on Instagram, and this is her redheaded mermaid quilt.

Lisa is @theredheadedmermaid on Instagram, and this is her redheaded mermaid quilt.

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This tiny cathedral windows quilt was very impressive!

This tiny cathedral windows quilt was very impressive!

Beautiful quilting on Lisa’s Free-Wheeling Single Girl (Denyse Schmidt) quilt.

Beautiful quilting on Lisa’s Free-Wheeling Single Girl (Denyse Schmidt) quilt.

Medallion Quilt Along


Back in the beginning of the year, one of our guild members suggested doing a medallion quilt along with our guild. She had recently been inspired by the book, “The Modern Medallion Workbook” and felt it could be a fun group activity. The board was excited to try something new and jumped on board. With our fearless member leading the charge, we kicked the medallion quilt along off in June. We’ll be sharing our center blocks at our upcoming meeting in September, and I can’t wait to see what everyone is doing!

If you want to join us, it’s not too late! Below is more information, as provided by the quilt along leader, Sue.

First, let’s start with the general overview:

This quilt project is intended to stretch your creativity and design skills, while working within a framework and with some structure. While sizes and dimensions are given, you have the opportunity to change any or all pieces of this project. You may use any size at any time and your own quilt can be whatever size you decide. However, dimensions are given to give a base or framework to start from, or if you do not want to think too much. 

Curiosity piqued?! Here’s a bit more:

We will start with a center medalion block and add borders each month. The completed size of the project as planned is approximately 52”x52”. The amount of fabric to buy is difficult to estimate, as it depends on whether you use multiple background fabrics, many pieced blocks, or not. The best suggestion might be to select fabrics that are readily available to repurchase in the future or be willing to use additional similar fabrics as the project progresses. Also, keeping up each month may allow fabric to stay on the store shelf during the project timeline.

And now, a general schedule:

Month 1: We will make a center block that measures 12.5” x 12.5” (or will finish at 12” x 12”). This block should make a statement, and use colors that you would like to repeat throughout your quilt top. It can be set on point if you like, but will need setting triangles to make it fit properly into the center of your quilt.

Month 2: In this month, we will add narrow borders for a total of six inches on all sides. These may be solid or pieced, totally pieced, or partially pieced and partially solid. You may use one fabric for a border, or many. We will make 3 borders that will finish at 2” each. One idea is to make the first solid, the second pieced, and the third solid again. You may miter your corners, use cornerstones, or do whatever you like. Or you can divide the total 6” border into 2 parts instead. Or you could make a 1 “, 4” and 1” borders if you prefer. Creativity is encouraged.

Month 3: This month we will make 2 borders. The first will finish at 4” and the next at 2”. You will probably want to add pieced blocks to the 4” border – either make the border of all pieced blocks or some pieced and some solid. The 2” border can be solid or use a variety of fabrics. Or you could just add one 6” border. You get the idea.

Month 4: This month we will make 1 border that finishes at 4”. Again, you will probably want to include at least some pieced blocks. Cornerstones, assymetry, randomness are all possibilities.

Month 5: This is the final opportunity to be creative. We will make another 4” border with piecing or not, just like we have been doing all along.

Month 6 and beyond: Quilitng, binding, and showing.

Our final reveal will be at our February meeting… it’s going to be a fun one!

In June, we officially kicked off the quilt along, and provided members with the following instructions:

Month 1 — June:

  • Choose a theme if desired

  • Choose a color palette

  • Select at least some fabrics

  • Make your central medallion block.

The central medallion block is suggested to finish at 12” x 12”. However it can be really any size. It does not have to be square, it can be a different size, it can be set on point with setting triangles.

Use any resources you like to choose your center. It can be a modern block, a traditional block, a traditional block made wonky or modern. It can be pieced, appliqued or even a fabulous piece of fabric that you can't bear to cut up. Maybe you have an orphan block that you love but never used in a project – you can work with it to make it fit into your plan.

The center of the medallion is important in that it sets the tone for the rest of the quilt. It should make a statement about your quilt and the fabric/color choices you will use in the rest of the quilt. If you do not want a square quilt at the end, you can address that here and make your medallion a rectangle, or change things later. You could use a circle for the medallion, and use curved piecing to fit it into the quilt.

The point is, use your imagination to make something unique and cool. Have fun and be creative!

We will be sharing our progress here as we go! We hope you will follow along with us as we quilt along!

Upcoming Meetings and Events


While it’s still technically summer here in Rhode Island, our guild is prepping for an exciting fall!

First up is our September meeting, which will be held on Saturday, September 7th at the Cumberland Public Library in the Community Room from 10:30 til 12:30 (ish). We are excited to be hosting Lisa Mason (IG: @theredheadedmermaid) from the NYC Metro Guild for a trunk show. Aside from our normal business portion of the meeting, we will be having show-n-tell as always… and… the reveal of our center medallions for those of us doing the medallion quilt-a-long. I’m excited to see what everyone is working on!

Several members have expressed interest in going to the Sewing and Quilt Expo in Worcester, MA later that week… if you are one of them, plan a road trip with some friends!

Our October meeting is going to be a good one as well! We’re thrilled to be hosting Deborah Fisher of the Fish Museum and Circus for a trunk show and sale of some of her goods! (IG: fishmuseum) We’ll be meeting at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Attleboro. The address is 15 Sanford Street, Attleboro, MA. (Look for Studley Hall on the second floor.) This meeting looks to be a busy one since we will have business at the beginning, followed by our medallion quilt progress, followed by our quarterly WIP finishes (and drawing!) and our amazing speaker! Please let us know if you plan to attend this one so we can ensure seats for all!

We’ll be posting again soon with some more information on the medallion quilt-along as well as some other fun, non-meeting updates!

Who else is looking forward to some fall fun?!

A Visit to Meraki Stitch Studio

Meraki Stitch Studio proprietors (and guild members) Liz and Kristin invited us to hold our July meeting in their bright, happy studio and then spend the afternoon chatting and creating. The airy space is located in Warren’s historic Cutler Mills complex—once a yarn mill, now home to many makers and creatives. The meeting was brief—we celebrated second quarter WIP finishes and several members showed their latest work. Then it was on to sewing!

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Allison Wilbur, talented quilter, teacher, and former guild member, also has a studio in the Cutler Mills complex just down the hall from Meraki Stitch Studio. Allison invited members to stop by and check out her quilts on display, along with many beautiful trims that she offers for sale.

Allison Wilbur with her latest work on the design wall behind her

Allison Wilbur with her latest work on the design wall behind her

Allison’s studio, with another work in progress on the cutting table

Allison’s studio, with another work in progress on the cutting table

Second Quarter WIPs — Finished!

Congrats to Denise, Jackie, and Joyce, and to Joyce for winning the WIP raffle.

Show & Tell