The Modern Quilt Guild developed out of the thriving online community of modern quilters and their desire to start meeting in person. The founding guild was formed in Los Angeles in October of 2009. Through blogs and the Internet, word spread quickly and soon guilds started popping up.
The first planning meeting to form the Houston Chapter was held in January 2010. Bryanna O’Mara and Cheri House coordinated the first planning meeting for interested people in Houston.
The first meeting was held in February 2010 at Cheri House’s house in Kingwood. Amy Campbell hosted the rest of the years meetings at her house. The Bylaws were adopted in 2011 and the Houston Modern Quilt Guild was officially formed. Word soon spread through Flickr and the Internet, and soon meetings were too large to be held at member’s houses. Meetings then moved to Central Market community room and then to St. Martin’s church. Later meetings were held at Chapelwood United Methodist Church.
In 2020, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic necessitating the cancellation of in-person meetings, HMQG went virtual for the first time. Monthly meetings continued on Zoom and guild membership kept growing. Virtual Sew and Tell became a big hit with members submitting photographs to present at the end of each meeting. Virtual "sewcial" hours started being held twice a month in July 2020; members met on Zoom to sew and chat together. With the quilting community adapting to going virtual world-wide, remote guest speakers were engaged for lectures and truck shows. Virtual workshops were held with members sewing in their own spaces and participating on their computers at the same time. December 2020 saw the guild's annual holiday party going online. Members created a woven fabric star together and posed for a virtual group photo.
In February 2021, The MQG hosted QuiltCon Together with virtual classes, a virtual vendor hall, and of course a virtual quilt show. The first and only HMQG virtual retreat was held in May 2021. The "Swag bag" pick up in the Chapelwood UMC parking lot was the first time that many new members had the chance to meet other guild members in person. The guild continued traditions like the Block of the Month and Quarterly Modern Challenges. Workshops, lectures, and trunk shows continued to be virtual.
In July 2021, HMQG virtually celebrated its 10 year birthday. A new logo and new website were introduced. The new logo was designed by Liz Miceli and was inspired by the bayous curving between the buildings and trees of the Houston region. Each guild member received a birthday box that included a fat quarter bundle of fabrics in the new guild colors among other goodies.
By October 2021, HMQG membership exceeded 150 members. A long-distance swap was organized with the Victoria MQG in British Columbia, Canada. Swappers exchanged quilted post cards. Fall Retreat was held IN PERSON at Magnolia Manor in November. Despite, or maybe because of the continuing virtual nature of the world through 2021, HMQG charity activities grew exponentially. In addition to the other charities that the guild supported, dozens of quilts were donated to Afghan families through the Refugee Center in Houston. At the end of the year, 145 charity quilts had been lovingly crafted and donated to the charities by HMQG members. Finally, in December 2021, the guild met IN PERSON once again, this time at the Harris County Department of Education Ronald Reagan building just north of the 610 Loop.
With meetings back in person in 2022, the programming continued to be a mix of virtual and in-person speakers and workshops. QuiltCon was once again held in person in February 2022, this time in Phoenix, Arizona. The Houston Modern Quilt Guild had the distinction of the highest number of member quilts presented in the show of all the MQG chapters. Two retreats were held at 12 Pines in Huntsville and Magnolia Manor in Magnolia, TX. Both sold out in record time. The Scrap Jar tradition was brought back with our youngest member ever -- 11 years old! -- winning the jar and producing a mini-quilt for the lucky recipient of the jar the next month. In 2023, in-person workshops were brought back with talent like Guiseppe Ribaudo (Guicy Guice) and Corinne Sovey teaching new skills to our members. We even ventured into quilted garments with an inspiring lecture from Bianca Springer and a free member workshop to make quilted shoes taught by our very own Stacy C and Samantha K. We also held our first one-day retreat in lieu of our annual July social. It was a huge hit with the added benefit that Quilt Bingo generated enough blocks for many charity quilts!
Throughout the years and despite challenges, the Houston Modern Quilt Guild has continued to fulfill its long-standing mission and purpose: to provide an environment that supports and facilitates the creativity and concepts of modern quilt making. We do this by encouraging the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education and community. We hope you will consider joining us!