QuiltCon Community Outreach Quilts: A Look Back

As we get ready for QuiltCon next week, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the previous Community Outreach/Charity Challenge quilts that the guild has created over the years. We’ve participated every year that the challenge/QuiltCon has happened and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make these quilts happen. For some of the older quilts, we don’t have as much information, but have tried to share as much as we could to tell about these quilts.

We’re looking forward to revealing more about this year’s quilt, once the show opens, but take a look at the quilts we’ve created for prior challenges.

2021 – Twists and Turns

  • Theme: Curves

In this unpredictable year of together apart, our members were challenged to create blocks of the same size using curved piecing and to use any technique that they would like to achieve the curved element in their block. They were not given any direction beyond “include at least one curved element.”

We did not know what these blocks would look like or how they would work together with such a broad prompt, but they came together to create flow and movement throughout the quilt. Though we’re not physically together to create, we’re many voices still able to make connection with a shared purpose.

2021 Community Outreach Quilt – “Twists and Turns”

We wrote more about this quilt and the process behind it on a blog post last year – check it out for more details about the quilt.

2020 – Welcome

  • Theme: Text

With member input, we decided on using the word “Welcome”, and it’s similar phrasing, in languages spoken in San Diego County. We researched the languages spoken here and came up with a list that members could choose from, as well as providing an option to help paper piece letters, patterned by Colleen Molen, to spell out “Welcome” and “Bienvenidos”. Members who sewed blocks for the languages were given fabric kits and instructed to create their block in any style that worked best for that particular language, as one method was not best suited for all languages. Blocks were created with various types of applique, pieced letters, embroidery, and even raised felt dots to create Braille letters.

The quilt top was assembled at a guild sew in with member assistance and input to the layout. Once complete, it was handed off to member Chris Broehmer for quilting and then back to our Charity Coordinator Kristyn Jansen for finishing and photographing before it needed to be mailed off.

This quilt was featured in the 2020 QuiltCon Magazine and even found at the entrance to the exhibit hall in Austin at the QuiltCon event.

2020 Community Outreach Quilt – “Welcome”

Text from our quilt statement:

San Diego is a culturally diverse community. The San Diego Modern Quilt Guild wanted our quilt to reflect our dynamic San Diego community as well as highlight our vital role as a border city. We have a strong cross-border relationship with Mexico and our city is known as a welcoming new home to residents who join us through the refugee and asylee process each year. We know that diversity makes us stronger and wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge the people that make San Diego such a wonderful place to live.

Our goal each year is for our Quiltcon Charity Challenge submission to be a collaborative project within our guild. We decided on the idea of the quilt as a committee and brain stormed early layout ideas. More than 32 members contributed to the piecing of the quilt. Final layout was decided as it was being assembled based on active feedback of guild members. We are very proud of this quilt and it wouldn’t be the same without the participation of so many of our guild members.

2019 – Float On

  • Theme: Small Piecing

Drawing inspiration from ocean waves, member Kristyn Jansen designed the overall look of the quilt. We asked guild members to create a block to contribute to the all over design in varying color pairings. The blocks were then grouped by color pairs and improv pieced together to create the look of ocean waves. The quilting was done by member Chris Broehmer, which added dimension, as well as movement throughout the quilt. The additional details she added also helped to bring out the overall vision for the quilt.

Members provided input on ideas for the quilt and then the overall look was designed by coordinator Kristyn Jansen. Members were given fabric kits of different color pairings. Quilt layout was worked on at guild sew-ins with member input and then final sewing of the sections was done separately.

2019 Community Outreach Quilt – “Float On”

2018 – Fragmental

  • Theme: Modern Traditionalism

Inspired by tangram puzzles, we used half-square triangles as our design starting point and then manipulated the size and relationship of each half-square triangle in order to create different shapes. Our design also moves away from true tangram puzzles, in which all pieces touch in some fashion to create a specific shape. The shape manipulation serves to provide interest and movement throughout the quilt. Blocks were produced by members in advance, based on the initial quilt drawing, and then assembled during a guild sew-in. SDMQG member Carrie Hanson (Gotcha Covered Quilting) took the design a step further with her quilting, which adds a secondary layer of movement to the finished quilt.

This quilt was designed by Kristyn Jansen. The overall design was broken up into sections and members sewed up their chosen section of the quilt. The finished quilt was one of the featured quilts on the lecture hall stage at QuiltCon 2018.

2018 Charity Challenge Quilt – “Fragmental”

2017 – Breaking Out

  • Theme: Scale

The San Diego MQG wanted to explore how scale could impact movement within a design. Inspired by colorful nine-patch quilts frequently seen, we decided to use a tweaked nine-patch as our base for experimenting with scale, resulting in rectangle 2×3 blocks instead of square blocks. Blocks were produced in advance, but final design and layout were done collaboratively during a guild sew-in. SDMQG member Gotcha Covered Quilting (Carrie Hanson) did an amazing job adding another layer of movement and texture with her quilting.

2017 Charity Challenge Quilt – “Breaking Out”

Jen Collins, who spearheaded this quilt, wrote all about it for the MQG blog. More about the process of this quilt and some additional photos can be found here:


  • Theme: Improv with Intent

For this quilt, members made improv slab blocks using the color palette plus white and grey. This quilt was quilted by Nancy Littlefield.

2016 Charity Challenge Quilt


  • Theme: Alternate Gridwork

Members were instructed to take a bag of strips in the designated colors and sew a 40” column between 4” and 10” wide with the strips sewn at an angle, starting and ending with white or grey. They could also include their own fabrics if they were “almost solid” and one of the colors.

2015 Charity Challenge Quilt


For the very first QuiltCon, each participating guild was given the QuiltCon color palette the freedom to make a twin sized quilt however we wanted. The finished quilts were all donated to a local Austin organization. We had members make blocks of their choosing and we ended up with enough blocks for two quilts! 

Written and Posted By: Kristyn Jansen