Then & Now: MQG Co-founder Alissa Haight Carlton Talks Modern Quilting

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For our first 10th Anniversary Then and Now feature, we shine the spotlight on Alissa Haight Carlton, co-founder of The Modern Quilt Guild. Beginning with the creation of the LAMQG on October 12, 2009, the MQG has grown into a global community of members inspiring creativity and collaborations through modern quilting. Enjoy her story on how it all began. 

1. How/why did you become a modern quilter?

I became a modern quilter because I was seeking something more to do with my time and making things had always made me happy. I was knitting a lot, and I found Flickr which lead to me seeing my first modern quilts being posted online. This was in 2007 and 2008. I felt a need to start making my own modern quilts, so I dove in headfirst. I didn't know just how much making quilts would change my life, but I'm happy every day that I started making them!


2. Why did you decide to start your own chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild?

I really wanted to meet some of the people who I was talking with online, in person. They were spread all around the world, so I knew that I wouldn't literally be meeting all of them, but I could at least meet the ones who were local to me! A blog post on my old blog led to a conversation in which Latifah Saafir said "maybe we should start our own modern quilt guild!" and the rest is history. The LAMQG had its first meeting in October of 2009, and ten years later the guild is still meeting monthly!

3. What’s your favorite part about being a part of the MQG?

This one is easy... the friendships! No question that my favorite thing is that I have made some of my closest friends through modern quilting and the MQG. I'm so proud of all that the LAMQG (and the MQG in general!) has become, but at the end of the day, the most rewarding thing is having, and witnessing, all the friendships that have spawned from it. 

4. How has modern quilting and the MQG impacted your life?

Modern quilting and the MQG have changed my life completely! It's given me a creative outlet unlike any other that I've ever had. It's given me friendships that will last my whole life, and it's given me a real sense of accomplishment as well. Working for and building the MQG has been so rewarding. All people are looking for community and a sense of being understood. Uniting so many people in their love of modern quilting has helped a lot of people find that, and so it's been a truly wonderful journey!! 

Image Credit: Alissa Haight Carlton

1. Alissa Haight Carlton self portrait

2. LAMQG Guild First Meeting

3. 2019 LAMQG Guild Meeting

4. A modern quilt by Alissa