Our Story

About the Modern Quilt Guild

The Modern Quilt Guild is made up of more than 200 guilds and more than 15,000 members around the world. Our mission is to support and encourage the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community.

The MQG 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 of the fun they were having and soon guilds started popping up everywhere! The MQG is a nonprofit corporation with IRS 501(c)(3) status.

Learn more about the definition of modern quilting on our About page.

About QuiltCon

Presented by the Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon is the largest modern quilting show of its kind. Each year, the four-day quilt show attracts thousands of attendees from around the world for workshops, lectures, panels, and more. The show draws over 1,400 quilt entries, with over 400 selected for the juried show. Thousands of dollars are awarded in cash prizes to the winners in 12 categories, which include piecing, quilting, handwork, appliqué, fabric challenges, and more.

QuiltCon 2022 will take place Feb.16-20 in Phoenix, AZ. More information is available at


Please contact [email protected] for interviews with MQG leadership as well as hi-res headshot photos. For a complete list of the MQG staff and board, please visit our Staff & Board page.

Karen Cooper, Executive Director

Karen Cooper joined the staff of The Modern Quilt Guild in September 2019. She has more than 20 years of experience in education and professional development in the non-profit sector, most recently from Turfgrass Producers International where she served as the Associate Executive Director and worked with membership, business partnerships, and the annual education conference. She began quilting in 2002 when her six-year-old daughter complained that her dolls were cold. In addition to quilting for friends and family, she is proud to be the main longarmer for the Kyle (Texas) Quilts of Valor group. She lives in Seguin, Texas with her husband, two dogs, and one elderly cat. Her quilt-inspiring daughter is now 23 and in graduate school at Utah State University.


Alissa Haight Carlton, Founding Director

Alissa Haight Carlton lives in Los Angeles and is a modern quilter, designer, and author. She is the co‐founder and Executive Director of the Modern Quilt Guild.  She has written two books, Modern Minimal and Block Party. When not working in the quilting world, she heads up casting for Project Runway. She blogs sporadically at and you can find her on Instagram at @alissahaightcarlton.



 Elizabeth Dackson, Director of Events

Elizabeth is responsible for all member in-person events, including QuiltCon, Sessions, and Modern Quilt Masters. In this position, she is responsible for all aspects of event execution, including budgeting, merchandising, site relationships, faculty selection and communications, and onsite management. Elizabeth has been with MQG since 2013 and QuiltCon has continued to grow under her management.



Amanda Hines, Director of Partnerships

Amanda Hines oversees day-to-day relationship management with the primary partners of the MQG, including members, guild leaders, other quilting organizations, sponsors/vendors, and any other collaborative entities. Under her leadership, the QuiltCon vendor hall offers attendees a one-of-a-kind collection of unique quilt-related shopping opportunities, providing an enhanced QuiltCon experience for MQG members and attendees.



Brenna Riley Gates, Communications Manager

Brenna is primarily responsible for composing, editing, and managing the development of content for all communication outlets of the guild, including but not limited to the MQG blog, e-newsletter, social media, webinars, info emails, content calendar, and website. Brenna comes to the MQG from F+W Media, where she worked as a web producer and online editor.  She has extensive experience managing social media channels, designing and publishing member newsletters, and collaborating with marketing staff to create content to drive revenue.



Heather Kinion, Chair of the MQG Board

Heather Kinion learned to sew as a child, but she began quilting in 2010 when she discovered modern quilting. In 2014 she joined the Chicago MQG where she served on the board for 4 years as Special Events Chair, Vice President, and President and remains an active member. She was elected to the worldwide MQG board of directors in 2018 by region 3, and she has worked in the quilt world at quilt shops, for Quiltfolk magazine, and the Quilty web series. Currently, she teaches quilting locally at the Hyde Park Art Center and founded and owns 



QuiltCon Photos

QuiltCon photos are available for press use. Click here to see and download the QuiltCon images.

Modern Quilt Photos

Photos of modern quilts made by MQG members are available for press use. Please contact us for hi-res versions.

Modern Quilt Logos

MQG and QuiltCon logos are available for press use. Please contact Brenna for hi-res versions.

The Modern Quilt Guild and the MQG logo are trademarks of The Modern Quilt Guild, Los Angeles, CA.

Press Contact 

[email protected]

Please contact our info box for photos, interviews, QuiltCon press passes, and other media inquiries.