Have you entered a quilt challenge? One of the benefits of belonging to a quilt guild or quilting bee is participating in a challenge where someone else sets the guidelines for a project. Some quilt challenges are based on a specific fabric, or color palette, or pattern. Other times the host may announce a word or theme that is open to interpretation. Here are a few of the challenges I have participated in over the years.
Quilt Challenge: use a specific pattern
2007 – Arizona Longarm Quilters. We had to use five fabrics and the square-in-a-square pattern. I did not mark the pineapple, but I did mark grids in the blue section for continuous curves. I think I just used a ruler to stitch straight lines in the outer border then added some fillers between the lines. I won “Rookie of the Year” for this quilt.
Quilt Challenge: use specific colors
The 2008 Challenge was black and white. I named this “Night Blossoms.” I love picking a gradient of fabrics for the Blooming Nine Patch pattern. It was my first time quilting with stencils. Unfortunately, most of my free motion designs are invisible against the busy, dark fabrics. Lesson learned…if you are going to spend time with custom free motion quilting, let it shine. A different choice of thread, or even a plain backing fabric would allow the viewer to appreciate the work.
Quilt Challenge: use a specific line of fabric
Fast forward to the 2015 Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake fabric challenge. Participants were given six fat-eighths and could add more yardage if desired. I was inspired by the birds and used a large piece of that fabric. Continuing with the theme, I designed a nest with some hatching eggs. I experimented with some free form piecing for the nest, machine applique for the eggs, then embellished with thread play, and had lots of fun with the free motion quilting.
I wonder what quilt challenges 2016 will bring?