Friday, 1 April 2016

A Real Challenge

Last year, our Elgin Piecemaker's Guild held a challenge.  You can read the story about that adventure here.  Diane and I won that challenge and the "prize" was that we got to organize this year's challenge LOL.  We were going to put a really nasty one together as payback, but decided that we would not seek revenge.  It is a challenge in itself to put together a challenge!  Diane and I brainstormed and thought and edited and planned and then went to Cherished Pieces, the lovely quilt shop in Tillsonburg, ON and wandered around to see what would 'hit' us.  We had an idea of using the mini charm packs that are so popular - you know the ones that you buy because they are so cute and then stack them on your shelf and look at them and enjoy them?  

We finally settled on a very fun double mini charm pack which, together with the instruction sheet, fit perfectly in a little box.
this is actually a double charm pack with 84 charms that are 2 1/2" square
The charms had mini motifs in various colours and really odd amounts of matchings ones varying from 3 to 7 identical ones.
All the little boxes filled and ready to go

Cynthia even gave us a discount because we bought 20 packages :-).  Then came the difficult part - getting the rules together!  We treated ourselves to lunch at Pinecroft just outside Aylmer and started jotting down ideas.  We settled on making a quilt with a perimeter between 80" and 200", adding only solids and we had to use a new to us technique or ruler. We asked (bribed!) two local ladies, Eva and Carolyn, to be our esteemed judges. They had their work cut out for them for sure!

There is a local quilt show being held next week Friday and Saturday in Shedden, ON.  Pat and Diane are both on the organizing committee and had asked if we could have our challenge due before the show so it can be displayed there.  

Last night, the grand reveal was held at my house.  Everyone was instructed to bring their project wrapped up in a non see through bag.  I live in a raised ranch so the judges were upstairs and everyone put their entry in a box at the bottom of the stairs in my sewing room.  When everyone was there, the judges went down and started their difficult task while we held our business meeting upstairs.  They pinned many quilts on the design wall and laid the rest out on tables.  An hour later, we were allowed downstairs and had to vote for a viewer's choice.  Then the judges announced the winners and also went through each entry and shared what impressed them about the quilt and how they came to their decisions.  We then got to hear who made each quilt.  Unbelievable the difference in the various quilts!!  Here are the winners' quilts:

Diane won 1st place for her wonderful pieced and appliqued quilt.  Her new technique was hand applique and the flower pots. Those flower pots are not prints, but chopped up leftover charms with solids and fused into pots!!  Amazing piece!

Fran won 2nd place with her English paper pieced entry as well as 2nd place in the viewer's choice.  Wow, that's a LOT of hexagons. 

I was very surprised to win the viewer's choice award!  I will do a blog post on the process to come up with this final piece :-)

Shirley won the judges choice by Carolyn (quilt above Shirley).  The colours were very vintage and there is some lovely hand quilting.

Heather won the judges choice by Eva.  (the binding isn't quite finished :-)
And, here are the rest of the entries.  We had a wonderful participation; 15 or our 18 members submitted a piece.  Some weren't quite finished, but it was great to see them anyways.

Beth P's lovely pot of flowers using hexagons and beautiful spring like!  This one also had really lovely quilting in the border.

Deb's quilt was not finished either, but it was awesome seeing it!  Deb did not like the prints in the charm squares so she pieced a few together and used them one triangle and proceeded to make a lovely modern solid quilt LOL.  Awesome touch of humour Deb!
Here is her one triangle with the the only challenge prints in it :-)

Yvonne added prairie points to her cute little quilt

Pat O's beautiful shadows on her leaves! (This piece is not's my lack of photography skills :-(

Pat P's colourful quilt used the charms for a Japanese folding technique around the center squares which had little beads sewn on.

Anne's awesome black, red and white quilt.  Unbelievable how Anne pulled this colour scheme off with the challenge squares!  Great little sampler.

Joanne did a reversible quilt which was amazing!  She did a folded star in the center with rick rack and buttons as embellishments.

To use up more charms, she pieced this lovely modern design on the back.  Lovely circle quilting as well.

Beth D also used hexagons using various colour solids in the centers.  The quilting is very effective in this one as well.

I love this picture of our newest member, Julie surrounded by smiling ladies.  Julie joined our group last month and since we had a charm pack left, she jumped right in to join in the challenge.  She made some awesome friendship stars and turned them into little thread catchers for her sewing room. 

Donna's amazing English paper pieced hexagons - all 420 of them!!! 
It was a great evening! And, we have two volunteers to host next year's challenge!   Can't wait to see what they come with to stretch us outside of our boxes.

For those of you who are local to the London area, come out and see the entries in person at the Quilt show at the Southwold Keystone Complex, Shedden ON.  The show is Friday, April 8 from 9:00 to 6:00 and Saturday, April 9 from 9:00 to 4:00.  There is a small merchant's mall and a lunch room.


Heather said...

sounds like a fun challenge and the results are wonderful and so varied.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Great quilts!