Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Say Yes to the Stress

Huh?  The stress I am referring to is a Quilt Challenge.
I happen to really love quilt challenges.  They force me to think and work in a direction that I may not otherwise take.

I am currently working on a guild challenge due next month.  While it is under wraps, I thought I'd share 2 past challenges that I have not yet blogged about.

Little Pink Houses 2008

this challenge actually fulfilled the requirements for both of my guilds - bonus!!  for one guild the challenge was "A Song Title", so Little Pink Houses by John Mellencamp.  The other guild was celebrating it's 25th anniversary so you had to represent 25, and also include something silver.

I attached little silver bee charms around the 25 houses.

I designed this little house using flying geese as roofs.  I also hand quilted it during a long car ride.  The backing fabric is the game Candy Land.

It is quite small as you can see here.

The Asian Half Yard Challenge (quite possibly the worst title).

I made this in 2009 with a bee group, The Wednesday Needlers.  We were provided with a half yard of the Asian print.

I decide to try something modern in feel and used the solids to frame the Asian fabric.  I really like this quilt, even though I didn't really like the challenge fabric.

I did simple machine quilting to accentuate the boxes.

I do love this fabric that I used for the backing.  It is one piece but looks like a collage of fabrics - fun.

Here you get a better look at the label and the quilting.

So next time your girl friends or guild asks you participate in a challenge say YES.   You may end up with an unexpected new quilt that you really like!

A list of some of the Challenge Quilts I have done .  Click the quilt if you want to see them.

Bird in a Berry Tree
Abe Lincoln
Black and White
Little Baskets
Liberty Lady
Lollipop Garden
Self Portrait

Have a great week from rainy, rainy New Jersey.


  1. fun little quilts. what really interests me in this post is your FW sewing table. I just bought one at an estate sale for $10, which I'm thinking is a real steal. I have a 222K fw with a free arm, so it doesn't sit flush. Do you use yours regularly? How do you find it?
    Also, I see you are using Aurifil thread in your FW? I tried that and my bobbin thread kept breaking. what's your experience with it?

  2. Little pink houses was something in the back of my mind to make one day; I love yours. While the "Asian" was an unfortunate way to word the challenge, I like what you made. Do you like the fabric better cut up? The solids were a great choice.
    Took some time and revisited your other challenge quilts. Each one, I was saying, "oh, I think that is my favorite"!

  3. Especially love the little pink houses quilt.
    I have to admit, I pick and choose which challenges I'll do. I guess I'm not really challenging myself with that!
    This morning we had the reveal of our hst challenge with one of my groups. A lot of people participated and many beautiful and fun quilts. The quilt had to have at least 200 hst.
    Can't wait to see the one your are currently working on.

  4. I love your challenge work. Thanks for the links to go back and admire them all again.
    They are all wonderful.

  5. a really great post and i had fun going back and re-visiting the other challenge quilts too.

    i was surprised when i got to the photo of the Little Pink Houses with your featherweight. for some reason i was expecting it to be a lot bigger~! it sure is cute and you know i LOVE the added bees~!

    i think your use of solids and a simple pattern were great choices with the second challenge quilt.

    last night at my own guild meeting i was watching the show and tell on a round robin challenge and thinking that i will be glad when i feel like i've whittled down my wip list enough to jump into the challenges again as they reallly do bring out a lot of creativity from the particpants.


  6. Wow! All of your quilt challenges are exquisite. It would be hard to pick a favorite. I love them all.

  7. What caught my eye is the featherweight sewing machine. Is it down in a table?
    Those house blocks must be fairly small. A good idea to meet the challenge requirements. Would be interesting to see how others interpreted it.

  8. I'm in love with little houses quilt, I may have to copy that one day if you don't mind. And your boxes quilt is so 3d! Its such a great example of how colours advance and recede and create movement! You always pick such fun backing fabrics. When I have more time I'm going to enjoy revisiting your past challenges.

  9. Challenges are so fun. You really outdid yourself and I can't wait to see what's up your sleeve.

  10. Beautiful work, Barb! I have to say Little Pink Houses is my favorite, too! Really sweet! :-)

  11. Your pink house quilt is just too cute, and how clever of you to meet criteria for two challenges with the one quilt.
    Our guild has an occasional round robin, but no challenges as you describe. I predict the majority of our guild would never follow along and participate in one. Most sit and watch the others and wait for food. The energetic doers in the guild carry the weight of all responsibility, but that seems to be a common problem all over.

  12. What a charming neighborhood of little pink houses! You've made so many challenge quilts - and all so different. You're one amazing quilter!

  13. They're both great. I love your Little Pink Houses, and think the addition of fairly bright solids to the Asian fabric breaks up the fabric brilliantly.

  14. Little Pink Houses, what a great name for your challenge quilt.
    I have a love/hate relationship with challenges. Some of my best quilts have come out of a challenges.

  15. Ditto what Nifty said :0) plus I spent a nice hour or so enjoying your quilts....how delightful :0).
    and did I miss the sparrow story somewhere in there?

    Happy sewing

  16. I love those pink houses!
    I wish I was better at challenges. I gave up on me bee challenge ;(
    I am so terrible at this game.
    Can't wait for the reveal of the guild challenge quilt.

  17. have always enjoyed these quilts , my favorite is the pink houses! just adorable.
    thanks for sharing

  18. OK Barb, you convinced me - I am going to enter my guild's challenge. I have not been in a guild for too long, and was not sure I was going to enter it, but when I looked at all of your lovely challenge quilts, I decided to enter a little quilt in ours. I really enjoy your blog, and your kind comments on mine.

  19. I love all your challenge quilts! I want to go shopping with you someday and see how you find the fabulous backing fabrics! (I'm thinking Chicago?)


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