Quilt Exhibit Challenge

Quilt Exhibit Challenge

Have you heard about the Quilt Exhibit Challenge? The Quilt Exhibit is a fun event put on by Blow's Sew-N-Vac. We are excited to participate again this year during the event with a vendor booth and a class! Read all the details about the event on The Quilt Exhibit's website - great classes, a fun Gala night and amazing key note speaker, not to mention beautiful quilts on display! Part of the exhibit will be a display of quilts created for The Quilt Exhibit Challenge. The theme is a modern meets traditional challenge - a combo of modern fabrics paired with a traditional star block. Everyone is welcome to participate and there are some fabulous prizes to be won!

Here's how it works: You purchase a kit (available in the shop and online) which contains a pattern and four 1/4 yard cuts of fabric. Everyone starts with these same four fabrics, but you can add whatever colors or prints you want to the mix. Use all or a little of the fabrics included (but you must use at least some of each one). The pattern included is the Sourdough Star pattern by Kaye England, this year's speaker! You can resize the star, but your project must include at least one block from the pattern.
  • The quilt cannot be larger than 36" square, there is no minimum size.
  • It must include top, batting and backing layers.
  • It must be finished, but can be either bound or faced (sewn right sides together and turned out).
  • Embellishments of any kind may be added.
That's it, the rest is up to you! The first place prize is a free sewing machine from Blow's Sew-N-Vac, second is a $100 gift card to Modern Textiles, and third is a $50 gift card to Blow's! Today I wanted to share the quilt I made as part of the challenge (obviously, Roxanne and I and the employees at MT and Blow's aren't eligible for the prizes, but we still wanted to join in on the fun)! For my quilt I scaled the blocks down a bit and jumped right into my scrap bin to find my fabric combo. I just pulled fabrics that looked fun with the kit fabrics, adding texture with the denim and extra dimension with the black print. I skipped the sashing and put my blocks together in rows of three. Then I bordered the piece with solid white fabric. I love the way the colors turned out and I'm so excited to hang it in my bedroom - it looks great with my new pillows! I really enjoyed experimenting with quilting on this piece. Trying new things on small pieces like this is really the best. It' much easier to practice technique when you don't have to worry about getting a giant quilt through your machine. You can just focus on design and technique and practice your skills. I also added some hand quilting detail after I finished machine quilting. After working through the challenge I can't wait to see the other quilts that will be submitted! I love the idea of seeing what another person designed when using the same parameters that I had. It really makes you feel like you're part of something, don't you think? I've talked to a few people that were nervous about combining fabrics, so I thought I would challenge myself to find four different combinations from my personal stash. (Some of these items are available in the shop, but a few are from a while back. I have no doubt that you have equally amazing things in your stash to do the same.)

For this grouping I decided to focus on one color - blue. I started with chambray, then pulled a range of blues, getting lighter as I went. The green and amber kit fabrics will be tiny punches of color to break things up and give it the unexpected twist that every quilt needs.

For this combo I started with one feature fabric (Flotsome and Jetsome in Sand Dollar) that had the majority of the kit colors in it (although you'll note they are not perfect matches). Then I kept pulling other fabrics that had similar colors, including those adorable hedgehogs which gives it a fun kid feel to it.

This is another example of starting with an inspiration piece, but this time with a more mature feel to it. Anna Maria Horner's florals are always inspirational. I started with the blue floral and then just went crazy pulling things in all the colors featured. I especially love the Bouquet in Gold lawn added into the mix!

This last combo was definitely not what I was thinking of when I started pulling fabrics, but now it is one of my favorites! Sugar Mountain Trail Map is a fun Christmas fabric from Alexander Henry. It had a lot of the kit colors in it so I pulled it on a whim. Added in a few more colors that had a Christmas-y feel to it and there it is! I think a Christmas quilt would be a fun addition to the challenge! I hope you'll join us and participate in the Quilt Exhibit Challenge. It really was a lot of fun to stretch myself creatively. Can I challenge you on two more things? First - don't let perfection or imperfection stop you from enjoying your project. We are all at different places in our journey with quilting, and there is a place here for everyone. Second - if you are struggling to find fabrics or colors that you like with your kit fabrics come into the shop and let us help! (We promise you'll still be following the rules!) Have something from your stash or scrap bin you want to use? GREAT! Bring it with you, we'll help you work through your ideas and brainstorm new ones. Honestly, these are the things we love to do most! Creative problem-solving...it doesn't get more fun than that for us. You have until September 1st to submit your entries at Blow's or Modern Textiles - plenty of time! We can't wait to see your quilts and hope to see you in September at the Quilt Exhibit! Happy Sewing! Connie P.S. Watch next week for a sneak peek at Roxanne's tomato quilt which will be a class at the Exhibit! Grab a spot in the class here.

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