Category Archives: Challenges

June 2018 Challenge: Idiom Quilt

Challenge: Idiom Quilt Challenge
Challenger: Jodie Seila
Due Date:  June 2018 Potluck Meeting

Download PDF Version of Idiom Challenge

Below are idioms with their definitions. Please make a quilt that measures 24”x36”, which
represents one of the idioms. You can use any technique you like, pieced, appliquéd, or
both. You may use any colors you like, but must include black and white, and there should
be enough black and white fabrics mixed into the colors so that the black and white are
recognizable. No borders are allowed on the quilt. You may add any embellishments you
would like. The quilt will be due at the June Potluck meeting.
Jodie Seila, Co-Chair, Challenge Committee

A hot potato
Speak of an issue (mostly current) which many people are talking about and which is usually disputed
A penny for your thoughts:  A way of asking what someone is thinking
Actions speak louder than words: People’s intentions can be judged better by what they do than what they say
Add insult to injury: To further a loss with mockery or indignity, to worsen an
unfavorable situation
At the drop of a hat: Without any hesitation, instantly
Back to the drawing board: When an attempt fails and it’s time to start all over
Ball is in your court: It is up to you to make the next decision or step
Barking up the wrong tree: Looking in the wrong place, accusing the wrong person
Be glad to see the back of: Be happy when a person leaves
Beat around the bush:  Avoiding the main topic, not speaking directly about the issue
Best of both worlds: All the advantages
Best thing since sliced bread:  A good invention or innovation, a good idea or plan
Bite off more than you can chew: To take on a task that is way too big
Blessing in disguise: Something good that isn’t recognized at first
Burn the midnight oil: To work late into the night, alluding to the time before
electric lighting
Can’t judge a book by its cover: Cannot judge something primarily on appearance:
Caught between two stools: When someone finds it difficult to choose between two
Costs an arm and a leg: Something is very expensive
Cross that bridge when you come to it: Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary, not before
Cry over spilt milk: When you complain about a loss from the past
Curiosity killed the cat: Being inquisitive can lead you into an unpleasant situation
Cut corners: When something is done badly to save money
Devil’s Advocate: To present a counter argument
Don’t count your chickens before the eggs have hatched: Don’t make plans for things that might not happen
Don’t give up the day job: You are not very good at something, you could definitely
not do it professionally
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket:  Don’t put all your resources in one possibility


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August 2017 Challenge: Fifty shades of Play: The Ombré Quilt Challenge

Challenge: Fifty shades of Play: The Ombré Quilt Challenge
Challenger: Nupur Kittur
Due Date:  December 2017 Potluck Meeting

Ombré (pronounced omb-ray) is a French word meaning “shaded”. It means having tones of color that blend into each other, graduating from light to dark. Think of the color gradations on paint chips, for instance. Ombré is a trendy and popular design element in everything from clothing to nail polish to hair color, and of course, quilts.

The first part of your challenge is to play with color values and create a quilt with ombré design elements. It could be monochromatic, showing shades of a single color. It could be a two tone quilt with one color blending into another or a rainbow quilt involving a whole spectrum of colors- we just want to see gradations in color, no matter how you choose to do it.

The second part of the challenge is to dive into your scrap basket and include them in this quilt. Your challenge quilt should have at least 50% fabric scraps, defined as smaller pieces of fabric left over from other projects. We are working on the honor system here. Feel free to swap fabric scraps with your friends! 

There are no size restrictions. This challenge is due at the December 2017 meeting.

Download PDF of this challenge information

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January 2017 Challenge: Spots in my Log Cabin

Challenge: Spots in my Log Cabin
Challenger: Cleo Ward
Due Date: June 2017 Potluck Meeting

My challenge to you is to take a traditional log cabin block and alter or adapt it in a new way. Log Cabin includes a whole family of strip pieced blocks, including Barn Raising, Streak of Lightning, Courthouse Steps, Whitehouse Steps, and literally hundreds of others. You may change the structure, play with value, omit a part, add something, or whatever you choose.  You must be able to explain how your work relates to the traditional block.

The second part of the challenge is to use some polka dot fabric in your piece.  It needs to be more than just a tiny obscure square or strip; it should be a contributing fabric to the overall design.

Your challenge piece may consist of one, several or many blocks.  There are no size restrictions.

This will be due at the June potluck guild meeting.  Enjoy!

Download PDF Version of the Challenge

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July 2016 Challenge: Say It With Flowers

Challenge: Say It With Flowers
Challenger: Cleo Ward
Due Date: December 2016 Pot-luck Meeting

The challenge to you is to include text in a quilt.  Words may be printed, appliqued (any method), stamped, written by hand, printed by computer, stitched or any other method that you may think of. To fulfill the challenge, you must apply the words yourself; using commercial fabric that has writing as part of its design will not count.

You must also use at least three floral fabrics in your quilt.

There is no size requirement other than the upper limit.  All sides of the quilt  added together should not exceed 160 inches.  It may be as small as you wish.

This will be due at the December guild pot-luck. Enjoy!

Download an Acrobat PDF Version of the Challenge


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January 2016 Challenge: It’s a Southern Thing

Challenge: It’s a Southern Thing for
Challenger: Cleo Ward
Due Date: June 2016 Meeting

The title of our challenge is “It’s a Southern Thing,” and the idea is to make  a quilt representing something that is characteristic of the southern United States.  It may be something that you like about  south or something that you don’t like; It may be serious or light-hearted; it may be significant or insignificant. I hope you will have fun with it!

The only other requirement is that the piece finish 12″ square.

– Cleo Ward

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Challenge: Self-portrait

Challenger: Cleo Ward
Due Date: December Pot Luck Meeting

The challenge to you is to create a self-portrait in fiber. This does not have to be realistic! It
may be your inner you, the way you wish you looked, or the way you remember looking at some time in the past. It may also represent what’s important to you, a person or place or activity. Try to think of something that reveals the real you. This doesn’t have to be serious; it can be whimsical or fun.
All sides of the piece should add up to 80″. That means it can be a 20″ square, or a 15″ by 25″ rectangle, or whatever shape you wish, as long as all the outer edges added together equal 80″. There should be a recognizable spot of red somewhere on the piece. It needs to be bigger than just a line of red quilting thread.
This is due at the December 2015 potluck meeting, where we will display the pieces and vote on our favorite.


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Cone Challenge due at June Meeting

Due: June 2015 Meeting

Download PDF here for diagrams & examples

At the September guild meeting, Gyleen Fitzgerald mentioned during her program that quilts with cones as pieces would be favorably received by judges. Okay, we can try this! The next challenge (due at the June meeting) is to do a quilt with a cone piece featured somewhere in the quilt. You can use the cone either as the focus of the quilt, or as a border, or both. There are no size restrictions.

As I see it, there are four possible ways of doing this:

  • Y-seam piecing, with diamonds and hexagons as the other design elements. See first diagram for an example:
  • Converting the Y-seams to straight seams, by cutting one of the pieces down the middle (but add a seam allowance), sewing the halves to each of the other pieces, and then sewing these two pieces together:
  • Straight-seam piecing: adding an equilateral triangle to the blunt end of the cone creates a diamond, and it’s all straight seams from there. See second diagram for an example:

An example of a border would be the portion of this layout which is between the horizontal lines. For this, you would add the triangles to the sides of the cone instead of to the blunt end, again creating straight seams

  • If you prefer stained glass (as in the last challenge) and/or fusible appliqué, you could do this as a stained-glass quilt. It should look nice!

I’ve included a cone pattern piece (last diagram), drawn on computer. To make it a diamond, extend the short sides. You are adding an equilateral triangle, otherwise formed with sides one-half the length of the cone’s long sides. To make a hexagon, cut an equilateral triangle from the cone’s long sides, of the same size as that formed when you made the diamond. But remember to add seam allowances!

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