Friday, October 5, 2012


Thanks so much to all of you who commented on my last post. I replaced the sand in the pincushions with crushed walnuts and they are working out fine. I didn't find my wool batt scraps until later so I plan to try them in the future and will keep an eye out for wool roving.

This red and white challenge is..well..challenging me. This was an exchange among last years quilt show committee. When we did the final exchange we were challenged to make a quilt for the show next year. Each side is limited to 40 inches. The blocks are 6 1/2 inces. I"ve never really done a challenge like this. I've done chapter challenges, but there wasn't the same pressure. If I didn't get it done in time for the big reveal at the end of the year it was no big deal. There are 18 participants and 18 blocks so there "should" be 18 quilts in the show.

My idea was an ocean waves setting. I'm glad I realized fairly early on the problem with the red fabric making up part of the side of a block which is the case for 6 of the blocks. The basket on the top left looks okay, but the bowtie to the right and below looks off. I actually wanted the bowtie horizontal, but made a piecing error. It doesn't matter because I don't like the red in the sashing touching so much red in the block. I realized this toward the end of the evening last night so I just started playing around with the hsts. They flying geese sashing on the left is too busy and I don't much care for the hst border to the right of the maple leaf. Then I just started playing with the hsts making little quilts on the right. No sewing just playing. Today I looked through some quilt books for inspiration. Nothing inspired. This evening I decided to put a 1 inch strip around a block to see if that would work. See the bottom right pinwheel block. What do you think? At first I didn't like it. I think my problem is all the different blocks. I was thinking, too, that I could just sew the blocks together without any sashing and do a big zigzag border. I'm going to put this aside for a while and play with another project. Being challenged like this brought to mind a comment my friend Judy made as she shared her challenge quilt last year. "I find life challenging enough".


  1. I really like the pinwheel block with the white giving just enough separation. I like the ocean waves setting, too! Awesome! Hope it gets back to being fun really soon!

  2. I think the pinwheel around a white border looks good, too. This is more of a challenge than I have ever attempted. Good luck!

  3. I do like the pinwheel block like that! I really love the setting you showed a few posts back
    maybe with the little border around each block then set in a zig zag with a great setting fabric to set it all off?
    I am sure you will come up with a great idea, these just need to speak to you :)
    Kathie ....... goodluck!

  4. This is quite a challenge. Especially to keep to the size limit, you can't really have more than 4 blocks on point. What if you tried a medallion approach? You could group most of the blocks in the center on point with those red-edged blocks in the outer corners. Setting it aside for a while will probably help.
    Love your friend Judy's quote.

  5. I too like the little white strip to help define each design. Of course I LOVE the HST's as a border accent too! Yes, you do have a challenge on your hands. The size requirements would get to me too!

    I'll be sending you some good quilty vibes so you can tackle that challenge!!!

  6. The medallion approach mentioned earlier might be the best way to tackle some blocks that don't play well alone. I have always found with sampler quilts that there will be blocks that jump out at you no matter how you set them or border them because each of them are so different. I have always had to "let it go" and realize I don't have to absolutely love "this" quilt - it just needs to challenge me. It looks like challenge it living up to its name. :)

    I look forward to seeing how you finish your quilt. I am sure it will be great. :)


  7. It's hard to decide isn't it Maureen. Let it sit for a while and see where it goes. The blocks are pretty on their own. What about using alternate Alabama blocks (correct name I hope!) creating the chain affect between the blocks?

  8. The blocks are great and I like you idea, but I also agree that the reds of the blocks touching the sashing throws it off a bit.
    I look forward to seeing your solution. I know you'll come up one.
    I like your friend Judy's remark :)

  9. had to laugh at Judy's take on it . . .
    i think i like the skinny white borders buffering the ocean waves.
    i know one thing for sure: i love seeing all of the red and white together like this even in an unorganized fashion . . .
    i agree that sampler quilts can be really tricky. have you thought about the random sampler approach? it would be a way for you to control what was set next to what but you could mix it up and make it playful as you went along . . .

    love seeing your design wall and thoughts on it as you puzzle it out. i hope that you will continue to share the process with us.


  10. If it isn't fun, put it away for another time. Too much fun to be had on other projects.
    Can you guess how many UFO's I have?