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Thread: What are your thoughts on Quilt Challenges?

  1. #1
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Maine-ly Florida
    Have been doing some thinking about the challenges my guild has twice a year.
    When I joined my guild, I thought that to do a challenge 'right', you thought of an original idea and executed it. Over the years, I have noticed that most of the winners used published patterns and met the requirements of the challenge. (Granted, there is only one 'winner' and it is based on popular vote. No one is supposed to know who made each entry). These winning entries are usually made very precisely and beautifully.

    The two times I participated, I came up with my own designs and truth be told, my ambitions are often loftier than my skills.
    Now, no sour grapes here, I didn't need to 'win' and it is fun to see how different minds work with the challenge rules but I just wondered how other quilters felt about this?

    Just took a Carol Doak paper piecing workshop (wonderful) and am thinking I could try something with one of her designs next time to try something new.
    What do you think about challenges?

  2. #2
    Super Member thequilterslink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    NW PA
    I love doing small challenges, but our guild comes up with their own ideas. I ran the last one, it was fun and easy. Everyone, got to pick a fabric from 2 different piles,, add up to 3 more fabrics and make anything they wanted. If you committed to it and did not finish by deadline, you had to buy the pizza . My idea, my challenge and guess who bought the pizza ? challenge before that, was to make a house block and make into wall hanging , runner, whatever.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I have only done one challenge and found what you said to be very true. I came up with an original design, it was keeping with the theme exactly. The winners were very talented quilters but they varied from the theme so much I just didn't understand it. At the end I heard one woman saying mine should at least been recognized at keeping with the theme challenge. The quilt that won that category didn't even come close. It was all very strange. But I like you enjoyed the challenge and am glad I participated. I am not sure though if I will do another one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Sturbridge, Ma
    challenges are a good way to try new techniques. let the rest do what they want.

  5. #5
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    The Finger Lakes of upstate NY
    Interesting thread. My guild doesn't do challenges, or at least not in the last 3 years.

    There should be a few guidelines to the challenge - use particular fabrics, techniques, etc. And, as you have pointed out, clarify whether it's to be your own design or from a pattern.

    Personally, if I had to design something, I probably wouldn't participate as I just don't have that gift. If you do, though, I say go for it - you'll be expanding your talents and soon will not only have a one of a kind, it'll be a winning one of a kind!

  6. #6
    ilovejunkandstuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Antlers, Oklahoma
    I have only done a block challenge. I thought it was fun. But the winner surprised me. The voting was done by everyone that came to the shop. You could vote each time you came and even on your own block. I went about 20 times and voted on my favorite 4 or 5. I did not vote on my own. I know others did vote on their own block. But it was fun.

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    As a 'solo quilter', I like challenges because they make me work in new directions. I've only entered two (so far) and they were at opposite ends of the scale...one at my LQS and the Hoffman Challenge.

    I think the two parts of any artistic challenge...the interpretation of the theme and the execution of the work...should carry equal weight in determining success. Whether your success is measured by formal judging or by your own critique of your piece, really doesn't matter in the end. Meeting the challenge, any challenge really, results in growth and that's the whole point.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Keene, New Hampshire
    I don't do challenges - my brain freezes at the mere thought.

    One of my Guilds has one every year. One stipulation is that it must be an original design; another has something to do with fabric.

    I've always loved seeing the resultant work - they're so inventive and beautiful. I don't recall that we vote on anything, just admire them. I may be misremembering this.
    Is misremembering a word?

  9. #9
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Blog Entries
    this year our guild is doing a placemat challenge and everyone got a FQ they had to use in the placemat. They will be judged by the members and then taken to the senior center to use in December with their meal for christmas. I haven't come up with a theme yet, must get busy LOL

  10. #10
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    North Florida
    Our guilds challenge this year, a "Wish you were here!" quilt wall hanging, can be vertical or horzontal - 20 x 30, to represent a postcard. Use own fabric, must have black bindings, hanging sleeve, label, and short paragaph explaining your wish you were here design idea. Judging to be done by other than guild members.

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