• Making a Challenge Quilt

    Have you considered making a challenge quilt? A challenge quilt will give you room to stretch your skills and encourage you to try new techniques. A challenge quilt can be small and without size limitations and does not need to be made for a specific room décor. A challenge quilt can be made for artistic reasons only.

    Making a challenge quilt can be an agreement between two quilters or it can be a small group of four or five quilters or it can be as large as a local guild, a statewide or national challenge. A challenge doesn't have to be local, many challenges are offered on-line and quilters from all parts of the world participate and mail their challenge quilts to be judged and shown at large quilt show venues around the world.

    Rules For A Challenge

    Your challenge rules can be as specific or as broad as your group wishes. Some quilters wish to have a lot of structure and some like very few rules and guidelines.

    Sample Of Challenge Rules

    Color -- Having your theme for a challenge being a certain color of fabric such as black and white, a red quilt, or local school colors. Or take a box of crayons -- choose a crayon and make your quilt predominately that color.

    Fabric -- Challenges sometimes require using a certain fabric -- you will be required to purchase a fat quarter, half yard or yardage of a certain fabric and use it predominately on the front of your quilt. A large fabric manufacturer sponsors a yearly challenge and purchase of their fabric is a requirement.

    Having a particular theme -- 25th anniversary of the quilt guild, a challenge to create a quilt that depicts the state you live in, create a quilt that depicts a local college or university, an historical theme, or commemorating a specific event.

    Many more ideas and themes can be used. You are only limited by your imagination.

    Size Of Challenge Quilts

    Requirements can be a specific size such as 9" x 12" for a journal quilt, or another specific as required by the theme. Or the size requirements can be less specific such as -- Challenge quilt can be any size up to 200 inches perimeter -- the perimeter of the quilt is the outside edge -- if two hundred inches is your maximum you could have a quilt 50 x 50. Fifty inches on each side of the quilt would total two hundred inches. Of course a rectangle or triangle could also be configured to not measure more than 200 inches.

    When participating in a challenge quilt be sure to have a copy of the specific rules available so you will be sure that you are following the instructions to the letter. Many challenge quilts are disqualified because they don't meet a certain criteria that are spelled out in the rules.

    Many challenges are very basic and simply require that it be a quilt sandwich of three layers - top, batting and backing and that it be quilted and bound. Whatever you do have fun making your challenge quilt.

    A Home Town Quilt

    Does your home town have unique buildings, sculpture, or scenic views? Why not commemorate your special home town by featuring stitched scenes in a commemorative quilt. While you may not think your home town has any special features, you might be surprised if you begin to list places and special scenes of your town that can be featured in your quilt.

    Each quilt would feature scenes familiar only to your local home town. Begin by looking at local architecture. Are there some buildings that show unusual architecture or well known places that attract tourists. There might be an old courthouse or other building built in past centuries that could be featured. Public buildings, churches, and homes should all be included. Be sure to feature all these buildings in your quilt.

    Sculpture located in your city square or park will be good to feature in your quilt. Some localities will have very unusual sculpture that is unique to your home town. These sculptures can be featured in the blocks of your special home town quilt.

    Are there some scenic views that are unique to your town? In some areas a simple view of quilts hanging on the clothesline is not unusual or a row of yellow school buses waiting to take students home from school. These everyday scenes from your hometown can also be featured in your quilt.

    Begin by inviting local quilters to a planning meeting. Decide on how large the quilt should be, the size of blocks, and how many blocks will be needed. Then decide what local site or scene that each block will feature. Each quilter will choose a hometown scene that they wish to make. Sketches can be submitted to a committee for approval if the group wishes.

    Simple steps for a home town quilt

    1. Gather together neighbors, friends and anyone interested in quilting.

    2. Decide how many scenes you want on the quilt.

    3. Sketch the scenes and show them for group approval to insure some unity in the finished quilt.

    4. Keep a pool of scrap fabric with a variety of colors and patterns that members may use if needed.

    5. Each block artist should sign her scene in the lower right hand corner.

    6. Set a date for blocks to be finished allowing time for assembling blocks and quilting.

    7. Display the quilt in your home town for everyone to see.

    8. You might possibly donate the quilt to be auctioned or raffled with benefit for a local museum or other community cause.

    If you embark on a journey making a home town quilt you will learn interesting things about your home town and meet other quilters and people of your community. This will open up goodwill for quilters everywhere.
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