A Challenge: Charlotte Angotti Surprises Herself!

Yesterday we shared here about Debbie Caffrey’s design process during Quiltmaker‘s annual staff challenge. Today we’re featuring a quilt by Charlotte Angotti, who co-authored the book on which our challenge was based.

DCM113 A Challenge: Charlotte Angotti Surprises Herself!

Surprise Yourself! follows co-authors Charlotte and Debbie as they approach their different design processes. Charlotte starts with the fabric for inspiration, while Debbie starts with the pieces and the math.

We used the guidelines in the book for this challenge. We could use four basic units: Four Patch, half- and quarter-square triangles and Flying Geese; we could add squares and triangles. They all had to finish at 3″, 6″, 9″ or 12″.

We invited Charlotte and Debbie to sew with us. Charlotte used fabrics from Northcott. Her thoughts are below.

charlotteheadshot333 A Challenge: Charlotte Angotti Surprises Herself!

Charlotte Angotti

As a quilter, I push myself when given a challenge. Locked into a colorway or a size of pattern or even the size of the project can make me feel less creative if I don’t really push myself. I think it is the feeling of limits. To me, quiltmaking is limitless and the ideas are boundless. I love that. But, we should all push ourselves sometimes or we become  boring and  predictable…and we wouldn’t want that!

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(Island Paradise-Cayuga-Surf, by Michele Scott of The Pieceful Quilter for Northcott)

The Modern Quilt movement has caught my attention in the past year or so. Using solid fabrics more; with bold prints or exclusively solids, they are striking and full of space for brilliant quilting.

With that in mind I used a great deal of white solid in my challenge piece. The fabric I was given was really not a stretch for me, since they are my favorite colors, by far…but the limited amount of different fabrics from one company, the limited size of the units used and a deadline all played for my challenge.

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(Stonehenge-Caribbean by Linda Ludivico for Northcott)

But just as Surprise Yourself! shows, I made the units and began the fun of playing with them on the design wall until something sparked. Then all the limits were gone and the design took over.

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Charlotte's finished quilt top in fabrics from Northcott

It was easy to sew because everything went with the solid white. Made that decision first. I am all for easy. Since there is no math in my method, mostly playing with the color, this challenge was fun after all!

 A Challenge: Charlotte Angotti Surprises Herself!

In my opinion, the best quilts look difficult but can be made by anyone who understands how to break them down into parts.

*     *     *     *     *

See all of the staff challenge quilts in the Jan/Feb issue of Quiltmaker or see a slideshow at quiltmaker.com.

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email: editor@quiltmaker.com.
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4 Responses to A Challenge: Charlotte Angotti Surprises Herself!

  1. Tracy Giovannoni says:

    Charlotte and Debbie’s class at the Long Beach, Ca Quilt Fest was amazing!! We had so much fun designing with the basic units to make these stunning quilts. I bought the book and the tri rec ruler set. The possibilities are endless. Charlotte and Debbie are a hoot in class and made it so much fun to attend. I would highly recommend getting into one of their classes or inviting them to come to your local guild. Love, love it!!

  2. Kim Newland says:

    I started researching info for the classes I enrolled in for March Quiltfest. I came across this site by sheer luck and after reading, I am so ready to be there!


    Really love it. Have the book and looking forward to Pigeon Forge Mountain Quiltfest signed up for the Let me Surprise you on Thursday with Charlotte Angotti. Trying to get off work for the Thursday of the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show so can take the class based on the book from both Charlotte Angotti and Debbie Caffrey. So can’t wait for March to get here.

  4. This is gorgeous, Charlotte! Your stars positively twinkle! I have also been admiring those “modern quilters.” I reorganized my stash this week and discovered that I don’t even OWN any solid fabric because I only want to buy the big, splashy prints and batiks that grab my attention in the quilt shops. Yet again and again, I’m drawn to others’ work where prints and textured fabrics are contrasted by solid backgrounds. I am now on a mission to amass some solids!

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