QM Staff Challenge

Every year our staff holds a challenge. The rules are different each time. This year’s challenge was based on the book Surprise Yourself! by Debbie Caffrey and Charlotte Angotti. The authors were invited to sew along with us. We saw Debbie’s quilt a few days ago, followed by Charlotte’s. Today you’ll see quilts from some of our staff members.

DCM113 QM Staff Challenge

We could use four basic units for these quilts: Four Patch, half- and quarter-square triangles and Flying Geese; we could add squares and triangles. All of the units had to finish at 3″, 6″, 9″ or 12″. We had a general size in mind so the quilts would work on the pages of Jan/Feb ’13 we had allotted.

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Carolyn Beam's challenge quilt in Quilting Treasures fabrics

This piece was created by Creative Editor Carolyn Beam from Sports Xtreme fabrics by Christine Adolph for Quilting Treasures. Of her 45″ x 54″ project, Carolyn says:

I let the units talk to me when creating this design. I wanted the design to have the same feel as the theme of the fabric—contemporary, edgy, non-traditional. I played with different groupings of units in Illustrator until I found something I liked. And then I added a twist to one of the units as my rebel.


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Paula Stoddard's challenge quilt in Red Rooster Fabrics.

This piece was created by Associate Editor Paula Stoddard from Life is Beautiful fabrics by Helen Stubbings for Red Rooster Fabrics. It is 45″ square. Paula says:

I am definitely a “big picture” designer. I dream and ponder what I want the overall feel of my quilt to be, then start playing with fabric to see what I can come up with. I love the whimsical look of this fabric, so I used big units and patches to show it off.


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Eileen Fowler's challenge from Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Eileen Fowler, Associate Editor, made this piece with Artisan Batiks from Lunn Studios for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Says Eileen of her 44″ x 50″ project:

Batiks in a Southwestern color palette inspired my row design. First I calculated and outlined seven rows on graph paper, then I sketched in the units and blocks. For the center row, I used Electric Quilt’s library to find blocks made with the challenge units. I recreated the design in EQ7 where I imported the fabrics and played with color and value placements.


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Denise Starck's challenge piece in Troy Riverwoods Collection fabrics

The piece above was created by Graphic Designer Denise Starck with Marcia Derse fabrics for Troy Riverwoods Collection. It measures 48″ square. Denise’s thoughts:

I used the individual units to build my design, but not in the traditional sense of making blocks from them. I rearranged them until I found an interesting layout and then really pushed the design by playing with value placement using grayscale. Finally I made my fabric selections.

Look for all of these fabrics in your local quilt shops, and look for the last two challenge quilts in the next few days here on Quilty Pleasures.



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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One Response to QM Staff Challenge

  1. Susan Paxton says:

    Love the designs and fabrics used. I realize that is what I need help with most…help in putting fabrics together to make a beautiful design. That is the next class I will look for online.

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