This year’s QM staff challenge was based on the book Surprise Yourself! by Charlotte Angotti and Debbie Caffrey.
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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What is it they say about the best laid plans? When I started working on my staff challenge quilt, I really did have a plan. It was even sketched out on graph paper. But as sometimes happens, this quilt had a mind of its own. My plans fell apart and I ended up making not just one, but two challenge projects.
I used Chicopee fabrics by Denyse Schmidt for FreeSpirit. They have a retro feeling with updated colors. I love them. I added in some tone-on-tones from FreeSpirit’s lines of basics.
I had in mind to do an applique floral arrangement surrounded by the units we were permitted to use. I made several dozen of each unit in various fabric combinations.
I had so much fun creating the floral arrangement! I added and subtracted freely cut flower shapes, leaves and background elements until I was happy. I love rickrack so I had to add some of that for stems.
Then I added a border of Four Patches. So far, so good.
But as I tried to add more of the units I had pieced, the trouble began.
I kept moving things around, making more units, adding and subtracting, but I just wasn’t getting anywhere.
Finally I decided to go with what the quilt seemed to want, even if it wouldn’t qualify for this challenge. More and progressively darker checkerboards from Four Patches seemed to fit the bill. I really liked it now but the deadline was looming and I still didn’t have a challenge quilt!
I took all the units I had made and moved them around on the design wall until something started to take shape. Here is where I landed. I am going to quilt this and then add rounded corners and wavy edges to the border, something like this quilt:
My design process for this challenge was not very efficient but I guess if you end up with two quilts you like, things could be worse!