Friday January 1st 2016

Rise to the Challenge

Don’t you love a challenge? The chance to participate in a quilt challenge is one of the many great benefits of guild membership. There’s something amazingly inspiring about making a quilt that’s your very own based on somebody else’s idea. Sometimes the challenge is thematic – a memorable one for us was “Every day is a holiday somewhere.” Other times there’s a design challenge (being in the words business, a favorite challenge is always making a quilt that contains letters.)  And then there are those sort of ornery challenges – the ones where you have to use the fabrics you got in the guild’s “ugliest fabric” swap, or make a quilt with your least favorite color. It’s those ornery ones where we really learn something. This quilt is not going to be a masterpiece, we realize, so we might as well throw caution to the wind and go for it. We’ll try that new technique, or that idea that has always seemed a little too “out there.” Whether the lesson is positive (How about that! I can do free-motion embroidery!) or not-so-positive (I still hate pink), we’ve gained a little self-knowledge and even a little more confidence.

And then there are the challenges that inspire quits that are really beautiful. Alex’s feature “Flower Powered Quilts Reap Huge Rewards” in the August TQL tells about how Jennifer Cannon Rounds challenged a few quilters to make small “flower powered” art quilts. Here’s a detail from Jennifer’s quilt Dawn Becons – she challenged herself to use photo transfer and dimensional applique. We think you’ll love seeing the quilts that resulted when these friends stepped out of the proverbial box. And we bet you’ll love seeing what happens when you step out of the box, too.

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