Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guild challenge: small floral-themed quilt

My quilt guild---the Quilter's Guild of Brooklyn---has announced a summer challenge project for its members: We've been asked to create a 20 x 20-inch quilt, using any method and fabric we choose, designed around a floral theme. The quilt needs to be completed by the Guild's October meeting. We were encouraged to interpret the assignment any way we'd like, as long as there's a floral component in there somewhere. We're also supposed to submit a 4 x 6 inch photo of our inspiration for the design along with the quilt. I like a challenge that takes me away from the projects I've already got going, so I got right to work.

My first inspiration was to design my own little quilt depicting a row of flower pots on a shelf in front of a window. I still really love this idea, but it's turning out to be more difficult than I originally guessed. I paper-pieced the first flower (this is just a test) and realized it's really hard to construct a flower using this method that can look like it's sitting in front of a window. And it would be just too dull to have a row of flowers against a plain background. I guess I'll have to applique if I want to create something that has any depth. I'm still thinking about this one.
The floral challenge also brought to mind the fact that I have a couple of floral-themed UFOs lurking around in my sewing room. One of them, pictured above, consists of a series of unfinished appliqued circles of floral fabric on white backgrounds. Hand-sewing these circles has been a kind of therapy for me for a couple of years. I work on them while I'm a passenger in a car, or when I'm watching helps me to sit still. I've really never had any vision for what I'll do with them, and I think there are a lot more of these little blocks in a draw somewhere, because I really have been making them for a long time.
I wonder if I could pluck out a couple of the most interesting ones and make them into a small quilt for the floral challenge?

I also have a couple of very floral, machine-appliqued quilt blocks in my sewing room that have been waiting patiently for me to find a useful purpose for them. I made these during a class I took at City Quilter about a year ago. I really enjoyed the class, but after the class was over I wasn't inspired to make any more of these blocks, so of course, no quilt came out of it. I did turn one of them into a pillow that I gave away as a gift last Christmas.
It would be pretty simple to finish one of these, add borders, and to turn it into a 20 x 20 inch quilt. I think this is a real possibility.


  1. Wow, your floral machine-applique blocks are way too pretty to not do something with! I love your circles...looks like the hard work is done, you're almost finished with it! I know how you feel when an idea in your head just doesn't want to work the way you planned. It's still a pretty block. Keep doodling, thinking, you'll probably figure it out.


  2. I love the circles. I doubt I would ever be bored looking at them. They are sweet