Never Judge a Quilt by It’s Fabric

Never Judge a Quilt by It’s Fabric

It’s been a while since my last entry into a Quilt Challenge, and this one was something that called to me. My local quilt Shop, Quilting Away in Amherst NH was hosting it’s annual challenge, and I wanted to participate. The shopowner selects one fabric, and it’s a kind of quilter’s choice as to how to use it. The quilts are then hung in the shop for a month, and shoppers (and shop hoppers!) are encouraged to vote for Viewers Choice. I always love these kinds of challenges…it seems to me that no two quilters ever see a fabric the same way. The featured Image is the challenge fabric.

Challenge was a good word for it – to me it was a beautiful palette of colors, well balanced, with some beautiful motifs contained within it. And a ton of geometric lines which would be a ‘challenge’ to put into a traditional block. This one had to marinate for a while on my design wall until I came up with a plan. Knowing me, if you thought there was a deadline involved, you’d be right! Normally, when I do a challenge – I take the basic fabric and add to it. Not this time.


For this quilt, I subtracted a lot of color.

I subtracted all the green.

I subtracted all the yellow, and all the black.

I subtracted most of the pink, and the blue. I will say that this would have been easier if I had added the Misty Fuse before I began cutting – but you know better than that, right?

I was left with white, some of the blue and some of the green…and many absolutely beautiful breathtaking motifs hidden (in plain sight) in the fabric…which also revealed some beautiful gradients to it. I added my Sue Pelland Templates – the small ones! – and then I began to play.

My design process

I actually pressed some lines into the background fabric as registration marks, so that I could see how many I could get into the space, while still going for a light, floating look. Nothing in this photo is fused yet – and I realized I liked the randomness of the colors.

So this is what I wound up with:

Never Judge a Quilt by The Fabric

The background fabric has a grayish swirl motif to it, and I used it as a loose outline to free motion quilt the piece. It was a fun exercise in which to play with the design in the fabric. I really love the way the lights play in the colors of the quilt, and the shop owner was quite surprised when I showed it to her. I don’t think she saw what I saw.

This quilt was finished except for the finishing and the label. How to finish it was a little perplexing because I believe in letting the quilt speak for itself, and I liked the balance between the pink, the blue and the white. In the end I challenged myself to make a faced binding, and I quite liked the end result. I will be doing a tutorial on that technique within the next month or so – please watch for it.

The label includes a photo of the original challenge fabric, and it worked.

The label

One comment on “Never Judge a Quilt by It’s Fabric
  1. Joyce says:

    Absolutely unbelievable. So glad you shared photo of the challenge fabric!

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