For a few years beginning in 1999, my mother, my sister and I participated as a group in a quilt challenge sponsored by the local quilt shop. Each person in the group of three made her own center and passed it on to the next person who added a border and passed it on to the third person to add another border. The quilt top was then returned to the first person who quilted and bound it. It was her quilt. During each year we took part in the challenge, each of us would get a quilt top that all three of us had worked on.
There was a maximum size for the quilt and a maximum size for the individual borders. And each team member was assigned a fabric to use in all three quilts. Most years we each had a different fabric.
When I was at Mom’s house recently, it was the first time I’d seen all of our challenge quilts together. I’d like to share some of them with you. Here are the quilts from 1999 and 2000.
Mom’s quilt had a patchwork center; my sister, Angie, added the first three border strips. Look at all the pieces in her center border. I did the outside border with the applique.
This is Angie’s quilt. She appliqued the heart in the center by hand, I made the flying geese border and Mom added the outer borders. Notice that she added five borders, two of them pieced. I wish I’d thought to measure. I am betting the total width of those borders is four inches.
And this is mine. I appliqued the center. Mom added that wonderful border with the Seminole piecing. Those squares are only one inch by one inch. Can you imagine how long it took her to make all of them? I remember Mom telling me she was never going to do that again. It just wasn’t fun.
As I recall, the fabric I was required to use that year was the pink and white floral print that is the bottom left-hand flying goose in Angie’s quilt.
The 2000 quilts had a required fabric that was a millennium print and the same fabric was required for each team member. I thought it was pretty ugly so I used just a bit of it in my quilt. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
Mom’s quilt started with the pieced star; then she appliqued the basket and dimensional flowers on top of it. Her basket is made from the required fabric. I’m thinking I did the bottom and left borders and Angie did the top and right borders. But to be totally honest, that is a guess based on the fabrics. I asked Angie and she is no surer than I am. I guess 2000 was a long, long time ago. (Smile!)
Angie did this fun pieced on-point center. I did the borders on the right side and the bottom of the quilt with the appliqued stars. Mom added the borders on the left and top. And the back of this quilt is as interesting as the front.
I embroidered a basket of flowers in the center of mine and added the first three strips. I did put a two inch square of the required fabric in each corner. Mom added the left and bottom borders and Angie added the top and right borders.
I think it is interesting that at this point in time, Mom was definitely the best quilter of the three of us but both years, I like Angie’s quilt the best. I think it is because Angie was the one of the three of us at the time who was most willing to break the rules and try something unusual.
Be watching next week for more of the challenge quilts.
We are getting ready for filming here most of the rest of the week so I’m off to see what I can do to help. If you want to see some of our previous segments, check it out on YouTube.