Monday, 12 September 2016

Inspiration...Or A Lack Thereof

Back in the Spring my guild set forth a challenge, a paint chip challenge to be exact. Willing participants drew 3 random paint chips from a brown paper bag and agreed to make a quilt using only the colours drawn along with black and/or white.

To say the least, my colours did nothing to excite me. They did however give me an excuse to do a little fabric shopping. My first stab at the colours was done by memory because I had forgotten the paint chips the day I went to the fabric store. My minds eye served me well: I nailed the yellow with Kona Cheddar and played it safe by taking home two blues and two pinks. Remember this picture? These Konas have been kicking around in my stash for quite a while.

I thought of building colourful little row houses. I pondered making a pig setting sail in a yellow dory. I toyed with a block of cheese. I contemplated free pieced fishes, free pieced letters and even a funky free pieced springy thing. But nothing struck me. I bought piece after piece of fabric in these colours. I lugged home more blue chunks of fabric than I'll ever use. But still, nothing set my brain on fire.

That is until I realized that "it" was in my hand the whole time. The piece of notebook paper I had carted around for all those months was exactly what I needed to make. A big piece of white Kona, a strip of each of the matching Konas and some pink & blue thread was all it took. It happened suddenly: a lit match sets forth a fire in my brain that cannot be extinguished til the last stitch is made.

I appliqued the paint chips in the manner they were placed on the original note paper and quilted the lines to look like scribbler paper. I even used a fancy long triple stitch to make the pink line appear bolder than the blue. As the quilting took shape I became more and more giddy about this cheeky response to my uninspiring, ugly colours. I couldn't wait to finish it but the punching of holes down the left side became a bit of a stumbling block; they put a lump in my throat that was somehow tough to swallow.

It seemed to me that the cutting of holes in a finished quilt might be in direct violation of the Quilters Code of Ethics and I feared the wrath of the Quilt Police. I put a panicked call in to Linda over at Scrapmaster to ask about my guilty quilty ideas, dropped by to pick her brain and she cheered me on. Between us and some spare change we decided the holes should be somewhere between the size of a dime and a nickel and given that it was a wall hanging and not a quilt that would be washed often it didn't really matter too much about the holes fraying out.

I made a few test holes when I got home and decided that a very tiny straight stitch around the traced coin line would both define the hole and secure the fabric layers so that I could trim out the centers. I finished the inside of the holes with a bead of fray check just to stay the stray threads. I even took a scoop out of the hanging sleeve so it wouldn't show through the hole.

Challenge accepted. Mission accomplished.

The response I received from the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild gals at reveal night last week was great! So. Much. Laughter. There is a Viewers Choice online vote happening on the MMQG blog if you care to take a gander at all the paint chip challenge creations...who knows, maybe you'll take the time to vote for your favourite...wink, wink...there are some great sets of Aurifil thread up for prizes and I sure would love to win some of it!


  1. Simply amazing! It looks exactly like a piece of loose leaf!

  2. This is absolutely fabulous, I love the cheeky humor of it! And the holes on the side are the perfect touch for the paper look, kudos for taking the plunge and cutting them. :)

  3. I regularly read your blog but didn't know that that was your quilt when I voted for it. :O)

  4. I thought that was pretty clever!

  5. You not only met the challenge but exceeded it , very clever and well executed !

  6. I love your brain. That is all.