Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Brown Bag Quilt Contest - A fabric challenge

Have you seen Stash Manicure? As is the way with most of the blogs I read I can't remember exactly how I stumbles across it but I started reading more regularly when I was trying to make some order of my storage system.

In the process I came across some fabric that I could no longer imagine myself using - but couldn't throw out. And about then the Brown Bag Challenge was announced on Stash Manicure.

The idea was that you signed up, sent 2 yards (2.5 yards, I can't remember, it was awhile ago now) of no longer wanted fabric for someone else to turn into a quilt. They could add as much of their own fabric as they wanted but had to use at least 90% of what was sent to them.

This arrived from Becky in my letterbox just after we moved. Not at all my usual style. This quilt was going to take a little thought.

The fabric was mostly strips at about 5" wide so I made the decision to go with a modernish design, a bento box. I constructed it by first making the Courthouse blocks and then cutting in quarters and reassembling. The centre sqaures were all cut in 5" squares and the outer rounds at 2.5".

The fabric was split into 'light' and 'dark' value piles and but eventually it became the blue flowers and everything else because of the quantities in the package.

I cut the sqaures and borders as I went, making pairs of blocks together. I had not planned out my fabric use so I really had no idea how many blocks I was going to be able to make or how big the quilt was going to end up. I stopped only when I couldn't cut an outer border long enough any more.

It reminded me the whole time I was sewing it of a book I used to read at my grandmother's house when I was younger, Something Absolutely Enormous. The little girl in the book starts knitting and make a whole bunch of things before knitting something huge that takes over her whole town....then she starts baking.

The fabric left over at the end of the block making was sewn together to make a pieced stripe in the back and to add a little length to the binding that was taken from my stash. 

In the end I only had the trimmings. The backing fabric was purchased as I didn't have anything that would co-ordinate but the batting was two or three off-cuts sewn together from the batting scrap box.
I outline quilted the Bento Boxes into quarters,

and I think it looks good on the back as well.

It has ended up about 48" square.

Why don't you check out the Flickr group to see what others have come up with from their Brown Bags?


stitchsister said...

While they might not have been your usual choice of fabrics, you turned them into a beautiful quilt. Well done. I think the brown bag challenge was a fabulous idea. I think I have some fabrics to send if there's another go around.

Darlene said...

This quilt is wonderful - a perfect blend of modern design & vintagey prints. Love it!