The Mysterious Challenge Quilts

As I wrote in previous posts, my friend Susan Allen, and I challenged each other make a quilt that began with pieces of the same 40+ fabrics. We made and traded five 9″x9″, ten 6″x6″, and twenty 3″x3″ blocks. Actually, we made twice that many blocks because we each kept a set of our own. I designed an 18″x18″ applique block. Click here for the free applique pattern.

Our Mysterious Challenge Retreat started Monday morning. Susan and I both had a plan and we got to work. This is where I was Monday morning at 9:00AM.

I had made strips of 1 1/2″x1 1/2″ finished squares before I left home and that saved time.

By Monday night at 11PM I had the top finished! The tables are in the way, and the quilt itself is really lighter, but there you go.

There isn’t a pattern for this quilt but it is a medallion quilt. Here are the finished sizes of each row out from the center. A big part of the challenge is deciding what blocks you want to make.

  • 18″ Center medallion
  • 3″x3″ blocks
  • 1 1/2″x1 1/2″ squares
  • 9″x9″ blocks
  • 1 1/2″x1 1/2″ squares
  • 6″x6″ squares

Susan’s vision was to put the applique block off-center and surround it with movement and color.

I think it’s fascinating to see them together. There is no one right way to make a quilt. We each have to follow our own instincts.

On Tuesday I turned my attention to another project, making pillows from a couple of my mom’s favorite garments. One pillow is going to Carla, who was a good friend, and one to Bear.

And then I came down with a cold and sinus infection that put me in bed until today. If it had to happen, I think that was pretty good timing.

10 thoughts on “The Mysterious Challenge Quilts

  1. Those are really neat quilts, and pillows!
    Looks like part of the challenge was that you both used the same fabric palette and quilt blocks?
    Hope you’re feeling better soon!


  2. My print queue is not letting me print the entire pattern. I love it. Is there another way to print it? Thank you for sharing all that you share with us.


  3. This reminds me of a pattern by Jen Kingwell called The Gypsy Wife…one that has so many possibilities. Your colors are lovely – soft without being wimpy. Hope you’re feeling better.
    I am also recovering from a cold. This is NOT a good time to get one, but, then, I don’t know when that time is….EVER!


  4. Love the color choices – kind of retro. Interesting the different ways both of you chose to set the pieces together. They are both lovely. Know that the pillows will be cherished by the recipients. Have made 6 memory quilts in the past and they are beloved by the recipients, as I know your pillows will be. Love the little Scottie dog! Hope you are feeling better.


  5. I love this pattern, thanks! I also love the fabrics you chose, they are so soft and comforting. Did you use a specific line of fabric or did you both dig up your stash???


    • The fabric came from Susan’s stash and a lot of it goes way, way back. I added from my own stash as well. There’s some Jinny Beyer and Ellie Sienkiewicz and maybe some Japanese fabrics… all sorts of stuff!


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