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.

Wednesday Giveaway

This week everyone is a winner! I’m giving away the pattern for this very cute basket of pears. It is from our book, Applique Delights. You can make the block in wool or cotton fabric. It can be used as an embroidery pattern or appliqued and then embellished. You can enlarge or reduce it using the chart on the pattern page. Click here to open the page where you can download the pattern.

Click here to find the Applique Delights eBook or click here to go to where you will find all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff!

Shipping at is free on orders over $75 every day.

Wednesday Giveaway

Marilyn B is this week’s winner. She will receive a set of three spools of Aurifil’s wool thread in red, yellow, and blue—the primary colors! This thread is a wool/acrylic blend that is strong and fuzzy. It blends into felted wool when you applique with it, which helps it to hide.

Shop for all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff at!

Delightful Wool Blocks!

These are 41 of the blocks from our book, Applique Delights, that Linda and her stitch group made with felted wool last year. I just figured out how to show all of the blocks in one post. Honestly, how I didn’t know this before makes my head hurt.

Click on any thumbnail image to see it bigger. Once there, you can click on the (almost invisible) arrows on the right or left to scroll through them. I’ll refer to this post in my next newsletter so those of you who subscribe to my blog are seeing these first! You can find the eBook here or order the Print-On_Demand version here.

Wednesday Giveaway

Adrienne is this week’s winner and she will receive a really nice Pocket Color Wheel! it’s compact and has a whole lot of information at a truly affordable price. If you are not the lucky winner, I think you should definitely buy one :-).

If you are not the winner and you’d like a Pocket Color Wheel, you can find them and all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff at!

Shipping at is free on orders over $75 every day.

Wednesday Giveaway

Susan Spiers is this week’s lucky winner! She will receive two different needle threaders that are compact, portable, and that really work! (Of course you do have to see well enough to put the wire through the eye of the needle :-).)

If you are not Susan and you’d like one or more needle threaders, you can find them and all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff at!

Shipping is free on orders over $75 every day.