Ideas for Challenge Quilts

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Challenge quilts are much like quilters themselves. Each is different, creative and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. A good quilt challenge will shake the quilter from her rut and force her to challenge her vision in a new way. Whether the challenge comes from a fabric manufacturer, a quilt shop or your local quilting club, a challenge can take you to new heights of creativity.

Use a Certain Fabric

  • In 2006 the Roberta Kaufman fabric line sponsored a challenge quilt event, using a particular fabric from its line and donating a portion of its profits to breast cancer research. Any quilt shop or quilt club can tailor the idea to suit its own needs. The quilt can be of any design, as long as you use the chosen fabric in the pattern.

Specify Colors But Add in a Twist

  • Choose yellow and white as your challenge colors, but specify there should be no designs with bees. Use red, white and blue but exclude patriotic quilts. Specify no solid fabrics can be used. Add your own spin on this idea to create the challenge.

Make a Block Using a Certain Tool

  • Good for quilt shops looking to sell products, this challenge can incorporate the newest quilting tool to hit the market and the quilter must use this tool in the creation of the block. No other parameters apply.

Deconstruction of a Traditional Block

  • Use a vintage quilt block pattern, composed of rectangles, diamonds, triangles, and other shapes. Deconstruct the pattern and use the shapes to create a new design.

Use a Theme

  • Broad themes are the jumping-off point for these challenge quilts. Use ideas such as dreams, the beach, the last book you've read or the '70s, to inspire and challenge the quilters.

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