Quilt Challenge – The (Last) Reveal!

All good things must come to an end and that time has arrived for our Quilt Challenge Group’s reveals here on the blog. Regular get-togethers, and even themed challenges, will continue for most of the ladies in the group, but I’ll be enjoying their fun company at reveal dinners while redirecting my quilting energies toward other individual goals. Before then, though, one last reveal remains to wrap up the self-themed three part series we each began last fall – so let’s get to it!

The Smart Girls by Ellen Parrott

I titled this last quilt of my Vintage Feminism themed series ‘The Smart Girls’. I printed a vintage photo on fabric and fused it onto the background. Curved scratches on the original photo had already given me the idea to appliqué an atomic symbol over it and provided the inspiration for the ‘smart’ theme. I added other mathematical and scientific symbols and free-motion quilted the names of significant women scientists into the design. A favorite component was the sentence that ends the roster, “You, Me, Her, Us – The Smart Girls”. I love art that has a message from afar, draws you in and then gives you even more up close…and I love thinking of a little girl someday reading those words and taking them to heart.

A secondary challenge was to design the quilt with a modern aesthetic; hence the minimalist design and emphasis on quilting in large areas of background/negative space.   The Smart Girls completed my vintage feminism series that also included The Fearless Girls (traditional design elements) and The Unconventional Girls (embellishments and surface design elements). A very satisfying series!

The Fearless Girls by Ellen Parrott
The Unconventional Girls by Ellen Parrott

Candace Winiarski finished up her ‘Whatever!’ series with a graphic design utilizing a limited color palette (also looking to achieve a modern vibe as her secondary challenge). She used intuitive piecing and initially intended for the entire quilt to be what is now the center…but says “it needed more so I added “more”. She played with machine quilting to achieve a hand stitched look – “It took forever, pulled in the center, and caused the edges to ripple. I like the ripple.” The quilt world is full of happy accidents. 🙂

Whatever! (Modern Design) by Candace Winiarski
Whatever! (Traditional Elements) by Candace Winiarski
Whatever! (Surface Design Elements) by Candace Winiarski

Brenda Koepf is a tequila connoisseur and loves a good margarita. Her Tequila series reached fruition with the margarita quilt we all knew was coming! The clear plastic cup is embellished with real rock salt and the “perfect” recipe is provided.

The Perfect Margarita by Brenda Koepf
The Agave Plant by Brenda Koepf
Tequila by Brenda Koepf

Alison Lerg kept a bright color palette against a black background as she created each of the quilts in her musically themed series. For her third quilt she used a rainbow of appliquéd circles to form a musical note and framed it asymmetrically.

The Color of Music by Alison Lerg
The Guitar by Alison Lerg
Music by Alison Lerg

It’s been a privilege to share the creativity of this group with all of you. Years of friendship and a love of quilting will continue to be the tie that binds us…so here’s to many more future projects, fun, fellowship and frolic.

And thank you friends and readers – for following along on our seven year Quilt Challenge journey. It’s been a good ride. 🙂

Ellen Parrott, Candace Winiarski, Alison Lerg, Brenda Koepf



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