I Love Winter!

In the past few weeks I’ve finished two UFO’s – talk about feeling virtuous  😀 ! As I’m writing this blog post, temperatures in Wisconsin are in the high 80’s! It is an odd, but appropriate time to share this quilt and it’s story:

In 2013 the special projects committee at Patched Lives (the traditional quilt guild I belong to) came up with a fun idea for a “round robin” type of challenge.  Here are the rules:

Around the Square Challenge – groups are made up of 6 or 7 participants. A list is made of the members of each group so the projects can be passed around in order.

1. Each participant picks a theme for their project (examples could be: Noah’s ark, snow people, up north, a day at the beach, etc.).

2.  Draw a 4″ grid  8 x 10 on a piece of flat quilt batt – orientation is your choice. 4″ is the finished size of all the squares in the quilt, so pieces will need to have seam allowance added.

3.  Create a block in the chosen theme to cover a 16″ x 16″ square or a 12″ x 20″ rectangle (plus seam allowances). Safety pin in place somewhere on the grid. Once begun, this block may not be moved.

4.  Place in a traveling container along with any fabric or embellishments that can be used in the quilt. A “travel journal” and/or ready-to-sign label may be included also.

5. Projects are passed to the next quilter on the list and they are to make blocks to cover 12 squares on the grid. This could include an 8″ finished block, two 4″ x 8″ blocks, and four 4″ blocks, or other combinations, but no additional block can be as large as the original. These blocks are safety pinned over squares in the grid and may not be moved.

6. The projects are passed until all participants have worked on each one. The traveling containers are then returned to their originators who will add blocks to fill any open squares, and finish the quilt. They may move the blocks around on the grid if desired.

My theme was “I Love Winter” (I really do – when its cold outside I can stay inside and quilt guilt free!). Here’s my main block:

I love winter quilt

I received a delightful variety of blocks back, with some empty squares. I had fun rearranging them and filling in the spaces. Most of my additions ended up being a light blue, tone-on-tone fabric that gave it all a checkerboard effect. I then added borders, and layered it all with a sweet snowman fabric on the back:

i love winter quilt

The quilt needed a lot of “in-the-ditch” quilting. This is my least favorite way to quilt, but a few of my friends had mentioned using an “in-the-ditch” foot on my sewing machine. It turns out I had just the foot, and it helped. It isn’t perfect, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked.

The rest of the quilting was done free motion and that was much more fun. Binding was added and now it’s done – in plenty of time for winter!

I love winter quilt

Here’s the label that traveled with the project, and is signed by all the talented quilters who made it such a wonderful quilt.

I love winter quilt

Maryjane was kind enough to bring hers to the last guild meeting, and let me take a picture. Her theme was angels – and it is lovely:


Thanks ladies! I love winter, and I love my winter quilt! Admit it – how many of you out there love winter too?

Stay tuned, next week you’ll get a peek at my other recently finished UFO!

2 Opinions

  • Jackie Iannarelli said:

    Our group has done this in the past. Maybe over 10 years ago. It was fun and challenging. Sorry to say, mine is not done yet. But you have inspired me to put it on my to do list.

  • Linda Sweek said:

    Chris – If you love winter, you’ll probably love the Keeping Warm exhibit! I thought I would share that the Third Fiber Arts Biennale: Keeping Warm exhibition will be held December 7, 2017, through April 8, 2018, at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts.

    The museum welcomes examples of fiber arts media throughout the state under the unified theme “Wisconsin’s winters are cold, but we know how to keep warm.” Keeping Warm will be a playful look at the way we deal with the winter months (in practical and whimsical fashion). Any current Wisconsin resident or group is invited to enter up to two handcrafted fiber artworks by August 10, 2017. For all the information, just go to http://wiquiltmuseum.com/exhibits/upcoming-exhibits/third-biennale-keeping-warm


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