Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Challenge Revealed

Tonight was the Ballaarat Quilters' Christmas do, where our annual challenge pieces were revealed. The challenge involved making something using only the colours of the birthstone and flower associated with the month of your birth. As my stone is emerald and my flower is lily of the valley, that gave me only green and white to work with.

I decided to be quite literal, and make a representation of an emerald. Using a free downloadable program called Quilt Assistant and starting with this picture:

I created a paper foundation pattern for an emerald-cut emerald. And then at the AQC in April I saw Kat Jones's Bling, a giant cushion-cut diamond done by paper foundation piecing. In that post I wrote, "No one will believe me now, but one of the challenge pieces I'm working on this year is somewhat similar in concept to this. But I really did start working on it before I had ever seen pictures of Bling." There is really no comparison between Kat's diamond which is over 2 metres square and my 40cm x 60cm emerald. But as paper-pieced representations of precious stones, they are similar in concept!

Here's my emerald:
I used nine different green solids, plus white.  Here's a photo taken during construction, which I posted in June:

I quilted the whole thing with a variegated green and white thread. It is all straight lines, about 12mm apart on the stone, and 2 or 3 mm apart in the background:
This photo previously appeared on my blog in August.

I tried adding a facing to the quilt to give it a modern look, but it just didn't work with the matchstick quilting. I couldn't get a sharp edge when I pressed the facing back. In the end I removed the facing and added the binding instead.

It was fun to see how other people tackled this challenge. No-one else was born in the same month as me, so there weren't any other green and white pieces to compare with. The winning piece was a gorgeous cushion-cover in orange and aqua hexagons, which more than one person told me they thought was mine. But that quilter was born in December so had turquoise and narcissus (daffodils) as her colour source.

The winner gets to choose the next challenge. It  will be interesting to see what she comes up with!


  1. I think it is just amazing what you came up with. Brilliant in fact

  2. What a stunning result. A perfect response to the challenge.

  3. That is sensational. You are amazing! I am now much more determined to persevere with straight lines. The effect you have created is impressive and the variegated thread really links everything together.

    1. Thank you, Louise. I'm sorry I can't reply in person as I do to everyone else, but your email address is hidden.

  4. What a lovely idea, and it turned out brilliantly! Thanks for the link: It will certainly come in useful.

  5. Oh so you are a May baby too; as am I;)))
    I like your Emerald a lot; I think the blue and green make a beautiful finish..hugs, Julierose

  6. Stunning. You are so clever.