Brighton Modern Quilters - Paper Bag Challenge

Friday, August 6, 2010

I've been a member of the Brighton Modern Quilters group since it almost began. It's been fun meeting up with local quilters to talk about techniques, share ideas, and be surrounded by beautiful fabrics and quilts!

If you're local to the area (or semi-local, like me), be sure to check out one of our meetings! We meet at Monarch Quilts on the 4th Monday of the month. Our next meeting is August 23 at 7:00pm.

A handful of our members even have blogs...Rossie, Sarah, Debbie, Lynn, Angie, Bonnie, Lynn, and our fearless leader, Andrea!

At our latest meeting, we shared the results of our paper bag challenge. Back in May we each brough a paper bag filled with a fat quarter, some fabric scraps and some random notions. We swapped bags and then had a few months to turn our bag into a quilt or project of some sort. It seems everyone in the group put off this project until the last minute (myself included - I was up at six the morning of to finish sewing and stuffing my project).

Here's what I started with:
Paper Bag Challenge: the fabric
A great big pile of dark batiks! Batiks are so not my thing, but I was able to salvage one strip of green batik fabric to use in the challenge (we had to use at least one piece, so I stuck with the bare minimum :)

Paper Bag Challenge: my new palette
I combined my green strip of fabric along with some other greens and blues from my stash. (I should say right now that I was hoping to make a mini quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap and turn this project into a twofer).

I wanted to make a patchwork cutout strip (like in this project seen in my flickr favorites), so I cut the fabrics into strips and sewed them together.

Paper Bag Challenge: the fabric template
I cut out some junk mail to make my template in the general shape I wanted to use.

Paper Bag Challenge: testing out the layout
Then I laid everything out on my base fabric and added the brown for extra contrast.

Paper Bag Challenge: the Doll Quilt Swap Reject
I pieced the brown to the fabric strip and then appliqued the other side of the brown down to the background fabric. At this point I went back to read my Doll Quilt Swap partner's preferences (just in case) and realized that I missed the fact that she hates brown. Oops!

Paper Bag Challenge: the final pillow
So, instead of turning this into a quilt, I turned it into a decorative pillow for our living room. And now I have officially made a new throw pillow to replace the other pillows on the couch. This one is fluffier than the old pillows and much more suitable for Sunday afternoon naps!


  1. Once she sees this, she is going to change her mind about brown. I love the shape of the inset and the background fabric is wonderful!

  2. Love the pillow, very pretty. And I love the little bit of brown.

  3. That's a fun challenge and a lovely pillow you made out of it too!

  4. this looks beautiful. i love how the sash design's free flow like a work of art. will have to star this for future project reference. thanks for sharing!

  5. It is wonderful! I think your partner will wish that she hadn't said she didn't like brown.

  6. I still love that you used the absolute minimum!

  7. what a great swooshy shape! and the colors are lovely of course. thanks for linking to the inspiration photo too. it's nice to see where you came from and where you went with it. Now I'm tempted to re-cover some of my pillows...

  8. gorgeous gorgeous and gorgeous!
    i love it!!

  9. Great pillow! Fun to read about your process.

  10. Oh. my. goodness. This is GORGEOUS!!! The brown adds the perfect punch to make the colors pop - love love love love it!

  11. I love it as a pillow! It turned out well in the end!

  12. Great pillow, the brown is my favorite, love it!

  13. What a fun idea and I totally love what you came up with!

  14. amazing pillow!! looks like a very fun proyect!

  15. Gorgeous! Way to turn lemons into lemon meringue pillow!

  16. oh i love that swoop! it looks like a big smile! it sure made me smile, beautiful work

  17. fabulous pillow! very unique and good colors too.


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