Sunday, November 22, 2015

2015 "Beyond the Panel" Challenge Reveal

What can you do with a pre-printed fabric panel? The Choo Choo Quilters pushed the envelope this year in the 2015 "Beyond the Panel" Guild Challenge. Earlier in the year, the requirements were issued for what to do to a 24" or 36" fabric panel [of their choice] and 11 creative responses to the Challenge were ushered in at the November guild meeting. In addition to designing a new, interesting composition with a fabric panel, the enterprising Challenge participants experimented with various techniques, products and construction methods to make their quilts. Take a look at these creatively executed and beautifully finished 2015 Challenge entries.

Kim used a stack-and-shuffle technique with a panel that had a Fall theme of pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. Elements of the original panel can still be seen in this abstract composition.
By Kim Huston
Kim's original panel.
Using metallic thread, Sherry quilted her entry quilt with a spiderweb design in the borders to coincide with a Halloween themed panel. She experimented with fusible batting and discussed her experience working with this product.
By Sherry Baldwin
Sherry also embellished her piece with be-jeweled spiders.
Spiderweb quilting and spider embellishment (left) and
Sherry's original panel (right).
Betty sliced a "Love" panel into strips and re-assembled the pieces into this original layout. The quilt is called "Broken Hearted."
"Broken Hearted" by Betty Galbreth
Betty's original panel.
This folk art style panel was cleverly cut and re-pieced into this quilt by Dawn. Dawn explained how she strategically inserted the wave fabric that she had in her stash. It was a perfect complement to the color palette and playful design of her entry.
By Dawn Johnson
Dawn's original panel
Joanna created the illusion of a view through a garden gate. The original panel was cut both vertically and diagonally and a darker fabric was inserted between the cut pieces.
By Joanna Lienti
Joanna's original panel.
Theresa cut a large scale panel print of two flowers to create this modern style quilt. The blue accent fabric used in the inner border provides contrast to the warm red/yellow/orange color scheme.
By Theresa Kitchell
Theresa's original panel.
A steampunk, sewing themed panel was Pam's Challenge inspiration. Pam incorporated the spool quilt block in the border to frame the piece. The colorful spools of thread complement the sewing theme while the appliquéd paper dolls dance across the center.
By Pam Graham
Pam's original panel.
The row of paper dolls can be seen at the bottom of the panel.
Veronica created "The Juggler" from a Halloween themed panel. Upon close inspection, the panel's images can be seen in the reverse appliqué circles, the paper pieced spikes and triangles. Free-motion machine quilting in jeweled toned threads contrast with the black background. Felted wool circles were hand stitched to the surface after the quilting was completed.
"The Juggler" by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
Veronica's original panel.
A disappearing 9-patch technique worked well to showcase Martha's sailboat panel. The additional red, white and blue fabrics that she chose support the quilt's nautical theme.
By Martha Griffin
Martha's original panel.
A whimsical panel of hand drawn flowers and birds was the inspiration for Dawn's entry. The challenge in this piece was calculating and piecing different widths of sashing to preserve the visual continuity of the panel print across the rows of blocks. The baptist fan quilting design provides a lovely, graceful texture over the entire composition.
By Dawn Palmer
Dawn embellished this piece with hand embroidery and included a piped binding for extra detail.
Dawn's original panel. The piped binding can be seen here.
Becky had fun with an "Elf Story" book panel. The red/white candy stripe fabric and green borders set the tone for this holiday themed quilt.
By Becky Troxler
Becky's original panel.
Thank you to the Challenge Team members for coordinating this year's Guild Challenge, and to our local sponsors for their generous contributions to the participant awards: Chattanooga Quilts, Bernina Sew 'n Quilt Studio, Lana's Quilts and Sew Much More, Pins and Needles Quilt Shop, and fiber artist, Alexa Lett. Please support our local quilt shops and fiber artists.


  1. What an excellent idea for a challenge. Love what everyone did.

  2. They are all so beautiful and inspiring!! What amazing work! (Deb Horn)

  3. Amazing work by all the participants!