Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Brown Bag Extravaganza

What an exciting Choo Choo Quilters guild meeting we had in October. The anticipation for the 2013 Guild Challenge finale was high, refreshments were tasty and plentiful, and what came out of 11 modest brown bags was glorious! Let the pictures speak for themselves.

Brown Bag 1: Becky's bag started with a patriotic panel. Challenge participants created a top that Becky intends to be a Quilt of Valor.
Becky's patriotic quilt top.
The last participant even included a label.
The label for the patriotic quilt.
Brown Bag 2: Solids and batiks were the basis of Vista's brown bag Challenge. She requested quilt blocks in the flavor of Gee's Bend using free-form and string piecing techniques. She has quite a few interesting patchwork pieces to start her composition.
Vista's improvisationally pieced blocks with a Gee's Bend flavor.
Brown Bag 3: Orphan star blocks in red, white and blue were inside Juanita's brown bag. The scrappy piano key border unifies the composition and the alternate snow ball blocks are a blank canvas just waiting to show off hand or machine quilting.
Juanita's star blocks found their way into this red-white-and-blue quilt top.
Brown Bag 4: Betty was gifted a stack of vintage (circa 1950s) shoe fly blocks. They were magnificently transformed into this bed size quilt top. Some of the vintage blocks were cut and reassembled into new blocks [see the inner and outer borders] to give this top a fresh, contemporary look. We'll see if this quilt actually goes to a grandson or if Betty decides to keep it for herself.
Betty's vintage-turned-modern quilt top.
Brown Bag 5: A blue and white quilt block was the inspiration piece in Dawn's brown bag. Look at the beautiful additions she received. The graceful florals and small-scale prints are a sweet combination and there are so many layout possibilities for these blue and white lovelies.
Dawn's pretty blue and white blocks.
Brown Bag 6: The sky fabric and a pattern inspiration was provided by Ginny in her brown bag. These colorful hot air balloons are the result and look ready to take flight. The variety of block sizes will require a little creative assembly but the end result will a happy and fun quilt.
Colorful hot air balloons floated out of Ginny's brown bag.
Brown Bag 7: Kim chose earthly, fall colors for her garden and nature-themed brown bag quilt. The variety of fabrics—batiks, wools, felt, and satin—will make this a beautiful, as well as tactile, quilt.
Kim's bag bloomed with a variety of flowers.
Brown Bag 8: Veronica's Monet-inspired brown bag included a fabric panel of paintings by Claude Monet and other painterly fabrics with an Impressionist style. Contributors used improvisational, free-form piecing to make blocks with asymmetrical layouts. Bits of the panel can be seen peeking out from some of the blocks.
Veronica's brown bag in the style of the Impressionists.
Brown Bag 9: Trying to remember what she did with the stabilizer she bought for a string quilt, Cristy was surprised to see this fully assembled top emerge from her brown bag. The black fabrics in the centers of these string-pieced blocks provide a striking contrast to the variety of prints and colors that came from Cristy's and the other participants' fabric stashes. A great de-stashing project.
Cristy's string quilt.
Brown Bag 10: Two packages of charm squares and a handful of solids in Janet's brown bag prompted these blocks. The slivers of the dark brown fabric unify these blocks yet the playfulness and lightness of the prints and sherbet-colored solids still take center stage. These and the additional blocks (not shown here) included in the bag will give Janet unlimited layout possibilities.
A charm square collection and coordinating solids were in Janet's bag.
Brown Bag 11: Delores included asian-inspired fabrics in her brown bag along with a panel with oriental ladies, "that are actually sewing," she said. Several of the blocks made by the contributors are paper pieced. Delores plans to make a small wall hanging with her brown bag blocks.
Asian inspired quilt blocks for Delores.
The 2013 Brown Bag Challenge was a huge success! The participants are very pleased with what they found "inside the Brown Bag."


  1. Fabulous Challenge! I love what I received in my Brown Bag. --Veronica

  2. What a beautiful, colorful, and imaginative exchange. Collaboration of ideas and fabrics presented a wonderful "slide show" of talent and creativity!! Great job, ChooChoo Quilters! I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

    1. Sandi,
      Glad you enjoyed our Challenge Show and Tell. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.