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Neutral Fusion Challenge

Posted by maqdora59 on Saturday, May 26th, 2012


Ok, how do you make something out of nothing? As quilters, we do this all the time. Take perfectly good fabric, cut it up and sew it together to make a quilt, throw, or wallhanging. The end result is something totally new and completely different than the pile of scraps and yardage that sat on our cutting table. I had the opportunity to take it one step further this past winter as I entered the non-judged exhibit, “Neutral Fusion Challenge” for the Machine Quilters Exposition-East Show in April, 2012. Each entrant had to follow these rules: use the same package of neutral fabrics and make 6-Snowball Blocks and 6-Nine Patch Blocks for the quilt center. We had to add a 1” border around the center using anything we chose-any fabric, color and embellishments we wanted. Finally, we had to add a 5” border using our own neutral fabric. The challenge then was to machine quilt this 30” X 36“ wallhanging any way we wanted using neutral thread. This was taking “making something out of nothing” to a whole new level.

To say the least, at first, my ideas were a blank slate-as plain and bland as the quilt top I had just made. Where to begin! There were almost too many possibilities and at first, I couldn’t settle on one solid idea.  I seemed to keep envisioning some sort of landscape, but that didn’t seem to make sense at first. I enjoy making quilted landscape wallhangings, and had not had the chance to create one in a while, so I kept coming back to this idea. But, sketching a scene on paper is one thing, stitching a picture on neutral fabric, with neutral thread-would you even be able to see what I’d done at the end? How would it show up without fabrics to create the shapes and textures I was used to?

 Well, you don’t know until you try, so after sketching out my scene on paper, I went to my APQs Millenium and went to work.

The result was amazing! The tree and countryside came out better than I could have hoped. And, what fun I had! I even hid some of “my favorite things” in the body of the tree, just for fun!

I will definitely be exploring this concept again and again-neutral fabric with colored thread is next-I already have a special request-can’t wait to get started! Thanks to Diana Annis who created this challenge for MQX. I think it’s going to be an annual, so can’t wait for next year’s challenge!


Category: Quilts As We Go


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