Last fall, in the post Why Are Some Fabrics Considered Ugly, I shared the fabric exchange for part of the Brown Bag Quilt Challenge. I am happy to say that I finally completed my small contribution to the contest, with a few hours to spare until the deadline. Actually, I thought I was going to submit an incomplete project, until I found myself wide awake at four this morning, so I got up and finished the last piece.
The contest rules were pretty simple. You traded two yards of stash fabric with your partner. You could add other fabrics from your stash, but any new fabric purchased could not be more than 10% of the item. You needed to use 90% of your exchanged fabric. JoyLyn and RaeAnn, who run the challenge, said to have fun with it, and make anything you wanted, as long as it followed the rules.
When my brown parcel arrived, I was rather horrified to see two purple and pink pastel florals, a tan and teal pale paisley, and a white/brown stripe. Now I loved the stripe, and actually had some of it in a black/white version in my stash. But floral pastels are far out of my comfort zone, and I knew I was facing a big challenge. It was actually months before any inkling of inspiration hit me.
I finally pulled out the palest florals and a handful of other pieces from my stash and just sat and played for a while. For some reason, visions of chocolate Easter bunnies kept coming to mind, and I toyed with the idea of an Easter wall hanging. But I knew it would never get use in my home, so settled on a spring place mat set.
It was great to have a sense of direction, but life got in the way. A long and nasty winter left me with a leaking roof, followed by plumbing troubles, and other minor distractions along that line. So it was not very long ago that I realized the deadline was looming and I got to work.
I made four place mats and a table runner, strip-piecing the spring flowers and binding them all with grass-green. I did not purchase anything to make the set. The table runner is reversible, strip-pieced on both sides. The place mats are backed in the perplexing paisley and stripes. Of the fabrics I received in the brown bag, I may have enough left for a mug rug, but will probably just cut the leftovers into two-inch squares and add them to my stash.
It turned out to be a fun challenge, and I do not regret abandoning the Easter bunnies for something more practical. I am very impressed with some of the final results in the challenge. The quilters in the group have turned out some really amazing pieces. You can see all of the completed items on Flickr.