When the Quilt the Blues challenge was announced in the summer of 2016 (see our blog post here), we had no idea what kinds of quilts people would come up with using the packs of preselected blue fabrics. Entrants were allowed to add up to 3 additional fabrics, so some variations in the final appearances were guaranteed, but would they all, as a group, be monotonous? Would there be anything exciting or inspiring about the finalist quilts as a whole?
The answer to that question is now revealed, and it’s a resounding YES! The winning and finalist quilts of the challenge have just been announced and they are spectacular, both individually and as a group. Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:
Terry Weiss started the Out of the Blue quilt with a rough sketch, drawing inspiration from one of the challenge fabrics which consisted of 72-degree diamonds, which formed a star when 5 were joined together. Intricate drafting followed by paper piecing created the medallions in the quilt design. Terry writes, “This was named Out of the Blue, as a work in progress, because as each medallion was sewn together, the result was pleasingly unexpected. Also, Out of the Blue means that I quite literally ran out of blue fabric!”
Well, that’s one way to know when to stop sewing! Terry’s masterpiece finished up at 58″ x 70″. The First Place prizes included a Husqvarna Viking Sapphire™ 965Q sewing machine, 2 tickets to an Original Sewing and Quilt Expo (OSQE) event, and a $100 coupon from QuiltAndSewShop.com. Congratulations, Terry!
McCall’s Quilting readers may recognize the name Jean Kritenbrink, as she has designed quilts for our magazines in the past (get her popular Peas in a Pod quilt pattern free here ). Jean’s quilt, Fragments, is 56″ x 68″, and was quilted by Corinne Mittag. When asked about her design, Jean wrote, “The past year has been an emotional one for me. My father suffers from dementia and at times there is an overwhelming feeling of sadness as I watch him struggle with day to day life. His thoughts seem chaotic at times but as he interacts with us, I still see the special person we have loved all of our lives. My large, gregarious family has always been close, but as everyone tries to do what they can to make life easier for him and my mom, I’m reminded that love might not conquer all, but it goes a long way towards helping. This quilt represents my mixed feelings about dementia, family, and love.”
Finger to the Blues (60″ x 72″) by Marie Nelson is a tribute to the healing qualities of quilts and quilting. As Marie writes, “So many quilters like myself who struggle with depression, loneliness, low self-esteem, and negative self-talk find a respite from those feelings, sometimes called “the blues”, in quilting. I had long had an idea of making a quilt using a scaled-up fingerprint. I followed the pattern of one of my fingerprints only to realize that I had unconsciously chosen a middle finger. It seemed somehow appropriate, especially when the thought came to me which I stitched into the quilt: “When the BLUES leave us feeling ragged and gasping for breath, I say F**K/forget the blues…Let’s make a quilt.”
The other finalist quilts are fantastic, too! Here they are, in random order:
If you’d like to see all these quilts in person, register now for an OSQE event near you. The Quilt the Blues exhibit traveling throughout 2017 as part of the OSQE events will show you exactly what just one color can do!
The McCall’s Quilting Team