Thursday, October 2, 2008


There are many reasons to join a Craft oriented group. The 10% discount at JoAnn's, for most of them, is a real incentive. The access to classes taught by local and national teachers is definitely a bonus. Just talking with people who know the terms of your craft can be so relaxing. Another benefit of joining is the opportunity to participate in group projects that stretch your creative juices and give your skills a workout. In most cases these opportunities are called challenges and this month the Kingwood Area Quilt Guild has come up with two dandy ones.

First they came up with an ongoing Lottery Block challenge. A Lottery Block is when you make blocks based on a common set of criteria. When you turn in your blocks you get a chance to get back all the blocks submitted. In this case, the challenge was to precisely make a 9 1/2" nine patch block using batiks and black. The challenge for me was not the fabric selection but making my blocks precise enough for even the most critical members of the quilt police. Of the four blocks I made only one has a bit of visible wackiness where the corners don't meet precisely. I will be submitting all four this evening at our regular meeting. When we get eighty blocks submitted the drawing will be held. Here is what I came up with this month:
The neat part of this challenge is that we will keep this going all year so your chance of getting enough blocks for a nice sized quilt resets every time a new batch is received. I like this idea a lot. Even though the simple nine patch may not be a challenge for some quilters I think we all need to go back to our roots every once in a while to keep our basic skills sharp.

The second Lottery Block Challenge was to make a 12 1/2" block using some red Christmas fabric we had been given. No restrictions were made on what the block should look like or how many other fabrics you could add to the selected fabric. I went very simple and made a wreath block from the book '501 Quilt Blocks' and tacked on a ribbon bow. One person tonight will win all the blocks just in time to create a sampler quilt for the coming holidays with the red fabric as a unifying element. Here's how mine came out:
Future monthly meetings will include the batik nine patches plus a very specific 12 1/2" block. I have seen a preview of a couple of the 12 1/2" blocks and they have yummy colors and challenging construction techniques.

If Lady Luck smiles on me I may be bringing home most of a quilt top tonight. As block construction is not my favorte part of quilt winning would be a real boost to my quilt output.

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