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Unconventional Materials Challenge

 Many thanks to the Vermont MQG for the basis of these guidelines.

THE CHALLENGE: Create a quilt using materials not normally associated with quilting. The quilt should consist of a top and bottom layer, with optional batting in between, which are quilted in some manner. Quilts are due June 10.

Kay Khan, Quilting Artist


You can use whatever material you want – except for quilting cotton, old t-shirts, old jeans, or other commonly used quilting fabrics. An exception is made for the back of your piece: traditional quilting fabric is ok should you choose to use it. You can use as many (or as few) materials as you’d like.

Let’s be creative!

You’re encouraged to really get creative and use materials never seen in quilts. Consider unusual fabrics like silks, velvet, corduroy, etc. Or go all out using recyclables, office supplies, crafting supplies, gaming pieces/playing cards, junk drawer items, natural elements, or anything else you can work with. The possibilities are endless! Feel free to use conventional thread, but it is not required. Dental floss, fishing wire, yarn, or other materials are great, too.

Batting Optional

Batting is optional. You won’t be making a traditional quilt and with some materials, it may be difficult to include batting. Additionally, you are welcome to use something other than standard batting.

Backing and Binding

Cotton backing and binding are okay. It can be difficult to sew or make binding out of some slippery materials. However, going for the extra challenge and not using traditional binding is strongly encouraged. Just remember: the edges do need to be “finished” in some way. How you choose to interpret that is up to you!

Quilting Required

Because this is a quilting challenge, stitching/sewing/quilting is required. The front and the back must be sewn to one another in some fashion.

Aside from the materials used and the size, anything else you do with the quilt is up to you. Feel free to explore minimalism, improv, modern traditionalism, hand quilting, machine quilting, etc.

Get inspired! See what others are doing.

The Details

Metal Measure by Jamie Fingal

SIZE: Each quilt needs to be a total of 256 square inches. It could be 16”x16” square or 10” x 25.5” rectangle, or whatever shape you’d like: it’s up to you! But it MUST have a finished edge and some type of stitching holding front and back together.

DUE DATE: Your Challenge piece is due at the CMQG June 10th meeting. Please have your photos submitted no later than June 8th.

WINNERS: Two winners will be drawn at random from all those completing the challenge and will receive one of two prizes: a package of goodies donated by Alison Glass including notecards, a pin and stickers plus TWO fat eighth bundles of her Kaleidoscope Plaids and Strips collection. The other prize is the book WALK: Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot, by Jacquie Gering.

Good luck! Have fun with this challenge and think outside of the box!

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