September 09, 2008


Many of us who've been around the quilting block know how fun and exciting it is to make a quilt top ... and more thrilling than a gigantic quilt top is the smaller singular quilt block. But when it comes to actually quilting and binding, that's another story. A lot of us would rather get a root canal than quilt and bind our quilt tops! (There is a similar phenomenon with knitters and gauges ... but that's another story.)


So when I was talking with Gail Ellspermann about ideas for Art Quilting Studio, she explained that per the challenges issued by a local quilt shop, she and a group of women made quilt top after quilt top ... with complete delight. A most memorable challenge was to look inside their respective handbags to find inspiration to create a quilt block.

So when I looked inside my handbag recently, I saw my trusty black Cross pen onto which I had tied a red ribbon. And as you can see, the pen was a great source for inspiration to create a small quilt block.

art quilting
It's a block just screaming for someone to quilt it, don't you think? So then I phoned my quilting (and knitting) partner-in-crime Cynthia Shaffer and asked her to look inside her handbag. Here's what she saw ... a coin purse with Japanese coins and travel papers from her recent trip to Japan.
Elements that inspired her to make this quilt top! 
Do you see where I'm going with this? If quilt tops are what we love to make, by golly, I think we ought to make them! Art Quilting Studio would like to officially issue this challenge to any and all quilters who love the quilt top ... and better yet, who adore the singlular block. Here are the details ...
STEP 1: Look within your handbag and find your inspiration. Could be a pen, a wallet, an umbrella, a plastic toy soldier, a half-eaten protein bar ... nothing is off limits. 
STEP 2: Make a quilt top (block) that is no larger than 8 inches by 8 inches.
STEP 3: Send it to us at:
Art Quilting Studio :: The Quilting Block 
22992 Mill Creek, Suite B
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
STEP 4: Please also include a color print-out image of the item within your handbag that inspired you to make the block. (If your quilt block is selected for publication, we will request a hi-res image of the item from your handbag to be sent to us electronically.) If the item that inspired you is something you'd just like to send to us with the block, you are welcome to do that as well.
STEP 5: Please read Submission Guidelines at our Web site and include sufficient postage for the return of your block. (But I want to recommend something for your consideration ... why not make two quilt blocks exactly the same ... one for you to keep and one that you send to us to consider for publication and after the consideration, that you allow us to donate it to a worthy cause? That way, there is no need for the hassle of return postage and all, and worthy causes get to enjoy a piece of your art! If you decide to take the "donate" option, simply write "donate" on the artwork and submission paperwork when you send it in.) 
STEP 6: If among the submissions there is a natural cluster of blocks that inspire us to make it into a larger quilt, Cynthia will put it all together (the quilting and binding) for publication in Art Quilting Studio. And the names of the artists of the blocks will be put into a hat and one lucky winner drawn to receive the finished quilt! How cool is that?!

By hook or crook, your quilt block tops need to get to our office no later than January 4, 2009. Got questions? Then shoot me an e-mail at jdoh@stampington.com. 


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What an awesome post! I love the sentiment that you chose for your quilt block. Really enjoy your blog!

I've got an orange wallet and a new orange cell phone -- and a stash full of orange fabrics! Hmmmmm.

I actually love the quilting part of the process. Feel free to send me your black, white and red block and I'll quilt it up. Collaboration!

Thanks for the inspiration! I've enjoyed the push to create from your idea.

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