Guest blogger series | A quilting challenge

by contributor on October 5, 2011

in Community + Creativity, Guest blog series2 2011

Kelley has been addicted to quilting for 14 years and absolutely loves piecing and quilting by hand. She lives and works in Northeast Ohio with her wonderful husband and two spunky kids. You can visit her at her blog where she podcasts and records her quilting adventures.


It all started with my owl quilt. I made it for a woman in my guild who had challenged us each to make a child-size quilt for a local charity. Unfortunately through a series of misunderstandings, which were totally on my part, I thought that I had missed the deadline to turn it over. I still wanted it to remain in the spirit of giving so I re-dedicated my owl to a cause down under that benefited victims of the floods in Queensland. Later I learned that in fact the deadline had not passed. I also learned that another woman in my guild had announced that she was rising to the challenge by making a kid-size quilt per week instead of just one for the year. This made a definite impression on me. It was such an impression that I woke up in the night thinking about it. (Also, while I still felt terrific about what I did with the quilt I felt pretty bad about flubbing the challenge.)

Now I am a working mom and besides spending my spare time on quilting I take care of all after-school events and practices, supervise homework and reading time, keep the house (kind of) clean, make meals, pay the bills, etc. I’m a pretty busy gal, as most moms are. I manage to complete maybe two quilts a year. But this stuck in my head and I woke up that night excited with an idea. I couldn’t make a quilt every week, or even every month. But could I make one every other month? Since it was already February I decided for the rest of the year I would challenge myself to complete a kid-size quilt every other month. So five quilts in ten months.

To make my challenge more interesting and because I have a quilting blog, I further decided that my quilts would be documented on the blog and must be fun, interesting, and original. No nine-patches allowed! I have been writing up tutorial-style instructions for how I made each quilt, complete with photos, templates, and yardage requirements.

So far I have reached my goal. I haven’t always delivered exactly on time but I’ve delivered. I have two of my five quilts completed – Rainbows from the Heart and Pinwheels Aplenty.

It has been enormously satisfying to make these quilts. As a quilter I feel like I’m scratching every itch: buying new fun fabrics; using up stash fabric; knocking out something fast; trying things I haven’t tried and bringing my vision to life in fabric. But by far the best thing is the feeling that maybe these quilts will make a difference for a child somewhere. These quilts aren’t going to solve world problems. But they are going to (hopefully) give a hug to the heart of a little someone that needs it.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Alex Sand October 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I just love the owl! He looks like he could talk.

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