I threw my hat in

Meaning “Throw your Hat in the Ring”

To make or take up a challenge, or demonstrate one’s willingness to join an enterprise…. (The ring in question here is a boxing ring. These, of course used to be circular spaces in a crowd of onlookers, rather than the square, roped ‘rings’ of today.  Anyone who fancied his chances in a bout would throw in his hat – rather than try shouting over the noise of the crowd.  The expression dates from at least the early 19th century.)
Like many Modern Quilt Guild members, I threw my hat in for the Jay McCarroll Habitat Challenge, and tonight is the reveal at the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild of our completed challenge quilts/pillows, etc.   The parameters our guild set were a finished quilted item with a perimeter of at least 60 linear inches and no more than 120 linear inches.  Every fabric from our fat eighth bundle had to appear somewhere on the quilt top/front.  I had six of the fabrics in the photo above to work with, the peach polka dot in the background, and the five pieces at the center of the line-up.  I was particularly inspired by the fabric with the large, dark, polka dots against the soft floral background, the second from the left in the photo.  The soft floral aspects in a few pieces of this collection contrast greatly with the dark, bold, and in-your-face colors and graphics in the other prints.  I wanted to capture the softer side of the collection.
Here is what I came up with:

It measures 24″ x 24″, I used Kona Charcoal, Navy, Teal Blue and a Burgundy solid in the pieced ring, and Kona Aqua as the main background fabric.  The back of the quilt is a pink Kona cotton, scraps I had leftover from the edges of a large quilt back.

The flowers are made from long strips of three different pieces of the Habitat fabrics, and the petals are also three-dimensional, made from the peach polka dot.

I made the pieced color strips first, and envisioned this as a long narrow table runner, with flowers splashed across if diagonally.  But then at the last minute, I cut the strips in half lengthwise, to create the square ring, and used little scraps to free-piece log cabin “flowers” for the cornerstones. 

Colors and fabrics I wouldn’t normally pick out (other than the aqua blue!), which is what truly made this a CHALLENGE.  But in the end, I really like this little quilt…. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else created!  
Are you participating in this challenge?  What did you make?
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12 thoughts on “I threw my hat in

  1. This is REALLY cool. When I first saw that “scribble” fabric in the middle of your line-up, I wondered how you would work it in. You did so brilliantly, I think. I love the Log Cabin “flowers” in the corner blocks of that border.

    A lovely quilt–soft and beautiful, but never boring.

    Elizabeth E.
    occasionalpiece.wordpress.com

  2. OMG if i wasn't poor I'd so do this. This is my favorite line of fabric. EVER.

    this is awesome!

    PS I was going to go to the meeting last night but ended up working until 8 … and still needed to run! :/

  3. Doris, I love what you have done with the challenge fabrics!!!!! The design is great, and I love your quilting lines. Our guild is requesting blocks to make a charity quilt. I am struggling with mine 😉

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