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?

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.

  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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