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?