Challenges are a great way to learn Modern Quilt design concepts. 
Committee members: Carole D, Erlinda, Ann, and Michele

2024 Challenges
Challenge #1  -  Due: November 16, 2024 meeting
Theme - Circus
Think about the images, sensations and feelings that the word circus evokes for you. Take elements from those to create a quilt the meets the following parameters:
-Not a literal scene
-No larger than 120 inches in perimeter (30" square or smaller)
-Include stripes in some fashion (can be commercial fabric or stripes you create)
-Incorporate one or more of the hallmarks of modern quilting - bold use of color, high contrast and graphic areas of color, Improv piecing, Minimalism or Maximalism, expansive negative space, alternate grid work, modern traditionalism

Challenge #2 - Due January 18, 2025
Theme - Modern Monochromatic
Create a quilt using the following parameters- 
Contact a committee member to randomly draw a color and shape and log it with Carole D
Use multiple tints, shades, tones of picked color
Design to include one or more of shape (shapes are square, rectangle, circle, oval or triangle.
No size limitation - encourage gifting quilt sizes of crib, lap or twin
Contact Carole D through form on website side.

Past Challenges-

Churn Dash and Text Challenge - due October meeting
Use churn dash block
Use text fabric or words in quilt
Use any color Other Than White for the background (no white background)
Any size  (gifting quilt sizes good too!)

“Light” Challenge -
Create a while hanging depicting your own interpretation of “light.”
Fabrics - you may use as many fabrics as you like.
Size - the size is totally up to you, make anything from 12” to gifting quilt sizes. If you want to make your challenge as a gifting quilt feel free to make it gifting size. 
Due - April meeting 2023

Ombre Star Challenge - due November 2022 meeting
The Challenge - Use Ombre fabric in a Star themed quilt
Size - 25" x 25"
Due - November 2022 meeting
Ombre fabric usually graduates from light to dark, but some graduate from one color to another color.
Rules - Use as many ombre fabrics as you like. OPTION: Add ONE additional non-ombre fabric but it is not required.
The quilt size in this challenge is set at 25" square in order to make the quilts have a cohesive look. The desire is to possibly have a display in the library, bank, etc. Let's get as much participation as possible!

Selvage Challenge - Due April 2022 meeting

The Challenge - Use at least 20 different selvages on the front and/or the back
Size - 22" x 22"
Due- April 16, 2022 meeting
Be creative and use the Modern Quilt Design Guidelines*

Page 19 Challenge - - due November 2021
Since Covid 19 we are all reading more than ever. So STOP AND TURN TO PAGE 19 of your reading material (novel, magazine, etc.) and think about what that page is saying to you and interpret it into a quilt. No cheating and looking thru books for the perfect page. We are giving you all summer to work on this mind-challenging quilt. Use your imagination and keep in mind the "modern" guidelines.
Size - "gifting size" such as 30"x30" 40"x50", 40"x60"

Favorite Shape - due March 2021 meeting

Think of your favorite shape and incorporate it in a modern quilt using the shape multiple times (moe than one!) in your creation. Refer to your list of ideas on how to make it modern. The finished size is to be 18" wide by 24" high. Please bring your wonderful creations to the March 2021 meeting.

Checkered Fabric Challenge -  Due to January 2021 meeting
Checked fabric - fabric drawn at the September meeting, you can still get fabric at the next meetings.
Size is 18" wide by 24" tall. 
Rules - Make a Modern quilt using any amount of the fabric and incorporate either a number or a letter of the alphabet

Photo Challenge - 
due October 2021 meeting

Choose your own inspiration for a quilt-
Refer to prior list of ideas of how to make it modern.
Size: 18" wide x 24" tall
Use any color scheme (prints, solids or both)
Tommy F used a photo from a magazine for inspiration

Modern Jon Snow by Carol Byrnes

Inspiration, paint color chip
Tommy F quilt from
Choose your own Inspiration

Traditional Block to Modern Challenge - Due Sept 2021 meeting 
At the February meeting pick up an envelope with a traditional block pattern inside. See Tommy Fitzsimmons for an envelope. The finished quilt should measure 18" x 24"
Use your modernization skills and remake the block using modern quilting principles.
There are several sources to guide you including MQG webinars. A list of Fundamentals of Modern Principals will be provided.
Have Fun!

Traditional to Modern Block Challenge
display at September 20 meeting

Only Solids! Challenge - due January 2020
Theme: Design a modern quilt using ONLY solid fabrics. That means solid colors only, not tone-on-tone batiks.
Color: Any color you want
Size: Any size that suits you, big or small
Due: January 2020
And, there's more.... If you would like to make this quilt for charity, the Outreach Committee has a luscious, exciting array of solid fabrics for your use to create a quilt for one of our charities.

Fat Quarter Challenge - Due October 2019
Theme: Incorporate the provided fat quarter cut of Marcia Derse fabric as you would like but make sure the challenge fabric is identifiable on your quilt top.
Size: The perimeter should be no greater than 144 inches, that is the sum of the length of all four sides should not exceed 144 inches.
Palette: The selected fabric is Treasure Hunt Fabric Panel from Windham Fabrics, Marcia Derse, $5 for each fat quarter
Due: October meeting 10/19/2019
A big thank you! to Deborah at Deborah's Quilting Basket for acquiring this beautiful fabric for us. 
Fat Quarter Challenge Oct 2019 - 
To view the entire panel and coordinating fabrics, click here for web link
Fat Quarter Challenge due October 2019
Fabric by Marcia Derse

Challenge display at Manatee Patchworkers Show 2020

Strippy Challenge for Charity - Due July 2019
Size: 36" x 36" or up to a large throw size
Due: July 2019 but quilts will be accepted at any meeting
The Program and Outreach Committees have teamed up to create a Design/Charity Quilt Challenge!
At the meeting, select a packet of fabric strips (of your choice, with your eyes wide open!) to use to design a whole top or finished quilt to be donated to our Outreach program. The finished quilts will be distributed as needed throughout the year. We will use leftover fabric strips provided by Days for Girls; so, think bright, bold colors and patterns. Adding to the challenge are strips of donated fabrics that were not sold at the Airing. And Christine Ravish donated her leftovers strip collection! Can these strips really all go in one block or even one quilt? That's part of the challenge!

Explore the many ways strips can be used to create blocks, whole tops or elements incorporated in other designs. Quick research will show you more ideas than you can image. Edit your strip packet as desired, add or subtract fabric (please return any unused strips) but remember part of the challenge is to use all the various prints and make these strips work for you to create a fresh and modern design.
Some of our Sallie House kids suggested flannel backs. Additional fabric, including flannel and batting, will be available at the meetings.
Check out these Pinterest boards for ideas...
Pinterest - Pat's Strippy Board

Strippy Inspiration (from outstanding committee work)-

Photo Inspiration Challenge - Due April 2019

Photo Inspiration for April 2019 Challenge

Photo- Use the above photo to interpret some aspect of the picture and design a modern quilt. You can look for lines, curves, shapes, colors, specific objects or impressions, or even a literal representation. Just make it modern. The photo says; Florida, palms, beach, quilts, fresh and modern, and brings to mind the "Airing" which itself is inspiring.
Size- 18" wide x 24" high only
The limitation of the same size will make a striking display with the quilts hung together along with the photograph of the same size for a cohesive gallery.

Elements of Scale Challenge - Due January 2019 Meeting
Airing of the Quilts 2019 - Scale Challenge

Create a Modern Quilt with an emphasis on the scale.

The challenge will be further explained in the program of the June meeting with a slide show illustrating the various aspects of scale.
Scale- can be expressed in the varied size of the objects in the design or the scale of the fabric (ex.large dots compared to small dots). Or you can play with perspective and proportion.
Size- The perimeter should be no greater than 144 inches, that is, the sum of the length of all four sides should not exceed 144". It is your choice as to the dimensions.
Added challenge- (not required) try fitting your design into a golden ratio 8x13, 13x21, 21x34, etc.  Recognize the Fibonacci sequence?
The Elements of Scale challenge asks us to develop our design utilizing the element of scale. Here are some references to scale for you to explore.
Scale  "The size of a shape in relation to the other shapes in a composition is scale. A variety of sizes will make a design more interesting.  Larger shapes will feel closer, and smaller shapes will feel further away.  An area in the quilt with smaller detailed shapes can create a center of interest, inviting the viewer to come closer and take a look.  Scale can also refer to the character of shapes and lines in the fabric."
Scale "Scale is developed by using a variety of sizes of objects.  Monotony occurs when everything is the same size,  For example, areas that are small and busy should be balanced with larger, calmer areas that give the eye a place to rest." 
Scale and Proportion   "Scale can also refer to internal proportions, the size of elements within the work itself.  The larger the scale of any one element within an artwork the greater its emphasis.......Magnifying something that is usually quite small can capture your attention through sheer surprise........An unnatural contrast of scale in your quilts can also be used to achieve interesting effects.......One element that is purposefully out of scale with other elements within -the quilt will attract the viewer's attention and become a focal point

Fat Quarter Challenge  -  Due October 2018 meeting

Airing of Quilts 2019 - Fat Quarter Challenge quilts


Theme- Use the fat quarter in your quilt adding as many other fabrics as you would like but make sure the challenge fabric is identifiable on the front of your quilt.

Keep it Modern

Size- the perimeter should be no greater than 144 inches, that is the sum of the length of all four sides should not exceed 144". This allows for a somewhat larger quillt, say 24" x 36" but still encourages smaller sizes such as the under 24" per side of last year's challenges. Your choice.

Pallette- The selected fabric is from the RJR Urban Garden line by Leslie Tucker Jenison. It is called Garden Story-Morning Walk 3357-001. We purchased ours from Deb's Quilt Basket.  She has lots of gorgeous coordinates. This is a current fabric and should be available where ever you shop. See it online at   RJR Urban-Garden

RJR Urban-Garden

Challenge Quilt Photo's-

Fabric Kit Challenge - Due July 2018 meeting or anytime after...
Update from July meeting for the Fabric Kit Challenge - Jamie Lynch delightful Christmas table runner
 Carole Lyles Shaw - a Christmas quilt
 Carol Byrnes ...Fish and Lighthouse Waves
 Eve Rabbiner - Picturesque Palm
Susan Toy - a definite mix of fabric 
For more see the July meeting photo's on MyGrove

Fabric kits were chosen at the March and April meetings and at the Retreat - sight unseen!


Cut a small sample of each fabric in the kit and attach it to the file card provided.
The quilt must contain a piece of each fabric.
Add as many other fabrics as you want.
Size The quilt maybe any size from mini to large - your choice.
The challenge is to make a modern design with non-modern fabrics. Every kit is different but most contain traditional fabrics.

 Pat and crew organized packets of donated fabrics.

Some kept their first draw, others exchanged for a second draw. 
(Is that really bra fabric?) Come to the July meeting for the full reveal.