Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fire on the Prairie

Shortly after I retired from teaching and discovered how many other quilters lived near me, I joined the Cablecar Quilt Guild in Dubuque, Iowa, just over the Mississippi River from Galena, IL.

I soon discovered that each year they issued a challenge to the members. Based on the letters in my first and last name, they assigned two colors to me, and challenged me to make a two color quilt.

Brown and red? I was sure that I didn't like those colors, and would never waste my time or money on creating such an ugly quilt.

But, of course, it wouldn't leave my mind. I borrowed some books from my local library and began to search for patterns that might be appropriate for a two color quilt.

Much trial and error later, I pieced something together, and then decided that my cream background might not be acceptable as a "brown" color, so I tea typed my complted quilt top.

Since the only way I knew to "quilt" something was to hand quilt it, I began the slow process of hand quilting.

When the challenge was due, I brought in my incomplete hand-quilting two-color quilt project. We were to go around and vote for our favorites in a variety of categories.

I think they created a new catagory for me - "Unfinished Two Color Quilts!" - and I won first place in that category. Again, I was spurred on by the recognition that I was given that evening. Today it is one of my favorite quilts, and casually hangs over the couch in our living room.

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