Through the Looking Glass Challenge Quilt

In the wee hours of last Friday morning, I finished a multimedia mini quilt in time to enter it into the Washington State Fair.

One of my goals for the next couple of years was to enter a quilt in the fair.  I can mark that off my list because this past weekend, I turned in my entry for the Quilt Challenge for the 2016 fair.  The project was to create a wall quilt using the theme “Through the Looking Glass.”  After completing my online entry, I received a 12″ by 14″ piece of fabric that had to be used in its entirety.

The Quilt Challenge is sponsored by a local quilt shop, The Quilt Barn, in Puyallup, Washington.

I signed up, eagerly awaited my fabric, and then I was absolutely stumped when the fabric arrived.  It was definitely not a fabric I would choose on its own merits.  It was a mottled yellow, blue, and green fabric and I wasn’t a fan from the start.

state fair entry

I had no idea what to do with this fabric and set it aside while I plotted and planned how to make the fabric work with the theme of Through the Looking Glass.  I almost gave up before I started.

The challenge quilt for the fair was definitely a challenge for me as far as design and implementing the entire piece of fabric.

In the end, I think my entry was more Alice in Wonderland than it was Through the Looking Glass because of the characters I chose.


This was my starting point–turning the not-so-favorite fabric into a tree and using a green fabric with a similar mottled look to cut out some images.


My quilt was prepared with free-motion thread sketching for the added elements in the background and foreground.


During painting, my elements started to appear a little bold in comparison to the challenge fabric and I needed to mellow it out a tad by adding some gesso.20160819_003651

Now you might see that my quilt is not exactly square.  I was a little worried that it might not be clear to everyone that it was asymmetrical on purpose.  It isn’t a drastic edge, so instead of leaving well enough alone, I put on the label that it was an asymmetrical multimedia quilt.  My son might have pointed out that it is a little like telling someone why a joke is supposed to be funny.  It’s just something you shouldn’t do.  Too late to worry about that!20160822_215416
My son gave me the greatest compliment when he asked me if he could have this mini quilt after the fair is over.  He’s never asked for one of my mini quilts, so that made me feel really great!  He even told me that he really enjoyed the “controlled chaos” of the mini quilt and that it fit well with the theme.  He also gave me a thumbs up on my use of glitter which he always tells me NOT to use (I waited until he went to sleep and added it about 1 a.m).

Passing muster for an opinionated 16-year old means more than the world to me and I think the project turned out as a success solely for that reason.  However, if you happen to stop by the Washington State Fair and check out the challenge quilts, I’d love to hear what you think of my mini quilt entry.  It was definitely a challenge.

20160819_091643In the end, it made it to the fairgrounds and it will be fun to see what everyone else made with the challenge fabric.

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