International Quilt Festival Challenge

The International Quilt Festival called for a challenge.

Always love a good challenge!  This one was between the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild.

We were given the theme “Modern in the City” and restriction of one side, any side must be 36 inches.

First thing that came to me was the Picasso sculpture in downtown Chicago.  Okay so how do I translate hard cold steel into fiber and make it exciting……

Here we go.

Started with a paper pattern that was enlarged.


I did not want to use just one solid or print type fabric for the face.  I used the 15 Minutes of Play by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. The first day it was a bit rough letting go and just random piece, sew and cut.  The second day, was easier and became free and fun…. getting the hang of this.


The eyes had to be a bit more centered so they were done with a paper piecing method.


Getting several units to size and laying them out to get a sneak peek for myself.



Needed to lay the blocks out and mix colors and make sure coverage is good.  Hmmm, a bit more here or there and then time to join.



I decided I did not want raw edges on the face and tried to think of the best way to turn the edges under; especially with all the seams everywhere. I used to use dress-makers tracing and traced the face and then put it over my sewn units.


Pinned and sewn.


After stitching all the way around, I cut through the middle leaving 1/4 all around the edges to turn.  Just like in garment making, it is necessary to clip on curves to have everything lay flat.


Had to audition the right colors for the background.  Some were dull and some too bright.  I really liked the way the Kona Tulip (purple) and Kona Peapod (green) played together as well as with the face pattern. I then hand appliquéd the face to the background.


To continue with the sculpture and the rods that hold it up, bias tape was my answer.


Put it on the long arm machine to do the background quilting that is similar to the piecing of the face.  Some of the quilting was also done on my domestic machine.


I had been playing around with a product by Lesley Riley and C & T Publishing called TAP paper.  Using words an image in reverse on the computer, you print right onto the paper.  Iron on fabric and it is permanent.  I like this method because I always mess up or get nervous writing with fabric pens. You can even add as I did on top.  I had forgotten to include my phone number on the label so I just ran the paper through the printer again and ironed on top of the original TAP transfer.


On the design wall and bound. Really wanted to use solid binding to give the sculpture a bit of suspension. May I present to you, Picasso in Piecing.




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