Thursday, 21 January 2016

Styx, the TMQG QuiltCon 2016 Charity Quilt Challenge Entry

Last year, the Modern Quilt Guild announced the 2016 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge. This challenge was open to any Modern Quilt Guild around the world who wanted to create a quilt using a restricted group of colours and using improvisation with intent to create the quilt design.  

Our talented member and secretary, Kat Jones, was inspired to design a quilt that would reflect a visual aspect of life in Tasmania.  Kat proposed the chosen concept based on the rear view of a logging truck, a familiar sight on Tasmanian Roads. Kat also volunteered to project manage the quilt construction.

A Sunday sew-in was held and participating members were issued with a fabric pack to complete their log.  Solids were preferred for the quilt and the entire supplied colour palette excluding white was adopted whilst black was chosen for the background.

 We wanted this project to be a learning experience as well as a project to include all members. They learnt how to make bias binding and machine applique it into place.  Each person created 3 quarters of a circle, each with a number of rings to represent the log growth rings. They then improvised by slicing the quarter pieces into wedges and added alternate wedges of black background in order to form a full log.  To complete the block an oval of black was appliqued in the centre.

We thought improv was perfect for this project as the quilt concept is more effective if each and every block was unique, as no two "logs" are ever the same. Everyone had a fun day making the improv blocks and learning some new techniques along the way.

The next challenge was working out how to piece them together; a jigsaw puzzle magnificently solved by the hand piecing talent of Shirley Jeffery (Member) and Kat Jones. Each and every block or partially completed block was included in the quilt layout.

The quilt was then basted and handed over to the talented Jess Frost (Communications Officer) for machine quilting. Jess quilted it on her domestic machine, adding texture to the black background areas using a charcoal thread. Jess chose quilting designs that would complement the piecing and add subtle interest to the background areas. The radiating wedges in each 'log' were inspired by the sawing of logs, and the concentric ovals by the ring patterns found in tree trunks. 

Once Jess had completed the quilting it was handed back to Kat Jones to add highlights of hand quilting using perle cotton and to attach the binding.

To complete the concept a label was made by Jo Chandler (Treasurer) and Kat Jones to represent a number plate using bias binding and hand embroidery that you would see if following a log truck on our Tasmanian roads.

TMQG members were asked to suggest names for the quilt and the name "Styx" was settled upon as it references the old growth forest conservation area of the Styx Valley and Styx River in south west Tasmania.   Our president Helen Stubbings organized for our quilt to be auctioned at annual ball of Colony 47, a local Tasmanian charity,  to raise funds to support their work in providing housing to over 15000 children, young people and families every year.  Thanks to all our members who participated in making this wonderful unique quilt. We are so proud that this example of our guild's work will be hanging in Pasadena at QuiltCon 2016 for the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge!


  1. Second attempt! Great work everyone from start to finish. Kate Cos WMQG

  2. It looks fantastic, well done.