Hi Everyone, thanks for giving up some of your time to come back to read my blog. I survived the first one relatively unscathed and received some lovely comments, thank you to everyone who took the time to leave a comment or send me a message.

This time I thought I might tell you about our ‘Birmingham Challenge’. I go with a few of my friends to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, and for quite a few years now we have set ourselves a challenge.

While we are at the show each of us buys a piece of fabric, this is then put into a bag, a separate bag for each person. We take turns in adding ‘stuff’ to the bag We usually allocate £20 to be spent on whatever you want to put into the various bags, so for example, if I were to buy thread and beads with my money these would be chosen to suit the different fabric in each bag. Once I have filled each of the bags I pass it on to the next person who would then add their choice of goodies. When the bags are full we then set a time limit for making something from the contents of the bag. Everything in the bag has to be used somehow, you don’t have to use all of it, but it must appear somewhere.

What does one do with a bag of ‘stuff’? Over the years we’ve had some weird and wonderful combinations and some very different end results.

We’ve had wall hangings, books, bags, needlework holders, small quilts, cushions, lots of variety, and it’s wonderful to see how everyone interprets the contents of their bag. The last time I made a small book.

The front cover
Painted, stamped and heat treated tyvek
Stitched and painted tyvek
The background fabric was the starting point  for my bag,

This time was slightly different, Linda was unable to come with us, but she didn’t want to be left out so she dyed a selection of fabrics for each of us, four different colours so we would all be slightly different.

The contents of my bag

So back to the challenge. Now, I’m going to be completely honest here and tell you that this ‘bag of stuff’ didn’t come from either the 2017 or even the 2016 FOQ, but ashamedly it was the 2015 show. Our excuse is that we’ve all had a lot going on in our lives, sometimes life does just get in the way don’t you think. The beauty of doing challenges like this with friends is that time scales can be moved to suit, although we were really stretching it this time.  Why do you think I call myself the Quilting Procrastinator after all.

I had an inkling of what I wanted to do from the get go, and after procrastinating about it over the last couple of years, I decided to go with it. I took my inspiration from a book by Sue Spargo, I really enjoy her type of stitching, and I thought this was the perfect time to play. I added some purple wool fabric to my goodie bag along with a few threads and went for it. It was entirely hand stitched apart from the quilting at the sides. My husband made a board for me similar to a box canvas so I could mount it. I decided this was going to be much quicker than adding a binding and then having to hand stitch it in place. I’ve had the bag of ‘stuff’ for over two years now, but just started it a couple of weeks ago.

Finally we all managed to get together, Mona lives in Denmark so the original plan was to do the grand reveal via Skype, but she was able to be here in person which was wonderful.

We have literally just shared our completed challenge pieces this evening, I loved seeing what the others did with their goodie bags, I hope you do to. Here are the long awaited results of our Birmingham Challenge..

I love what Mona has done here, the flowers are fabulous, and I really like  her use of the fabrics.

Linda created three works of art. This is gorgeous
The photograph doesn’t really do this one justice,
Another gorgeous flower
Sylvia created this masterpiece, andabsolutely stunning piece of work and a very creative way to  showcase her piece of fabric.
This is my completed hanging.  Not something I would normally make, in fact very different, but I enjoyed the process. 

I hope some of you might enjoy challenging yourselves in a similar way. It’s great fun to do, and gets the brain cells working and sometimes you have to be really inventive trying to work out how to use everything. Occasionally it’s good to think out of the box and just do something different.

Thanks for spending time with me once again. I hope you enjoyed reading about our efforts and will join me again soon.



    1. Carol Munro Post author

      Hi Denise, I’m sure you could adapt it quite easily to do with your friends, and using what you all have on hand could be a challenge in itself if you all have very different tastes. I’d love to see what you make if you get around to it.