MQG Riley Blake Fabric Challenge

Back in March, I received a lovely package containing a bundle of fat eighth's prints from "The Cottage Garden" fabric collection designed by Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish.  They were part of the Modern Quilt Guild's newest fabric challenge sponsored by Riley Blake.

The challenge rules were fairly simple:
Challenge bundle, rules and kaleidoscope blocks created from the main print

  • make something fantastic that is quilted
  • make something you've never done before
  • challenge yourself to learn something new
  • Use only Riley Blake Cottage Garden fabrics and coordinating Riley Blake basics and solids.

After watching Marilyn Foreman's "Quilted Kaleidoscopes" Craftsy class, I thought I would try to create some fun kaleidoscope blocks using the fantastic large print 'cottage main grey'.  I needed to order more yardage to ensure I had 4 repeats, but then I was ready to apply Marilyn's technique for carefully layering and pinning four identical repeats.  Each repeat yielded 30+ 5" squares along with some smaller 2.75" squares.  It was so much fun spinning the squares of fabric to choose the best kaleidoscope setting...instant gratification.  Being a basic 4-patch, the blocks went together easily enough.

Once all the blocks were assembled, it was time to determine the layout to highlight the kaleidoscope blocks and feature other prints and coordinating solids.  After watching Heather Grant's "Alternate Gridwork" MQG webinar, I was inspired to use an alternate grid setting.  The final block/unit inspiration came from a scrapbook layout template found on Pinterest.  After repeating this unit, I soon realized that I could work the smaller kaleidscopes into the intersections--but would need to do a little unsewing first to make the construction possible.  After laying out a block, everything appeared to blend.  So thin faux-piping frames were created to create contrast of the larger kaleidoscope blocks.
Scrapbook layout=block layout and auditioning framing for contrast
Laying out the blocks and adding strip sets
The rest of the construction went super fast and soon it was time to add some quilted texture.  I turned to Angela Walter's books for inspiration and tried out two new-to-me quilted motifs.
Quilting Really Does Make the Quilt--thanks Angela Walters!!
Very scrappy quilt back using nearly all the remaining fabric from this project
Cottage Garden Squared ~70"x70"
So, did I meet all the challenge requirements?:
  • make something fantastic that is quilted--check!  Just look at all the amazing texture!
  • make something you've never done before--check!  This is a totally new and original layout and design.
  • challenge yourself to learn something new--quadruple check!  New skills learned and applied:  made kaleidoscope blocks learned in new Craftsy class, tried an alternate grid layout, free motion quilted 2 new-to-me motifs and incorporated a small patch of alternate solid into the binding.
  • Use only Riley Blake Cottage Garden fabrics and coordinating Riley Blake basics and solids.--I loved working with this collection and have just a few scraps left over to add to my stash.
Thanks to the Modern Quilt Guild and Riley Blake for a very fun fabric challenge!  Can't wait to participate in future MQG fabric challenges!


  1. Wow, such a great use of the challenge fabric! There were so many quilts in the line up, I missed seeing yours. You deserved to win!

    1. Awwww...thanks again! There were so many fabulous quilts made from this collection--the judges must have had a really difficult time choosing the winners. But I had fun and tried some new I still won in the end!


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