If one is going on an adventure, you should expect a few challenges – right? I am taking this quite literally and have joined a Quilt Block Challenge through www.nationalquilterscircle.com. I saw several quilt challenges posted over the years. I was already challenged to finish my planned projects, let alone take on a new one. So, I never tried one. Time for me to take on the challenge! So how exactly does a quilt challenge work?

Step 1 – Decide to commit. This may seem scary at first, but most challenges are conducted through Facebook or other social media so you will gain loads of support from the other quilters who are probably just as uneasy. Each of you will have your strengths and help each other through positive posts. This Challenges has hundreds of participants from around the world – that is a lot of cheerleaders. In addition, many of these challenges are free – what more would you ask for – free and new friends?

Step 2 – Choose your fabrics. The designer will tell you early on how many fabrics and how much you will need. This is where you get to use your creativity, unlike a block of the month where the fabrics are already chosen for you. Pick new fabrics that inspire you or pull ones from your existing stash. If you can not decide, this is where your new circle of quilting friends will help you out! Post your options and ask for input. Most people are really helpful here. {Personally, I love batiks, which is how I came up with my fabric selection. What do you think of my first block?}

Step 3 – Download and follow the instructions. The designer has carefully broken the project up into bite-sized chunks for you. In some challenges, the new instructions are published weekly, like this one. Others are published monthly or some other frequency. I would guess an extreme challenge would be daily!

Step 4 – Post pictures of your progress. This is where the group support keeps you going. The positive reinforcement is amazing! Not only do you have a sense of accomplishment, but you have so many cheerleaders helping you along way.

Step 5 – Cheer others on! Other quilters may give you great ideas on how to make your blocks even better. Sometimes, they will even come up with alternative blocks that you might like even better. No offense to all of the hard work done by the designers, but each of us has blocks were don’t like to do. One note of etiquette here – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Challenge posts are for questions and positive feedback, so keep negative comments to yourself.

Before you know it, you will have a completed quilt top. The next challenge is quilting and binding! But that is for another day…

I would like to give a huge shout out to Toby Lischko of Gateway Quilts and Stuff, who designed this challenge, Windmills and Pinwheels. This has been great fun and is absolutely beautiful. I will post an update for the final project when I get it done.


Here is an update on my progress after week 4!

Week 4 of Windmills and Pinwheels