It's My Bag Challenge: "Window On Spring"

LouAnne Sassone 2006

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Recently, Willa Fuller in Florida revived a Crazy Quilt challenge idea from a few years ago. This is the second swap Willa has hosted; she tweaked it a bit and re-named it the "It's My Bag" challenge. This was the idea: when you signed up you had to put together a zip lock bag of fabrics and various embellishments with which someone else would make you a completed Crazy Quilt item. For this challenge we were to also include a comment sheet so the person would have some idea of what we'd like.

We all mailed our zip lock bags to Willa, who acted as coordinator. After receiving everyone's bags, she shuffled them and then sent each of us our "challenge" bag. I received Brigitte Gardner's. It was full of pale solid pastels -- and if her note inside had been written in a foreign language, I would have viewed it the same as I did those pastels! I never work with pastels...I'm a jewel tone girl!

First, I searched through my stash for a fancy fabric print that I could use to pull them all together. I could find nothing in my stash that worked. Finally, I just spread out the fabrics and embellishments on my dining room table. Several times a day I would stop and look at them and try figure out something. Anything! This was in early April of this year; the project was due the 15th of June .

Weeks went by and still no ideas, soon there was just one month left to return the project to Willa. My friend, who lives around the corner, was also doing the challenge. She had completed hers, showed it off at our local CQ group's May meeting and already mailed it to Willa!

My husband noticed the fabrics, one afternoon; still spread out on the table, and said "don't you have to DO something with those fabrics?" I told him that was the point but that I just couldn't come up with any ideas. He is a retired art teacher and I often ask him questions about colors and design so when asked what they reminded him of, he said "spring".

Spring! I started remembering how I had to watch spring evolve in our yard from inside the house because of really severe allergies. Through the window...aha, an idea was born! What if I made a window - maybe 4 blocks - framed and sashed in a fabric that would look like wood.


That is how "Window on Spring" came to be. At first I kept saying "if I never, ever again saw pastel fabrics, it would be too soon", but I grew to love the wallhanging so much that it was very difficult to mail it off to Willa for its journey to Brigitte. I know I will probably never see it again. Maybe one day I'll do another "Window on Something" for myself...but this time without a stitching deadline!

At last report Brigitte loves her "Window on Spring". In a happy coincidence, but secretly planned by Willa, my bag was sent to my good friend, Mona Berning, who made me a lovely wallhanging matching the quilt I'm making for our bedroom. It is pictured below.

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