Flock in the Box!



The Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild was lucky enough to participate in the Robert Kaufman Kona Solids Charm Pack Challenge.  Anyone in the Guild who wanted to participate was given a Kona charm pack in the BRIGHT colorway (my all time favorite of the Kona solid charm packs) and was asked to create a quilt using all of the 5"x5" charms. 

I was unclear about the exact rules of the challenge, but this is what I decided my rules would be:

1.  Use all the fabric from the charm pack.
2.  Add one additional solid color.
3.  Finish by the end of April.
4.  Stick with only solids prints, no patterns.

Here is how I did in the challenge, on a pass/fail grading scale:

1.  I used all the fabric except I lost two tiny little corners that I can't find anywhere. (I'm going to count that as a Pass.)

2.  I added Kona Snow as the background and Kona Bone for the binding.  (2 extra colors...Fail!)

3.  I just finished yesterday.  Only a month late.  (Dang...failed again!)

4.  I so so so wanted to add one printed fabric into this quilt to jazz it up, but I fought my temptation.  (Pass!)

So, that's 50%.  What is that...an F?  Oh well, I still am happy with the results and had fun creating this quilt. 

Here is how it all went down:

First I scoured Flickr & Pinterest for inspiration.

I found this picture and asked the artist if she would mind if I created a quilt using her piece as inspiration.

I ironed Steam 'n Bond onto the back of all the charms.

I cut out 5 - 5" x 5" squares from a manilla folder to make sure they were the same size as the charms and then sketched the birds the squares as a template.

I then set each charm on top of the bird template and traced them onto the fabric charms using the magical Pilot Frixion pens. 

Have you guys used these yet?  They are amazing.  You can write on your fabric and then iron right over it and the ink instantly disappears.  (Beware:  it sometimes discolors dark solid fabrics.)  It works wonderfully on white fabric, though.  You can buy these at any drugstore. 

To trace the dark fabric birds, I just held the fabric/stencil up to the light so I could see through the fabric to trace the birds.

I have been sewing with a friend named Babs who in a High School Fiber Design teacher.  She said something the other day that has really stuck with me.  She said that there are a lot of students in her class that just want to copy an idea and not create one of their own.  I took this to heart and instead of copying the idea from the picture above, I created something new. 

So, I scratched the bird on a wire idea.  I layed all the excess square scraps I had left over after cutting out the birds out and ironed them onto the Kona snow fabric.  I then quilted them to the batting sewing around each bird and the perimeter of the square.

I made the exact negative on the other side of the quilt.  I framed the birds in zigzag squares to mimic the pinked edges of the charms on the other side.

The side with the colored birds and zig zag squares was then spray basted to the other side of the quilt. 
Quilting with straight lines went super fast. 

I have really enjoyed this challenge.  It was just that, a challenge!!!  I hope you like it.
I'm linking up over at Skip to my Lou and Quilt Story.  Go check out some wonderful original creations.



  1. Hey, that's great! So inventive and pretty--I can't decide which side I like best. :)

  2. It's gorgeous! I'm a sucker for reversible quilts, and it's so cute! Great job.

  3. Wait. You forgot to give yourself a Way Pass for amazing design (counts 5-fold)! And another pass for originality. And then a double pass for the 2-for-1 since this is completely reversible! And don't forget a pass for great visual appeal. And another double pass for creating an object that compels one to have to flip it back and forth to look at the pos/neg of the birds. And a pass for using quality fabrics. Finally, a pass for being honest about missing the deadline. ;D

  4. I would give you an A+! So creative! Love it!

  5. Fabulous idea! It turned out so great.

  6. It's a brilliant idea, love both sides equally.

  7. These are gorgeous!
    What a great challenge!
    I haven't even found any Kona charm packs here in the UK yet!

  8. I am in love with this quilt. Now there are images of owls flying around in my head. thanks for sharing.

  9. Val, this is just stunning, I really love it. So creative and such a great idea.

  10. This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing all of your process too.

  11. This turned out so amazing. No prints necessary. I think it looks great!

  12. Oh goodness, I'm so in love with this quilt. Great job!

  13. I give you a huge pass. It looks great. I'm working on my challenge for the Vancouver Guild. Our reveal is the June meeting.

  14. LOVE this quilt! I'm new to using solids in quilts...in fact, haven't yet...but this is one that inspires me.
    You totally did NOT fail.

  15. very clever - well done! In my book, I say you definitely passed - creative licence has to count for something!

  16. what a great idea! well done - its beautiful!

  17. WoW! This looks amazing, and how creative to do the negatives on the back!

  18. just found your blog... amazing!!!

  19. I'm a real sucker for a bird quilt and yours has charmed me...

  20. Okay, so I'm a little late in finding you; but oh am I glad I did. Thank you for an amazing quilt and beautiful tutorial.

  21. I love this idea and I am going to use it for bunnies instead. Thanks for the idea. I always hated wasting the inside part that I cut out of designs but never knew what to do with it. So simple.


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