Monday, December 5, 2011

Kona challenge quilt finished!

Sophie with my completed Kona challenge quilt

Cross one project off the WIP list - I've finished my Kona challenge miniquilt! I used Don't Call Me Betsy's bookshelf quilt tutorial to create "Nancy's Library" for my Aunt Nancy who retired this year from a career as a librarian. It's finally complete and I'll send it off in the mail asap.

Back in March (right when I was welcoming baby Ellie into the world), the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild announced they'd be participating in Robert Kaufman's Kona cotton challenge. Each quilter was given a dark charm pack (43 five inch squares) and challenged to make a quilt adding only solids. I made sure they saved a charm pack for me as I was determined to play along. I didn't get anything done for the big reveal at our one year anniversary meeting in June, but I did manage to have my quilt ready for show and tell at our August meeting.

The dark colours reminded me of book bindings, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make a bookshelf quilt. Since the pieces were only five by five, I had to piece every single book using three to seven pieces. Observant Harry Potter fans may notice a few familiar spines. 

The state of my quilt as of August, 2011 (note stray threads and binding pinned down)

Since all the fun stuff was done, this is where the quilt sat for months. Finally, I pulled it out at the November sew-in and added the sleeve (thanks to Terry for giving me some tips about pulling the sleeve up a quarter inch before hand stitching it down to allow for a hanging rod!) and stitched down the binding. Now, I only had to add the label. I really wanted to continue the library theme and make the label an old school paper due date card. This is what I came up with:

Here are a few pictures of the finished quilt: 

Book titles (thanks to Dean for mentioning I was about to fuse them on upside down!) read:
Red Letter Day by Lizzy House (because retirement is a red letter day!)
It's a Hoot by Momo
Sophie's Garden (a nod to my daughter, Sophie)
Flights of Fancy by Paula Prass
Central Park by Kate Spain (in honour of our family's frequent trips to NYC)

Quilt back complete with hanging sleeve, label, and every square inch of the remainder of the charm pack

Label detail

Books detail

Kona cotton charm pack (dark)
Assorted selvages fused on with Wonder Under
Kona snow as background
Kona coffee (mmm, sounds yummy!) for bookshelf and binding
Cotton/bamboo blend batting
Quilting: outlines just inside each book as well as around the tops of all the books


  1. That is the most perfect retirement gift!!! I just love it and the label is sheer genius Holly. I hope your aunt is thrilled with her quilt.

  2. What a wonderful gift, Holly. And the label is so clever! Well done.

  3. This is adorable!! Especially love the due date card for the quilt label!

  4. Beautiful!! Your aunt will love it, and all the special details are just great!

  5. It's awesome Holly! I love all the thoughtful details you incorporated. I'm sure your Aunt will love it!

  6. The label is the crowning touch on this beautiful and perfect retirement gift, Holly. Great finish!!

  7. Aunt Nancy's gonna love it! :) Great work!

  8. Lucky Aunt Nancy! It's so wonderful. I love, love, love it. I think the library card is the perfect touch. Beautiful work!

    Also, I love your model's hat. Very sweet.

  9. Holly this is a fabulous quilt, I adore the card label, well done! Happy New Year fearless leader :)



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