Sharyn Craig is a very prolific quilter, teacher, and author of quilting books. She visited our guild several years ago and got many of us inspired to take orphan blocks and make them into finished quilts with various sashing and setting techniques. She also was in a televised appearance, I think on Simply Quilts, where she described a challenge that she set for her quilting bee.
Each member was to make the same block, using one fabric that was provided, but choosing all other fabrics to suit her taste. In six months, the members would exchange their blocks. In another six months, they would all complete a quilt top using their blocks.
The CyberBee had a very successful Sharyn Craig challenge several years ago, in which I participated. We started with a Moda bittersweet print fabric in white, orange, and russet. The two project chairs chose a star-shaped pattern, which turned out to be very difficult to piece because it was printed in a smaller size than original. Let me tell you, it was not easy getting those points to match!
Here are some of the different star blocks that we excitedly exchanged. (These are from my quilt, already quilted.)
They look totally different in the different color schemes and with different parts of the block highlighted. A couple people said they never even saw the "star" in the design.
The best part was when we got together to reveal the quilt tops. Here is where each quilter really made their quilts individual.
Holly enlarged the original block to make a center medallion, added applique of bittersweet flowers, and log cabin blocks in the border. She was a big winner at the North Carolina State Fair with this outstanding quilt.
When I saw the browns, rusts, oranges and greens, I decided my quilt would be a wedding gift for my son Bryson and his wife, who were married in October. Those were their colors. I added a spinning star for the center medallion, using fabrics that I intended to "glow". I also added a smaller spinning star in the border. The remaining SCC blocks were made into pillows for their king-size bed.
Here is one with lots of additional applique and piecework by Jean. I think some of those blocks may have been from a CyberBee row-by-row.
Janice also made a beautiful applique center medallion for her quilt. Some of the flowers have thread-painting. It was not quite finished in this photo.Part of the challenge was to find a setting that would work for fourteen blocks. Many creative settings were utilized. Sharyn's books, such as Setting Solutions, were a great help.Here is Margaret's quilt top.
Susan's whole quilt top resembles the original block.
Here is Tess's quilt.Jenny's quilt went together beautifully with extra sashings around each block. (Obviously taken at the group "reveal" meeting... don't you love all the white tennis shoes?
And Carolyn's setting was probably the most unique.
If you have a group of quilting friends, you might want to challenge yourselves a la Sharyn Craig. We had a blast doing this, and really got some great quilts out of those blocks.