Sunday, December 4, 2022

QuiltCon 2023 Community Outreach Challenge: Radiata

The Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild is thrilled to reveal our submission for the 2023 QuiltCon Community Outreach Challenge! This quilt is called "Radiata," and it will hang at QuiltCon in Atlanta in February 2023.

In the summer of 2022, the MQG released the design and color prompts for the annual Community Outreach Challenge quilt. The design theme is Color Shift, and there was both a cool and warm color gradient to choose from. A committee of KMQG members began brainstorming design ideas for the challenge. Committee leader Emily reached out to Melissa, the guild's source of quilt inspiration for previous QuiltCon challenges, and, once again, she didn't let us down. Turns out she was exploring the Knoxville Zoo when she received Emily's text, and she had just seen a radiated tortoise sporting some striking shell markings.

With these images and a sketch from Melissa, Emily switched on her design brain, zeroed in on the cool color gradient provided by the MQG, and drafted an idea involving circles and rays:

Nancy drafted a foundation paper piecing template, Emily and Pat prepared solids, and members stayed after a monthly meeting to piece the components with a controlled improv approach to color placement (lights, mediums, darks).

The blocks were sewn together, and then Nancy sewed on the applique circles. The finished top and backing went to Pat for longarm quilting -- Karlee Porter's Wiggle Worm pantograph -- and Sandy sewed on the binding. The finished quilt measures 64 x 86 inches. We've named it "Radiata" in honor of its inspiration, Astrochelys radiata (aka radiated tortoise).

We are very happy with how our quilt turned out. Because QuiltCon 2023 is in Atlanta and within driving distance of Knoxville, many of our members plan to attend, and all look forward to seeing it hang with the other Community Outreach Challenge submissions.