Peeking Blooms, a Challenge Quilt

At this point if you don’t know that I’m addicted to challenges, then I better just welcome you to my blog for the first time!  So glad you could stop by and to catch you up…
“My Name is Kim Lapacek and I’m addicted to Challenges.”

I love challenges – they make me either come up with something I never dreamed of OR actually do something that I have already dreamed of but never had the time for.

My local quilt guild does a challenge each year and of course I was in.  This year they gave us a piece of deep turquoise and yellow daffodil fabric and told us to ‘Think Spring’.  Now, I feel like I’m always thinking spring and it took me awhile to wrap my head around an new idea.  I finally figured out what I was going to do but in order to do so I needed lots of different shades of solid brown.  I headed to the Fat Quarter Shop and purchased all the browns I could find.

Before I get too far into this – I want to explain something.  One of my goals of late is to try to explain the process I personally go through in my mind when I create the quilts that I do.  I figure if I ever want to write a book (which I really, really do) I need to explain my process more clearly instead of just saying, “I dreamed this quilt up and when I went to pull fabrics, three of them called to me to use them.”  It’s going to take me awhile to get better and trying to figure out myself, why I do what I do, but I hope you don’t mind hanging on for the process!

Here was my starting palette.

It was a tough piece of floral to work with…but I find that the busier the fabric the cooler it looks if you make it into small pieces.

I started with a red pentagon.  I was going to do a modern log cabin block but I do really like to keep tradition at least a little.  So, I started with a red center.  Then I went from the darkest of the browns and went around one time with those.  I cut between 7/8” and 1.25” strips of the floral challenge fabric and ironed them in half.  I sewed these flanges onto three of the five sides of the browns as it grew bigger.
I wanted it to be the illusion that spring was peaking out of the brown dirt.

And it kept getting bigger…

And bigger.  At this point you can see that I decided I had used enough shades of brown and I started going from the light back to the darkest.  This reminds me of a topographic map… with the hills and valleys in different shades.

The next issue I had to face was weather or not to leave this quilt as a pentagon or to trim it down to a rectangular version?

To take a ‘peek’ into both of these options…I took a picture of the quilt as a pentagon and then I took closer up pictures of the quilt cropped into a rectangle.

In a couple of of ways.  What would you have chosen?

I kept it a pentagon.  I just couldn’t cut all that work off and I liked that it wasn’t standard.  AND it still fit in the size guidelines for the challenge so it seemed perfect for me.  The only problem with is, is that I was using this as a bit of a ‘trial’ quilt for another challenge I have to have finished by May.  Now that quilt HAS to be rectangular…I may have to do something different next time….

Before I was finished I had to add a bit of embellishment.  I think I started with too big of a red pentagonal center – so I wanted to cover that up a bit.  I added some fibers and rolled fabric and embellished the center.  I thought about embellishing the entire thing…sort of an all or nothing feeling, but when I stepped back and looked at it I like the ‘arty center’ and the modern outside.  I did straight line quilting with a metallic thread.

I did add just a bit of sparkly brown ribbon to three of the five sides of binding…that’s one thing you can never have enough off…sparkle!


  1. I love this! I love how the brown goes from dark to light and back to dark. I love that the flanges are only on the center part. I love the depth that it has. I want to know what size it is...did I miss that?

  2. This is a great concept for Spring. I enjoyed reading about your process.

  3. Okay.... first a little giggle.
    I read the line "My local quilt guild does a challenge each year and of course I was in." as "My local quilt guild does a challenge each year and of course I win." Like three times. Until my brain finally read it right. :) I guess my brain just knows how awesome your quilts are!

    Now.... on to the quilt and this post!

    Love reading about the process - as I think it's so cool to see how others' minds work / translate into projects. And I love that there is a bit of the flowers peeking out - but not on every side of each pentagon! Love the variation in the browns, and really like how you took a fabric that was very bold and could take over a quilt and made it a beautiful accent!

    Awesome as always!

  4. Thanks for all the process talk. More, please. I love learning how quilters go about making up their stuff. And also thanks for the reminder about the versatility of the humble flange. It's not just for borders. You've opened up a new pathway for me.


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