The Free Motion Quilting Project: Transformation Challenge Winners!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Transformation Challenge Winners!

Drumroll please....

Here are the winners of the 9 by 12 Transformation Challenge!

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis is a selection of 8 small 9 inch by 12 inch quilts submitted to the Transformation Challenge this summer. Above you can see how the quilts will be arranged in the final Transformation Quilt that will combine all the pieces together into one large wallhanging.

I have to say, picking these 8 winners out of the 14 finalists was a very difficult job. Receiving all the little quilts every day for around 2 weeks was a real joy, and each one was wonderfully made.

It came down to arranging the final quilt and finding this perfect layout, in which each piece compliments another. I can't wait to get started on the background so everything will be truly tied together and not just pinned up to the design wall!

Now let's learn a bit more about the winning pieces and see some detailed shots. I was really wanting to share the professional photos I had made earlier this week, but a combination of the car issues yesterday and yard work today made it impossible to get the disc this morning. So better photos will be posted later!

In order from the top, left hand corner:

Terri Gnaedinger - Van Gogh Almond Blossom Transformed

Designs used in this quilt:
Terri shares: This is my interpretation of Van Gogh's Almond Blossom picture which is in the VanGogh museum in Amsterdam. He was an artist who was inspired by such great artists as Monet, Manet and others who were painting in Paris at the same time.

Upon learning that his beloved brother had a newborn son, he presented him with the picture titled Almond Blossom. I wanted to transform a beautiful picture into something delicate and tactile.

Monica Spicker - Seasonal Transformations

Designs used in this quilt:
Monica writes: My theme was the transformation of an aspen leaf throughout the seasons. As a forester, I love trees and love the transformations that happen there throughout the year. Each season got a distinctive color (okay, fall got two). Where the leaves intersected, one of the other season colors was used. I painted all the fabrics except the dark green, which is a hand dye I got from a friend. All raw edge fused applique. For the quilting I used variegated threads by Sulky, Isacord for one leaf and Essential Cotton Thread for another.

Check out Monica's awesome blog on quilting and rock climbing: The Quilting Climber.

Erilyn McMillan - A Chance Find and Entomologists' Delight

Designs used in this quilt:
Erilyn shares: The monarch butterfly has been captured by camera emerging from it's chrysalis. The background has been painted to depict out-of-focus greenery. Chrysalis was made from layers of organza, stitched, then cut out with a soldering iron. The butterfly itself, was painted onto fabric, thread painted, then cut and raw-edged appliqued onto the background using trapunto. The effect of fullness and almost 3-D of the butterfly's body and wings is further enhanced by the dense background quilting.

Find Erilyn's ramblings about quilting at SberryMum

Carol Kolf - Transformation from Bud to Flower

Designs used in this quilt:
Carol shares about her quilt: My quilt was created using water soluble crayons and free motion thread sketching. The binding is also painted using the same process.

Find Carol's website and alternate identity right here at: QuilterCarol

Christine Moon - Whimsical Leaves

Designs used in this quilt:
Christine writes: This quilt is white Kona cotton painted with Dye-Na-Flo paints using school glue as a resist. The quilting is all done with black cotton thread, the batting is a cotton/bamboo blend, and the backing is a commercial cotton fabric. I wanted to transform plain white cotton into a joyful celebration of color and quilting! I had several starts and stops, and a multitude of learning opportunities - I wrote about them on my blog:

Helen Pedersen - Changes

Designs used in this quilt:
Helen simply states: I love to play with color changes and this is the result.

Check out Helen's wonderful blog of beautiful quilts at Honey Bunch Quilting.

Annie Tokarz - Feeding Frenzy

Designs used in this quilt:
Annie shares: The design Feeding Frenzy evolved from a love of birding which my husband and I have shared for many years. The original design had many small leaves and were replaces with a tropical setting. My one difficulty was finding a quilting pattern for feathers. This was a great opportunity to stretch and extend my quilting skills.

Ellen Brower Gately - Promise

Designs used in this quilt:
Ellen shares the inspiration for her quilt: Each seed carries within it the promise of the plant that it can become. Over the course of time (and with luck), that promise is met with the help of sunlight, soil and water. In this quilt I have attempted to represent three "realities" - The reality of the seedling that exists in the present, the tree that it will become in the future and the ""reality"" of four midwife goddesses witnessing that process. Though the free motion quilting in this piece is not perfect, it represents the transformation of my skills from wish to reality.

Find Ellen's beautiful quilts at

So that's it for the Transformation Challenge!

All of the finalists will be receiving a special package from me in the next 3 weeks containing your quilt, plus a high quality 5"x7" photograph of your piece, plus a copy of my new book From Feathers to Flames!

All of the winners listed above will also be receiving a copy of the new book, a color photograph of your piece, plus a cash prize of $50!

Thank you all for participating in this challenge and helping to make it a wonderful, inspiring, transformational success!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. Wow! These are gorgeous!!! What beautiful work!

  2. These are all wonderful! I don't envy you the difficult decision. I hope you do this again, because now I'm really sorry I didn't enter.

  3. They are all wonderful. I can't imagine what you went through trying to choose. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Don't they all look so good together? Thanks for a great challenge!

  5. G'day. They all look wonderful. Take care. Liz...

  6. These are all so great! How fun to receive little quilts in the mail!

  7. They are all worthy winners, sooo beautiful.

  8. Such an amazing amount of hard work. What a great contest.

  9. Hi! Greetings from Finland! I LOVE the quilts!!! They are stunning! It's so nice to find other quilters from other countries! :)

  10. Lovely entries congrats to the selected entrants!

  11. I like your work, they are beautiful
    have a good day

  12. I am simply amazed and inspired! I must get sewing outside the lines, and soon!


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