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2023 President's Challenge

The challenge for 2023 is to create a quilt that uses two different striped fabrics and a dotted/spotted fabric.  Use at least a charm square (5"x5" square) of each fabric (cut as you like, ok to square up) in your quilt. Quilt/wall hanging size requirement: 72" or larger perimeter, such as 18" square or larger, 16"x20" or larger, etc. There are three categories: Best Meets the Challenge (best quilt with at least the minimum amount of the three required fabrics that meets size requirement); President’s Choice (favorite based on personal taste); Members’ Choice (favorite based on personal taste).  Photos & a description of your quilt are due Tuesday, November 28, 2023; judging is planned for the December 6, 2023 meeting. Please plan to bring/send your quilt in a plain brown bag (or similar) to the meeting for anonymous display prior to the slide show judging.  This way members at the in-person meeting can see and evaluate the quilts in all their glory, and members over zoom can still participate in the voting.

Past Challenges

2022 President's Challenge

The challenge for 2022 is to create a quilt that has one or more flowers.  The flower(s) could be applique’ (turned edge, raw edge, satin stitched, etc.), pieced, traditional block such as Cactus Flower, focal fabric, etc. Quilt/wall hanging size requirement: 72" or larger perimeter, such as 18" square or larger, 16"x20" or larger, etc. There are three categories: Best Meets the Challenge (best quilt that has a flower and meets size requirement); President’s Choice (favorite based on personal taste); Members’ Choice (favorite based on personal taste).  Photos & a description of your quilt “flowers” are due Tuesday, November 29, 2022; judging is planned for the December 7, 2022 meeting.

And the winners are:

2022 Presidents Choice Best Meets the Challenge: Karen Lacina

2022 President's Challenge Members' Choice: Mary Anne Braithwaite

The many gorgeous 2022 President's Challenge entires are shown below as thumbnails; simply click to see the full size image.  The maker and description of each is listed below.

1.     Mary Ann Braithwaite: The quilt is about 42 inches wide and 22 inches high.
I used needle turn applique for the leaves. The flowers are silk or silk organza and are made with an origami technique. They were tacked down after I finished quilting.

2.     Kay Blikken: Another member and I challenged each other to do a wall hanging with a densely quilted background after going to a local show in Dunedin. It took me 4 years to get mine done!  I got the idea for the two color strip background from a Ricky Tims' book (that I got at a small quilt show in Michigan for $1), the idea for the flowers came from Dale Chihuly glass flowers I saw at the Columbus Ohio Botanic Garden, and the background quilting is my favorite doodle pattern of straight line quadrants each going in a different direction.  So this quilt is doing double duty. It is my President's Challenge entry and another of my 2022 UFOs. 
P.S.  The other person finished her wall hanging within weeks. It was a lovely dove on a beautifully quilted white background.

3.     Alberta Dalke: 54 by 72 inches. After assuming (maybe wrongly) that most people would be making their flowers with applique or other techniques,  I decided to make my flowers from patchwork instead and finally found this modern flower pattern in a magazine. It was a great use of fat quarters.

4.     Norene Dagly: SQC Collage workshop gave us a choice of woman, fish or elephant. I chose “woman” and turned her upside down and into a flowering tree! 21”x27.5”
5.     Mary Pavlicin: Once I discovered quilting most of my other crafts were put aside. When I came upon this pattern with some embroidery in it I was anxious to return to a craft my Mom started me on when I was 6 years old. I still have some of my old embroidered pieces and will treasure them always as they bring back memories of my Mom and our times together.This wall hanging measures 20x32 and is hand quilted.

6.     Kate Sweeney: Flowers for Mom. My Mother and Grandmother both grew beautiful flowers and I share their love of florals. I saw these bright flowers and instantly pictured them in a vase with a wood frame on a farmhouse wall. Rustic, yet elegant.  Collage/Appliqué. 17 1/2 x 20 1/2.

7.     Mary Davis: The quilt is 36” x 15” and is called Jubilee II. The flowers are raw-edged applique with the quilting replicating detail from the flowers. Each end of this table runner features three prairie points set into a 3” pieced edge.

8.       Mary Lemon: My quilt is approximately 56"x56".  It is from a pattern by Vanessa Christenson.  I started it two and a half years ago with scraps from the Ombre Bloom quilt.  It just happened to fit the subject for the President's Challenge.
9.       Mary Lou Cunningham: 20" W x 23"L. I took a guild class and realized that there were flowers in some of the fabric in the skirt. A Bouquet of flowers completed the outfit.
10.   Karen Lacina: 21“ x 25“ and consists of a needle turned collage appliqué yellow rose. There is some free style hand embroidery on the leaves and stem and raw edge quilting done on the ‘fringe’ with my domestic machine using a walking foot. I used a long arm machine to quilt the free motion zigzag around the frame.
11.   JoAnn Mendenhall: Size 32 x 46. It’s a panel and I added three borders. It’s so happy and bright I thought it would make a great gift for my daughter-in-law, but I love it and will keep it for myself.

2021 President's Challenge


The challenge for 2021 is to create a quilt that uses Prairie Points and/or Scalloped Edges on at least two sides, with at least two inner borders, one of which has a flange. Size requirement: 72" or larger perimeter, such as 18" square or larger, 16"x20" or larger. etc. This challenge is designed to let you show off your favorite types of borders plus push you incorporate borders that go beyond the basics. There are lots of ways to be creative with borders: piecing, applique', embellishing, special effect quilting, to name just a few. Photos & a description of your quilt and border treatments are due January 19, 2022; judging is planned for the February 2, 2022 meeting.

1st Place President’s Choice

Evening in the Park by Mary Lemon

This was a panel kit to be cut into pieces and placed onto a background.  First mistake was putting Heat and Bond on the whole panel per directions, resulting in a piece of cardboard fabric.  I decided, during Covid, to try and finish it as a UFO and see if the borders could be those in the President's challenge.  Machine appliqued and quilted with very sharp needles!

1st Place Best Meets the Challenge

Alice in Wonderland by Alberta Dalke                          70 X 77 inches

Made from Tula Pink’s Alice in Wonderland fabrics. It was made by deciding one border at a time, once the center was made. In order to highlight the fabric, the center started larger than anticipated and it grew from there. There was a lot of fudging to make everything work out. The flange is the pink at the top of the “cabinet”. It is on one side only. The prairie points are in the last border rather than the on the outside. 

1st Place Members’ Choice

Life at the Beach by Kate Stone

This fun scrappy appliqué quilt features red and yellow borders separated by a blue flange. The yellow scalloped finish resembles the ocean waves. I grew up camping and this quilt combines my love of camping with my love of the beach. The red border is made from material from my late mother’s vintage fabric stash   33 X 38 inches

Alaska trip by Mary Pavlicin

 My challenge is a wall hanging 16x26. Two sides are finished with Prairie Points and there is a flange on the inner border. My inspiration for this quilt came from Sue Wareham. Sue showed a similar quilt years ago at Show & Tell. I thought it was very clever. When this challenge was made Sue’s idea came to mind. I had a box of Alaska pins sitting in a box somewhere so why not put them to use. I am keeping the borders subtle because I want the focus on the pins. This is my result.

Gecko by Mary Davis

Attached is a picture of my President’s challenge quilt. It measures 20.5” x 17” (75” perimeter) and has Prairie Points on two sides, which I chose to add as inner borders rather than use on the outside edge. It also then has two additional side borders, each with an added ¼” flange, which face each other. The gecko is made using layered hand-cut pieces machine appliqued onto the single block background. All fabrics are batiks. The quilting features sun-rays and a wave on each of the two sides.

Peace by Francie Nelson

Size:  Actual quilt is 28.5” x 4 = 114”.  If taken from point to point of prairie points 32” x 4 = 128”

Borders:  red inner border surrounding the applique = flange

                next is black and white 4 square border

                Last is black and white piano keys border

Techniques used:  center square is hand appliqued and hand quilted

                                Rest of quilt is machine pieced and machine quilted

Prairie points in black and white surround the quilt.

I guess that’s it. I learned a lot from doing this quilt. 


President’s Challenge Lyrics, Quilt Makers, and Winners

(Numbered in order shown above)

  1. Butterfly: “Butterfly, Tell me if you even know, If you're going where you wanna go, And if you're showing all you need to show.” Quilt by Mary Lou Cunningham.
  2. (You Have to be) Carefully Taught (from South Pacific): "You've got to be taught To hate and fear, You've got to be taught From year to year, It's got to be drummed In your dear little ear You've got to be carefully taught.” Quilt by Mary Anne Braithwaite.
  3. Dancing in the Dark: “Dancing in the dark, ‘Til the tune ends, We’re dancing in the dark and it soon ends, We’re waltzing in the wonder of why we’re here, Time hurries by, we’re here and gone; Looking for the light of a new love, To brighten up the night, I have you love, And we can face the music together, Dancing in the dark.”  Winner: President's Choice.  Quilt by Mary Pavlicin.
  4. Hokey Pokey: ”You put your rightfoot in, You put your rightfoot out; You put your rightfoot in, And you shake it all about. You do the Hokey-Pokey, And you turn yourselfaround. That's what it's all about!” Quilt by Kay Blikken.
  5. Little Duckie Duddle: “A little Ducky Duddle, Went wading in a puddle, Went wading in a puddle quite small. Said he, “It doesn’t matter How much I splash and splatter I’m only a duckie__after all.” Quack! Quack! Quilt by Mignon Kostamo.
  6. Make a Change: “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change.” Quilt by Norene Dagly.
  7. Puff the Magic Dragon: "Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Hanalea." Quilt by Mary Lemon.
  8. Rock Around the Clock: “One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock, rock. Five, six, seven o'clock, eight o'clock, rock. Nine, ten, eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock, rock. We're gonna rock around the clock tonight!” Quilt by Francie NelsonWinner: Members Choice, Winner: Best Interpretation of Theme.  Quilt by Francie (Mary Frances) Nelson
  9. Silent Night: “Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright. Round yon Virgin Mother and Child, Holy infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.” Quilt by Susie Haugen.
  10. Somewhere Over the Rainbow: “Somewhere over the rainbow, Way up high, There’s a land that I heard of, Once in a lullaby. Quilt by Joanne Gilch.


    The President’s Challenge  in 2020 was to create a quilt with the theme being any song.  The perimeter must be a minimum of 96 inches (for example, a 24”x24” block or larger). Ribbons were awarded for:

    President's Choice: Winner: Mary Pavlicin

    Best Interpretation of Theme: Winner Francie Nelson

    Member's Choice: Winner Francie Nelson

    At the February 3, 2021 meeting, we showed the photos in a slide show twice, once to show the entries, and again to make final choices. Then via anonymous Zoom poll, all voted. The winners were announced and each person explained about their quilt/block. Congratulations to everyone who entered!

    Our mission is to preserve and promote the art of quilt making, stimulate interest through educating members and the public, and engage in projects for the community where needed and appropriate.   

    Suncoast Quilting Circle
    PO Box 47764
    St. Petersburg,  FL 33743 

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