The Grocery Challenge, Part 1

This past year my co-program chair, Gail Galloway-Nicholson, and I, also took on the annual “Chapter Challenge” for the Coastal Quilters of the greater Camden (Maine) area.   We both had the same idea, but didn’t have enough time to implement it for 2011, so that will happen in 2012 (and be announced at our October meeting).  Then I had this FUN idea for this year…what about groceries?   Some of the wine labels are just awesome in color and graphic designs!   So I noodled around the idea.  Last August at the Coastal Quilters annual picnic at Joan’s camp cabin, I deputized those present and sounded them out.  They loved it and had some great suggestions…. so guess what… The local quilters came through GANGBUSTERS!

The (Camden area, Maine) Coastal Quilters Chapter Challenge 2011

The Challenge was this:  to take a packaged food or beverage product (not the fruit which is nice, or cleaning stuff which is work), but a food item of some sort.  You had to use at least four colors from the packaging (all of the colors if the label had fewer than four), plus you could add black and white.  But then I thought hmmm…someone could just troll the aisles looking for a package in colors they liked and wanted to use.  So I added a kicker:  you had to use something from the packaging in the quilt.  For example, if you used Tabasco sauce, you could use red-hot chili pepper fabric.  Or you could use rotini (corkscrew pasta) and make a corkscrew quilting motif.  I am so proud of this group:  12 signed up, 12 finished quilts (2 of us, including me, finishing a week before I had to turn the quilts in to Maine Quilts for hanging in the show and only 2 months after the ostensible deadline that I set!), and all are FANTABULOUS.  I’ll share them all in two long blogposts.  This is the panel I’ll share today:

The first panel of quilts

The finished size was 20 1/2 by 20 1/2 inches, in the hoeps that some of the traditional quilters would be tempted to participate as mostly the art quilty types have done recent challenges.   The irony:  the two with really traditional bits are by Louisa Enright (the hexagons) who is a contemporary quilter and does watercolor painting and me!  I had figured with this size you could do four 10×10 blocks (for example, what if someone bought frozen succotash–corn and lima beans–and used the traditional corn and beans block) plus have a bit for binding.  Or do a 12″ block and sash it, etc…. Sigh!

The first quilt completed was by Eleanor Greenwood, who does almost everything by hand!  She used a Naked smoothie bottle, and got permission from the Rainforest Alliance to use their frog logo in the center of the quilt (it appears on the back of the bottle).

Naked protein smoothie

The frog is stuffed and 3-D, the beading is spectacular, as are the colors, the 3-D petals… you name it.  WHAT a way to begin!

La belle grenouille contente (the happy frog) by Eleanor Greenwood. This takes my breath away every time I see it!

Next on the drape (I’ll do the quilts on the left, first):

Leigh's Blueberry Soda

Leigh Smith used a bottle of blueberry soda with an arched window as her item. She used a green metal garden stake as the rod and the rope to edge the window.

Karen Martin stretched the definition of food and beverage to include Centrum Vitamins:

Centrum Vitamins....notice the curve in the rainbow color logo and how Karen interpreted that in the blocks

Karen Martin used improvisational curved piecing which she learned from Northport (Maine) quilter Dianne Hire to make her blocks.Clever!

Next up is Jim Vandernoot’s AWESOMEly quilted piece.  Jim works for Campbell’s so used the V* Fusion drink as his inspiration.   I wish I had written down the proper title….  Jim, if you read this please send it to me because it’s perfect for this piece:

V-8 Fusion

Jim Vandernoot is a part-time Maine resident; we're thrilled he likes to take some of his vacation time and come visit with us!

Update:  the correct title (Thanks Jim!) is “In Search of the Quilting Gene.”  LOVE it!

Betty Johnson chose Land O’ Lakes half and half, and the curved lines in the graphics for her quilting motif:

Land O Lakes Half and Half (I'll take the full fat version!)

Btty Johnson perfectly captured the swirling lines and colors of the package graphics, wondei\ring about the fish swimming under the surface of the lake!

And on the bottom right of this panel, Rebecca Hokkanen made Tea-Bags using The-Tea Nation…with real teabags in the florette on the largest of the bags… notice the “T” in each bag??? How punny! (Please do not throw tomatoes at me as they will only mess up your keyboard…)

Cranberry Tea

Rebecca Hokkanen makes bags, and drinks tea, so she make Honest-Tea T-Bags!

If anyone wants my instructions for the challenge, just write to me and I’ll send you a PDF!

 

5 Responses to “The Grocery Challenge, Part 1”

  1. JACQUIE Says:

    Your challenge really did come together wonderfully well. I loved seeing some of them when I was there in May Hope your guild is as inspired by next year’s challenge!

  2. Lynn Says:

    What a great idea for a challenge!

  3. Linda Teddlie Minton Says:

    Wow, what a fantastic challenge, and what wonderful results! Very inspiring, y’all!

  4. Jean Says:

    Great idea for a challenge. Our small Out of the Box group is always looking for a challenge to involve all of us, and this looks like a good one. Would you send me a PDF of the instructions, please. TIA…Jean

  5. Art and Quilting in Camden » Blog Archive » From the Schooner Coast, to Paducah! Says:

    […] depicting Camden Harbor and miniature storm at sea blocks.  I talked about the Grocery Challenge here (part 1) and here (part 2), but in a nutshell (this was something I thought up…imagine…an […]