Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Sunday 16 August 2015

The Hoffman Challenge: Yadanabon

As far back as I can remember, I have longed to part of the Hoffman Challenge. I see this prestigious show as a badge of honour (in fact, they term the travelling quilts "honourees".) Each year when redoing my list of quilting goals, that one would get transferred onto the new page.  Imagine my delight last fall, when Mrs. Pugsley announced she was ordering in the challenge fabric, providing a rare opportunity to see, feel, and dream the fabric in person. This year's collection was called Mandalay, and my design came from there - white spires; precious gold, silver, and gems; mandalas.
Because my mind was filled with New York Beautys at the time, that's how I saw the translation from fabric to quilt. I added two other Hoffman fabrics to the mix - a sparkly gold, and a cream laced with metallic silver threads.
Part of the Challenge was to use Aurifil threads, which I did...and totally fell in love with this thread. I used gold and silver metallic, a 40 weight cotton in a gorgeous ruby shade, and a very subtle 50 weight grey/white variegated which worked beautifully with the cream and silver fabric.
 This block arrangement shows the gold-tipped white spires surrounding a mandala.
 I kept the quilting simple; the fabric and quilt were busy enough.

 This is the back.

My Artist Statement reads: Mandalay: city of white spires, circular plains, and opulent riches. All of these are reflected in the patchwork, with NY Beauty blocks forming the mandalas, quilting with gold, silver and ruby threads, and small "gems" in the form of Swarovski crystals. The original name for this Royal city was Yadanabon, meaning "city of gems".
It was exciting to have my quilt chosen to travel, and see "Amherst, Nova Scotia" listed in the home addresses. The entries are split up into several smaller travelling units and they will spend the year travelling to various venues across the U.S. This weekend is the grand opening show at the  Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival in Loveland, Colorado where the challenge quilts will be exhibited in their entirety - the only place you will see them all together. 
This is a big one off my Bucket List, and I am honoured to be part of this show. Thanks Mrs. Pugsley for bringing these fabrics to Amherst!


  1. How exciting for you! I would expect nothing less from your work! I love how it turned out. Sending good thoughts your way.

  2. Wow, that is amazing, both the quilt and the recognition. I hope you are kept updated on its travels.

  3. Wow. Just wow. No other words. Congratulations Karen - very well deserved.

  4. It's stunning! I'm so happy for you. Congratulations!

  5. Congratulations, Karen - a great honour! Your quilt is an absolute stunner, the rich fabrics compliment your design and quilting beautifully.

  6. Congratulations! Your quilt is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Karen, Congrats!! It is awesome! How exciting to have it tour with one of the collections! Wow! :)

  8. Congrats,Karen! What a terrific honour for an outstanding quilter! Jeanne Kaye Speight

  9. Congrats Karen, proud of you!