myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Greenery Shoots Mini – Pantone Quilt Challenge 2017

These last few weeks I feel like I’ve finally caught up with all my long lists and have therefore had a bit of time for a play!
I think it’s because I am not teaching quite as much this term or it’s because I am getting better at saying no, but somehow I actually have some spare time! It’s amazing and wonderful!!
And so I have made an entry for the Pantone Quilt Challenge 2017. It’s called ‘Greenery Shoots’ and measures 17 inches square.

The Pantone Quilt Challenge is something I remember vaguely happening over the last few years but either I was too busy or I was just not interested enough to enter, mainly I think because the recent Pantone ‘colours of the year’ haven’t really done much for me.

But this year the colour is Greenery, which just happens to be my all time favourite colour! So of course I just had to join in.

This year the challenge is being run by Bryan House Quilts and No Hats in the House. You can read more about it here.

I started this a couple of weeks back, well before the deadline (still a week or so to go). I wanted to try out an idea I’d had for a quilt for a while now, a way of incorporating my love of needle-turn applique but with a more minimalistic aesthetic.
So I started off with some low-volume improv.
I love this sort of ‘sew and trim’ improv, it’s pure playtime for me, and so this background was really quick to make. The main difference for me here is the low-contrast palette – I don’t usually do anything this subtle!
It was lovely that this project coincided with some amazing sunny weather, which meant I got to sit outside to sew on my stems and leaves.
I added some hand quilting, a sort of ‘ghost stem’, before outlining the leaves with machine quilting then filling the whole background with matchstick quilting in a green variegated Aurifil 50wt.

As I’ve done on previous matchstick quilting projects I left some larger spaces and filled them later with hand quilting in shades of green and the odd pop of shocking pink.

I even machine quilted round the hand quilting! Something that amused a few fellow members of our Edinburgh MQG, when I shared this at show and tell last week.

Here is the back, I like the way the outlined stems and leaves stand out. The backing is an old duvet cover.

I couldn’t resist the one pink leaf – I do find restraining myself to one colour really hard!

It’s bound in a Carolyn Friedlander fabric.

I really love how this has turned out. I think you can safely put bets on this type of thing occurring in future quilts. Perhaps with a larger quilt next time and maybe with something other than leaves…

There is still time to enter the challenge if you fancy it, the link-up opens this Friday and closes on May 29th, and you can enter with a link to an Instagram or Flickr photo so you don’t even need a blog.

There are also actual prizes and fancy judges – Carolyn Friedlander, Christa Watson and Jennifer Sampou! More info here.

It’s been great to have time for a little experimentation, which is what these sort of challenges are all about. And it’s totally still my favourite colour!


  1. I have an idea for this challenge…I just don't have the time!!:(

    Was telling a customer just yesterday about matchstick quilting leaving a little space for some handquilting and here is a perfect example! Looks fantastic! xo

  2. Wow! I love how subtle the background is, it makes the design really stand out. I rarely us enow volume fabrics, but do like the effect they give. The addition of the pink leaf is genius. x

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