For the 6 year anniversary of Blue Bar Quilts, the Cherrywood & Friends Shop Challenge generated 22 beautiful submissions that were on display in the Hallway Gallery in April, 2023. Creators needed to purchase a Cherrywood Fabrics fat quarter at Blue Bar Quilts and use it with at least two other non-Cherrywood fabrics of their choice to make a 24” square mini quilt. Anything went for additional fabrics and there was no limit to the number. Any type, fiber, print, designer, etc., and any quilting technique, surface design, embellishment, embroidery, machine or hand work was fair game. There were 2 prizes for Viewer’s Choice & Staff Pick. Winners received an 8-step Fat Quarter Bundle or 4-step Half Yard Bundle of Cherrywood Fabrics in the colorway of their choice.
Viewer's Choice: Jan Koehn
Staff Pick: Jane Tormey
Divergent: "different or becoming different from something else" (from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/) "This quilt was originally destined to follow a pattern called "Converge" for Blue Bar Quilts, Cherrywood & Friends Challenge, however the fabrics I chose just didn't work out quite right. The pieces were close to being chucked into the UFO drawer of no return, but then along came Project Quilting 14.6 "Conquer a fear". So I began to cut and reassemble pieces because I had "used the good stuff". The front is the result of this improvisational adventure and includes a Morse Code statement. The back of the quilt includes bits and bobs that didn't make it to the front of the quilt in the final round. Hand-dyed fabrics from my own adventures in dyeing, hoarded hand dyes from over the years, including my precious Laura Wasilowski pieces and featuring Cherrywood hand-dyes." - Jan Koehn, Crofton, NE
March 2023: "This quilt was made in response to the Cherrywood and Friends challenge at Blue Bars Quilts in Middleton, Wisconsin. Each 24 by 24 inch quilt had to use at least one piece of Cherrywood fabric and two other pieces of fabric. Since I have an extensive collection of Cherrywood fabrics, I decided to use many of them. Each of the 256 blocks is different."
"My contribution to the Blue Bar Cherrywood Fabrics fat quarter challenge is "Freddy's House". The pattern is by Frederica Duffy Moran, first published in her 1999 book entitled "Freddy's House". My signature modification is placing characters or objects in the windows. I'm a little obsessed with Freddy and her houses. I have made 8 seasonal or themed wall hangings and a queen sized quilt, featuring "cherry" chimneys. The blue sky fabric was a fat quarter purchases at Blue Bar. The rest of the house fabrics are Cherrywood from my stash. The window characters are from my stash."
Alternative facts? COVID pandemic? Insurrection? Who could have predicted the maelstrom we have endured in the last six years? Blue Bar Quilts has been a beacon of light during these dark times-times which have often felt stranger than fiction. I envisioned a running commentary à la Mystery Science Theater as witnessed by three particularly comforting corgis.